Bucharest: The Paris of the East

Bucharest is the capital of Romania as well as its industrial and commercial center. Established around 1459, it’s not a terribly old city in comparison to other European cities. However, that doesn’t stop Bucharest from being home to many fabulous tourist attractions.

Bucharest sits on the banks of the Dambovita River and contains many lakes, including the small, man-made lake called Lake Cismigiu at the center of the capital. Near the lake are the Cismigiu Gardens, which opened in 1847 and have been visited by many famous poets and authors. The gardens are the main recreational facility in the city’s center.

The Cismigiu Gardens aren’t the only green space within Bucharest. In fact, it is home to many gardens and parks, such as Herastrau Park and the Botanical Garden.

Bucharest is also home to an impressive cultural scene. Its cultural attractions include a wide array of activities, like visual arts, performing arts, and nightlife. There’s really no defined style to Bucharest’s culture, so there’s something for everyone.

Bucharest has been called “The Paris of the East” and “Little Paris” because its architecture was heavily influenced by the French. Its buildings include everything from traditional Romanian to those created in the French style.

Landmarks within Bucharest are varied. The most well known landmark is the Palace of the Parliament, built in the 1980s when the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ruled. It is the largest building in Europe and the second largest in the world. Today, the palace is home to the Romanian Parliament and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Arcul de Triumf, or Triumphal Arc, is also located in Bucharest. It was built in 1935 and modeled along the lines of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

Bucharest hosts many festivals and cultural events throughout each year. Most of them are held in the summer months of June, July, and August. One popular event is the International Opera Festival, which is organized by the National Opera, and is held annually in May and June.

Because Bucharest is now home to a large Chinese population, the city has begun to embrace many Chinese cultural events. It hosts a Chinese New Year’s Eve Festival each year.

If you’re planning to visit Bucharest to see its many sites or attend its festivals, you’ll have no trouble finding a comfortable place to stay. Bucharest has many hotels and holiday apartments to accommodate its many visitors.

Examples of hotels in Bucharest, Romania are:

The Hotel Opera: This hotel is extremely stylish and designed with particular attention to detail. Pictures of Bucharest from the past adorn the rooms along with silver, china, porcelain, and brass. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, cable and satellite television, high speed Internet service, and a mini-bar.

Howard Johnson Hotel: Located in the city’s centre, this hotel offers exceptional views of the city. It is within a short walk of shopping, nightlife, superb dining, and many of Bucharest’s sights. There are 285 rooms in this 18 floor building. The rooms are designed with relaxation and convenience in mind.

NH Hotel Bucharest: This hotel is brand new and is located in the heart of the financial district. It is also close to museums, restaurants, and bars. There are 78 rooms decorated in a modern style. The hotel also has an onsite fitness room and sauna.

Examples of holiday apartments in Bucharest, Romania are:

Victoriei Apartment Bucharest: This beautifully decorated apartment is within seconds of Victoriei Square where you can see many of Bucharest’s sights. It’s also close to the nightlife and restaurants. It includes a fully-equipped kitchen, cable television, and a large bedroom that sleeps two.

Peoples Palace View Apartment Bucharest: This apartment is on the top floor of a building and overlooks the palace itself. It’s a one bedroom apartment that sleeps two. Includes a terrace, American-style kitchen, cable/satellite television, and Internet access.

Bucharest Commerce Chamber: This one-bedroom, two-person apartment is located in the same building as the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The apartment is decorated in welcoming warm colors and includes a balcony, Internet access, DVD player, and air conditioning.

Whether visiting Bucharest to sight see, to attend one of its many festivals, or a little bit of both, vacationers are sure to find the perfect place to stay to meet all their needs.

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