Henri Coanda International Airport is located outside the urban area of Bucharest -Otopeni, Ilfov County- and is the busiest airport in Romania. The airport is located at a distance of 16.5 km from the center of Bucharest. It is named after Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coanda, builder of Coanda – 1910 aircraft and discoverer of the Coanda effect of fluidics. Until May 2004, the official name was Bucharest Otopeni International Airport.

Henri Coanda International Airport serves as headquarters for Tarom, the national airline of Romania and the private company Tiriac Air. Also, it is the base of operations for charter companies and low-cost, Air Bucharest, Blue Air and Wizz Air.

The airport is administered by Bucharest Airports National Company SA. It has 2 tracks with 70 destinations, 38 airlines and operators and in 2016 was registered 10.981.652 passengers to travel from Henri Coanda International Airport. Regarding the airport history, during the World War II, Otopeni airport was used as a military base by the German air force. By 1965, it was limited to military use and was one of the most important bases of the Romanian Air Force.

In 1965, a new commercial airport was built in Otopeni. The track was modernized and extended to 3,500 meters, making it one of the longest runways in Europe at that time. In August 1969, when President Nixon of the United States visited Romania, it was opened a VIP lounge.

In 1970 was opened a new passenger terminal (designed by Cezar Lazarescu) with a capacity of 1.2 million passengers per year and the second runaway was built in 1986, having 3,500 meters long. Finally, in 1992, Otopeni Airport became a regular member of Airports Council International (ACI) and it was ready to be upgraded over a long period of time that lasts until today.

Airport facilities consist of a single terminal with two main buildings: Departures Terminal and Arrivals Terminal, connected by passage which include a variety of shops, cafes, lounges and internet cafe. The airport has 32 gates, 14 of which are equipped with tunnels for transfer to the aircraft. Henri Coanda International Airport is accessible via bus lines, train, taxi or personal car. In 2015, Henri Coandă International Airport was ranked, by Airports Council International – Europe, in fourth place among European airports with the highest air traffic growth in the first half of the year, in the category of airports which had between 5 and 10 million passengers.

The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral is a place of worship for all Romanian Orthodox being located on Metropolitan Hill in Bucharest. Wallachia ruler Serban Basarab is the first person that starts the construction of this beautiful building, in the 17th century. The structure is finished in 1698 under the rule of Constantin Brancoveanu. The grandiose work of art has 28 meters in its interior and a nave of 14.6 meters. The cathedral is well-known, here being made the first Bible translated in Romanian language. The Bible had an important part in the Romanian literary language development.The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral is a larger copy of Curtea de Arges Monastery of Neagoe Basarab. This Cathedral is dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helena and is consecrated by Mihnea III in the 17th century. It is transformed in Metropolitan and after the First World War is changed in a Patriarchate. The Patriarchal Assembly is composed buy:

  • Patriarchal Cathedral “St. Constantine and Helena
  • Belfry Tower built by Constantin Brancoveanu in the 17th century
  • Patriarchal Palace Chapel finished in the 18th century by Prince Nicolae Mavrocordat and Bishop Daniil (1719-1731) carefulness
  • Patriarchal Palace is made for the first time as an abbot and then become the metropolitan residence

The Patriarchal Cathedral is for the first time painted in the 17th century in the times of Radu Leon Voivode (1664-1669). This ruler transforms this edifice in a Metropolitan one on June 8, 1668. During time, the Cathedral has gone through several repairs and after the restoration between 1960 and 1962, it was built after the architectural model of Curtea de Arges Monastery. Its interior contains an altar, a nave having a trefoil form. Visitors can see an expand narthex supported by stone columns, with outstanding carved capitals in composite manner. The four prismatic towers and the exterior surrounded by a stone belt approximately in the middle of the construction are worth seeing and discovering. The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral started to have mural paintings between the years 1932 and 1935. The Iconostasis is decorated with a glided sculpture same as the imperial doors. Travelers that visit the Patriarch Cathedral can see the Relics of St. Dmitry the New, assembled in a silver shrine. Saint Dmitry the New is the patron of Bucharest and is commemorated every year on October 27. These relics were brought from the village of Basarabi by Metropolitan Gregory II (1760-1787). This tourist attraction deserves traveler attention because of its impressive appearance, beautiful paintings and for hosting the relics of St. Dmitry the New, since 1774.

The interesting Palace of Justice is an important emblem of justice from Bucharest. This historical and architectural monument is built between 1890 and 1895 during the economic boom and is located on Dambovita River.

After Carol I was crowned, the old Judgment Court became too small and King Carol I decided to build the Palace of Justice which is worthy for an independent state. This wonderful construction is built on the same place where used to be the Judgment Court, constructed on lands of boyars Creţuleşti and Goleşti.

Following the steps of Minister of Justice, Eugeniu Stătescu, in 1882 the Parliament gave the first loan needed to start this work of art. Architect Albert Ballu was chosen to make this edifice and architect Ion Mincu was responsible with the interior design and finishes.

The Palace of Justice is made in an irregular quadrilateral plan, has a basement, ground and three floors. It is built in a Renaissance style and has six allegorical statues symbolizing the Law, Righteousness, Justice and Truth. The edifice’s clock has also two statues that represent the Force and the Prudence. On the Main Front are three doors on which visitors can enter in the building. The Palace rooms are vast with many decorations.

The most important hall is “The Hall of Lost Steps”, also known as “Hall Horologe”. It occupies a quarter of the total building area and on its exterior are two stairs of honor made of marble. In the center of this hall tourists can see the Justice Minister Eugen Statescu Monument made by Ernest Dubois and Lawyer Mihai Kornea Monument by Romanelli. On October 4, 1895, The Palace of Justice is inaugurated with an official document on parchment through Carol I that offers this building to the judicial corpus to achieve their mission.

This parchment is made in three copies, one is built in this edifice, one is submit to the State Archives and the last one is preserved by Minister of Justice.

Between 1954 and 1956 are made repairs because they wanted to transform this edifice in a Palace of Culture.After the 1977 earthquake this building needs serious repairs, as most of the buildings from Bucharest. It looks like between 1979 and 1981 are made consolidation works, but below the mark. Because of the 1986 earthquake and because there are no funds for repairs this edifice closes its justice activity.

On June 2003 under the governance of Adrian Nastase starts the restoration and consolidation made by Romanian and France architects.

The restoration of this Palace is finished in 2006 and the following institutions are returning: Court of Appeal, District Court 5 Bucharest, Romania Magistrates Association, National Union of Bars in Romania, Bucharest Bar.

Free Press Building is an enormous construction located in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It was the biggest construction between 1956 and 2007. This mega construction waits its tourists to come and see years of culture and history that cross over it.

In the beginning, the building had the name Polygraphic Compound “Casa Scanteii I. V. Stalin” and after a while adopted the name Spark House (Romanian: Casa Scanteii). It’s compound by a central corpus which had 13 floors and 4 side corpses that are smaller than the central one. It was used for Publication state media, especially the ” Spark ” newspaper (Romanian: Scanteia). This was the Romanian Communist Party’s newspaper. The construction was possible with the workers donations that helped the Communist Party to fulfill this dream.

Proud of this new symbol, communists made it appeared on the back of the 100 Ron banknotes from 1952. In terms of architecture, this building used the predominance of Socialist style with Stalinist influences.

The Spark House combines the architecture of State University “Lomonosov” with the hotel “Leningrad”, both from Moscow, and specific religious details from Moldavia and Wallachia. Every corpus side has turrets dedicated to decorate the walls. These turrets have also windows that are associated with old Romanian churches and monasteries frames. On the Principal Tower visitor can see an interesting exterior decoration named “ocnita” that is a recessed rectangular window in the wall. Spark House is the first edifice on which was introduced the calculation of a possible earthquake resistance using some Old Italian Norms. The Antenna from this building was the Romanian television broadcaster, but without it, the construction had only 96 meters.

After 1989 this building becomes the Autonomous Printing “Coresi”. On February 1999 it changed in National Printing Company Coresi also name as Free Press House. From that year this edifice hosts paper editions as “Adevarul”, “Jurnalul National”, “Cotidianul”. This building is also the house of press agency Agerpres and Coresi printing. On September 2, 1960 in front of this construction was built a big statue of Lenin, removed 30 years later. The pedestal is still there.

If you visit Bucharest don’t forget to stop for awhile and admire the beautiful architecture of Free Press Building.

The CEC Palace, also known as the Palace of Deposits, Consignations and Economics can be found in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, on Calea Victoriei Street. This edifice resisted in front of the earthquakes that shocked the capital, and its structure hasn’t been damaged.

CEC is open as an institution in 1864 by a law given by Alexandru Ioan Cuza. CEC institution works in different buildings until 1875 when starts the construction of today’s building.   In the 14th century in this place used to be some settlements restored by Constantin Brancoveanu between 1702 and 1703. In 1875 in this place used to be the Monastery and the Inn named “Saint John the Great”. All this buildings deteriorated and were demolished. Today’s building is made on the first old headquarters of Deposit House.

CEC Palace is finished in 1900 by the architects Paul Gottereanu and Ion Socolescu. This remarkable edifice is built in eclectic style and has a dome made by glass and metal. The dome allows natural light to enter the interior and to enlighten the place. The entry has some Renaissance domes ornate with gables and flags. The interior has notable pictures of Mihai Simondie dating from 1900 -1913. “Storm distributes its goods over Romania after Independence” or “Work” are two special paintings which delights visitors.

On September 2005 CEC Museum opened its gates for all tourists in the Great Hall of the CEC Palace. In this museum travelers can see original objects such as: original documents of transactions of financial and banking in the early years of the bank, financial documents and civil collection, treasure of CEC bank products since the 1880s until today, “piggy banks”, safes interwar, stamps, commemorative medals, badges, and cards. During the inauguration of CEC Museum is made an exhibition called “Bucharest between 1850 and 1917”. This exhibition shows 30 original photographs and 100 postcards belonging to the Romanian Academy Library.

Nowadays this construction hosts CEC Bank and also the CEC Museum. This sumptuous historical monument is part of the Bucharest tourist attractions.

Royal Palace from Bucharest capital is the Romanian royalty symbol which has gone through constant changes. During time, this sumptuous building was extended, burned, demolished, rebuilt, restored and strengthened.  In its beginnings this edifice was the Golescu’s family house. The edifice is located on Victoriei Square, in the central part of Bucharest.

Descendants of this boyar family sell this house and in 1837, ruler Dimitrie Ghica changed it in an important building from Royal Court. It is transmitted to Stirbei Voda and after, to Alexandru Ioan Cuza.  Cuza brought here the symbol of unification and in his times, to this construction was added an additional floor.

When King Carol I of Romania arrived here, he saw this wonderful building and transformed it in a Royal Palace. Carol I helped this edifice to reach the European standards. For this he encouraged French styles in urban development and made two new buildings to the original left one. In 1882 here is built the central corpus, a new building that houses the Throne Room and large reception rooms. The third new construction is used for the guard and the floor provides accommodations for the guests.

The Royal Palace from Bucharest benefited from the first electric lighting installation, between 1882 and 1906.

In the night from 7 to 8 December, 1926 a fire destroy the central corpus of Royal Palace. Because of all this loss, King Ferdinand I of Romania decided to renovate the building, with modifications and improvements in 1927. Now, the first floor is raised to 5 meters and the Hall Throne, Hall Ceremony and Gala Lunches are improved.

In 1930, King Carol II of Romania returned to the throne and he wanted to restore this palace to its original form, but the State allocated money only for conservation. For the renovation are used stone and marble that are natural and qualitative, a material that imitate marble for a cheap structure.

The Big Hall from the ground floor uses the Adams architectural style. This style is invented by British architectures, and proves elegance and power, but also uses some elements from classical architecture. King Carol II made the last modifications and restorations to this imposing palace.

When Communist Regime gained power they transformed the Royal Palace in a complex of Art Museum dedicated to People’s Republic of Romania and a Council of State. As an important event that took place here was the exhibition of returned treasure from USSR in 1956.

Since 1950, Royal Palace hosted the National Art Museum of Romania. For the stylistically aspects are used Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Classicism styles. Tourists that visit this beautiful edifice delight they’re eyes with paintings that show: landscapes of the country’s wealth, peasant’s photos and habits, semi-mythological scenes. To the semi-basement level there is a Royal pool holding a decorative frieze with dolphins. At the second floor are the European Art Exhibition and the Florentine Hall with its painted wooden boxes. Probably, the most important items of this construction are the Voivodes Stairs and the great Throne Hall.

The Royal Palace, known today as the National Art Museum of Romania remains the symbol of national historical arts and change, and is the most important art museum from Romania.

Herastrau Park is located in the northern part of Bucharest and it is the largest park of the city. It is formed around a lake with the same name, product of the Colentina River.

Before its current name, the park suffered several name changes. At first, it was intended to be named the National Park, but during Carol’s II of Romania reign, the park was given his name. Along with the Second World War, the park got a new name again, I. V. Stalin Park, and also a statue of this dictator. Afterwards, as a process of de-Stalinization, the statue was removed and the park got a new name, now after the lake within it – Herastrau. The origin of this name is the word”ferastrau”, translated as saw or sawmill. It is said that sawmills were found in the Colentina river.

The park measures 1.1 square kilometers and the lake within has an area of 74 hectares. The alley that surrounds the lake is almost 6 kilometers long. Several important boulevards define the frontier of the park: Aviatorilor Avenue, Prezan Avenue, the Kiseleff road and 4 others. The park is divided in two parts, a public area, where all activities take place, and a more picturesque area, where the Village Museum lies.

History says that around the year 1806, the elite world of Bucharest was often seen strolling on the banks of the Herastrau Lake. Therefore, in 1936, the park took shape after 5 years of work. In the same year, the ethnographic open-air Village Museum of Dimitrie Gusti was built on the park’s territory. There is also the Elisabeth Palace, which is the official residence of King Mihai I of Romania. This is where he forcefully signed his abdication and went into exile.

In 1920, well-known personalities founded the “Country Club”, now named the “Diplomatic Group”, which features a golf course.

Not to be left unmentioned is the fact that on the territory of the park were found traces of life that date from the Paleolithic, in the form of mammoth bones. Archeologists also found a Dacian treasure of silver objects and coins from Ancient Greece.

The attractions of Herastrau Park are plenty. It is equipped with an open air theatre, nautics and sports clubs, exhibitions, cafes, clubs, restaurants and a hotel bearing the same name of Herastrau.

Although, the most interesting thing about the park would be something that tourists would discover just casually strolling around the park. There are over 50 statues scattered over the park, under four categories. Historic monuments like “Sleeping nymph”, “Hercules knocking down the centaur”, “The Column”, “Obelisk” and other, made of materials like stone, cast iron, steel, bronze and marble.

The most numerous statues are those of national and international personalities, such as: Ludwig van Beethoven, Constantin Brancusi, I. L. Caragiale, Frederic Chopin, Chales Darwin, Mihai Eminescu, Victor Hugo, Goethe, Shakespeare, Tolstoi, da Vinci and many, many others.

There are also some bronze statues depicting animals like deer, bear, turkey and goose.

Probably the most novelty statues are those of Romanian mythical personas, like Dochia, Toma Alimos, Miorita, Mesterul Manole and Fat-Frumos.

These statues are dispersed within an impressive vegetation of willow, poplar, lime, and maple trees. The park also displays the Expo Flora area, the Rose Island, the Poplar trees Island and a Japanese Garden, created in 1998, and sustained by the Japanese Embassy in Romania.

Whether it’s for sports activities, cultural activities, entertainment or even just strolling and sightseeing, the Herastrau Park of Bucharest will never endure abandonment. It is so big and beautiful that you cannot miss it!

 

The Palace of the Parliament is located in central Bucharest. It is one of the most emblematic landmarks of Romania and the seat of the Romanian Parliament. The palace has three entries in the Guinness World Records because it is currently the second largest administrative building in the world, after the American Pentagon. Also with other American buildings, it holds the title of one of the biggest buildings in the world, exceeding 2 million m3 in volume and 300,000 m2 in surface and 80m in height. Regarding the Palace of the Parliament weight, the Palace is the number one heaviest building in the world.

Despite this construction of astronomic proportions housing the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, as well as three museums and a conference center, more than half of it is empty. Nonetheless, only heating and lighting exceed an annual cost of 6 million euro.

The reason this building was raised is Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s wish of reconstructing the capital. The People’s House, as he named it, was the center of Project Bucharest that Ceausescu began in 1978, after he was impressed by visiting the North Korean capital. The actual construction of the palace began in 1984, with Anca Petrescu as the chief architect. However, under her there were other 700 subordinate architects and an unknown number between 20,000 and 100,000 of forced workers.

Before the existence of People’s House, on the same ground, there were several monasteries, a hospital, dozens of factories and the National Archives, which were all demolished.

After the revolution of 1989 it changed its name to the current Palace of the Parliament. It now nests the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the Palace and the Museum of Communist Totalitarianism. This makes it highly worth sightseeing.

The Palace is still not finished to this day, although Ceausescu planned for the construction to last only 2 years. It was supposed to have 1,100 rooms on 12 levels, but in present time, only 400 of them are finished and under usage. Amazingly, the building also has 8 underground levels, which measure more than the seen height. Built in a much reinterpreted neoclassical style, it contains staggering numbers of materials, such as 3,500 tons of crystal or 700,000 tons of steel.

The Palace of the Parliament interior contain hundreds of chandeliers and lights, enormous doors and windows, all-marble halls and rooms, velvet and brocade curtains, gold and silver dispersed all over.

Although Ceausescu tried to minimize costs by forced labor and Romanian-only manufacture, the building is estimated to have cost 1.75 billion dollars. However, after a business man intended to buy it for 1 billion dollars, the Palace of Parliament was re-estimated to a value of 3 billion euro.

Whereas some consider it a somber monument, it is undeniable that it is the best representation of what Romania underwent during its communist period. Due to its immense physical, historical and even psychical stature, it will forever remain highly visited.

A population of 2 million totals as the largest city and capital of Romania. Bucharest is located in the South-Eastern part of the country, alongside the Dambovita River. It is, by definition, the financial, industrial and cultural center of Romania.

First attested in 15th century, legend says it was founded by a shepherd called Bucur, a Romanian words which means “joy”, Bucuresti roughly translating as “people of Bucur”.

Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862, when the first government and parliament took form. The city’s architecture fills the streets with a dazzling mélange of neo-classical, Bauhaus, art deco, communist and modern buildings. The inter-war period found Bucharest in a full-dressed manifesto of sophistication and elitism and like this it got its nickname of “Little Paris”.

The most outstanding landmark of Bucharest is undoubtedly the Palace of the Parliament, which was built at the special request of Nicolae Ceausescu, the dictator of Communist Romania. It is one of the world’s largest and heaviest buildings, with an estimated cost of a whopping 3 billion euro, having entered the Guinness World Records 3 times.

There are plenty other notable sights in Bucharest, such as the Arch of Triumph, designed after the Parisian Arc de Triomphe or the Romanian Athenaeum. The most captivating and charismatic street of the City of Joy is Victory Avenue. A promenade along this street, with its ends in Victory Square and United Nations Square, will enable tourists to discover breathtaking Belle Epoque buildings like the National History Museum, Cantacuzino Palace, Grand Hotel Continental, Central University Library “Carol I”, Athenee Palace Hotel, Macca-Villacrosse Passage and Revolution Square.

Other iconic markers are the large Herastrau and the old Cismigiu Parks, the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, the Village Museum, National Art Museum, Cotroceni Palace and Museum and other 56 dedicated museums and memorial houses.

The Old Town of Bucharest, Lipscani, is where the merchants of the 15th century installed their shops. In present time, it nests an endless variety of cafes, restaurants, shops, art galleries, night clubs and what not.

As it is a cultural center, Bucharest hosts innumerable events and festival, be them newcomers or already traditions. International Opera Festival, Bucharest Biennale, CowParade, Chinese New Year’s Eve, Bucharest of Old, Summer Well, these are events not to be missed.

Needless to say, Bucharest is the home of national television channels, newspapers, radios, and all famous people. It also has two international airports; therefore it can easily adjust to every type of budget. Accommodation goes from modern to classical and from traditional to luxurious. These aspects make the capital of Romania suitable for absolutely all tourists. It is the ideal starting point of a tour through Romania, as well as a tour of must-see capitals of Europe.