Put on your walking shoes
First time in Bucharest? Everyone will recommend you to go to Old Town. And ya, you should, I mean, why not? It’s the place to see some old buildings, find many small restaurants, pubs and bars, shops and souvenirs! And by night it’s the place to be for some nightlife fun.
But where to go next if you want to walk around and see interesting, representative places?
Well, to be honest with you, Bucharest is very eclectic. The architecture is a mix of styles, dating back from the 1800s. The nice places and streets are spread out across the city. Most areas are a mix of wow & meh and sometimes even eww! Some streets will make you feel like you stepped back in time, with amazing buildings like little castles. And other streets right next to them feel like stepping into… poverty. But don’t worry, Bucharest is a safe city overall.
So, I thought about a few walking routes, of 30 minutes to 1 hour, so you can explore mostly the nice parts of the city and avoid the meh’s and the eww’s. Sounds good?
A 30 minutes walking route that starts from Piata Romana. This route lets you see some very beautiful 1860s till early 1900’s buildings, which many look like palaces and are breathtaking for an architecture lover. Most of them are in good condition, renovated and lived in or used by embassies, official state businesses or rented out to companies. This route is pretty chilled and quiet, as some of the streets are not too used.
I’ll describe the route for you and then if it route sounds interesting for you can use the google maps preset I made for you and just click start.
So, starting from Piata Romana you take Dacia Boulevard till nr 99, then turn right to reach Dumbrava Rosie Street, till Parcul Gradina Icoanei. Then head out to 46 Dionisie Lupu Street, so see from the outside Casa Universitarilor (such an amazing hidden gem) where most times you can find a restaurant on the hidden back terrace in the forest (Yes, an actual forest!). Ask the guard if the restaurant is open and at least go check out the yard and the building from all sides.
Then continue the walk on Arthur Verona Street. It’s full of graffiti (once a year there is a dedicated art and music festival on this street, called Street Delivery, where they change the paintings on the walls). Close to the end of the street, you will see a Garden Verona on the right. You can stop there for a drink or some food or just go check it out.
Continue your walk on the boulevard, the direction to Piata Romana, but turn a right to George Enescu street. On the left side, you will find a big and impressive building, just in a roundabout. It’s called Casa Oamenilor de Stiinta (Scientists House) and it’s a restaurant. If it’s open you definitely wanna go have a look inside, cause it’s magnificent feel of walking into a small rich ballroom party.
By now you would have walked 30 minutes straight (so without the time you did for stops).
If this route sounds interesting for you than you can use the google maps preset I made for you and just click start.
If you wanna keep going for another 30 minutes walk and see the vibe of more crowded streets (both by cars and pedestrians), but with historical buildings and cute and small cafes and bistros here and there, then take Route 2.
It starts again from Piata Romana and takes you alongside one of the busiest boulevards (for cars, not so much for pedestrians): Lascar Catargiu. Admire the buildings on each side, they are impressive. Then follow the Google Maps plan I made for you and reach Calea Victoriei, the first boulevard in the city. This boulevard has over 300 years of history and was the jewel of the city for the high-class families, where they lived and walked along every evening.
After some time you will reach the spot on the map called Gradina Monteoru, a palace which isn’t used these days, but behind it has a garden where you can get a drink if you are tired. Or if you are hungry, across the street, just 2 minutes away it’s a small bistro Coolinart (marked on my map, in case you are hungry).
The next spot on the map I put Green Hours Jazz Cafe, a cozy garden, usually very busy, as another option to chill or eat something. It’s in a yard that you can easily miss the entrance haha.
On your walk, you are gonna reach The Athene, a beautiful building to admire from the outside (getting in is possible only with a thicket for their shows). Then follow the maps and you reach some cute and cozy streets, getting almost done with this walk.
If you haven’t eaten already I give you 3 restaurant options: Caju (marked on my walk map) with chef recipes made by the famous Joseph Hadad (really delicious stuff); La Mama: a Romanian cuisine restaurant with a terrace and indoor sitting (you’ll find here all the traditional dishes at very good prices); Journey Pub (marked as the last spot on the map): international cuisine, many options of food and refreshments and in a cute terrace-like indoor space.
Like this second route? Start it on your phone by clicking here.