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.
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.
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.
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.
Bucharest has a booming coffee culture so much so that it has developed quite the international reputation.
Bucharest’s nightlife is generally LGBTQ Friendly but here are some of the most welcoming places
Five cheap eats
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.
Five fine dines
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.
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.
Sports and Fitness
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.