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  • qc 246 posts

    I’ve seen a couple of posts that mention Bucharest but nothing comes up in search.

    We have a 5 day BAH with car hire and have split out stays between Holiday Inn and IC. We will drive out of the city but not up to Brasov or Sinaia as the days we could go there are weekend days and apparently the traffic north is horrendous then. We will do a trip by train to Sinaia one day and visit Peles castle from there.

    Any other places closer to Bucharest we should visit – I’ve found a couple of monasteries. We’ll seek out older style Romanian restaurants but any particular recommendations?

    Thanks.

    Gottskalksson 24 posts

    Heard good things about Therme Bucharest. Brasov is lovely and easy to do by train.

    yonasl 976 posts

    My advice would be to spend as little time as possible in Bucharest (specially if you have a car). I would drive towards Sibiu (Transylvania) for nicer paysages and food.

    For Bucharest, the old city is quite touristy but the main attraction seems to be the many clubs and related activates. For a more down to earth experience you have to leave the city.

    PS: As a rule of thumb. Think 1min per km. So if something is 120km away it is going to take you at least 2hrs to get there.

    qc 246 posts

    Thanks – from what I’ve read it can take 6-7 hours to get to Brasov at the weekend!

    Ant M 86 posts

    I’m not sure what it’s like in the summer but in March it wasnt bad. we left the hotel in Bucharest at 8am for a day trip to Peles castle, Brasov and Bran castle and had no traffic delays.

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    Transylvania would be a really cool double TP trip!

    PeteM 776 posts

    Alina is a great guide in the city: https://www.wheninbucharest.com/

    Seconded on Therme.

    yorkshireRich 214 posts

    Having returned around 2 weeks ago, I will give my quick observations.

    We flew BA into Bucharest and arrivals was chaos. Our pre booked Taxi Driver had left by time we had collected our baggage. To be fair a quick call and it was resolved.

    We stayed at Athenee Palace and we were upgraded to a suite. The room was smart and we had a balcony. I wouldn’t say it was as good as IC Sofia. We particularly wasn”t overly impressed with breakfast.

    Bucharest itself as some nice buildings, and I loved walking around but the old town is touristy and it isn’t particular cheap at all. I don’t think the value for the quality of food and drinks was there in truth. That said, we stumbled upon more local pubs the last day and had traditional Romanian food for a fraction of the price. I have no desire to go to the old town again.

    The metro is easy to get around and you just need to tap in and tap out with your bank card. Also, the water fountain display on a Sunday evening was superb.

    We visited Therme Spa and we thought it was brilliant. There are 3 sections and we bought the all day pass and stayed from around 11am to 8pm.

    To conclude, it was nice but I wouldn’t rush back. I’d certainly visit Romania again but would probably go to the Airport and visit Therme spa then venture to other destinations within.

    shilly 115 posts

    We have friends who live in Bucharest and are going again in September. We have done the Transylvania bit and Brasov but we love Bucharest itself. We have had great food and excellent service every time we have gone and there is lots to do and see. Maybe we’re lucky as one of our friends is from the city but we have never been disappointed. We walk everywhere apart from the odd occasion as it’s easy to get around. We have stayed at what was the old Intercontinental although I think the hotel is now called the Grand, we have stayed in the Marriott Marmarosch which was very good and this time we will stay in the Intercontinental Athenee Palace. One of the trips we did was a private tour of Ceausescu’s former private residence which you book in advance as they only take a small group at a time, it was as though the former family were living there and nothing was out of place, fascinating.

    qc 246 posts

    Thank you everyone.

    Any recommendations for Romanian restaurants and bakeries? We had a Romanian builder working on our extension and his wife used to send us delicious home baked pastries – one was a doughnut type thing with a curd cheese which they brought back from Romania – possibly the Transylvanian region.

    LD27 197 posts

    @qc. I was one of the posters the other week about Bucharest. I have just returned from trip to visit a Romanian friend who lives in Cluj, but spent time in Bucharest and around.

    As @yorkshireRich says, the airport is terrible – long queues in corridors before arrival hall which was chaotic – very hot, no air con and took well over an hour. On return, was unable to get boarding pass in app so had to go to check in, which opened less than two hours before departure. Plane was full. Long line for economy and I was lucky as travelled business. Even so, by the time I checked in, walked through security and got to the gate, the plane was about to board. I have no idea how all the economy passengers made it as we left the gate on time. Can’t comment on Lounge as there was no time to look for it!

    I liked Bucharest. Easy to travel around using Bolt and Uber. But trams, buses and metro cheap and fast too. My friend, hotels and everyone I spoke to said don’t use taxis as you’ll be ripped off. Great cafe culture and lots of bars and restaurants.

    I stayed at Athenee Palace before leaving the city. I was upgraded to King junior suite with balcony from basic room. I have Lounge access so had breakfast there which was fine – only ever saw 3 or 4 other people there. The Lounge host was very amenable and went out of his way to please. Was never around for afternoon tea but the local Tuica (plum spirit) and Moldavia red wine was very good in the evening. The roads around the hotel are closed at weekends. The hotel is in a good location in old part.

    It was very hot so wandered around city, visited art museum near hotel and Ceausescu Residence as well as the National Village open air Museum where lots of old buildings such as houses, churches, windmills etc were moved from other parts of the country. All were well worth a visit as well as the Therme Spa.

    Definitely go to Transylvania. Brasov is well worth a visit as is Sibiu, Rasnov Fortress, Bran And Peles Castles which are all easy to get to from Bucharest. Check times as lots of museums etc are closed Mondays or are open just afternoons/shorter hours. To Brasov there are frequent trains (although station is a little way from the centre), buses and tours. When we came back from Brasov by car, it took around 4 hours (during the week) because most of the road is one lane in each direction and goes through lots of towns and villages.

    As for food. There are lots of local restaurants in the the main squares of Brasov and other towns. Can’t recommend any, as just looked to see where was busy and at the menu. Lots of pork dishes – soups, stews with beans and cabbage. The local lemonade with elderflowers and a hint of honey was very refreshing. Lots of pastry shops where everything tended to be labelled in English unless in a remote village.

    qc 246 posts

    Thank you – hopefully it will be a little cooler when we go at the end of next week. The airport sounds a nightmare.

    shilly 115 posts

    Thank you – hopefully it will be a little cooler when we go at the end of next week. The airport sounds a nightmare.


    @qc
    can you report back on the airport re the queues for arrival and return as I have never seen it that bad but maybe things have changed would love to know? Enjoy your trip!!

    Gottskalksson 24 posts

    The airport was always fine for me both on arrival and departure. It might take longer on arrival if having to wait in the non-EU queue, but usually this only happens if multiple non-Schengen area flightss arrive around the same time (which is unlikely). Avoid early morning (6am-ish) departures as it’s the busiest time at the airport. The departure lounge for non-Schengen flights is pleasant, but nothing special.

    Train to/from the airport was fast, on time, and cheap (less than £1), just tap your card on the train. If it’s hot, take the 100 bus to the city centre as the buses have air conditioning fitted (same, just tap your card on the card reader inside the bus, 90 mins ticket is around 50p). Take the train if it’s rush hour to avoid traffic.

    qc 246 posts

    Thank you – hopefully it will be a little cooler when we go at the end of next week. The airport sounds a nightmare.



    @qc
    can you report back on the airport re the queues for arrival and return as I have never seen it that bad but maybe things have changed would love to know? Enjoy your trip!!

    Thank you – hopefully it will be a little cooler when we go at the end of next week. The airport sounds a nightmare.



    @qc
    can you report back on the airport re the queues for arrival and return as I have never seen it that bad but maybe things have changed would love to know? Enjoy your trip!!

    I will do – we land just after midnight and might be ok as based on @Gotskalksson’s post it’s only a problem if multiple non Schengen flights arrive at the same time. I’ve had a look and there’s a Fly Dubai flight after ours so if we’re delayed or they’re early we should be ok.

    Looks like it’s going to be hot there!

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