Things you must know if you want to visit Bucharest
With a long history behind, one of the most known communist cities in Europe, Bucharest has developped a lot in the last decades since the revolution. In today’s article I’m gonna tell you some great parts of Bucharest and what you should take care for when traveling in this fun city.
First and foremost, we can all say that Bucharest is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe. If you are searching on airbnb for a place to stay, you will be pleased to find out that prices for a 2 room apartment vary from 30 to 80 euros per whole apartment per night. Well, divide this by two couples and there you have it. But that is not all. Many of the Bucharest’s good restaurants (not the tourist-y traps in the city center) have also pretty low prices. For a soup you can spend anywhere from 2 euros to maximum 4-5 euros while for a big delicious burger at a great place (will tell you about the best burgers in Bucharest later) you can spend around 6.5-11 euros. Not that bad for a meal, right?
Unfortunatelly, although the prices are pretty low, you should for sure take care for the tourist traps. So here are some tips.
From the moment you get off the plane in Bucharest, try to stay away from the taxi cabs. In Romania they use to charge tourists more money than what they would charge a regular romanian customer and also if you are a group of more than 3 persons, they will not take you. Also if you have more luggages they will not take you or will charge you more money for no reason . So try and get the bus, that for a fee of only 2.5 lei (around 50 eurocents) you can get till Piata Romana (in the center of the city) from where you can get to the metro station. You can take the bus in front of the arrivals terminal. You you still have lots of luggages or are just to tired to travel by bus, you can instal a app like Uber or Bolt or Yango and travel cheaper than with the taxi. And don’t forget to consult a map of Metrorex (subway) or STB (bus) online because the paper maps are not that easy to find in Bucharest.
For fast travel, use the subway as the roads get very busy and you can loose more that 1-2 hours if you travel by bus to get to the city center depending on the hour. 1 card with 10 trips is only 20 lei ( around 5 euros) and the cards can be bought from the vending machines in every metro station.
Beware of the pickpocketers. Try not to look too tourist-y and keep you purse in front of you even when you are eating in a restaurant as the thieves in Bucharest and Romania in general are pretty creative. Also, beware of the beggers and the people with parrots, pigeons or any other guys that try to approach you for gambling games that you will for sure lose each time.
All shops and markets are open till 22:00 even on Sundays and there are also many supermarkets or minimarlets that have non-stop program. So if you wake on a sunday morning and have nothing to eat or drink, rest assured that you will find a Mega Image or Shop&go open near you at any time. (Honestly this is one of the best parts as many of the western european cities have on sundays all the shops closed).
Other tip is that you should Try and pay in RON or by credit card as paying in euros will almost always Charge you more. Don’t forget, in restaurants and cafes the tip is not included and it’s polite to leave at least 10-15% to the waiter depending by the way they served you. And also tip him cash, as not all the restaurants give the tips to the waiters if you pay them by credit card (and many restaurants don’t even accept to tip by card so having some change at all times at you is a great idea).
For a quick fix if you feel hungry, forget the fancy restaurants with long waiting hours and try one of the baegels or pretzels or “Covrigi” as we named them from one of the many pastry shops everywhere around Bucharest, or why not, a slice of pizza or a “Merdenea”. The best ones I’ve tried so far are at Luca ( you can find them at Unirii, Tineretului and honestly almost everywhere. Just give it a quick search on google maps) you will have a full tummy with 1-2 euros and will not feel sorry as they are delocious!
For now I will stop here but don’t worry cause I for sure will make a second part to this article. Hoped you liked it and if you have any other questions don’t forget to leave them in the comment box below.