The city of Bucharest
What to see
House of the Free Press
An impressive edifice standing in the northern part of the city, since 1956, Casa Scanteii (as it is still universally known) was designed by architect Horia Maicu. There is no doubt that the building is a smaller replica of the Lomonosov University in Moskow – Russia (inaugurated in 1953).Between 1956 and 1989, the House of the Free Press housed almost all of Romania's capital printing presses and headquarters of print media companies. The southern wing is now the home of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
The Arch of Triumph
Initially built of wood in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I, Bucharest's very own Arc de Triomphe was finished in Deva granite in 1936. Designed by the architect, Petre Antonescu, the Arc stands 85 feet high. An interior staircase allows visitors to climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The sculptures decorating the structure were created by leading Romanian artists, including Ion Jalea, Constantin Medrea and Constantin Baraschi.
Calea Victoriei is Bucharest's oldest and arguably, most charming street. Built in 1692 to link the Old Princely Court to Mogosoaia Palace, it was initially paved with oak beams. The street became Calea Victoriei in 1878, after the Romanian War of Independence victory. Between the two world wars, Calea Victoriei developed into one of the most fashionable streets in the city. Stroll along this street from Piata Victoriei to Piata Natiunilor Unite to discover some of the most stunning buildings in the city, including the Cantacuzino Palace, the historical Revolution Square, the Military Club, the CEC Headquarters and the National History Museum.
The Royal Palace
Erected between 1927 and 1937 in neoclassical style, the palace was home to King Carol II and to his son, King Mihai I, until 1947, when the monarchy was abolished in Romania. It was inside the halls of this palace that King Mihai, aged 18, led a coup that displaced the pro-Nazi government during the World War II and put Romania on the Allies' side. Today, the former Royal palace houses the Romanian National Art Museum.
Buzzing with crowds and traffic from early morning until late at night, this area is one of the most popular meeting places in Bucharest. The square brings together some remarkable architectural masterpieces on each of its four corners, starting with the University of Bucharest's School of Architecture, the Bucharest National Theatre, the neoclassical Coltea Hospital and its lovely church (1702-1794) and the Sutu Palace, now home to the Bucharest History Museum.
Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania, and one of the largest in Europe. Bucharest'spublic transportation network includes: bus (autobuz), tram (tramvai), trolley bus (troilebuz) and subway (Metrou).
Buses, trams and trolley buses operate - between 5:00am and 11:59pm.
The subway operates - from 5:00am until 11:00pm. Tickets/cards must be
purchased beforehand and validated upon boarding. Travelers may be asked
to show the validated ticket/card during the trip.
Travelers without a validated ticket must pay a 50 Lei ($15.00) penalty (Suprataxa). Tickets or passes can be purchased at any kiosk displaying the RATB logo. Tickets are interchangeable for the bus, tram and trolley bus, with the exception of express buses.
The express bus system is more useful for reaching destinations outside the city centre, as only a few express buses actually pass through the centre itself. Two- or 10-journey tickets, as well as monthly passes, are available for these buses. RATB maps can be found at kiosks near bus and tram stops.
Taxis are relatively cheap and most visitors will find them more than affordable.
Where to eat
Finding a good restaurant is not a problem in Bucharest. The city is packed with some cracking restaurants, trendy little cafes, bonny bistros and good sandwich and lunchtime spots.
Str. Traian 234, sector 2
Tel : (+4) 0733 07 74 82
Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy accent on seafood, and lots more besides. Great, big salads, huge plates of mixed meze (perfect for big groups to share) and no fewer than four lamb dishes, including some of the best lamb chops we've eaten in Bucharest. Modern, contemporary yet understated design adds to the joy of dining here
Str. Tipografilor nr 31 (near Herastrau)
Tel : +4.021.490 60 50
There are quite a few “Romanian” restaurants around Bucharest. Some serve traditional Romanian and regional cuisine while others only “claim” to. This is as close to home-cooked Romanian food as you can get. Situated over near the “Free Press” piata, the tribunale area, you’ll see the “lodge” style Taverna. With open seating areas both indoors and out, you’ll be able to have a cozy romantic dinner, or a nice business lunch, whatever your desire (yes they even have wi-fi). Don’t miss the schnitzels and the soups.
50-52, Georgescu Street, 040133
Tel: +40 (0) 21 335 3338
Jaristea cooks up old-fashioned Romanian dishes. This popular restaurant near Piata Romana square serves spicy soups, meat stews and Romanian polenta. Inside are dark wooden furniture, woven rugs and stone walls covered with pictures of a Bucharest long gone. Affluent locals and visitors book well in advance for a table.
14, Strada Batistei, 020934
Tel:+40 (0) 21 211 8929
Animal trophies and stuffed birds peer down from the walls at Burebista Vanatoresc, as diners feast on dishes straight from the hunt. The menu features bear paws and flame-grilled beef. The scent of barbeque hangs in the air of the medieval-themed, wooden restaurant, near Piata Universitatii square. Folk bands often accompany the feasting.
Str.Fainari, nr. 5, Sector 2
Tel: +40 (0)021 212 19 51
It is located near one of the most populated areas in Bucharest – Bucur Obor, on Fainari. It looks like"a men’s house”, also you could confuse it, if there wasn’t outside a big advertisment: Jieni’s House. When you open the wooden door, you find, behind it, a true specific Romanian restaurant: towels on the tables, rustic furniture, woven rugs, rustic motifs decorating the walls.
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