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Bucharest, the City of Joy

The name of Bucharest derives from the word “bucurie”, which in Romanian means “joy”. The capital of Romania is a vibrant, sunny city, full of life. It mixes old and new, traditional and cosmopolitan in a very original way. There are a few places no one should miss:

The Old Town (the locals call it the Old Center) reminds the wanderer why Bucharest, in its pre-World War II glory days, was called Little Paris. The area has narrow cobbled streets,  the ruins of an old Court (of Vlad the Impaler), old houses, antique boutiques, fancy restaurants and newly opened clubs. It is the perfect place for an afternoon trip.

You can start your journey at Manuc Inn, an old renowned restaurant, reachable from Unirii Square.  Close to the Manuc Inn, the ruins of the old Court will definitely catch your eye. Passing by the medieval bricks,  you will enter into a different world, on Selari, Smardan or Lipscani Streets. Discover a vibrant place,  full of restaurants, pubs, terraces, coffee shops and so much more. Romanian, Turkish, Italian, Lebanese, Greek, French cuisines allure the tourist with their flavours.

The Old Town is not only a paradise for gourmands, but also for art lovers. Covaci Street is known for its antique shops, full of exquisite vintage furniture, jewellery and art. Stravopoleus  Church is a gem worth visiting, for its unique frescos, wood carvings and paintings. After having visited it, you can have dinner at the nearby “Caru’  cu Bere”  (the most stunning restaurant in Bucharest in my opinion), where you can also enjoy traditional music and dancing.

After dinner, take a walk to the nearest pub or club, and have fun from dusk until dawn. Romanian people surely know how to party. The pubs and clubs in the area offer a wide variety of theme parties: live music, karaoke, the white party and so on.

The Village Museum is located in Herastrau Park (one of the largest parks in Bucharest). It is an open air museum which recreates the life of Romania’s countryside. The  old traditional houses, the mills and the wooden church were brought from different parts of the country (by train). This colourful  museum is also home to traditional craftsmen, which sell clothes, jewellery and ceramic art, perfect souvenirs for the dear ones.

Therme is the final frontier of relaxation, a place to wallow in 33 degrees water.  A 15-20 minutes drive from the Village Museum will take you to this amazing, grand thermal complex, inspired by the Roman baths and very modern, though.  A main indoor and outdoor pool with retractable roof, jacuzzi, mineral pools, a running river, a sauna,  hydromassage beds, a pool bar, a healthy restaurant and 500 natural palm trees await you in the Palm Area.

If you wish to be treated like an ancient king or queen, head towards the Elysium area, with 6 dry saunas (each has a different theme). Try the 3 massage rooms, the zinc and selenium pools and the yoga activities to refresh your mind, body and spirit. After the Therme experience, you will be fully relaxed and sleep like a baby.