There's a reason why Bucharest is also known as "Little Paris." It has its own Arch of Triumph. Where Paris is built on the Seine, Bucharest hugs the scenic Dâmbovita River, a tributary of the Danube. Both cities are famous for shopping, for parks, and for being the scene of enormous historical significance. Both cities are renowned for their blend of stately, traditional buildings and scintillating nightlife.
This doesn't mean, though, that the cities are interchangeable! For many, Bucharest's political reshuffling of the late 1980's make the city's historical sites and architectural destinations just that much more alive and interesting. The old national library, for instance, is a building with a fascinating history. Built in 1911, it was used as both a library and a stock exchange until the communist government shut down the financial center in the mid 20th century. The elegant stone building, closed entirely since the new national library opened in 2012, stands facing the national bank of Romania, just a ten-minute walk from Revolution Square in one direction and a couple of blocks from the National Museum of Romanian History in the other.
The history museum itself is a fantastic experience as well. Not only are people allowed in the building, which is a plus, but also its collections and exhibits represent Romania's rich mixture of history, art, and culture.
So while you're walking from one place to another on your tour of the city, or finishing up a nice, rich cup of coffee at a cozy little cafe, check out the architecture and the historical monuments. It's worth every moment!