Top 10: Best Free Things to Do in Bucharest

Like A Local Guide • 8 Sep, 2014

Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, once had a reputation for the high life and even earned the nickname “Little Paris” in the 1900s. Today it’s a bustling metropolis known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and beautiful Belle Époque buildings. As with any European capital, there are plenty of ways to discover it without spending a cent (or leu in this case). To get you started, our local editors have put together a list of the best free things to do in their beloved Bucharest.

1. See some intriguing street art at Garajul Ciclop

This place originally functioned as a garage in the 1920s when many well-to-do Romanians began buying cars. It has since fallen into disrepair and now serves as an inspiring canvas for local street artists. The walls are covered in amazing murals including works by some of the city’s best graffiti artists.

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2. Visit Hanul lui Manuc – one of the few remaining caravanserais in Europe

“Manuc’s Inn” was built around two hundred years ago by an Armenian named Emanuel Mârzaian (Manuc), one of the richest and most influential merchants in the Balkans at the time, as lodgings for travelling merchants. It has only recently been renovated and is certainly worth seeing for its grand architecture.

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3. Sit back and relax at Ion Voicu Park

Located in a quiet neighbourhood just 10-minutes’ walk from Piaţa Romană, this pretty little park is the perfect place to take a relaxing break when out and about sightseeing. Inspired by English and French landscape gardens, it features a pavilion, a pond, a bridge and a handful of statues, and is surrounded by beautiful old villas.

 

16049961271_4f100a21aa_kPhoto credit: Joe Mabel

4. Get to know the city on a Free Walking Tour

Join this free city tour and discover the true face of Bucharest with a fun and friendly local guide. You’ll visit the most important sights in the Old City and hear lots of great stories along the way. Tipping is optional, but always appreciated.

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Photo credit: Guided Bucharest

5. Admire stunning architecture at Saint Nicholas Church

Saint Nicholas Church, often referred to as the Students’ Church, was originally built for Bucharest’s Russian Orthodox community in 1905. It’s a unique blend of art nouveau and Russian Orthodox architecture. Open daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

9431187652_3c77e7181f_kPhoto credit: Gogulescu Silviu

6. Take a stroll and enjoy some people-watching at Cișmigiu Park

As the oldest public garden in Bucharest, Cișmigiu naturally attracts lots of tourists. Nevertheless, it’s still worth a visit for its scenic surrounds and relaxing atmosphere. There’s even a lake where you can rent a boat and take a romantic paddle in the summer or go ice-skating on in the winter.

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7. Marvel at the mammoth Palace of the Parliament

Government buildings are always worth checking out when abroad as they’re usually fairly majestic. This building is no exception. In fact, it’s the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. If you plan on going inside, note that there’s an entrance fee (free admission for children).

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8. Appreciate the serenity of Schitul Darvari

Built in 1834, this Orthodox monastery was closed under communist rule and only reopened in 1996. The monastery grounds have a particularly peaceful atmosphere so it’s worth coming here when you need a calm sanctuary away from the city buzz. The charming church also houses various holy relics.

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Photo credit: AlexRo

9. Discover the picturesque Luigi Cazzavillan Park

Although it’s located quite close to the well-known Cișmigiu Park, Luigi Cazzavillan is a hidden gem rarely chanced on by travellers. It was originally established in honour of Cazzavillan, the founder of “Universul” – the Romanian New York Times. The best time to visit is at sunset as the magical evening light brings out the park’s true glory.

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10. Soak up some history at the Sighet Memorial Exhibition

Although Bucharest was under communist rule for more than 40 years, it still doesn’t have a proper museum of communism. This exhibition focuses on crimes committed by communists in Romania and tells the stories of thousands of intellectuals, peasants, soldiers and priests who were imprisoned or killed during those dark times. This is one of the only places in the city where you can find authentic and uncensored information about communism in Romania.

80f90b971fc4ff072a5a7066bba9b0fdPhoto credit: memorialsighet.ro

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Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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    Really good tips to there, I hope I can chack many of these places, thank you :) Could you help me a bit? I'm going to fly to Bucharest in 2 weeks and don't know how to get out of the airport. I read that taxis are not really good. What about public transport and transfers? I was checking http://bucharesttransfer.com/ as a transfer... How can I decide if they are good?
    Vvk • Aug 01, 2016 • Reply
    It great things to see it in rominia
    Ahmed • Jul 27, 2015 • Reply
    Kudos for such a wonderfully researched article on Bucharest. I stay in PUNE, in India and am fond of travelling. Bucharest definately is in my plan. Needless to say,I would also love to visit your city of Tallinn in Estonia. Thanks once again. I would appreciate if you can also add a few lines about ' WHERE TO EAT VEGETARIAN FOOD ' while in Bucharest and Tallinn.
    ANIRUDHA DESHPANDE • Jun 20, 2015 • Reply
    […] Sursă foto&info […]
    3 lucruri de facut in Bucuresti primavara | Hotel Razvan Bucuresti • Apr 23, 2015 • Reply
    Hey, Thanks for the nice collection. Just one small thing, the last entry Sighet Memorial Exhibition is not in Bucahrest ;)
    shreyas saxena • Jan 02, 2015 • Reply
    Thanks for great recommendations, Mihai! And of course you are right, there are plenty of free activities in Bucharest that didn't make it to the list but are also worth doing :)
    Kris Härsing • Oct 24, 2014 • Reply
    Interesting selection, even for a local like me. Inevitably, it is only a very small part of what you can experience almost for free in Bucharest, the town of lovers. I will simply add another idea: a stroll in the Herastrau Park in the north or Tineretului Park in the south. If you like to intensify your experience you can rent a bike.
    Mihai • Oct 24, 2014 • Reply