Eat, Sleep, Play: Bucharest

I know, I know. I was in Bucharest freaking forever ago. But! I only wrote about it on my old blog, and I didn't really talk about the city itself, just my experiences. So, here it is, my last Bucharest post (probably).

I chose one of the first hostels I found on TripAdvisor! For my full stay in Bucharest I stayed at the Antique Hostel (not to be confused with the hostel with the same name in Istanbul). The Antique Hostel was great: wonderful, helpful staff; great location (literal metres from the Old Town); lots of space and great common areas. I could not have asked for a better first hostel experience. And, I've already mentioned its great location, but, seriously, it is perfectly placed. You can see the Palace of the Parliament from the balcony, it's relatively close to several beautiful parks, as well as other tourist sights and museums. Plot out everything you could want to see in Bucharest, and I promise the majority will be within comfortable walking distance from the Antique Hostel.

View from Antique Hostel's balcony, Palace of the Parliament can be see in the background

I have two main recommendations in the food department (though everywhere I ate was great). The first is City Grill. There are three City Grill restaurants in the city, I went to the one in the Old Town. City Grill was recommended as one of two good Romanian restaurants in the Old Town, and a friend and I decided to have lunch there after a tour. It was really good, I enjoyed my meal, and, as far as I know, my friend enjoyed his. Plus, look at the pictures on their website! Isn't it beautiful?! We ate outside, however, which was equally nice.

The second restaurant I want to recommend is the Grand Cafe Van Gogh. What can I say? I'm an art lover, I had to go to the Grand Cafe Van Gogh. Again, I sat outside (it was 25° in April! I had to take advantage!) and the outside eating area was just really lovely. The food was fantastic, and the vibe around me was really nice and relaxed. I'm not quite sure how to describe the type of food available, I had a Club Sandwich, though, so, stuff like that? Good quality American style food, maybe? I don't know. It was a great spot, though.

While in Bucharest I visited four parks, though one isn't really worth going to in my opinion. The good parks, however, are called Parcul Carol, Parcul Cișmigiu, and Parcul Tineretului. Parcul Carol has a really cool symmetrical layout with a huge monument at the end of the main walkway and hidden pathways in the wooded area to the sides. Pacul Cișmigiu is a gorgeous space with tons of space to stroll, and there are also paddle boats that you can take out. Parcul Tineretului is the largest space (possibly), it would be great to bike through (there are bikes to rent!) or run, but it was a nice park to walk around, too.

Parcul Cismigiu
Parcul Carol
Parcul Tineretuliu
The walking tour through Walkabout Free Tours is an excellent free tour, as well. You learn about buildings and restaurants and history of Bucharest and there is a great focus on the Old Town. The day I went I was really pleased with the effort my guide put in, he made sure everyone enjoyed themselves and he threw in some humour. Another friend I met went, I think, the next day and he really enjoyed his (different) guide. I'm willing to bet all of their guides are great and make the experience even better than it already was (it was free - hello).


On my second-to-last day in Bucharest I did a ~museum day~ and every spot I visited was totally worth the visit. My first stop was the National Museum of Romanian History. This museum has largely stone fragments from across the country: tombstones, arch fragments, sarcophagi, that sort of thing. What is really interesting, though, is in the lower floor as it has a copy of Trajan's column. Also, there is a section of excavated artifacts featuring items like necklaces and some really impressive works of gold. There is a ton of information about Romania and its ancient history, and some interesting artifacts.

My next stop was the National Museum of Art of Romania. There are two different museums within one building, I visited first the European Art Gallery (European artists) and then the National Gallery (Romanian artists + artifacts) (you can do a combined ticket!). Both have very thorough collections, the galleries are set up so you take a journey through art history. You can easily spend hours between the two galleries. Plus the building's interior is gorgeous. But that can be said of everything in this 'Not Free' section.

And my final stop was in the Palace of the Parliament. This building, oh man. The building is incredible. You have to do it as a tour because it is an active parliament building, but the tour is about an hour and one half and you see all of what tourists are allowed to see, and you only see, like, 5% of the building. It's huge and impressive. The interior is beautiful and it's full of amazing design details. The tour is definitely worth the visit. A word to the wise: don't pay the photography fees if you are using a camera that does not cope well with dim lighting. You will be disappointed. However, if you are undecided about paying the fee, you should check to see if you can take a picture from the balcony if you opt out of the photo frees, it's a pretty impressive sight.

 (The two parliament building pictures were taken on different days, however at some point between my arriving for the tour and stepping onto the balcony a little downpour rolled through [of course it would!].)

I didn't shop much. I wandered around a shopping centre in pursuit of shower gel and shampoo, I looked into stores, but I wasn't really in Bucharest to shop. However, I went to Cărtureşti Carsuel three times. Cărtureşti Carusel is an absolutely gorgeous bookstore in the Old Town. They've got books, DVDs, vinyl and CDs, tea pots, chocolates, and other little odds and ends. I bought myself a set of string lights here, and some cute postcards for some book lovers in my life. Seriously, I cannot recommend this shop any higher. It's a great place to wander.

And that, my friends, is that! Bucharest is such a beautiful place and while I wasn't surprised (I did my research!), I was so pleased that everything on my visit went smoothly. I hope to visit again soon.
Eat, Sleep, Play: Bucharest Eat, Sleep, Play: Bucharest Reviewed by Erin MacNeil on 10:36 Rating: 5


  1. I think one cant share the travel adventures and recommendations too many times. If you enjoyed it and have great tips, go for it. If I will ever go to Bucharest, I will follow your steps. Maybe with an exception for the hostel. Most hostels aren't great for traveling with kids.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  2. You just can't share too much about travels, haha. Loved reading this post and if I'll ever visit Bucharest I'll surely use your tips :) x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  3. I've never been to Bucharest, but it's definitely on my bucket list and I'm so happy to see you do a post about it! It honestly looks so beautiful there, I think it's one of the more 'under the radar' tourist destinations but surely worth checking out. :) I like the look of those beautiful parks, and as an art lover myself I definitely like the idea of a Van Gogh cafe! :) <3 You should do more travel posts, hun, your photos are gorgeous and you talk about all the places in so much detail, I also feel as if I was there in Bucharest myself!! x x :)


  4. That pillar lined walk way at the Romanian National Museum looks absolutely stunning! I have never been to Bucharest but its sure sounds good! :)

    xx, rebecca

  5. First off, that hostel you stayed in looked pretty luxurious!! Grand Cafe Van Gogh? You got me sold! I'm loving all the gorgeous travel photographs, looks like you had a great time, Erin!


  6. I literally know nothing about Bucharest but you've really sold it to me, it looks like a stunning place! The Van Gogh themed cafe sounds wonderful <3

  7. Oh my gosh, it looks absolutely beautiful!

  8. All your photographs are absolutely beautiful! The Palace of Parliament is so big - I would love to see it in real life :)
    Ambar x | Her Little Loves
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  9. Sounds like you had an amazing trip! I would like to visit the city some time <3


  10. Bucharest sounds so nice and the photos you took are lovely! :)

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes


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