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Hotels Restaurants Cafs Nightlife Sightseeing Events Maps

October - November 2012

Casa Poporului

Myth-busting at the worlds second largest building


The boulevard that packs a serious architectural punch

Old Town/Lipscani In Your Pocket

A 16-page special feature on Bucharests Old Town

N79 - 15.00 lei

In Your Pocket: A cheeky, wellwritten series of guidebooks. The New York Times



6 Everything you always wanted to know about Bucharest and Romania, but were afraid to ask 10 14 18 22 24 36
Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu making a visit to the construction site of the Casa Poporului, shortly after work began in the summer of 1984. The pair would make regular visits to inspect progress, often changing the original designs to suit themselves. See page 22.

Arrival & Transport

Navigating Bucharest

Culture & Events

The Cranberries, Jennifer Lopez and the Quo.

Bulevardul Magheru
A walk along Bucharests art deco showcase

Casa Poporului
Romanias most famous building

Where to Stay
From palaces of gold to flea pits

Where to eat

Clubs, bars, pubs and the like


What to see Where to spend your days Calea Victoriei Bucharests most historic street 64 70 72 88

Old Town / Lipscani

The heart and soul of the city

Shopping, Directory & Children

Everything from malls and markets to souvenirs, pharmacies, dentists, playgrounds and private schools

Maps & Street Register

Noahs Ark, by local artist Virgil Scripcariu, which stands outside the Carturesti bookshop on Bulevardul Magheru, adding some much-needed colour to the street. For more on Magheru, see pages 18-21.

Northern Bucharest Central & Southern Bucharest Street Register & Hotel Map Index

94 96 98

October - November 2012

One of Bucharests newest and yet best-loved landmarks- the giraffe which stands outside the Grigore Antipa National History Museum - came a cropper this summer when late one Sunday night it was smashed to pieces in a pique of rage by some clearly very troubled people. Yet bringing down the giraffe - which had been used to promote the museum ahead of its reopening late last year - in such an iconoclastic manner brought out the very best in the people of this fine city. Within days a Facebook appeal had been launched to raise funds for repairs, and within two weeks the giraffe was back in its rightful place at the entrance to the museum, looking better than ever. The moral of the story? Dont let anyone tell you that the people of Bucharest are heartless or not as friendly as Romanians in the rest of the country. Sure, Bucharest has some problems, but the people who live here are increasingly proud of their city, and its position as Romanias powerhouse. Quite where the rest of the country would be without its invention, industry and cultural institutions is too grim a prospect to think about. So forget what you have been told about Bucharest and its people and enjoy the place. Leave your misconceptions at the airport and let Bucharest In Your Pocket point you to the best and worst of the city we are privileged to call home. We love to hear from our readers: maybe you disagree with us, or maybe you think we have left out a venue or attraction that really should be included. Whatever you think, drop us a line at:

The World of In Your Pocket

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Cover story
One of the many kitsch halls, complete with marble columns, found inside Bucharests infamous Casa Poporului. Photo by Desislava Vasileva at

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Bucharest In Your Pocket Str. Stefan Burileanu 1-3 Bl. 21E, Sc. 1, Ap. 8 014191 Bucuresti, Romania tel. (+4) 021 321 44 18 fax (+4) 021 322 25 22 ISSN 1454-5276 IYP Romania Srl Printed at MEGAPress SA, Bucharest Tel. (+4) 021 461 08 08/09 Published six times per year, up to 20,000 copies produced each issue

Editorial Editor Craig Turp Assistant Editor Raluca Tanasa Photography Craig Turp/IYP Romania Srl unless otherwise stated. Cover photo Desislava Vasileva at T timetable by Maximilian Turp-Balazs rain Sales To contact our sales team send an email to bucharest@inyourpocket .com, or call our office and ask for the sales department. Bucharest In Your Pocket is a member of the Romanian Audit Bureau of Circulation (BRAT)

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Bucharest In Your Pocket

Press Box
The secret of the In Your Pocket guides is that, unlike many travel guides, they are written by native English speakers living in the city they are writing about. That lends itself to frank, matterof-fact advice about your destination. The Irish Times


Crime & Safety

We do not exaggerate when we say that Bucharest is one of the safest capital cities in Europe. Violent crime is rare and almost always carried out exclusively between rival gangs fighting for the control of territory in the citys less-salubrious areas. If you do not go looking for trouble, the chances of you getting into any are tiny. While pickpockets are everywhere (you should be particularly careful on crowded buses, and always watch your bag in busy pubs and clubs), petty thieves are by and large a cowardly lot in Romania and will run a mile at the first sign of any resistance. Knife-crime is unheard of, and even women can walk the citys streets alone at night in relative safety. The Romanian police force is also far better and less corrupt than it used to be and keeps a visual presence on the citys streets, especially in busy areas such as Old Town at night. The main police station in Bucharest is on B-dul Lascar Cartagiu (B-4), halfway between Piata Romana and Piata Victoriei. In a nutshell though, do not worry. Of all Bucharests many, many problems, crime really is one of the least of them. Just keep your wits about you, apply common sense and all will be well.

Detailed, carefully researched guides. Daily Mail Solid, reliable information on everything from where to book a reasonable B&B to how best to spend 72 hours in a city. The Guardian In Your Pocket guides are each written by an English language writer who lives locally. Sueddeutsche Zeitung The In Your Pocket series of guide booklets have turned out to be highly useful in avoiding tourist traps and other travel hazards. A mix of Lonely Planet and Time Out, they have become a European publishing phenomenon. International Herald Tribune

Customs Regulations
While Romania joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, which should facilitate the complete, unfettered movement of goods between member countries, United Kingdom customs officers appear not to have noticed. As such you are only permitted to take 200 cheap cigarettes purchased in Romania to the UK with you (we feel obliged to point out, however, that you will be passing through the blue channel on arrival in the UK and the chances of being stopped are almost zero...). If you are travelling elsewhere in the EU, there are no limits on the amount of cigarettes you can bring home from Romania. Alcohol is likewise unrestricted. For those of you travelling outside of the EU when leaving Romania, you should check the import limits on fags and booze with your destination country before travelling. The export of some antiques purchased in Romania (especially old religious icons) is subject to the completion of tedious paperwork, although any reputable antiques store or dealer will be able to take care of this for you. Ask when buying if you are not sure.

Left Luggage
Gara de Nord offers left luggage facilities, but no luggage lockers. You will find the left luggage counter next to the Relay press store, opposite the Wasteels office, a short walk from the platforms. The charge is cursory: 4 lei per small bag per 24 hours, 7 lei for a bigger bag. Note that the office keeps irregular hours (with staff taking breaks seemingly willy-nilly), so always make sure there will be someone on hand to give you back your bag when you want to pick it up. There is not currently any left luggage facility at Otopeni airport.

A Word From Bucharests Mayor

I am one of the over two million inhabitants of Bucharest. This is where I was born, and where I grew up. I know both the bright and dark sides of every nook and cranny. I have learned the history of each stone, and experienced romance while wandering in Herastrau Park or admiring the city by night. I have traveled a lot, but I have always come back home with infinite joy in order to discover my Bucharest over and over again. I am sure that there would have been no better place in Romania to build my medical career, with all the professional and academic opportunities that a capital city like Bucharest can offer. Yet I understood that for everything you get in this life you have to give something back. That is why now, as the Mayor of Bucharest, I commit myself to giving the people of this city a place to live in, not just a place to dwell in. Bucharest is Romanias most important cultural, economic, financial and political centre. It generates more than 20 per cent of the countrys GDP and is inhabited by more than 10 per cent of the Romanian population. All major financial, political and executive institutions are based here. As one of 27 European capitals, Bucharest is eager to share its cultural heritage with the community and the whole world. I therefore invite you to explore this wonderful city, to discover its mystery and take its pulse: Bucharest is always ready to surprise and impress its guests with its eternal and motley poetry. Sorin Oprescu, Mayor of Bucharest

When Things Go Wrong

In an emergency call 112. You do not need to use the city code, whether calling from a landline or a mobile. You wll be asked which service you require (Politia/Police, Ambulanta/Ambulance or Pompierii/Firemen). Emergency call centre operators should speak English or French but in our experience they do not always do so. At least make sure you know the name of the street you are calling from. If you get into trouble with the Police, demand to call your embassy. There is a list on page 90. The citys main police station is the brand new building at (B-4) Str. Lascar Cartagiu 22, tel. (+4) 021 212 56 84. The best Casualty Unit (Emergency Room) in the city is at Spitalul de Urgente, (C-3) Calea Floreasca 8, next to Dinamo Stadium. More details in the Health box on page 8. There is a list of Pharmacies on page 92, and an English speaking Dentist on page 89.

In their own homes, Romanians are by and large fabulous hosts. So much so that making friends and getting yourself invited should be top of your list of things to do while in the country! You had better be hungry, because the food never stops coming, on and on, dish after dish. You must bring something: flowers, chocolates or a bottle of good whisky. You will probably be offered local brandy, uica. It will grow on you. Most Romanians love to chat about their country, its politics, problems and troubled history. Dont be surprised if they ask you very direct questions. In all cases, it is probably best to be diplomatic in response.

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Should you fall ill, the local health service is more than adequate, if not perfect. Hospitals do suffer from a lack of funds, and the frequent handing over of 10 lei notes to everyone from the receptionist to the cleaner is recommended. In an emergency you should call tel. 112 or tel. (+4) 021 9731 for an ambulance. The best state emergency hospital is Spitalul de Urgenta, C-3, Calea Floreasca 8, tel. (+4) 021 599 23 00. If your child becomes ill, you should take him or her to the excellent childrens emergency hospital, found at (B-4), B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara 30-32, tel. (+4) 021 212 93 64/66. A list of 24 hour pharmacies can be found on page 93.

Time & People

Romania is in the Eastern European Time Zone: GMT + 2 hours. When it is 12:00 in Bucharest it is 11:00 in Berlin, 10:00 in London and 05:00 in New York. The population of Romania is 19,042,936, and of Bucharest 1.7 million according to figures from the 2011 census.

Taxi Tactics
Bucharests dodgy taxi drivers have a refreshingly liberal sense of equal opportunities: basically, when it comes to ripping people off, they view anyone as fair game. Locals, foreigners, young, old, male, female: anyone who steps in the wrong kind of taxi can expect to be well and truly buggered. The important thing to remember when getting into a taxi in this city is that there are two kinds: those which are operated by a tried and trusted taxi company (usually good) and independents (usually bad). The problem is spotting the difference. By and large, trustworthy taxis are easy to spot as they are emblazoned with the name and phone number of the company they are associated with. To counter this, however, the independents have also started to plaster phone numbers over their cars, alongside copy-cat logos that look cunningly like those of decent taxi companies. The best way to avoid being ripped off however is to pay careful attention to the tariffs, displayed on the driver and passenger door of all taxis. There should just now be one single tarif displayed, and anything higher than 1.69 lei per kilometre should start alarm bells ringing. Be extra careful around Gara de Nord, Baneasa Airport, Bucuresti Mall, Piata Universitatii, Piata Unirii and in Old Town, at the National Bank. To avoid any problems, call one of the taxi companies listed below. If you are in a hotel or restaurant, ask your concierge or waiter/waitress to call a taxi for you. If you feel something is a bit suspect in any taxi, note down the drivers number and call his company to report him. Autogeneral 021 9401, Cobalcescu 021 9451, Confort 021 9455, Cristaxi 021 9461, Fly Taxi 021 9440, Leone 021 9425, Mavi 021 9450 Meridian 021 9444, Mondial 021 9423, Speed Taxi 021 9477, Taxi As 021 9435, Taxi Total 021 9424. Most of these companies have at least one operator who speaks English.

Local laws & Police

If you are driving, or are out late at night, it is a good idea to carry at least a photocopy of your passport and driving license. Drinking in public (except in designated areas) leaves you open to a fine, and despite appearances to the contrary, prostitution is illegal. If you are arrested ask to speak to your embassy. There is a list on page 90.

Romanias currency is the leu (plural lei), divided into 100 bani. Notes come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. These are supplemented by 50, 10 and 5 bani coins. The best place to get your hands on Romanian money is at an ATM. If you really do have to change cash, then please ensure that you do it inside a bank. Credit and debit cards (MasterCard and Visa at least) are accepted almost everywhere. American Express and Diners Club cards are less widely accepted.

The only decent public toilets in town are those in the Piata Universitatii underpass (which are free) and those at Gara de Nord (for which you have to pay, 1 leu).

1 = 4.53 lei, 1 = 5.69 lei US$ = 3.53 lei (As of September 29, 2012)
Bucharest In Your Pocket

Some trusted taxi companies:


arriVaL & transPort

Arrival 1: Otopeni
Bucharests only commercial airport is now Otopeni (officially Henri Coanda), 17km north of the city on the DN1. Opened in 1970 and recently extended, it is a spacious, efficient airport. Baneasa Airport - until recently the citys low-cost hub - closed its doors to airlines in March. After getting off the plane and easing your way through passport control, youll find yourself in the baggage reclaim area. Ignore all of the services on offer here. You should especially ignore the currency exchange desks: they do not offer decent rates. Instead, grab your luggage, which usually arrives promptly (if it fails to arrive head for the small office on the left hand of side of the exit, where staff will help you find out where it might have gone), and then its off through customs to the arrivals area. Here there are loads of ATMs, a press shop and a small cafe. To the right is a passage leading to the departures terminal: the passage is lined with car hire desks and a few shops, including a chemist. You should beware of the taxi drivers who will besiege you as you make your way through Arrivals. Ignore them, even if they have Official Taxi badges (the badges are meaningless). Swear at them if you have to: they will eventually get the message. Directly outside Arrivals you will find a line up of taxis displaying an Airport sign. Again, you should ignore them: they are charging way over the odds. A ride to the city centre with one of these taxis would cost around 150.00 lei (40), and that is if they have the metre running. Often they will not, however, and will simply demand an extortionate price when you arrive at your destination. So we repeat: ignore them! Instead, call a normal Bucharest taxi, from a company such as Cristaxi (tel. 021-9461) or Meridian (tel. 0219444). These taxis are not allowed to wait outside the terminal building or in the car park, so you will have to go and meet it at the foot of the Arrivals access ramp.However, the easiest way to get a cheap taxi at Otopeni is simply to walk through to Departures (turn right as you exit baggage claim) and take a regular taxi as it drops somebody off. There is a constant stream of these, even late at night, and you should never have to wait too long. (Note that by regular taxi we mean one which belongs to a trusted company - such as Cobalcescu, Cristaxi, Meridian, National, Taxi 2000, Taxi Leone, Speed Taxi) and charges from 1.39 lei/km to 1.69 lei/km. (Never pay more than 1.69 lei/km). You can also get to town by taking bus 783, which stops underneath the arrivals hall, in front of internal arrivals and leaves for the city centre (stopping at Piata Victoriei, Piata Romana and Piata Universitatii) every 30 minutes during the day, and then every 40 minutes throughout the night. The full timetable of the 783 bus is online at You need to purchase an Activ Card before boarding (get it from the little booth which youll find on your right hand side as you exit). A return journey into the city and back costs 7 lei (no singles are available, but there is no time limit on using the return). You also need to pay 3.70 lei for the card itself, but it can be recharged as often as you like at any ticket kiosk in Bucharest, with as much credit as you wish, and used on all Bucharest buses, trams and the metro. These cards cannot be bought on board. There is also a train which connects the airport to the main railway station, Gara de Nord. The train departs at irregular and infrequent intervals, however, and to get to the airports station you need to take a minibus. We do not recommend it. Timetables and tickets are available from a counter in the Arrivals hall. Look out for the Bilete CFR sign.

arriVaL & transPort

Moving On
Getting from Bucharest to the capitals of neighbouring countries is not as easy, quick or inexpensive as you would expect. Here is a rundown of the fastest and cheapest ways of getting from capital to capital... T arom flies to Belgrade once a day, with prices from 218 return. There is not currently a direct train between the two cities. While an overnight train leaves Bucharest at 20:45, technically arriving in Belgrade at 08:45 the next day, the last part of the journey, from Vrsac to Belgrade, is by bus. Should you still be interested, a space in a sixperson cuseta costs approximately 45. For train tickets the best place to go is Wasteels, at Gara de Nord.


Arrival 2: Gara de Nord

If you arrive in Bucharest by train you will arrive at Gara de Nord. It is OK, but has the usual collection of rogues, tramps and thieves to contend with. There are ATMs, shops, kiosks and a McDonalds. To get to town take an honest taxi from outside (beware sharks) or take the metro: you are just two stops away from Piata Victoriei. To get to the airport from Gara de Nord, take bus 780. WARNING: None of Bucharests reputable hostels send people to Gara de Nord to speculatively meet trains. Anyone who approaches you (and if you have just got off the Budapest train and have a backpack, you will be approached) is trying to scam you: they will try and divert you from your intended destination (often by saying that the place you want to go to is closed) towards another hostel or hotel that they will recommend to you. Just ignore anything they say and wave them away.

Bucharest - Belgrade

Bucharest - Budapest

Public transport
Even though the Bucharest public transport network is cheap, extensive and reliable, taking a bus, trolleybus or tram can be a headache due to the amount of people that cram on to the blasted things.


To use a bus, trolleybus or tram you will need to buy an Activ Card before climbing aboard. These cards cost 3.70 lei, are valid on all forms of public transport (including the metro) and can be bought from the little kiosks next to major stops. They need to be loaded with credit (minimum 5 lei, maximum 50 lei) and are reusable: you can reload them as many times as needs be. The card is then debited each time you validate it at one of the orange devices located on buses, trams and trolleybuses, or at the entrance to the metro. One trip by surface transport costs 1.30 lei, a metro trip costs 2.00 lei. You can also purchase a day-ticket valid on all the citys buses, trolleybuses and trams. It costs 9.60 lei. Ticket inspectors (controlor) are ubiquitous, and if you are caught without a validated Activ Card youll pay a fine of 50 lei. Pickpockets are rife on all forms of public transport in Bucharest. On all forms of public transport children under the age of seven travel free. After that age they need a full-price ticket.

There are three flights from Bucharest to Budapest each day, all operated by T arom. Standard return prices start at 207, although you can often find cheaper tickets if you book far enough in advance. There are also two trains connecting the two cities: one leaves at 14:30 (arriving in Budapest at 04:40 the next morning) while the other leaves at 19:00 and arrives at 08:50. The price for a berth in a sleeping wagon is around 90 (one way), while a bed in a cuseta (sharing with up to five others) costs 53. Again, the best place to buy international train tickets in Bucharest is Wasteels, at Gara de Nord.

Bucharest - Chisinau

There are four flights a day between Bucharest and Chisinau, and if bought far enough in advance return plane tickets with T arom can cost as little as 122. Air Moldova also fly the same route, tickets costing slightly more, around 144 return. The overnight train to Chisinau departs Bucharest at 19:40, and arrives in the Moldovan capital at 09:02 the next morning. Tickets cost from 41 (single).

Bucharest - Kyiv

Buses & Trolleybuses

Even the most remote corners of Bucharest are served by bus or trolleybus, and most main roads in the city centre benefit from three or four different routes. Most buses are overcrowded, however, and travelling on them is a less than pleasant experience. There is also now a vast night bus network which operates an hourly service throughout the night. All night buses depart from Piata Unirii.

Getting to Kyiv from Bucharest takes plenty of spare cash or patience. Just one airline flies direct to Kyiv from Bucharest, Aerosvit, and prices start at a monopolytastic 334 return. The train to Kyiv takes a whopping 30 hours and 17 minutes, leaving Bucharest at 19:40, arriving in Kyiv at 01:57 the following night. The train is not direct: you need to change in Chisinau. Tickets cost from 63 (single). Flying to Sofia from Bucharest costs around 140, with either T arom or Bulgaria Air. There are two or three flights per day depending on the day of the week. There are two trains per day. A daytime train departs Bucharest at 13:00 and arrives in Sofia at 22:25, while the night train departs Bucharest at 23:22 and arrives in Sofia at 09:38. First-class tickets cost 55 (single). For the night train, sleeping wagon berths cost 99. Much faster (and cheaper) is the daily coach linking Bucharest and Sofia. It leaves the Gara Filaret coach station next to Parcul Carol (B-7) each day at 16:00, arriving in Sofia just under seven hours later. Tickets cost 18 single (35 return) and can be bought direct form the driver.

Bucharest - Sofia

A blessing to some and a curse to others, Bucharests trams skirt the city centre, often blocking traffic as they trundle along narrow roads. Unless you are visiting somewhere outside of the city centre it is unlikely that you will use a tram.



Bucharests metro was primarily built to ship workers from the vast housing estates of Titan, Berceni and Militari out to the huge industrial plants at Pipera, IMGB, Republica and Industriilor. Thats all very well if you are resident of Titan working at IMGB, but useless to almost everybody else. The city centre is poorly served by the metro and only the north-south M2 line, from Pipera to IMGB, which passes through Piatas Victoriei,

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


arriVaL & transPort

Train Schedule
From Bucharest To Bucharest Dep Arr. Dep. Arr. IC 13:15 23:58 ARAD IC 11:50 22:40 IR 08:25 11:00 BRASOV IR 05:36 08:17 IR 11:10 13:55 BRASOV ICN 08:27 11:00 IC 13:15 15:44 BRASOV ICN 12:35 15:05 IR 15:35 18:11 BRASOV IR 16:45 19:25 ICN 19:00 21:34 BRASOV IC 20:11 22:40 IC 13:15 21:34 CLUJ-NAPOCA IC 14:10 22:40 IC 16:00 18:35 CONSTANTA IC 07:10 09:41 IR 20:25 23:07 CONSTANTA IR 17:30 20:15 IR 12:47 15:40 CRAIOVA IC 11:28 16:14 IR 13:40 17:35 GALATI IC 17:40 21:24 IC 17:00 23:30 IASI IC 16:30 23:10 IR 23:00 05:52 IASI IR 23:40 06:39 IC 13:15 00:28 ORADEA IC 11:10 22:40 IR 19:15 09:23 SATU MARE IR 16:30 06:27 IR 09:50 15:25 SIBIU IR 06:15 11:50 IC 13:15 18:08 SIGHISOARA IC 17:50 22:40 IR 11:10 20:08 TIRGU MURES IR 12:55 21:20 IR 12:47 21:15 TIMISOARA IR 04:45 13:35 IR 20:45 05:19 TIMISOARA IR 14:00 22:34
Schedule verified September 30, 2012. The full Romanian railway timetable is online at

arriVaL & transPort

Tourist Information
Info Tourist Center C-5, P-ta Universitatii Underpass, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0746 25 29 22. Large, spacious tourist information centre. Usually stocks copies of our guide, or mini-guide. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. Info Tourist Point A-4, Inside Gara de Nord, MGara de Nord, tel. (+4) 0371 15 50 63, www.infotourist. ro. A small kiosk staffed by friendly young locals ready to help as best they can. The kiosk is stocked with leaflets, maps, brochures etc. and of course: Bucharest In Your Pocket. Q Open 09:00-21:00. Info Tourist Point C-6, Metro Unirii 1, MUnirii, tel. (+4) 0725 21 73 18, Small info kiosk manned by friendly staff. Find it inside Piata Unirii metro station. Usually stocks copies of Bucharest In Your Pocket. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00.
28,, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at Otopeni Airport, tel. (+4) 021 201 45 34, (+4) 0730 33 37 05, Open 08:00-02:00, Sat 08:00-20:00. Budget B-4, Str. Mihail Moxa 9, tel. (+4) 021 210 28 67, fax (+4) 021 210 29 95,, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at (B-3) Calea Dorobanti 5 - 7 (Howard Johnson Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 201 50 89, Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun and Henri Coanda International Airport, tel. (+4) 021 204 16 67, Open 08:00 - 20:00.


Cars4Rent Str. Drumul Odaii 1D (Hotel Charter), tel. (+4) 0723 34 71 92/(+4) 0730 09 39 85, fax (+4) 021 352 87 16,, www. car hire from the people behind the Charter Hotel.Q Open 24 hrs.
A-4, B-dul N. Titulescu 1, bl A7, sc. 1, et. 6, ap. 16, tel. (+4) 0744 58 67 24, (+4) 021 312 98 57, fax (+4) 021 312 99 82,, Q Prices from 18/day. Europcar D-6, Str. Grigore Mora 17, tel. (+4) 021 310 17 97, (+4) 0747 28 06 49, fax (+4) 021 310 17 96,, QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Also at Otopeni Airport tel. (+4) 0374 00 40. Service also available in Cluj, Constanta, Sibiu, Timisoara. Hertz Piata Montreal 10, entrance F, 1st Floor, office 1.20, tel. (+4) 021 407 82 00,, Q Also at Henri Coanda Airport, tel. (+4) 021 204 12 78, Open 08:00 - 22:00; Sixt New Kopel Calea Bucurestilor 201-203, tel. (+4) 021 9400, (+4) 0372 37 20 05,, QOpen 09:00 - 17:30.

Compact Rent-a-Car

Car Rental

Romana and Unirii, and the M1 branch to the Gara de Nord, is likely to be of any use to visitors. Tickets are almost as cheap as for the trams and busses: they cost either 4 lei (valid for two trips; doua calatorii) or 15 lei (ten trips; zece calatorii) and can be bought from any metro station. You can also buy tickets valid for one day (abonament de o zi), costing 6 lei.

Given that Romanias roads are so bad, its comforting to know that the countrys railways are equally crap. Having said that, many long years of line upgrades on the Bucharest - Brasov and Bucharest - Constanta routes are now approaching completion, and journey times are more or less back to something approaching 1989 levels: two and a half hours to Brasov, slightly more to Constanta. Always try to get an InterCity (IC) or InterRegio (IR) train as they are the fastest and usually have the most modern rolling stock. Regio (R-) trains (which until recently were known as Personal), are slow and use much older rolling stock. You will also see trains designated as ICN: these are InterCity trains which stop at more stations than usual, and are more like InterRegios. Prices on all types of train are relatively cheap, but are rising fast. An InterCity adult single from Bucharest to Brasov costs 78.50 lei.

Bucharest is well linked to Budapest by train (there are four per day) but poorly to Belgrade, Sofia, Chisinau and Kyiv. To buy train tickets, visit either the station, the CFR agency we list opposite or buy online at Your best bet for the purchase of international tickets is Wasteels at the station. In all cases, do not leave buying tickets to the last minute: long queues could mean you miss your train. Tickets cannot be purchased on the train, though in the worst case scenario you can try bribing the guard. Many locals do this habitually. Agentia de Voiaj SNCFR B-5, Str. Domnita Anastasia 1014, tel. (+4) 021 313 26 42, CFRs advance booking office. Reservations for all kinds of trains. Q Open 07:30 - 19:30, Sat 08:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun. Wasteels A-4, Gara de Nord, tel. (+4) 021 317 03 70/021 300 27 30, Advance reservations for all types of trains, national and international. Helpful staff, western currencies accepted. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Sat 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.

(One Star Smart Number), (+4) 021 210 43 44, fax (+4) 021 210 69 12,, A delivery and collection service is available free of charge within the city limits; the service is on request, and it depends on the availability of the Avis rental office. QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at (C-5) InterContinental, tel. (+4) 021 314 18 37, Open 08:00 - 20:00; Henri Coanda International Airport, tel. (+4) 021 204 19 57, Open 07:00 - 02:00 and Avis Porsche Bucharest North, tel. (+4) 0723 612 011, Open 07:00 - 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00, Closed Sun. Bavaria Rent Drumul Garii Otopeni 1B, tel. (+4) 0730 33 37 07, (+4) 031 802 22 22, fax (+4) 031 802 22

Avis B-dul Theodor Pallady 51, tel. *AVIS (*2847) - OSSN

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


CULtUre & eVents

So where am I exactly?
Bucharest, capital of Romania. Situated in that part of the world which will - to those of a certain age - always be known as Eastern Europe, it would be more accurate to describe Bucharests geographical location as southeastern Europe. Founded, legend has it, in the 14th century, Bucharest is in that part of Romania known as Wallachia, one of the three historic principalities which make up the modern country (the others are Moldavia and Transylvania). Romania as a nation state is relatively new: while Moldavia and Wallachia have been united as a single country since 1859, Romania took on its modern form only on December 1st, 1918, when the Romanians of Transylvania voted to join in the fun. The official population of Bucharest is just over two million people, but as many migrants from the rest of the country do not bother to register as citizens of the capital, the true number is thought to be closer to three million. Bucharest is close to the Danube (just 69 kilometres to the south), which serves as the border between Romania and Bulgaria. The main crossing point is at Giurgiu, linked by a bridge with Ruse, the Bulgarian town on the other side of the river, whose pleasant centre is well worth a day trip if you are at a loose end. Alas you will need a car, as train services between Bucharest and Ruse (and the rest of Bulgaria) are poor. Bucharest is around 240 kilometres from Constanta and the Black Sea coast, but as the A2 motorway only goes as far as Cernavoda, even the maddest of drivers fail to do the trip in much under three hours. Like most trains in Romania, the Bucharest - Constanta service is slow and it takes four and a half hours. To the north of Bucharest is Ploiesti - the centre of Romanias oil industry, and beyond that the Carpathian Mountains, a two hour drive away.

CULtUre & eVents


The Cranberries play Romexpo in Bucharest on October 11. Bucharest In Your Pocket offers the widest selection of concerts, events, club nights and exhibitions in Bucharest. We in general welcome submissions, so if you have an event you want to publicise, however big or small, you can do so here: absolutely free. Send details of your event to

sellers In ginocchio da te and Scende la pioggia when he plays them at Sala Palatului. Q Event starts at 19:00. Tickets cost 150 - 500 lei from

Bucharest is blessed with plenty of good cinemas, from big multiplexes in the shopping malls to small, musty, independent cinemas in the city centre. Films in Romania are shown in their original language with Romanian subtitles. The exceptions are animated films: these are usualy dubbed into Romanian, though in larger multiplexes you can usually also find the original language version. The key words to look for are dublat (dubbed) and subtitrat (subtitled). To find out which films are showing, check the individual websites of each cinema, or browse the full programme of all the citys cinemas at

01.11 Thursday Steve Vai

Rock & Pop Concerts

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). With Joe Satriani as a teacher and Jimi Hendrix as a muse, Steve Vai comes pretty close to perfection in terms of technical ability of guitar playing, knowledge of music theory and lyrical sound. A delight for the heart, we will gladly have him back anytime he likes, as we believe great music, like wine, gets even better over time. Q Tickets cost 90 - 265 lei from B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). You cant talk about Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Andy Fraser or Larry Taylor without also mentioning John Mayall. He was rocking it before rock was even a music style. And that, we believe, says it all. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity so if youre in Bucharest at the time this concert is being held, dont miss it. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets 75 - 300 lei from www.

11.10 Thursday The Cranberries

11.11 Sunday John Mayall

B-dul Marasti 65 - 67 (Romexpo). Keeping their promise of returning to Bucharest to promote their new album, Roses. This is their first recorded material after a long, six-year pause, following an official reunion in 2010, the year of their first concert in Romania. Curiosity and expectations are high, as you would expect of a band that has sold 14 million albums in the United States alone. The fact that their last show in Bucharest was so good will also ensure that the show is a sell-out. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets cost 160 - 220 lei from

14.11 Wednesday Jennifer Lopez

Cinema Pro C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 3, tel. (+4) 031 824 13 60, City centre, one-screen cinema behind Universitate, which shows the latest releases, with the film changing each Friday. Completely renovated a couple of years ago, the seats are comfy, sightlines are good and ticket prices OK: from 9.50 to 17.9 lei depending on the day and time. Hollywood Multiplex E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bucuresti Mall), tel. (+4) 021 327 70 20, www. The best complex of cinemas in the city, offering ten screens, good popcorn and comfortable seats. Q Tickets 17.40 - 34.90 lei. IMAX/Cinema City B-dul Vasile Milea/B-dul Timisoara, MPolitehnica, tel. (+4) 021 407 00 00, The first (and still only) IMAX cinema in Romania is part of the Cinema CIty complex in the Cotroceni Palace shopping centre. Q Tickets 18-37 lei. P Movieplex B-dul Timisoara 26 (Plaza Romania), tel. (+4) 021 407 83 00, Big, multi-screen cinema in the Plaza Romania offering up to 25 different films a week. Features all the latest Hollywood and local releases, and tends to screen them long after theyve disappeared from other cinemas. Q Tickets from 14.90 to 45.00 lei. The Light Cinema Sos. Progresului 151-171
(Liberty Center), tel. (+4) 021 369 97 97, www. Decent multiplex a short tram ride (No. 32) from Piata Unirii. Find it in the Liberty Center mall.Q Tickets 10.00 - 35.00 lei.

17.10 Wednesday Status Quo

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). Yes people, its the mighty Quo in Bucharest. Legends of a sort now in their mid-sixties (their first UK number one was back in 1973) but still very much able to keep a crowd happy for an evening of their own brand of rock. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets cost 95 - 365 lei from Str. Cutitul de Argint 26 (Arenele Romane). Symphonic and death metal coming together with mythology and occultism can give birth to inspiration. As it actually did in the case of the Swedish band Therion. Formed in 1987, the band was initially called Blitzkrieg and their basic influences were Slayer and Metallica. After more than twenty years the band changed not only the name but many band members as well. In spite of this, one thing has not changed at all, and that is their ability to create fresh rock music. Les Fleures du Mal is their latest album - released in 2012 - and as the inspiration comes from Charles Baudelaires poetry it will surely be a fascinating evenings listening. Q Event starts at 19:00. Tickets cost 85 - 200 lei from

B-dul Marasti 65-67 (Romexpo). With a career that could arouse jealousy from any pop diva on earth, Jennifer Lopez continues to surprise her fans. She is a respectable business woman, an established style icon, a fine actress and recently made a great comeback after the break she took in order to spend more time with her family. And yes, she is still

19.10 Friday Therion

27.10 Saturday Gianni Morandi

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). Italian pop singer Morandi is stopping by to sing for his adoring Romanian audience. All his fans will no doubt be singing along to his million-

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


CULtUre & eVents

Jenny from the block. This is her first visit to Bucharest. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets cost 106.5 - 958.5 lei from

CULtUre & eVents

Live Music Venues
Finding good live music is no longer the problem in Bucharest it once was. In fact, on most nights - especially at the weekend - you will be spoilt for choice. Your first stop for regular live acts should be Mojo in the Old Town (see page 87) which hosts top local bands alongside its resident Mojo Band. Sankt Petersburg opposite also has live music a couple of times per week. Club A, on Strada Blanari, is another decent bet, while True Social Club has live music every night. Outside of the Old Town, Control (see page 59) and Panic (page 62) are known for their range of live music, while Kulturhaus and Music Club similarly have live bands on most evenings. For live jazz, try Art Jazz Club and Green Hours (see page 62). another opportunity to all his Romanian fans who havent had the chance to see him yet. One of his recent compositions is the Drum&Piano Project, launched in 2011 with his friend Endi Kiss, in which he combines the classical piano with rock drums. We predict the concert to be a sell out, as it was the last time he was here. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets cost 99 - 335 lei from C-5, Str. Franklin 1 (Ateneul Roman). He is a Russian virtuoso pianist described by The Times as an artist of exceptional promise, a player of dazzling virtuosity and formidable power. And this remark itself is reason enough to get a ticket for his first Bucharest concert. Q Event starts at 19:00. Tickets cost 350 - 400 lei from


22.11 Thursday Macy Gray

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). She has soul in her heart and every note in her voice brings it to the surface. With a style inspired by Billie Holiday and Betty Davis, and an unmistakable rasp she is the best at what she does. Which is making people hear the soul Q Event starts 20:00. Tickets cost 110 - 220 lei from B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). Back to Bucharest promoting his latest album, Soul 2. Covering songs that marked his youth and contributed to his musical growth, this material was produced in collaboration with his old friends, the legendary Trevor Horn and David Foster. Q Event starts at 20:00. Tickets cost 95.85 - 426 lei from

27.11 Tuesday Seal

Special Events

13.10 Saturday Lord of The Dance

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). Another autumn, another Lord of the Dance concert in Romania. They definitely like it here and we believe the feeling is mutual. With spectacular choreography and a new story to tell they have reinvented themselves once again, menaing that you should expect another great performance. Q Event starts at 16:00 Tickets cost 50 - 300 lei from

06.11 Tuesday Boris Berezovsky

Classical Music Concerts

03.11 SaturdayHavasi Symphonic Concert

B-5, Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). The Hungarian pianist and composer Havasi is back in Bucharest, giving

Opera & Ballet

The Romanian National Opera (Opera Romana) is at B-5, B-dul Kogalniceanu 70-72, tel. (+4) 021 314 69 80, www. It serves up a familiar repertoire of classic operas and ballets. There are also usually child-oriented matinees at 11:00 at weekends. Tickets cost from 5.30 - 63.60 lei, and can be purchased online at or from the Operas own box office, open 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00. Full opera schedule (all performances start at 19:00 unless stated): October 5 The Marriage of Figaro; 6 Aida; 7 Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (11:00), Rigoletto; 10 Nijinski: The Other Half of the Legend (19:30); 11 Tango, Radio & Juliet; 12 La Boheme; 13 Lohengrin (18:00); 14 The Magic Flute (11:00), LElisir dAmore; 17 Don Quixote; 18 La Traviata; 19 Madame Butterfly; 20 The Childrens Room (11:00), Il Corsaro; 21 Carmen (18:30); 24 Fantasia; 25 Turandot; 26 The Masked Ball (18:00); 27 The Toy Box (11:00); 28 Hansel & Gretel (11:00), Giselle. November 1 Colours & Contrasts (19:30); 4 The Childrens Room (11:00); 7 La Traviata; 8 Ballet Evening; 9 The Marriage of Figaro (18:30); 10 The Magic Flute (11:00), Rigoletto; 11 Don Quixote; 14 Madame Butterfly; 15 Giselle; 16 The Barber of Seville; 17 Lohengrin (18:00); 18 Sleeping Beauty; 21 Die Bajadere; 22Turandot; 23 The Masked Ball; 24 Don Quixote; 25 Hansel & Gretel (11:00), LElisir dAmore; 28 Amelia al ballo; 29 Project Vivaldi; 30 La Boheme.

Venues & Tickets

Arenele Romane Str. Cutitul de Argint 26 (Parcul
315 25 67, (+4) 021 315 68 75 for tickets, www. 12:00 - 19:00, Sat 16:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 11:00, 16:00-19:00. Closed Mon. Diverta Music & Film E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bucuresti Mall), QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Romanian National Opera A-5, B-dul Kogalniceanu 70-72, tel. (+4) 021 314 69 80, Box office open 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00. Sala Palatului B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28, tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Box office open Tue-Fri 10:0019:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Sala Polivalenta B-dul Tineretului 1 (Parc Tineretului/ Calea Piscului 10), tel. (+4) 031 425 78 01.

Ateneul Romn C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3, tel. (+4) 021


Oriental Music & Dancing

Divan C-6, Str. Franceza 46-48, tel. (+4) 021 312 30
34, The best Turkish restaurant in the city puts on live oriental music and dancing, and a Turkish DJ, every Friday and Saturday night.Q Show starts 21:30.

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Art Gift Shop
tel. (+4) 0746 22 22 27,, www.beba. ro. Just behind the Atheneum this is a gorgeous little shop selling all sorts of artistic creations, from paintings to glass and ceramics, clothes and jewellery. Impossible not to find something to buy. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. For the post office, Magheru in fact begins only after the intersection with Strada CA Rosetti. Up to that point, Magheru is officially Bulevardul Nicolae Balcescu. We have never liked the Romanian post office, so for us - as for most locals - when we speak of Magheru we are talking about the full length of the street. Magheru is named after General Gheorghe Magheru, a colourful military leader who fought in the Russo-Turkish wars of 1828-9, but is probably best known as one of the instigators of the Romanian Revolution of 1848. He was part of the short-lived provisional government that briefly led Romania in the summer of 1848, before the revolution was put down by Turkish forces. Magheru went into exile, in Trieste and Vienna, before returning to Romania is 1857 to become a deputy in the countrys nascent national assembly. From the National Theatre, which is currently having a makeover, and modernist InterContinental hotel at one end to the huge Coca-Cola bottle that pours itself all over the building at the other, there is a lot more to Magheru that we often realise at street level. The vast majority of the boulevards apartment and office blocks were built in the 1920s and 1930s, when a strict urban development policy required all buildings higher than eight storeys to have their upper levels slightly withdrawn from the street, invisible to passers by. Sometimes the law was not entirely respected but in most all cases, if you look closely enough (you might have to cross the road to do so) you will see that there are hidden levels set back from the street: Magherus blocks are almost therefore all far higher than they first look. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Any architectural tour along Magheru should begin with the theatre, first built between 1967 and 1970, to the design of three Romanian architects, Horia Maicu, Romeo Belea and Nicolae Cucu. Originally styled to honour the architecture of Moldovas famous monasteries, it was ruined in 1984-5 when a concrete casing was placed over the earlier structure. However, the rebuilding work currently being carried out on the building (which is covered in scaffolding) is intended to return the theatre to its original design. When that will be is a moot point: scheduled to reopen this summer it is highly

Beba Art Gift Shop C-5, Str. Nicolae Golescu 20,

Magheru in the early 1960s. Photo from Parts of Bucharests busiest street - Bulevardul Magheru - are currently being spruced up. As wide a street as Bucharest has, much of Magheru (on the left hand side, as you go from the Lido hotel to Piata Romana) has for too long been wasted, given over to ad hoc car parks, concrete and such like: making these areas more pedestrian-friendly is a sound idea. Given that the transformation of Magheru will apparently cost a relatively cheap 1.7 million, this looks like an all too rare example of money being well spent. At the same time, however, we should nevertheless admit to always having had something of a soft spot for Bulevardul Magheru, even in its current, often chaotic, down-at-heel and haphazard state. Considered by too many locals and visitors alike to be a poor-mans Calea Victoriei, it might not have the glamour of its more famous (and parallel) neighbour, and at street level at least it is a fair bit sleazier (more sex shops than Gucci shops) but it certainly has more bustle, a lot more life, as well as packing something of a genuine architectural punch: almost every building along its length has some kind of story to tell, and if its art deco you are after, then this is the place to come. Indeed, the street itself has an eventful, even bloody history. The nastier parts of the Romanian revolution of 1989 were played out along its length (the revolutions first victim in Bucharest fell here), while the Mineriada of 1990 - in which miners from the Jiu Valley rampaged through the streets of the capital, beating anyone they didnt like the look of - similarly took place here. Most recently, in January of this year, the area in front of the National Theatre was the again the scene of rioting, as protests against the then government turned violent, protestors fighting over three nights with police and jendarmes. First off, a quick note about what is, and is not, actually considered to be Bulevardul Magheru. For most people in Bucharest, Magheru in the vernacular refers to the entire stretch of road from Piata Universitate to Piata Romana.

Contrast. The art deco curves of the Ambasador hotel and the straight lines of the Ciclop building.

Bucharest In Your Pocket


unlikely that the theatre will be completed before the spring of 2013 at the earliest. The odd statue in front of the theatre is called the Caruta cu paiate, a tribute to Romanias best loved playwright, Ion Luca Caragiale. It features characters from Caragiales plays, and was unveiled in December 2010. Opposite, the InterContinental hotel was built contemporaneously with the theatre (it was part of the same project), although designed by different architects: Dinu Hariton, Gheorghe Nadrag and Ion Moscu. Opened in 1971 it was for more than 30 years the tallest building in the city. It is best known for its unique swimming pool: located on the 21st floor it is the highest in Bucharest, as well as its legendary lobby bar. Bucharests best casino operates in the basement. Although the hotel does not advertise the fact, we have never known anyone be refused when politely asking to go up to the top floor and to take some photos: the views of the city are fabulous on a sunny day. On the other side of the road is the Dunarea block of apartments, built after the 1977 earthquake destroyed the original, and which for years had one of the best terraces in the city until it was covered up with the horrendous construction we alas see today. Before the earthquake there was a church here too, the Biserica Enei. Emerging relatively unscathed in the quake, an urban myth suggests it was demolished not because it had become unsafe (the official story) but simply because the communists thought it an eyesore. On the site of the church there is now a fountain, which the council had this year wanted to remove and replace. After fierce NGO opposition, however, that now appears to be a non-starter.

of issues relating to its rightful ownership. Its facade, alas, is currently covered almost entirely by a horrible advertising hoarding: shame on the people responsible. On the far side of the Ambasador is the starkly modernist, linear Patria/Aro building, built between 1929 and 1931. Designed by Horia Creanga (best known for the Aro Palace hotel in Brasov) it is considered by many to be the finest building on Magheru, not least for its covered passageway at street level, and the cinema that is incorporated into the far end. Its sleek tower (it too is often masked by horrible adverts) is a minor-masterpiece, and for years had Cinema Patria written in classic art deco lettering at the top: these have alas long gone. The cinema remains open however, showing current-run films at prices slightly cheaper than the multiplexes in the shopping malls. The Melody Bar, one of very few nightclubs in communist-era Bucharest, was housed in the basement. Offering a break from the elegant blocks is the large detached house opposite the Patria, home today of the Carturesti book shop and Verona Cafe and Garden. The house (officially an historic monument) was built in 1883 for liberal politician Dimitrie Sturdza, who served as Romanias prime minister on four separate occasions between 1895 and 1909. It was returned to the Sturdza family in 1996, becoming a bookshop in 2000. Carturesti remains one of Bucharests best attempts at a bookshop, and the cafe and (when the weather is good) garden are amongst the most popular meeting spots in the city. The twin buildings on the other side of the street (behind the area currently having a makeover) are both 1960s constructions. The one of the left was known as the ONT building, so-called because the state tourist agency (ONT) operated on the ground floor, while the building on the right was (and still is) known as Eva, named for the womens department store it housed until a decade or so ago on the ground and first floors. The so-called Casa Magistratilor (House of the Magistrates) at Magheru 14 bears the unmistakable linearity that was the hallmark of Duiliu Marcu, one of the most gifted and prolific Romanian architects of the 1920s and 1930s, best known for the Palatul Victoriei in Piata Victoriei, today the seat of the Romanian government. Originally incorporating a hotel, the building today is mainly offices and apartments, with shops on the ground floor. From the other side of the road you should note the contrast between the horizontal lines of the main facade and the verticality of the part which faces Strada Jules Michelet. The Nottara Theatre at Magheru 20 (you will not be able to miss its awnings) is one of the most important theatres in Bucharest and hosts productions of all kinds, from Shakespeare to contemporary comedies, in its two auditoria. Opened in 1947 as the Teatrul Armatei (Army Theatre) it took the name Nottara in the 1960s: Constantin Nottara (1859-1935) is widely considered to have been one of Romanias finest ever actors.


Piata Romana Metro Station

It would be amiss not to take at least a brief look at Magherus metro station, Piata Romana, without question the most bizarre and mythical place on the Bucharest underground. Anyone who has visited the station - opened in 1987 - will testify to its obscure layout, with thick walls separating the platforms from a waiting area to the rear. Quite why the station was built this way is still the subject of a number of urban myths. Certainly, the station was an embarrassing afterthought: the original plans for the metro foresaw no station between Universitate and Piata Victoriei (whether this was because, as is sometimes claimed, Elena Ceausescu decreed that the students of the Economic University ASE, situated at Piata Romana, should have to walk to their place of learning is the subject of ongoing debate). What we do know is that Piata Romana was built after the rest of the M2 line had been completed, behind the metro tunnel walls. Only when the rear part of the station was ready did workers break through to the metro tunnel itself, and create the tiny platforms we see today. Unsurprisingly, the station is allegedly the most popular place on the Bucharest system for people to commit suicide.

One church that has survived is the Italian Church, a red brick gem passed by thousands of people a day without much thought. Rather hemmed in you actually get a better view of it from the other side of the road. A genuine classic of the genre the church was built in 1930, and remains the property of the Italian government. There are services every Sunday in a variety of languages. On the corner of Magheru and Strada Dobrescu is the so-called Wilson Block, built in the 1930s for the Creditul Rural mutual society. The block took its name from Strada Wilson, as Strada Dobrescu was known in those days: the Wilson in question being Woodrow Wilson, champion of self-determination and of Transylvanias unification with the rest of Romania. (After World War II the street took the name - for a while - of Sergei Kirov, before becoming Strada Onesti. After the 1989 revolution the street was named after Demetru Dobrescu, mayor of Bucharest from 1929-1934). The Wilson building itself originally boasted one of the finest art deco facades in the city, but was severely damaged in the 1977 earthquake: it was rebuilt in a less impressive, far more utilitarian manner. The building next door, out of interest, once hosted Romanias first self-service supermarket, Unic, opened in the 1960s. One of the most amazing buildings on Magheru is the Ciclop multi-storey car park, built in the early 1920s and one of the first car parks of its kind anywhere in Europe. While the facade remains in fair if not perfect shape, the interior has been a ruin for some time now, with many of the steep ramps that allowed cars to access the upper levels unsafe or simply missing. The building - like many in the centre of Bucharest - has become a victim of disputed ownership. Many buildings were nationalised by Romanias communist authorities in the late 1940s, usually without compensation being paid to the rightful owners. After the revolution of 1989 these owners - or their heirs - expected and assumed them to be returned. Often they were instead sold to well-connected third parties for knock-down prices, who then refused to hand them back to the original owners. Incredibly, when the highest courts in the land (or in some cases the European Court of Human Rights) eventually ruled in favour of the original owners, those chancers who had illegally bought the properties in the aftermath of 1989 expected to be compensated by the government. Next to Ciclop is the magnificent art deco Ambasador hotel, opened in 1937. Like the similarly art deco Lido which stands almost directly opposite, it cries out for a five-star makeover. The Ambasador at least remains open: the Lido whose outdoor swimming pool was one of the first in Europe to boast a wave machine and which was the setting for many a grand soiree in the 1930s was opened in 1930 but has stood empty for almost two years. It too is a victim

Piata Romana
Piata Romana, at the end of Magheru, has little to recommend it. The main building of interest is the neoclassical ASE (Academy of Economic Studies), the facade of which was recently renovated, although the refit has been rendered pointless by the questionable decision to place a horrific, red sign on the roof. The building was originally constructed in 1913, and the academy is one of the the largest economics universities in Europe. Next to ASE is the charming Librarie Bastille, a bookshop and cafe housed in a gorgeous fin-de-siecle villa, once the home of Gheorghe Patrascu, an early 20th century painter regarded as one of Romanias finest impressionists.

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Casa PoPorULUi

The Chamber of Deputies: The Lower House of the Romanian Parliament Its the most famous building in Bucharest, probably the most famous building in Romania, and yet what do most people - including locals - actually know about the place? Precious little, in fact. That it was built in the 1980s at the behest of Nicolae Ceausescu, that thousands of homes were demolished to make way for it, and that it is the second biggest building in the world. That is about it. Everything else is usually a combination of urban myth and complete nonsense. As such, we have decided to set the story straight once and for all, with a definitive (well, as definitive as the format of our guide allows) history of the building still referred to in the vernacular as Casa Poporului, The House of the People. By common consent Nicolae Ceausescus interest in transforming Bucharest into a modernist, grandiose capital city fit for the new, socialist society he aimed to construct was first piqued during a state visit to North Korea in 1971. If the model for what would eventually become Ceausescus cult of personality was Mao Zedongs China, visited on the same trip, it was the North Korean capital Pyongyang that would provide the blueprint for Bucharest. Pyongyang of course had been built from scratch: the city was totally destroyed during the Korean War and the North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, had been able to rebuild it in his own image, designed to make ordinary citizens feel at once in awe and afraid of its sheer scale. At the time of Ceausescus visit however, despite the Romanian leader being at the height of his powers internationally, he was not yet the absolute dictator he would later become, and demolishing huge swathes of the capital to make way for his new-look city would have been unthinkable politically. While high-rise apartment blocks had been appearing in the citys suburbs for decades (including entire districts such as Militari and Titan) the centre of Bucharest was at the time still very much a typically central European city of low-rise houses, winding - often cobbled - streets, and small markets. Hundreds of orthodox churches gave it a unique, Byzantine feel. It was the massive earthquake which hit Bucharest in March 1977, killing more than 1500 people, that gave

Photo by Narcis Parfenti @

Ceausescu his first opportunity to remodel the city. At Piata Universitatii, a church, the Biserica Enei, was pulled down allegedly because it had been damaged beyond repair and was a danger to passers-by. It was not: it had survived the earthqauke relatively unscathed (unlike the apartment block next to it, which was destroyed). At the congress of the Romanian Communist Party in 1979 a formal decision was taken to create a new Bucharest

intrarea A3, MIzvor, tel. (+4) 021 311 36 11, fax (+4) 021 312 09 02,, The public tour of the building is thoroughly recommended (it is the only way to see the building, in fact) though the commentary can often appear to consist of little more than a guide reeling off endless superlative statistics. Youll see plenty of grand staircases, marble-plated halls and conference rooms, while - if you pay the extra - you may also have the chance to go on the roof, which offers perhaps the best view of central Bucharest. You can even now take a trip into the bowels of the building down below, though again this costs extra. To join one of the tours, you should make reservations a day in advance as parliamentary business means the official opening hours are subject to change. You will also need to bring your passport, driving license or other form of internationally accepted ID. Use the entrance on the right-hand side of the palace (if youre looking at it front-on). Izvor is probably the nearest metro station, but youll get a better view from Piata Unirii. Q Open 10:00 - 16:00. Admission 25 lei (standard tour), 30 lei (standard and basement), 35 lei (standard and terrace), 45 lei (standard, terrace and basement). All tours include access to the Palaces terrace cafe. An additional fee of 30.00 lei is payable by those with cameras.

Palatul Parlamentului (Parliament Palace; Casa Poporului) B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 1,

Bucharest In Your Pocket


Casa PoPorULUi
Work took place around the clock, in three shifts of workers, with young military conscripts often being used to supplement the 20,000 labourers employed on the site. Over the five years of construction more than 700 archi tects contribu ted to the palace. More than a million cubic metres of marble were used, as well as 900,000 cubic metres of wood, 200,000 square metres of glass and 5,500 tons of cement. The building is 270 meters wide and covers 66,000 square metres. Inside, there are more than 1000 rooms and 2,800 chandeliers. (Note that all of these figures will be reeled off by your guide should you take the tour of the building). Amazingly, all Part of a 1979 map showing what is now the Civic Centre; Piata Unirii of the materials used in construction of the is on the far right. Compare with the map on page 96. building are Romanian. Indeed, the country now has almost no marble left: it all went on the Casa Poporului. Civic Centre, centered on Dealul Arsenalului (the hill Originally constructed to host many of the organs of on which Casa Poporului stands) and a competition was the communist Romanian state (contrary to popular myth launched in which architects were asked to come up with especially abroad - Ceausescu never lived here, nor did he bold plans for the systematisation of the area. A young intend to) the building has since 1994 been home to the architect, Anca Petrescu, just 28 at the time, was declared lower house of the Romanian parliament. It was joined the winner in 1983. The Casa Poporului was to be the focal in 2004 by the upper house, the Senate. In the same year point, located at the end of a five kilometre-long boulevard the Romanian National Contemporary Art Museum also called Bulevardul Victoria Socialismului (The Boulevard moved in. The building is also a popular conference venue. of Socialist Victory). The first person to speak from the buildings balcony was, While construction work began only in 1984, demolition bizarrely, Michael Jackson, in 1992, who infamously told of existing buildings in the area to be covered by the Civic the crowd assembled below that he was delighted to be in Centre (more than seven square kilometres) had begun in Budapest. 1980. The toll of destruction remains eye-watering to this Perhaps the most circulated myth about the building day. More than 40,000 people lost their homes, many of is that which claims there is a vast network of tunnels and them being relocated to hastily, and poorly-built blocks on nuclear bunkers underneath, which spread all over Bucharest, the outskirts of Bucharest. Hospitals, churches, schools, a as far even as the Palatul Victoriei in Piata Victoriei. There monastery, the national archive and a stadium all fell victim is even, the legend goes, a secret metro line that links up to the bulldozers. (A tiny part of the stadium, the Stadionul with the Bucharest metro. Alas, most of these tunnels are Republicii - once the largest in Bucharest - survives, on non-existent. While there certainly are tunnels - which you Strada Izvor, opposite the Parlament hotel). can visit - under the building (made famous in 2009 by the Work on Casa Poporului itself began on June 25th presenters of Top Gear, who got to drive their cars at high 1984, ground being ceremoniously broken by Ceausescu speed in them) they do nothing more than provide access to himself. The dictator would be a constant presence during the buildings utilities. That said, one tunnel does apparently construction, and his persistent interference meant that by head towards Izvor metro station before coming to a halt, the time the building was almost finished (it was not fully which suggests there was at least a plan to link the building completed until after the revolution of December 1989) it with the metro. looked rather different to the original design. Ceausescu ordered the facade to be built higher (the building is 84 metres tall), in the process spoiling the original symmetry (look at the building sideways on and you will see what we mean).

wHere to stay
Cream of the Crop
(+4) 021 303 37 77, fax (+4) 021 315 38 13, sales., Much spoken of in the past tense (this place has a seriously long and legendary history; a home of intrigues and adventure for more than a century) it is less often referred to in the present. This is a shame, as to dwell on the past ignores the fact that this is a great, modern hotel. Luxuriously furnished, the immense rooms offer the latest in gadgetry and perhaps the fluffiest bathrobes in Romania. Ask for a room with a view over Piata Revolutiei for best effect. Fine dining on site courtesy of one excellent restaurant and the brilliant Cafe Athenee. Q 272 rooms (211 singles/doubles 975 lei, 45 suites 1270 lei, 16 apartments 4975 lei). Prices do not include breakfast or VAT. POTHR6UFLGKDCW


Athenee Palace Hilton C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3, tel.

Symbol Key
P Air conditioning O Casino T Child friendly R Internet (Standard) F Fitness centre K Restaurant C Swimming pool A Credit cards accepted H Conference facilities U Disabled facilities L Guarded parking G Non-smoking rooms D Sauna W WiFi Internet

M Nearest metro station J Old Town location

Carol Parc Aleea Suter 23-25, tel. (+4) 021 336 33

77, fax (+4) 021 336 37 36,, Luxurious, certainly, but offering something a bit different to the bigger players, the Carol Park is coquette and secluded: you have to know about this place, as you do not find it by chance. A gorgeous place where the finest things are offered to all who pass through its doors, expect only fine, classic furnishings and very personal service. International stars who value discretion above all else tend to stay here when visiting Bucharest. Q 17 rooms (17 singles/ doubles 120-515). Prices include breakfast. VAT and taxes not included. PHRLGKW

Bucharest offers all the reassuring global standards you would expect of the brand, from first class accommodation to world class facilities. With a renowned reputation for individual and friendly service, the hotel can also offer the greenest setting in the capital, surrounded as it is by beautifully maintained grounds. Can also boast a large swimming pool, big, comfortable rooms (and bathrooms to match) and some outstanding drinking and dining options. Q 164 rooms (130 singles/ doubles 690-780 lei, 26 suites 990 lei, 8 apartments 2100 lei). Extra bed 120 lei. Prices include buffet breakfast. VAT not included. PTHRUFGKDCW

Crowne Plaza Bucharest A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1,

tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, fax (+4) 021 318 13 02,, bucharest. Contemporary and welcoming, the Crowne Plaza

Epoque B-5, Str. Intrarea Aurora 17C, tel. (+4) 021 312 32 32, fax (+4) 021 300 57 23,, www. Now heres a hotel we have no problem in recommending. Opened during the Autumn of 2010 the Epoque has a number of things going for it, not least its location on the edge of Cismigiu Park: close enough to the heart of the city yet at the same time offering the impression of a retreat. Rooms are large and tastefully furnished, there are plenty of extras (not least a plunge pool), breakfast is good and for what you get, the prices are a steal. Q 44 rooms (15 junior suites 160, 27 executive suites 180-210, 2 apartments 310-410). Extra bed 20. Prices include local taxes. Breakfast and VAT not included.P1THRUFLGKDCW
(+4) 0372 01 03 00, fax (+4) 0372 01 03 01, info@, www.grandhotelcontinental. ro. Making the very best of a wonderful building (which dates from 1886) on chic Calea Victoriei, todays Grand Hotel Continental is the result of more than two years of loving renovation and restoration. Theres marble at every turn, though do not think that modern touches are missing, for they are not. The audio-visual systems in the rooms for example are state of the art. For the great location and for a change from the big chains, its well worth trying out.Q 59 rooms (singles from 280, doubles from 300, apartments from 600). Breakfast, VAT, local taxes, internet and spa access included. PTHR6UFLGKDW

Grand Hotel Continental C-5, Calea Victoriei 56, tel.

Contemporary Art Museum

National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC; Muzeul National de Arta Contemporana) B-6,
Calea 13 Septembrie 1, entrance E4 (Palatul Parlamentului), MIzvor, tel. (+4) 021 318 91 37, fax (+4) 021 318 91 38,, Making excellent use of the wide open spaces of Casa Poporului, this vast gallery displays the work of Romanias finest contemporary artists. There are also works on display by international artists, and regular topical exhibitions. Its all mostly installations, clever symbolism and grand gestures as opposed to real talent, but you may enjoy the humour. The museum has a great cafe, and if the weather is good enough its terrace offers fantastic views of the city. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 5.00 lei. Free entrance for children and artists.

Howard Johnson Grand Plaza Bucharest Hotel B-3,

The classic view of Casa Poporului, apocalyptic sky included. Photo by Mihai Petre

Calea Dorobantilor 5-7, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 00, fax (+4) 021 201 18 88, sales@hojoplaza. ro, This is a high-rise hotel in the busy centre of Bucharest, where the sleek, modern exterior is matched by the interiors, all of which carry the signatures of top-name designers. The breakfast is perhaps the best in the city, coming as it does with champagne (for those who enjoy such things in the morning), and the dining opportunities in general are excellent: there is a wonderful Japanese restaurant, Benihana, on site. To really get the best out of this place though, ask for a room on one of the upper floors, for the views over the city. Q 285 rooms (268 singles/doubles

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


wHere to stay
135-170, 15 suites 225, 2 apartments 385). Prices do not include breakfast, VAT or taxes. POTHR6U FLGKDW

Radisson Blu B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel. (+4) 021

InterContinental C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 2-4, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20, fax (+4) 021 312 04 86,, www.intercontinental. com/bucharest. Still the tallest hotel in Bucharest (complete with a small swimming pool and - during the summer, sun terrace - on the top floor) the InterContinental was the first major five star hotel to open in Romania, at the beginning of the 1970s. Today it is one of many but remains something of a first choice for journalists and business people, many of whom have been loyal guests for decades. The rooms here all boast big balconies with great views of the city, there is first class dining in the building, and the management is commendably hands-on. The new Club Lounge on the 21st floor is the best in the city, offering great views of Bucharest, cocktails, meeting rooms, internet, a library and an all round exclusive atmosphere. Non-guests can use the Club Lounge for 35 per day. Its open 06:30-22:30. Q 257 rooms (236 singles/doubles, 20 junior suites, 1 apartment). Prices from 105 - 329. Prices include breakfast, but not local taxes (9%). POTHR6FLGKDCW
13 Septembrie 90, tel. (+4) 021 403 00 00, fax (+4) 021 403 00 01,, To the south of Casa Poporului the JW Marriott occupies something of a palatial building that at first glance probably makes it the most immediately impressive of Bucharests big five star hotels. The scale of the place, and its cavernous interiors, betray the fact that it was built as part of the same grand plan as the Casa Poporului itself. Yet the rooms are homely and well-furnished, providing a welcome contrast to the building. Plenty of good dining options, and home to the biggest swimming pool in the city (we think).Q 401 rooms (379 singles/doubles 700 - 950 lei; 22 apartments 1500-5000 lei). Extra bed 50 lei. Prices do not include breakfast and VAT. Local taxes not included. POTHR6UFLGKDCW

311 90 00, fax (+4) 021 313 90 00, Info.Bucharest@, A gleaming temple of steel and glass amongst the more classical buildings of Calea Victoriei, the Radisson excels in playing the role of futuristic Bucharest hotel of choice. As you walk in the glass bar strikes you as daring and modern, and the rooms themselves are equally avant garde in design. Bathrooms offer both tubs and showers, and there is both an indoor and outdoor pool, so you can swim whatever the weather. Excellent restaurants, especially the sublime Prime Steaks and Seafood. Q 718 rooms (385 singles/doubles 500-750 lei, 333 suites/ apartments 730-8500 lei). Prices include breakfast (except single, double and extra bed rates). PJHRUFLGKDCW

Over 150
403 05 00, fax (+4) 031 403 05 10, reservations@, One of the most famous hotels in Bucharest *there is even a song about the place: Hotel Cismigiu, by Vama Veche) reopens its doors after being closed for almost two decades. In a fantastic location right in the heart of the city, millions have been spent making the hotel look better than at any time in its centuryold history. The contemporary rooms - all of which are in fact suites - are enormous, many even boasting kitchens. Theres a fitness centre, wifi throughout, a great breakfast is included and there is even onsite parking. Worth every penny. Q 60 rooms (36 suites 210 - 230, 24 apartments 250 - 270). Extra bed 30. Prices include breakfast, VAT and local taxes. PTHUFLGKW

Cismigiu C-5, B-dul Regina Elisabeta 38, tel. (+4) 031


JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel B-6, Calea

Novotel Bucharest City Centre B-4, Calea Victoriei 37B, tel. (+4) 021 308 85 00, Few locations are better than this, right on fashionable Calea Victoriei. The entrance is impressive: a replica of the old neoclassical National Theatre which stood on this exact site until the British bombed it to next week during the Second World War. Shiny and new the main part of the hotel is wonderful: rooms are big, with bathrooms particularly impressive. Excellent, lively lobby bar and a big indoor swimming pool are other added benefits of staying here. Q 258 rooms (242singles/ doubles 190-215, 16 suites 240-340). Extra bed on request in the apartment. Prices do not include breakfast, VAT or taxes. POTHR6UFLGKDCW Pullman Bucharest World Trade Center A-1, P-ta
Montreal 10, tel. (+4) 021 318 30 00, fax (+4) 021 316 25 50,, The spacious, luxurious rooms are the main attraction at this high rise in the north of the city, where the bathrooms boast perhaps the deepest bathtubs in the city. There are separate showers, and all in all we think that the squaremeterage-per-euro ratio is higher here than anywhere else in Bucharest. A good on-site steak house keeps you well fed, and though there is no pool there is a good fitness centre with sauna and massage available. Q 203 rooms (188 singles/ doubles 205, 15 suites / apartments 305-800). Extra bed 20. Prices do not include VAT, local taxes and breakfast. PTHR6UFLGKDW

Duke C-4, B-dul Dacia 33, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 317 41 86/(+4) 021 317 41 87, www.hotelduke. ro. Now this place is central. A proverbial stones throw from Piata Romana, this modern hotel is squeezed in to a tight spot between two classic Bucharest buildings of the past. Rooms are well-sized, bathrooms have tubs and showers, and theres free and fast Wifi throughout. Beds get high marks for their excellent mattresses.Q 37 rooms (33 singles/doubles 75-95, 4 suites 115-145). Extra bed 20. Prices include VAT and breakfast. PRGKW Golden Tulip Times E-6, B-dul Decebal 19, tel. (+4) 021 316 65 16, fax (+4) 021 316 65 19, This, people, is a very good hotel where you get a hell of a lot of room for a relatively small amount of money. All come furnished well with terrific beds, big desks and comfy armchairs. Bathrooms are equally impressive and modern. There is Wifi throughout and a host of extras: not least of which is the fantastic breakfast. The on site restaurant is one of the best hotel-based eateries in the city. Q 70 rooms (38 singles/doubles 120-136, 32 suites 140-150). Extra bed 29. Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PTHRLGKW
80, We loved this place for a number of reasons, not least the fact that the huge breakfast buffet stays open until 11:00, meaning late starters can still get breakfast. The hotel is located in a huge, renovated period house just behind Piata Universitatii. The discretion of the location betrays the fact that this is the kind of place you come to if you like old fashioned luxury, good service, and possess exceptional taste. Q 67 rooms (59 singles/doubles 110-150, 8 triples 135-175). Prices include VAT, local taxes and breakfast. PTHRFGKDW

K+K Elisabeta C-5, Str. Slanic 26, tel. (+4) 021 302 92

Bucharest In Your Pocket


wHere to stay
Marshal Garden Hotel C-4, Calea Dorobanti 50B, tel. (+4) 021 319 44 44, www.hotelmarshalgarden. ro. Spacious, colourful and original, this hotel - located in one of the best addresses in the city - is a fantastic place and one of few new Bucharest hotels to really perk up our attention. The decor is amazing: bright, full of multi-coloured arabesques each floor has a different mood, while the mural behind reception is alone worth popping in to see. Good staff, big rooms, modern bathrooms, smashing breakfast, free Wifi. Its worth the money. Q 63 rooms (20 singles 180, 39 doubles 190, 4 apartments 270). Extra bed on request. Prices include breakfast, VAT and local taxes. PTHUFLGKDW NH Bucharest D-6, B-dul Mircea Voda 21, tel. (+4) 021
300 05 45, Not located in the most attractive area of the city, the NH makes up for that by offering a modern, contemporary hotel experience for a fair amount of money: you can usually stay here for far less than the rack rates. Expect well sized rooms with plenty of extras and a very good on site restaurant. Good place to stay with children and babies: the staff make a point of making them feel welcome. Q 76 rooms (76 singles/doubles 150). Prices include VAT. Breakfast not included. PTHRUFLGKW

wHere to stay
Ramada Hotel & Suites Bucharest North C-6, Str.
Daniel Danielopolu 44A, tel. (+4) 021 233 50 00, www. Well named, for it is indeed in the north of the city. It has great rooms - amongst the biggest, on average, in Bucharest - and the bathrooms are tremendous: all have bathtubs. The hotel boasts a good spa centre (with excellent Turkish bath), big fitness room with loads of equipment and has a good lobby bar. The on-site dining is decent too. Q 232 rooms (164 singles/doubles 75-84, 24 triple and 31 suites upon request, 13 apartments 99.48). Extra bed 10. Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHR6UFLGKDCW


Ramada Majestic B-4, Calea Victoriei 38-40, tel. (+4) 021 310 27 72, Standing (dare we say it) majestically on Calea Victoriei, the Majestic has long been one of Bucharests best hotels. It offers very big rooms with glorious bathrooms, a great breakfast and - a real bonus - a swimming pool (albeit a rather small one). In a city in which even some of the five star hotels lack pools, the Majestics makes it well worth that little bit extra cash. Q 111 rooms (85 singles/doubles 240-290, 26 suites and apartments 350-1200). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHRUFLGKDCW Ramada Plaza Bucharest B-dul Poligrafiei 3-5, tel. (+4) 021 549 30 00, Slightly more upmarket than its sister establishment across the road, what you get here is a slightly bigger room than at the Parc, and much bigger bathrooms. The design of the place is nicely futuristic, and we loved the beds which we think are amongst the best in Bucharest. Free Wifi is a bonus, there is a good lobby bar and a decent on site bistro. Good value for the money. Q 298 rooms (293 singles/doubles 159-179, 2 suites 240, 3 apartments 270). Prices include breakfast. PHRUFGKW
104 11 11/(+4) 031 104 11 13, As central as they come, this gorgeous conversion of a glorious ancien regime Bucharest house is as fine a place to stay as now exists in the Romanian capital. You will love the grand, classically furnished rooms, which come complete with high ceilings and restored, original wooden flooring. The loft suite, complete with skylights, is a special treat if you can splash the extra cash. Q 11 rooms (11single/double 159199, 1 suite 259). Extra bed upon request. Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PTHRLGKW

Ramada Bucharest Parc A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 3-5, tel. (+4) 021 549 20 00, The Hotel Parc has been around a while, but only came under the Ramada banner a short while ago. A high-rise in a leafy suburb (close to Romexpo and Herastrau Park - hence the name) it boasts nice rooms which - while not big - are comfortable and boast brightly coloured dcor and gorgeous, soft cotton sheets on the beds. Great buffet breakfast included in the price. Q 267 rooms (180 singles 139, 79 doubles 159, 8 apartments 210). Prices include breakfast. PHRGKW

Scala Bucuresti C-5, Str. C. A. Rosetti 19, tel. (+4) 031

and a fitness centre complete with sauna. Transport to and from the airport is complimentary. Great buffet breakfast. Q 177 rooms (105 standard singles/doubles 100-110, 67 executive singles/doubles 120 - 130, 5 apartments 150 - 170). Prices include VAT, local taxes and breakfast. PTHR6UFLGKDW


Z Executive Boutique Hotel C-5, Str. Ion Nistor 4, tel. (+4) 031 140 02 00, fax (+4) 021 890 15 10,, You want central? Well this place is central. In a building on a street hidden a little behind the Sutu Palace this is a great place from which to enjoy the delights of Old Town and indeed the whole of central Bucharest. Rooms are big and modern, tastefully furnished and come with comfortable beds and good bathrooms. Plenty of little luxuries, not least full, free Wifi throughout. The breakfast room is great, and theres an on site bistro with great views of the busy streets outside. Q 21 rooms (21 singles/doubles 99-129). Extra bed 20. Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHR6ULGKW

D-4, Calea Mosilor 112, tel. (+4) 021 312 04 77, www. Not altogether that inviting from the outside, the Armonia offers terrific (though not all that big) rooms that come complete with what have to be contenders for the best bathrooms in the city prize we often mention but never get round to handing out. In good weather the terrace at the back is a great place to take your breakfast (included in the price of a room). Q 32 rooms (32 singles/doubles 65-75. Extra bed 10. Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PHRLGKW

Angelo Airporthotel Bucharest Calea Bucurestilor
283, tel. (+4) 021 203 65 00, www.angelo-bucharest. com. The hotel closest to Bucharests Otopeni airport. The Angelo is operated by Vienna Hotels, and its bright exterior is matched by the interior: bold colours abound in all the rooms and the common areas. There is high speed Wifi throughout,

Berthelot B-5, Str. General Berthelot 9, tel. (+4) 031 425 58 60, Smart, modern and dead central. What more could you want? For your money you are getting a good deal here: the rooms are big and well furnished with plenty of mod cons, such as LCD televisions, while the bathrobes in the sumptuous bathrooms are suitably fluffy and the cosmetics a cut above the norm. Q 43 rooms (5 singles 109, 38 doubles 129). Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PTHRLGKW Central B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 13, tel. (+4) 021 315
56 36, Central by name, central by nature. Slap, bang on Bucharests version of Broadway (its all relative), amongst cinemas and theatres, the Central was totally renovated last year and is now one of the best (and best value) stays in the city. We like the staff who are always

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


wHere to stay
fax (+4) 021 319 51 61,, www. Simple, good value rooms in a decent location just behind Bucharests Opera House. Each room has individual air conditioning/heating, always a bonus as far as we are concerned, though note that most of the rooms have showers only, no baths. Apartments are good value and come with fluffy bathrobes. Q 40 rooms (35 singles/doubles 95105, 3 suites 120, 2 apartments 130). Prices include VAT, local taxes and breakfast. PTHRUGKW

wHere to stay
Siqua A-5, Calea Plevnei 59A, tel. (+4) 021 319 51 60,


Starlight Suite B-4, Str. Grigore Alexandrescu 89-97, tel. (+4) 021 211 34 13, fax (+4) 021 211 34 14,, www.starlighthotels. com. At the bustling junction of B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara, and glitzy Calea Dorobantilor is Starlight, the first hotel of its kind in Romania. Every room is a suite, complete with separate living and sleeping areas; some have two bedrooms. All have air conditioning, the latest in home entertainment systems, and kitchenettes complete with microwaves. The fitness centre is free to guests, and a continental breakfast is included in the price. Excellent value for money. Q 78 rooms (71 suites 81, 7 apartments 115). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHR6UFLGKDW Venezia B-5, Str. Pompiliu Eliade 2, tel. (+4) 021 310 68 72, fax (+4) 021 310 68 73,, Lovingly renovated with care, taste and not a little style, the Hotel Venezia completes a handy little triumvirate of three-star accommodation options in and around Bulevardul Kogalniceanu (the others being the Opera and Central hotels, all part of the same chain). Expect some unique rooms, some with real character provided by the shape of the building, lovely staff and some thoroughly reasonable prices. Add in speedy internet connections, air conditioning in all rooms and a non-smoking environment, and you have a winner. Q 49 rooms (41 singles/doubles 130-140, 2 suites 150, 5 apartments 170). Extra bed 20. Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHR6UGW

99, 4 singles 92, 4 suites 123). Prices include breakfast, VAT and local taxes. PTHRLGKW

Andy A-4, Str. Witing 2, tel. (+4) 021 300 30 50, fax (+4) 021 300 30 52,, You can see Gara de Nord from your bedroom window if you stay here: you can decide for yourself if thats good or bad. Its a decent hotel, especially compared to those surrounding it, and if you are in two minds as to which station hotel to stay in, make sure you choose this one. It even has a sauna and jacuzzi. Q 49 rooms (45 singles/ doubles 30-10, 4 triples 50). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PR6GKDW Boutique Hotel Monaco C-5, Str. J. L. Calderon 74, tel. (+4) 021 310 56 68, A nice place on a quiet(ish) street yet still close enough to the city centre to be within walking distance. There is an elegance to the decoration that suggests theyve taken real time and effort over things, and the beds are large, comfortable and covered with crisp yet soft sheets. Wifi, flatscreen TVs, good bathrooms. The kind of place you feel should cost a lot more than it does: seriously good value for money. Q 8 rooms (2 singles 50, 6 doubles 55-65). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTLW Charter Drumul Odaii 1D, Otopeni, tel. (+4) 021 352 87
19/(+4) 021 352 87 21, For what you pay at this hotel, you get a large amount of room indeed. Really: these must be the biggest hotel rooms in Bucharest, and they cost about 1 per square metre. Close to the airport (on the other side of the road to McDonalds) this place is perfect if you have an early flight, though it is only fair to say that it is a good 30 minutes or so to the city centre. Still, with

friendly, and who go out of their way to make sure you do not get ripped off by dodgy taxi drivers: such attention to detail is to be applauded. Q 62 rooms (57 doubles 140, 1 suite 170, 4 apartments 180). Extra bed 20. Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHR6UGW

El Greco C-5, Str. Jean Louis Calderon 16, MP-ta Universitatii, tel. (+4) 021 315 81 31, www.hotelelgreco. ro. Located in the heart of what was, pre-World War II, the most stylish residential area in the city. This is one such villa dating from that period, though it has of course been renovated and refurbished to include a rack of modern luxuries. Fortunately, however, the ambience of the ancien regime has been preserved, making this one of the best villa conversions in the city. Q 20 rooms (18 singles/doubles 95-110, 2 apartments 140). Prices for suites include all taxes, VAT and breakfast for one person. PTHRULGKW Europa Royale Bucharest C-6, Str. Franceza 60, tel. (+4) 021 319 17 98, The Europa Royale is a gorgeous place that complements instead of overpowering its surroundings. Literally a stones throw from where Bucharest began, at the Curtea Veche, facing Piata Unirii, it is as ideally located as you ever hope for. Inside the rooms are big, classy and we found the staff exemplary. A genuinely welcome addition to Bucharest and the Old Town, and not as pricey as you might think. Q 92 rooms (6 singles 85, 74 doubles 95, 12 suites 115 - 200). Extra bed 20. Breakfast, VAT and local taxes included. PTH6UGKW Opera B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 37, tel. (+4) 021 312 48
55, You could quite literally throw a stone from the rooms here into Cismigiu Park (though we do not recommend it), and as such we think this is a great place for

families with children to stay when visiting the capital. Not cheap, we think that you get value for money, especially given the size of the rooms and the terrific breakfast spread they lay on every morning for guests. Staff happy and smiley too. Q 33 rooms (26 singles/doubles 130-140, 4 suites 150, 3 apartments 170). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHR6UGKW

Under 100
Amzei B-4, P-ta Amzei 8, tel. (+4) 021 313 94 00, www. Want a room in the heart of Bucharest? This place is for you. A delicious villa conversion in the middle of Piata Amzei, close to, well, everything. The rooms are all enormous, all are individually furnished and have bags of character, many with sloping ceilings and hidden nooks and crannies. The bathrooms are a little more modest, but are a decent size and very well decorated. The hotels website claims that the location is 30 minutes from Otopeni Airport. Not on a Monday morning it isnt. Q 22 rooms (14 doubles

Residence Arc de Triomphe A-3, Str. Clucerului 19,

tel. (+4) 021 223 19 78/(+4) 0372 15 07 00, www. Fantastic hotel in a good area of the capital, offering large, excellent value rooms and super services. There are little touches of class all over the hotel that suggest they really care. The wrought iron beds, for example, are fabulous, as is the newly added spa, complete with sauna and jacuzzi. The restaurant is also worth a visit, serving good international cuisine. Q 35 rooms (25 singles/ doubles 90100, 10 suites/ apartments 110-120). VAT not included. Prices include breakfast. PTHRLGKDW

Residence Domenii Plaza A-2, Str. Al. Constantinescu 33, tel. (+4) 021 224 50 44/(+4) 0372 15 06 00, fax (+4) 021 224 50 21,, A wonderful villa, this place offers real luxury and a quiet, understated atmosphere. Its a classy place for classy people, basically. All the rooms, studios and apartments are bright, big and have stunning bathrooms. It also has a fantastic spa, complete with sauna, steam bath and enormous jacuzzi, perfect for tired business types in need of evening relaxation. The rooftop terrace has fine views of what is the citys best residential area, and the food in the restaurant better than most of Bucharests restaurants: it is really that good. Q 33 rooms (15 singles/doubles 90-100, 18 suites/ apartments 110-120). Prices include breakfast. VAT not included. PTHRLGKDW October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


wHere to stay
years ago now. Expect a room a bit bigger than standard Ibis size, the usual services, few frills (breakfast costs extra) and all in all a good value stay. The name is not misleading: it is dead opposite the station. Q 250 rooms (234 singles/ doubles 49-54, 16 apartments 79). Prices include VAT and local taxes. Breakfast not included. (9 per person). PHR6ULGKW (+4) 021 401 10 00, fax (+4) 021 402 28 98,, If you want a view of Casa Poporului then this is perhaps the best place in Bucharest to come. Other than that it is a fairly standard Ibis hotel, just as you love them (or otherwise!) from anywhere else on the planet. Not entirely ideally located if you are not driving, it does boast non-smoking rooms and very good staff. Q 161 rooms (154 singles/ doubles 49-70, 7 apartments 95). Prices include VAT and local taxes. Breakfast not included. (9 per person). PTHR6ULGKW B-4, Str. Gheorghe Manu 2-4, MVictoriei, tel. (+4) 021 311 15 55,, It is really hard to knock the Minerva so we will not even try. Having been around so long it is entitled to a gold watch, it remains a great choice for business people who pay their own bills: you get great service, a good room (a choice of smoking or non-smoking), a dead-central location yet are only asked for a fraction of what the five-stars charge. The oldest Chinese restaurant in Romania is located on the ground floor, there is a lively bar and a good spa, complete with jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and massage. Q 147 rooms (138 singles/ doubles 75-95, 9 apartments 111). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PHRFGKDW

wHere to stay
Rembrandt C-5, Str. Smardan 11, tel. (+4) 021 313 93 15, Always full (reserve well in advance) you will see why when you arrive. The Rembrandt is what happens when people with taste renovate buildings in Old Town Bucharest (the gorgeous cafe next door belongs to the same people). Luxurious without overdoing it, expect to find original 1920s wooden floors and period furnishings complimented by up-to-the-minute technology. The hotel celebrated its sixth birthday in January 2011: long may it go on. Q 16 rooms (6 single 75, 8 doubles 95, 2 triples 118). Extra bed available. Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTRUGKW


Ibis Palatul Parlamentului B-6, Str. Izvor 82-84, tel.


Sarroglia Hotel C-5, Str. Vasile Lascar 59, tel. (+4) 031 412 60 00, Bright, contemporary hotel that looks expensive yet costs relatively little. The rooms are minimalist yet chic and pack a real punch in the comfort stakes, and each comes with an individual feel to it, often in the form of a full-wall mural. The location is close enough to the centre to be attractive while remaining residential: this is a quiet area of town. The hotels restaurant and lunge provide colour and panache. Recommended. Q 33 rooms (20 single/double 69-74, 1 disabled 74, 12 suites 89-99). Extra bed 10. Prices include breakfast, VAT and local taxes. PHUFLGKW Tania-Frankfurt C-6, Str. Selari 5, tel. (+4) 021 319
27 58/(+4) 031 104 20 83, This is a cracking little place in the very heart of Old Town, just a shake or two away from the citys best nightlife. Rooms are good value, bright and airy, and are furnished in a modern, bright and airy style. The best is the split level sky room, with its sky light and raised sleeping area. Theres free internet for guests. Q 13 rooms (11 singles/doubles 49-69, 2 suites 99). Prices include local taxes and VAT. Breakfast not included. PJRGKW

rooms and services to match anywhere, and at prices as low as these, we doubt anyone will be complaining. Q 21 rooms (16 singles/doubles 35-40, 5 suites 55). Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTRLGK

Q 87 rooms (66 singles/doubles 115-130, 14 suites 150,

8 apartments 140-250). Prices include local taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHRUFLGKDW

Class Bucharest Str. Garlei 30A, tel. (+4) 037 213 57

00, Close to Baneasa Airport what this place lacks in city centre-ness it more than makes up for with comfort. This is to all intents and purposes a five star hotel, complete with luxurious bathrooms and perhaps the best indoor swimming pool in the city. Really. If you are looking for a leafier location than the city centre can offer, and a little luxury at a decent price, then its a decent choice. Q 63 rooms (59 doubles/triples 59-79, 4 suites 140). Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PHRFGKDCW

Dan B-4, B-dul Dacia 125, tel./fax (+4) 021 210 39

Golden Tulip Bucharest B-4, Calea Victoriei 166, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 212 55 58, Half-way along Calea Victoriei, a pleasant walk to both Piata Victoriei and Piata Universitatii, the Golden Tulip is a fine hotel that makes great use of the space available. The bathrooms for example are not huge but feel far bigger than they are, and all have enough room for bathtubs. Bright and modern in design we think its suited best to business travellers looking to get great value for their companys dollar. Q 81 rooms (79 singles/doubles 85-95, 2 suites 105). Prices include VAT, all taxes and breakfast. PTJHRUFLGKW Hello Hotels
B-4, Calea Grivitei 143, tel. (+4) 0372 12 18 00,, Two stars never looked so good. For your paltry amount of cash you are getting a lot of hotel room here, complete with flat screen televisions and mattresses thicker than many a five-star. Bathrooms are a bit pokey but they are more than adequate, and as far as value for money goes we think this is one of the best deals in the city. Find the place a short walk from the station. Q 150 rooms (150 doubles 35). Extra bed 10. Prices include VAT and taxes. Breakfast not included. (5 per person). PR6ULGKW

58, tel. (+4) 0727 59 95 99, Smart addition to Bucharests enormously popular three-star scene. The location is central without being noisy, and the rooms themselves are all well-sized and well-equipped. Staff are friendly, befitting a small hotel, and ready to see to your every need. Q 15 rooms (14 singles/doubles 45-64, 1 apartment 75-85). Extra bed 25. Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PHRULGW

DoubleTree by Hilton D-7, Str. Nerva Traian 3A, tel.

(+4) 021 200 62 70, Located just off Bulevardul Unirii, the DoubleT ree is something of a beacon of glass and steel in an area not known for anything except monumental socialist architecture. The hotel is a decent place offering big-ish rooms, with commendably big bathrooms. Happy, multi-lingual staff are a bonus not always found in Bucharests hotels. Good cafes (there are two) to choose from on the ground floor: one has a covered terrace.

Ibis Gara de Nord A-4, Calea Grivitei 143, MGara de Nord, tel. (+4) 021 300 91 00, fax (+4) 021 300 90 98,, A hotel for more than 40 years this building (and the whole area) was given a real lift when it became a good old Ibis some several October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


wHere to stay
Short Term Rental
Apart Homes C-6, Str. George Valentin Bibescu 33, bl. X/2, sc. A, ap. 6, tel. (+4) 021 232 04 06, fax (+4) 021 232 17 04,, www. These people have been offering great apartments in central Bucharest since 1996: they were one of the first players in the market, and are still the best. They have a range of city-centre apartments, from studios to two-bedroomed places, as well as a villa in Baneasa. Whats more, they have someone on call 24 hours for any emergencies, maid service twice a week and offer a variety of other services, from city tours to laundry. Magic. Q 20 rooms (5 singles/doubles 50, 5 triples 85, 5 suites 100, 5 apartments 150). Prices include breakfast and local taxes. VAT not included. P1T6GW Cert Accommodation B-5, Piata Walter Maracineanu1-3, tel. (+4) 0720 77 27 72,, A good selection of fully furnished, elegant, serviced studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments in and around the city centre. Children and babies are welcome: cots can be supplied on request. Q 20 rooms ( 1 studio 40, 9 apartments 55 - 100). Prices include local taxes and VAT. Breakfast not included. POTFLGKW
comfortable, equipped with all mod-cons and have excellent en suite bathrooms. Besides, as they have just opened and the prices are seriously low, these must currently be the best value rooms in Bucharest. Q 8 rooms (4 doubles 30, 4 suites 40). Prices include local taxes and VAT. Breakfast not included. PHGW

wHere to stay


Trianon B-5, Str. Grigore Cobalcescu 9, tel. (+4) 021

311 49 27/(+4) 021 311 49 28, If location really is everything then you cant do much better than this cracking place on Str. Cobalcescu, next to the Ministry of Defence and opposite Cismigiu Park. The building is a superb Secession renovation on a street that boasts some extraordinary buildings: it is a shame not all are up to this standard. Inside the rooms are simple, tastefully decorated and offer excellent value for money. Bathrooms have either a bath or a shower. Q 26 rooms (24 singles/doubles 85-103, 2 apartments 133). Extra bed 18. Prices include all taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTHR6UGKW

Hostels & Villas

Doors Hostel C-7, Str. Olimpului 13, tel. (+4) 021 336 21 27/(+4) 0726 45 42 03,, Clean, colourful and rather spacious hostel a short walk south from Piata Unirii. Located in a classic Bucharest house it benefits from a gorgeous garden/ courtyard, an all you can eat breakfast and free Wifi, amongst much else. Note that they have only shared, mixed dorms: there are no private rooms. Q 5 rooms (6 bed dorm 12, 2 x 8 bed dorm 11, 4 bed dorm 13, double king size bed 35). Breakfast, VAT and local taxes included. PTLGKW

The Funky Chicken B-5, Str. Gen. Berthelot 63, tel. (+4) 021 312 14 25, Offering free cigarettes may appear to be a good idea when the bulk of your clients are penniless students, but it sounds like irresponsibility to us. Anyway, this wacky! crazy! hostel will appeal to the kind of person who enjoys puns like clucking good atmosphere or being told that the staff are friendly but smelly. Students, whod have them? Q 4 rooms (1 twin private 12, 2 x 8 bed mixed dorms 8, 4 bed mixed dorm 8). Prices include VAT and local taxes. Breakfast not included. TUNGW Vila 11 A-4, Str. Institutul Medico Militar 11, MGara de Nord, tel. (+4) 0722 49 59 00/(+4) 0722 49 59 01, Located in a lovely 1920s house close to Gara de Nord (one block east of Strada Vespatian and Dinicu Golescu) Vila 11 has a variety of private rooms, dorm facilities and family suites available for backpackers and families of all ages. Friendly and welcoming the owners do a great breakfast (included in the price) and are a wealth of inside info when it comes to getting the best out of Bucharest. Q 6 rooms(2 singles 20, 2 doubles 34, 1 triple 45, 1 suite 54). Prices include breakfast, VAT and local taxes. T6GW X Hostel C-6, Str. Balcesti 9, tel. (+4) 021 312 76 13/(+4) 0785 21 15 15,, www. Bucharests newest hostel, and already forging for itself something of party-central reputation. As such it is probably not the best place in town for a quiet night in, yet the young crowd that frequents the place hardly mind that. Good, clean dorms and bathrooms, and a number of singles for those who can splash the extra cash. Free Wifi, but breakfast not included. Q 24 rooms (11 dorms from 5, 2 singles 25, 8 doubles 40, 3 triples 45). Prices include local taxes and VAT. Breakfast not included. PT6GKDW

Europes Smoking Section

Last year, flying in the face of what the rest of the civilised world is up to, Romania actually softened its existing anti-smoking legislation. In fact, to all intents and purposes, there will soon be no more anti-smoking rules in Romania. This really is The Smoking Section of Europe. You see, while smoking will as planned now be theoretically outlawed in all public spaces (thats the headline which they will send to the EU), the owners of those public spaces will now be able to override the law and decide for themselves if a place is to be designated smoking or non-smoking. If a place decides to designate itself as a smoking venue (and lets face it, they almost all will) under the new law it will not even have to have a non-smoking section. As such, in our listings we have only included a nonsmoking symbol where a venue is completely nonsmoking. (There arent many). Otherwise, assume that venues will allow smoking almost anywhere. While most will - for now - retain at least a token non-smoking section, this can often be just one table in a corner somewhere. Note that when it comes to hotels, we have used the non-smoking symbol to indicate those hotels which have fully non-smoking rooms.

Villa Barrio B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 3, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0734 33 30 20/(+4) 0721 36 08 98, hotel@, Bang in the centre of the city this villa, once the residence of the legendary Cartagiu family, is a terrific choice for anyone looking to be close to the citys best night spots and restaurants. Rooms are not big but are

Symbol Key
P Air conditioning O Casino T Child friendly R Internet (Standard) F Fitness centre K Restaurant C Swimming pool A Credit cards accepted H Conference facilities U Disabled facilities L Guarded parking G Non-smoking rooms D Sauna W WiFi Internet

Flowers B & B D-5, Str. Plantelor 2, tel./fax (+4) 021 311 98 48,, Very close to Piata Unirii this place is exactly what it claims to be: a proper, homely bed and breakfast. Few frills, little fuss, just first class hospitality from great staff who will make your stay as comfortable as possible. In warmer months you can have your breakfast outside in the lovely courtyard. Q 18 rooms (16 singles/doubles 35-48, 2 suites 55). Prices include taxes, VAT and breakfast. PTR6LGW
314 53 23/(+4) 0727 59 60 84,, Good hostel run by two young locals, with a very central locations in wonderful old apartment buildings. Handy for transport the place has immaculately clean dorms and a single for a little extra privacy. Breakfast included, as is Wifi and bedding. Q Prices from 9-11/pers. Prices include breakfast and all taxes. RW

Midland B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 22, ap. 3, tel. (+4) 021

M Nearest metro station J Old Town location

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Champions B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 19 17,, Still serving the very best burger in Bucharest (you can choose one or design your own from an endless choice of toppings), a fact undisputed by anyone weve ever met. It is also one of the biggest. In fact, now we think of it, the portions of everything here are enormous: even the childrens servings are very healthy indeed. Besides the burgers you will find a great selection of American pub food, as well as Tex Mex treats and even mici, as well as some more refined, slow food options: it is not all burgers and Tex Mex. Famously good cocktails, and more televisions showing sport than you could ever hope for. Find it in the Marriott: up the stairs as you go in and to your right. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. . PTLSW Hard Rock Cafe A-2, Sos. Kiseleff 32, tel. (+4) 021
206 62 61,, www.hardrock. com/bucharest. Wham, Bam, thank you Maam. Americana gone berserk in the very best sense of the word. Nobody can knock this place and it is easy to see why. Feast on top level, upmarket-burger bar and Tex-Mex food, served in huge portions by perky Bond girls who have a smile for everyone. Then sit back with great cocktails and listen to some very good rock and roll supplied by some of Bucharests best live acts. Seriously good. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 01:00. . PLESW



The Gang Restaurant & Lounge C-3, Calea Floreasca 111-113, tel. (+4) 0721 51 22 91, Very nice indeed. Though probably more famous as being the top peoples club, The Gang also has a restaurant serving some fabulous Asian/Fusion food prepared by not one but two (count them: you will see them as the kitchen is open, how refreshing) Nepalese chefs. Whats more, though its location in Dorobanti/Floreasca screams fitze, the place itself is understated and decorated with incredible restraint and good taste. Add in some eclectic live music and you have a winner. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. . PLEBSW

Restaurant Nan Jing B-4, Str. Gheorghe Manu 2-4,

(+4) 021 211 31 51,, Popular with all sorts of expats who have a regular rendezvous here, this place is a pub and bistro in one, where you can get a decent meal for little money while enjoying usually decent company. The menu has a few British dishes - we can recommend the Spinach and Stilton Pie - but best of all we like the ciorba de vacuta - one of the best in the city, and the ciolan cu varza - pork knuckle with cabbage and beans. Guinness on draught at a decent price, QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 01:00. . PLVBSW

The Trafalgar Pub C-4, Str. David Emmanuel 4A, tel.

MP-ta Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 318 12 85/(+4) 0726 10 34 07,, Dating back to 1980s this little piece of Bucharest foodie history was the first Chinese restaurant in the land. It is still one of the best, as its longevity (no mean feat in a city where good eateries come and go fast) testifies. Prices are reasonable, the setting is good, with a nice covered terrace overlooking busy Bulevardul Lascar Cartagiu. You will find the Nan Jing on the ground floor of the Minerva hotel. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. . PLVBSW

you will need to reserve a table if you want one of the comfy sofas. Popular with a wealthy crowd, it serves a good gourmet burger, one of the citys best. The place is likely to grow on you as the evening wears on and in all likeliness you will stay until very late. We usually do. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 03:00. . BSW

Food & Drink

What do we mean by Food & Drink? Simple: places in which you could just as easily sit down and have a three course meal as you could spend a night on the beer or cocktails.

Market 8 B-3, Str. Serban Petrescu 8, tel. (+4) 0734 80 80 80/(+4) 021 231 51 43,, Have we been along this road before? Yes, there was once a Market 8 in Lipscani: it didnt last very long, so lets hope this one lasts longer, for its nice. Using much the same concept as before (designer goodies alongside designer Fusion - and then some - food), the new location is perhaps better suited to the crowd it wants to attract (monied, trendy) and despite initial doubts we were more than won over on our first visit. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PBSW Poolside Grill B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00. The Radissons hidden, almost secret terrace is - as the name subtly suggests - situated at the side of the hotels big outdoor swimming pool, in a courtyard at the rear. Come for barbequed meats, terrific bar food - including a genuinely great burger. The cocktail list is good too, and prices are reasonable - reflecting the quality. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. Sunday Blu Lagoon Brunch from 12:30 - 16:30, 190 lei/pers, 95 lei for children under twelve. . BW The Harbour B-4, P-ta Amzei 10-22, tel. (+4) 021 319 72 57/(+4) 0724 38 86 86,, www. A top location, in Piata Amzei, with food to match, as well as friendly and efficient staff. The atmosphere is October - November 2012

Restaurant 5 Elemente C-5, Str. Icoanei 15, tel.
(+4) 0766 33 15 11,, www. Suddenly Bucharest has a choice of great Chinese restaurants. This place is brought to you by the team behind the uber-successful Imperial, on the coast in Mamaia, which foodies have been raving about for years. Expect superior, mainly northern Chinese food made of the finest ingredients, many of which are specially imported. The crispy duck is perhaps the best in the country, and the even serve lobster. Get there now. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PSW

18 Lounge A-1, P-ta Presei Libere 3-5, tel. (+4) 0733 50 14 01, Lunch or dinner with a view? This is the place to come people. On the 18th floor of one of the newest office buildings in the city, this place doesnt need to serve decent food to attract clients: fortunately, it does. More than just a restaurant though the lunch is a great deal, and late in the evening it becomes a smooth, relaxed pace to hang out. It is also a self-declared anti-fitze establishment (much like its sister locations in the centre of town) and the vibe is always a little trendy but never kitsch. We like it. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:30. . PLBSW
00,, Boasting probably the biggest terrace in the city centre,

Embassy C-4, P-ta Lahovari 8, tel. (+4) 0733 50 03

Bucharest In Your Pocket


La Cantine de Nicolai B-4, Str. Povernei 15-17, MPta Romana, tel. (+4) 0725 21 06 08, contact@lacantinedenicolai. ro, Those who know their food know that this place is one of the top ten restaurants in the land. Beyond the Warhol prints on the walls this is French du terroir, where simple yet perfect flavours are allowed to breathe by a gifted chef who cooks for his customers as though he is cooking for his best mates. It is not cheap, but then dishes like scallops with mash potatoes and a truffle and veal sauce never can be. Special. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PBSW



Avalon B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard Johnson Grand Plaza), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 30,, At Avalon, the jewel in the HoJos dining crown, knowing diners come to enjoy the flavours and smells of the superb Fusion cuisine. Every time we visit (and we visit as often as we can) we find something new and interesting - and usually inventive - on the menu (which changes regularly) and a good new wine to go with our meal. Q Open 12:00 - 15:00, 19:00 - 23:00. Sunday Brunch 12:00 - 16:00, 180 lei/pers, children under seven free, children between seven and 12 years half price. . PLSW Barrio by Embassy B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 30, MP-ta
Romana, tel. (+4) 0733 22 27 77,, www. Wonderful bar, cafe and restaurant (the place works as all three) where besides expertly mixed cocktails you can enjoy some sensational food, chosen from one of the most adventurous menus in the city. Roasted duck breast with rice and kumquat sauce and sea bass with ratatouille and celery sauce are just two of the standout dishes we entirely recommend. Not as dear as you might think either. Worth a visit. QOpen 10:30 - 02:00. . PKSW

relaxing, the food better than average, though the real joy of this place is its view to the market. We came here for lunch recently and were stunned by how many foreigners were eating here: it must be one of the most popular tourist and visitor spots in town. QOpen 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. . PLVEBSW

Boutique du Pain C-5, Str. Academiei 28-30, tel. (+4) 0728 44 33 00, Everything you want from a city-centre eatery and a lot more. This is in fact more bistro than anything, serving breakfast, lunch and evening meals in fresh, bright surroundings. The selection of morning pastries is the best in the city, with office workers going out of their way to stop here for fresh supplies. For lunch there is a range of sandwiches hard to beat anywhere else, and the small selection of hot meals of an evening - the menu changes daily - are perfect for a casual dinner. Serving great coffee and a magnificent hot chocolate, we (and our kids!) love this place. QOpen 08:30 - 22:00, Sun 08:30 - 20:00. . PSW Escargot Bistro D-4, Str. Toamnei 101, tel. (+4) 021 201 71 33/(+4) 0746 79 50 29,, Bucharest foodies: this is the place for you. A little non-descript from the outside, it is a sensational French restaurant where the love and care the chef has for his food oozes onto your plate. Duck that takes 48 hours to prepare, an onion soup of the like weve never eaten in Bucharest, fresh snails, outstanding wines and all served in minimalist surroundings: the food is king here. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . BSW
Golescu 17, tel. (+4) 021 310 33 02,, It had to happen. A French

restaurant that actually delivers the goods time after time yet does so in an atmosphere that begs you to spend more time here. The menu features a number of simple, new-wave French cuisine which - for this city - is very well-priced. The tasty duck dishes stood out for us, as did the desserts and the excellent wine list which - while featuring a great list of French grape - for once acknowledges that the New World can make decent wine too. In short, this place is a minirevolution on the Bucharest dining scene and worthy of your time. QOpen 12:00 - 24:30. . PBSW C-4, Str. Mendeleev 43, tel. (+4) 0731 45 36 08/(+4) 0731 35 26 08,, As regular readers will know we are suckers for an open kitchen, and that is what we have here: sit and watch the chef and owner prepare your gorgeous homemade French meal. They are rather proud of their smoked salmon here (and rightly so) and the wine list features plenty of affordable grape. Top it all off with the magnificent creme brulee. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. . PVESW

Ici et La

(+4) 0756 38 56 38, It might be too fashionable for some tastes, but the truth is the food is amongst the best in the land, cooked by perhaps the best chef in the land. Its not just us who say so either: ask anybody in the city who knows their food and you get the same reply: its brilliant. Inventive and magnificent food (seafood dominates), cooked to perfection. The squid served with risotto, for example: it sounds so simple yet its a taste sensation. Not cheap of course, but worth the cost. Q Open 12:00 - 16:00, 19:00 - 02:00. Closed Sun. . PLESW

Loft Lounge C-4, B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara 56-60, tel.

Die Deutsche Kneipe C-3, Str. Stockholm 9, tel. (+4) 021 233 94 62/(+4) 0722 28 45 60, Really, one of our favourite places in Bucharest, now as ever (and it has been around for more than a decade). Serving giant portions of great German sausages (all made on the premises) as well as pork knuckles, kraut and the like, they keep the prices down and their punters very happy. You usually need a reservation at weekends. Good place for a simple pint of German beer too. QOpen 15:00 23:30, Sat 14:00 - 23:30. Closed Sun. . PNBSW

Symbol key
P Air conditioning T Child friendly U Facilities for the disabled V Home delivery M Nearby metro station J Old Town location W Wifi 6 Animal friendly N Credit cards not accepted L Guarded parking E Live music G Non-smoking S Take away

Haveli D-4, Str. Episcop Radu 3, tel. (+4) 021 211 03
90/(+4) 0721 72 16 40,, www. Convincingly authentic Indian cuisine served in a brightly decorated villa, where the sauces are by nature toned down for locals but where chef will - with pleasure - spice

French Bakery Le Restaurant C-5, Str. Nicolae

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


and Bulgarian food can sometimes be very blurred indeed. You will find a rich range of dishes on offer: all presented on the menu in their original language. See you there. Q Open 12:30-15:30, 18:30-22:30. . PLGW Bucharest World Trade Center), tel. (+4) 021 318 30 00/(+4) 021 202 16 35,, www. This is the latest restaurant to open up in the Pullman, and is the best eatery weve been to at this particular five star. As you would expect, steaks top the bill, and what steaks! All the beef is shipped in fresh from South America, and though prices reflect the quality you will not argue at the end of the evening. Good wine list (we like the inclusion of Moldovan wines) and an open kitchen is always welcome. Q Open 12:00 - 15:30, 18:00 - 23:30, Sat, Sun 18:00 - 23:00. . PLW



Barbizon Steak House A-1, P-ta Montreal 10 (Pullman

Barka Saffron A-2, Str. Av. Sntescu 1, tel. (+4) 021 224 10 04/(+4) 0745 00 36 60, barka.saffron@gmail. com. We have been coming here since the last century, when there was precious little choice in Bucharest for people wanting something a little different; a little more spicy. Now there is plenty of choice but we still trot up to Barka whenever we can. On our last visit we went for the lamb with spinach in tomato sauce which was as good as we had hoped. The onion bhajis remain Bucharests best. First class cocktail list. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . SW Be Nat A-4, B-dul Nicolae Titulescu 4-8, tel. (+4) 031 437 96 03/(+4) 031 437 96 01,, Light and spacious diner overlooking Piata Victoriei serving excellent value hot lunches, salads, tea, coffee and cakes. Look out for the daily specials, while - if they have it - the gazpacho is as good as any in the city. Sit upstairs for the best views of the street below. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 18:00. . PVGBSW Bogdani Summer Lounge B-dul Aviatorilor 1, tel. (+4)
0721 60 03 27. The best thing about his huge place is the fabulous location, on the shore of lake Herastrau in the citys biggest park. There are tables overlooking the water, as well as huge covered terrace on which there are plenty of sofas to relax and enjoy your coffee or cocktail on. Serves decent food too, a mix of pasta and steaks and the like, and though the prices are perhaps a bit dearer than elsewhere the location is worth it. QOpen 12:00 - 05:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 05:00. . PEBSW

Chez Marie C-4, Str. Dionisie Lupu 48, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 031 107 20 33/(+4) 0730 34 48 10, office@, A wider variety of dishes you are unlikely to find in a Bucharest restaurant, and most of the time everything on the menu is available. We have always stuck with the beef dishes: both the steak with gorgonzola and the beef stroganoff are good efforts, but if you simply want a ceafa de porc with fries, they will rustle that up too. Good drinks list and the place itself is rather nice. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PLBSW Collage A-3, B-dul Ion Mihalache 10-12, tel. (+4)
0758 10 10 40,, www. Opposite the Peasant Museum this is a designer restaurant, lounge and bar where white furniture is in abundance, from the tables to the white leather sofas. Opens early enough to be a breakfast venue for late-risers, and lets face it, the kind of people who come here are not your average nine to five crowd. Its arty, its smart and its got just the right amount of attitude. And we love the dogs on chains outside keeping the parking spaces for the rich and famous, QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PLEBSW

through everything on the menu. Bucharests gourmands are now indeed spoilt for choice. Q Open 19:00 - 23:00. . PLGW BLU), tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00, hotel-bucharest. The best thing about this place is that the cracking breakfast (the best in the city) is open to allcomers: simply turn up before 10:30, pay your money and fill up for the day (we would have liked to have stayed for the day such was the wealth of goodies on offer, but they had to get ready for lunch...). The Dacia-Felix is also the setting for the Radissons excellent Sunday Brunch which, though it goes on for four hours, is not long enough to savour everything on offer. Bags of pink sparkling wine too... Q Open 06:30 - 10:30, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 11:00. . PLEGSW

Dacia Felix B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson

things up for the more experienced diner. We like the long list of vegetarian dishes, of which the Bhangan Bharta (aubergine with tomato and onion) is a particular favourite. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Mon 19:00 - 23:00. . PLVSW

Doncafe Brasserie B-3, Str. Ankara 7, tel. (+4) 0746

Karishma D-5, Str. Iancu Capitanu 36, tel. (+4) 021 252 51 57,, This place, by warrant of its bits and pieces layout, is perhaps the closest thing you will find to a classic British/Indian curry house in Bucharest. No less than three Indian chefs cook up the treats out back, with the lamb rogan josh - ordered extra hot - never failing to hit the spot. In fact, we counted no fewer than 10 lamb dishes on the menu, a rare treat in these parts where the raw material is so hard to find. QOpen 13:00 24:00. . PVBSW

Concerto Fine Dining C-5, Calea Victoriei 56 (Grand

Balkan Bistro C-5, Calea Victoriei 56 (Grand Hotel Continental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0372 01 03 00, info@, www.grandhotelcontinental. ro. Very interesting indeed. A a restaurant brave enough to admit that food in this part of the world is truly Balkan, and that the edges between Serbian, Turkish, Greek, Romanian

Price Guide
(Based on a good meal with wine) Expensive (More than 30 per person) Middling (10-20 per person) Not cheap (20-30 per person) Cheap (Less than 10 per person)

charest City Centre), tel. (+4) 021 308 85 30, fax (+4) 021 313 11 37,, www.novotel. com. So-called because the Novotel stands on the site of Bucharests pre-World War II National Theatre, this is a great new addition to the citys restaurant scene. Expect inventive, exciting new flavours, all served in a warm and most un-hotel like atmosphere. An instant hit. Q Open 06:00 - 10:30, 12:00 - 15:00, 16:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 06:00 - 11:00, 12:30 - 15:00, 16:00 - 23:00. Sunday Brunch 12:30 - 16:00, 190 lei/pers, free for children under 12. . PTULGBW

Cafe Theatro B-4, Calea Victoriei 37B (Novotel Bu-

Hotel Continental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0372 01 03 00,, Oh yes. The fine dining stakes in Bucharest got notched up even further with the appearance of the Grand Continentals showcase dining room, a match for any other in the city. This is the place to come for highly creative nouvelle cuisine, accompanied by a long list of the worlds finest wines (from Romania, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, North and South America). The setting is to die for, and the staff are knowledgeable about both food and wine and will talk you

22 24 44,, www.doncafe-brasserie. ro. Magnificent place just off Piata Dorobanti. Open early for breakfast (they do a decent English fry and delicious pain chocolat) its busy throughout the day, catering to lunching ladies and business types as well as a trendy crowd in the evenings. Great salads, a good range of homemade pasta (and we mean homemade: it is put together on the premises), a terrific osso bucco and a divine cheese cake are our fave dishes from the menu. You go pick your own. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00. . PLSW 55 56 93/(+4) 0722 70 25 60,, Bright and airy place that gloriously lets the light in through its huge windows. Fine food, including a luscious fried brie with onion

Gargantua C-5, Str. J.L. Calderon 69, tel. (+4) 0726

For details of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs in Bucharests Old Town, see pages 72-87. October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket





lunch in central Bucharest. There are just a few dishes to choose from each day: ask the staff whats good, hand over a pittance and try and bag a seat at one of the tables (there are only three or four). You can take away if there is no space. The kind of place Bucharest needs loads more of. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Sat, Sun. . PVGSW

Phill Str. Drumul Potcoavei 120, tel. (+4) 0743 17 20

marmelade, an outstanding chicken and artichoke salad, a couple of duck dishes and good steaks. Prices are more than fair given the location, setting and quality of food. Find it on the corner of Stradas Calderon and Verona. QOpen 08:30 01:00. . PLVBSW

Kopels A-7, Str. Sirenelor 87, tel. (+4) 0740 89 09 61, One of those places that we often think we should keep to ourselves and not put in the guide. Set in a small house on a street that amazingly survived the Centru Civic bulldozers, this is a restaurant that is quite simply a labour of love for all involved. The food is inventive, mainly seasonal and the chef is never afraid to try something new. The cheesecake is something of a Bucharest legend. Kids are welcome, many of the customers appear to be regulars, and the atmosphere is one of the most relaxed in the city. Top food usually comes with an attitude: not here it doesnt. QOpen 12:30 - 22:00. . PLVBSW La Brasserie A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza),
tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34,, www. Redesigned and reinvented, La Brasserie is now less about fine dining (pop over to The Vineyard for that) and more about good quality, simple food for all the family. The menu is available buffet-style or a-la-carte, and makes a great choice for families or groups on the run. The wine list remains a work of art and the atmosphere is now cosier than ever. QOpen 06:00 - 24:00. Sunday Brunch 12:30 - 16:30, 177 lei/pers, children between six and 12 years half price, children under six free. . PEGSW

usually something happening at Le Theatre, and even if there isnt, the food is enough to keep you here for most of the evening. The lamb chops we ate were terrific: pink and tender, and they went down well with a plate of fresh spinach. Great atmosphere, good people, a decent choice for dinner. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PBSW

17,, This magnificent place, located in Bucharests northern suburbs, takes restaurant design in the Romanian capital to new heights: we have not seen its like before. Contemporary, bright, modern yet with a genuinely traditional twist it is a sensational place to eat and spend time. Whats more, the food, which could easily be overwhelmed by such surroundings, is as fresh and inventive as the design. A great place to impress important clients or first dates. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLVSW

Uptown Bar & Grill B-3, Str. Rabat 2, tel. (+4) 021 231 40 77,, Uptown indeed. In the wealthiest part of the wealthiest part of the city, the citys wealthiest people come here to eat. The real draw is the enclosed terrace which means you can eat al fresco even when its snowing outside. The food is good, a mix of Italianesque and modern European dishes, which share a menu with an excellent wine list. Prices not cheap but value for money very high. Make sure you reserve well in advance or turn up with a local celebrity if you want a table on the terrace. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. . PBSW Varr D-4, Str. Silvestru 67, tel. (+4) 021 210 30 39,, Calling itself The House of T astes there are certainly plenty of tasty treats on the menu here. Set over three levels (including a

Maison 13 C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 2, MP-ta Romana,

tel. (+4) 0751 13 13 13, For years this place was Balthazar, one of the best restaurants ever in Bucharest. Dare we suggest that Maison 13 is even better? Completely different to its predecessor it is brighter, more contemporary and, if you want our opinion, more welcoming than the often stuffy and stuck-up Balthazar could be. This is fine dining without the heirs and graces, so get here and enjoy a menu of adventurous treats that changes regularly: so much so that individual recommendations are pointless. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. . PBW

tel. (+4) 0751 13 31 33,, Food with a view on the top floor of a block opposite the newly opened National Library. While it is the rooftop terrace that brings the punters in, the food is excellent too, with something for everybody on the varied menu. Pasta, salad, steaks and seafood. The daily menu deal is one of the best value in Bucharest. QOpen 10:00 - 22:30, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:30. . PVSW

Restaurant La Teral C-6, Splaiul Unirii 6, MUnirii,

Le Theatre B-5, Str. George Enescu 2-4, MP-ta Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 318 28 74/(+4) 0733 97 64 71,, A bit of food with your jazz? Or a bit of jazz with your food? There is always Bucharest In Your Pocket

Morgan La Dud C-5, Str. Sperantei 7, tel. (+4) 0752 70 03 00,, Dud in Romanian means mulberry, so you will understand the reason behind the name of this place the minute you see an impeccably preserved Morgan and step inside the gorgeous courtyard complete with mulberry tree in the middle. The food is special, from the pasta (all made on the premises) to the exciting variations of Romanian classics (sarmale made with mutton and rolled in mulberry leaves, for example). The White Duchess gateaux makes for a smashing dessert. With a range of fine wines from one of Romanias best vineyards this place is top notch. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLBSW Omnivores Dilemma B-4, Calea Victoriei 214, tel.
(+4) 021 212 56 66,, www. Brilliant! Tiny place serving the best cooked

Sofa Restaurant & Bistro Cafe C-2, B-dul Barbu Vacarescu 241A, tel. (+4) 0756 10 05 00, office@gosofa. ro, Sensational contemporary restaurant which caters during the day to the movers and shakers in the nearby office buildings, while in the evening it becomes the eatery of choice for Bucharests foodie set. Everything on the menu, from the duck with foie gras to the saffron risotto with tempura prawns is fantastic, and worth every penny. Theres a cheaper but no less tasty bistro menu too. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00 (Restaurant), 08:00 - 24:00 (Bistro Cafe). . PLEBSW
A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza), tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34,, The feather in the Crowne Plazas cap, this is now the hotels flagship restaurant, a work of great detail where everything is lovingly prepared by Exec Chef Ashlie Dias and his highly experienced team. Based around Mediterranean cuisine you can always expect to find something exotic and a bit different on the daring menu, and a number of the dishes require waiter or audience - thats you, diner -participation. An indulgent treat. QOpen 18:00 - 23:00. Closed Sat, Sun. . PEGSW

The Vinyard

October - November 2012





lovely loft) in a wonderful 19th century house, this elegant restaurant combines good food with good wine and good jazz music: there is a live performance most evenings. Serves the best broccoli soup weve eaten in this city, and look out for the lunchtime set menu: a bargain. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. . PLVBSW MPiata Victoriei, tel. (+4) 0733 73 59 32, veranda@, Simply put, this one of the top five restaurants in Bucharest. Combining a contemporary setting with fine food, this is a gourmets delight. The frequently changing menu is a mix of cuisines and flavours and always - no matter how often you come - features something new and exciting to try. The conservatory-esque setting is terrific, and there are outstanding wines and champagnes to complement the food. A top, top place. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLVSW

liver soup is a masterpiece. No fewer than 19 good Italian reds grace the wine menu. Q Open 12:30 - 16:00, 18:00 - 23:00, Sun 18:00 - 23:00. . PLESW

Modigliani Pasta/ Carne C-5, Str. Batistei 9 (Hotel

Veranda Casa Frumoasa B-4, Str. Clopotarii Vechi 5,

InterContinental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0730 64 48 06, A new menu this spring means that you just have to get along here, to what is the InterContinentals showpiece restaurant. Boasting top chef Alfonso Salvaggio in the kitchen, the Italian stakes continue to get ratcheted up another notch, and it is all to the benefit of us diners. All the pasta here is made fresh, the meat is the finest Argentine and Scottish beef or New Zealand lamb, and the wine is a selection of the best the world has to offer. The warm foie gras with onion confit starter was probably our favourite dish, however. Prices are high-ish, but reflect quality, and by no means reach the levels of a few other places we could mention. QOpen 18:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. . PLW

tel. (+4) 021 601 34 36/(+4) 021 311 90 00, caffecitta., Styled as a Northern Italian city centre cafe/bistro the emphasis here is on good, simple, urban food. Try the risotto with saffron, the saltim bocca and the tiramisu: all signature dishes and all done to perfection. The drinks menu is a bit special: go for the apple mojito (as delicious as it sounds) or try any number of great wines, all available by the glass. Keep the kids happy with the freshly made ice cream. QOpen 11:00 23:30. . PLGBW 021 233 06 35/(+4) 0722 22 47 99,, A bustling Italian restaurant and pizzeria whose menu is a veritable dictionary of pizza. They even do truffles and, lets face it, you dont see those every day on a menu in Bucharest. Well worth making the journey uptown for both the food and the atmosphere, which demonstrates that top restaurants dont have to be fitze. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLSW

Osteria Gioia A-3, B-dul Ion Mihalache 16, MVictoriei,

tel. (+4) 021 311 37 50/(+4) 0734 04 46 42, One of very few genuinely brilliant Italian eateries in Bucharest. Everything is done properly, from pasta made on the premises to the correct oils for the different dishes. We ate the excellent troffiette with smoked pancetta, porcini mushrooms, truffles and pecorino, which was followed by slow-cooked veal shanks in wine and aromatic herbs. Even the place itself is wonderful: long, narrow, with a great bar it is a foodies heaven. Go there. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLBSW

Caffe Citta B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu),

In a nutshell, its worth every penny: this is one of the top five restaurants in the land. Q Open 06:30 - 10:00, 12:00 - 15:00, 19:00 - 24:00. Sunday Brunch from 13:00, 195 lei/pers, 92 lei/children between six and 18, free for children under six. . PTGSW C-6, Str. Franceza 52, tel. (+4) 0733 11 04 64, www. We have always loved Trattoria Buongiorno, and have quickly become big fans of its new location in the Old Town. Decent Italian food (there is a small but good selection of fish dishes which are well worth looking out for). and one of the biggest and busiest terraces in Bucharest make it a seriously good eat and watch the world go by type place. (And at weekends, it can feel like the whole city is going by). QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. Also at Baneasa Shopping Center, 1st floor, tel. (+4) 0731 49 66 59. . PJBSW 1, tel. (+4) 0735 33 30 21, They get a lot right here, not least the bean soup that is a meal in itself. Excellent salads, and the seafood-packed signature Don Vito pasta was memorable. There is pizza too, the sweets are delicious and the place itself is decked out well without ever overdoing it. Well worth a look. Note that downstairs is a totally non-smoking section. Commendable. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. . PLGBSW

Trattoria Buongiorno

fantastic prices makes this a good default choice for dinner. Stick to the pizzas, salads, have a little patience and you will love the place. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. Also at (C-4) Str. Mendeleev 14, (+4) 0722 13 42 99;(I-4) Str. Delea Veche 36, tel. (+4) 0726 01 03 83; (C-3) Calea Floreasca 118-120, tel (+4) 0728 63 99 06, Soseaua Nordului 7-9, tel (+4) 0724 70 66 65. . PBSW D-4, Str. Mihai Eminescu 114-116, tel. (+4) 021 210 81 57/(+4) 0722 36 87 45, Brilliant, truly brilliant, and we rarely give praise that high. It might nominally be an Italian but what people come to this place for is the seafood. The huge plates of steaming mussels are top value, and theres fresh lobster (fresh as in they pick it live out of a fish tank). Add in decent house wine at giveaway prices, good pasta (a classic aglio, olio is recommended) and you have a winner.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Also at (A-6) Str. Dr. Lister 1, tel. (+4) 0766 33 42 24, (+4) 021 441 63 30. . PLSW

Trattoria Roma

Capricciosa B-dul Ion Ionescu de la Brad 2, tel. (+4)

0729 57 48 02,, w w w. As opposed to T rattoria Il Calcio? Yes. For this is a ristorante, a notch up from trattoria. Expect a more refined menu and surroundings, but the same warm, friendly service and great value (if pricier) food youve come to expect from the Il Calcio boys. This first Il Calcio restaurant is in a lovely house on Strada Clucerului, quickly becoming something of a magnet for great places to eat. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. . PLBSW

Ristorante Il Calcio A-3, Str. Clucerului 7, tel. (+4)

Trattoria Don Vito Ristorante C-4, Str. Mendeleev

Benihana B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard Johnson Grand Plaza), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 30,, benihana. With cracking new menus specially put together for the season, this is a great time to come and try the vast array of terrific Japanese specialities on offer at Benihana. A staple on the Bucharest dining scene for some years now, it is a tremendous mix of the new, the daring and the traditional. Expert chefs and staff will explain Japanese cuisine to newcomers, and the chances are you will want to come more than once. Great value, and perfect for big groups. Q Open 12:00 - 15:00, 19:00 - 23:00. . PTULSW October - November 2012

Cucina B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott

Robertos C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace

Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 19 02,, Bright and breezy, Cucina at the JW Marriott is a wonderful Italian restaurant where you can find probably the best (and perhaps only) swordfish steak in the city. The veal cutlets are incredibly expensive but worth every penny, while for a simple reminder of great cooking and intense flavours, the pumpkin and goose

Hilton), tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77, fax (+4) 021 315 21 21. Its back. After a complete refit Robertos is bigger and better than ever. It now boasts an open kitchen, three distinct dining areas and a private dining room. The food is simple, classical, with the menu boasting the best dishes from a number of Italian regions. The Gualtiero Machesi risotto with gold leaf is amazing, and the baccala with mash sensational. Its not cheap, but prices reflect the high quality.

Trattoria Il Calcio C-5, Str. Benjamin Franklin 1-3, tel. (+4) 0732 52 81 40, What we have here is the best use of perhaps the best terrace space in the city. As with the original Il Calcio, service can be a bit hit and miss but the good - if not outstanding - Italian food at

Bucharest In Your Pocket


Mediterranean food, the freshest seasonal ingredients and supremely healthy eating. You can feast on a great range of dishes from across the region, there are some fine wines and its all done with that magical Radisson swish. We love it. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLG



Mexican/Tex Mex
El Torito C-4, Str. Iancu Capitanu 30, tel. (+4) 021
252 66 88/(+4) 0728 17 60 59,, Tex-Mex as it should be: spicy, tasty but free of frills. Expect the biggest and best burrittos in the city, topped with lashings of tangy cheese; sizzlingly hot fajitas, no fewer than eight types of taco and - best of all - that splendid Mexican staple so often forgotten or passed over as being dull: cream of corn soup. The super nachos are worth trying too: filled with ground beef the portion is big enough to serve as a main course. In fact, beware: all the portions here are supersized. Though you would be a fool to forego a nosh here, if you just fancy a drink at the bar nobody seems to mind. Let the margaritas and the mojitos flow. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PVEBSW

Sushi Ko Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti 42D (Baneasa Shopping City, groundfloor), tel. (+4) 0744 34 44 44, www. Two wonderful restaurants. The food is fantastic, and the extensive menu covers every area of Japanese cuisine, from sushi to sashimi. The vibe is casual, the set menus are great value, and there is an Old Town location too. Staff are friendly and helpful, taking time out to explain the finer points of Japanese dining to beginners. Both locations are well worth a visit, and if you cant get there in person, theres home delivery too. QOpen 12:00 - 22:30. Also at (C-6) Str. Stavropoleos 8, tel. (+4) 0758 08 84 00, lipscani@sushiko. ro, open 12:00 - 24:00. . PVSW

tel. (+4) 021 367 17 01, rezervari@tavernatemplierilor. ro. A medieval extravanganza of a restaurant where you can sit at wooden tables - including a round one, a la King Arthur - and tuck into massive portions of all your Romanian favourites, from pork knuckles to home-made sausages and juicy steaks. There is live music most nights from a top taraf band, and its very difficult not to have a good time here. Groups especially will love it. Q Open 24hrs. . PVESW

Taverna Templierilor B-5, B-dul Mihail Kogalniceanu 3,


as an after-work venue as it is at lunchtime. Live jazz every Friday. Q Open 08:00-20:00. . PESW (Radisson BLU), tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00, Boasting a menu put together by Executive Chef Bernd Kirsch, who has been in charge of the kitchen here since Prime opened more than two years ago, what is perhaps Bucharests best restaurant recently got better. Now serving the finest fillet steak in the world (the Irish Hereford Prime - which we can tell you, as we have eaten it, is amazing), we can also recommend the duet of foie gras with raspberry mousse and caremelized pineapple, the grilled scallops and the lobster bisque. (And just about everything else). Its genuinely amazing this place. Q Open 12:30 - 15:00, 18:00 - 23:30. Closed Mon, Fri, Sat, Sun (lunch), Sun (dinner). . PLG

Prime Steaks & Seafood B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81

Modern European
Cafe Athenee C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hilton), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77, The village pub, where the city comes to meet and have a terrific lunch. The menu boasts a burger long considered one of the best in the city, and a couple of desserts that will have you loosening your belts. There is also a bites menu of substantial finger food for executive snacking, and a bigger, wider range of beers, wines and cocktails then ever, which is why it is now as popular

66, A new entry that goes straight to the top of the Lebanese in Bucharest charts. Superbly cooked and presented authentic Lebanese food in a fabulous villa located close to Piata Romana, at prices that are more than accessible to all pockets. Service is good, staff friendly and at this time of year you can enjoy it all al fresco. Perfect. QOpen 10:00 - 24:30, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 01:30. . PLBSW

59 98 05, We attended a Christening at this place recently, and were blown away by the quality of the food: really outstanding. The seafood and fish dishes are the best of whats on the menu, but there is more than that to enjoy: try the cracking salads or the beef carpaccio. As for the rooftop terrace, there is no more romantic place to eat in the city. In the right weather of course. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. . PLBSW

Al Wady C-4, Calea Dorobanti 18, tel. (+4) 0730 96 66

Cerisiers A-2, Str. Al. Constantinescu 33, tel. (+4) 0722

Chez Toni C-2, Str. Glodeni 3, tel. (+4) 021 242 02 04/

(+4) 0740 00 78 78, Terrific Lebanese food in the leafy, away-from-it-all setting of the Pescariu Tennis and Sports Club. All your Middle Eastern favourites are here, from Antaki, Adana and Beiti kebabs to sujuk (those tangy, spicy little sausages) and simple yet perfectly grilled sea bass (and a ton of other fresh fish). Everything is cooked by the resident Lebanese chef. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLBSW

Grenadine B-5, Str. George Enescu 23, tel. (+4) 0732 98 47 38, Bucharests most centrally located Lebanese might just be its best yet. The decor is a step up from other restaurants of the genre, and the Lebanese menu is both authentic and extensive. We loved the sambusik - the cheese and spinach ones especially - the lamb chops and the signature Grenadine salad, packed with olives and nuts. For the less adventurous there are a few international stand-bys to choose from. QOpen 11:00 24:00. . PVBSW Piccolo Mondo A-3, Str. Clucerului 9, tel. (+4) 021
222 57 55/(+4) 0722 20 50 20, Lebanese food that is both filling (with plenty for vegetarians to choose from) and well made. Kebabs are one of the chefs strong points, and are very tasty indeed. After your meal you can enjoy a smoke on a hookah pipe. Always packed so reserve a table. QOpen 10:30 - 24:30. . PVBSW

Novi Aquarium Calea Floreasca 111-113, tel. (+4) 031 405 05 97/(+4) 0730 07 77 23, From the people who brought you what was for years the citys best Italian restaurant, Aquarium, is Novi Aquarium, an even better place to eat and be seen, this time located on one of the most fashionable streets in the city. The food has moved from Italian to Mediterranean, with a heavy accent on superior seafood, as well as a few dishes we have not seen on other menus in Bucharest. The lamb risotto for example: simple yet fantastic. Great wine list too, with something for all pockets. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLEBSW Restaurant Tortuga D-5, Str. Traian 234, tel. (+4) 0733 07 74 82, Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy accent on seafood, and lots more besides. Great, big salads, huge plates of mixed meze (perfect for big groups to share) and no fewer than four lamb dishes, including some of the best lamb chops weve eaten in Bucharest. Modern, contemporary yet understated design adds to the joy of dining here.QOpen 09:00 - 23:00. . PLBSW Sharkia B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel.

(+4) 021 311 90 00. Sharkia blows in to the Radisson like the eponymous wind and brings with it some top class dining at the hotels latest restaurant. In place of Le Bistro what we have here is a dining room where the focus is on Eastern

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Romanian Food
Dont leave Bucharest without trying the classic Romanian sour soup, ciorba. Made of bor (a sour, honey-coloured liquid made of wheat and cornflour), in theory anything can go into a ciorba, though the most popular are ciorba de legume (made with vegetables), ciorba de vacuta (made with beef), ciorba de burta (made with tripe) and ciorba de perioare (made with pork meatballs). Another local must-try are mici. These are little sausage-shaped meatballs made of mutton and beef or pork and beef. Then there are the celebrated sarmale (cabbage or vine leaves stuffed with mince and rice), and tocania (stew). If you see ciolan afumat on a menu, it is worth trying: smoked pork knuckle usually served with beans and very good indeed. Mamaliga is the Romanian version of polenta, whose stodginess has long been compared to the Romanian temperament. While not all that big on fish per se, Romania does have a tradition of producing excellent fish roe, known as icre, usually mixed with garlic and mayonnaise and served in a delicious salad. Sweets in Romania are sweet indeed. Pancakes (clatite) served with chocolate or jam and covered in sugar are a popular dessert, as are papanai: deep fried doughnuts filled with jam, or sometimes cottage cheese. As a final word on Romanian food, a note about some strange culinary habits. For some unexplained reason Romanians usually serve their fries covered with grated cheese. When ordering you can avoid this by stating fara branza pe cartofi prajii, v rog. There is also a local habit of throwing creme fraiche (smntana) on everything, especially in ciorbe and soups. Again, a simple fara smntana v rog will suffice. Most bizarre of all however is the Romanian tendency to cover perfectly good pizza with ketchup.

Bistro Jaristea B-4, Str. Henri Coanda 5, tel. (+4) 021 650
50 00, From the people who have long brought you some of the citys finest Romanian food comes this place, a contemporary eatery for friends. Duck breast with sweet cabbage, smoked fish and potato salad, baked carp with garlic and mamaliga are just a few of the great dishes you will find on the menu. Add in a bright, breezy setting, good service, visinata by the glass and you have a terrific new place to eat and spend most of the evening. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLSW


Bistro La Taifas B-4, Str. Gheorghe Manu 16, tel. (+4) 021 212 77 88, La Taifas means having a chat and thats exactly what you and your friends will feel like doing at this tres jolie venue. We remain convinced that the original venue behind the Hilton on Str. Episcopiei was better, but the new location is more spacious, and hosts more regular musical soires. The food is great, and booking is still essential. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. . PLEBSW Casa Doina B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 4, tel. (+4) 021 222 67
17,, Alma mater of Romanian restaurants, an integral part of the citys rich tapestry. This classy place pulls in the cream of Bucharest society, served by charming, splendid waiters in smart dress. The food is superb, and in a city where standards rise only to fall so often, Casa Doina can be considered a paragon of consistency. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. . PLEBSW

Corso Brasserie & Terrace C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 4 (Hotel InterContinental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20. Breakfast, lunch or dinner on the boulevard; Magheru, that is. If this place doesnt occupy the best peoplewatching spot in the whole of the city, then we dont know where

does. The menu has gone more local of late: you can now enjoy exemplary sarmale and mamaliga here, as well as a brilliant iahnie de fasole with ciolan (pork knuckle with beans to you and me). Also still home of the best brunch in town. Q Open 06:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 23:00, Sat 06:30 - 11:30, 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 06:30 - 11:00. 12:00 - 23:00. Sunday Brunch 12:00 16:00, 175 lei/pers, children under six free, children between six and 12 half price. . PTLEBW

entire suckling pig (though note that you will need to phone ahead and ask then to start preparing it a day in advance) and sample some of the best vintage wines Romania has ever produced. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. . PLESW 24 80, Maybe we have been harsh in the past with our reviews of Nicoresti. It is, after all, one of the most celebrated Romanian restaurants in the city, and given that the service - always our biggest problem with the place - has improved no end of late, we think it is about time we give it another chance. We suggest you do the same, for the food has always been very good.QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. . PS

Nicoresti C-5, Str. Maria Rosetti 40, tel. (+4) 021 211

Good Old Times (Golden Tulip Times Hotel) E-6, B-dul Decebal 19, MPiata Muncii, tel. (+4) 021 316 65 16, www. The prawn spring rolls we ate here were just about the crispiest, lightest and tastiest we have come across in Bucharest. We couldnt make better at home (and we tried). There are plenty of other treats on a varied international (with a hint of Romanian) menu here too. This is a real surprise of a restaurant: do not let the hotel location put you off. Note the last kitchen order is at 22:30. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLGSW Hanu Berarilor Casa Soare B-6, Str. Poenaru Bordea 2, tel. (+4) 021 336 80 09, This place is the new must visit restaurant in Bucharest. Housed in the former Casa Bucur (a place you could write a book about) it is a very good Romanian restaurant serving the kind of food you only usually get in peoples homes. Seriously: only in two or three other places in Bucharest will you find carnati de oaie (mutton sausages) or bors de peste.QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 02:00. . PJEBSW Locanta Jaristea B-6, Str. George Georgescu 50-52, tel. (+4) 021 335 33 38, This is that rarity in Bucharest (and indeed Romania): an upmarket Romanian restaurant. The surroundings, location, exquisitely decorated dining rooms, service and choice of high quality food will convince you of that. This is one of very few places in Romania where you can enjoy an Bucharest In Your Pocket

Rossetya C-5, Str. Dimitrie Bolintineanu 9, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 031 805 91 99, Romanian food is never going to win any awards for originality, it being a mix of various Balkan cuisines, yet Rossetya tries harder than most to take it to new levels. As such this is as upmarket as you can get, and the beef dishes here are especially good. Try the sote de vacuta aromat cu cognac: tender beef sauteed in cognac with mushrooms and tomatoes. Also worth trying is the iahnie de fasole: a Romanian bean stew that packs something of a kick and proof that Romanian does do vegetarian food. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PSW Vatra Restaurant B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 19, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 315 83 75/(+4) 0721 20 08 00, www. We have been eating here for years and we cant recommend the place enough. You really will have go a long way to find better value Romanian food than this. A brilliant, well-priced restaurant close to Old Town and Cismigiu Park, expect big portions of tasty local dishes. Great ciorbas, terrific mici and a decent pint of beer. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PBSW

October - November 2012





(+4) 021 310 06 81, (+4) 0722 52 56 43, restaurant@, The concept is great: very good Romanian food with a nod towards the vegetarian served off a menu that changes daily. You can check it online and then decide if you fancy anything before setting off. Alas, the service can be a little hit and miss. On one visit we were given our menus, then ignored. We gave them five minutes, then ten, then 15... then we got up and left. Next time though all was well. We hope the second experience was the regular experience, for the place is lovely and just so un-Bucharest you want to squeeze it and hug it. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Mon 12:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. . PGBSW

Violetas Vintage Kitchen C-5, Str. Batistei 23, tel.

While Mesogios certainly doesnt get any cheaper, the high standards here have ensured that it remains packed with happy punters. Getting on for a decade since it opened its dedication to seafood has not waned for one moment, and we never leave disappointed (and we come here as often as our wallet allows). Join us and enjoy squid, lobster, prawns of all sizes, mussels, oysters, giant sea bass and a host of other wet treats. QOpen 12:30 - 24:00. . PSW 88 26/(+4) 021 311 88 69,, Doing for Bucharests fish supper scene what Osho did for meat. Expect fine pieces of fresh fish and prime, fresh seafood cooked and prepared simply, with real class and with great care for the natural flavour of the fish. Prices reflect the high quality of the raw material, so charge it to expenses if you can, for this is a faultless establishment we have grown rather fond of. Get in there. QOpen 10:00 23:30. Closed Sun. . PVEBSW tel. (+4) 021 252 29 56/(+4) 0766 52 67 91, taverna., Top little place with more atmosphere in its small toe than most other restaurants have in their entire bodies. Cracking menu of primarily fish and seafood, though there are local Romanian and international favourites too. An exemplary wine list (for all budgets) makes it a super place for vineyard fans: all of Romanias top wineries are represented. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PSW

Osho Fish B-2, B-dul Primaverii 19-21, tel. (+4) 021 311

Fishbone Lunch & Pub C-4, Str. Gen. Ernest Brosteanu 2, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0721 98 28 48/(+4) 0722 48 77 57,, www. Another fish restaurant more than worth the name adds itself to the growing list of such establishments in Bucharest. Well prepared, fresh fish in bright, modern surroundings with a great selection of side dishes and plenty of cracking wine to wash it all down with. Good lunchtime deals and friendly, happy staff ready to make your time here memorable. Certainly one of our fave places to open this year. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PLBSW La Veranda A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza), tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34,, www. One of three new places opened recently at the Crowne Plaza. This one is housed inside a glass terrace offering wonderful views of the garden outside: a joy in any weather. It serves deceptively simple yet exquisite fish and sea food as fresh as the day it was caught, and the chef will happily cook to order. Q Open 06:30 - 10:30, 12:30 - 16:00, 18:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 06:30 - 11:30, 12:30 - 16:00, 18:00 - 23:00. . PLEBW Mercado Fish & Grill B-2, Str. Prof. Ion Cantacuzino
8, MAviatorilor, tel. (+4) 0753 99 93 33. Its all change at Mercado, the restaurant formerly known as Arcade. With a new name, new look (both inside and out) and superb new menus it looks set to hang on to its long-earned reputation as one of the citys best eateries. The big terrace is one of the finest in Bucharest, the location on a relatively quite street helping to give it an exclusive, secluded atmosphere. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PLBSW

Taverna Pescareasca La Zavat E-5, Str. Popa Nan 16,

- which we have not seen on a menu for years - as well as a portion of paella, which was richly packed with seafood. Then throw in some walnut tostados for dessert if you have room. At lunchtime there are very well-priced set menus. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. . PLSW

to being pleasantly surprised about the prices: given the location (this is Beverly Hills, Bucharest) they are more than reasonable considering you get the best of the best. Packed at lunchtime. QOpen 10:30 - 23:30, Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. . PVBSW

Steak Houses
JW Steakhouse Bucharest B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie
90 (JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), MIzvor/Eroilor, tel. (+4) 021 403 19 03,, The JW Marriott hosts one of Bucharests best chophouses: the JW Steakhouse, only the second such signature venue to open in Europe. You can expect a very American steakhouse experience, right down to the Black Angus beef imported from the US. The Tomahawk steak - weighing in at nearly a kilo - is the pick of the steaks, but there is much more besides, including broiled lobster and Australian lamb chops. There is a great selection of new world wines, and they open early for breakfast: the JW steak and eggs is a great way to start the day. Q Open 06:30 - 11:00, 12:30 - 16:00, 18:30 - 23:30, Sat 06:30 - 11:00, 18:30 23:30. Sunday Brunch 12:00 - 16:00, 185 lei/pers, children between six and twelve half price, children under six free. . PLSW 31, (+4) 021 568 30 32,, Sometimes when writing a review, all you really want to write is this place is brilliant. This is a butchers shop and restaurant serving T-bone steaks you would scream for in the dark. There is more than steak on the menu though, such as a top burger (which comes in three sizes) and tangy lamb chops, and take note that all the meat is Romanian. Plus, theres a kids menu. We also have to admit

021 314 28 25,, Still the greatest kebab house in the land, and still packing in the punters who come back time and again. There are no menus here: instead the waitresses will parade a trolley-full of meze before you to pick from, before coming round with the kebabs: pick which one you want then send it to be cooked in the open kitchen. We usually always go for the lamb kebabs, but in our experience all of them are well worth trying. Great desserts too. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PLS

Golden Falcon C-5, Str. Hristo Botev 18-20, tel. (+4)

Slow Food
The Kitchen C-5, Str. Benjamin Franklin 9, tel. (+4) 0740 05 55 49, Slow food to take home is the slogan of this place, which pretty much says it all. You will find good, fresh food at decent prices, and as there are a couple of tables and a kitchen bar you do not even necessarily have to take it home. They serve excellent coffee too. QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. . VGBSW

Urban Contemporary
Restaurant Madame Pogany C-3, Str. Banu Antonache 40-44, tel. (+4) 0744 10 56 13/(+4) 0743 66 17 82,, Fine, upmarket yet casual restaurant of the new school in Floreasca/Dorobanti. The spacious, modern, well-lit dining room gives you a real sense of grandeur without ever becoming kitsch: a trick few have managed to pull off in Bucharest. There is little point telling you about the food as the menu changes almost daily: what we can say is that whatever you order you are likely to be happy with it. This is a great restaurant. QOpen 09:00 - 24:30, Sat, Sun 09:00 02:00. . PLBSW October - November 2012

tel. (+4) 021 313 20 91,, Nice. A bright, spacious and thoroughly modern eatery behind the Ateneu. For starters, take either the gazpacho (as good as it should be) or the mix of Spanish hams and sausages before moving on to the decent choice of seafood or meat main courses. We ate the very good oxtail

Restaurant Nada Mas C-5, Str. Nicolae Golescu 16,


Osho B-2, B-dul Primaverii 19-21, tel. (+4) 021 568 30

Mesogios C-5, Str. J.L. Calderon 49, tel. (+4) 021 313 49 51, (+4) 0727 23 92 39. A businessmans dream. Bucharest In Your Pocket


A-3, B-dul Ion Mihalache 2, tel. (+4) 0730 03 01 40. Bucharests best museum (well, a contender for that title, anyway) also has its full-on cafe, right inside the museum building. Currently attracts a cool, trendy crowd of young arty types and coffee-break mums, you will love it and want to stay all day: it could just be the most peaceful, relaxing coffee fix destination in the land. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. PLBSW

Home Delivery
Fabio Pizza A-3, Str. Barbu Vladoianu 46, tel. (+4) 021 311 71 22/(+4) 021 322 07 22, centrul1@, Currently our favourite home-delivery pizza company. Great prices, cheerful delivery chaps and terrific pizza (if you choose the thin and crispy base, baza subtire in Romanian). QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. PVNGS
327 40 40/(+4) 021 425 15 15, Though still delivering good pizza, there is much more to Jerrys than pizza though these days. Hot chicken wings, subs and salads, for a start. Friendly delivery boys in our experience: always worth an extra mark. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. Jerrys at Night Open 23:00 - 04:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 24:00-04:00, tel. (+4) 0722 33 41 41. PVS


Cafe Antipa by Artex

Cafe Times E-6, B-dul Decebal 19, tel. (+4) 021 316

65 16,, Free Wifi with your (excellent) coffee and a can-do attitude from the staff who appear to realise that sometimes people are busy, and need their coffee double quick. Not every cafe in Bucharest does realise that... Having said that, this is the kind of laid-back place that you end up spending the whole afternoon in, no matter how busy you are. Q Open 07:00 - 24:00. PLESW

Jerrys D-6, B-dul Octavian Goga 24, tel. (+4) 021

650 20 20,, www.gradina-oar. ro. A semi-secret hideaway of a garden serving coffee, tea, lemonade and cocktails to a wonderful crowd that simply wants to relax with good friends and listen to mellow music in gorgeous surroundings. A gem of a place that should be stuffed and preserved for all time. Alas the weather means it closes at the end of September until next year. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. NBW

Gradina OAR C-5, Str. Arthur Verona 19, tel. (+4) 021

Orasul Interzis D-5, Str. Silvestru 3, tel. (+4) 0733 50 07 50,, www. Home delivery arm of the excellent Chinese restaurant of same name. Q Open 12:30 23:00. PSW Restaurant Nan Jing B-4, Str. Gheorghe Manu 2-4, MP-ta Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 318 12 85/(+4) 0726 10 34 07,, www.nanjing. ro. Yes! The Nan Jing now does home delivery. Just head to their website for the full home delivery menu. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. . PLVBSW
ro. This is the real deal. Thin, crispy pizzas served piping hot to your door for peanuts. They do the thick-style pizzas too: make sure you ask for baza subtire - thin base. They will also bring you a tomato sauce to accompany the pizza: the hot one is genuinely hot. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00.

Green Tea D-5, Str. Dr. Burghelea 24, tel. (+4) 021
320 93 96/(+4) 0749 09 02 02,, Magnificent. We know that there have been tea houses in Bucharest before, but none were ever like this. A gorgeous villa whose many rooms have all been lovingly decorated in a different theme (one is like your favourite Grans front room, another is like a country house) the list of teas available is as long as your arm. Some are very exotic indeed. And yes, besides taking tea here, you can buy just about all of the teas in the shop. Brilliant, find someone special and go there immediately. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. PGBSW

Trenta Pizza, tel. (+4) 021 9645, www.trentapizza.

Serendipity Tea House C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 12,

Music Rooms Cafe D-4, B-dul Dacia 32, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0726 53 73 78, musicroomscafe@gmail. com. Three rooms offering three different kinds of music: jazz/ rock, Cuban and chillout. There is funky decor in all three, the prices are very good considering the location (just off Piata Romana, opposite the Howard Johnson hotel) and the crowd that congregates here is fun and trendy yet never tiresomely so. Definitely worth checking out at any time of day. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 23:00. PW

Readers Cafe B-4, Str. Grigore Alexandrescu 89-97, tel. (+4) 0737 32 33 77,, www. This place is one of the great things about the Metropolis Centre, of which the Starlight Suites and Loft restaurant also from part. You will find Readers on the ground floor, a modern, bright and well-lit space where you can read, drink great coffee or eat - far better than you would expect. The breakfast is terrific, the sandwiches tasty and well-filled, the salads big and the pasta light. Live music most evenings (early evening) and well separated smoking and non-smoking sections. Nice. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. PEBSW

MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 211 31 00/(+4) 0743 28 33 42,, www.serendipity-tea. ro. Tea, and lots of it. There are more than 55 types of tea available, including the trademark Serendipity, an aromatic yet fruity green tea with more than a hint of strawberries. A quiet location just off an otherwise busy central street make this a superb choice for long, peaceful afternoons reading a good book with a great cup of tea or two. Oh, and we should point out that the coffee menu is not bad either. QOpen 17:00 - 23:00, Sat 11:00 - 23:00, Sun 15:00 - 23:00. TGBW

their website to see whats on when: chances are it will be something well worth checking out. QOpen 14:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. G

Verona Garden / Cafe Verona C-5, Str. Pictor Arthur

Tekaffe B-4, Calea Grivitei 143 (Hello Hotels), tel. (+4) 0372 12 18 00, The inhouse cafe at the Hello Hotel is as smart, cheap and good value as the hotel itself. Serves good coffee, pastries and the like, and all with added Wifi. A more than decent meeting place. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. PLSW Tonka Soul Cafe B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 19, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0723 44 80 80,, This place has indeed got soul, and plenty else besides. Warm and quiet coffee house by day, it becomes the perfect aperitivo spot when the sun goes down, then gets really wild as the music gets louder and the hours get shorter. Theres a good internet cafe in the basement. Q Open 24hrs. PREBW, cafeneauauna.wordpress. com. Not a cafe, not a bar, not a pub. This is a bright, happy place for all sorts of events, from karaoke evenings to childrens craft fairs, poetry evenings to film nights. Oh, and we forgot to mention the dance classes and exhibitions. Check

Verona 13-15, tel. (+4) 0732 00 30 60, info@cafeverona. ro. Sublime. The brilliant Carturesti bookshop has long served coffee with its books, and now there is wine; and cocktails too. And if there is a better place to sit in the shade this close to the centre of Bucharest than the Verona Garden then we know not of it. For lunch, long lazy afternoons or laid-back evenings with friends it is great, while for weekend brunch it makes a brilliant alternative to the big, expensive hotels. Always packed, a reservation is a good idea. If the weather does not behave, head inside. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. BW

Vienna Lounge B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW

Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 19 01,, The Marriotts posh flagship caf, which is exactly as youd expect: classy, enjoyable and expensive. Sit and try to read those unmanageable newspapers on a stick, while enjoying the occasional live piano music, plus the sight of business types buzzing about to conferences. Whats more fun than leisurely watching others work when you dont have to? QOpen 09:00 - 23:00. PLESW

Una B-5, Str. Dona Nicolae 18, tel. (+4) 0743 09 59 65,

Remember: there are loads more Cafes in Bucharests Old Town, see pages 75-76.
October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


By Bars we refer to places where you are likely to do little else other than drink and be merry (though bar snacks may be available). By Pubs we mean venues where you can drink and get half-decent food.

Romanias Revolution
By 1989, communist Romania was a failed country. It had a leader and a government, but little else. Schools closed early in winter for a lack of heating, nobody worked as people spent all day queuing for basic foodstuffs, and a rampant black market saw speculators and corrupt officials make small fortunes. Yet even as late as November 1989, when the Communist Party held its four-yearly congress, electing Nicolae Ceauescu as president for another four-year term, there was no sign that the regime was in any trouble. As communist regimes crumbled all over Eastern Europe, Ceauescu held on. Then came Timioara. Always a city whose people were better informed than the rest of the country (they could watch Yugoslav television) the population of Timioara staged their first demonstration on December 16, initially in protest at the demotion of a local Hungarian priest, Laszlo Tokes. Quickly however, the demonstrations became political, and spread. On December 17, tens of thousands gathered in front of the citys Orthodox Cathedral. Ceauescu ordered the army to fire on the protestors, which it did. The protestors dispersed and the next day the city was calm, with soldiers and secret policemen everywhere; Ceauescu proceeded with a planned two-day state visit to Iran. Ceauescu returned from Iran on December 20, and the next day a rally in Bucharest was organized to reassure the population that he was still in control. He wasnt. On the morning of December 21, 1989, a large crowd brought in to dutifully cheer him was jeered him on live television during a rally in Piaa Revoluiei (C-4). The rally quickly became an anti-communist riot, and the square was soon out of all control. The crowd was eventually dispersed by gunfire, though to this day it is unclear if the gunfire was ordered by organs of the Ceauescu regime, or by the Ion Iliescu group of former communist nomenklature - known as the National Salvation Front (FSN) - that was about to sieze power. It may also have simply been the result of mass confusion. Later on the night of December 21, the crowd moved on to Piaa Universitii, where it stayed until dawn, before again being fired upon, and, as morning broke, dispersed: there were hundreds of arrests. But by now the pendulum had swung. Revolutionaries returned the next day to Piaa Revoluiei, while others headed for the headquarters of Romanian television. A fierce battle was fought here, but by the evening of December 22 revolutionaries after the army had ditched Ceauescu during the day and sided with them - had gained control of the building. Poet Mircea Dinescu made the first speech on free Romanian television, ending with the immortal words Dictatorul a fugit. Am nvins! Am nvins! (The dictator has gone. Weve won! Weve won!) By this stage Ceauescu and his entourage had indeed gone, fleeing in a helicopter from the top of the Central Committee building (today the Senate). They were caught a few hours later, and shot on Christmas Day, 1989. The power vacuum he left was quickly filled, with Iliescu, a onetime loyal lieutenant of Ceauescu and life-long socialist forming a provisional government. It is important to note here that though this new government was allegedly an independent body representative of every sector of Romanian society, Iliescu refused to allow any surviving members of Romanias pre World War II governments join. Important figures - including Corneliu Coposu, a leading liberal politician of the 1930s and 1940s who had served time in Romanias brutal communist prisons were prevented from entering the Central Committee building.


English Bar C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hilton), tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77 ext. 6759. This little corner of the Hilton that will forever be associated with intrigue and spies (it has been around for nearly a century, as long as the hotel) remains today a classy bar serving champagne by the glass and much else besides (including a tremendous pint of Guinness). Packed with business leaders and expats most evenings it is hard not to love it. It is one of our regular haunts. Q Open 17:00 - 02:00. PLW Intermezzo Piano Bar C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 4 (Hotel InterContinental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20. Legendary hotel bar in the lobby of the Eenter, which was a den of iniquity and intrigue during the communist period, all spies and journalists, plots and honey traps. Now its merely a very cool place to meet and have a drink in superb surroundings. Another one of the many reasons why the InterContinental is once again a decent place to spend time. QOpen 08:00 - 01:00. PLEW Ramayana Cafe A-5, Str. Baldovin Parcalabul 11, tel. (+4) 021 317 16 81/(+4) 0788 59 55 95, www. Looking like a cross between a Maharajas bedroom and the most luxurious hotel in Delhi, this cafe and cocktail bar is quite frankly unique. You will not find anywhere in Bucharest quite so startling in design, nor will you find a better place to bring a secret date for a little tete-a-tete. With more nooks and crannies than your grandmothers country house, pull up a cushion, sup on a hookah pipe and drink a green tea. Exceptional. Q Open 24 hrs. PEBSW Sky Bar B-3, Calea Dorobanti 155, tel. (+4) 0724 75 92
27,, Leaving aside the disappointment that Sky Bar - despite being on the roof - is actually only on the fifth floor, its a classy little place for the monied set which comes here to drink cocktails and dine on very good food. The salads are outstanding, as are the steaks and there is plenty of buffet-style finger food if you just want nibbles with your drinks. Its corporate and business like but makes a change from drinking in yet another cellar in Old Town. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. PVBSW

clashes with a Romanian game you will be watching the local excuse for football. The food here is far better than you might expect for a sports bar: the salads especially are big and packed with fresh, tasty ingredients. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PJSW

Victoria Club C-5, Calea Victoriei 56 (Grand Hotel

location as always being a bit cramped (though we have to admit it was not without its charms) then you are in for a nice shock at the new place. Everything you would expect from a pub is here, from football on the television to Guinness in the taps. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Sat 14:00 - 05:00, Sun 14:00 - 02:00. NSW

Stadio Sports Bar C-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 11, tel. (+4) 021 312 24 92, Bright new sports bar (what else?), although note that the sports in question are more than likely to be Romanian: if a Premier League match

Continental), tel. (+4) 0372 01 03 00,, Elegant English bar and cigar lounge that - with its gorgeous leather armchairs - immediately reminded us of our favourite bar in Vienna (which shall rename nameless). And thats exactly what weve found ourselves doing here: its a great place to get away from the bustle of the city for a bit, to enjoy the fine selection of English teas (theres good coffee too) and later on one of more than 100 spirits. Oh, and they have a top selection cigars too, we should add. Q Open 24hrs. PLW

Edgars Pub C-5, Str. Edgar Quinet 9, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 314 18 43. At lunchtime office boys and students mix happily as they tuck into great sandwiches and salads, while in the evening a similarly mixed crowd of good time people enjoys the laid back atmosphere always on offer here. It gets crowded downstairs at weekends, but that just adds to the fun. Recently given a thorough makeover. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 14:00 - 23:00. PNSW
0736 37 44 32,, www.energiea. ro. The latest industrial-esque bar to open in Bucharest. We like this place though: the high ceilings and big windows make it a good choice day and night, the original (we think?) floor looks great and there are a number of different rooms, not all of which carry the industrial-chic look. Best of all though we like the raised interior balcony. Top cocktail-sipping territory. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. PLEBSW

Energiea B-6, Str. Brezoianu 4, MUniversitate, tel. (+4)

0721 90 08 42,, www. Eternally popular late night choice of the actors who work in the National Theatre next door, this legendary bar remains a favourite of ours too. Loads of quiet corners for secret tete-a-tetes, you could conduct all sorts of affairs from down here. Not easy to find, the entrance is on the northern side of the National Theatre (opposite the InterContinental). They serve a great pizza. QOpen 10:00 03:00. PLNBW

Cafeneaua Actorilor C-6, Str. Lipscani 66, tel. (+4)

Dreamers B-5, Str. Gen. Berthelot 111, tel. (+4) 0723

11 22 00/(+4) 0744 36 63 50, dreamerspub@gmail. com, As Spock might say, its Dreamers Jim, but not as we know it. For if you remember the old

Happy Pub B-4, Str. Caderea Bastiliei 36, MP-ta Victoriei, tel. (+4) 0729 89 27 68/(+4) 0742 03 49 90,, What could be termed as a good, solid, no frills pub that eschews clutter and trendy crap and concentrates on the beer, the cocktails and treating its customers well. Theres a regular crowd of locals and foreigners, and its the kind of place where you never feel too young or too old. Top selection of brews October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


and a friendly crowd, though with less of an emphasis on live British sport (as such it is more popular with locals than expats, who head for the Dubliner). A cavernous place, with two levels, its quaintly decorated with framed old newspaper front pages and pictures, as well as great wallpaper. It thus somehow avoids the soulless synthetic feel of many Oirish pubs abroad. Faultless chicken and mushroom pies. QOpen 09:00 - 02:00. PSW



Clubs & Discos

06,, It has now had a few names this place, but it remains one of the citys best, most exclusive and of course most expensive uber-clubs. Featuring some of the sexiest dancers in Romania Friday and Saturday nights here are wild. The music is supplied by the worlds best DJs. You will need to take a taxi here, but then this is not the kind of place for people who use public transport anyway... Q Open 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mo, Tu, We, Th, Su (club). PLEW B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 32, tel. (+4) 0736 30 07 00, www. From the outside a fairly non-descript building that looks vaguely like a warehouse, but once in, Wow! It is an enormous place that mixes luxury with great music courtesy of two top local resident DJs. There is plenty of space to dance, plenty of places to chill out and even the toilets are spacious and damn well luxurious. You will leave wanting to go back and cursing your luck that it is only open twice a week. Oh, and wear sunglasses, everybody else seems to! QOpen 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. PLEBW

Barletto Club Str. Oltetului 30, tel. (+4) 0751 04 04

(including several imported British beers and stouts), decent music and bar food. We like it. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 18:00 - 02:00. PSW

La Calderon 80 C-5, Str. J.L. Calderon 80, tel. (+4) 021 212 48 86/(+4) 0728 92 06 20, lacalderon80@yahoo. com, With its wooden interior, inoffensive music and gangs of young people clustered round big tables, La 80 does little to distinguish itself from a swathe of similar establishments. Reasonable food and prices, and the little terrace opposite Gradina Icoanei is a nice retreat from more frantic places elsewhere. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. PBSW Old Nick Pub C-4, Str. Dionisie Lupu 88 (Piata Lahovari), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0733 52 51 50,, Three-level venue in Piata Lahovari, featuring a club downstairs (open until 4am), with a pub on the ground floor and a cafe on the first. The pub is great, unsurprising when you find out that it is run by the same people who have for ten years operated the legendary Old Nick Pub in Sinaia. Besides decent drinks at decent prices there is a good bar food menu, and the cafe upstairs comes complete with art on the walls (for sale, we believe) is well worth a visit. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PSW
(+4) 0732 22 26 66, Big pub that goes a long towards convincing us that we do not need to go to Old Town to find a decent drinker in Bucharest. From the very good attempt at an English breakfast to a decent pint of both Guinness and Kilkenny you can add their own beer, Primus, a decent-tasting bargain. There is no terrace

by the huge windows open fully so it feels much like a street cafe. Service is good too, and we love the retro-style black and white tiled floor. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 02:00, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. PBW 22 72,, Its doubtful that youve seen anything like this place in Bucharest before. Shift is a Bohemian restaurant/bar/club of some style. It is, in a word, gorgeous, and has been packed since opening day with the hippest and coolest people in the land. Late at night this is the smartest chill-out venue in the city, and we (and just about everybody else) love it. QOpen 12:00 - 03:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 05:00. PBSW

Shift C-4, Str. Eremia Grigorescu 17, tel. (+4) 021 211

BOA (Beat of Angels)

Terminus B-5, Str. George Enescu 5, tel. (+4) 021 318 16 67/(+4) 0730 22 25 55,, www. Pub/bar on the ground floor, while downstairs there is a basement bar which becomes more a nightclub with an industrial feel as the evening wears on. Theres a big bar and getting a drink - once not easy - is now a joy thanks to top staff. The central location right between the Radisson and Hilton guarantees it a steady flow of thirsty visitors. Guinness on tap. QOpen 09:30 - 04:00, Sat, Sun 09:30 - 06:00. PEBW White Horse B-3, Str. George Clinescu 4A, tel. (+4) 021 231 27 95,, www.whitehorse. ro. The White Horse has been around so long it should probably consider going out to stud. Or should it? On a recent visit we found it to be in surprisingly good shape, and packed with both locals of the ordinary people variety, as well as group of rowdy expats. There is still good food in the more formal part upstairs, with bar snacks served down, and though we have always loved the square bar. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00. PBSW

Chaos E-6, Str. Turturelelor 11, tel. (+4) 0731 49 51 14.

Smashing live music club. Expect good - mainly local but often foreign - live acts most nights of the week, with a reasonably big name performing at least once or twice a month. Good beer, a very good atmosphere and a real favourite of big groups of friends looking for a great night out. You can eat here too: theres a restaurant serving some terrific, big-portioned Romanian food on site. QOpen 20:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PLEBSW

Primus B-5, Str. George Enescu 3, MP-ta Romana, tel.

Irish Pubs
Dubliner A-4, B-dul N. Titulescu 18, tel. (+4) 021
260 26 78. Legendary boozer in the sense that it was the first real pub to open in Bucharest (back in 1995), the Dubliner remains a favourite of many old school expats, although the location makes it a bit of a trek for Old Town or city centre-based visitors. Serves a good chicken pie and English breakfast, an exemplary Guinness and offers a wide range of sports courtesy of Sky TV. QOpen 09:00 02:00. PSW

92 78 61,, www.control-club. ro. Its moved, but still tops our list of clubs for people who do not like clubs. We have to admit that as we went to press we had not been to the new location (it hadnt actually opened), but we have been promised that Control will continue its commitment to live music, as well as playing a good mix of music. A little more electro, we are told, while Panic, which has appeared in where Control used to be, will be keeping it alternative rock. QOpen 14:00 - 04:00, Sat, Sun 14:00 08:00. EBW

Control Club C-5, Str. Constantin Mille 4, tel. (+4) 0733

The Harp C-6, Str. Bibescu Voda 1, MP-ta Unirii, tel.

(+4) 021 335 65 08. The other half of the Dubliner. The idea is more or less the same: good food, drinks, service

Deja-vu C-5, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 25, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 311 23 22/(+4) 0721 91 82 79, www. A place that goes from strength to strength. Still the best cocktail bar this side of the River Prut, it is now open during the day for food too: you could spend your whole life in here. The draw though remain the participatory cocktails, some of which involve fire, and a few which involve wearing a World War II Russian army helmet. They also serve at least one which involves a young Russian girl squeezing lemon into your mouth with her teeth. At weekends it is packed and the small dancefloor is the sweatiest place in Bucharest. You will love it. QOpen 20:00 - 04:00. PENW October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


0728 55 60 43,, www. Socialists with an interest in rock music of the world unite! Despite killing lord knows how many people, Che remains cool, and all those who blithely wear his t-shirt will love this little rock club, dedicated to the mans memory, with portraits at 10, 12 and 2 oclock. If you can leave aside the politics, then its actually quite good. It is nice to hear music which doesnt thump, thump, thump, and the warren of little rooms is probably great for plotting the downfall of the capitalist system. Drinks are cheap. Revolutionary! Q Open 21:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun (August). Open 21:00 06:00. Closed Mon, Sun (September). PLW MP-ta Unirii/Izvor, tel. (+4) 0733 97 47 28/(+4) 0726 80 41 42,, A club with two faces. Expirat is home to some of Bucharests most eclectic sounds, and as it has an OtherSide (Expirats club within a club), chances are there is bound to be something going on you fancy. The music policy is a bit of everything: folk (usually live on Mondays), electro, alternative, rock and indie with hip-hop, reggae and disco sometimes thrown in for good measure. (Check the venues Facebook page to see whats on the night you fancy going). Drinks are well priced, and there are two bars meaning that you never have to wait too long to get served. Top notch. Q Open 20:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. (Expirat); 20:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Thu, Sun. (The OtherSide). PEW

El Comandante Grande D-4, Str. Viitorului 26, tel. (+4)

Vice Advice
Wth more brothels, massage parlours and sex shops per square inch than most places in Eastern Europe, you could be forgiven for thinking Bucharest was the sex capital of the continent. You could also be forgiven for thinking that prostitution was legal: we can assure you of the fact that it certainly isnt, despite any and all appearances. This being Romania however, the law is more a minor obstacle to be overcome than a serious impediment, so you can indeed get away with sin, sin and more sin anytime you like, though discretion remains essential. If you are looking for sins of the flesh, you basically have three options: one legal, one not exactly legal but not exactly illegal either, and one completely illegal. The legal option (and the only option we recommend) is erotic massage at a reputable massage parlour. You will almost certainly not be offered any sexual encounters at these places, but there is still much fun to be had, from simple hand assistance to full body massage from one, two or even three nubile young ladies. Prices start at around 50 though climb higher at the more central, luxurious establishments. The second (and not-always-above-board) option is to simply head for a brothel (surely erotic nightclub? Ed). These establishments advertise themselves in seedy publications as legitimate strip clubs, but act mainly as fronts for whorehouses, usually run by very dodgy, and often quite dangerous businessmen. After sitting yourself down at a table you will be served expensive drinks, before being joined by some very bored and not always attractive young ladies (most of Romanias best-looking prostitutes are allegedly plying their trade in Germany and the Czech Republic). These girls sometimes lap dance for you, and always try to convince you to buy them cocktails (in fact orange juice with an umbrella, usually costing about 15). After half an hour of bored conversation you will be asked if you would like to retreat to a more intimate location, usually a room above, or even in, the night club itself. For an hour of whatever it is you fancy expect to pay a minimum of 100, as well as the obligatory bottle of sparkling wine, which usually costs at least another 50. All this on top of the tab you have already run up of course. But be careful. Not all of these night clubs are worth your time. Indeed, some can allegedly cause you physical harm. One such establishment, allegedly, is Stars Night Club on Strada Ion Campineanu, opposite the Novotel. A recent Romanian newspaper report claimed that a group of American soldiers were recently beaten up here after refusing to pay a bill of 3,000. Approach all night clubs with caution. The third (and entirely illegal) option is to call one of the escorts who advertise in many of the poor quality city guides found around town. These escorts are usually unattractive prostitutes who charge 150 upwards for sex. Bait and switch operations (you order an 18 year-old with large breasts and you get a 48 year-old with large everything) are commonplace, and you should really think twice before calling them.

Expirat & OtherSide Club B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 4,

Fratelli Str. Glodeni 1-3, tel. (+4) 0731 03 62 22, office@, Top notch. One of Bucharests uber-clubs, where the richest and best looking people in the city come to see and be seen. Serving up a never ending supply of top DJs from both Romania and abroad, it is clear that the people who run this place consider the music to be as important as anything else: something not every club in this town can boast. Not cheap (kind of the point) if you stick to the beer and do not sit at a table (which requires you buy a bottle of spirits) then you can still have a reasonably priced night out here. Brilliant. QOpen 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. PE Joy Pub B-5, Str. George Enescu 25, tel. (+4) 0755 56
97 82,, Club which hosts all sorts of events from stand-up comedy to theatre and live music of all stripes: rock, folk, jazz. Definitely a sound choice for those of you looking for a more cerebral, grown up and less rowdy crowd than found elsewhere. Drinks are a decent price and service is surprisingly good for these parts. QOpen 12:00 - 03:00. PEW

Bucharest In Your Pocket


Kristal Glam Club B-5, B-dul Regina Elisabeta 34, tel. (+4) 0722 79 51 84,, www. Its moved. Still the number one venue in the city for top international DJs, who play here before they play anywhere else in Romania. The cavernous interior doesnt have the intimacy or the garish decor of the old place, but the size of the new Kristal, and the concave roof, mean it doesnt feel too claustrophobic even when half the city turns up to dance. QOpen 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. PW Kulturhaus
C-6, Str. Sf. Vineri 4, tel. (+4) 021 313 55 92, Good riddance Twice, wilkommen Kulturhaus. A nakedly non-commercial club that attracts a nakedly (though not naked, except on fetish nights!) non-commercial crowd on two levels offering hard rock, folk rock, new wave, punk and indie upstairs, and pretty much the same downstairs (though it depends on the DJ...) Has a live band playing at least once a week, bags of other events and refreshingly says NO to table service: yes, you will have to get your sorry ass to the bar to get a drink. We are fans. QOpen 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. PLE plenty of live acts and always a good crowd of music lovers to share it all with. QOpen 17:00 - 03:00, Sat, Sun 17:00 09:00. EW

Player Hall of Fame Club Str. Primo Nebiolo 1/Piata

Montreal, tel. (+4) 0720 73 47 34, There are clubs in Bucharest, and then there is this place, which is probably why it is packed most nights until dawn. Always heaving with beautiful, successful yet never over-the-top people dancing to top sounds direct from the dance capitals of Europe or chilling on the chic terrace, The Player is the kind of place that puts the hedonism back into Bucharest nightlife, but in the right way. QOpen 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Thu, Sun. PLW

Jazz Clubs
Art Jazz Club B-4, Calea Victoriei 52, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0731 64 59 18,, www. Sometimes packed and bubbling over, at other times less so but always smoky, Art Jazz Club puts on as many jazz concerts as it can every week (usually three or four). The quality of the music is almost always good, and the drinks are amongst the cheapest in the area. Entrance is actually through a small door next to a little car park behind the Senate, rather than on Balcescu as the address suggests. QOpen 17:30 - 04:00. PENW Green Hours 22 Club Jazz Caf B-4, Calea Victoriei 120, tel. (+4) 0788 45 24 85, rezervari-bar@greenhours. ro, Legendary, trendy, atmospheric jazz club, where its almost impossible to find a table. Make sure you reserve in advance if you want to sit down. There is live music and other arty stuff - including theatre, comedy, book launches and the like - most evenings. Popular with a crowd that encompasses all ages, from 18-80, its definitely a place you should visit once before leaving Bucharest. Q Open 24hrs. PENBW

0729 53 42 42,, Stylish and contemporary without ever being as over the top as a few other places in Bucharest we could mention, Le Gaga is that most unique of clubs: people here actually seem to be having a good time. You do not have to be dressed like an idiot to fit in, the music is a good mix of local and international, and there are regular personal appearances by top local acts. To call it decent would be an understatement. QOpen 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PLEBW

Le Gaga Str. Oltetului 30, tel. (+4) 0727 53 42 42/(+4)

Music Club C-6, Str. Baratiei 31, tel. (+4) 0720 88 71 15, Just about the best live music venue in Bucharest right now, Music Club is where youll find a great resident band most evenings performing creditable covers of all your favourite classic hits. They are more often than not joined on stage in the early hours by leading Romanian musicians who have quickly made this place their preferred haunt. Very nice indeed. Be prepared to have a very good time. QOpen 22:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed. PEW Panic! Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0734 29 35 09, On the site of what used to be Control Club (which has now moved to pastures new) is Panic!, possibly the first club in Bucharest named after a song by The Smiths. You can expect much the same kind of thing as before, with a mix of music centering on alternative rock,

Casino Bucharest C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 4
(InterContinental Hotel), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0728 83 38 28/(+4) 021 312 26 00, concierge@, w w QOpen 18:00 - 06:00. PLVK

Grand Casino B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW

Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 08 00,, www. Q Open 24 hrs.

Havana Princess Casino C-5, B-dul Regina Elisa-

beta 13, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 39 10, Q Open 24 hrs. PL

Palace Casino B-4, Calea Victoriei 133, MVictoriei, tel. (+4) 021 311 97 44/(+4) 0722 66 57 88,, Q Open 24hrs. PLKW Platinum Casino B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel.
(+4) 031 710 22 34, (+4) 0720 22 74 66, platinum@, Q Open 24 hrs. PLK Romana, tel. (+4) 0372 76 34 45, Q Open 24 hrs. PRULKW

Queen Casino B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7, MP-ta

Bucharest In Your Pocket


wHat to see
Essential Bucharest
The first port of call for any visitor to Bucharest these days should probably be the Historic Centre, or Old Town. Once you have ticked off Old Town, you can head for the sights, museums, churches and buildings we list here. The Peasant and Village Museums should take priority, as well as the Grigore Antipa National History Museum. While still the most famous building in the city and usually top of the agenda for most visitors, Casa Poporului/ Palatul Parlamentului tends to be a bit of a let down for most, mainly due to the stilted nature of the compulsory guided tour. Art lovers - especially fans of religious art - should pencil in at least an afternoon at the National Art Museum. Last but not least, half a day at the Bellu Cemetery is a wonderful trip through Romanian literary, artistic, political and architectural history. 249, MEroii Revolutiei, tel. (+4) 021 636 35 71, www. Founded in the 1850s, this is Bucharests most historic cemetery, the final resting place of just about every great Romanian academic, scientist, artist, writer, musician and poet you can think of, as well as the odd politician. Each has his or her own plot, usually with an accompanying monument (our favourite is that devoted to the comic actor Toma Caragiu, tragically killed in the Bucharest earthquake of 1977). You could spend half a day here wandering between the gravestones, memorials and statues (the graves are grouped by profession: scientists in one part, actors in another etc). You should also be sure to visit the central chapel (which keeps the same hours as the cemetery itself), built in the 1880s in the style of the cathedral at Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) and boasting stunning interior paintings. Next to the cemetery is the Cimitirul Eroilor, where those killed in Bucharest during the 1989 revolution are buried. QOpen 08:00 - 16:00.

wHat to see
Historic Churches
Str. Sfintii Apostoli 33A, MPiata Unirii. One of the oldest churches in Bucharest (with parts dating back to the 16th century, when it served as the church of the Trnovului Monastery) the Apostles Church is notable for its sublime steeple, built in 1715, and restored in 1936.


Apostles Church (Biserica Sfintii Apostoli) B-6,

Colea Church (Biserica Colea) C-5, B-dul

Nicolae Blcescu 1, MUniversitate. To the left (face on) of the Colea hospital, the church of the same name was built from 1701-2 on the site of a much older, wooden construction. Renovation has restored much of the rich ornamentation of the interior.

Bellu Cemetery (Cimitirul Bellu) Calea Serban Voda

Creulescu Church (Biserica Creulescu) C-5,

Calea Victoriei 47, MUniversitate. Biserica Creulescu was raised from 1720-2 by Iordache Creulescu and his wife Safta, a daughter of Romanian humanitarian Constantin Brncoveanu. The outstanding paintings on the entrance are original, the work of an unknown artist, while the interior icons were added in 1859 by Gheorghe Tattarescu.

in 1885, the church is named after Constantin Brncoveanus sixth daughter, who built an earlier church on the site in 1744, but which burnt down soon after. In 1751 a second church was built; but that was also later damaged, during an earthquake in 1838.The current, Neo-Romanesque building went up in the 1870s.

Domnia Balaa Church (Biserica Domnia Balaa) B-6, Str. Sfintii Apostoli, MPiata Unirii. Built

Mihai Vod Monastery (Mnstirea Mihai Vod)

George Enescu Museum (Muzeul National George Enescu) B-4, Calea Victoriei 141, tel. (+4) 021 318

14 50, fax (+4) 021 312 91 82, www.georgeenescu. ro. Mistakenly believed to be the great Romanian composer George Enescus former home, this outstanding Secession house was in fact built for landowner George Cantacuzino in 1905, and many older Bucharest residents still refer to it as the Cantacuzino Palace. It became state property in 1955, the year of Enescus death, and a year later opened as a musuem dedicated to his life and work. You will find rooms full of the usual memorabilia and artefacts from the eventful life of Romanias most famous composer, as well as a full telling of the story of Romanian music in general. QOpen 10:00 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 6 lei, children 1.50 lei.

B-6, Str. Sapienei 2, MIzvor. Another of the churches that was moved to make way for the Civic Centre, Mihai Vod was originally built in 1601. After a fire in 1761 it was left to rot before thorough rebuilding was carried out from 1827-38. In 1985 it was moved 285 metres east - on rails - and hidden in its present location behind the apartment blocks.

30 30/(+4) 021 314 81 19, fax (+4) 021 312 43 27, The countrys largest, and most impressive art collection is housed inside the splendid former Royal Palace, first built in 1812 as a private home by the wealthy trader Dinicu Golescu. When his sons fell into financial ruin some years later, they were forced to sell the building to the state, which carried out huge modifications, adding a number of new wings. It became a royal residence in 1859, when it became the sight of the court of the first prince of the united principalities, Alexandru Ion Cuza. Although slightly remodelled in the 1930s, the building we see today is more or less the original, revolutionary damage notwithstanding. Indeed, some parts of the building have only recently been reopened after the mindless vandalism of those mad days in December 1989, when the building was ransacked by the iconoclastic mob, which saw the building (named the Palace of the Socialist Republic during the communist period) as a symbol of the regime. There are three permanent exhibitions, one on each of the three floors of the main building: Medieval Romanian Art, featuring icons, carved altars, illustrated manuscripts and bibles, and fragments of frescoes; Modern Romanian Art, with all of Romanias greatest 20th century artists well represented, including Theodor Aman, Constantin Brancui, Gheorghe Patracu, and Gheorghe Tattarescu; and European Paintings and Sculpture, which plays host to a fine collection of Old European Masters. The museums Kreulescu Wing plays host to increasingly daring and original exhibitions by contemporary European artists, as well as more traditional fodder. Essential. Q Open 10:00-18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 8 lei for The Gallery of European Art, 10 lei for The National Gallery (Treasure included) and 15 lei for combined tickets (both galleries).

National Art Museum (MNAR; Muzeul National de Arta) B/C-5, Calea Victoriei 49-53, tel. (+4) 021 313

Peasant Museum (Muzeul Taranului Roman) B-3,

est of the churches built in Bucharest during the reign of Constantin Brncoveanu, New St. Georges Church was consecrated on June 29th, 1707. It was a wonder of the age, having been designed by an Italian, Vaseleli, and decorated by the great Romanian maestros of the times.

New St. Georges Church (Biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou) C-6, Piata Sf. Gheorghe, MPiata Unirii. The larg-

1, MPiata Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 312 88 26, fax (+4) 021 312 88 63, Romanias finest museum, and one of the best natural history museums in Europe, now reopened after a three year, 14 million refit. Packed with terrific exhibits (including the obligatory dinosaur skeletons) which will keep kids of all ages and their parents occupied for the best part of the day, there are all sorts of hands-on, interactive displays, as well as 3D films, artificial caves and - in the basement - a thorough guide to the incredible amount of animal and plant life native to Romania. The building which houses it all is itself worthy of note, purpose built in 1908 at the behest of Grigore Antipa, a noted Romanian naturalist who then set-up and ran the museum for almost five decades until his death in 1944. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. Admission 20 lei, pensioners 10 lei, children/students 5 lei.

Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History (Muzeul de Istorie Natural Grigore Antipa) B-3, os. Kiseleff

Dealul Mitropoliei, MPiata Unirii. Known as Mitropoliei, the Patriarchal Cathedral has been the centrepiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since the seventeenth century. Built to a design based on the Curtea de Arges, near Pitesti, it has undergone a number of facelifts, but the overwhelming majority of the cathedrals structure is the original, built between 1654 and 1658. The outstanding bell-tower at the entrance was built in 1698, and restored in 1958.

Patriarchal Cathedral (Patriarhia) C-6/7, Str.

os. Kiseleff 3, MAviatorilor, tel. (+4) 021 317 96 61, fax (+4) 021 317 96 60,, In most peoples opinion, the Peasant Museum is the best museum in Bucharest, and one of the best in the country. Housed in a wonderful red brick building designed by Nicolae Ghica-Budeti, dating from 1912, the museum offers well laid out and presented exhibits which tell you all you need to know about the diverse and fascinating history of life around the country over the past four centuries. There are exhibitions covering all aspects of Romanian peasant life, from handpainted Easter eggs to terracotta pottery, from colourful religious icons to traditional clothing. Replicas of much of what is on display can be bought in the excellent museum shop. Fittingly for the building that from 1948-89 was home to the catchily-titled Museum of the Communist Party and Romanian Revolutionary Workers Movement, there is a collectivisation exhibition in the basement. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Last admission 17:00. Admission 8.00 lei, students and children 2 lei, pensioners 3 lei.

Most of the houses date from the mid 19th-century, but there are some, such as those from Berbeti, in the heart of Romania - celebrated for their intricately carved entrances - which date from as early as 1775. The highlight of the museum is probably the steep belfry of the wooden Maramure church, complete with exquisite but faded icons. You should also not miss the earth houses of Straja, dug in to the ground and topped with thatched roofs, or the brightly painted dwellings of the Danube Delta. The museum has a great souvenir shop, and a stall selling traditional Romanian sweets and cakes. Children love the museum, and it makes for a perfect family day out. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00, Mon 09:00 - 17:00. Admission 10 lei, students/children 2.50 lei.

Collectivisation Memorial B-3, Inside the Peasant Museum, MPiata Victoriei. Our favourite part of the Peasant Museum; a small but stunning and moving cellar room featuring a collection of communist-era busts, paintings and nostalgic memorabilia. Called a reminder of the pain caused by collectivisation there are a number of paintings of Stalin and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, but none of Ceausescu. Be sure to take a Romanian speaker along to translate the often chilling newspaper articles reporting the progress being made towards full collectivisation that are stuck on the walls. Cotroceni Museum B-dul Geniului 1, tel. (+4) 021 317 31 07/(+4) 021 317 31 06, fax (+4) 021 312 16 18, Constructed from 188893 at the behest of Romanias first king, Carol I, Cotroceni Palace has since 1991 been the official residence of the Romanian President. Built on the site of a former monastery (the foundations and cellars of which remain, and form part October - November 2012

Radu Vod Monastery (Mnstirea Radu Vod)

C-6, Str. Radu Vod 24A, MPiata Unirii. There was originally a wooden church on this site, built during the reign of Mihnea the Bad, around 1508. The present church dates from 1613-4, though it was extensively rebuilt during the 19th-century, when the frescoes (all the work of peerless painter Gheorghe Tattarescu) were added.

317 91 10, fax (+4) 021 317 90 68,, Outstanding. Founded by Royal Decree in 1936, and covering some 15 hectares on the shores of Lake Herstru, Muzeul Satului is one of the greatest outdoor museums in the Balkans. There are more than 60 original houses, farmsteads, windmills, watermills and churches from all of Romanias historic regions: Transylvania, Oltenia, Dobrogea and Moldavia. Every exhibit has a plaque showing exactly where in Romania it was brought from. Some even now have recorded commentary in four languages (if the stickers are missing, press the second button for English).

Village Museum (Muzeul Naional al Satului Dimitrie Gusti) A-2, Sos. Kiseleff 28-30, tel. (+4) 021

Bucharest In Your Pocket


wHat to see
Contemporary Art Gallery
(+4) 0727 89 07 20,, Fine contemporary art gallery working with both established and emerging Romanian artists that correspond to the gallerys aesthetic agenda, which includes graphics, painting, installation and mixed media. Currently represents Nicolae Comanescu, Andrei Gamart and Oana Lohan. QOpen 12:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun. PLBSW of the tour of the palace), the palace was designed by a French team of architects, led by Paul Gottereau. The design would form something of a blueprint for Romanian domestic architecture for years to come. It served as the Bucharest residence of the Romanian royal family until 1939. During the communist period it was used as a guest house for visiting heads of state. The part that serves today as the presidents office, and official home, however, was added after the great Bucharest earthquake of 1977, and bears the stamp of local architect Nicolae Vladescu. Part of the palace is open to the public, and can be visited as part of a tour. You will see a number of function rooms, many of which were decorated to the whims of Marie, the English wife of Carols heir, his nephew Crown Prince Ferdinand. You will also be able to view her astonishing art collection. During the construction of the new wing in the 1980s, ruins of the original monastery church were discovered, including part of the original interior frescoes. The church has been partially rebuilt and can be visited without joining the full palace tour. QOpen 09:30 - 16:00. Closed Mon. Admission 27.00 lei, students and children 21.00 lei. Admission includes entrance and the compulsory guided tour. Tours are available in Romanian, French and English. Last tour begins at 16:00. riei, tel. (+4) 021 212 89 52, Far more than just a collection of old rocks and fossils, Bucharests Geology Museum is one of the citys must sees. First off, there is the museum building itself to admire. Built in 1906 on the orders of King Carol I to house what was then known as the Royal Romanian Geology Society, the building is a splendid example of Neo-Brancovenesque architecture, and is far more impressive than its red-brick neighbour, the Peasant Museum. The museums permanent collections are impressive in size and - being logically presented - clarity, with a decent number of English captions. The museum is also one of the most active in the city, playing host to varied and never less than fascinating temporary exhibitions. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 8.00 lei, students and children 4.00 lei.

wHat to see
Parks & Gardens
Botanical Gardens (Grdina Botanic) Sos. Cotroceni 32, tel. (+4) 021 410 91 39, www. Bucharests Botanical Gardens were founded in 1860 with the significant financial backing of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, at the time the leader of the nascent Romanian state. Completed in 1866 to the designs and instructions of Ulrich Hoffmann, they were originally in the grounds of the Cotroceni Monastery, moving to their present location in 1884. The garden, administratively part of Bucharest Universitys Botanical Institute, today extends over an area of more than 17 hectares, and hosts more than 10,000 species of plants, approximately half of which are cultivated in the impressive glasshouses.QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Admission 5.00 lei, students and children 2.00 lei.
C-7, Calea Serban Vod, MEroii Revolutiei. So close to the city centre yet so seldom frequented as to be almost forgotten, this large park was laid out by the citys authorities from 1900-6, and designed by the French landscape artist Eduard Redont. It is today dominated by the massive Monument to the Heroes of the Struggle for Freedom and Socialism (it stands 48 metres high) built in 1963 and which until 1990 housed the remains of communist leaders Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and Petre Groza (it is today empty). The park offers some pleasant walks along tree-lined paths, and good view of central Bucharest from the monument. The open-air Arenele Romane in the west of the park, next to the Observatory of Bucharest Universitys Astronomy Department are a popular venue for concerts.


Zorzini Gallery C-5, Str. Thomas Masaryk 31, tel.

Carol Park (Parcul Carol I/Parcul Libertii)

Cismigiu Gardens (Grdina Cismigiu) B-5, Be-

Geology Museum B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 2, MPiata Victo-

tween B-dul Regina Elisabeta, Calea Victoriei, Str. Stirbei Vod and B-dul Schitu Mgureanu, MUniversitate. The most central of the citys public gardens, Cismigiu is a haven of lawns, trees, flowers and lakes. Often mistakenly refered to as a park, Cismigiu is actually a large garden, first designed and laid out in 1845 by the German landscape architect Carl Meyer, but not completed until 1860. More than 30,000 trees and plants were brought in from the Romanian mountains, while exotic plants were fetched from the botanical gardens in Vienna. Highlights of the 17 hectare garden include the Roman Garden, laid in the style of ancient Rome, and including busts of Romanias most famous writers, the lake, which can be explored by rowing boat in summer or skated upon during the winter, and Ion Jaleas French Memorial in Carrara marble, which commemorates those French troops killed on Romanian territory during the Great War.

of Trajans Column in the central lapidarium. The museum is poor on Romanias recent history. The bizarre statue on the museums steps - which appeared during May 2012 - allegedly represents the emperor Traian holding a wolf. It has not unsurprisingly been the subject of much ridicule, and is a popular object for both locals and visitors to ironically have their photo taken with. Q Open 10:00-18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 8 lei, students and children 2 lei.

National Technical Museum (Muzeul Tehnic Dimitrie Leonida) C-7, Str. Gen. Candiano Popescu
2, tel. (+4) 021 336 93 90. Often unfairly derided as an outdated (if amusingly so) museum of technology, it should be remembered that the machines, turbines, inventions and gadgets on display here are not meant to be cutting edge. At least not in this day and age. They were all, however, cutting edge when they first appeared, with some of the older steam engines dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. The museum is housed in something of a cherished relic itself: the original pavilion built to host the 1906 Romania Fair, a showcase of everything great in and about Romania at the time. QOpen 10:30 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 4.00 lei, students, children 2.00 lei.

Military Museum (Muzeul Militar National) B-4, Str.

History Museum (Muzeul National de Istorie) C-5,

Calea Victoriei 12, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 315 82 07, fax (+4) 021 311 33 56,, The beautiful, monumental and simply superb Neo-Classical building that houses Romanias National History Museum was constructed from 1894-1900 to the designs of local architect Alexandru Svulescu. It originally served as the headquarters of Pota Roman, the Romanian postal service. When the post office moved away in 1970, the History Museum moved in. The museums exhibitions are spread over 60 display rooms, and include a fine collection of antiquities, including statues brought from a Bronze Age necropolis close to present day Cernavoda. The finest exhibit is the replica

Large park in the north of the city, surrounded by the finest residential districts Bucharest has to offer. The most popular of Bucharests parks it extends for 187 hectares from the Arcul de Triumf to the Baneasa bridge, and is centered on the lake with which it shares its name. Home to numerous attractions, including childrens playgrounds, a rather old fashioned fairground, an open-air theatre, gardens, promenades and the central lake (which offers boat trips during the summer), the main entrance, recently tidied up and beautified, is from Piata Charles de Gaulle. You can rent bikes from La Pedale, close to the entrance. Rental is free but limited to two hours. You will need ID.

Herstru Park B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 32, MAviatorilor.

Mircea Vulcnescu 125-127, tel. (+4) 021 319 59 04 int. 107. Tucked away on a side street not far from the main railway station, the Military Museum is housed in a former officers college, built in 1885. Popular with older children, the most interesting sections of the museum include a range of military hardware (missiles, helicopters and tanks) as well as an excellent display that focuses on the armys role during the revolution. Not to be missed is the Soyuz-40 capsule in which Dumitru Prunariu became the first - and so far only - Romanian in space, in May 1981. Sadly, no captions anywhere in the museum are in English. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 10 lei, children, students 2.50 lei.

Storck Museum (Muzeul de Art Frederic Storck i Cecilia Cuescu-Storck) B-4, Str. Vasile Alecsandri
16, tel. (+4) 021 317 38 89. In a delightful house designed

Sibiu In Your Pocket

European Capital of Culture in 2007, the Transylvanian city of Sibiu has long been considered one of Romanias best destinations to visit. It is no surprise therefore that some of the biggest names in the hotel business have opened up shop there, as has In Your Pocket: we now publish a quarterly Mini-Guide to the city, available at all good Sibiu hotels or at any of the citys three Tourist Information Offices.

Minovici 3, tel. (+4) 021 665 73 34, This amazing red brick, mock Tudor house holds the small and dusty renaissance art collection of Dumitru Minovici, who made barrels of lei in the oil business in the 1930s. Inside are fine collections of Belgian tapestries, Dutch furniture, Swiss stained glass, a complete library and Italian paintings from the 16th/17th centuries. To get there, walk north-east from Piaa Presei Libere or take bus No 301 to the Mioria Fountain. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Free admission.

Minovici Museum of Ancient Western Art (Muzeul de Arta Veche Apuseana Ing. D. Minovici) Str. Dr.

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


wHat to see
by French architect Andre Clavel, a short walk from Piaa Victoriei, is this eclectic and quite superb museum dedicated to the work of the Storck family. Cecilia Cuescu-Storck (1879-69) was the most celebrated member of the family, and there are more than 150 examples of her work here, from monumental paintings to avant garde sculpture. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 5 lei.

Jewish Bucharest
As recently as 1937 there were over 100,000 Jews and more than 80 synagogues in Bucharest: today there are around 4,000 Jews and just three working synagogues. Yet though it may be small, the Jewish community is incredibly active in the city, and besides the synagogues has a theatre, a school and a museum. There is also now a Holocaust Memorial - built in 2009 - which has gone a long way towards finally drawing a line under Romanias involvement in the Holocaust. For a thorough account of the Holocaust in Romania, we recommend Radu Ioanids book Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews & Gypsies by the Antonescu Regime. For a slightly different look at life as a Jew in 1930s and 40s Romania, you can do no better than the brilliant Journal: The Fascist Years, by Mihai Sebastian.

211 49 79. Theodor Pallady (1871-1953) was an early Cubist artist widely regarded as Romanias most influential 20th century painter. Schooled in Dresden and Paris, Pallady was influenced by the Symbolist environment of the late 19th century, and his paintings before 1916 contain Symbolist motifs, sometimes with echoes of Moreau and Puvis de Chavannes. Alas the small museum that today bears his name has only six of his paintings, a couple of his sketches and assorted other art. The museums saving grace is the house in which it is hosted: the oldest in Bucharest. Originally called the Casa Melik, it was built around 1750 by the rich Armenian Hagi Kevork Nazaretoglu. Walk over the enchantingly creaky wooden floors and admire the decorated tavane (ceilings). Q Open 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 5.00 lei, students and children 2.50 lei.

Theodor Pallady Museum (Casa Melik, Muzeul Theodor Pallady) D-5, Str. Sptarului 22, tel. (+4) 021

Choral Temple C-6, Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, MPiata Unirii,

tel. (+4) 021 312 21 96. Built in 1857, the red brick temple has a memorial in front of it (visible from the street) that commemorates the Romanian Jews sent to their deaths during the Holocaust. Usually the busiest Bucharest synagogue, it is currently closed for extensive renovation.

Zambaccian Museum (Muzeul Zambaccian) B-3,

Str. Muzeul Zambaccian 21A, tel. (+4) 021 230 19 20. A chance to see the large collection belonging to the now deceased patron Zambaccian (youll see the requisite portraits) that includes the only Cezanne in Romania, as well as the best of Romanian painters Luchian, Tonitza, and Pallady. Q Open 10:00-17:00. Closed Thu, Fri. Admission 7 lei, children, students 3.5 lei.

Holocaust Memorial B-6, Str. Ion Brezoianu/Str. Ilfov, MEroilor. Unveiled in October 2009, Romanias Holocaust Memorial finally recognises the countrys role in the genocide of Europes Jews. The Romanian Holocaust and the deportation of the countrys Jews was ignored by the Communists, and was minimized by subsequent governments after the collapse of Communism. Jewish Cemetery (Cimitirul Evreiesc de Rit Sefard) C-7, Calea Serban Vod, MEroii Revolutiei.

Sightseeing Tours
Buzz Travel, tel. (+4) 0758 99 00 33/(+4) 0758 99
00 32, Guided tours of Bucharest - including the Village Museum, one-day excursions to Sinaia, Bran and Peles Castles, and longer trips to Transylvania, including Sighisoara. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. (+4) 0269 21 13 44, www.carpathian-travel-center. com. Tours of historic Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, as well as the surrounding areas. Carpathian Travel also organise hiking tours, biking tours and trips to the Danube Delta.

Fascinating though harrowing cemetery, full of monuments to those who died during Romanias pogroms (of which there were many at the turn of the 19th century) and the Holocaust. As with all of the citys cemeteries and parks, beware stray dogs. Q Open from noon to dusk.

Carpathian Travel, tel. (+4) 0785 24 02 47, fax

Cultural Travel & Tours, tel./fax (+4) 021 336 31 63, tel. (+4) 0724 71 88 48, office@cttours. ro, w w CT&T provides tailor-made heritage sightseeing tours of Bucharest (from 29), one day cultural trips to Sinaia-Bran-Brasov (from 69) and nationwide tours. Other flexible services and guides in a variety of languages are available on request. TravelMaker Str. Elena Vacarescu 9, bl. XXI-2,
tel. (+4) 021 232 03 31, (+4) 0735 52 57 10, TravelMaker operates escorted group tours from Bucharest, an airport shuttle service and private transfers. They also provide hotel accommodation all over Romania, city break packages and short trips. The agency offers the only daily group tour (which anyone can join) to Peles Castle and Bran (Draculas) Castle for 69 per person. QOpen 09:00 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Unirii, tel. (+4) 021 311 08 70. Seperate exhibitions display how the once vibrant Jewish community of Bucharest used to live. Housed in an old synagogue built in 1850, the main display is in fact a sculpture that mourns the 350,000 Romanian Jews sent to their deaths at Auschwitz in 1944 and 1945.QOpen 09:00 - 14:00, Fri, Sun 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sat. Admission free.

Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) C-6, Str. Mmulari 3, MPiata

The Great Synagogue C-6, Str. Vasile Adamache 11, MPiata Unirii. Bucharests Great Synagogue was built from 1845 -1846 by the Ashkenazi Polish-Jewish community. With an impressive mixture of baroque and rococo architectural styles, the Great Synagogue remains the most important Jewish building in the country. The synagogue hosts an excellent exhibition dedicated to Romanias Jewish martyrs, and to Dr. Moses Rosen, who served as Romanias Chief Rabbi for 30 years until his death in 1994. QOpen 08:30 - 15:00, Fri, Sun 08:30 - 13:00. Closed Sat. Morning Prayers Sun-Fri 08:00, Sat 09:30, Evening Prayers Sun-Fri 19:00.
C-4, Str. Tache Ionescu 9, MPiata Romana. In a busy side street off Bulevardul Magheru is Bucharests second temple. Q Services take place when Sabbath commences on Friday evenings, as well as on Saturdays at 09:00.

Yeshoah Tova Synagogue (Sinagoga Eua Tova)

Bucharest In Your Pocket


CaLea ViCtoriei
No street in Bucharest has a history to match that of Calea Victoriei, the citys most famous thoroughfare which runs - much as it has for more than three centuries - from Piata Victoriei in the north of the city all the way down to Piata Natiunilor Unite and the Dambovita river. Lined with fine houses, palaces, churches, hotels, upmarket shops and museums, it remains perhaps the most prestigious address in the city. Calea Victoriei was first opened in 1692, originally part of the route from the Old Court (Curtea Veche, see page 72) to Mogosoaia, where Constantin Brancoveanu, that great ruler of these parts who did so much to modernise the country during his long and distinguished reign, had his main palace. The street has had many names over the years, including Ulita Sarindar, Drumul Brasovului and Drumul Mogosoaia, which was its name until 1878 when it became Calea Victoriei in honour of victories won by Romanian armies fighting to preserve the countrys newly won independence from the Ottoman Empire. The street - originally covered with logs, as was the norm in those days - was fully paved by 1825, one of the first in the city (Strada Franceza, in Old Town, closer to the Old Court, was in fact the first). There followed a blossoming of construction as the street became a magnet for wealthy merchants who built homes along its length, keen to be spared the ignominies of the mud streets which persisted elsewhere. Though much has changed since, and not a few majestic buildings have fallen victim to earthquake, war, socialist planning or modernisation, many of the buildings which went up along Calea Victoriei in the first part of the 19th century remain. For all its history, Calea Victoriei does not start well. Piata Victoriei is an awful place, all cars and traffic, smoke and (in Summer) dust. The modernist building on the far side is the Palatul din Piata Victoriei, home today of the Romanian government (though when it was built in the 1930s it was the Foreign Ministry). On the other side of the square is the excellent Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History, built in 1906 (see page 64). Elsewhere, Piata Victoriei is a socialist nightmare, with its more recently built office blocks barely more attractive than those built before 1989. Heading off from here along Calea Victoriei itself, the first building of any real interest is the Palatul Cantacuzino at No. 141, usually referred to (mistakenly) as the Casa Enescu. The building does house the Romanian Museum of Music (which carries the name of George Enescu, the countrys finest composer) but - contrary to popular belief, Enescu never lived here, although there is a connection. The vaguely baroque, Louis XVIstyle building dates from 1898, when it was built for the wealthy politician Gheorghe Cantacuzino. On his death in 1913 the palace became the property of Cantacuzinos eldest son Mihai, who in turn left it to his wife, Maruca, when he died in 1929. Maruca subsequently married Enescu - in 1939 - but they chose to live in a smaller house at the rear of the palace. Crossing Strada Gheorghe Manu, you will come across two gorgeous houses next to each other: the Neo-Classical yet very French Casa Nenciu, was built in the 1830s for a Wallachian princess, the exotically named Cleopatra Trubetkoi. In 1847 Franz Liszt stayed here while on an extended visit to Bucharest. Next door at No. 192 is the Casa Manu, completed in 1843 for the modernising administrator Alecu Florescu, but named for the man who bought it in 1848: the legendary general and politician Gheorghe Manu. The Casa Lens-Vernescu at No. 133 (to give the mansion its full name) is one of the finest on Calea Victoriei, built around 1820 in an eclectic style incorporating many of the architectural trends of the time. For years it was regarded as the most beautiful house in the city, and belonged initially to Filip Lens, a lawyer and politician. On his death in 1852 the house became a residence for military officers, the Ministry of War moving in shortly afterwards. Another politician, books have been written about it (Rosie Waldecks Athenee Palace details the intricate diplomatic discussions - official or otherwise - which took place here in the 1930s and 1940s). The hotel opened in 1912 (it was designed by a Frenchman, Teophile Bradeau) and was built on the site of an old inn, the Hanul Gherasi. The Calea Victoriei wing was added in the 1960s, and the hotel was entirely renovated again in 1997 when it became a Hilton property. The Athenee Palace vies for attention on Piata Revolutiei with the Atheneum, the Former Royal Palace, the University Library, the Former Central Committee Building, the Revolution Monument the Cretulescu Church, and the statue of Carol I. You should take a look at the building just behind and to the left of the University Library: the modern green office block inside the ruins of an old house. What happened here is simple: the building was all but destroyed during the 1989 revolution (this square saw most of the action: it was from the low balcony of the grey Former Central Committee Building that Nicolae Ceausescu gave his last public speech, before fleeing the next day from the roof in a helicopter). It was taken over by the Architects Union who then created the rather splendid mix of old and new we admire today. The Revolution Monument is a less impressive affair, mocked by locals who call it an olive on a stick. Shops of the classy and expensive kind occupy the ground floor of the buildings that line Calea Victoriei as it closes in again, at least as far as the two hotels that greet you at the crossroads with Ion Campaneanu. The Grand Continental Hotel was reopened in 2009 after being almost totally rebuilt. Opposite is the Novotel, whose faux Neo-Classical entrance is an exact replica of that of Bucharests original National Theatre, which stood here from 1852 until it was destroyed in an allied bombing raid in August 1944. Next to the Novotel is the art deco Palatul Telefoanelor (Telephone Palace). Built over three years from 1929-32 to serve as the headquarters of Romanias national telephone company it was the first building in the country to be constructed in the manner of an American skyscraper: concrete reinforced by a steel frame. There are three other hotels on this part of the street: the Majestic, the Capitol and the Casa Capsa - the latter being one of the oldest in the city, dating back to 1886. Opposite the Telephone Palace is the Pasajul Victoriei. Built in the 1830s, it was home for a long time to the Bucharests most luxurious brothel, immortalized in Ion Matei Caragiales 1929 novel Craii de Curtea Veche. The Cercul Militar was completed in 1912, on the site of a former monastery, the Sarindar. A recently renovated fountain in front of the building preserves the Sarindar name. Opposite is the Hotel Bulevard, built in the 1860s and the first in the city to have running water in the rooms. It was closed in 2005 ahead of a five-star refit that is approaching completion. On the opposite corner, find the little courtyard next to Pizza Hut which leads through to one of Bucharests many hidden churches. Dating from 1683 the churchs name is a mouthful: the Biserica Intrarea Maicii Domnului n Biseric (the Church of the Entrance of the Mother of God into Church). From here Calea Victoriei heads gently downhill, passing the Bancorex building at No. 15 (now called the Bucharest Financial Plaza) the first modern office block to be built after 1990. Next door is the far more satisfactory CEC building (the ornate national savings bank, built in 1900) while opposite is the National History Museum (see page 66). The Old Town/ Lipscani area lurks behind the History Museum. At the very bottom of the street, facing the river, are the Gloriette Buildings, neither of which is in the best of shape. Designed by local architect Petru Antonescu and completed in 1926, they are worth noting for their design (particularly the belvedere at the top), which was used as a blueprint for the apartment buildings which went up in the Civic Centre along Bulevardul Unirii in the 1980s (and which, it should be said, have weathered no better).

CaLea ViCtoriei
Shopping on Calea Victoriei
Anthony Frost English Bookshop B-4, Calea Victoriei 45, tel. (+4) 021 311 51 38, 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 14:00. Cellini C-5, Calea Victoriei 102-108, tel. (+4) 031 432 90 41, 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. Also at B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 16, tel (+4) 021 312 22 02, Plaza Romania and many other locations. Emporio Armani C-5, Calea Victoriei 60-64, tel. (+4) 021 310 81 31/(+4) 0721 23 30 47, www. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. P Ermenegildo Zegna B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel. (+4) 021 316 89 75, Q Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00, Sun closed. Frey Wille C-5, Calea Victoriei 118, tel. (+4) 031 620 13 54, Q Open 10:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. Also at Soseaua Bucuresti-Ploiesti 42D (Baneasa Shopping City), tel (+4) 031 432 69 44. L Gerard Darel B-4, Calea Victoriei 118, tel. (+4) 0316 20 53 93, Q Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. Gucci C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3, tel. (+4) 0734 45 05 50, QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. P Helvetansa B-4, Calea Victoriei 68-70, tel. (+4) 031 226 22 02, Swiss-made watches that you buy once in a lifetime. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. Also at (B-4) Calea Victoriei 88, tel. (+4) 021 310 38 00. Hugo Boss B-4, Calea Victoriei 145, tel. (+4) 021 311 88 97, Open 10:00 - 20:00, Closed Sun. Humanitas Kretzulescu B-4, Calea Victoriei 45, tel. (+4) 021 313 50 35, www.libhumanitas. ro. Q Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Max Mara C-5, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel. (+4) 021 316 89 77, Q Open 10:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00, Closed Sun. Mengotti C-5, Calea Victoriei 48-50, tel. (+4) 021 305 59 57, QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun. Micri Gold C-5, Calea Victoriei 56, tel. (+4) 021 312 00 57, 10:30 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. Romartizana B-4, Calea Victoriei 16-20, tel. (+4) 021 313 14 65,, www. Good place to buy some traditional souvenirs at slightly exorbitant prices. QOpen 10:00 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. Also at P-ta Montreal 10 (World Trade Plaza) tel. (+4) 021 319 12 16. Sepala by Mihaela Glavan C-5, Str. Benjamin Franklin 9, tel. (+4) 0722 52 52 72, (+4) 0730 09 73 23,, Shoes are high quality, hand made, unique, with hand-painted and embroidered satin uppers designed to fit the personality of the customer by Romanias leading shoe designer, Mihaela Glavan. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. October - November 2012


Piata Victoriei to Calea Grivitei

Gheorghe Vernescu, bought it from the state in 1886, and had it extensively remodelled over a two-year period from 1887-9. Today the building houses a casino and a restaurant, which is currently being renovated. The house on the south-western corner of the Calea Victoriei/Bulvardul Dacia intersection (opposite the new-ish Golden Tulip hotel) is the Casa Monteoru. One of the oldest on Calea Victoriei it dates from around 1810, although it was almost entirely reconstructed in the 1880s (to designs by Ion Mincu - an architect whose name you come across a lot in Bucharest). The building is distinguished by its uneven character: the ground floor is much smaller than the upper floor, the gorgeous balcony of which is supported by two broad, Corinthian columns. Eclectic both inside and out the building is today one of a number in the city owned by the Romanian Writers Union. Next door is a fine palace, known as the Palat Romanit which hosts the Museum of Art Collections. The central corp was built in 1834, then rebuilt and extended in 1883, when the wings were added. For much of the 19th century the building was home to the Ministry of Finance, becoming an art museum in 1948, when the wealthiest families in Romania were made an offer they couldnt refuse by the communist government, and forced to donate much of their extensive art collections to the state. It is currently closed for renovation.

Commercial Calea Victoriei

It is at the crossroads with Calea Grivitei that you notice a real change in the mood of Calea Victoriei. The road and pavements narrow, and houses, palaces and small parks give way to blocks - many of which are nevertheless elegant if run down - with shops on the ground floor. Yet the first building of real interest on this part of Calea Victoriei will for most people be the little white church set back from the street in a small square on the corner of Str. George Enescu. Known colloquially as the Biserica Alba (White Church), it is officially the Biserica Sf. Nicolae and is one of the oldest in Bucharest, being founded in 1700. The current structure dates from 1827, however (the original was destroyed in an earthquake), with the interior frescoes for which it is famed having been restored a number of times, most recently in 1988. The glass and steel opposite belong to the Radisson Blu hotel, opened in 2008 after a refit of several years had turned the tired, old and often infamous Hotel Bucuresti into the five-star wonder the rich and famous throng to today. In what is very much Bucharests Hotel Row, directly across the road from the Radisson is the Athenee Palace Hilton, one of few hotels in the world whose history is so intriguing that

Bucharest In Your Pocket


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king and queen still have special seats on the left and right of the churchs 18th century icon kept for them should they ever return. The icon itself is said by churchgoers to have magical healing powers. Back on Str. Lipscani, the Hanul cu Tei is a wonderful courtyard (once part of a large inn) which today houses art galleries, antique shops, second-hand book shops, gift and souvenir shops, studios and portrait artists, as well as a lively and bar/restaurant. Head next for Str. Stavropoleos, named for the eponymous church found along its length (Biserica Stavropoleos; Open 08:30 - 18:00. Services (in Romanian) on Sunday at 09:30, 10:30). The church was built in 1724 at the insistence of a Greek monk, Ioanikie Stratonikeas. It is characterized by its beautiful stone and wood carvings, of which the finest are on the main doors. The courtyard outside (beautiful on a sunny afternoon) has a curious collection of tombstones dating from the 18th century, and you might often see skilled craftsmen working on restoring them. For a beer, coffee, bite to eat or simple jaw dropping experience (the interior is astonishing) head for Caru cu Bere, a beer hall and restaurant dating from 1875. It is on the other side of the road to the church a little further up. Church fans might also want to venture out on to Calea Victoriei. A few steps to the right is the Zlatari Church (Biserica Zlatari) built in the 19th century on the site of an earlier church and featuring interior frescoes by Gheorghe Tatarescu. They were painted from 1853-6. The ornate building on the other side of the road is the headquarters of CEC, the national savings bank, while the Neo-Classical giant facing it is the National History Museum, now of course boasting a bizarre statue of Emperor Traian on its steps. On the far side of the museum is Str. Franceza, another Old Town street now blessed with more restaurants, cafes, bars and such like than you could wish for. About half way along look out for the Sf. Dumitru Church: Sf. Dumitru is the patron saint of Bucharest. On the other side of the church is Bucharests comedy theatre. The busiest street in the Lipscani area is Str. Smardan, home today to any number of bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants. History buffs might like to know that in January 1859 at No. 42 (then the Hotel Concordia), Wallachian deputies elected Alexandru Ioan Cuza as their Prince. As Moldavian deputies had already done likewise a week earlier, the election that took place here created the first unified Romanian state since Mihai Bravus

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While much of Bucharest has changed beyond recognition over the past two decades, nothing compares to the recent transformation of Old Town/Lipscani, which in the past three years has turned what was very much a no-go area with almost nothing to offer into the Romanian capitals liveliest entertainment district. The area is still something of a work in progress, but its a rewarding place to explore, one of the few areas of the capital that is. You will certainly not want for things to do, to see, or for places to eat, drink and dance.

The area of Bucharest described by the Dambovita river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Bulevardul Brtianu to the east and Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta to the north is more or less all thats left of pre-World War II Bucharest. What the war didnt destroy (and it destroyed a fair bit: allied bombing was fierce during the early part of 1944) communism did, most notably in the form of the grandiose Civic Centre project (see box on page 90) that saw almost a fifth of the total area of the city flattened to make way for Bulevardul Unirii and Casa Poporului. That anything survives at all is little short of a miracle. While we at Bucharest In Your Pocket tend to call the area Old Town, many will know it better as Lipscani, with most locals calling it the Centru Istoric (Historic Centre). The area is historic in the main because this is where Bucharest was founded. Kind of. According to legend, Bucur the Shepherd founded the city in the 1300s, when he built a church somewhere on the eastern bank of the Dmbovia river: nobody is sure exactly where this church was (or even if it actually existed). What we do know is that by the first reign of Vlad epe (1459-1462) there was a palace and court (the Palatul Curtea Veche) in the area we today call Old Town, and that the city grew quickly around the palace. By the middle of the 17th century the area was Bucharests merchant district, which it to all intents and purposes remained until the end of World War II, when many of the rightful owners of the houses and businesses which lined the areas streets were arrested by the communist authorities, and their property confiscated and left to rot. The entire area - viewed as being far too bourgeois for communist tastes - was then neglected for decades, with many of the empty buildings being occupied over the years (legally or otherwise) by Gypsies. Many of these Gypsies remain today, and add real character and colour to the area.

Old Town: A Brief History

Old Towns Sights

The best place to start any exploration of Old Town is at Universitate, at the twin semi-circular buildings opposite the university. The buildings (one is a bank and the other houses a casino) were originally built (in 1906) to serve as the headquarters of Romanias largest insurance company. The

fenced-off area in front of them will soon be an underground car park. Archaeological finds however - including the remains of inns, houses and shops - brought excavation and building work to a halt for some time. Best then to leave the building work behind you and head into Old Town proper: the first sight that will probably grab your attention (it will be difficult to miss it) is the colourful St. Nicholas (Students) Church. Built in 1905-09 with a 600,000 gold rouble donation from Tsar Alexander II, this orthodox church is topped with seven typically Russian onion domes and crowned with an orthodox cross. The wooden, gold-gilded iconostasis (catapeteasm) is allegedly a copy of the altar in Arhangelsk Cathedral, in Moscows Kremlin. On your right as you exit the church - at the end of the street - is the Neo-Gothic uu Palace, home of the Museum of the History of Bucharest (Muzeul de Istorie al Municipiului Bucureti; Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 6.00 lei, students and children 3.00 lei). The palace was built from 1833-4 for the wealthy merchant Costache uu. Old postcards and costumes depict life in the Romanian capital in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Retrace your steps past the Russian Church and you will come to the Czech Cultural Centre (Ceske Centrum), a lively hive of cultural activity which has regular film screenings and exhibitions. Carry on to the far end of Str. Ion Ghica and you will see in front of you the unmistakably Neo-Classical exterior of the National Bank of Romania (BNR). It stands on the site of one of the most famous buildings in Romania: the Hanul Serban Voda, which from 1678 until 1883 was the home of various things, from a pub, to an inn to a dormitory for a nearby girls school. After two fires gutted the building however, the land was levelled and in 1883 work began on the BNR, completed to the designs of French architects Cassien Bernard and Albert Galleron in 1885. The building boasts a facade with Corinthian columns, and an enormous central banking hall. The passing of time has seen the building become rather hemmed in, but it remains a classic worthy of admiration. On the banks far side (on Str. Lipscani) look out for the remains of another 17th century inn: visible below street level through hardened glass. Str. Lipscani gets its name from the large number of traders who, in the 18th century, sold wares here brought from Leipzig, which at the time was one of the largest trading posts in Europe. As Str. Lipscani was the main commercial street in the Old Town, it over time lent its name to the whole area. Ironically - its name and history aside - modern Str. Lipscani has little to recommend it, although it does have some exceptional bars, pubs and clubs, and a theatre. It also has some hidden treasure: if you walk through the little alley opposite Str. Selari (an alley now packed with cafes and bars) you will come to Str. Blanari, home to the St. Nicolas Church. The church was built in the 1880s as a private chapel for Romanias first royal couple: Note that the

Old Town Shops

Souvenir Shop C-6, Str. Blnari 5, tel. (+4) 021 310 32 25,, www. Every thing you would want from a decent souvenir shop - with both Romania and Bucharest branded gifts available - and more besides. We came across the best Dracula T-Shirts weve seen so far here, complete with the slogan Send more tourists, the last ones tasted great. We bought two. Now also in the Howard Johnson hotel. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. J Thomas Antiques C-6, Str. Covaci 19, tel. (+4)
0752 44 08 18, (+4) 021 310 43 89, By common consent the best antique shop in the city. Stocks everything from furniture and paintings to clocks and decorations, with new pieces being added all the time. Upstairs you can even drink coffee, beer or cocktails in the bar: yep, sit and drink coffee on an antique chair and picture yourself doing the same at home. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 23:45.

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


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short-lived reign of 1600. At the bottom of Str. Smardan turn left in order reach the birthplace of Bucharest, the Old Court Palace and Church (Palatul i Biserica Curtea Veche; Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon). The Old Court, first built on this site in the second part of the 15th-century by Vlad epe, was considerably extended during the 16th century, by Mircea Ciobanul, and again a century later, this time at the hand of Constantin Brancoveanu, who added a splendid voievodal palace, decorated with marble and icons. The palace was by and large destroyed by a series of fires in the 19th century however, and subsequently neglected. Much of what remains today was uncovered during archaeological digs that took place from 1967-72, when the palace ruins were first opened as a museum. There are fragments of the original 15th century walls, as well as remnants of the voievodal palace throne room, in which most of the relics found on the site are exhibited. Next door to the palace is the Old Court Church, the oldest in Bucharest, dating from 1545. It was enlarged in 1715, during the reign of tefan Cantacuzino, and the frescoes inside, painted by maestros Constantin Lecca and Miu Papa, were added in 1847. The churchs exterior was recently renovated, and it looks better than ever. Opposite is the Hanul lui Manuc. Built in 1808 by an Armenian merchant, it was bought and sold many times throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries before being nationalised in 1949. It remained state property until 2006, when Constantin erban Cantacuzino the heir of its last private owner won an epic legal battle (which had lasted the best part of ten years) to recover ownership. Closed a year later ahead of renovation, part of the inn (the restaurant/bar, courtyard and some function rooms) was finally reopened last year. The inns hotel (the Dacia) remains closed but is poised to reopen soon. delicious tarts and cakes, great coffee and a super, covered (at this time of year) terrace outside on the sexiest part of Old Town. Could be just about the best place in Bucharest for coffee, regardless of the time of day. QOpen 09:30 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:30 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 - 01:00. PJBSW 97 40/(+4) 0730 03 07 64,, Something of a Bucharest legend now, this is a perennialy popular cafe that hosts business types in the mornings, who come here to talk big numbers over coffee and pastries, giving way as the day moves to a stylish, hip clientele that comes for the good light meals - pasta, soups and the like - and a cracking list of cocktails. There is another big, vibrant Gio Cafe on P-ta Alba Iulia. QOpen 07:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. Also at (E-6) B-dul Burebista 2, tel. (+4) 0730 03 07 64, Open 09:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 09:30 24:00. PJBSW

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Gio Cafe C-5, Str. Toma Caragiu 3, tel. (+4) 021 313

Grand Cafe Van Gogh C-6, Str. Smardan 9, tel. (+4)

Bruno Wine & Coffee Shop C-6, Str. Covaci 3, tel. (+4)
021 317 17 41/(+4) 0757 55 72 91, info@brunowine. ro, So much more than wine and coffee on offer here you will be forgiven for thinking you have the wrong place! This is a bistro really, a genuine French style place, where good wine by the glass is available next to a decent spread of simple food, with a regularly changing menu. QOpen 16:00 - 24:00. PJBW

031 107 63 71,, Amazing how quickly this place became the default Bucharest meet you there venue. Its genius is that its ideal at every time of day: morning coffee or breakfast sat in front of one of the long windows, a business lunch at one of the wooden tables, a meal and a late night at the bar. The food is good - simple and very reasonably priced - and this Dutch owned, friendly cafe is a winner: you will go back more than once. There is also a specialist wine bar downstairs, meeting and function rooms upstairs, and they now do a great brunch, on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-16:00. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00, Fri 08:30 - 01:00, Sat 10:00 - 01:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. Non-smoking lounge open 17:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 -24:00. PJSW

Cafe Manuc C-6, Str. Franceza 62, MP-ta Unirii, tel.

(+4) 0769 07 58 44/(+4) 021 313 14 11, cafemanuc@, Hanul lui Manucsclassic cafe is one of the best places in the city to sit and enjoy either coffee - and there is a huge range - or cocktails (both with and without alcohol). Sit by the window and watch the world pass by outside on busy Piata Unirii. QOpen 07:30 - 24:00. PEBW

(+4) 021 313 93 15/(+4) 021 313 93 16, Good cafe situated on the mezzanine floor of the Rembrandt hotel; it is the only non-smoking cafe in the Old Town we believe. They serve a great continental breakfast until 10am, with a vast selection of croissants, muffins, Dutch cheeses, meats, yoghurts, cereals and freshly squeezed orange juice, while throughout the rest of the day fresh, warm waffles are served with a choice of toppings. Good hot chocolate, and a wide range of exotic teas. Nice. Q Open 07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 23:00. PJGSW

Klein Cafe C-6, Str. Smardan 11, MUniversitate, tel.

Valea Regilor B-4, Calea Victoriei 16-20 (Pasajul Villa-

crosse), tel. (+4) 021 311 29 69, Thick Turkish coffee served in one of Calea Victorieis grand old passages. Alongside the coffee and cakes - sweet and sickly but irresistible - you can also get you hands on a Nargile, those Turkish water pipes that offer an allegedly much healthier way to smoke tobacco. QOpen 09:00 - 03:00. JNBSW

The Barrel British Restaurant C-6, Str. Smardan 27,
MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 0726 41 26 46, www.thebarrel. ro. Pub serving food, or restaurant serving drinks? We will go for the former. This good Smardan venue has far more the feel of a pub than anything else, but there is plenty of food on offer. The menu is certainly British inspired, offering fair Fish & Chips, Shepherds Pie and jacket spuds amongst much else. They also have Newcastle Brown and Strongbow on offer, but neither on tap. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 04:00. . PJESW

one of our favourite parts of Lipscani, Embassy is a terrace (in summer) and indoor lounge which serves food and drink to an older, wiser and simply nicer crowd than many other places we could mention in Old Town. Good bistro food, decent cocktails and reasonable prices. For those in the know, this is the sister establishment of the original Embassy on Piata Lahovari. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. Also at (C-4) P-ta Lahovari 8, Open 11:30-03:00. . PJBSW

C-5, Calea Victoriei 12A, tel. (+4) 0728 03 41 75,, Hard to pin this place down. Is it a cafe serving chocolate, or a chocolate shop serving a little coffee? In fact, it is neither. It is a brilliant restaurant serving delicious, well priced light meals (soups, pasta, salad) of a French and Italian bent. There is chocolate of course - loads of it - as well as more kinds of gourmet bread than we could possibly list. Find it next to Caru cu Bere. QOpen 08:30 - 23:30. Also at (B-3) Str. Radu Beller 13, tel. (+4) 021 230 23 83 . PJBSW C-6, Str. Franceza 30, MUnirii, tel. (+4) 0731 24 78 76,, The best little bistro to open in these parts for many a year. Does what it does - simple French bistro food - better than anywhere else in the city. Try the sublime onion soup, calves liver with sage and garlic mash and the lemon meringue pie. Look for the chefs specials too. An open kitchen is always a good sign, and we love the variety of reading material in the toilets. Just a brilliantly simple place. QOpen 09:00 - 23:30, Mon 18:00 - 23:30. . PJEBSW

French Bakery C-6, Str. Smardan 13, tel. (+4) 021 316

10 27,, It had to happen. Bucharests smartest chain of bakeries comes to Old Town, complete with its fine selection of sandwiches,

77/(+4) 0723 18 02 68, What started as (the citys best) choclaterie selling fine Belgian chocolates, pralines and marzipans in a variety of wonderful guises has over the years become far more: it is now a wonderful cafe too, where you can enjoy the caramels and liqueurs and such like in peace and quiet and in the company of fine coffee. You would expect them to serve an exemplary hot chocolate, and they of course do not disappoint. Q Open 08:00 - 21:00, Sat 11:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. PJVBSW 60 52/(+4) 0720 13 29 94,, A veritable Strada Smardan legend of a venue, whose longevity is a credit to its management who keep rethinking and reinventing the menu and making sure there is always good reason to come and eat, drink or just have one of over 30 (we counted) coffees here. Foodwise, there is plenty to choose from: so much in fact that making individual recommendations is pointless. Everyone will find something they like. Top desserts, too. Get in. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. PJBSW

Leonidas C-6, Str. Doamnei 27, tel. (+4) 021 314 13

Boutique Restaurant Chocolat Createur de Gout

Wu Xing C-6, Str. Covaci 14, tel. (+4) 0729 77 75 00, Professional, if slightly pricey Chinese delivery service, which now has a fast-food outlet in Lipscani. Its not quite Chinese as you know it from home, but pretty close. And it all comes in funky white boxes. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 03:00. . VBSW

Les Bourgeois C-6, Str. Smardan 20, tel. (+4) 021 310

La Bonne Bouche

Food & Drink

Embassy Hanul cu Tei C-6, Str. Lipscani 63-65, tel.
(+4) 0733 50 03 03, Making very good use of the courtyard of Hanul cu Tei, always

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


oLd town
rella - at prices that are more than reasonable. The pizzas are excellent (and huge) and the space itself is big, open, light and blessed with sensationally high ceilings. Easily the best occupant of the old Amsterdam Cafe location since Amsterdam itself. Big terrace too as long as the weather holds.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PBSW

Coco Bongo C-6, Str. Covaci 1, tel. (+4) 0754 02 04 34, Love the name, love the attitude. Looks more like a pub from outside, and in fact it is both pub and restaurant, the kind of place you can eat very well but nobody minds if you just spend all night on the sauce. The food is Italian, is good if a little pricey (some of the dishes, anyway). The pizzas are good and cheap though, and the service good, quick and friendly. Worth a look. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 03:00. . PJVBSW Negresco C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 3, tel. (+4) 0720 66 Il Peccato C-6, Str. Franceza 30, tel. (+4) 021 310 90
13, It shouldnt take too long to find this place: it is the restaurant with a motorbike in a glass display box parked outside. Really. Inside it is a well-decorated and comfortable venue, worthy of your time, serving standard Italian food of the pizza, pasta variety, Has an excellent selection of Italian wines and is a great place to sit and enjoy a decent bottle or two. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJVSW MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0748 50 25 43,, What a name, what a place. An Italian (with a twist) restaurant of the old school (in that the food is what counts first and foremost), this Irish-owned eatery next to the Comedy Theatre is terrific. Wanting to stand out from the crowd the team behind it have gone to great lengths to do so, coming up with all sorts of treats, such the as lime and basil sorbet: already a legend amongst Bucharest foodies. Malagamba by the way was a Romanian musician, composer and director who frequented these parts in the 1930s and 40s. QOpen 13:00 - 02:00. . PJVEBSW

77 66,, Probably the best new restaurant to open in Bucharest this year. This place is classically French, serving a terrific onion soup, two fabulous duck dishes (the duck breast with fennel and coriander is amazing), fresh pate, snails and a super apple tart with vanilla sauce to finish. There is a wide range of wines (many available by the glass) and it is all served in a well-restored, classy Bucharest house dating from the 1890s. Downstairs is a bar perfect for private parties or retiring to after eating. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. . PJBSW

Malagamba C-6, Str. Mandinesti (Sf. Dumitru) 2,

Brauhaus 41 C-6, Str. Smardan 41, tel. (+4) 0725 52 30 81. If you like a tasty bit of German sausage (and lets face it, who doesnt?) then this is the place to head for if you are in Old Town. There is much else besides on the menu, however, and if you add in tremendous beer and good prices you have another reason to hail Strada Smardan as the citys top entertainment street. Worth checking out. QOpen 09:00 - 03:00. . PJBSW

Indian Old Towns first Indian, which immediately becomes the best in the city. There are three great lamb curries on the menu, including a rogan josh which came as hot as we asked it to be. There are also set menus for those who want an introduction to Indian food, as well as plenty for vegetarians. The place itself is a little spartan, but thats because the food is what counts, not the decor. Oh, and we should mention that you can wash it all down with Cobra beer. Get in there. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJVGBSW

Vecchio 1812 C-6, Str. Covaci 16, MUnirii, tel. (+4)

Musafir C-6, Str. Covaci 12, tel. (+4) 0742 01 05 10, www.

031 430 95 77, We love it. Making fantastic use of a gorgeous old building on Strada Covaci, this Italian restaurant looks and feels like the kind of place you want spend all evening in. The food is superior Italian, as you would expect from one of the citys best chefs, and while prices are not cheap they certainly reflect quality. The jacket potatoes in a salt crust are one of the best (and most original) starters we have ever tasted in Bucharest. Go there. QOpen 12:00 - 24:30. . PJBSW

Manuc Levantin C-6, Str. Franceza 62, MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 0769 07 58 44/(+4) 021 313 14 11,, Good Lebanese food, upstairs at Hanul lui Manuc, the citys last surviving caravanserai. There is a huge range of dishes to choose from, and its difficult to go wrong: we ordered a load

Bellini C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 2, MUniversitate, tel. (+4)
0721 76 55 55,, www. Packed out with the pre-cinema crowd heading over to Cinema Pro for the latest premiere, Bellini has a great location and - according to just about anybody you ask - makes the best pizza in Bucharest. The non-pizza menu is merely good. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Open 12:00 - 23:00. Also at Str. Lanariei 5, tel. (+4) 0723 10 01 01. . PJSW

Ice Cream
021 311 13 21. Might just be the best thing to hit Old Town this summer. A great little ice cream bar selling not just terrific ices (the ice cream is very, very good) but juices and sandwiches too. There are a few tables outside on the street where you can enjoy your cornet or sundae. Q Open 12:00 - 03:00, Sat, Sun 24 hrs. BW

Gelato Mio C-6, Str. Selari 17, MUnirii, tel. (+4)

Bel Mondo C-6, Str. Covaci 6, tel. (+4) 0725 96 66 36, A good Italian restaurant, one of the better ones in the Old Town, which offers decent food - we recommend the fresh tomato soup with mozaBucharest In Your Pocket


oLd town
Romanian Restaurants in Old Town
Caru cu Bere C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 5, tel. (+4) 021 313 75 60, (+4) 0726 28 23 73, Should be the first stop on the list of any visitor to Bucharest. Wonderful interiors - painted ceilings, ornate woodwork - make the place an attraction in itself, but do not leave without trying some food. The breakfast is worth getting up early for, the sarmale with mamaliga terrific, and the baked apple a simple, tasty treat. Good beer, good service (now: it never used to be) and a great terrace in summer. Q Open 08:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 02:00. . PJESW City Grill C-6, Str. Lipscani 12, tel. (+4) 0729 62 62
62/(+4) 021 314 24 89, They call these places your dining room in the city, and given the homely food and cheap prices (the lunchtime deals are just about unbeatable) they might just be right. Dont expect haute cuisine, but do expect big portions of simple Romanian food. We like the carnati de plescoi, tasty smoked sausages made with mutton and pork. Theres a good selection of local beers to choose from too. Recently renovated, the place itself looks better than ever too. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00. Also at (B-2) B-dul Primaverii 3, tel. (+4) 021 233 98 18 and many other locations. . PJVEBSW

oLd town


Modern European
0728 31 88 71,, Food as art: a first for Bucharest and a first for Romania. The work of a young Dutch chef, this amazing restaurant is set to be a massive hit with the citys foodies, longing for something a bit different. The grilled jumbo scallops were probably our pick of the menu, while the lobster sarmale were a fantasic twist on that most Romanian of dishes. In keeping with the food the restaurant itself is contemporary and upmarket, a mix of the bright and the simple, chic without ever going over the top. Prices reflect the amazing quality. QOpen 11:30 - 23:00. Closed Mon. . PLBW

Adeline Restaurant & Pub C-6, Str. Blanari 9, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0725 73 93 98,, Newly opened where until recently there was Excalibur. Serving a wide range of international cuisine alongside a good selection of top oriental food, this is as good a place to eat in Old Town as anywhere to open this year. Add in live music and dancing and you have a winner. Decent prices too. QOpen 11:00 - 04:00, Mon, Tue, Wed 11:00 - 24:00. . PBSW

The Artist Restaurant C-6, Str. Tonitza 13, tel. (+4)


of food, and loved it all, being especially impressed by the lahme bahjeen (minced beef and lamb in pitta bread), the kafta kebab and the marinated lamb cutlets. Well priced too. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PVEBSW

Sindbad C-6, Str. Lipscani 19, tel. (+4) 021 317 77 88/ (+4) 0735 22 28 88, Lebanese restaurant in Old Town serving what might just be the best lentil soup in Bucharest. Fabulous fresh bread too (made on site) and a decent range of mutton dishes as main courses. Theres both an exterior and interior terrace, and the decor is vaguely Middle Eastern without over-doing it. We liked the comfy chairs. QOpen 11:30 - 01:00. . PJVBSW

Crama Domneasca C-6, Str. Selari 13-15, tel. (+4) 0726 32 20 04/(+4) 0722 29 11 95, Right in the heart of Bucharests historic centre, this is Romanian food of indeed historic proportions. You can expect right royal portions of all your Romanian favourites, from spare ribs and mutton to tender pork steaks. The home baked bread is always served warm (if it is not, send it back) and the wine flows copiously as evenings get longer and longer. Its the kind of place where you will be discretely but contentedly loosening your belt before the night is done. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJEBSW Lacrimi si Sfinti C-6, Str. Sepcari 16, tel. (+4) 0372 77 39 99,, Romanian poet, revolutionary and raconteur Mircea Dinescus latest culinary adventure is this classy place in the Old Town. As much a showcase for the (very good) wines Dinescu produces on his country estate as anything else, the food is good: a selection of traditional Romanian dishes with a big focus on game. The prices are decent enough and though a little spartanly furnished and decorated the ambience is good: you want to stay way after you have finished your meal. QOpen 12:30 - 02:00, Mon 18:00 - 02:00. . PJESW Manuc Bistro C-6, Str. Franceza 62, MP-ta Unirii,
tel. (+4) 021 313 14 11/(+4) 0769 07 58 44,, Bucharests oldest inn (and one of only two surviving caravanserai in Europe - the other is in Albania) which reopened its doors last summer. A new bar has been put in on the ground floor, and the place had been spruced up rather nicely. Sit in the gorgeous courtyard (when the weather allows, of course) and enjoy a beer or good, simple Romanian food. Q Open 11:00 - 24:00. . PJVEBSW

(+4) 031 437 80 03, It has been quite some time since Bucharest had a Russian restaurant worth the name, so we are thrilled hat this place has opened its doors, at the southern edge of Old Town. You will find all your favourites on the menu, including - at the weekend - a magic red bors (made with beetroot). The interior is warm and cosy and reeks charm, and there is street seating for warm summer evenings. Oh, and theres karaoke too... Q Open 11:00 - 24:00 (Restaurant); 21:00 - 05:00, Closed Mon, Tue (Karaoke). . PJEBSW

Tchaikovsky C-6, Str. Nicolae Tonitza 13, MUnirii, tel.

South American
La Historia de Sudamerica C-6, Str. Sf. Dumitru 3, tel.
(+4) 0722 62 60 43, Probably the most instantly successful bar/bistro to open in Bucharest for years. Found opposite the Teatru de Comedie in a side-street off Smardan, it carries the seal of approval of the El Comandante gang, who run it. Expect a Latin American-influenced drinks menu, bistro-ish food (they serve a good spicy chicken with roast potatoes) and a crowd of young, successful, advertising/media types.Q Open 24hrs. . JVEBSW

Charme C-6, Str. Smardan 12, tel. (+4) 0737 50 38
90,, Some of the finest food in Old Town, served in one of the most elegant and classiest locations around. Check out the nice little touches such as high quality bread and olives, the high ceilings and airy atmosphere, then order some fine, light Californian-inspired cuisine. Its a winner from start to finish. QOpen 10:00 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. . PJSW

Steak Houses
Red Angus Steakhouse C-6, Str. Franceza 56, MP-ta
Unirii, tel. (+4) 0734 88 44 99, Does exactly what the name suggests: serves great steaks to customers who like their meat cooked to order. The steaks come from all over the world, from the US to New Zealand, and there is more than just classic steaks (like the Rib-Eye): there are great baby back ribs too, a magnificent burger, and the desserts - if you still have room after a big meaty feast - are well worth trying, not least the lemon merengue pie. And they have a childrens menu. Admirable. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJLVEBSW

Mexican/Tex Mex
La Bonita C-6, Str. Selari 24, tel. (+4) 0758 66 05 00,, Not the worlds greatest Tex-Mex food, but in a city which has very few Mexican restaurants worth your time, this place should be on your list. It is actually a five-level extravaganza of a venue, with food on the ground and first floors, drinks on the second and a terrace on the top. Down in the basement there is a club, complete with karaoke. QOpen 12:00 - 04:00. . PJEBSW

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


oLd town
Atelier Mecanic C-6, Str. Covaci 12, tel. (+4) 0726 76 76 11. You will like it the minute you walk in the door. Perhaps even before that. Old Town has needed something a bit different for a while, and this place is it. A modernist, minimalist bar/ cafe where every chair and table is different, and which has something of a What communist Britain might have looked like-chic about it. The price of beer is good, and they serve a variety of wines by the glass. Brilliantly simple it is anti-fitze Bucharest at its best and as a result you can expect to see us here often. QOpen 10:00 - 05:00. PJBSW Beer OClock C-6, Pasajul Vilacrosse, tel. (+4) 0767 23
33 35, This little pub in Pasajul Villacrosse has probably the biggest selection bottled beers in the city: so it is aptly named. With brews from all over the world you could drink a different beer every night for a month and not try the same one twice. Whats more, besides the beer they also have the appropriate glass in which to serve it: great attention to details. Tiny, with only a few places to sit, its worth reserving if you want to be sure of a seat. Note: there is now a much bigger Beer OClock on Strada Gabroveni further down in Old Town. We prefer the tiny original. QOpen 16:00 - 02:00. Also at (C-6) Str. Gabroveni 4. Open 17:00 - 02:00. PJBW

oLd town


Beraria Kovaci C-6, Str. Covaci 3, tel. (+4) 021 312 05

52/(+4) 0722 80 01 86, Beer (more than 40 kinds), very good pizza and fair bit else besides in a rather nice setting on Strada Covaci, which, with the recent opening of a few other decent places is quickly becoming the Lipscani streetto-be. Beraria Kovaci is a sweet little place, decked out with wood and boasting perhaps the comfiest chairs of any pub in the city. Drinks are well priced and service comes with a smile. An excellent place for a livener or two. QOpen 14:00 - 02:00. JBW

La Fondue Restaurant C-6, Str. Franceza 56, tel. (+4) 0722 51 12 99,, Oh la la. Real French fondue, both cheese and meat, on - what else - Strada Franceza. The first fondue restaurant to open in Bucharest we think, and from what we cold tell it is already popular with groups of friends looking for something just a bit different to the Old Town norm. You would do well to make a reservation. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJEW
224 50 17,, In a superb new setting in a lovingly renovated building on the edge of Old Town the Bucharest cooking legend Jakob Hausmann is still delivering the goods more than a decade after opening his first restaurant. The menu changes regularly, with a wide variety of daily specials, all based around the seasons freshly available ingredients. If you are a foodie who cares about subtle, simple flavours you are going to love this place. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. . PSW A cosy little speakeasy in a well-hidden location (find it in the alleyway which links Str. Blanari to Str. Lipscani) and the perfect place to conduct all sorts of secret business, affairs and anything else that springs to mind. Drinks and coffees are reasonably priced, the staff are friendly and its worth checking out: if only to show off to someone just how well you know Bucharest and its backstreets. QOpen 15:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 05:00. PJNW

Interbelic C-6, Str. Selari 1, tel. (+4) 0722 10 01 93,

and industrial bits and bobs, but (whisper it) might actually be preferable given that it is a bit bigger and that late on a Friday you stand a chance of getting in the door. It also has lots of big windows, the drinks are reasonably well priced (this is Old Town) and the music is clubby without over- (or under-) doing it. QOpen 17:00 - 01:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 04:00. PJW

Mica Elvetie St. Moritz Str. Franceza 60, tel. (+4) 021

Klein Bar & Bistro C-6, Str. Smardan 11, tel. (+4) 021 313 93 15, Bar and bistro inside the Rembrandt hotel. Its a great place to enjoy a drink with friends, and the location at the edge of Bucharests newly-formed pedestrian zone makes it a favourite for those looking for something just a little more restful. Good bistro food too, and like the hotel itself, everything comes at very reasonable prices. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 23:00. PJGW
tel. (+4) 0722 52 80 40. Its a cocktail bar (there is beer too, of course, on tap, as well as hundreds of teas) where everything has been thought out to the minutest detail. The name means Cocktail Factory, so you get your T Collins om or Mojito or whatever takes your fancy in a conical flask, while the bar itself looks like an old pharmacy. Unusually, they have even invested in decent bar stools. Trendy without overdoing it. Commendable. QOpen 17:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 06:00. PJNW, Well, we guess it had to happen. The madcap bar Atelier Mecanic has proven to be so popular that quasi-clones are starting to appear. Papiota is therefore much like Atelier, packed with odd chairs, tables

Revenge C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, tel. (+4) 0722 33 12 26, It is the music that we like best about this pub and club in the heart of the Lipscani area. A mix of everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, it hardly matters that you might not like whats playing: you will not have to wait long to hear an old favourite. Add in a casually-dressed, non-fitze crowd and you have a winner. QOpen 17:00 - 07:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 09:00. PJNW Shakespeare C-6, Str. Blanari 21, tel. (+4) 021 311
19 92, A cracking pub on Strada Blanari, right opposite the big church, where from day one they appear to have got it right. A bit spacier and a bit more comfortable than your average Lipscani venue, expect to find comfy sofas in the windows, strange but rather fetching art on the walls and decent staff who know how to pull a decent beer. The crowd tends to be studenty during the day, getting a bit smarter and sophisticated as the evening wears on. We like it. QOpen 11:00 - 04:00. PJBW

Laboratorul de Cocktailuri C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 8,

Divan C-6, Str. Franceza 46-48, tel. (+4) 021 312 30
34,, From the Middle Eastern atmosphere and superb decor to the great service, Divan is a lesson in creating a good restaurant. The well-priced food is good value Turkish/Middle Eastern, and its very good indeed. They will even cook you a whole lamb if you give them 24 hours notice. We opted for the less Sultan-like beef and lamb kebabs. Very good they were too. After your meal you can enjoy a smoke on a hookah pipe: theres a huge range of flavours to choose from. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. . PJBSW

Papiota C-6, Str. Lipscani 43, tel. (+4) 021 315 40 43,

The Little Bar C-6, Str. Smardan 14, tel. (+4) 0726 21 91 45. Little by name, little by nature. But we like little, and this coquette bar on - where else - Str. Smardan is the kind of place you cant pass by without thinking lets pop in here for a quick one Its that kind of place: a quick primer before heading off somewhere bigger. Q Open 10:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00. PJBSW October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket


oLd town

oLd town


Thomas Antiques Bar C-6, Str. Covaci 19, MUnirii, tel. (+4) 0752 44 08 18,, Above the Thomas Antiques shop in Old Town is a cafe, tea house and bar where you can enjoy a hot white chocolate (or something stronger) while discussing the merits of the goods youve been admiring. Theres nothing quite like taking tea on an antique chair you might end up taking home. Regular events too, from string quartets to book launches and the like. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. PJW

glassmakers, from whence the name. Now only a few survive and no less than four bars have opened here. This one has given itself the rather cheeky name Curtea Berarilor (Brewers Courtyard), though there is no brewing done on the site. Instead make do with plenty of on-tap pints, of which the default option is Timisoreana. QOpen 13:00 04:00, Mon, Tue, Wed 13:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PJBSW

Deight C-6, Str. Franceza 2-4, tel. (+4) 021 311 40 10/

Arcade Cafe C-6, Str. Smardan 30, tel. (+4) 0727 25
70 22, (+4) 0722 77 76 74, This little place is a cool mix of cafe, DJ bar and deadly serious club, though the music is always at the right volume and never stifles conversation. Basically there are two parts to this place: upstairs is the cafe (serving hot milk: our kids liked it!) and downstairs is the club. The cafe is open from (around) 10am. QOpen 10:00 - 05:00. PJEBSW

(+4) 0721 33 35 33, Serving a very good pizza - and plenty more besides - this place is nice. Occupying the site of the old Picasso Cafe Deight does far more with the space, and does it much better. Has cleverly placed the

Late Night Food The name means good for everything and everything is what they have here, from kebabs (which are OK) to hot dogs, burgers and the like. Find it on the corner of Selari and the river at the bottom of Old Town: its open 24 hours. Q Open 24 hrs. floor of Unirea closes at 23:00, so instead get yourself here for your late night/early morning fried chicken fix. Q Open 11:00 - 05:00.

Bun de tot Str. Franceza 52, tel. (+4) 0733 11 04 64,

obligatory TV screens just so that if you do not want to watch them, you do not have to. Other places should look and learn. Comfy sofas, armchairs, good staff and a huge terrace when the weather is OK. QOpen 09:30 - 24:00, Fri 09:30 - 02:00, Sat 11:30 - 02:00, Sun 11:30 - 24:00. JSW tel. (+4) 021 311 22 67,, www. Live music pub and club that launches itself into direct competition with the more established Mojo next door. Besides the music there are plenty of screens for watching sports and the like, the beer is well priced and the crowd a very casually dressed mix of rockers in leather and rollers in jeans. Make of it what you will. Q Open 16:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 04:00. PJBW

Old City C-6, Str. Lipscani 45, tel. (+4) 0729 37 77 74,

Biutiful C-6, Str. Gabroveni 6-8, MUnirii, tel. (+4) 0737

Elephant Pub & Live Music C-6, Str. Gabroveni 16,

29 72 97, Easily the most talked-about venue to open in Bucharest this year. When you walk in, you will see why: it is indeed biutiful, an enormous industrial-chic space with a little added glamour (check out the lights and the comfy sofas), creating a rather special atmosphere rather like an upmarket, contemporary central London bar and grill. The food is more than decent - salads, tapas and burgers - with the beef and horseradish sandwich a confirmed winner; The fish and chips wasnt bad either. A must visit for either drinks or food, preferably both. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. PEBSW Good pub on Lipscani with a huge beer garden out the back. Serves very good cocktails (a sweet as you like mojito went down very well with Mrs. In Your Pocket) and some pub grub that is far better than you would assume. The burger was great: try it with the roast potatoes in fresh rosemary for something a bit different. A big screen shows football and the like. QOpen 10:00 - 05:00. PJBW 021 311 89 68/(+4) 0729 19 18 55, At the end of a well-marked passageway on Strada Gabroveni is this place, a bright, colourful bar and club that puts on something different every night of the week. Besides the long cocktail list there are also - as you would expect for a Russian-themed placed - now fewer than seven kinds of vodka, and they even serve caviar pancakes. Definitely a first in Bucharest! QOpen 12:00 - 04:00. PESW

Chicken Staff C-6, Str. Smardan 31. KFC on the ground

Sankt Petersburg Pub C-6, Str. Gabroveni 55, tel. (+4)

Bordellos C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 0748 88 10 85,, Always plenty going on here. From quiz nights to live music and Burlesque every Friday, this is a great pub, complete with excellent bar food, Heineken, Murphys and Paulaner on tap and Sky Sports on four screens. Great food: tapas in the pub (the ribs are just about the best weve ever had in Bucharest) and more sophisticated fare in the Mulanruj restaurant bit. You cant miss this place by the way: just look for the tarts in their underwear beckoning you in. No wonder it is always full. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri 12:00 - 05:00, Sat, Sun 14:00 - 05:00. PJEBSW Curtea Berarilor C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, MUnirii, tel. (+4) 021 313 75 32,, www. Once upon a time the whole of the Curtea Sticlarilor was given over to artisans - especially Bucharest In Your Pocket

Dristor Kebap C-6, Str. Franceza 17, tel. (+4) 021 315 55 40, Legendary chain of kebab shops, which began in Dristor but has now spread city wide, even in to Old Town. Q Open 24 hrs. Also at B-dul Camil Ressu 1, Calea Vacaresti 391, B-dul Marasesti 42 and B-dul Timisoara 26. Gyros Thessaloniki Str. Gabroveni 2. In our opinion,
the best chicken kebab in Bucharest. Its a regular late-night haunt of ours and the queues speak for themselves. Alongside the kebabas there are also salads, lamb dishes and sweets. Cheap too, its a winner. Q Open 24hrs.

Le Drakkar Pub et Creperie C-6, Str. Franceza 6, MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 021 312 40 13, www.ledrakkar. ro. Cafe and creperie on Strada Franceza, boasting staff who are friendly despite being rushed off their feet. Specialises in gallettes: those thin French pizzas that make a really nice change from the Italian version. Bravo Le Drakkar for bringing them to Bucharest. Occasional live music too. QOpen 10:00 - 03:00. PJEBW Oktoberfest C-6, Str. Selari 9 -11, tel. (+4) 0724 33 32 33, What makes this place so special is how very ordinary it is. You will find the crowd more local than foreign - never a bad thing - and ordinary, out for a drink and a good time locals at that, not the fitze crowd. The owners try to make something happen every night, whether its football on the television or impromptu drinking competitions. The house Oktoberfest beer is a bargain at 4 lei a glass. Upstairs is Oktoberfest 2, which has a small terrace (heated in winter). The club Octopus is also inside (on the ground floor). Q Open 24hrs. PJNBW

McDonalds C-6, P-ta Unirii 1 (Unirea Shopping Cen-

tre), The good news is McDonalds has finally brought breakfast to Romania, so that much sought-after Sausage and Egg McMuffin can now be yours at most central Bucharest McDonalds outlets. But only until 10:00, alas. We do wish they would serve them all day. Q Open 07:00-24:00, Fri, Sat 07:00-01:00.

October - November 2012


oLd town
Team Pub C-6, Str. Lipscani 36, tel. (+4) 0760 32 34
17/(+4) 0723 72 94 29, (+4) 0760 32 34 17, teampub@, Decent enough pub on the corner of Lipscani and Selari, with good proper bar stools and a decent range of beers. Efficient waitresses in red tops serve the customers well. Its popular too: first time we came here (just after they had opened) it was empty: now (especially on a Friday or Saturday night) you can barely get through the door for revelers. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 03:00. PJBW

oLd town


Trinity College C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, tel. (+4) 0747 50

75 07,, Upmarket burgers, tapas and the like served in an all-American atmosphere to an (almost) all-Romanian crowd. Good ribs, good pizza, good cocktails and Leffe on draught. Stays open late, and at weekends often has DJs on duty to make sure the music is good. QOpen 11:00 - 03:00. PJBW

Vintage Pub C-6, Str. Smardan 43, tel. (+4) 0743 79 71 73,, www.thevintagepub. ro. Another Smardan drinking den. And its not bad. Staff are incredibly hospitable, and the interior dcor is pub-ish without overdoing it. The Vintage aspect is provided by the hanging of various antiques on the walls. Cheapish drinks, salads, sandwiches and a big terrace (in good weather) attract a young, studenty crowd. Q Open 13:30 - 06:00. PJBW

Irish Pubs
Arthur Irish Pub C-6, Str. Gabroveni 20, tel. (+4) 0736
85 84 30, Another Irish pub in Old Town. Looks like a huge advert for Guinness, with black-stuff branding all over the place, complete with portraits of old Arthur Guinness himself. Needless to say they serve a faultless pint, the bar (and sufficient bar stools) are the business and we think it will be a real winner. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 04:00. PJEBSW

77,, Amazingly, this place has already been around for two years. (Feels like only yesterday that it opened). Expect a decent pint of Guinness, live Irish music and a grand welcome from some fine staff make this very much the thinking mans Irish pub in Bucharest. The Lipscani venue (on one of the areas pedestrian streets that has actually been finished) is a bonus. QOpen 12:00 02:00. PJENBSW

OHaras C-6, Str. Franceza 13, tel. (+4) 0724 23 95

313 03 36/(+4) 0755 11 00 08, Big, well located and quite frankly cracking Irish pub in Lipscani: it really sets the standard for the many others in the area. Looking every inch just like a proper Irish boozer, its a real pub all right with decent pub grub, Guinness and Kilkenny on tap, and more than efficient staff who ensure you do not have to wait long for a drink. Its a brilliant addition to the Old Town area and has a load of regulars who have quickly made it their home from home. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 04:00. PJEBSW

St. Patrick C-6, Str. Smardan 23-25, tel. (+4) 021

Clubs & Discos

63,, Is that really what it is called? Yes: that is really what it is called. In a Lipscani basement, with the walls stripped back to the red brick, this is a cocktail bar and club where the mood is different every night. It could be karaoke, it could be rock night, it could be DJ Andrei Nicolescu spinning his old school electro tunes. Regardless of what is going on you probably enjoy it. QOpen 20:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PJENB Club where a young crowd of locals dresses well (especially the ladies) and dances to a very good if sometimes strange mix of sounds until the very early morning. There are various other events too, such as Romanian stand-up comedy and the like. You might want to check out the excellent if eclectic artwork on the walls before you start dancing.QOpen 19:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PJEW

Bastards C-6, Str. Lipscani 28, tel. (+4) 0723 20 34

The Gin Factory C-6, Str. Lipscani 37, tel. (+4) 021, Wow, its like a new place. Forget what you read or thought of this place before and get there immediately. Its a big Irish pub showing all the right sports on television and serving an exemplary pint of Guinness and a top chicken pie. There is also karaoke, live music and hands-on management. There is a great courtyard and sublime raised seating area, and now that theyve finished repaving Strada Covaci you can get here without getting your shoes dirty. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 05:00. PJEBSW

Oscars C-6, Str. Covaci 19, tel. (+4) 021 310 32 61,

311 38 36,, Enormous and gorgeous, this is an Irish pub well worth taking a drink in, not least for its very nice booths and break-out areas perfect for private chats and the like. The big bar is well-manned and it never takes long to get a drink regardless of how busy it is. Theres a DJ on-site spinning tunes of all sorts after about 8pm, and though the Guinness is only by the bottle, they do have Ursus Black, so we can live with that. QOpen 10:00 - 05:00. PJBSW

Chat Noir C-6, Str. Blanari 5, tel. (+4) 0740 10 07 97,

WiFi W
Bucharest is now dotted with hundreds of Wifi hotspots, and the vast majority are free. It is rare in fact that you will come across a venue which does not have Wifi. Usually, all you will need is a password (divulged as you order something) though many venues in Old Town dont even bother: you can simply sit down and start surfing away. In our listings, we have used the Wifi symbol W to denote all venues which have Wifi.

Club A C-6, Str. Blnari 14, tel. (+4) 021 316 16 67, Selling (probably) the cheapest Red Bull vodka in the world, this place - the oldest club in the city - is a Bucharest legend. If you want a local, unpretentious, upfor-a-laugh studenty crowd getting down to classic songs that you wont have heard for ages, this is the one place in town you can be guaranteed to find it, every night of the week. Live music on most weekend nights, as well as all sorts of events during the week, from theme nights to theatre. It's massive terrace will remain open as long as the weather allows.QOpen 12:00 - 05:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 06:00. PJENBW

Scarlet Pub C-6, Str. Smardan 41, tel. (+4) 0729 05 62 54, Big pub on Strada Smardan serving a decent Guinness and attracting a good crowd of ordinary locals out for a decent night. Drinks are well priced compared to a few other places in the area and it doesnt take all night to get a drink here either: always a bonus. Often has events, including live music and DJs at the weekends. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. PJBSW Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


oLd town

oLd town


0728 55 50 43, El Comandante moves its mix of live music, a young, raucous but happy and welcoming crowd and general mayhem to the site of former concept store Market 8. Drinks are well priced for the area and there is always something going on. A decent bet for a good night out any night of the week. QOpen 22:00 - 06:00. PJNW 10 43, The latest venue in the growing collection of the El Comandante crowd. You know what to expect: a young crowd dancing to good, upcoming local DJs playing a mix of music. Expect a bit of New Wave (Thursdays) alongside more traditional dancehall sounds (Friday and Saturday). Well priced drinks keep the crowd well-oiled. QOpen 22:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon. PJENW

El Comandante Junior C-6, Str. Lipscani 43, tel. (+4)

enjoy sound cocktails, pizza and decent salads: and note you can enjoy it all at proper, big wooden tables. You might want to reserve at the weekends: this place is damn popular. QOpen 12:00 - 05:00. PJNBSW

El Dictador C-6, Str. Sf. Dumitru 3, tel. (+4) 0729 04

La Muse C-6, Str Lipscani 53, tel. (+4) 0734 00 02 36/ (+4) 0745 02 42 17,, www.lamuse. ro. Last time we popped in we met up with almost everyone we know in Bucharest. Thats the kind of place this is: on the surface it looks posh and flash and out-of-your-league (the lady at the entrance clutches a clipboard as though her life depends on it) but it is in fact a down-to-earth, come-as-youare venue playing dance floor hits from across the decades to a crowd a bit older than elsewhere, which can afford the prices of the drinks. We love it. QOpen 09:00 - 03:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 06:00. PJEBW Mojo C-6, Str. Gabroveni 14, MPiata Unirii, tel. (+4) 0760 26 34 96/(+4) 0767 34 34 10, www.mojomusic. ro. Three level extravaganza of a venue. On the ground floor is the pub, upstairs is the most popular karaoke venue in the land, while downstairs in the cavernous cellar there is live music, and then some. In a nutshell, this place sets the standard for nights out in Old Town. The beer is a decent price, there is good bar food, the crowd a mix of ages and nationalities and the manager is a top bloke who makes a point of being nice to his customers. When ace local bands are not playing, the resident Mojo band usually is. Also puts on regular quiz nights and live British stand-up comedy too. Top notch. QOpen 13:00 - 05:00. PJEBW Opium Stage B-4, Calea Victoriei 16 - 20, tel. (+4) 0720 68 12 02/(+4) 0727 06 20 01, clubopiumstage@, Interesting, very interesting. A cellar in one of Bucharests grand old passages has been transformed into a lounge/club, complete with kitsch decor and leather sofas. What makes it work is that theyve left the original brick work exposed, leaving you with the sense that all that kitsch is pure irony. Prices are decent for the location and the cocktail list tremendous. Now all they need is a regular crowd and theyll have a great place on their hands. QOpen 15:00 - 05:00. PJN Rococo Cafe & Lounge C-6, Str. Selari 12, tel. (+4) 0754 01 88 88,, By day a lounge, by evening a trendy club. And a good one at that. Certainly attracts a wealthy crowd and the decor is what could be termed luxurious, but the fact that it is packed out almost every night speaks volumes. A more than decent cocktail list and plenty of draught beer. Music is a mixed bag of fairly mainstream club sounds with some local tunes also making an appearance, but it depends on who is DJ-ing. Good local live acts too, some nights. Now also has a restaurant. QOpen 11:00 - 05:00. PJBW
19 99 77, Smooth. Smooth people, smooth vibes and smooth cocktails. We love the (long) nights we spend in this place, not least because you never know what to expect on the music front: it could be a night of pop, a night of disco classics, a night of indie beats or a night of up-to-the-minute clubby sounds. We suggest you take a chance and delve inside. Chances are you will enjoy yourself. Q Open 22:00 - 07:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PJBW with Str. Selari), MUnirii, tel. (+4) 0727 48 80 87,, In that wonderful location once known as Temple (on the corner of Strada Selari and Splaiul Independentei) is True Club, an exclusively live music venue well worthy of your time (its owned and run by two legends of the Bucharest nightlife scene, who have a track record of delivering the goods). When the resident covers band or top local act isnt performing you will find karaoke, and the sheer variety of themed nights and parties usually means that there is always something here for everyone. Drinks are a decent price and there are plenty of them to choose from. QOpen 20:30 - 05:00, Fri, Sat 22:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PJEW

66 04, Smoky, mainly rock-playing venue for disaffected youth types. Well, kind of. A makeover last year has certainly made the place a bit brighter, though it remains popular most of all among those who like loud rock music, and who think that Club A around the corner just isnt sweaty and crowded enough. Cheap drinks help keep the crowd young and fitze free, and to be honest there are worst places to go local. QOpen 10:00 - 05:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 06:00. PJSW

Fire Club C-6, Str. Gabroveni 12, tel. (+4) 0732 16

True Social Club C-6, Splaiul Independentei (corner

Freddo C-6, Str. Smardan 24, tel. (+4) 0722 37 33 36,, The biggest, boldest place on Strada Smardan. Smart too: when it started raining we were about to run for cover only for the roof to be extended, keeping us all dry. Impressive. Now get there and

Crazy Golf in Old Town

Golf Planet C-6, Str. Halelor 5, MUnirii, tel. (+4)
021 310 64 69/(+4) 0753 87 65 42, contact@, Something very different and original comes to Old Town. Its an 18-hole crazy-golf course, with added cafe, cocktail bar and comfy sofas. And it is all in the dark. Kind of: the lights are all fluorescent and futuristic. Brilliant for families during the day, at night grab a group of mates and get down here for a game of golf and a few beers. (We should add that you are under no compulsion to play golf: you are welcome to watch everybody else try). It really is the definitive answer to the perennial What shall we do tonight? question. Unique. Find it under the Europa Royale Hotel. QOpen 14:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 14:00 - 02:00, Sun 14:00 - 23:00. PW

The Vault C-6, Str. Lipscani 29-33, tel. (+4) 0723

Strada Stavropoleos, in Bucharests Old Town. Photo by Bogdan Carstina

Bucharest In Your Pocket

October - November 2012


Shopping in Bucharest
Bucharests main shopping areas are the malls and commercial centres listed below, as well as historical Calea Victoriei, home to the most luxurious shops in the city (see pages 70-71). Little Str. Ion Campineanu, between Balcescu and Calea Victoriei, is also becoming a funky little place to shop, with lots of boutiques and delicatessens. The Peasant and Village museums (see page 64-65) are good places to pick up Romanian handicrafts and souvenirs, as well as the Old Town souvenir shop listed on page 73.

Bucharest Bookshops
Anthony Frost English Bookshop B-4, Calea Victoriei
45, tel. (+4) 021 311 51 38, Stocks a good range of fiction, non-fiction, childrens books, and a selection of books about Romania and Bucharest. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 14:00.


Swimming Pools
posite Sala Polivalenta), tel. (+4) 021 330 50 71, Superb tennis and fitness club in Tineretului Park, with two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor). Note that the club house and its terrace double as one of Bucharests best pizzerias. QOpen 06:00 24:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 22:00. The swimming pool costs 50 lei per person, children between five and twelve 35 lei, children under five years free access.

Daimon Sport Club D-8, Parcul Tineretului (Op-

Crturesti C-5, Str. Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15, tel. (+4) 021 317 34 59, Marvellous bookshop, gallery and small cafe, with good selection of English books. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Humanitas Kretzulescu B-4, Calea Victoriei 45,
tel. (+4) 021 313 50 35, www.librariilehumanitas. ro. Large bookshop selling a wide range of both Romanian and foreign language books. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00.

Piata Obor E-4, Piata Obor, MObor. Bucharests biggest
and perhaps most famous market. Colourful, huge, and always lively, it is not what it once was: where once you could buy almost anything, it is now a strictly meat, dairy produce, fruit and vegetable market. Watch your wallet. QOpen 06:00 - 20:00.

Clinics & Hospitals

23 00, fax (+4) 021 599 22 57, spital@urgentafloreasca. ro, If youre squashed by a tram or fall victim to a dodgy sausage, youll be in good hands here in what is the best state-run hospital in Romania. Efficient, clean, and well-run.Q Open 24hrs. Medsana A-6, Str. Dr. Nanu Muscel 12, tel. (+4) 021 408 78 00, fax (+4) 021 402 80 76, Another welcome addition to the privately-run medical sector. QOpen 07:00 - 21:00, Sat 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. Also at (B-2) B-dul Primaverii 9, tel. (+4) 021 408 78 00. Unirea Medical Center C-6, B-dul Unirii 57, bl. E4, tel. (+4) 021 327 11 88/(+4) 021 9268, QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at (B-5) Str. George Enescu 12 tel. (+4) 021 316 58 76, (A-3) Str. Clucerului 55 tel. (+4) 021 222 92 26 and many other locations.

Targul Vitan-Barzesti Sos. Vitan-Barzesti/Splaiul

Unirii. Every Sunday morning this huge piece of wasteland becomes Sodom and Gomorrah. From allegedly stolen mobile phones and fake Ralph Lauren shirts to cheap, sandpaperrough toilet paper, everything can be found here, all prices negotiable. Bus 123 will get you here. Be brave. Q Open 08:00-16:00. Closed Mon-Sat.

021 315 43 14, On Piata Romana, in a huge villa dating from 1913 this is a fine bookshop with a cafe in the attic.QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00.

Libraria Bastilia B-4, Piata Romana 5, tel. (+4)

Emergency Clinic Hospital (Spitalul de Urgenta Floreasca) C-3, Calea Floreasca 8, tel. (+4) 021 599

Hilton Health Club C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hilton), tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77. Indoor pool, sauna, weight room, and a host of top facilities. You need to be a member or guest of the hotel. Full membership costs 120 lei/day, 750 lei/month, 1950 lei/three months, 3550 lei/six months, 4950 lei/year. QOpen 06:00 - 22:00.
cescu 4, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20. Probably the smallest swimming pool in Romania on top of what for years was the tallest building (22 floors). Views are great, and when it gets really steamy you can go and sunbathe on the balcony. You need to be a member. Q Open 06:00 22:00. Subscription costs 480 lei/month, 40 lei/month for children between five and twelve, children under five are free. Jacuzzi, sauna and fitness included.

InterContinental Hotel C-5, B-dul Nicolae Bal-

Shopping centres
AFI Palace Cotroceni B-dul Vasile Milea/B-dul Timisoara, MPolitehnica, tel. (+4) 031 425 75 10, www. Bucharests best mall, now with an IMAX cinema. It also has ice skating (year round) and you can get here easy: it is just a short walk from the Politehnica metro station. Q Open 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:30. Baneasa Shopping City os. Bucureti-Ploieti 42D,
tel. (+4) 021 305 71 95, This place was the first real mega-mall in Bucharest.Q Open 10:00 - 22:00, Restaurants Open 10:00 -22:00.

222 50 30/(+4) 021 223 32 56, Good English bookshop. Specialises in fantasy and science fiction but has much else besides. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 09:30 - 13:00. Closed Sun.

Nautilus A-3, Str. Arh. Ion Mincu 17, tel. (+4) 021

Bucuresti Mall E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59, tel. (+4) 021

327 67 00, Recently extended in a major redevelopment, this is now a real shopping centre, with plenty of stores you can actually spend money in. Debenhams is the biggest pull, but hundreds of other brands also help to bring the punters in. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.

Sun Plaza Calea Vacaresti 391, tel. (+4) 021 386

06 00, All the big name international high street stores are here, as well as a few local outfits. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Food Court Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00.

B.B. Clinic - German Dentist D-6, Str. Ionescu Gion
4, tel./fax (+4) 021 320 01 51, www.germandentist. ro. Probably the best dentist in the city. Whats more, you can bring the kids too, as they now have special rooms

Ramada Majestic Hotel B-4, Calea Victoriei 38-40, tel. (+4) 021 310 27 72, www.majestic. ro. Tiny pool underneath the Ramada Majestic hotel. Sauna and jacuzzi too. Q Open 07:00 - 21:30. Aqua Gym 11:30 - 12:15, 18:00 - 18:45, Sat 11:30 - 12:45. Closed Sun. Admission 50 lei for one visit, 225 lei for 5 visits per month, 450 lei 10 visits per month. Aqua Gym 25 lei/session.
Septembrie 90, tel. (+4) 021 403 09 00, www. Massive fitness centres and pools at a number of locations. The pool at the JW Marriott is the largest in the city, we think. Call for membership prices. QOpen 06:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00. Also at (B-5) Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Centre Ville Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 313 11 04, Jolie Ville Galleria (Pipera) Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae 103 bis, tel. (+4) 021 269 01 60 and Calea Dudesti 188 (InCity Residences).

Local Souvenirs
See also the Old Town Souvenir Shop and Thomas Antiques (both listed on page 73).

Unirea Shopping Centre C-6, Piata Unirii 1, www. Once socialist Romanias showpiece department store, this place is now the best mall in the centre of the city. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.

Casa Frumoasa
A network of stores around the city selling only the biggest names in high fashion: T Ford, Scabal, Brioni, om Salvatore Ferragamo, Loro Piana, Jacob Cohen etc. tembrie 90 (JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 0731 03 65 63/(+4) 0733 73 59 35, QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Casa Frumoasa Store B-4, B-dul Lascar Catargiu 40, tel. (+4) 0723 33 17 30/(+4) 0724 35 30 08, QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Elegance Boutique B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel. (+4) 0722 45 48 82/(+4) 031 437 02 48,, www. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. J. Kristensen Store Bucuresti B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel. (+4) 0724 35 30 06, QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 17:00.

World Class Health Academy B-6, Calea 13

Muzeul Taranului Roman (Peasant Museum) B-3,

Specialist Wine Stores

BvS Wine Bar & Shop C-6, Str. Covaci 19, tel.
(+4) 021 31 00 580, Super little place on the edge of the Old Town run by the same people as the Van Gogh Cafe. Its a wine bar and shop where you can find a fine selection of self-imported wines, tasting them all before you buy. You can also just pop in for a glass or two. QOpen 14:00 - 23:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 24:00.

os. Kiseleff 3, MPiata Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 317 96 61. The shop at the Peasant Museum has an outstanding selection of souvenirs and gifts. Of particular note are the icons and naive art.QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.

Casa Frumoasa JW Marriott B-6, Calea 13 Sep-

313 14 65,, Good place to buy traditional souvenirs. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. Also at P-ta Montreal 10 (World Trade Plaza) tel. (+4) 021 319 12 16.

Romartizana B-4, Calea Victoriei 16-20, tel. (+4) 021

Old Town Conference Suites

Van Gogh Spaces C-6, Str. Smardan 9, tel. (+4) 021 313 93 15, More than a mere conference suite, the spaces on the upper floors of the buildings above the Van Gogh Cafe are multi-purpose suites available for standard conferences, but also featuring a number of instant offices.Q PJW October - November 2012

Souvenir Shop C-4, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard

Johnson), tel. (+4) 0722 32 25 40, www.souvenir-shop. The Lipscani/Hanul cu Tei location has long been one of the best souvenir shops in the city: now you can find the same good range of gifts at this outlet at the Howard Johnson.QOpen 10:00 - 20:00.

0722 63 37 89, Wonderful wine shop, run by a friendly Englishman and his lovely wife, both of whom really know their stuff. There is a wide range of local grape, as well as a good selection of wines from Cricova in the Republic of Moldova. QOpen 13:00 - 21:00, Mon 15:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.

Ethic Wine C-3, Str. Banu Antonache 55, tel. (+4)

Bucharest In Your Pocket





equipped just for them. Q Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. For emergencies (24hrs) tel. (+4) 0744 49 91 99. Also at (B-2) Calea Dorobantilor 208, tel. (+4) 021 231 88 56. Dent-A-America B-3, Str. Varsovia 4, tel. (+4) 021 230 26 08/(+4) 021 230 28 26, fax (+4) 021 230 28 27,, www.dent-a-americainc. ro. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Sat 08:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun. Denta G D-5, B-dul Carol I 37, tel. (+4) 021 313 87 14/ (+4) 031 805 99 97, fax (+4) 021 313 33 06, office@, Dental Standard E-5, Str. Fluierului 17D, tel. (+4) 0726 42 94 72,, QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Velvet Medical C-6, Str. Sf. Vineri 29 (Bectro Center), tel. (+4) 021 317 39 97/(+4) 0722 45 30 12, QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.

Dry cleaners
021 211 44 13, The best drycleaners in town offers free collection and delivery. QOpen 07:30 - 20:30, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.

Immaculate Cleaners C-4, Str. Polona 76, tel. (+4)

Foreign representations
Austria C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 7, tel. (+4) 021 201 Belgium D-4, B-dul Dacia 58, tel. (+4) 021 210 29 69. Bulgaria B-3, Str. Rabat 5, tel. (+4) 021 230 21 50. Canada A-3, Str. Tuberozelor 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 307 Chile B-4, Calea Griviei 24, et. 4, tel. (+4) 021 312
72 39. 04 57. 56 12.

50 00.

China B-1, Sos. Nordului 2, tel. (+4) 021 232 17 32. Croatia D-5, Str. Dr. Burghelea 1, tel. (+4) 021 313 Czech Republic C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 11, tel. (+4) 021 Denmark D-5, Str. Dr. Burghelea 3, tel. (+4) 021 300 Egypt D-4, B-dul Dacia 67, tel. (+4) 021 211 09 38. European Union Delegation C-5, Str. Vasile Lascr 31,
08 00. 303 92 30.

303 10 00. Germany B-3, Cpt. Av. Gh. Demetriade 6-8, tel. (+4) 021 202 98 30. Greece E-5, Str. Pache Protopopescu 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 209 41 73. Hungary C-4, Str. Prof. Dr. Dimitrie Gerota 63-65, tel. (+4) 031 620 43 00. Ireland B-4, Str. Buzesti 50-52, et. 3, tel. (+4) 021 310 21 61. Israel C-7, B-dul Dimitrie Cantemir 1, tronson 2+3, bl. B2, et. 5, tel. (+4) 021 318 94 17. Italy B-4, Str. Henri Coanda 9, tel. (+4) 021 305 21 00. Lebanon B-3, Str. Andrei Muresanu 16, tel. (+4) 021 230 81 75. Macedonia D-4, Str. Mihai Eminescu 144, tel. (+4) 021 210 08 80. Moldova B-3, Aleea Alexandru 40, tel. (+4) 021 230 04 74. Netherlands B-3, Str. Aleea Alexandru 20, tel. (+4) 021 208 60 30. Norway B-3, Str. Atena 18, tel. (+4) 021 306 98 00. Philippines A-6, Str. Carol Davilla 105-107, et. 5, ap. 10-11, tel. (+4) 021 319 82 52. Poland B-3, Aleea Alexandru 23, tel. (+4) 021 308 22 00. Portugal B-3, Str. Paris 55, tel. (+4) 021 230 41 36. Russia B-3, Sos. Pavel Kiseleff 6, tel. (+4) 021 222 31 70. Serbia B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 34, tel. (+4) 021 211 98 71. Slovakia C-5, Str. Otetari 1, tel. (+4) 021 300 61 00. Spain B-3, Aleea Alexandru 43, tel. (+4) 021 318 10 80. Sweden B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 43, tel. (+4) 021 406 71 00. Switzerland B-4, Str. Grigore Alexandrescu 16-20, tel. (+4) 021 206 16 00. Syria B-4, B-dul Lascr Catargiu 50, tel. (+4) 021 319 24 67. Turkey B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 72, tel. (+4) 021 206 37 00. UK & Northern Ireland C-4, Str. Jules Michelet 24, tel. (+4) 021 201 72 00. USA B-dul Liviu Librescu 4-5, tel. (+4) 021 200 33 00. For a full list of foreign embassies and representations in Bucharest, visit

Finland B-3, Str. Atena 2bis, tel. (+4) 021 230 75 04. France B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 13-15, tel. (+4) 021

Driving in Bucharest
rules of the road as you know them simply do not apply. In Romania, a good rule of thumb is that the bigger and more expensive the car, the fewer rules of the road the driver has to obey. One-way signs, for example. are purely for decoration. People in Bucharest ignore them if they are inconvenient. Pedestrians are not taken into consideration when they are crossing the road, even if the priority is theirs. Even at pedestrian crossings, drivers will disregard anyone crossing the street. If a frail old lady is crossing too slowly, she can expect to be aggressively hounded. Drinking and driving is technically against the law, though it depends on who you are and how much money you have to offer. Many people in Bucharest - expats included - drink and drive as a matter of course. And if you think the people of Bucharest drive badly, wait until you see them park: anywhere and everywhere is a parking space in Bucharest. Though you can in theory have your car towed away for illegal parking, people rarely do. Our editor even has a website devoted to such things: visit for a rogues gallery of idiots who have left their cars in often bizarre places. As with so many aspects of Romanian life, much of the fault for this (though not all) lies with the police force. Widely considered to be corrupt from top to bottom (a huge exaggeration, in fact), some policemen can sometimes appear to be in awe of the wealthy and their big cars. Indeed, some strata of Romanian society, such as the celebrated Manele singers, have allegedly driven unhindered for years even though they have never bothered taking driving tests, and have no driving license.

tel. (+4) 021 203 54 00.

1 = 4.53 lei, 1 = 5.69 lei US$ = 3.53 lei (As of September 29, 2012)
Bucharest In Your Pocket

Key cuts
El Chei C-5, Str. Coltei 6, tel. (+4) 021 311 14 18/(+4)
0722 20 51 10, Call the (+4) 0722 20 51 10 number of you get locked out of your apartment late at night. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.

Even if your experience of Romanias roads has so far been limited to a taxi ride from the airport into town, then you already know that you are not dealing with the most thoughtful and considerate drivers on the planet. Quite what happens to the usually placid Romanian male when he gets behind the wheel is anyones business. Romanians are by and large an intelligent bunch, so quite why they think that vast queues of traffic can magically disappear at the prolonged sound of their horn is a mystery. Romanian women in general drive far better, less aggresively and more carefully, though the fie crowd (blonde tarts in sunglasses who drive jeeps bought for them by their sponsors) are an exception. If driving in Romania - especially in Bucharest - you will need to have nerves of steel, and bags of patience. The

October - November 2012


Bucharest With Children
Bucharest is not the greatest city in the world to visit with children. The major problem is that the vast majority of the citys museums with a few honourable and notable exceptions - are dull, offer no interactivity and little to captivate little minds. The exceptions are the outstanding Village Museum (see page 65), which children love, as they can scurry around the houses, explore and generally be kids without worrying too much about grump security guards telling them off. The confectionery stand at the entrance selling tasty Romanian sweets helps too. The Peasant Museum (see page 65) will please older children, especially those who know a little Romanian history (and note that the Clubul Taranului, around the back of the museum, has puppet shows most weekend mornings at 10:30am and 12pm), while the Geology Museum (see page 68) across the road is a must for families: it is one of only two museums in Bucharest that puts on exhibitions specifically for kids. The other is the excellent Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, see page 66. We recently took the In Your Pocket kids to the curious little place that is the National Technical Museum at the entrance to Parcul Carol. While very old fashioned and a bit dusty, the kids loved it, as it is packed with models and exhibits of things which are right up their street: trains, cars, engines, jet packs, planes and such like. Th e Cir cu s Glob u s (C -3, Parcul Ci rcul ui) h as performances most weekends (morning, afternoon and evening) and is always a hit with kids. You will find details of its performances at the website circulglobus. ro. Bucharests Zoo on Aleea Priveghetorilor (turn left at the Police Academy) is better than it has been for years. They have a fine collection of exotic birds, and it is a good half-day out for kids. Entrance costs 13 lei for adults, 6.50 lei for kids. The zoo is open daily from 09:00-17:00. And then of course there are the parks. Cismigiu (B-5) and Herastrau (A/B-2) are the best and most central, but Tineretului (take the metro to Tineretului), with its fabulous playgrounds, is also worth exploring. An excellent indoor playground can be found at Funland Romania: a cracking place to take the kids on days when it rains. Featuring the biggest indoor playground we have seen (15 lei), bowling, billiards, arcade games and plenty of space for Mums and Dads to relax and have coffee in, it is a weekend-must. Find it on the fourth floor of the Unirea Shopping Centre in (C-6) Piata Unirii. For kids who want to swim there is Daimon, a good sports club in Parcul Tineretului, where under fives swim for free. There are also pools open to the public at the InterContinental and Ramada Majestic hotels, as well as at the World Class Health Clubs. For more on Swimming in Bucharest see the box on page 89. Most restaurants in Bucharest are child-friendly, even if the amount of smoke in some of them means that you will probably not want to enter with your kids. Those deserving a special mention include Malagamba, which has face painting and such like on weekend lunchtimes and afternoons, the big hotels - all of which have kids entertainers during their fabulous brunches, the Hard Rock Cafe: always happy to see kids, and Osho, which has a great kids menu.

Schools in Bucharest
For Mums and Dads who live here in Bucharest, the good news is that the city has some outstanding schools: both state and private. Indeed, there are a handful of state schools in Bucharest (both primary and secondary) which regularly meet an outstanding academic level, even if their facilities are somewhat lacking (few state schools have sports fields and such like). There are huge differences between state schools however, and competition for places at the best is tough. There is also of course the fact that unless your kids can speak Romanian, the state system will be practically closed to them. Fortunately, the private sector has jumped in to fill this breach, and there are now a number of excellent private sector schools in Bucharest offering a high level of education to children of all nationalities (and not just expats: many wealthy Romanians choose to send their children to these private schools). We provide a list of the best private schools below. All boast outstanding academic records and modern facilities, native English speaking teachers, and a vast range of extra-curricular activities.


International Schools
American International School Sos. Pipera-Tunari
196, Comuna Voluntari, tel. (+4) 021 204 43 00/ (+4) 021 204 43 01, fax (+4) 021 204 43 03, office@,

British School of Bucharest Erou Iancu Nicolae 42, tel. (+4) 021 267 89 19/(+4) 0728 13 34 33, fax (+4) 021 267 89 69,, Bucharest Christian Academy D-7, Str. Vasile
Voiculescu 26, tel. (+4) 021 323 58 87/(+4) 021 323 54 08,,

305 73 15, Sensiblu - the chemists - now also offers an optician in some of its outlets. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. Optiplaza B-dul Timisoara 26 (Plaza Romania), tel. (+4) 0372 71 10 00,, QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Also at (E-7) Bucuresti Mall, Baneasa Shopping City and many other locations.

Optiblu C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 7, tel. (+4) 021

International British School E-5, Str. Agricultori

21-23, tel. (+4) 021 253 16 98, fax (+4) 021 253 16 97,,

dence, tel. (+4) 021 380 35 35/(+4) 021 380 36 36, fax (+4) 021 380 38 38,, www.

International School for Primary Education (InSPE) Str. Petre Aurelian 72, Green Lake Resi-

Help Net A-3, B-dul Unirii 27, Q Open Sensiblu C-5, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 7, www.sensiblu. com. QOpen 24hrs. Also at (B-3) Str. Radu Beller 6, tel. (+4)
021 233 89 61, and many other locations. 24hrs. Also at (B-3) Str. Av. Radu Beller 8, and many other locations around the city.

International School of Bucharest Sos. Gara

Catelu 1R, tel. (+4) 021 306 95 30, fax (+4) 021 306 95 34,,

Japanese School in Bucharest A-2, Str. Alexan-

Removals & Storage

AGS Worldwide Movers B-dul Basarabia 256 (Faur Industrial Park, entrance from B-dul 1 Decembrie 1918), tel. (+4) 021 345 06 66. Euro Mini Storage B-dul Theodor Pallady 42 J, tel. (+4) 031 100 18 88,

dru Constantinescu 61, tel. (+4) 021 222 19 85, fax (+4) 021 222 19 86,,

Lauder-Reut C-6, Str. Iuliu Barasch 15, tel. (+4) 021 320 15 38, fax (+4) 021 320 15 75, lauder_reut@, Mark Twain International School Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae 25B, tel. (+4) 021 267 89 12/(+4) 0724 00 09 00, fax (+4) 021 267 89 85,,

The full Bucharest In Your Pocket Directory is available online at

October - November 2012

Bucharest In Your Pocket

Northern Bucharest

Central & Southern Bucharest


street reGister & HoteL MaP indeX

13 Septembrie, Calea B6 21 Decembrie 1989, Piata C5 Academiei, Str. C5 Alecsandri Vasile, Str. B4 Alexandrescu Grigore, Intr. C4 Alexandrescu Grigore, Str. B4 Aman Theodor, Str. B5 Amman, Str. C3 Amzei, Intr. B4 Apolodor, Str. B6 Argentina, Str. B3 Arghezi Tudor, Str. C5 Atelierului, Str. A4 Atena, Str. B3 Balaban Emil, Str. C4 Balcescu Nicolae, Bd. C5 Baniei, Str. C6 Banului, Str. B5 Baratiei, Str. C6 Batistei, Str. C5 Berna, Str. B3 Berthelot H. M., G-ral., Str. B5 Berzei, Str. A4 Biserica Amzei, Str. B4 Biserica Enei, Str. C5 Bitolia, Intr. B3 Blanari, Str. C6 Blanc Louis, Arh., Str. B3 Blanduziei, Str. C5 Bogdan Ion, Prof., Str. C4 Botez Eugen, Cmdr., Str. C3 Bratianu I.c., Bd. C6 Brazilia, Str. B3 Brebu, Str. E3 Brezoianu Ion, Str. B5 Brutus M.i., Str. B6 Bruxelles, Str. B3 Budisteanu Constantin, G-ral, Str. B5 Buiestrului, Str. C3 Buzesti, Intr. B4 Buzesti, Piata A4 Buzesti, Str. B4 Buzoiani Iani, Str. C2 Buzoianu Ion, Lt.col., Intr. C6 Caderea Bastiliei, Intr. B4 Caderea Bastiliei, Str. B4 Caderon Jean Louis, Str. C5 Calin Ion, Erou, Str. C4 Cameliei, Str. A4 Carada Eugeniu, Str. C6 Caragea Ioan Voda, Str. C4 Caragiale I.l., Str. C5 Caragiale I.l.,intr. C5 Carol I, Bd. D5 Catargiu Lascar, Bd. B4 Cavafii Vechi, Str. C6 Cazzavillan Luigi, Str. B5 Cernat Alexandru, G-ral, Str. A4 Cioranu Mihai, Str. A6 Clucerului, Str. A3 Clunet, Dr., Str. A6 Coanda Constantin, G-ral., Str. B4 Coanda Henri, Str. B4 Cobalcescu Grigore, Prof., Str. B5 Coltei, Str. C5 Constantin Daniel, Str. B4 Constitutiei, Piata B6 Conta Vasile, Str. C5 Coposu Corneliu, Bd. C6 Coposu Corneliu, Piata D6 Cornescu, Str. C3 Cotiturii, Str. A5 Covaci, Str. C6 Crisana, Str. A5 Crisului, Str. C6 Cronicarilor, Str. C3 Cuza Alexandru Ioan, Bd. A4 Dacia, Bd. D4 Dascalu Nicolae, Serg., Intr. B4 David Emmanuel, Str. C4 Davila Carol, Dr., Str A6 Dealul Mitropoliei, Alee C6 Demetriade Gheorghe, Cpt. av., Str B3 Dianei, Str. C5 Doamna Oltea, Str. C3 Dona Nicolae, G-ral, Str. B5 Dorobanti, Calea B3 Dorobanti, Piata B3 Dragalina Ion, G-ral., Str. B6 Drobeta, Str. C4 Duca Gheorghe, Bd. A4 Dumbrava Rosie, Str. C4 Eforie, Str. C5 Eftimiu Victor, Intr. B5 Elie Radu, Str. B5 Eminescu Mihai, Intr. C4 Eminescu Mihai, Str. D4 Enescu George, Piata B5 Enescu George, Str. B5 Episcopiei, Str. C5 Eroii Sanitari, Bd. A5 Eroilor, Bd. A5 Eroilor, Piata A6 Felix Iacob, Dr., Str. A4 Filipescu Nicolae, Str. C5 Finlanda, Str. B3 Floreasca, Cale C3 Florescu Ion, G-ral, Str. C5 Franceza, Str. C6 Frumoasa, Intr. B4 Frumoasa, Str. B4 Furtuna Stefan, Intr. A5 Gabroveni, Str. C6 Gara De Nord, Piata A4 Gara De Nord, Str. A4 Georgescu George, Str. B6 Ghica Ion, Str. C5 Golescu Dinicu, Bd. A4 Golescu Nicolae, Str. C5 Greceanu Paul, Str. C4 Grigorescu Eremia, G-ral, Str. C4 Grivitei, Cale B4 Gusti Dimitrie, Str. A5 Gutenberg, Str. B5 Haga, Str. B3 Hagi Moscu Maria, Str. A3 Halelor, Str. C6 Haret Spiru, Str. B5 Hasdeu Iulia, Intr. B4 Hasdeu Iulia, Str. B4 Horatiu, Str. B4 Hristo Botev, Bd. C5 Iancu De Hunedoara, Bd. B4 Icoanei, Str. C4 Ilfov, Str. B6 Iorga Nicolae, Intr. B4 Iorga Nicolae, Str. B4 Iosif O. Eugen, Dr., Str. A6 Iulian Stefan, Str. A3 Izvor, Str. A6 Justitiei, Str. B6 Kiseleff P Bd. .d., B3 Kogalniceanu Mihail, Bd B5 Kogalniceanu Mihail, Piata B5 Lacatusului, Str. C2 Lacul Tei, Bd. D3 Lahovari Alexandru, Piata C4 Lantului, Str. A6 Lascar Vasile, Str. C5 Lazar Gheorghe, Str. B5 Lebedei, Str. A3 Libertatii, Bd. B6 Libertatii, Piata B7 Lipova, Str. A5 Lipscani, Str. C6 Lisabona, Str. B3 Lister, Dr., Str. A6 Londra, Str. B3 Lupu Dionisie, Str. C5 Luterana, Str. B5 Macedoniei, Str. A5 Magheru Gheorghe, Bd C5 Magiresti, Str. A4 Maltopol, Str. A4 Mamulari, Str. C6 Manolescu Grigore, Str. A3 Manu Gheorghe, G-ral, Str. B4 Maracineanu Walter, Piata B5 Masaryk Thomas, Str. C5 Mendeleev D.i., Str. C4 Mexic, Str. B3 Michelet Julles, Str. C4 Micle Veronica, Str. A4 Mihai Voda, Str. B6 Mihalache Ion, Bd. A3 Mihnea Voda, Str. C6 Mille Constantin, Str. B5 Millo Matei, Str. B5 Mincu Ion, Arh., Str. B3 Mirinescu Mihail, Dr., Str. A6 Miron Costin, Str. A4 Mitropolit Antim Ivireanul, Str. B6 Monetariei, Str. B3 Mosilor, Cale D4 Moxa Mihail, Str. B4 Muresanu Andrei, Poet, Str. B3 Musatescu Tudor, Piata B5 Natiunile Unite, Bd. B6 Natiunile Unite, Piata B6 Neculce Ion, Str. A3 Negri Costache, Str. A6 Negruzzi Iacob, Str. A4 Negulescu Stefan, Str. C3 Occidentului, Str. B4 Oslo, Str. B3 Ostasilor, Str. B5 Otetari,str. C5 Paris, Str. B3 Parvan Vasile, Str. B5 Pasteur Louis, Dr., Str. A6 Patriarhiei, Str. C6 Petrescu Camil, Intr. C4 Philippide Alexandru, Str. C4 Piata Amzei, Str. B4 Pitar Mos, Str. C5 Poenaru Bordea, Str. B6 Poiana Narciselor, Str. B5 Politie, Str. B6 Polizu Gheorghe, Str. A4 Polona, Str. C4 Poni Petru, Str. A4 Popa Tatu, Str. B5 Popescu-gopo Ion, Str. A6 Povernei, Str. B4 Praga, Str. B3 Praporgescu David, G-ral., Str. C5 Pretorienilor, Str. A6 Putul Cu Plopi, Str. B5 Putul Lui Zamfir, Str. B3 Quinet Edgar, Str. C5 Quito, Piata B3 Rabat, Str. B3 Radu Voda, Str. C6 Ramniceanu Naum, Str. C3 Regina Elisabeta, Bd. C5 Regina Maria, Bd. C6 Revolutiei, Piata B5 Rigas, Intr. B5 Roma, Intr. B3 Roma, Str. B3 Romana, Piata B4 Rosetti C.a., Piata C5 Rosetti C.a., Str. C5 Rosetti Maria, Str. C5 Rossini Gioachino, Str. C3 Saligny Anghel, Ing., Str. B5 Sapientei, Str. B6 Sarandy Frosa, Str. A3 Scarlatescu, Str. A3 Schitul Magureanu, Bd. B5 Scoala Floreasca, Str. C3 Scoalei, Str. C5 Selari, Intr. C6 Selari, Str. C6 Sepcari, Str. C6 Sevastopol, Intr. B4 Sevastopol, Str. B4 Sfanta Vineri, Str. C6 Sfantul Constantin, Str. B5 Sfantul Elefterie, Str. A6 Sfintii Apostoli, Str. B6 Sfintii Voievozi, Piata B4 Sfintii Voievozi, Str. B4 Slanic, Str. C5 Slatineanu Ion, Str. C4 Slavesti, Str. C4 Smardan, Str. C6 Sofia, Str. B3 Stahi Constantin, Str. B5 Staicovici Nicolae, Dr., Str. A6 Stavropoleos, Str. C6 Stefan Cel Mare, Sosea D4 Stirbei Voda, Intr. B5 Stirbei Voda, Str. B5 Tirana, Str. B3 Titulescu Nicolae, Sosea A4 Tokio, Str. B3 Tomescu Toma, Dr., Intr. B4 Transilvaniei, Str. B5 Tudor Stefan, Intr. C3 Tunari, Str. C4 Unirii, Bd. C6 Unirii, Piata C6 Universitatii, Piata C5 Vacarescu Barbu, Str. C3 Venezuela, Str. B3 Verona Arthur, Pictor, Str. C5 Victoriei, Calea B4 Victoriei, Piata B4 Visarion I.c., Str. B4 Vladoianu Barbu, G-ral, Str. A3 Vlaicu Aurel, Str. C4 Vulcanescu Mircea, Str. B4 Washington, Str. B3 Witting, Str. A4 Xenopol Alexandru, Str. C4 Zalomit Z. Ion. Str. B5 Zola Emile, Str. B3 INDEX TO HOTEL NUMBERS ON MAP H1 Helvetia H2 Casa Victor H3 Picollo Mondo H4 Hello Hotels H5 Andys H6 Moxa H7 Starlight H8 Duke H9 Golden Tulip H10 Residence Arcul de Trimf H11 Hotel Dan H12 JW Marriott H13 Parliament H14 Ibis Parlament H15 Volo H16 Berthelot H17 Centre Ville H18 Opera H19 Palace H20 Central H21 Carol Parc H22 Hilton H23 Novotel H24 Capitol H25 Grand Continental H26 Lido (closed) H27 Ambasador H28 Radisson Blu H29 Rembrandt H30 Tania H31 Relax Comfort Suites H32 Intercontinental H33 K+K Elisabeta H34 Horoscop H35 Tempo Hotel H36 Royal H37 International Bucharest H38 Hotel Confort Traian H39 Double Tree by Hilton H40 Ramada Majestic H41 Ibis Gara De Nord H42 Suter Inn H43 NH Bucharest H44 Howard Johnson H45 Scala H46 Trianon H47 Epoque H48 Z Boutique H49 Bruxelles H50 Boutique Hotel Monaco H51 Minerva

Bucharest In Your Pocket