Three days allows plenty of time to discover Bucharest’s beautiful architecture, renowned museums, and elegant neighborhoods, and gives you chance to explore further afield. Here’s how to spend three days in Bucharest.
Day 1: Sightseeing in the City
Bucharest’s large size makes it worth booking a half- or full-day sightseeing tour; exploring with a guide ensures you learn more about the city’s communist history and allows you to cover more sights in less time. Most tours cover the Palace of Parliament, a 20th-century, structure built by Communist ruler Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the Old Town, which is home to Stavropoleos Monastery, the National Bank of Romania, and the Romanian Athenaeum. After your tour, stroll beneath the colorful umbrellas of Pasajul Victoria and snap a photo beneath the Arch de Triumph (Arcul de Triumf).
Devote the afternoon to Herăstrău Park, where you can visit the Japanese garden, take a cruise on the lake, and enjoy a glimpse into rural Romanian life at the Village Museum (Muzeul Satului).
Continue sightseeing in the evening on a night tour of Bucharest, during which you’ll admire the illuminations of Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei), University Square, and Charles de Gaulle Square.
Day 2: Travel to Transylvania
The mist-shrouded mountains, fairy-tale castles, and medieval villages of Transylvania lie around three hours north of Romania’s capital, making it possible to take in the highlights on a long day trip. The star attraction is Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), famed for its links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Organized tours eliminate the stress of car hire and navigation, and typically cover the historic town of Brasov, known for its Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture, and the 19th-century Peles Castle, which boasts a backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains.
Other popular day trips from Bucharest include a wildlife-watching cruise around the Danube Delta or a trip across the border to the Bulgarian town of Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 3: Culture and Cuisine
Spend your final day in Bucharest immersing yourself in local life and culture. Kick off the day with a visit to the Piaţa Obor market, the largest fresh food market in the country, or take a culinary tour for a greater insight into Romania’s cuisine. Be sure to sample favorites such as chiftele (meatballs), sarmale (stuffed cabbage), and baklava pastries, and don’t forget to taste the local beers, wines, and palinca (Romanian brandy).
In the afternoon, visit the Cotroceni neighbourhood, where you can get your cultural fix at the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Cotroceni National Museum; stop by the Bucharest Opera House; and take a stroll around the Botanical Gardens of Bucharest. Don’t miss a photo stop at Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of the Romanian President.
Toast your last night in Bucharest like a local, with a visit to the famous Caru' cu Bere beer house, followed by bar-hopping in the Old Town—join a guided pub crawl for the inside scoop on where to drink, dance, and party in the city.