Just an hour from Belgrade, there is a real tourist gem that guarantees you an unforgettable weekend. This is the city of Bucharest, capital of Romania. It lies in the very south of the country, and is known as Little or Eastern Paris. It is a symbol of the technical, industrial and cultural revolution of Eastern Europe and home to the second largest administrative building in the world. It is an ideal destination for tourists of all ages and tastes, because it is extremely rich in history, architecture and entertainment. This metropolitan centre has been repeatedly proclaimed the coolest city in Europe, as shown by thousands of tourists who are reluctant to leave it every year, only to return at the first opportunity.
Air Serbia makes it possible for passengers to reach Bucharest on a flight of about an hour and 20 minutes. Purchase of airline tickets Belgrade - Bucharest and all useful information can be quickly and reliably obtained on the company's website, and by subscribing to the Newsletter, travel enthusiasts can receive information about discounts on ticket prices and information about new departures.
Bucharest means joy
The capital of Romania originated from a settlement that appeared in this area in the 5th century BC, and was named after the musician Bucura, who entertained his fellow citizens every day. The word means "joy", and in recent decades it has become a symbol of transition and progress in all fields. Bucharest, however, has earned the name "Little Paris", especially because of its characteristically neoclassical buildings and elegant architecture. It lies on the river Dambovici, surrounded by seven lakes and seven hills. This fairytale landscape has contributed to Bucharest being one of the most beautiful European cities, and at the same time the sixth largest city in the European Union. It is home to about 2 million inhabitants, and it leaves its visitors breathless with grandiose buildings, green oases at every turn and wide boulevards. In addition, it is the traffic hub of Eastern Europe, through which international roads pass to the capitals of Hungary, Ukraine and Bulgaria. All this has made Bucharest the economic, business, political and cultural center of this part of the continent. It has been growing and developing rapidly over the last decade, so in addition to historic buildings, you can also see skyscrapers that are rapidly sprouting and making Bucharest a cosmopolitan metropolis.
The architecture of megalomania as witness to the history of Eastern Europe
As in all the capitals of this part of the Old Continent, traces of the specific architecture that marked the second half of the last century can be seen in Bucharest. The most impressive among them is the Palace of Parliament, a building of almost unimaginable size, so large that it bears the title of the second largest administrative building in the world, right after the American Pentagon. This building has 12 floors, 4 of which are underground, a nuclear bunker and 1,100 rooms that are used today as offices for high-ranking civil servants, reception halls and museums. It has become a symbol of the renewal of Bucharest after the devastating earthquake that hit this city in 1977, despite the fact that almost three quarters of the rooms are still empty or without a specific purpose. Part of the building is open to tourists, and this houses the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Not far from the Parliament building is the Old Town Centre, called Lipscani, which reflects the appearance of Bucharest before World War II. Here, tourists can visit the many antique and souvenir shops and small craft museums. Before the Second World War, the old town was a craft centre, so the streets in this neighborhood still bear the names of the guilds that once operated there. Today, this part of the city is within walking distance and is full of bars and restaurants in restored buildings. One of the most recognizable symbols of Bucharest is the Triumphal Arch, which was built in the 19th century on the model of the one in Paris. Finally, lovers of architecture will enjoy visiting the Stavropoleos Monastery, a unique monument of the Vlach Renaissance, with imposing doors and interesting facade decorations.
Bucharest's museums combine tradition with modern art
One of the most visited museums in Bucharest is the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, opened in 1906. Romania takes great care of its traditions, so in this capital museum you can see over 400 exhibition elements that cast light on rural elements of the country's history. Here, you can see a large collection of traditional folk costumes, a collection of tools and implements used in everyday life over the centuries, furniture, utensils and religious artifacts that illustrate the past of the Romanian people. Another museum not to be missed on a cultural excursion through Bucharest is the National Museum of Art, located in the Royal Palace on Revolution Square. In addition to famous Romanian artists, visitors to this museum can enjoy views of the works of Monet, Rubens, El Greco and Tintoretto. Besides these two, you can see the Museum of Natural History, the Spring Palace with its wine cellar, an imposing garden, gilded interior and a collection of valuable works of art, the Kotroceni Palace, the home of the last Romanian queen where her personal belongings are kept, and the Museum of Art Collections, which demonstrate the rich Romanian history.
A Green oasis as the center of city life
A favourite place of the inhabitants of Bucharest, but also of its visitors, is Herastrau Park, the park of King Michael the First. This unofficial city centre covers a large area and is located a short way from the official centre, on the northern edge of Bucharest. Within it there is a lake of the same name and a popular city promenade. The park includes a Japanese Cherry Orchard and the Isle of Roses.
One of the oldest parks in the Romanian capital is the Cismidia Garden Complex, with a lake, a vineyard and hundreds of authentic plants from all over Romania. The Rondul Roman Memorial Garden is especially interesting for lovers of literature, because it contains 12 busts of the most famous Romanian writers. An unavoidable destination when visiting Bucharest is the the Botanical Garden, which can be found in the University grounds and which can be entered with a surprisingly affordable ticket. There is a lake and a collection of roses in the Botanical Garden, but the greenhouses and collection of over 1,000 species of exotic plants attract the most attention. The Karola I Park is one of the centres of cultural events, it hosts open-air concerts, art exhibitions, theatre performances and performances by street entertainers. It also offers incredible views, and a walk through it can take visitors to the tomb of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, with its eternal flame.
Bucharest is urbane, versatile and constantly different
Bucharest is the largest student centre in Eastern Europe and is therefore completely adapted to young people who want to have a good time. The nightlife in the Romanian capital is rich and lasts until the early morning hours. Tourists can choose between clubs with all kinds of music, night bars featuring the most famous European and world musicians, and Irish or English pubs.
Romanian cuisine is varied and rich in flavours, it is a mixture of Hungarian, German, Serbian and Turkish traditional food. Tourists in the restaurants of the capital can enjoy soups, meat specialties, stews, goulash and of course pancakes, a favorite Romanian sweet. Visitors can also try wine with a tradition of almost 3 millennia. In addition to high-quality wine, a drink reminiscent of plum brandy is also popular in Romania, which is not surprising if you know that this country is second in the world in the production of plums and plum products.
Bucharest should be experienced in all seasons, but it is particularly interesting for the New Year holidays. However, in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists are recommended to plan their trip in good time and be sure to know the Romanian government regulations for entering the country.