7 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Bucharest

Jul 22, 2021

A unique fusion of cultures, Romania has so much to offer any traveler. While this small country in the heart of Eastern Europe has been going through a time of political change and transformation, its historic and architectural legacy remains its best and brightest charms.

It is this blend of old and new that makes Bucharest, Romania's capital, one of the country's top tourist destinations. From its old quarter, traversed by bridges that were constructed almost three hundred years ago, to the world-class shopping and art of the most recent areas, Bucharest never fails to captivate.

Travelers usually begin their explorations by heading to the country's "Wall of Towns" on the other side of the country. Once you make your way across the Balkans, it is to Romania that you'll come. There you'll find history, a mix of Eastern and Western European cultures, rustic charm, and plenty of old architecture to delight the most adventurous traveler. Find out more about the best places to visit in Bucharest with our travel guide.

Piaţa Unirii

Photo of Piața Unirii
Piața Unirii: en.wikipedia.org

The main entrance to this large square in the center of Bucharest is on the north side, away from the famous University Square. The most impressive facade in the square is at the northeast end and is the huge, yellow-marble domed building that is the Senate House (Biserica de la Inaltitate si Dignitatea Poporului) built in 1920. There are several sides to the square, which was once a giant vegetable market but was transformed in the late 1970s into a ring of stores and shops. The square was also the site of the main demonstration by the 1989 anti-communist revolution, and by the Communist Party during their long rule.

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant

Photo of Romanian Peasant Museum
Romanian Peasant Museum: en.wikipedia.org

In Bucharest, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant offers a tour through Romanian history from the times of Trajan to the present day. The museum presents this era with an eye for art and craftsmanship. The highlights include a collection of Romanian peasant life, an interactive reconstruction of a traditional house and a vast repository of antiquities and archaeological pieces.

National Museum of Art in Bucharest

Photo of Bucharest
Bucharest: en.wikipedia.org

The Romanian capital's most popular museum is well worth visiting. Taking its name from the Roman word for house, the Museum of Romanian Contemporary Art, or Muzeul de Artă Contemporană (MACBA), has been called a "palace of contemporary art" for its stunning collection of modern paintings and sculptures and its period-correct interiors. The collection is housed in a striking building dating from 1905.

Military Museum

Photo of National Military Museum, Romania
National Military Museum, Romania: en.wikipedia.org

Military Museum, Bucharest, is located within the modern Caravanserai Casa Fanfare building in the capital city of Romania. This is a large modern museum that takes up most of the central floor of the building. Though housed within the same building, the museum has two distinct sections, a chronological section with over 150,000 objects and a small but well-presented space with war-related curiosities from the late 19th and 20th century.

Palace of Parliament

Photo of Palace of the Parliament
Palace of the Parliament: en.wikipedia.org

In an era when the Roman Empire was at its peak, ancient emperors considered themselves gods and Roman citizens saw themselves as the descendants of these ancient gods. As a result, city founders in both the Roman and Byzantine periods built impressive architecture, including those that now house the Romanian Parliament and Palace of Parliament. The latter is a blend of medieval and Renaissance styles, with a splendid domed parliament hall topped by an intricate spire. One can actually climb the spire, which has beautiful views of the city.

Church of the Holy Trinity

Photo of Holy Trinity Church, Sighișoara
Holy Trinity Church, Sighișoara: en.wikipedia.org

Built in 1902, the temple is the tallest building in Romania, and is undoubtedly the most popular religious place of worship in the country. This massive brick and marble structure is indeed a work of art, especially since some of the intricate reliefs on the exterior are in gilt, and the interior is decorated with intricate paintings. Inside the temple, gilded Egyptian papyrus can be found, while the holiest of relics is kept in a small room on the second floor. Next door to the church is the nearby Lazaretul Făgădou church, which dates from the 18th century and whose interior was restored at the end of the 20th century.

Stavropoleos Church

Photo of Stavropoleos Monastery
Stavropoleos Monastery: en.wikipedia.org

Bucharest has many magnificent churches, including Stavropoleos, the most impressive example of Romanian Orthodox architecture. The façade is made of sandstone, and with its three large towers, it looks even more imposing than its larger, more imposing neighbor, the Orthodox Cathedral. The interior is dominated by elaborate gold-leafwork and an iconostasis made of dark wood decorated with colored glass. Inside, too, are 20th-century paintings of Christ. Unfortunately, visitors cannot enter the church to view its rich iconostasis and other interior features. However, if you can get in to the bell tower, you can look out over the ancient Patriarchal Palace, which is adjacent.