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Things to do in Bucharest Old Town

Our most recommended things to do in Bucharest Old Town

Bucharest: Half Day Bike Tour

1. Bucharest: Half Day Bike Tour

Start your 4-hour bike tour in Bucharest’s old city, where you’ll hear about the birth of the city and Romanian civilization. During Communist times the old city area was decimated and overtaken by grandiose urban projects. Today it is one of the poorest areas in Bucharest and is mostly inhabited by gypsies. Marvel at the monumental Parliament Palace, and learn about life for the people under the Ceasescu regime. Ride by buildings dating from the golden age of Bucharest of the 19th and the early 20th century. See landmarks and monuments from the time when Bucharest was known as Little Paris.

Bucharest: Sites & Bites Tour with a Local Guide

2. Bucharest: Sites & Bites Tour with a Local Guide

Your Bucharest tour begins in the political center of the city, Revolution Square (formerly known as Palace Square), which has witnessed most of the important events in Romanian history. It was from here in 1989 that dictator Ceausescu made his ill-advised rallying speech to a crowd that quickly turned on him, instigating the Romanian revolution. Surrounding the square are several other notable landmarks, including the former Royal Palace, the Athenaeum concert hall, and Athenee Palace, the heart of espionage and intrigue in the years between the wars. And in such a historical spot, it’s appropriate that you have a historical treat. You’ll indulge in a covrig, a daily salty snack for most Romanians that was likely introduced by Hapsburg or German merchants in medieval times.  Next up, you’ll leave the square and head south along Victory Street, named after the spectacular victory of the new Romanian nation in the 1871 War of Independence. However, full unification of the three Romanian principalities did not take place until 1918, which explains why each region has its own distinct character, traditions, and cuisine — like sweet for Moldova, earthy for Transylvania, and spicy for Muntenia. This stretch is also home to many spectacular landmarks of the inter-war period, including the 'Telephone Palace,' Military Circle, and former National Theatre, as well as the beautiful church of Kretzulescu, one of the most famous in Bucharest.  From Victory Street, you’ll head into an older Bucharest, exploring the numerous paths and passageways of the Old Town. This is the heart of medieval Bucharest, the literal crossroads between East and West, where Ottoman pashas rubbed shoulders with Transylvanian princes, and churches and mosques stood side by side. Here you can witness the many diverse influences on Romanian food — the Balkan mici (skinless sausages), the Ottoman sarmale (stuffed cabbage leaves), Russian borscht andciorba (sour soups), and Austro-Hungarian schnitzel. Among the many sights and stories of Old Town are lavish interiors and princely courts, the exquisite calm of an orthodox monastery and the great wooden inn of Hanul Lui Manuc. En route to your final destination, you get a look at the famed People's Palace, the center of Ceausescu’s megalomaniac attempts to re-shape the city, and the second largest building in the world (only the Pentagon is bigger!). Finally, the Bucharest tour will end with a sampling of the culinary specialties at a traditional hanu, or inn, that’s widely considered to be one of the most beautiful in the city. You’ll dig into a three-course meal with platters of local delicacies — giving you a 'taste tour' of the history and geography of the region. It was said that during the time of the ancient Romanians (the Dacians), so much wine was drunk by the people that their leader, Burebista, banned its production entirely. But the supremely inventive Dacians immediately began brewing beer — thus, you’ll have a chance to lubricate your palate with both fine Romanian wines and/or locally brewed beer, just like the Dacians would have wanted!

Bucharest: Pub Crawl in the Old Town

3. Bucharest: Pub Crawl in the Old Town

Widely seen as one of the most promising party destinations in Europe, Bucharest is a great place to be partying and grabbing drinks with friends at very reasonable prices. Probably the most thorough experience of the nightlife in Bucharest, this pub crawl allows you to discover the best bars and clubs in the Old Town area with an experienced local guide. Over the course of at least 4 hours, after all the attendees meet up, the night will start with a warm-up bar, good for socializing and getting into the party vibe, followed by at least 3 more party venues, ideal for dancing, meeting locals and enjoying random events such as band performances or karaoke. Each of the spots has a different style, from alternative to fancy, in order to satisfy any kind of expectations and get a broader idea of the real nightlife in Bucharest. City hints and tips, free photos from the guide and various promotions are also included during the pub crawl and a party vibe is guaranteed.

3-Day Medieval Transylvania Package Tour

4. 3-Day Medieval Transylvania Package Tour

Explore some of the most important sites in the legendary Transylvania region of Romania on a 3-day package tour from Bucharest. With bed and breakfast accommodation in a 3-star hotel, you will explore the city of Sibiu, once ranked by Forbes Magazine as “Europe’s 8th most idyllic place to live.” Visit medieval castles and monasteries, and explore the fable of Count Dracula. Day 1: Depart from Bucharest and visit the Moorish Monastery of Curtea de Argeș, built by the ruler of Wallachia, Prince Neagoe Basarab, in 1514. Continue to the small Cozia Monastery to discover one of the most important monuments of national medieval art in Romania. After a break for lunch in a traditional Romanian restaurant, drive through the stunning Translyvanian landscape to Sibiu, historic capital of the Principality of Transylvania. The former German medieval citadel, with documentation dating back to 1191, is one of the most beautiful towns in Romania, with many historic buildings that you will explore on a walking tour of the Old Town. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Romanian dinner, with overnight accommodation in Sibiu town center. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Sibiu for the Biertan commune, where you will tour one of the most important Saxon villages of fortified churches in Transylvania, including the largest fortified church in Transylvania, built between 1490 and 1524. Continue to the medieval citadel of Sighișoara, which dates back to 1280 and is home to the only medieval citadel in Europe still populated. During a walking tour, visit the city’s landmark Clock Tower for panoramic views across the ancient houses. After lunch, head to Brasov, surrounded by the Southern Carpathians. The first documented evidence of the medieval citadel dates back to 1235. Birthplace of the Romanian national anthem – and briefly renamed “Stalin City” during the Communist era – Brasov boasts beautiful Gothic churches, medieval buildings, and the narrowest street in Romania, which you will explore on a guided walking tour. Day 3: Following an overnight stay in Brasov, start your day at the city’s Black Church, built in 1383, and the most important tourist site in Brasov. Then, drive to the legendary Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), perched on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Marked as the home of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, explore the castle grounds and museum, before a traditional lunch. Continue your tour at Sinaia, a lovely mountain resort in the Prahova River valley, and visit Peleș Castle, built by the first king of Romania, Carol I. Tour the exquisite Neo-Renaissance building, built between 1875 and 1914, and end your tour of Transylvania’s architectural delights at Sinaia Monastery, founded by Prince Mihail Cantacuzino in the 17th century upon his return from a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. After exploring the Old Church and the 19th century Great Church, drive back to Bucharest for the end of your tour.

Best of Bucharest: Private Walking Tour

5. Best of Bucharest: Private Walking Tour

On your stroll through Bucharest, you will visit the main landmarks and get to know the story and life of the city from behind the scenes. The tour covers the city center and the following highlights: Victory Avenue, Revolution Square and the Old Town. Providing a good introduction to the history of the Romanian capital, this interactive tour will answer your curiosity to understand how Romanians live nowadays and how they think and feel about their past and future. In a half-day, you will explore and make sense out of Bucharest's rich heritage, a Balkan flavor due to its Byzantine and Turkish influence. It's communist heritage lays beside beautiful French, Romanian and Art Deco architecture and, most importantly, amazing lively atmosphere. Book this private tour to experience the local culture and enjoy a lovely day exploring Bucharest.

From Bucharest: A Taste of Transylvania: Private Tour

6. From Bucharest: A Taste of Transylvania: Private Tour

The first stop on your tour invites you to step into the shoes of kings and queens at Peles Palace – the private retreat of Romania’s royal family. The beautiful mountain scenery and elegant gardens built on terraces add even more charm to this majestic 19th-century palace. Inside, everything spells luxury: golden chandeliers, walnut tree carvings, marble fountains, secret chambers and a royal armory. Next, you’ll go even further back in time, to the late Middle Ages. Myths and legends swirl around the massive Bran Castle, a stone giant guarding the passage to Transylvania since the 14th century. Count Dracula and Vlad the Impaler are both associated with the castle. Explore the castle, its outdoor village museum or the House of Horrors. The tour’s grand finale? An epic medieval fantasy, established by the Teutonic Knights during their first decades of existence. We’ll visit the city of Brasov, founded by the knights in 1211 on top of an old Dacian site. Dramatically overlooked by Mount Tampa, the city’s medieval core is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets, craft guilds, fortified towers, gatehouses and medieval decorated inns.

Private Day Trip to Sibiu from Bucharest

7. Private Day Trip to Sibiu from Bucharest

You will start in the morning from your hotel and head north-west toward Pitesti and soon you will enter the Olt River Valley. One of the most beautiful river valleys in Romania has in it's beginning an architectural and historical monument: the Cozia Monastery, built in 1388 by Mircea the Elder, the Grandfather of Vlad the Impaler.  Next stop will be Sibiu, European Cultural Capital in 2007 along with the city of Luxembourg, when Romania joined European Union. Sibiu was also voted as Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live by Forbes. With its Large Square, Small Square and Huet Square was the largest fortified city of Transylvania in medieval times. You will take a walking tour discovering why the city is so famous and admire beautiful landmarks like the Brukenthal Palace, Jesuit Church, Old City Hall tower, Evangelical Church and Liars Bridge - the first iron cast bridge in the country.  Because your guide wants to show you the real life in the area, and especially in the countryside, your next stop of the day will be made in the village of Sibiel where locals teamed up and restored most of the houses here. In the same place you can find the largest glass icons museum in Transylvania which you have the pleasure to visit and hear more about how this tradition started in the area. You will follow the Olt River Valley back to Bucharest.

Bucharest: Old Town Walking Tour

8. Bucharest: Old Town Walking Tour

Starting from University Square, one of the most popular meeting points in the city, the tour will move along Calea Victoriei, one of the city's oldest routes where aristocrats, merchants, communist officials, and the new capitalists all left their mark in some way.  Then, head to the Old Town through a secret passage and see some small and gorgeous medieval churches as well as the latest modern architectural statements. You’ll also get an insight into the many controversies behind the House of the People. The tour will end at a grand traditional inn with beer and some local snacks.

Bucharest: City Highlights Guided Private Tour

9. Bucharest: City Highlights Guided Private Tour

Enjoy private transportation and a licensed guide to the best of Bucharest's landmarks. Be picked up from your hotel and visit the Palace of Parliament or People’s House, the Bucharest National Village Museum, Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), Revolution Square, and Old City Centre. See the Palace of Parliament, the world's second-largest administrative building. Learn how dangerous and damaging a totalitarian regime like communism can be for a nation. Be prepared to feel small seeing the pointless opulence and megalomania “the sleep of reason” can create. Visit the National Village Museum to see an embodiment of Romanian traditions. Understand what it meant for Romanian villagers to have built an ecological and sustainable environment in their backyard. Also get a glimpse into their simple and modest lifestyle, in social and spiritual harmony with their surroundings. Enter the world of the traditional Romanian houses made of wood, adobe, stone, and other materials, from all parts of the country. Be introduced to national symbols such as the mill and the wooden church. Learn how these treasures of spirituality and civilization have kept the people united for thousands of years. Then, follow your guide to Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue). Be fascinated by the contradictions of history—on one side, you have the Royal Palace and on the other, the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party and the Revolution Square, where Ceausescu fled the country by helicopter. Marvel at old orthodox churches, enveloped in an aura of mystery. Also pass through a music store with a large selection of music, casinos, bohemian restaurants, museums, theatres, tea shops, retail stores and gift shops with souvenirs. Next, see the National History Museum and the Romanian Athenaeum, another Romanian architectural landmark, and the CEC Palace. Take a trip back in time to the moment where dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was ousted, leaving behind the secrets of a great fortune and controversies about the state security service. Reach the Senate Palace and find yourself in front of the building that used to house the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. This also served as the starting point of the Revolution of December 1989, a major historical event that marked the removal of Ceausescu from power.

Bucharest: Transylvania and Dracula's Castle 2-Day Tour

10. Bucharest: Transylvania and Dracula's Castle 2-Day Tour

Follow in the footsteps of the Count Dracula legend on a 2-day tour to Peles Castle and Bran Castle in the Transylvanian mountains. Wander the ornate rooms and gardens of former royal residences, and see Saxon houses that date back to the 16th century. The scenic drive takes you high up into the Carpathian Mountains where time has stood still at enchanting villages, and where Romanians head in the winter to ski at the mountain resort of Sinaia. Day 1: Bucharest - Sighisoara Following a pick-up from your hotel in Bucharest (or from Revolution Square at 09:00), cross the Carpathian Mountains en route to Sibiu, stopping at the Monastery of Curtea de Arges to explore the complex founded by Prince Neagoe Basarab in 1514-1517. During the summer (1 June - 15 September), the route to Sibiu takes the unique Transfagarasan Road across the Carpathians, climbing to an altitude of 2,000 meters at its highest point. Upon arrival in Sibiu, enjoy a quick tour of the medieval city center. Then, drive to Sighisoara on the picturesque Tarnava Mare River. Marvel at the beautifully preserved citadel, and wander the enclosed walls and cobblestone streets of the Old Town. See Saxon houses that date back to the 16th century, and the 9 surviving towers, including the iconic Clock Tower. From the balcony of this former main gate to the city, enjoy beautiful views across the town and countryside. Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere at sights such as the former Church of the Dominican Monastery, where valuable relics include a fresco of the Saint Trinity, a carved altarpiece, and Oriental carpets. Day 2: Sighisoara - Brasov - Bran - Bucharest Today you will drive to Brasov to discover where Vlad the Impaler led his raids against the German Saxons. Explore the medieval city center on a tour of the Black Church, Town Hall, Black Tower, and Ecaterina Gate. Then, continue to “Dracula’s Castle,” located between the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains. More commonly known as “Bran Castle,” the important monument depends on the legend of Count Dracula for its reputation, but is also acclaimed for its beauty. Learn the history of the castle, from the 14th century to the day in December 1920 when the castle was donated to Queen Marie of Great Romania. Admire the fountains, lakes, and halt terraces of the former royal summer residence, and see the "Tea House" of Queen Marie. Continue to the beautiful mountain resort of Sinaia, known as "The Pearl of the Carpathians." Here, you will visit Peles Castle, one of Romania's most exquisite palaces. Learn about the Romanian kings that used the castle as their summer residence as you admire its intricate façades and see wooden towers that reach for the sky. Discover the fountains and statues built by Viennese architects in the grounds, and imagine the balls, concerts, literary events, and theatrical performances of Romanian high society in days gone by. Wander the opulent interiors to find ebony, walnut and mother of pearl. Go to the terraces and grand outhouses of the castle complex, such as Pelisor Castle and Sinaia Monastery. Venture inside the Monastery, built by the "Spatar" (a high ranking noble of the Valahian Kingdom), Mihai Cantacuzino following his pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. The monastery contains religious icons and rare books, as well as an exhibition of pottery and porcelain that dates from the 16th to the 19th centuries. There will be time to visit the 19th-century wine cellars from Azuga, built by the Rhein family, official suppliers to the Royal Court. Purchase some authentic still wines and sparkling wines of Romania, before transferring back to Bucharest in the evening.

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What people are saying about Bucharest Old Town

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 387 reviews

A wonderful experience. Our tour guide George told with an amazing enthusiasm and passion about the deeply scared but colourful and rich history of Romania. He took the time to show us some extra things that we requested and was a very good driver. Overall, a must do to get a feel of the real Romania!

Nico arrived on time to our hotel. He was very polite and helpful and gave us loads of facts and information during the tour on famous buildings and Romanian history. Although the weather was rather difficult due to constant rain he managed to show us everything we wanted to see.

A great tour with our guide Chiprian. Very interesting and fun. Good value thanks for a lovely tour

Great night out. Friendly hosts and all tourists friendly and up for a fab night

Great fun, great guide! Very easy-going and went with the flow! Good fun.