When was the last time you considered Romania for your next vacation?

 

….[crickets]…

 

Exactly my point.

 

Well isn’t it often the case that we so easily form opinions and ideas before we have collected all of the information for ourselves? The old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to mind. Bucharest is the perfect example of this. With its history of communism combined with the tumultuous political environment of its Northern neighbour Ukraine, many tourists have put their blinders up when it comes to Romania.

 

I was invited, among 100 other bloggers and influencers, to visit Bucharest as part of the #ExperienceBucharest campaign to change the face of tourism in the city. Its mission was to shatter stereotypes and preconceived notions of Romania through highlighting the beauty, the modernity and humanity of Bucharest. To be honest I had zero expectations for what my time in Bucharest would be like….It’s not that I had never wanted to visit Romania; I had just never given it much thought until this opportunity presented itself.

 

But, to put it simply: I was blown away.

 

Here’s why you will be too:

 

Its energy is edgy, alternative, and infatuating.  You will quickly notice the vibrancy of Bucharest; how eager and proud its people are to help and to tell you about their city. From Uber drivers, to restaurant servers, to hotel staff; all of the people who I chatted with were more than willing to give advice and insights to help me discover their city (in fact, I usually didn’t even have to ask)!

 

 

Old Town. You will feel enamoured with the old world architecture and charming cobblestone streets in old town. There is something so special about wandering through historic corridors and alleyways, as if you are looking back through time.

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
Little Bucharest Hostel, Old Town

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
View of Old Town from Little Bucharest Hostel

 

The rooftop parties! You will feel intoxicated with the sheer amount of gorgeous rooftops, music and nightlife (…and maybe the blue wine too!). Pura Vida Sky Bar has it all and should definitely not be missed when in Bucharest!

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
The view from Pura Vida Sky Bar

 

The infamous blue wine

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A stunning sunset at Pura Vida Sky Bar

 

Secret bars and cafes. Be blown away by all of Bucharest’s hidden corners and edges, where you might be rewarded for wandering aimlessly by finding abandoned buildings, tucked away coffee shops or a hidden garden bars. I really liked Eden (Gradina Eden), which I would never have found without the help of a local friend because it is so well hidden behind this empty building.

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
Eden Garden bar is tucked away behind an abandoned building

 

It’s Nature. Learn about Vacaresti (affectionately known as the Urban Delta), a hidden oasis with a unique story, situated right in the centre of Bucharest’s urban jungle. You can enjoy the greenery through its walking trails, take a bike ride around its perimeter or admire the gorgeous view from up above in the Urban Delta’s conservatory office. You can also take a fascinating guided tour of the park with Bucharest Walkabout Free Tours to learn about its history and connection to communist times.

 

 

 

 

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away

 

The rich history. Trace back the country’s history of communism with a tour of the staggering Parliament Palace building (which I wrote an entire post about). Learn the background of the stunning yet obscene architecture and how it interconnects with Bucharest’s past and present society. I took a guided tour through the building with Authentic Romania and would highly recommend the experience to provide some context!

 

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
The Parliament building

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
The beautiful stairway of the palace!

 

It’s beautiful in its own way. Get lost in Bucharest’s nooks and crannies, finding beauty in its boldness…

 

10 ways Bucharest blew me away
Bucharest has plenty of instagram inspiration!

 

Unique architecture

 

The thermal baths. Forget about the hot pools of Budapest…Bucharest is home to Eastern Europe’s largest thermal baths! Therme Bucharesti also doubles as the most diverse botanical garden in Romania, boasting over 500 exotic plants.

The palm section of Bucharest’s Thermal Baths

 

The humbling reminders.

 

 

 

The Castles. Fall in love with the countryside, just a few hours outside of the city limits…and feel like a princess (or prince) at Peles Castle.

 

 

 

…and tick off the infamous and historic Bran’s Castle (aka Dracula’s Castle) in Transylvania from your bucket list!

 

 

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________

 

Though the morale of the story is to not judge a book by its cover, I still made my own judgement of Romania’s capital city in just 5 brief days …I decided that Bucharest is a truly special place – perhaps even one of my favourite European cities!

 

With history, culture, food, coffee shops, nightlife, tours, natural beauty, architecture, art, music, castles, and humble, welcoming locals… I’m quite certain there is something for everyone in Bucharest.

 

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go experience it for yourself!

 

 

 

 

Like it? SHARE or PIN these images!

 

Xo,

 

Stephanie - the pink backpack travel blog

 

 

A huge thank you to the #ExperienceBucharest team for including me in their media trip! 

 

 

Related: 

Exploring the Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania

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10 Comments

  1. Nice story Steph and glad you liked visiting our country! Just a small note: ‘Dracula’s Castle’ is just a tourist name for Bran Castle, an important Romanian medieval attraction with a story of its own that should not be reinterpreted for commercial tourism purposes. Come back again! 🙂

    1. Hi Marius, thanks for the info (though I do know the official name and history of the castle as I did the full tour while I was there). I updated the post with the correct name 🙂 Cheers xx

    1. Thanks so much Tarah! You definitely do, I loved it so much I might be going back later this year 🙂

  2. . . . . That might actually be the dream destination ! Roof parties ? Thermal Baths ? Castles ? YES PLEASE! Your pictures are gorgeous, I’m putting Bucharest on my 2017 bucket list!

    1. My thoughts exactly Alice! 🙂 I’m so happy you liked the post and will put Bucharest on your bucketlist, woohoo!

  3. Haha it’s never even crossed my mind to visit Romania but you’ve captured the country so beautifully! I’ve been seeing those rainbow umbrellas all over Instagram for some time now and was wondering for the longest time where they were. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah the rainbow umbrellas exploded on instagram as the token Bucharest photo lol. Thanks so much for the kind feedback Jas!

  4. You’re right, I hadn’t considered Romania as a destination before – I simply knew nothing about it! Bucharest looks beautiful though, I’ll certainly be dreaming about all that gorgeous architecture now 🙂

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