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More reasons to visit Bucharest (+ lots of tips for a delicious and relaxed dinner)

Need to know

Closest airport: Otopeni International Airport (OTP), Baneasa Airport is destined mainly for domestic flights
Population:  around 2 million
County/Area: capital of Romania, southern Romania.

Bucharest is the capital of Romania. Yes, Bucharest, not Budapest (!!!), our neighboring Hungarian capital (as many important people mistakenly said).

Although a former communist capital, today’s Bucharest has grown into a European capital with all the rights and fulfilling all pretences. Buildings, monuments, relaxation spots, museums, artistic life, day life and night life, beautiful architecture and ugly architecture, Bucharest took the best and is now ready to unveil in front of you some of its hottest chilling spots, together with some eating recommendations.

For many, visiting a city means pleasant activities they can share with family or friends, enjoying a good dinner on a terrace with a view, or maybe an artistic act. In fact, it is quality time that you will long remember with a big happy smile.

Bucharest has plenty to offer for a good stay from early morning till late at night. If you are interested in the main visiting sites in Bucharest, read here.

A downtown street

Before the actual post, there’s a small comment about the average price of a meal, hoping that it helps.


Average meal price in Bucharest
Downtown area
The Old Town
Antipa Museum of Natural Sciences and the area
Around the Museum of Recent Art/Primaverii neighborhood
Herastrau/Park King Michael I
Museum of Senses
Therme, the spa area of Bucharest

Average meal price in Bucharest (August 2021)

  • The price range in Bucharest is according to the quality of the services, but in one word, good food is affordable. I took the trip with my 2 teenage daughters and the average price we paid for a general meal consisting of one main dish each (pasta, burger) and 1 drink each (non-alcoholic cocktail, water and a glass of wine) cost between 160-200 lei/35-40 euro/3 people.
  • For one person, a three-course meal: soup (ciorba de burta/tripe soup), a second (sarmale or fish dish), a Romanian desert, a large water and a beer total around 110 lei/ 22 euro, but I don’t think a person can eat that much considering that portions are generous.
  • For one person, a main dish and a desert, together with water and a glass of beer/wine is around 80 lei/16 euro.
  • Of course, these prices are just informative. You can find much fancier restaurants where the fame of the chef or the location imposes a higher price standard, just as you can have something on the go, that considerably lowers the price. Pastries can be found at any corner and are delicious. Thing is, you have a choice.
A gourmet schnitzel

Downtown area

Ok, let’s start the day the right way! That is, with a coffee and a yummy breakfast available throughout the day at Coftale! Loaded with energy, your tour can start in Mântuleasa neighborhood, located somewhere in between the Armenian and Jewish quarters, where you will find a quiet area and houses in various architectural styles, with large and beautiful gardens. If you are in the area for lunch or dinner, Simbio cooks you a tasty meal that you can enjoy on their terrace full of quinces. If cocktails are your thing, you can try one carefully prepared from the versatile gin at Ginoteca. You won’t leave neither disappointed nor too sober.

Ginoteca not only looks splendid; photo credit:

You can stroll up to the Jewish quarter, an area not really known by locals. Just enjoy the view (unfortunately many buildings were demolished): quiet streets guarded by small chic houses some with small yards or gardens. Should you be in the mood, you can discover here the Museum of the Jewish Community hosted by Saint Union Synagogue, the Jewish State Theatre or Saint Friday Church, recently reconstructed.

The Old Town

The Old Town is a good choice any moment of the day. Besides the sights to visit here, Carturesti Carusel on Lipscani is a place you’ll want to explore. A posh book store, but so much more than that, Carturesti is a spot where you can read a good book, socialize, have a tea, or enjoy the view, as this concept store is the biggest book store in Romania placed on 5 storeys!!!

The history of the book shop is as crazy as the fancy “carrousel of light” itself: taken away by the communists from the oldest banking family in Bucharest, the original owners fought the Romanian state for over 20 years to get it back and bring it to this amazing shape.

Yes, this is a bookstore, Carturesti Carousel; photo credit:

Here, you can also find Little Paris Museum, a bourgeois house decorated according to the Parisian atmosphere that you will like.

The Old Town is crammed with cafés, bistros and all sorts of eateries. Here, you can hear the clinking teaspoons stirring good coffee, have a delicious meal or unpretentious comfort food. Curious about the Romanian cuisine?  Taverna Covaci or Lacrimi si Sfinti/ (Tears and Saints) both get pride from Romanian dishes and live music.

If you are just passing by, you can have an ice cream on the go from Paco Paletas, made from 100% natural ingredients. Visinoteca is another place that invites you to serve a glass of visinata (a flavoured Romanian liquor made from sour cherry) in its unexpected décor.

Should you find yourself in the evening close to the Old Town, indulge yourself a pleasant experience at Linea/Closer to the moon rooftop bar, where you can have custom made cocktails and dinner, and maybe continue the night at Beluga club.

Visinoteca, a glamourous place

Cismigiu Gardens are an oasis of relaxation right in the middle of the hustling-bustling city. Spread on a large area, the gardens have a lake where you can rent a boat, relax at the shadow of century-old trees, or admire the works of art from Cismigiu Gardens. Heading closer to Piata Romana (Roman Square), you may stop on Victory Avenue for an ice-cold Romanian craft beer at Zaganu.

Antipa Museum of Natural Sciences and the area

If you feel like switching registers and have an active vacation, Antipa Museum of Natural Sciences (entrance fee for adult 20 lei/4 euro and kids 5 lei/1 euro) is a good choice. My daughters obviously enjoyed the large display of animals from all climate areas, but so did I! Did you know for example that there are poisonous birds in New Guinea or bees can get drunk? I bet the museum has plenty to offer and I highly recommend the visit especially for families with kids.

Antipa Museum

If you have a sweet tooth, pause around the Museum at the French Revolution for the most delicious and varied range of éclairs you have ever tasted. Simply mouth-watering, so think about a stop here anyway! Acuarela Bistro has already become a trademark in Bucharest. The colourful place only serves snacks and drinks, but is a creativity hub for the capital and comes hand in hand with bohemian atmosphere.

For some extra chill, you can try out FlipFlop, a new concept of bistroteca, the place where good food and good music actually meet: in free translation, this is the place to dance while eating a burger and take things easy. Eden Garden is a secret (no longer so secret) beer garden full of good vibes and atmosphere.

Sitting in a bathtub at Acuarela Bistro

Around the Museum of Recent Art/ Primaverii neighborhood

Primaverii quarter is a peaceful and bourgeois area to explore! But of course, as this is the place where you can find Ceausescu’s mansion! Tired of such a quiet residential area in the centre of Bucharest? Then, head towards the Museum of Recent Art, MARe (entrance fee, adult 22 lei/ around 4.5 euro, under 14 free of charge and every Monday all students have a 50% discount), the first private art museum in the country.

As you already know, I took this trip with my teenage daughters who were more than fascinated! Why? First of all, the building itself is fantastic. It belonged to a former art collector, but the house was way too old, so the art lovers bought it, demolished it and created from scratch a place to suit their needs. Second, on the inside the place looks fantastic and I must say the exhibition itself was a hit! And all the staff seemed so passionate about their job!

MarE is a show both on the outside and inside; Matt Mullican exhibition

Inaugurated in 2018, it is an homage to the 100th anniversary of Romania as we know it today, so the museum showcases Romanian contemporary art both in permanent and temporary collections, but also major and rising artists from the world. In July 2021, when we visited, we particularly loved Matt Mullican’s exhibition: A Chart between 5 worlds, a strange conceptto which we all came with different ideas and meanings.

Adidas on pig hoofs

Herastrau/Park King Michael I

We completed the day by chilling in Herastrau Park, now called Park King Michael I, a huge oasis of calm and relaxation. Spread on 187 ha, the park is the largest park in Europe to be found within a city; it has a lake and even forest, so in summer it can shelter you from the indiscrete sun rays. The park is split in two areas: a rustic one which hosts the  Museum of the Village, a synthesis of all Romanian villages, but we preferred exploring the active public area.

photo credit: see

It features many intricate alleys that can take you to playgrounds, a skate park, and a Japanese Garden with cherry trees donated by Japan’s emperor himself. Right across the Japanese Garden, you can grab a burger at La Biblioteca!

The numerous lanes are also designed for bikers, so the former Herastrau looks like the perfect place to ride a bike, hire an electric scooter, and why not, jogging? Besides, Roaba de Cultura offers quality entertainment on a meadow right in the middle of the park. The park is home to summer theatres as well.

Having lunch or dinner and boat-rides are basically mandatory, it is just the order that can differ. We rented a boat for an hour at the price of 25 lei (5 euro) and my daughters excelled at offering me a pleasant and cheerful ride, and made muscles, too!

Leisure time in Herastrau Park

Eateries are plenty, but you could try Baraka, Beraria H or Trattoria Il Calcio. Cherhanaua Ancora serves fish specialties, while Biutiful by the Lake is noticed by its excellent location also, not just good food. On the banks of the lake, price is reflected in the view offered.

Museum of Senses

We visited the Museum of Senses not as something planned, but one day it started raining heavily, so we got on a bus and reached AFI Cotroceni, a large mall. Here, running away from monotony, we ran by chance into the Museum of Senses (entrance fee, adult 35 lei/ 7 euro, children aged 5-15, 25 lei/ 5 euro) where we really enjoyed ourselves, had lots of fun and took the same amount of pictures.

Museum of Senses

The museum aims at the human senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste, that are emphasised to wake imagination and defy perception. For example, you can lose yourself in a maze, do the Moonwalk, or even experience if you would make a good fakir. But no more spoilers, though!

Therme, the spa area of Bucharest

The last (but not least) hot spot on my list is Therme Bucharest, a place I am green with envy I didn’t reach to visit. It is a thermal spa and wellness complex at the outskirts of Bucharest. Equipped even for the pickiest visitor, Therme boasts spa, beauty areas, even a large sandy area, but also several water slides, pools, wave pools and a few stylish restaurants. If you reach the place before my next visit to Bucharest, don’t hesitate to make me even more jealous by putting your comment below.

photo credit:

Recommended by TTF:

  • Although a restless capital, in Bucharest there are a lot of spots where you can chill;
  •  Try one of the manifold parks full of vegetation in the middle of the city; they also offer plenty of relaxation ideas;
  • Visit a museum to your liking; you can choose art museums, Ferestroika Museum (a small museum about communist Romanian households), Little Paris Museum, the Kitsch Museum or even visit the largest collection of corkscrews and pressing irons at the Museum of Romanian Records;
  • Have a bath and enjoy a spa day at Therme Bucharest;
  • Enjoy a delicious meal to your taste;
  • Spend the evening or night at one of the bars and clubs and party till morning.

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