As part of what will be a fairly serious overhaul and rewrite of the What to See section in Bucharest In Your Pocket, we are currently reconsidering what should be labelled as ‘Essential Bucharest.’
Right now, these are currently our ‘Essential Bucharest‘ picks:
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The first port of call for any visitor to Bucharest these days should probably be the Historic Centre, or Old Town.
Once you have ticked off Old Town, you can head for the sights, museums, churches and buildings we list here.
The Peasant and Village Museums should take priority, as well as the Grigore Antipa National History Museum (as and when it reopens).
While still the most famous building in the city and usually top of the agenda for most visitors, Casa Poporului/Palatul Parlamentului tends to be a bit of a let down for most, mainly due to the stilted nature of the compulsory guided tour.
Art lovers – especially fans of religious art – should pencil in at least an afternoon at the National Art Museum.
Last but not least, half a day at the Bellu Cemetery is a wonderful trip through Romanian literary, artistic, political and architectural history.
We think that the Arc de Triumf can probably go: it would warrant a place on the list if it opened to the public more than on two or three days per year, but as such should you really go out of your way to see it (especially as almost every visitor will pass it on their way in to the city from the airport?) We also think that the Village Museum might be a tad overrated, especially as we recently visited Stockholm’s Skansen. It should probably still be considered essential, however.
Anyway, comments and ideas welcome. Most importantly: is there anything which should be part of the Essential list that we currently ignore or list elsewhere?