In this Destination Guide you will find information for : Bucharest
♦Currency: Romanian Leu (RON)
♦Phone Code: +40
♦Best time to visit: Sept-November
♦Must eat: Mamaliga
♦Must drink: Tuicã (plum brandy)
♦Don't miss: "Dracula's Castle2
♦Number of times visited: 1
Getting there and transportation: Romania has enjoyed a healthy boost in services to and from its main cities thanks to its integration into the European Union in 2007. Getting there by bus, train and plane are the most common ways of transport.
Many Romanians have also emigrated to various European countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany or the United Kingdom, making it specially popular to fly from these countries to not only Bucharest, the capital, but to other major cities.
Flying to Romania is the best option, as it's location in southern Europe makes it a 2 or 3 hour flight from Western Europe. The national airline is TAROM Romanian Airlines, which reaches most European capitals and Mediterranean hotspots. It also worth checking if you coming from Tel Aviv, Amman, Beirut or Istanbul. Alternatively, for cheaper fares and using low cost airlines it's easy to reach Romania with Wizzair, Ryanair or Blue Air.
Direct long haul flights have been axed in the last years, meaning that i you are coming from USA or Asia you will need to get a connecting flight via a European Capital or middle eastern city to reach Bucharest.
There is also heavy demand to travel the long distance by bus, from cities like Berlin, Paris, Madrid or even London, to Bucharest. This is because of the lower quality of life in Romania and many people opting to travel on a tight budget and taking ample heavy luggage. Not really the best idea considering the trip can take up to 48 hours to complete. For more information click on Eurolines.
Once in the country, moving around the big cities is easy by public transport (metro, busses and trams), however smaller cities and towns rely only busses or trains. The transport infrastructure is somewhat old fashioned and in need of repair and replacement, but as with the integration to the European Union, services are getting adapted and improved in coming years.
Weather and temperature: It's geographical position makes it a country with big differences when it comes to climates. Summer's are a popular time to go to Romania (June to September) but heat is intense and temperatures reaching as high as 35C! The best time to visit Romania is during the Autumn (September to November) for autumn colours, pleasant temperatures plus an abundance of mushrooms in the forests. Spring is also good to visit for the blossoming of flowers and strong green colours to be seen in the countryside. Winter's are harsh in the northern part of the country, often temperatures getting to below 0C! But in the south it can be still nice to visit during this time, as the Mediterranean Sea acts as a barrier to the cold winds from the north. Take water proof gear if you are visiting during most of the year (except Summer) as it can rain often and during whole days at times.
Food and drink: Romanian cuisine is a mix of different cultural influences, with influences from Turkey, Germany and Hungary Traditionally, Romanian food tends to be meat-based. Breakfasts almost always include eggs, either softboiled, hard-boiled, fried or scrambled, and omelettes filled with either cheese, ham or mushrooms are also frequently served. The highlight of a traditional Romanian restaurant meal is usually the appetiser dish. Most mains are served alongside a hearty bowl of fresh vegetable/pork/chicken soup. Eating out in Romania is very cheap and affordable, even good quality restaurants are often better to go than a fast food chains, so you get traditional local grown products, freshly cooked and prices are not that much higher either. Cabbage is a culinary favourite and is often used in soups and salads. In Bucharest, however, and in bigger cities such as Cluj-Napoca, the culinary scene is far more international. You may not find any Michelin-starred restaurants, but the standard far surpasses the prices.
Tip: When eating out in Romania make sure you give yourself plenty of time and are not in any hurry. The level of service is friendly and professional in most restaurants but extremely slow at some! Food is cooked to order in most places, so the time it can take to reach your table can be over 30 minutes in many restaurants, specially in smaller or local towns. This is due to the relaxed atmosphere and slower pace of life. Eating in Romania is however relaxing and enjoyable.
Specialities which can be found are: Ciolan afumat ,(smoked pork knuckle with beans). Mamaliga (cornmeal polenta). Carnaţi de pleşcoi (mutton sausages) Soups, like Ciorba de perisoare (soup with meatballs), Ciorba tãrãneascã (vegetable soup with meat and rice balls served with sour cream). Moldavian parjoale (flat meat patties, highly spiced and served with garnishes). Nisetru la gratar (grilled Black Sea sturgeon). Pasca (a sweet cheesecake).
As for drinks, it's possible to find regional drinks such as Tuicã (plum brandy) and Tuicã de Bihor (strong brandy, generally known as palinca). Wines and beers are also very popular. Wines which are popular are Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, riesling, pinot gris and chardonnay from the Murfatlar vineyards. Grasa and feteasa (wine from Moldavia’s Cotnari vineyards). Sparkling wines.and Glühwein (mulled wine).
Introduction: Romania's capital is Bucharest, it's the industrial and commercial centre of the country, it lies in the southeast of the country on the Dambovita River. Despite the etymology of its name meaning "City of Joy," Bucharest hasn't exactly had an easy time. It's history has been very unstable and until today you can still see the effects and consequences of the many periods of development and decay.
Bucharest was occupied by German forces for two years between 1916 and 1918. After the war, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania and made the mistake of siding with Germany during the Second World War. As a result it was bombed extensively by Allied forces. Then after the Soviet-backed Petru Groza government suppressed pro-monarchist rallies and took the country's helm.
In 1997, an incredibly severe earthquake (7.4 according to Richter) claimed 1500 civilian lives and even more old buildings, making the scenery of the city even more destroyed and devastated.
Finally, Romania's economy and formerly glorious capital led to the mystery-shrouded Romanian Revolution of 1989, whereby the Communist regime was overthrown and the Ceausescus executed. Former communists and political protests were the order of the day until a centrist government came into power in 1996. From then till now, the city together with the country has been improving democracy and levels of life for Romanians.
Bucharest again became a bustling boom town in the 21st century as the city undergoes a period of urban renewal, modernisation and economic growth. Significant and much needed restorations are now taking place all over the city thanks to the EU funds, as Romania was accepted as full member of the European Union in 2007.