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Parks, cats and rooftop bars! How to fall in love with Bucharest in 12 easy steps

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Cat cafes, rooftop parties, epic street art, gorgeous abandoned buildings, weird museums… If someone told me how quirky and fun Bucharest is I would’ve go years ago. 

The lack of appealing information online about Romania played its role. The country has never been a popular travel destination. But it’s slowly making its way to be one of the top destinations for the year. 

As part of #ExperienceBucharest project for promoting the Romanian capital, I was able to… hm… how can I say it… ah, sure – to truly experience Bucharest (duh)! And I’m not talking about sightseeing and visiting boring musuems. I actually really fell in love with Bucharest.

Here’s why I’m excited to share with you the following 12 experiences to make you fall in love with Bucharest, too. 

1. Coffee on 4 paws at Cat Café Miau

Where: Maximilian Popper 41, Bucharest / Tripadvisor / Facebook

A little bit far away from the central buzz, but Cat Cafe Miau is the perfect place for an afternoon coffee and peaceful relaxation. I only spent half an hour there and got to meet only a few of the cats but it was enough to know I can spend hours there on my next visit to Bucharest.

There are total of 10 cats and 2 dogs in Miau. While enjoying their company, you can play board games with friends, drink delicious home made lemonade or tea. It’s a needed cat heaven in the middle of the chaotic city life… 

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2. Bike around the Old Town

Where: Maximilian Popper 41, Bucharest / Tripadvisor / Facebook page

A little bit far away from the central buzz, but Cat Cafe Miau is the perfect place for an afternoon coffee and peaceful relaxation. I only spent half an hour there and got to meet only a few of the cats but it was enough to know I can spend hours there on my next visit to Bucharest. 

There are total of 10 cats and 2 dogs in Miau. While enjoying their company, you can play board games with friends, drink delicious home made lemonade or tea. It’s a needed cat heaven in the middle of the chaotic city life… 

biking in Bucharest

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3. Take a walk in one of the many parks

Where: Herastrau Park, Herastrau Park, Herastrau Park

My first impression of Bucharest: the many parks! In just a few hours of walking and sightseeing I passed by at least 4 green heavens and all of them – in the city center.  It’s a perfect way to escape the busy urban life and enjoy a relaxed and peaceful afternoon walk. My favourite one – Herastrau Park 😉

parks in Bucharest

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4. Find the most Instagrammable spots in the city

Where: Umbrella, Pura Vida Sky Bar, Cărturești Carusel

Bucharest is full of great opportunities to shine on Instagram. If you’re determined enough, you can make some crazy good photos to brag about on social media. And some of the spots are damn well hidden.

The best spot is definitely the Umbrella street on… – just 2 minute away from my hotel and I only discovered it on my last day. Another beautiful place is Cărturești Carusel – a beautiful bookstore &  café. Another cool place is the view from Pura Vida Sky Bar.

pura vida rooftop bar bucharest

Read more: Most instagrammable spots by …

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5. Explore the abandoned urban beauty

What: Beautiful Decay Tour by Interesting Times Bureau / WebsiteFacebook Page / Instagram 

Many wonderful buildings are left to decay in Bucharest. After 50 years of Communism, the renovation of some 19th and 20th centuries industrial landmarks and historical buildings was never a priority for the next governments. While passing some of the streets of the Old Town, our guide Marceo from Beautiful Decay Tour lead us to a gorgeous 4-floured building. 

Old inscriptions оn the walls, rotten half furniture here and there, torn pages of newspaper lying around everywhere suggest that the building was base of an old famous newspaper in Romania – ‘Adevarul’, established in 1881. Apparently, the current owner chased away the media and left the building to decay, probably to sell the plot afterwards…

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6. Graffiti hunt

7. Have a coffee at the most beautiful bookstores

Where: Cărturești Carusel, Cărturești Verona

Apparantely, Bucharest is home to some of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. There are two beautiful examples. Cărturești Carusel with its spiral stairs, fairytale atmosphere and cafe spot. The other one is Cărturești Verona – the oldest bookstore in Bucharest, where you can find not only books but also old records, souvenirs, quirky items and read a book at the cafe. 

bookstores

Read more: Bucharest’s Book Stores: Bound For Success by Urban Travel Blog

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8. Visit a quirky museum

Where: Museum of Records

I’m not a museum person but I love finding unique and quirky ones around Europe (such as the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb – one of my favourites). Well, Bucharest has 2 of them. The city is a home to the largest collection of… irons. Yep, you’ve read right!

More than 30 000 irons are displayed in the Museum of Records in south-east Bucharest. One would think of what’s so special about irons. I never expected to see so many different ones – in shape, colour, type, material separated in size, country of origin and time of use. Go see by yourself! You’ll be surprised how cool this place actually is.

Just when I thought nothing can be weirder than 30 000 irons in one place I went upstairs… The second collection displayed in a museum is made of… corkskrews. Big, small, old, new, red, blue, yellow, pink, with different decorations… so.many.corkscrews. ! I love it! I’m fascinated by the creativity of those people!

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9. Talk with the locals

Where: They’ll find you!

On my first day in Bucharest I bought a coffee and ended up talking with the girl behind the counter for about 10 minutes. She told me how much she likes Bucharest and is happy to see foreigners enjoying it too. On my second day, I had a walk in the Old Town trying to take some nice photos. One guy stopped by and told me where in are the best spots in the city to make good photos.

During the next few days all locals I met were super friendly and hospitable. So just in case you were wondering – you are going to feel welcomed in Bucharest. 

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10. Just dance!

Where: Every Saturday, in front of Pura Vida Hub, Old Town of Bucharest

Every Saturday, the streets of Bucharest’s Old Town come to live with a flashmob dance performance by locals and visitors of the city. I was fascinated by this creative way to bring people together. Bucharest  is literally dancing in the streets, spreading joy and positive energy all over the place. Sometimes I wonder why don’t we dance instead of walk…? It would be so much more fun!

 

bucharest dancing in the streets

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11. Enjoy a cocktail on a rooftop bar

Where: 7 Smârdan Street, Old Town Bucharest / Website / Facebook / Instagram

Located in a central part of the Old Town in Bucharest, Pura Vida Sky Bar offers not only great cocktails. I can say that the stunning view to the city and historical buildings around is definitely the mood booster. Our welcoming party for Experience Bucharest here was more than enjoyable. Plus, the emblematic building is also home to Pura Vida Hostel. 

pura vida rooftop bar bucharest

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12. Go party at one of the clubs

Where: Maximilian Popper 41, Bucharest / Tripadvisor / Facebook

A little bit far away from the central buzz, but Cat Cafe Miau is the perfect place for an afternoon coffee and peaceful relaxation. I only spent half an hour there and got to meet only a few of the cats but it was enough to know I can spend hours there on my next visit to Bucharest.

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