When to fly?
Bucharest has been the capital of Romania since 1862, it is the cultural centre and largest city in of the country, containing a mixture of neo-classical, communist and modern architecture. The transitional seasons of spring and autumn are the most comfortable times to book a flight to Bucharest: you may need to pack an umbrella to shield yourself from rain, but the temperatures are far more comfortable for travel at an average of 15 degrees.
The city located on the Romanian Plain is subject to chilly winds that drive the temperature well below freezing in the wintertime. Summer, by contrast, is dry and hot with temperatures on average sweating it out at 26 degrees. Whether you’re looking forward to lounging in the summer sun in or dance the night away at one of the many musical festivals, there’s no wrong time to visit.
Summertime is full with tourists wishing to take in the sights of the city when the sun is out in full force. This is Bucharest’s busiest festival season. If you’re planning on visiting during the summer, be sure to make travel reservations months in advance.
Cheap flights to Bucharest are easy to come by in the fall and spring, when the weather’s a bit damp. During the spring months of March to May, you can be a part of the multitude of arts festivals hosted by the city, including the Bucharest International Film Festival in April and the EuropaFest in May.
Bucharest International Film Festival
Feature-length movies, short films, animations and documentaries from directors across the globe are showcased in this week-long event that is popularly attended by locals, out-of-town and international visitors. Films air at a number of different theatre venues.
EuropaFest is the biggest musical event in the country held annually and featuring a variety of performances by big names from musical genres such as jazz, blues and pop. Held at the Royal Palace, the festival runs for one week during which time over 300 musicians perform live. The highlight of the event is the Gala Evening on the last night of the festival.
You would never know that Bucharest, Romania’s thriving capital city, was the site of a devastating revolution: It was here that protesters tore the streets apart while ousting the Communist regime from the city merely two decades ago. Today, Bucharest is a vibrant city that remembers its past while embracing the new.
The festivals that take place in the city each year showcase the plethora of artistic and musical talent cultivating in Bucharest, while the universities inject a youthful energy into the nightlife scene. All of this refreshing activity takes place alongside the solemn structures built throughout the reign of Nicolae Ceauşescu, the Communist president of Romania whose urbanization plans displaced thousands of people and forced them to move into these cold concrete buildings still standing today. Ceauşescu’s control of Romania ended with the 1989 Revolution, when he was publicly executed in the series of weeklong riots and violent protests that ultimately overthrew Communism in Romania.
One of the first things travellers notice when they visit Bucharest for the first time is the city’s intense artist community: the locals’ innovative music and performance art gained momentum in the wake of the political turmoil the city was one burdened by.
Bucharest is famous for its house music, with clubs scattered throughout the neighbourhoods of the city blasting bass into the early hours of the morning. Most of Bucharest’s annual festivals revolve around music and celebrate music in all of its forms, from street percussion to classical voice. Regardless of when you book your Bucharest flight, you’re sure to be surprised by the artistic, creative adventures that await you in this city that spans the centuries.
Getting from the Airport to the CityHenri Coanda International Airport (OTP) is located around 10 miles away from Bucharest. There are frequent and inexpensive buses and trains connecting the airport with the city. Taxis are also available.
Getting around Bucharest
Bucharest is an easy city to get around with its efficient network of trolley buses, subway, buses and trams that are run from early morning until late evening. You can buy bus and tram tickets from RATB street kiosks. Metro tickets are available inside the stations. Save money with an unlimited weekend metro pass.
Bucharest insider information
- Bucharest is home to the Palace of Parliament, which, after Washington DC’s Pentagon, is the second largest building in the world. Ceauşescu oversaw the initial stages of the Parliament’s construction but was executed before its completion, and today the massive structure is home to the Romanian Senate. A visit to the Palace is a must: this man-made behemoth was constructed entirely of Romanian materials and is testament to the skill of the country’s best artisans.
- Calea Victorie is one of Bucharest’s oldest surviving streets – its first planks of oak were laid in 1692 under orders of then-in-power Romanian Prince Brâncoveanu. A walk down Calea Victorie is an excellent way to explore the city as the street connects the two main plazas: Piaţa Victoriei and Piaţa Revoluţiei.
- Head to Herastrau Park- the sprawling green oasis covers roughly 0.4 square mile of the centre of Bucharest and is a popular spot to meet and socialise. With cafes lining the park, meandering walkways, and boats for hire on the pond, this park makes for an ideal retreat if the hustle and bustle of city life grows tiresome for an afternoon. Herastrau Park is also home to the Village Museum, which is a great way to introduce the kids to Romanian culture: The Village Museum meticulously maintains 272 buildings and peasant farms that are modeled after villages from all over Romania.
- Revolution Square is an important point of reference and place of historical significance: it was here that Ceauşescu’s last moments in power ticked by in 1989. Revolution Square is a good first stop as several attractions are located within a stone’s throw from here. The square is also home to Bucharest’s neoclassical Royal Palace, the National Art Museum and the Romanian Athenaeum.