During the late autumn and winter months, the weather in Bucharest, and Romania generally, can become colder and wetter. Snow is also a common sight in the depths of winter, often covering the ground of the city streets. Although there are still numerous reasons to explore the city outside, it is also likely you’ll want to warm your cold hands somewhere indoors during your visit. Fortunately, Bucharest has a wealth of indoor attractions that you can check out while spending time in this unique city. Here are just some of our favourites:
Palace of Parliament
The second-largest building by floor area in the world, Romania’s Palace of Parliament is over three times larger than the O2 in London and is roughly the size of 50 football pitches. With over 1,000 rooms, the palace is truly a sight to behold. Although seeing it from the outside is a breathtaking spectacle, seeing the building from the inside is the best way to truly appreciate the immensity of the structure. Tours are operated inside, and these are a great way to learn about the history of Bucharest and the building itself. Standard tours start at 40 Lei which is roughly £7.50 (€8.50), or there is an additional, underground tour which can be booked for a further five Lei, something well worth doing in our opinion! It’s worth noting that access can only be permitted to those with a valid ID, meaning you’ll need your passport to get in.
March – October: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 5pm
November – February: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Romanian Kitsch Museum
Looking to learn more about Romania’s diverse and fascinating heritage? The Kitsch Museum is the perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing the countless exhibits on display; although there is a slight twist! As the name suggests, everything in the museum is kitsch in style, meaning that they can be equal parts creative and ridiculous! This makes for an anything but boring museum visit as you laugh, gasp and shake your head around the museum and its unexpected displays. From Dracula to Romania’s Communist past, everything is on the table to be the topic of an exhibit. The museum is at the heart of the city and can be reached from most locations by foot, or by using the local light rail system or bus routes.
Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 8pm
Image Source: Dronepicr
How does relaxing in one of Europe’s largest indoor spas sound? Therme is just twenty minutes’ drive from the north of the city. Public transport services don’t operates routes in this direction; however, Therme operate their own bus service which picks up from the city centre and transports people to and from the location. Dates and frequency changes throughout the week, so make sure to check their site for up to date timings.
Therme is a truly magnificent location, with a regulated indoor temperature of 29-30 degrees and a slightly warmer water temperature. Inside, there are ten pools, six saunas, four wet saunas and 16 water slides, making this a perfect location for the whole family. Additionally, you’ll be able to appreciate plants and flowers grown inside, with over 800,000 plants surrounding the pools. With various locations situated inside, and a range of outdoor attractions such as the manmade beach and outside pool (and bar), you can easily spend a day or two here while visiting the country.
Various locations within the park have different opening times, see website for up to date information.
Bucharest National Opera House
For those looking to experience something a little more high brow while visiting Romania, the Bucharest National Opera House is a much-loved local venue for live performances. A range of ballets and operas are performed here such as Tchaikovsky’s famed The Nutcracker and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. There events calendar is thoroughly packed with performances happening throughout the week. Tickets are also reasonably priced with prices as low as 15 Lei (£3.00). The architecture alone is worth paying the admission and considering what you may pay for a production in London or New York; this can be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon in the city. The venue is located close to the centre and can be walked to or accessed through public transport.
For showtimes and ticket prices, check out the website here!
Image Source: Ștefan Jurcă
Whether you want to browse the shops of both domestic and international brands, enjoy some food from a wide range of styles and restaurants or even try your hand (or feet) at indoor ice skating, this multi-level complex is perfect! With well-known brands such as Adidas, H&M and Lego, you can feel at ease while enjoying some of the native shops too. Carturesti is a chain of bookstores, and the one in the shopping centre really shouldn’t be missed! Similarly, whether you’re looking for sandwiches, burgers, pizza, tacos or even Lebanese cuisine, the food outlets at AFI Cotroceni have you covered. There is also a cinema, VR gaming experience brand Holofun and the previously mentioned permanent indoor ice rink. The complex can be easily reached from the centre of the city, either by a half-hour walk or 15-minute bus journey.
Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 11pm
Bucharest Food Tours
Rather than choosing one particular place to enjoy your evening meal, why not get a taste for the country’s recipes and flavours. Many tours offer both a chance to taste many different dishes and an opportunity to learn more about the city. Tours can last anywhere between two to four hours and involve tastings at numerous restaurants and venues. This is also a great chance to shelter from the elements and an opportunity to meet fellow visitors to the city. Whether you’re travelling solo, as a pair or in a group, food tours are a great way to make new friends and meet fellow travellers.
For more exciting ways to explore the city of Bucharest, the country of Romania, and other untravelled countries check out our blog! You can also find our experiences here, ranging from a desert experience in Morocco to exploring Bucharest Christmas Markets!