TRANSYLVANIA BY TRAIN: A day in Bucharest

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Bucharest, like other Eastern European capitals, is memorable not because of famous attractions – it is the low-key, authentic atmosphere that makes for a great experience. Bar hopping in the Historic Quarter on a Sunday afternoon is how every great holiday should start!

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We arrived in Bucharest in the middle of the afternoon, so early in the evening we followed the nice Calea Victoriei to find a place for dinner. We found A1, a place that had a wide selection of beers and served great food, with lots of veggie options (the chips were really popular!). Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 85 lei (£15).

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We had a whole day to explore the city, so again we followed Calea Victoriei and headed to the Historic Quarter. This is a nice and ample thoroughfare, with an impressive mishmash of old and new architecture.

We stopped for a drink at Primus, an Irish pub that had a relaxed atmosphere and served a great lemonade. We continued walking around until we reached the Historic Quarter. This is a nice area with impressive official buildings as well as lots of nice restaurants and cafes.

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We stopped for a light meal at Finikia, a great Lebanese restaurant which had lots of veggie options. A light meal for two including tips cost 90 lei (just over £15), which is expensive by local standards but was great value for us!

The Historic Quarter is a pedestrianised area full of great bars and cafes. There are all sorts of options to choose from, including Belgian pubs and high end cocktail bars. We also stopped at La 100 de Beri, which had an impressive beer collection from around the world. Prices are higher in this area, but it’s all still very cheap by UK standards.

Near the Historic Quarter is the People’s Palace, the second-largest building in the world. An impressive building but that was all.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Go: We flew with Blue Air, which had the cheapest flights. From London, flights take about 3h.
  • Stay: We stayed in a place which was close to the train station but I wouldn’t recommend. There are plenty of options available on TripAdvisor.
  • Money: Romania is really cheap. You get a beer for less than £1.50 in a pub, and a meal for about £5.

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