Romania’s capital is a city of contrasts and its cosmopolitan cultural scene may surprise you.
While the echoes of its Communist past remain in some of its totalitarian-style architecture, the Old Town is bursting with wonderful bars, restaurants and hotels.
The intimate Hotel Rembrandt lies in the heart of this popular district. With spacious rooms and the cosy Café Klein on its mezzanine floor, it’s an ideal base for exploring.
Fine dining doesn’t get much better than The Artist on 13 strada Nicolae Tonitza, where the dishes are a work of art and taste as good as they look.
Bucharest’s oldest beer house, Caru’ cu Bere on 5 strada Stavropoleos, is popular thanks to its gorgeous neo-Gothic interior and authentic and hearty Romanian dishes like mittitei (grilled spiced sausages) and tochitură (pork stew).
Bucharest has become famous for its boisterous nightlife. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are teeming with terrace bars like The Urbanist and Niște Domni și Fiii.
A hidden gem is the Pura Vida Sky Bar, a funky low-key bar atop a five-story building that offers incredible views of the city.
And for a uniquely tailored cocktail, visit Fix Me a Drink, where staff will fix you a customised drink infused with seriously original ingredients like pollen liqueur and myrrh extract.
While you’re in the city’s Old Town, don’t miss a visit to the beautiful bookshop Carturesti Carusel and check out the Grădina Verona, a lovely garden coffee shop hidden behind.
For a taste of the city’s Communist past, take a tour of the vast Palace of the Parliament. Romania’s former dictator Ceausescu bled the nation dry to erect the second-largest administrative building in the world.
Bucharest is also home to many museums, including the unique Romanian Kitsch Museum which offers a humorous take on the country’s culture.
There are plenty of green spaces to admire, with Herastrau Park, Cismigiu Gardens and Carol Park offering beautiful nature walks. Herastrau Park is home to the open-air Village Museum which recreates 346 Romanian village houses spanning three centuries.