Welcome to Bucharest! Romania’s capital is a vibrant city boasting a booming tech scene,  hectic nightlife and interesting architecture ranging from communist-era brutalism to interbellum art-deco. This short guide will give you an insider’s perspective on what to see, do and eat while you’re attending The Heroes of Tech Summit.

Getting around

Bucharest is a large city, with over three million people calling it home. However, it is not particularly spread out, making any point in the city easily accessible by car, bike or public transportation. Bucharest is generally considered a very safe and tourist-friendly city, with central areas in particular welcoming visitors at all hours.

Public transport is cheap and readily available. A bus ride is 1.3 Romanian lei (33 cents) and a subway ride is 2,5 Romanian lei (66 cents). Subway operating hours are between 5 AM (05:00) and 11 PM (23:00) while bus and tram service continues throughout the night on special night buses.  As a rule, you are better off taking the subway over surface transportation as it is both faster and (usually) less crowded. There is also a double decker open top city tour bus available, connecting some of the most important tourist attractions.

Taxies are cheap and plentiful, with the average price per kilometre around the 1.7 lei (43 cents) mark. As a rule, you are better off using Uber or Taxify to get around than taxies as taxi drivers may try to take advantage of visitors.

Bucharest has two bike sharing programs available in most central areas, i’Velo, a docked bicycle sharing system that you need to subscribe to,  and Ape Rider, a dockless app-based system. Bucharest does not have a well developed system of bike lanes so cycling usually involves heading out into traffic, something only competent cyclists should attempt. However, most of the places recommended in this guide are close to Calea Victoriei, one of Bucharest’s main thoroughfares which also has a protected bike lane for most of its length. For getting around issues don’t hesitate to call a local host. We are more than happy to help. EU visitors, remember that you can use your data plan to navigate at no additional charge.

We have prepared a few recommendations for your stay here in Bucharest. From museums, where can you go for a run, where to eat, where to go for coffee and more. Find them below. We hope you will enjoy your time in Bucharest! If there is anything you need don’t hesitate to contact Vic or Dragoș.


The Romanian National Art Museum has some of the most important works of art in Romania, including works by Constantin Brâncuși. Some of the associated museums  under the Romanian National Art Museum umbrella are equally interesting to visit.

The Contemporary Art Museum, hosted in a wing of Ceaușescu’s People’s Palace (nowadays Romania’s Parliament) has interesting temporary exhibits and a stunning view of the city from its top floor.

The Village Museum is a world-famous skansen-style museum, featuring authentic old houses from the Romanian countryside of yesteryear.


Cișmigiu Garden is a small but charming English garden, Bucharest’s most central and oldest public park.

Carol Park is relatively close to the Summit venue and a good choice for a run or a bike ride. Keep an eye out for the huge fallen heroes memorial, situated at the highest point in the park.

Herăstrău Park, recently rechristened King Michael Park after Romania’s departed former monarch, is the largest park in Bucharest and a great place to head for either swanky dining or a good run.


The Romanian Parliament, Ceaușescu’s hubris, this monstrous building is the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon and can be visited by organized tour.

Once the head offices of 1930’s Romania’s biggest newspaper, the Universul building is nowadays a cultural center home to one of the hippest bars in Bucharest, a theatre, a coworking space, a contemporary dance venue and many, many more.

The domed CEC building is the HQ of one of Romania’s biggest banks and a popular place for wedding photographs.


Interbelic – If you want to dance all night to the heavy rotation hits of yesteryear this is the place for you.

Apollo 111– Located in the basement of the Universul building this bar/theatre/cultural center is a cool watering hole and the site of many a dance party.

Control – Bucharest’s busiest bar/club/music venue is where many locals come to socialize and get drinks.


Salon Golescu – For an elegant cocktail experience try this fancy drinking place.

Fix – An up and coming bar focused on creative cocktail and botanicals.

Dianei 4 – An atmospheric drinking establishment located in a century-old building. Try the gin and tonics.


Zeppelin – This is where Code 4 Romania goes out for beers, a friendly beer place with tables both outside and in.

Berăria Germană – Lively German-style brewpub. Lots of beers and good times with friends can be spent here.

Beer O’Clock – The broadest selection of beers in town with bartenders as knowledgeable about beer as any sommelier is about wine.

Rooftop Bars

Closer to the Moon – Pricey but offering great views, drink and food this place is quite popular with the locals

Deschis Gastrobar – far from the central areas but worth the trip, Deschis Gastrobar is a restaurant, summer garden and a great place to do some work all at once.

Upstairs Rooftop – Possibly the bar with the best view in the city, Upstairs Rooftop is right off Victoriei Square.


Eden – a large garden located in the small grove behind an old palace on Calea Victoriei, this uptown establishment is a local summer favorite.

J’Ai Bistrot – Hidden away on a side street this hidden gem is quiet and a good place to unwind.

Grădina Verona – a busy garden that also serves food located in the backyard of one of the biggest bookstores in Bucharest.


Bucharest has a booming coffee culture so much so that it has developed quite the international reputation.

Origo – a classic, this downtown coffee shop is hip and very popular.

Alef Espresso Bar – an up-and-coming coffee shop, this place is less well known and therefore less busy, but it is already making waves in coffee aficionado circles.

T-zero – a bit hard to find, but this coffee shop is a contender for the best flat white in Bucharest.

LGBT Nightlife

Bucharest’s nightlife is generally LGBTQ Friendly but here are some of the most welcoming places

Manasia – a summer garden and cultural hotspot hosted in a former police building has recently become the home of one of Romania’s most important LGBT advocacy groups.

Macaz – the gathering spot for Bucharest’s leftists boasts of being a homophobia-free space in bold lettering on the wall.

Thor’s Hammer – an unassuming gay bar right in the heart of the Old Town.

Five cheap eats

Condimental – Re-invented kebab or falafel served as a wrap or in a box, this is one of Romania’s most successful and most innovative fast food brands.

La Băiatu – “Classic” Shawarma, Bucharest’s preferred fast food, open at just about any time of the day or night.

Buoni e Bravi – best pizza in Bucharest, no questions asked. Italian style pizza by the slice that trumps the most expensive gourmet pizzeria.

Toan’s – wholesome and delicious Vietnamese food.

Salad Box – Pretty self-explanatory this pick and mix salad fast food is great for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Also keep an eye out for Romanian-style hot pretzels (Luca), this official food of choice for broke students everywhere.

Five sit-down meals

Bistro Matrioska – Code for Romania’s home away from home, this quiet bistro is perfect for drinks, lunch or a long day of coding with coffee on the house. For those who can rock a piano, you can sit down and play if you feel up to it.

Belli Siciliani – Far from downtown but worth it, this authentic Italian place has the best cannoli in Bucharest.

Aida Bistro – A stone’s throw from the Summit, this mid-range bistro has satisfying food and special lunch offers.

BurgerVan Home – This oxymoronic place is home to some of the best burgers in Bucharest.

Energiea – The urban hipster’s favorite, this unassuming restaurant has great food, lunch specials and fabulous cocktails.

Five fine dines

The Artist – Fine dining at its finest, this restaurant is a Bucharest classic, relocated to a 100-year-old villa right on Calea Victoriei.

Casa di David – A pricey but fabulous Italian restaurant situated in Herăstrău Park, on the water.

Caju – theoretically mid-range but quite pricey, this busy central restaurant is owned by one of Bucharest’s biggest chefs.

Mahala – a small but swanky contemporary cuisine restaurant close to the Parliament and the Heroes of Tech Summit.

Maize – Noma-style farm-to-table fare with a Romanian twist, this was one of the most anticipated restaurants in Romania for almost a year. It does not disappoint.

Vegetarian-friendly food

Bite – A Scandinavian-styled bistro, far from downtown but serving some delicious multi-cuisine vegetarian food

Trofic – A hipster favorite, this stylish sandwich and salad shop serves simple fare

Artichoke – A coffee shop, cocktail and juice bar that also serves beer by the can and vegetarian food. Needless to say, it is incredibly popular, especially around lunchtime.

Rawdia – A raw vegan restaurant that any carnivore will be in awe of, Rawdia has simply stunning food.

Papila – soups and sandwiches served with style in this brand new little gem of a place.

Romanian fare

Caru’ cu Bere – THE classic, this 19th-century style restaurant serves authentic Romanian food and locally brewed beer. There are folk dancing shows with traditionally clad dancers every hour. Try the Papanași (fried donuts served with jam and cream) for dessert.

Lacrimi și Sfinți – Owned by a Romanian poet, revolutionary and media personality this little place is as quirky as its owner. With its own spin on Romanian staple food and tableside minstrels, Lacrimi și sfinți is a must see. The translation of its name is Tears and Saints.

La Cocoșatu – the best place to eat Mici (Romanian traditional skinless sausages) in town. By far. Don’t believe us? Ask Greg from OpenUp.

Zexe Zahanaua Gastronomică – Zexe is fancy, pricey and out of the way but it is without a doubt the best place for Romanian food.

Clubul Țăranului – this inexpensive bar/restaurant is situated at the ground floor of the Romanian Peasant Museum and serves just about any food but is well known for its platters of Romanian cold cuts and warm appetizers.

Please also remember that Uber Eats or Takeaway.com are always options!

Sports and Fitness

The best places to go out for a walk or run are Bucharest’s many parks. Herăstrău Park is particularly popular for running.

Moara Vlăsiei is a popular turning point close to Bucharest for those looking to do some long-distance biking on Romania’s roads.

For those looking for a swim, Dinamo Bucharest has a dirt cheap, acceptable outdoor pool while Vitality Club and Spa offers indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and football pitches at reasonable prices.

Pescariu Club is a posher option for tennis and swimming.
Squash courts are available at Squash4All, quite a bit outside the center.

If you prefer lounging (maybe even working) by the pool then Grădina Floreasca is the place for you.

Ask a local Code for Romania host and they might be able to give you preferential guest access to one of the many World Class fitness facilities where corporate Romania goes to work out.

Day trips

For those looking to rent a car or hop on a train and get around a bit after the summit Sinaia (2h) is a taste of old, golden age Romania, next to breathtaking mountains. Dracula’s Castle (3h) in Bran guards the entrance to Transylvania but getting there might be a chore on weekends as traffic jams are frequent. Mamaia (3h) on the seaside is Romania’s foremost Black Sea resort although it might be all but dead in October.

Closer to Bucharest, Therme (30 minutes) is a large and affordable pool and spa complex, featuring the largest urban beach in Europe, mineralized pools, rainforest saunas and many more. Mogoșoaia Palace (30 minutes) is right outside Bucharest, a popular day-trip destination for many locals. Cernica forest (45 mins) is also popular with Bucharest locals, less so for the 17th-century monastery and more for the ample barbecue room.