Bucharest or how to rediscover an already notorious location

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Eager to find new interesting places hidden in the remotest corners of Romania, tourists can sometimes forget to discover or rediscover the very locations staring them in the face. Bucharest, the country’s capital and commercial center, can be such a location, well known and yet hiding so much that can come to light.

The legend has it that the city of Bucharest was set up on the banks of  the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.” Maybe it was a providential name for the city…at least from time to time through history.

Frequently slammed for its careless, low-pitched buildings at the outskirts or for its iconic massive Palace of Parliament built by former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in a megalomaniac move, the Romanian Capital is also known for its wide boulevards, impressive Belle Époque buildings, historic Lipscani district hosting Stavropoleos Church and 15th-century Curtea Veche palace, where Prince Vlad III (“The Impaler”) once ruled, and most particularly for its high life, which actually earned its nickname of “Little Paris” in the 1900s.

As for Bucharest’s Old Town, it is a blend of history, local culture and life style, a trendy entertainment district and favorite hangout for the locals but also for foreigners visiting Romania’s Capital. After decades of neglect, major infrastructure revamping works have brought Bucharest’s Old Town to life. Many of its gorgeous period buildings have been revamped or restored, but others are still waiting to revive. However, the historic architecture, the old churches, the outdoor terraces and cafés and the romantic look place the Old Town as a most tempting area of the city.

Lipscani street on a winter night
Lipscani street on a winter night

Travel editor Meagen Collins from Five Dollar Traveller shared with us her three-month experience in Bucharest, whom she describes as “beautiful” and “enchanting”, while mostly focusing on the things you can do in Bucharest, from food, fun and adventure.

At a glance it might look like any other post communist city, but it really is so much more than that. It is a place that had me in awe of the stunning buildings, the vast gardens and the friendliness of the locals every single time we stepped outside our apartment. It is a city that was once heralded as the ‘little Paris’ of Eastern Europe due to it’s elegant architecture. And it is a city that struggles with the idea of ‘what could have been’ had it not been for the communist regime,” Meagen begins her story.

As far as the renowned energetic nightlife of the Romanian Capital city, Megsy’s tips will surely see you through: “If you ask a local where to go on a Friday or Saturday night, you will most likely be directed straight to Bucharest’s Old Town. Here you will find bar after bar, club after club, all pounding out music to attract tourists looking for a night out. But we are going to let you in on a little secret. The best bars are hidden, you wouldn’t even know they were there unless someone told you. And we went on a mission of find Bucharest’s best kept secrets.”

Read more on this personal adventure through Bucharest’s garden bars at: http://www.fivedollartraveller.com/things-to-do-in-bucharest-food-fun-adventure-in-bucharest-romania/

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