Is Bucharest a good value for backpackers

Bucharest: Underrated Romania

from Wiebke Plasse
Romanians refer to their capital as the "city of unlimited possibilities". In fact, there is one thing above all else in Bucharest: rules. author Wiebke Plasse went on a discovery tour

Bucharest: An adventurous city with great sights

Even arriving in Bucharest is a unique adventure. Hardly anyone in Romania speaks English, and communication with the taxi drivers at Otopeni Airport is difficult. After the first communication problems, it goes straight through Wallachia, that's what the area around the Romanian capital Bucharest is called.

Run-down houses line up like slums, then for a while there is nothing but vast land. The driver curves around the pond-sized potholes at walking pace, the doors are locked from the inside, that is safer, he says with a smile. About 30 minutes later and a dozen impressions richer, the outskirts of Bucharest come into view.

Again the destroyed and unkempt houses catch the eye. But here in Bucharest they border on imposing buildings with white stone facades, stone sculptures on the gables and surrounded by well-tended gardens. In Bucharest's large parks, people picnic in the sun, apparently unaffected by the traffic chaos around them.

The traces of the revolution can be seen in Bucharest

A closer look at the buildings and their arrangement reveals details steeped in history in Bucharest. The cityscape of Bucharest is still reminiscent of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who ruled the country from 1965 to 1989. Back then, Ceausescu had thousands of buildings in large cities such as Bucharest and entire villages destroyed to make room for the so-called confectioner style.

The best example of its dubious taste is the Parliament Palace in the center of the city - the largest building in Europe. It was from there that the dictator steered his suffering policy: he drove the country into poverty, made numerous companies bankrupt and took thousands of people their homes. The effects on the Romanian capital Bucharest are still visible today: next to beggars, the chiceria of Bucharest in fur coats stroll through the shopping street. But the Bucharest people are making the best of the situation.

Young Romanians in particular take advantage of this situation for themselves: in the midst of the crisis-ridden everyday life, a number of creative people have been creating an impressive art and cultural scene in Bucharest for several years. The second Romanian Design Week only ended in May. The 28-year-old Maria Neneciu is one of the organizers of the so-called "G5 period", the phase of the year in which five major events are staged. Over the year, Neneciu and the team around "The Institute" organize around 50 other cultural events in the city.

"We do our own thing, independent of public money," explains Neneciu at a meeting in Bucharest. Because Romania is known for corruption. Funds that would support cultural diversity rarely reach their destination in this country. And in the other areas too, such as infrastructure or job creation, the funds are either too little or questionable.

Neneciu and her team deliberately keep their hands off the treasury. "So we have become a small subculture - and we continue to grow," she reports. The young student senses that the festivals and exhibitions, shows and two magazines are now also noticed by the rest of Europe. If the influx of people at your events one day encouraged people to choose Romania as a travel destination, that would mean a change for their home country.

"In the long run, that would have a big impact on life in Romania," speculates Maria. She hopes. And continues to advertise: "Bucharest is different from other European countries, but at least as beautiful". To prove this, she names the most interesting addresses in the city of Bucharest.

See: This is not to be missed in Bucharest

Palat ul Parlamentului

The dictator Nicolae Ceausescu built a monument to his power in Bucharest in the 1980s. The building is still considered the largest in Europe today. Most Romanians avoid the flashy memory of the dictatorship. Only Bucharest tourists occasionally take a guided tour of the interior of the 65,000 square meter colossus.

Strada Izvor 2-4,

Trendy district Lipscani / Leipziger Strasse

Bucharest has created a small tourist paradise in the old town. Irish pubs, Turkish fast food chains and Italian restaurants run through the entire district. However, the tourists in Lipscani are among themselves, because the Bucharest residents are reluctant to stay here. They prefer to stay in the north of the city.

Lipscani Str, Smardan Str. And Selari Str.

Piata Revolutiei

Revolution Square is a special kind of tip: all uprisings (including the 1989 revolution) began here. In contrast to the six sectors of Bucharest, this square is the only "lawless" place in the city. Demonstrations and vigils take place here almost every day.

Calea Victoriei Boulevard

Eating & drinking: Restaurant tips for Bucharest

Energy a

You almost feel at home in Café Energiea. In addition to the large "living room", which extends over two floors, a lounge area and a chill-out zone with cushions await the young Bucharest scene. Concerts and parties take place regularly in the evenings.


For celebrations, dates or business meals: the stadium in the center of Bucharest has the right ambience for all occasions. You can drink and dance in the bistro area, dine elegantly in the restaurant area and have breakfast on the terrace.

Rue du Pain

Café Rue du Pain has been the first address for cake and cake lovers in Bucharest for around four years. Breakfast and brunch are also served daily. The chaotic atmosphere exudes a special charm.

Institute, the café

The café of "The Institute" is the hub of the Bucharest art and culture scene. Anyone who wants to give free rein to their ideas or is looking for contact with the scene meets here in a rustic but modern ambience.


During the day, the three owners of the Origo serve - so they say - the best coffee for every taste. In the evening they devote themselves to cocktails. In order to always remain the best in Bucharest, the three like to travel around the world, always looking for new recipe ideas.

Shopping: Shopping tips for Bucharest

Calea Floreasca

A visit to the rich north of Bucharest is a contrast to the urban style of the city center. The Calea Floreasca in particular has expensive boutiques, chic cafes and amazing buildings. The lush park Parcul Herastrau can be the destination of a walk into this other world.

Carmen Secareanu Fashion

Real Romanian designer goods are available from Carmen Secareanu-Fashion in Bucharest. The fashion designer not only tailors for the fashion shows, but also sells her goods in her own boutique. Trend clothes, bags and shoes are sometimes made from ecological materials.

Eclectico - local business

Stefan Cosma is a co-organizer of the G5 period and a well-known Romanian furniture designer. His mix of futuristic and retro designs has already made it into various international art magazines. He himself considers fans of his goods to be "snobs with good taste".

Housing: Hotels in Bucharest

Umbrella Hostel

In the north of the center of Bucharest, hidden in a small alley, is the Umbrella Hostel. Only built in 2012, it is particularly popular with backpackers. Bright rooms, a cozy inner courtyard and the dynamic staff are convincing. In addition to dormitories, the Umbrella also offers affordable rooms for two. Breakfast is included!

Hotel Christina

The hotel, which is centrally located in Bucharest, offers a total of 24 rooms - each in a different color. The stylish rooms are each equipped with a private bathroom, free internet and TV. Breakfast is also included here.

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