Winter in Bucharest – How is the weather like?
If you find yourself during winter in Bucharest, you might be wondering what is there to do. First of all, we’re talking about the months of December to late February. Then, you should know that it can be either very cold (-10 C during the night) or surprisingly hot (for example, on 6th January 2022 the sun was shining strong and the stats showed +16C). It all depends on the weather’s mood and your luck, l guess. Snow? Maybe a little in January. Rain? Either none for 2 weeks or nonstop for 4 days. So let’s say +5C is more normal for winter in Bucharest than any of the other scenarios.
Now that you might be all confused about what to expect from winter in Bucharest, let me help you by saying: just bring your winter coat, boots, and your good mood. 😄 The rest is not under anyone’s control.
Sightseeing Bucharest with the help of a local
If you are looking for a personalized tour plan for a 24- 48 hours visit, to get to see Bucharest’s most famous spots and hidden gems, I can help you out. This means you don’t need to spend any time doing research before you arrive in Romania’s capital, nor stress about missing out on great places. I’ll ask you a few questions to understand what’s your style of traveling and your passions and I will design you a plan for your visit. Here you do the sightseeing by yourself.
Or if you are one of the lucky ones with good weather days and want for me to show you around the city, send me a message. I do only private full-day city guides. I promise I’ll give you enough info about the places, with no boring bla-bla-exact dates-bla-bla’s. Just Fun Facts, a personalized tour based on your preferences and ultimately, a local friend. 😊
Again, if you get nice weather while in Bucharest, and you want a short guided tour I got some ideas for you. Try out some unusual tours, to see Bucharest from another perspective than you would imagine. Here are my favorite tours, in cool locations and with awesome infos:
✴ these Get Your Guide tours are affiliate marketing links, meaning if you book them after clicking them here I get a small commission with no extra charge for you. Thanks. 🙂
What to do in Bucharest when it’s cold outside?
In this article, I am putting together some ideas for you to do in Bucharest during the cold winter days. You know, those days when you don’t feel like walking around the city too much, or spend time outside. So here are a lot of cool activities to do indoors in Bucharest.
I divided them into a few categories, but combine them as you please. My suggestion is to save them on your Google maps (click on each name to be redirected to the location on the map). Every spot/ activity you find interesting. Then see which of them are close together. This way it’s easy to connect them and plan a fun day.
For this article, I had in mind a solo traveler. Because traveling alone and finding yourself in the middle of a new city and with unfriendly weather is can really s*ck. So if you do have company while in Bucharest, these suggestions will still be very fun to share with someone. If not, put your smile on, and let’s get ready to discover Bucharest and have some fun! 😃 Btw, you might get to meet people in most of these places. You can use Couchsurfing app to reach out to local people.
Okay, so let’s start going through all the fun ideas you can do indoors while you visit Bucharest in wintertime. Note that they are not mentioned in ranking order, but I just chose the coolest places and you get to say which seem to be the best for you.
If you want to start your day with a coffee or a hot drink in a cozy place, these are a few of my favorite spots. They have some breakfast dishes and some even yummy brunch choices. If you are a digital nomad and need to get some work done as well than you’ll find most of these places perfect for you.
In the area of Piata Romana, to be more acurate, it’s in Piata Amzei. The breakfast and brunch menu here is mouth-watering. It’s a cool place to bring your laptop if you need to get some work done.
This is definitely one of my favorite cafes in the Old Town. Not only for the inspiring decor (I adore Vincent van Gogh, what can I say), but for the choices on the menu as well.
It has quite a few locations around town. You can find here many types of coffees, teas, smoothies, along with cakes, quiches, and some sandwiches. All such a delight, in a cozy atmosphere, good for working as well. My two favorites are:
This coffee shop is a bit hidden, so when you get to the address, go inside the long passage, all the way to the big yard in front and you will find it there, on your left. It’s one of the best places for a digital nomad, but also for reading a book and chilling an hour or two with a quality coffee and a quiche or a tart.
Bonus: Seneca Anticafe – coworking space
This is not a coffee shop, but a library and a coworking space. Here you pay by the amount of time you spend. One hour costs 15 lei, and the schedule is from 9 am to 9 pm. You have access to a kitchen with a few snacks and water included in the price. It’s a cool place where you can work on your laptop or even read the books there.
According to Wikipedia, in Bucharest, there are over 40 museums. Mostly memorial houses. Here I picked a few of my favorites, which I find as a priority to visit when in the city. Some honorable mentions, which didn’t make my list are: Natural History Antipa Museum, The History Museum and The Geology Museum.
Your must-see museums coming right up:
If you knew anything about Bucharest before you arrived here, I’m sure you heard something about this communist giant building. It’s our Parliament building, known as People’s House/Palace and it breaks a few world records. Such as being the heaviest building in the world (such an achievement, right? 😅) but also the most expensive building ever built in Europe. This truly reflects Nicolae Ceaușescu’s cult of personality, the last communist leader of Romania, who ordered in 1984 the construction of this edifice. Also, you should know that before 2021 it was the world’s second-largest administrative building after the US Pentagon. Now Thailand built a huge administrative building, which takes the place for 2nd largest. So our communist parliament officially becomest 3rd largest administrative building in the world. To give you a different picture, the building exceeds by 2% the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
There are so many things I could say about this building full of history (and 7 underground floors and bunkers), but I will just recommend you to go visit it. It has a daily visiting schedule and you need to 📲 call for a reservation 24h in advance. Be sure to have ID with you when you go, as it’s a government building. 🕒Tour takes about 45 min. The entrance is on the side with Izvor Park (here is the pin location). If you are traveling by car you can park in their private parking lot, exactly where l set the pin.
In my opinion, this is a must-see, especially for someone who is interested in history and has a love for architecture. As I have mentioned before, Nicolae Ceaușescu was the last communist leader of Romania (until 1989 when he and his wife were executed in an unfair trial). This is the house he and his family lived in for the time of his rulership (24 years from 1965). The house was built before his rulership times, but as the family moved in they redecorated it with their own opulent tastes and even extended it a bit.
It has 80 rooms, but definitely, the tour doesn’t walk you through all of them. But you get to see the main huge ones, the spa area, wardrobes and the pool.
If you are going to visit the House of Ceaușescu, on the same street you will find this Romanian recent art museum. It’s a private, independent museum with the mission to promote recent Romanian artists, from the 1960s until these days.
It has a huge permanent exhibition and a few temporary ones every year. Sometimes they exhibit a few international artists. The building is a piece of architectural art itself, build new, around 2018, especially for this museum. It’s a non-conformist black building, which abstracts the looks of the 1920’s building that was still standing on the spot when they started the project.
It’s closed on Tuesdays. It has a lovely coffee shop on the ground floor.
This museum is a collection of contemporary Romanian artworks, plus eclectic temporary shows and installations, spread on 3 floors. I recommend you take the stairs between each floor to be able to admire the many cool graffiti. And you can go down with the glass elevator.
It’s located in the Parliament building, with an entrance from Calea 13 Septembrie Street (exact location pin here). Last time I checked there was no parking allowed in their yard. Depending on your visiting style, it can take you 1-2 hours. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. More info here.
This is more of a memorial house than I would call it a museum. It has a unique vibe, straight from the early 1900s, with art emanating from its walls, literally. Unfortunately, the visiting area is very tiny: just the main room (built as 3 small rooms connected to each other) and the workshop room. You can admire not only the fabulous murals (not in perfect shape) and also the paintings and sculptures of the two artists. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 🕒 Walking around by yourself (with not much info to read) will take you 15 min. No reservation is needed.
After you are done with the visit and if the art inspired you or you just feel like having a coffee l recommend you check out Ceramic Cafe. There you can grab a brush while sipping a good coffee and let your creativity flow.
The museum is located in the former Royal Palace, a beautiful building dating back to 1937, which was home to the royal family for only about 10 years. In 1948 Romania was officially under the communist regime, the King went into exile and the building was transformed into today’s museum.
Here you can admire paintings and sculptures from medieval and modern Romania, but also from Western Europe, the Islamic world, and East Asia. Plus you get to visit this beautiful historical building, kept in very good shape. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. 🕒 The visit can take you 1-2 hours, depending on your style.
This is a beautiful art gallery in the North part of Bucharest. You will find works by the best contemporary Romanian artists. Constantly there are temporary exhibitions and entry is free. So if you are a true art lover this is a gallery to put on your list. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
🔸 Gifts and souvenir shopping
This is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the city. A 1900s building was completely transformed into this open space 6 floors amazing place. Why should you visit? Not only because it’s gorgeous, but you can also grab a book and find one of the sits and chill for a while. Or you can shop for some gifts. You can find mugs, sweets, wine bottles, all kinds of smart and cute toys, t-shirts, even vinyl disks, and much much more.
Souvenir Shops – Old Town
If you are still looking for some souvenirs or local gifts to take home to friends and family you should try these two souvenir shops: Old Town Souvenirs has many cute stuff to choose from, with a modern look, and Art Souvenirs is a bit more to the traditional side, but they have very nice fridge magnets. In case you are looking for postcards you can find some at the above-mentioned place, Carturesti Carusel.
🔸 Relaxing time – Pool, SPA & Massages
If you feel tired and need some recharging, maybe a relaxing day would be a good idea. In Bucharest, you will find many therapeutic massage places, spas, and some pools. It’s time to listen to your body and see if it’s in need of a massage, a swim, a sauna, or even a face mask. Don’t forget to call in advance and check their availability.
This is Europe’s biggest wellness thermal center. Therme is open daily and you will find 3 areas. One with fun water slides (Galaxy area), one with the main pool, a sauna, massage beds, mineral pools, restaurants and cocktail bars (as seen in the photos, called The Palm area). And the top one, Elysium area, with different types of saunas (even a cinema sauna), massages and a fusion Thai cuisine restaurant.
This place is a lil paradise, no doubt about it, with a very decent access price. You can spend here the whole day if you like it, until 10pm.
If you wanna get there by local bus, you need to get to Piata Presei Libere first and than take the 442 bus (but as it doesn’t come quite often as other busses, it might be a good idea to check the time schedule here).
This SPA center is located close to Victoriei Square. You will find here the traditional Asian massage techniques that you encountered in Asia, if you’ve ever been: Thai massage, Ashiatshu (where the massage person walks all over you haha), deep tissue, ayurvedic etc. Plus Hammam experience, all kinds of body and face treatments. This place is such a luxurious delight, with lovely staff and in a beautiful atmosphere.
If you want to see other options for a massage in the same Victoriei Square area, you can check out Eden Spa and Aimasaj (this place offers only massages, really good ones and cheap prices). Also, you can have a look at Buddha SPA Studio, from Dorobanti area, Lotus SPA (in the North part of the city) and Shakti (closer to the city center).
You can always find Spas and pools in the 4 and 5-star hotels in the city. Just look for them on Booking. com and see which one looks like the best option for you. For example, Ana Wellness in Crowne Plaza or Ramada Plaza (both in the North part of the city). Closer to the city center, JW Marriot Grand Hotel has a lovely indoor pool.
🔸 Cinema + VR movies
Fancy a movie? In case you haven’t seen the latest action movie, you could go to a cinema, in one of Bucharest’s malls. In this case, you will have other things to do inside, before or after the movie, such as shopping, ice skating, have a VR or a Museum of Senses experience, and of course, eat.
One of the best movie experiences is in the IMAX movie theater, because of the high-quality screen and sound. You can check the schedule here. If you feel like treating yourself with a VIP movie experience, that’s possible in this cinema. You will get very comfortable seats, in a smaller theater, all-inclusive food and drinks. You can check here the VIP movie schedule.
Afi Cotroceni Mall – the biggest mall in the country
If you came to the mall for shopping or for the Cinema, than you have a few interesting options here as well.
For example, you can go to the Museum of Senses (if you tried it in other countries you are gonna find it similar, so you might as well skip it). What’s interesting is that recently they added VR experiences. You can buy the tickets online. You will find it inside the mall, on the top floor, above Auchan Supermarket.
While at the mall you can ice skate if you know how to or want to give it a try. Check the schedule, as they take breaks to redo the ice. Of course, you can walk around the shops and see if anything catches your eye. And then how about some food? You will find, as usual, fast food, but also some restaurants. I recommend Al Wady, a Lebanese restaurant with flatbread made in an oven in front of the entrance. Leave some room for desserts, as one of the best cakes in town, can be found at ZoomSeries and Nedelya.
In case you are traveling with someone or made some friends, in Afi Mall you can play laser tag, some arcade games, and even do an escape room challenge. All these at Lasser Maxx.
In case you like malls and feel the need to check more of them out, Bucharest has a bunch. Worth mentioning are Baneasa Mall (up North), Park Lake (which has a very beautiful food court, looking a bit exotic) and Promenada Mall (if you go to this mall, better go to the tallest tower in the area as well, to eat at Nor Sky Restaurant, for a great view).
🔸 Adrenaline activities
Feel like something spicy for a change? No, I don’t mean food ( but in case I made you crave some spicy Indian food you can go eat at Taj). But I meant some adrenaline activities, to make your heart pumping and make you forget about the cold winter days in Bucharest.
Do you have the physical strength and want to do something more than the gym? You can climb a few different types of walls at Fabrica de Catarat (the climbing factory).
Or maybe you’ve never shot a real gun before. You can do it at Tactical ShootRange, with training in advance. You get to choose between different types of guns and shoot with 2 target distances. It’s quite a fun experience, personally enjoyed it a lot.
How about some fast driving? Indoor karting is the place to be if you love driving and also enjoy stepping on the gas (in this case it’s electric, but you get the idea). VMAX Karting is a good indoor option.
🔸 Creative Workshops
In case you are feeling creative and want to relax and enjoy this flow I have two cool ideas for you.
Close to Romana Square, you will find Ceramic Cafe, a cozy cafe where you can paint a ceramic object of your liking while sipping a good coffee. You can choose between a mug, a plate, a bowl, candle holders, flower vases etc. and unleash your creativity. There is no time limit, you pay for the object you chose. I find this cafe really cute and you can enjoy its atmosphere even if you don’t feel like painting anything.
Have you ever made a clay object on the wheel? If not, I’m telling you, it’s much more fun than you imagine. And also pretty challenging. At Clay Play studio you can give it a go. It’s open daily, apart from Sundays and it would be best to call and schedule your visit, as you will need a trainer available.
In both of these cases, you can take home the object you worked on, but not right away. As clay needs to go through a burning process for it to harden and the ceramic objects also need the burning process for the colors to stick. Only after this, the object is ready to be used. This means that you can pick it up in about 2 weeks. In case you are not in the city anymore, I guess you can do it as a relaxing experience in that moment. Cause eventually, it’s not the object, but the moment’s joy, isn’t it?
These are my suggestions for indoor cozy and fun experiences in Bucharest during wintertime. If you have any questions or need me to help you out to plan your trip, don’t be shy and send me an email.
Enjoy your time in Bucharest! Cheers!