Bucharest is a hidden gem. It rarely tops anybody’s travel list, which is a shame because it is a beautiful
city, and there are many things to do that tourists just don’t know about. So book your tickets and make plans to see these 15 hidden gems.
1. Bucharest Botanical Garden
This is a must do for nature lovers. The Bucharest Botanical Garden covers 17.5 hectacres and has more than 10,000 species of plants. This nature bubble is located in Bucharest just by the “Politehnica” subway station and across the street from the presidential palace of Romania – “Cotroceni”, so you don’t even have to leave the city.
2. Carturesti Carusel
Carturesti Carusel is actually a book store. No, don’t run, its interior is absolutely gorgeous. So if you love books or architecture, spend an hour or two browsing. The top floor also sports a café and the lemonade is highly recommended.
3. Mihai Vodă Monastery
Built in 1594, this is one of the oldest buildings in Bucharest. The buildings in the monastery have been used for many things over the years. It was a residence of the country's leaders, military hospital, medical school and the site of the National Archives of Romania. In 1985 the buildings were moved to their present location on Sapienței Street, next to Splaiul Independenței Street and Izvor Park.
4. Radu Vodă Monastery
Another monastery for those interested in architecture or ecclesiastical history, Radu Vodă Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery. It was founded by Alexandru II Mircea and his wife Ecaterina (Catherine) to give thanks for their victory in battle. It was originally intended to be the metropolitan church of the capital.
5. Șerban Vodă Cemetery (Bellu Cemetery)
The most famous cemetery in Bucharest, you can ask about it by either of its names. This is considered to be one of the most authentic cultural sites in Bucharest and is definitely worth a visit. This cemetery has been in use since 1858 and is the burial site of a number of famous people.
6. Xenofon Street
Xenofon Street is most famous for its stairways. Why? Well, the stairways on this street are a type of art gallery. The stairways are painted with beautiful nature scenes and city scapes. This street is well worth a walk.
7. National Village Museum
The National Village Museum is an outdoor cultural museum meant to showcase traditional Romanian peasant life and heritage. This is a must see for history lovers, and a great place to take children.
8. Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca
Bucharest is often called “The Little Paris”, and nowhere is it more evident why than Vilacross Passage and Macca Passage. Neatly tucked into the city center, these two streets look like they belong in Paris.
9. Dealul Mitropoliei (Dealul Patriarhiei)
Metropolitanate Hill, aka Patriarchate Hill, is a small hill in Bucharest, but this site has witnessed quite a bit of Romanian history and is not to be missed. There is quite a bit to see on the hill, so we’ll list it here instead of giving everything individual entries. Things to see on the hill include the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral, the Patriarchal Palace, and Palace of the Chamber of Deputies.
10. Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park (Titan Park, IOR Park)
Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park goes by three names, but ask for any of them and someone will direct you. This
is one of the largest parks in Bucharest and it ishome to a large natural lake with five islands. Take a stroll through the park or visit the islands. In the winter the park is decorated for Christmas, so it’s worth a visit no matter the time of year.
11. The Museum of the National Bank of Romania
If you have any interest in numismatics this museum is a must see. Its collection spans two and a half millennia worth of coins and includes the oldest coin minted in the territory of present-day Romania.
12. National Museum of Old Maps and Books
A history book, or map lover’s paradise, the National Museum of Old Maps and Books isn’t well known outside of Romania. It’s a small museum, so it won’t take too much out of your day to pay a visit, and you’ll just about have the place to yourself.
13. Abandoned Buildings
I know, touring abandoned buildings doesn’t sound like something most people want to do on their vacation; especially with all the churches and palaces to see. But Bucharest is home to a number of historical buildings that were abandoned after the Communist regime fell, so make time to take a step back in time with a Beautiful Decay Tour.
14. Vacaresti Nature Park
It has been called an oasis in the city, and it is, to the birds and wildlife that call it home. Originally meant as a hydrotechnical project, it was left unfinished and turned into a nature preserve. So if you’re a nature lover you can’t miss it.
15. King Ferdinand I National Military Museum
Out final entry is one for military history buffs. This museum has a large display of pictures, paintings and military equipment. So even if you’ve never heard of it before, you should go.
There are many more hidden gems in Bucharest, too many to list here. But the staff at Le Boutique Hotel Moxa are knowledgeable and waiting to help you make the most of your stay.