Culture and Leisure
The Peasant and Village Museums, www.muzeul-satului.ro, should probably take priority, as well as the Grigore Antipa National History Museum, www.antipa.ro. While still the most famous building in the city and usually top of the agenda for most visitors, Casa Poporului/Palatul Parlamentului, www.cdep.ro/pls/cic/site.home?idl=EN, tends to be a bit of a let down for most, mainly due to the tedious nature of the compulsory guided tour. Art lovers – especially fans of religious art – should pencil in at least an afternoon at the National Art Museum, www.mnar.arts.ro.
The Old Town
A famous party quarter. A hub of restaurants, club and bars, it is The Place for nightlife. ASE is located in the centre of the city, about 30 minutes walking distance to the Old Town. One place to visit in the Old Town is Carturesti Carusel – a very Instagram-worthy bookstore. Near the Old Town is Palatul Universul: a former typography and press headquarters, it has been converted into a hub for creative industries. Next to the Old Town is the Cismigiu Gardens – the oldest Park in Bucharest. If you are interested in Orthodox architecture, you should also visit the Stavropoleos Church in the Old Town, one of the oldest in Bucharest and definitely a spot for taking cool pictures, even if you are of a different religion or an atheist. At the entry from the University Square into the Old Town, you may find the Museum of Bucharest, housing a very cool exhibition of City history artefacts, carrying you from the early days of the Romanian capital through the communist era and to the present day. On the other side of the Old Town is the National Museum of History and the CEC Palace –home to an old bank.
The customary Bucharest Street food: the pretzel (covrig). A quick fix for hunger, these pretzels (straight, with seeds, sesame seeds, filled with cold cuts, olives, cheese or various jams may cost from 1 to 3 lei. It is quite easy to be a vegetarian in Bucharest: look or ask for products prepared for the fasting period (de post), as they qualify as vegan. We recommend the traditional Zacusca, which is an eggplant (aubergine) vegetable spread. Bucharest is turning into the place to go to if you are a coffee aficionado. Lots of interesting cafes, some quite near to ASE.
How to get around
- public transportation: a bus trip is 1.3 lei (about 25 eurocents). For tickets (issued in an “electronic wallet”), check for kiosks labeled STB,
- taxis, Uber, Taxify,
- your own car: the city centre is overcrowded and it may take more to get to a spot by car. Also, it is difficult to find parking spots available near ASE,