Parliament Palace – In the center of Bucharest, near Piaţa Unirii (Union Plazza), the tourist can see the largest parliament building in the world, formerly named “Casa Poporului” (People’s House). The building, which was built in 1984 by Nicolae Ceausescu, spans 12 stories, 3100 rooms and covers over 330,000 sqm. 1/9 of Bucharest was reconstructed to accommodate this magnificent massive building and its surroundings. There are 30-45 minute tours every half hour which lead through the building’s vast collection of marble rooms and culminates in an impressive view from Nicolae Ceausescu’s balcony. The marble and all the original decorations are 100% from Romania. The tourist entrance is on the north side of the building.
Old center (Lipscani) – A part of the city’s historical heart was not demolished by Nicolae Ceausescu. The area (stretching approximatively between the Dambovita river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Calea Mosilor to the east and Regina Elisabeta boulevard to the north) today contains an assortment of middle 19th century buildings, ruins of the Wallachian princes’ medieval court, churches, bank headquarters, a few hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops. Narrow cobblestoned streets retain the names of the ancient guilds that resided on them. The area was mostly renovated and is now a place of gathering for the young generation of the city.
Revolution Square (Piaţa Revolutiei) – Site of part of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Centrally located, it is not a long walk from the other squares, Gara de Nord or the Parliament Palace. There is a tall monument in the center of the square in memory of those who died during the revolution.
The Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf) – Situated in the northern part of the city, close to Herastrau Park. The current arch was inaugurated in 1936, but on the same site other arches stood starting with 1878.
Village Museum – an original open air museum created in 1934, it currently has around 300 traditional buildings (including churches, workshops, mills etc.) plus furniture, pottery, clothing gathered from villages in every region of the country in an effort to showcase the traditional way of life of the Romanians. Occasionally hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Entry fee 10 Lei for an adult, 5 Lei for student, closes at 9PM in the summer. Soseaua Kiseleff, 28-30.
Museum of the Romanian Peasant, also dedicated to the traditional way of life, it focuses mainly on traditional interior decoration, tools, clothing and artifacts. Again, it sometimes hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Very interesting, touching exhibit about one’s grandma. With hidden rooms to surprise you. Has a quite decent cafe, a notable museum shop, and a Carturesti bookstore. Entry 6 Lei for adult, 3 Lei for student. Soseaua Kiseleff, nr. 3
Art Museum, in the building of the former Royal Palace, has collections of ancient, modern and contemporary Romanian art as well as exhibitions of rare European art dating as early as the 14th century. Calea Victoriei, nr. 49-53
Museum of Art Collections, recently reopened, as an art museum is second only to the museum in the former palace, especially (but not exclusively) for the works of Romanian artists. Calea Victoriei, nr. 111
“Curtea Veche” (Old Court) Museum – the ruins of the crown palace of the Wallachian princes, some parts dating as early as the 16th century. It’s around an earlier fortification located in this same place that Bucharest began to develop.Strada Franceza, nr. 25-31
Cotroceni Palace Museum –has collections of objects that belonged to the former Romanian royal family. Today it is also the residence of the Romanian presidents.Bd. Geniului, nr. 1
National History Museum – located in a neoclassical late 19th century building and covering an area of 8,000 square meters, the museum has exhibits documenting the evolution of society on Romania’s territory from the Paleolithic until today, a replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome and a very interesting numismatics collection. The exhibits provide a glimpse into the material and spiritual culture of the Geto-Dacians, The Dacian-Roman wars and the transformation of Dacia into a province of the Roman Empire, the power structures of the state in medieval society, the Phanariot reigns, the bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1848, the gain of independence, the outbreak of the two world wars, and the entry of Romania under Russian influence. Calea Victoriei, nr. 12
Bucharest History Museum – situated in the Şuţu Palace, built in 1834, has collections related to the development of Bucharest from a small 14th century fortress into Romania’s capital.Bd. I.C. Bratianu, nr. 2
Military History Museum – has collections of weapons dating since the prehistoric times and permanent exhibitions dedicated to important military events, including the Romanian revolution of 1989, as well as an outdoor exhibit of relatively modern weaponry, including cannons, tanks, helicopters etc. Strada M. Vulcanescu, nr. 125-127
“Grigore Antipa” Natural History Museum – has over 300.000 exhibits illustrating the transformations of Earth and the evolution of species. Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 1
Cişmigiu Garden is a lovely small park located in the very centre of Bucharest. It’s the oldest in the city (designed 1845-1860). Has boat rental in summer, ice skating in winter time, a reasonable restaurant and several bars.
Herăstrău Park (the largest of several parks around man-made lakes on the Colentina River running through the city’s north and east side) houses the Village Museum, an open-air theater, various sports grounds, something like an amusement park and numerous restaurants and clubs. Has boat rental and boat-trips in summer.
The Botanical Gardens, established in 1884 near Cotroceni Palace, displays a variety of plants from all over the world, including an indoor tropical plants exhibition. Small entry fee.
National Opera, Bulevardul Mihail Kogalniceanu nr. 70-72 (Eroilor area).
George Enescu Philharmonic, Strada B. Franklin nr. 1-3 (Revolutiei square). Housed in the Romanian Athenaeum, a city landmark.
Ion Dacian National Operetta Theater, Bulevardul Nicolae Balcescu nr.2 (near University square).