Stare in awe at the sheer size of Bucharests excessive Palace of Parliament. Allegedly the worlds most expensive administrative building, it was designed and built during communist rule. From there, follow wide boulevards to the citys grand 20th-century Arch of Triumph, originally built to honour Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I. Hunt for treasures in antiques shops on the narrow streets of Lipscani (Old Town) and discover hearty Romanian fare in its rustic restaurants.
Bucharest is split in two by Calea Victoriei boulevard, running north to south. Halfway along it, youll find Piata Revolutiei square, where angry demonstrations led to the end of communist rule in 1989. The imposing Palace of Parliament, communism's most prominent heirloom, sprawls in the south. Close by, you can walk amid the crumbling walls of 15th-century Curtea Veche (or Old Princely Court), where Vlad III Dracula laid Bucharests foundations. Overlooking the 400-acre Herastrau Park, Bucharests Arch of Triumph sits in the citys north.
Start your day with a strong coffee in Lipscani, Bucharests quaint old quarter. Marvel at the majestic 19th-century Romanian Atheneaum domed concert hall and the colossal modern Palace of Parliament. Browse the chic boutiques of Calea Victorei boulevard and Lipscanis atmospheric bookshops. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant details all aspects of past times in the Romanian countryside. Rest amid the greenery of lush Cismigiu Gardens, before sampling Romanian fare such as hearty pork dishes in a traditional eatery near Piata Romana square.
Discover Romanias greatest painters and sculptors at the National Art Museum, hiding inside the Neoclassical Royal Palace. Head to Piata Amezei square for the bustling farmers' market and sample local speciality, homemade zacusca (vegetable spread). Go for long walks amid the wild beauty of the northern Herastau Park, or mingle with Bucharests chic set in the restaurants of tree-lined Sos Kiseleff boulevard. End your day with a jazz concert near Calea Victorei boulevard, or go wild in the thriving clubs of northeast Bucharest.
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