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BUCHAREST

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Overview

Bucharest

Bucharest, in southern Romania, is the country’s capital and commercial center. Its iconic landmark is the massive, communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building, which has 1,100 rooms. Nearby, the historic Lipscani district is home to an energetic nightlife scene as well as tiny Eastern Orthodox Stavropoleos Church and 15th-century Curtea Veche Palace, where Prince Vlad III (“The Impaler”) once ruled.

Food Must Try

Covrigi with sesame

Probably one of the most famous traditional Romanian foods , or better street foods. Looks like a pretzel but is thinner. You can find it with flavors and fillings or plain. Crunchy outside soft inside, just yummy. Perfect and cheap snack.

Sarmale

Sarmale is one of the most popular traditional Romanian foods which you should not skip. In simple English sarmale is stuffed cabbage rolls. The main ingredient is minced meat, beef or pork or both! Usually they are accompanied with polenta, sour cream and a chili pepper. Very fulfilling dish, perfect for cold days. Reminds you your grandma.

Covrigi with sausage

We love sausages. Yeap, is not the healthier food on earth but if it’s good is really good. So this snack is basically like a lighter hot-dog. The bun is different, crunchier and not fluffy and there is no sauce. Just the sausage. Try it warm. There is an other version with ham and cheese, but we believe sausage is the best.

Excursions

The Old Town

The Old Town is one of Bucharest’s earliest settlements, where structures date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Throughout time, it was the seat of Romanian princes, a center for trade, a place to worship, and a crossroads for travelers. It managed to survive Ceausescu’s 1980s razing of one fifth of the city to build his vision of a new Socialist capital. After spending decades as a slum, much of the Old Town has been gentrified and renovated. Historic buildings have been gallantly restored, yet other properties are still awaiting their facelift. The contrast gives that much more charm to the pedestrian lanes and cobbled streets lined with mom-and-pop bookshops, theaters, restaurants, and cafés.

Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament is one of the top tourist attractions in Bucharest. It is the world’s second largest administrative building (after the Pentagon), an architectural colossus that also claims title as the heaviest building in the world. Boasting more than 3,000 rooms over 330,000 square meters and constructed with marble and steel, it was originally called the People’s House by its visionary, the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who used it as his family’s residence and as the seat of his government. To complete it, he razed places of worship, workshops, factories, parks, part of the Old Town, and entire neighborhoods. More than 20,000 workers and 700 architects worked on the opulent Neoclassical-style palace over a span of 13 years while Romanians faced poverty. Still unfinished, a small portion houses Romania’s parliamentary headquarters and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Scheduled tours bring visitors up close to its vastness, the kitsch, and the outrageous luxury Ceausescu would have continued to experience had he not been overthrown in a coup d’état.

Romanian Athenaeum

Home to the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic, the stately Romanian Athenaeum is the city’s most prestigious concert hall. The 19th-century building, designed by French architect Albert Galleron, resembles an ancient Greek temple with a 41-meter-high dome and a peristyle of six Ionic columns. The interiors feature a lobby of intricately painted gold-leaf ceilings, cascading balconies, and spiral marbled staircases. The 652-seat auditorium is known for its excellent acoustics and its fine art. A 70-meter-long and three-meter-high fresco that winds its way around the circular hall proudly depicts scenes from Romania’s history.

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