Are you heading to Romania for the holidays? We’ve selected the best neighbourhoods to stay in Bucharest!
At the crossroad between the West and the East, Romania is often described as an island of Latin culture in an ocean of Slavic influence. Since Romanian is a Romance language, it may be more affordable for you to visit Bucharest than other Balkan cities. Besides, housing in Bucharest will be cheap, as the cost of living is lower than in Western Europe, even in the capital. Bucharest is Romania’s largest city, with 1,883,425 inhabitants. Like all European capitals, it boasts an impressive cultural heritage, richly layered with history. Bucharest exudes a singular blend of influences between Balkanic traditions and Western modernity, along with the relics from the time of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s communist dictatorship.
At first sight, Bucharest is not the most aesthetically pleasing city to visit: the Soviet era has left its indelible imprint, with wide, cold avenues, and dull block masonry. And yet, once known as “Little Paris,” Bucharest boasts a storied history that blends with its modern identity. You’re wondering where to stay in Bucharest? Read our selection of the best areas to stay in Bucharest.
Reborn from its ashes, Lipscani, the old town is an open-air museum of ancient times. Once a hub of craftsmen and merchants, the district became the privileged haunt of the princely court. Many fascinating historical edifices, boasting a dizzying array of architectural styles, have survived communism: the Byzantine church of Stavropoleos, for example. Often nicknamed “Little Paris,” the old town is filled with pedestrian streets, vintage shops and bookstores, refurbished buildings, trendy bars, and art galleries representing up-and-coming artists…
Once ill-famed under the communist era, the district has undergone gentrification after it became a European Union member state and embraced the free market economy. From Piaţa Unirii, in the park of the same name, continue on towards the political and administrative center of Bucharest, home to the imposing Palace of Parliament, for which an entire historic quarter was razed to make way for Ceaușescu’s megalomaniac plans. Lipscani is now a great place to stay in Bucharest, especially if you are traveling with your family and are still keen to mingle night owls and artists.
Situated north of the city center, Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue) is a 2,700-meter long boulevard, exuding a blend of different atmospheres. Its southern end houses chic boutiques and historic hotels where Bucharest’s well-heeled residents dwell. The historical monuments can be found further north of the district, with the Villa Monteoru, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Cantacuzino Palace, the Royal Palace and the Paul Gottereau Central University Library. Further west, enjoy the relaxing green setting of Cișmigiu Gardens, one of the city’s oldest parks, featuring 30,000 trees and plants from the Romanian mountains and greenery from botanical gardens in Vienna. The area surrounding Calea Victoriei is an ideal place to stay in Bucharest, if you enjoy shopping in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center
Home to majestic castles dating back to the Romantic era, Şoseaua Kiseleff district north of the city center stretches around the avenue Şoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, which leads to green and posh areas along the shores of Lake Herastrau. Staying in this part of Bucharest feels like being in the countryside, literally. It is the place where Romania’s golden youth mingle in trendy bars and lounge clubs. Featuring excellent restaurants, a tea room, and beauty parlors, this is a tranquil area to stay in Bucharest, a great place to indulge in a relaxing holiday by the water.
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