1. Romania
  2. Bucharest

Bucharest: Hidden Gems 3-Hour Walking Tour

Product ID: 53325
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Once called the Paris of the East, Bucharest is a smorgasbord of neo-classical architecture, Communist-era high rises, pretty churches, and fabulous public parks. Take this morning tour with a local to get yourself acquainted with this magnificent city.
About this activity
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Duration: 3 hours
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English

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Experience

Highlights
  • Take a walk through the Batistei neighbourhood and admire its charming old church
  • Visit the oldest house in town and absorb its intriguing secrets
  • Stroll along Bucharest’s prettiest street and the old stomping ground of Romania’s most brilliant writer, Mircea Eliade
  • Try a covrig, a delicious Romanian street food snack
Full description
We will start our tour with a gentle stroll to one of the most well-known mahalas (neighborhoods) in the city, Batistei. Mahalas usually rose up around a religious building and were inhabited by groups of people from the same ethnic, social, or religious groups. As the city grew, so did these areas, suffering through waves of modernization, earthquakes, wars, and Nicolae Ceausescu's numerous demolition projects. Batistei is still a vibrant and exciting neighborhood to explore; visit the 18th-century stone church, listed as a historic monument by Romania’s Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs and hear stories about what it was like to live here before the Communist regime took over. The Armenian neighborhood houses one of the best preserved Orthodox churches in the city and that is where we will head next. Built in the early 20th century for the once burgeoning (now diminishing) Armenian population, the church is an exact replica of a cathedral in the Armenian city of Ecmiazin.

Next on the agenda is the city’s oldest home, a fascinating example of a traditional Wallachian peasant house with its high cellar and glass-covered veranda. Casa Melik, as it is known, hides a mass of secrets including a striking art collection. Legend has it that a series of underground tunnels connect the house with local masonic lodges. Snack time! We will make a pit stop to try one of Romania’s favorite historic street food snacks, the covrig. It was originally thought that Greek merchants introduced covrig, a salty snack similar to a pretzel, in the 19th century to encourage increased consumption of their wine, but it’s remarkable similarity to German pretzels, suggests Romanians may have been eating these long before that.

Our next stop is one of the prettiest areas in Bucharest: Mantuleasa street. It was originally a mahala for rich merchants. Elegant architecture can be found here that combines neoclassical, Romanian, and modernist styles. This was also Mircea Eliade’s favorite part of the city. Here we will stop to learn more about the life and work of Romania’s most revered writer and philosopher, who was a professor at the University of Chicago until his death in 1986. Your tour ends with a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Ioanid block and Icoanei mahalla but be sure to ask your local guides for tips on where else to visit in beautiful Bucharest and where the best places to eat and drink can be found.
 
Includes
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Covrig street snack
What’s Not Included
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Souvenirs and personal shopping
  • Tips/gratuities for your guide.

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

On the stairs of the National Theater, in front of the main entrance. GPS: https://goo.gl/maps/QyvsQwmWAVs

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Important information
Know before you go
• This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking.
• Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6.
• For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
• Bring comfortable, sunscreen and something to cover your head, the sun can be intense in the summer.

From US$ 48.03 per person

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Urban Adventures

Product ID: 53325