Bucharest
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Bucharest Culture & History

Bucharest: Parliament Palace Skip-the-line Ticket

1. Bucharest: Parliament Palace Skip-the-line Ticket

Experience one of the top attractions during your visit to Bucharest, with a planned visit to the Parliament Palace. The Palace was ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the dictator of Communist Romania and it was constructed between 1984-1997. Started during the darkest period of communism, Ceausescu's mad dream became the largest building in Europe and the 2nd largest building in the world. Start the tour by skipping the line with your fast-access ticket. Meet the Bucharest Parliament Official Guide, and begin your exploration of the building's interiors. Immerse yourself in the history and contemporary realities of this unique building during a captivating tour that covers 3 levels of the building.  Begin on the ground floor where the entrance is located. Learn an array of mesmerizing facts including how the Palace has a height of 84 meters (276 ft), a floor area of 365,000 square meters (3,930,000 sq ft), and how it is the heaviest building in the world. Then, head up to the 1st level where the main meeting rooms are located together with the Ballroom.  As you admire the interiors and architecture, find out about how the building contains almost 500 chandeliers, over 1400 mirrors and ceiling lights, 35 million cubic feet of marble, and 32 million cubic feet of wood together with carpets and other decorations make this building a place like no other. Listen to other mind-boggling facts including how the building has 8 underground levels, the last one being a nuclear bunker, linked to the main state institutions by 20 km of catacombs. End the tour on the 2nd level where the balcony will offer you great views over Fountains Avenue.

Bucharest: Day Trip to Dracula Castle, Peles Castle & Brașov

2. Bucharest: Day Trip to Dracula Castle, Peles Castle & Brașov

Immerse yourself in the legend of Vlad the Impaler, inspiration for Count Dracula, on this full-day tour of Transylvania. Discover some of the historic castles of the region, and visit the city of Brasov. Start your tour with pickup from certain pickup points in Bucharest and drive towards the region of Valahia. Discover Peles Castle situated in picturesque Sinaia, and known as the Pearl of the Carpathians. Travel through the mountain scenery to Bran, where you will visit Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. Learn the legend of the terrifying fictional Count. Move on to Brasov, located in the heart of Transylvania. Embark on a walking tour through the historical center. Encounter sights such as the Gothic church of Biserica Neagră, and the Medieval Catherine's Gate, the last remaining of the city’s defensive walls.

From Bucharest: Dracula Castle, Peles & Brasov Full-Day Trip

3. From Bucharest: Dracula Castle, Peles & Brasov Full-Day Trip

Escape the bustle of Bucharest and spend a day immersing yourself in the landscapes and landmarks of Transylvania. Encounter the historic castles, rich scenery, and evocative atmosphere of this unique region. Enjoy a pickup from your hotel, and guided tours of these fascinating monuments. Start your day trip with a visit to Peles Castle, set in the scenic mountain resort of Sinaia, known as the Pearl of the Carpathians. Tour the Romanian royal family’s former summer residence, which showcases a magnificent palace in the German Renaissance style. Next, enjoy a walking tour of the town of Brasov. Start from its main square, and stroll around its well-kept historical center as you see sights like the Gothic Black Church, old City Hall, and the narrowest street in Europe. Encounter Bran Castle for your final tour stop, also commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. Take a walk inside its grandiose towers and down its winding narrow staircases and passages, and learn about the infamous Vlad the Impaler.

Bucharest: Dracula's Castle, Peleș & Brașov Small-Group Tour

4. Bucharest: Dracula's Castle, Peleș & Brașov Small-Group Tour

Discover the sights and notable cities of Transylvania on this guided tour from Bucharest. Visit historic castles and a medieval town as you immerse yourself in this atmospheric region. Benefit from pickup from your accommodation, then set off to explore the historic castles of Transylvania, and the medieval city of Brașov. Stop in the small town of Sinaia and visit Peleș Castle to explore the former summer palace of the Romanian royals. Continue to Bran, famous for the imposing fortress connected to the legend of Count Dracula. Hear tales about the real-life Vlad the Impaler, said to have inspired Bram Stoker. Get panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the remains of the citadel. Enjoy some free time to find keepsakes in the souvenir market, and before taking a walking tour of Brașov's medieval Old Town with a local guide. Benefit from some time at leisure before traveling back to Bucharest, and drop-off at your accommodation.

Bucharest: Pub Crawl in the Old Town

5. 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.

From Bucharest: Small Group Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria

6. From Bucharest: Small Group Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria

Start by meeting your local guide at your hotel, then drive south from Bucharest towards the Romanian and Bulgarian border. After crossing the Danube River and the Friendship Bridge, you will enter Bulgaria. On the way towards Veliko Tarnovo, stop for an exclusive visit of the Rock Hewn Churches next to the village of Ivanovo. These are Bulgarian Medieval churches, chapels and monastic cells hewn into the craggy gorge of Roussenski Lom River. Inscriptions, portraits of saints, and other restored items are from the 13th century. After this, discover Veliko Tarnovo, which was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and has a long tradition in the culture of Bulgaria. The city is rich in museums and historical sites, combined with a vivacious night life propelled by the students in one of the largest universities in Bulgaria. Take a walk on the Artisans Street where you have the chance to pass by workshops owned by Bulgarian families for generations, preserving the old traditions. You will have the chance to see a fully functional coppersmith workshop to see the production of copper plates and cups used for Turkish coffee. Hike up the Tsarevets Hill with the remains of the castle and church of Bulgarian kings. Visit the Fortress, the Patriarchal Church, the Royal Palace, and Emperor Balduin’s Tower. Next, journey to Arbanassi and step back in time while wandering the streets lined with houses and churches dating back as far as the 16th century. Take a peek into the life of rich merchants from the 17th century while visiting the Konstantsalieva House, showing the lavish but simple lifestyle of the nobility. Next, stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants serving local food and savor the famous Bulgarian cuisine. Take a brief walk in Ruse, Bulgaria’s first European style city. See the streets with curb stones and pavements, Viennese lanterns, and catering establishments. Bulgaria’s first lift was installed here in 1896. The list of monuments is vast here, counting sites like the Main Square, Palace of Justice, Catholic Boarding School, French College, the Pantheon, and the Neo-Gothic Church of Saint Paul. Following this, begin the journey back to Bucharest.

From Bucharest: Full-Day Trip to Bulgaria

7. From Bucharest: Full-Day Trip to Bulgaria

This 12-hour excursion begins in the early morning with a pickup from your Bucharest accommodation followed by a drive to the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Spend an enjoyable day discovering the impressive medieval settlement of Veliko Tarnovo. Veliko Tarnovo was the medieval capital of Bulgaria and is home of the Tsaravets Fortress, the strongest Bulgarian fortification of the Middle Ages. Your itinerary includes visits to the St. Dimitrie Basarabov Monastery, the only monastery in Bulgaria carved into a cliff that is still inhabited today and Arbanasi village, where the medieval architecture will transport you back a few centuries in time.

Bucharest: 3-Hour Walking Tour

8. Bucharest: 3-Hour Walking Tour

If all the world’s a stage, then, for sure, Bucharest deserves its place in the spotlight! It has experienced it all: love, betrayal, Russian tzars, French Vaudeville, merchants of Venetian goods, Greek tragedies, and one or two great fires for good measure. Experience some of the most important sights in Bucharest and learn the stories behind them as you explore Romania’s capital on foot, alongside a local guide with insider knowledge of the city. Your Bucharest tour starts in the political center of the city, Revolution Square. Formerly known as Palace Square, this iconic spot has witnessed some of the most important events in Romanian history. It was from here in 1989 that dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu made his rallying speech to a crowd that quickly turned on him, instigating the Romanian revolution. This is also where you’ll discover several other notable landmarks, including the former Royal Palace, the beautiful Romanian Athenaeum (the city’s main concert hall) and the Athenee Palace Hilton (built in 1914 and formerly a favorite hangout for spies). Leaving the square, head filled with fascinating facts, you’ll go south along Victory Avenue, which was named for the victory of the new Romanian nation in the 1877 War of Independence. Soak up the history and significance of the street, we’ll also be passing by — and getting the stories behind — some other important buildings, including several palaces, museums and the beautiful Kretzulescu Church, one of the most famous churches in Bucharest. Next, explore the many sights of Bucharest’s Old Town. This is the heart of medieval Bucharest, the literal crossroads between East and West, where Ottoman pashas rubbed shoulders with Transylvanian princes. The winding, cobbled streets are filled with bars, cafés, shops and restaurants much-loved by locals and visitors alike. But if you need a dose of peace and quiet, you can find it in the calming courtyard of Stavropoleos Monastery, or the great wooden inn of Hanul Lui Manuc, which offers a captivating glimpse into an earlier time. Along the way, we’ll visit one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, the stunning Carturesti Carusel and snack on traditional covrig (basically a soft pretzel), one of the most popular street foods in Romania. We will finish the tour in front of the ruins of the Old Princely Court, which dates to the 15th century. This is the former residence of one of the most famous individuals in history: Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Dracula.

Bucharest: Day Trip to Dracula's Castle and Brasov

9. Bucharest: Day Trip to Dracula's Castle and Brasov

Enjoy a full-day trip from Bucharest to discover the Bran Castle, the inspiration for Dracula's Castle. Explore the city of Brasov on a guided tour and see the Peles Castle, the former home of the Romanian royal family. The first stop on your Transylvania adventure will be in the picturesque landscape of Sinaia, the so-called Pearl of the Carpathians. Here, discover Peles Castle, a masterpiece of design with unique turrets and great attention to detail. After taking in some unbelievable views across the mountains from Peles Castle, the trip continues to the medieval Bran Castle, better known as Dracula's Castle due to its association with Vlad the Impaler. In Brasov, follow your guide on a walking tour to admire sights such as Brasov's Council Square and the Black Church, one of the main attractions in Brasov.

3-Hour Guided Tour of Communist Bucharest

10. 3-Hour Guided Tour of Communist Bucharest

This 3-hour tour reveals the conflict between two worlds: Bucharest under the communist regime and the relatively peaceful and prosperous Bucharest of the inter-war period. You’ll learn why Bucharest is such a striking mix of different architectural styles, how each regime left its mark on the city, how the city looked during the communist period and what it was like for people living in communist Romania. Your guide will help to bring to life the anti-communist revolution and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Learn about the violent beginnings of the communist regime and the nationalization and forced demolition of homes. See the impressive Palace of Parliament and hear all about the Ceausescu family and the bloody anti-communist revolution of 1989. You’ll visit lesser-known, charming inter-war neighborhoods saved from communist urban re-modelling, and see the remains of the Uranus neighborhood as well. The tour includes a short break at a café, where you can enjoy drinks or snacks (at your own expense).

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What people are saying about Bucharest

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,866 reviews

Super well organized, a high quality guide, enthusiastic and ready to share anecdotes and tips. I would have spent a little more time at Bran Castle, 1 hour was a bit tight, especially without a guided tour.

Andrei was awesome! He really took care of us and was recommending the best spots. Probably one of the best tour guides I have ever had. Highly recommend other poeple traveling with him.

I enjoyed the tour, Bogdan is very friendly and explained the history of the 2 castles knowledgeably. Highly recommended.

Excellent guide, funny and good with people! Beautiful nature, amazing history with stunning castles. Highly recommended

Lovely trip with Bogdan who made the trip very interesting and really engaged with the group