Bucharest is a gorgeous city, full of history and beautiful architecture – and therefore loads of amazing photo spots!
I realised after being in the city for only a matter of minutes that I would need to keep my camera fully charged for the duration of my trip. Luckily I’d packed spare batteries and an SD card so I should be safe, but in four days I still managed to rack up over 1000 snaps!
In this post I’m sharing what I think are the 11 photo spots in Bucharest that you absolutely cannot miss. Whether you want to take the perfect picture for Instagram or your photos are for your personal travel scrapbook, these destinations are guaranteed to get your fingers twitching to click the camera shutter!
This lovely little bookstore is an Instagrammer’s paradise. Winding staircases, white walls, and lines of colourful books (plus, all-important skylights which literally make the place sparkle). This is definitely a must-visit if you want the perfect Instagram photo, but also if you want to browse the books too.
The building began life as a banking headquarters for the Chrissoveloni family, but was transformed into a general store in the 19th century. It was restored in the early 2000s since it had been abandoned and fallen into a state of disrepair for many years, and now houses many books, DVDs, CDs in the store, as well as a bistro right at the top (where there are good views of the street below!)
The size of this building is enough to make you take a second glance; in fact it’s the heaviest building in the world due to its concrete foundations that were dug into the ground. Built to house the Parliament during the communist era, many people don’t realise that this building is now relatively little-used, as it’s just so big it’s impossible to fill.
However beautiful, this building has a dark history. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu forced residents to relocate from the area to make way for the construction of his masterpiece; and it was built over 13 years of forced labour, with shifts round the clock 24/7. Many workers lost their lives due to poor safety regulations and were jailed if they tried to escape.
Have a look, enter if you wish, but don’t forget to spread the word about the story behind the building that makes this beautiful photo.
This isn’t a typical Romanian street and the umbrellas have indeed been put there for one reason: to attract attention. I think given the amount of photos of this street on Instagram, it’s definitely worked!
This little street is perfectly quaint, with cafes lining the sides, tables and chairs spilling out into the walkways, and a beautifully bright cover overhead. It’s therefore a great place to enjoy a drink or bite to eat if it’s a particularly sunny day or if it’s raining, and there’s a secret underground bar here too.
Once a brothel, where girls would dance on the railings above you as you entered. You could even purchase a subscription card for the same girl, where you would pay up front for 10 sessions! The paint on the walls is red which seems quite fitting.
Since the end of the Second World War it’s been an apartment block. When you visit, be sure to keep the noise down as the residents can sometimes get angry at tourists taking photos (fortunately our guide managed to calm one quite aggressive resident!)
There’s a lovely hat shop on the ground floor here called Palaraii la mesterul Nicu which is worth a peek too. The owner has been making hats here since he was 14 years old!
For a view of the city from above, visit the spa on the 22nd floor of the Intercontinental Hotel. There’s a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room as well as gym equipment and a bar. You can catch a tan on the terrace where there are sun loungers, too.
This trendy cafe is not only a great place to stop for a coffee, but is also a must for your Instagram account. Not only is the decor worthy of an interior-design award, but the huge handpainted mural that covers one wall is enough to keep you mesmerised for hours. It is the work of a local street artist and draws much attention from passers-by outside!
This arcade was modelled on Italian architecture which is very much apparent when you gaze up at the roof above you. Once a fully functioning road that was built to lead to the nearby Bank, this was the birthplace of Shisha in Romania, when one Turkish cafe decided to set up shop. Now, most bars in this observatory offer Shisha and it’s a pleasant place to stop for a drink. I can’t imagine cars driving through it though!
At 27m high, this symbol of triumph dates back to 1878, when a wooden structure was erected for military troops to march through after Romania gained its independence. The current structure was built in 1922 and was modelled on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Also similar to Paris, the Arch is located on a roundabout, so can be a little tricky to photograph (it looks best at night in my opinion). There is a staircase to the top, and the viewing platform is open to visitors of special events or on national holidays. As a guest of #ExperienceBucharest I was lucky enough to attend the welcoming party which was held on the roof; the views are stunning.
This is the oldest and largest park in Bucharest and it is really charming. There are a mix of native and exotic plants, many seating areas and statues of some of Romania’s finest writers. There are a few cafes and refreshment kiosks, and you can take a pedalo or row boat onto the lake and enjoy different views of the scenery. The artificial lake is drained in the winter and an ice rink is put in its place, to mimic the harsh winters of years previously when people would go ice skating on the natural frozen lake!
If you’re in Bucharest on a weekend, be sure to see the light show at the fountains. Classic hits are played while the lights illuminate the fountains that dance above the pools of water. It lasts around an hour.
I would never normally include visiting a hostel (especially one you’re not staying at) on a must-do list but the views here are gorgeous! You have great view of the streets below as it’s situated on the corner of two streets in the Old Town.
During my time in Bucharest I stayed at the Ibis Palatul Parlamentului Hotel which was a comfortable and pleasant stay. You can search other options with the widget below, or consider an AirBnB. Sign up with this link to get £25 off your first booking.
Thanks for reading and happy travels!
Disclaimer: I was invited to visit Bucharest on a press trip with #ExperienceBucharest. My accommodation, experiences, and some meals and transport were complimentary. All opinions are my own.
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