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Bucharest is Romania's capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With its 2 million inhabitants in the city proper and more than 2.4 million in the urban area, it is also one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe.


In alphabetical order:

  • Balta Albă
  • Băneasa
  • Berceni
  • Colentina
  • Crângaşi
  • Drumul Taberei
  • Ferentari
  • Floreasca
  • Giuleşti
  • Militari
  • Pantelimon
  • Primăverii
  • Rahova
  • Titan
  • Vitan


Bucharest is usually the entry point for most people into this fascinating country. On the other hand, the city itself isn't particularly appealing to all tourists, and it is usually a matter of personal taste if visitors like it or not. Some people adore it and think it really has a special feel to it, others feel uncomfortable due to the grey Communist-era buildings and lack of charm or tourist attractions. Yet again, others believe the urban myths about crime, homelessness and poverty, even though these are only what they state to be - myths. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and increasingly has the sophisticated, trendy and modern edge to it that defines a European capital. If you're in the region, it would be negligent to not visit it, even if just for the curiosity of seeing such a paradoxical city.


The official (and native) language is Romanian. Most educated people born after about 1970 will speak reasonably good English; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak reasonably good French. The Gypsies speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian, and sometimes English. Other than that, you'll find some people who know German and Italian. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages.


Bucharest has, like most of Romania, a temperate-continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. This region of Romania gets all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 28ºC and in winter about 0ºC.


Bucharest is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, UTC+3 from April to October).


  • Hotel Capitol, Calea Victoria 29, phone: (40 21) 315 80 30, fax: (40 21) 312 41 69. As of 2002, US$75 single / US$98 double includes breakfast and all taxes. You may be able to get a discount by paying cash (US dollars will do nicely): ask at the desk. Comfortable, though admittedly not quite hassle-free, 100-year-old three-star hotel with big rooms and enormous bathrooms, near Cercul Militar. The heat works. Little things like that do not go without saying in Romania.
  • Visali , Str. Occidentului 25, phone: (40 21) 210 12 74, fax: (40 21) 210 12 74.If you don't need any hotel services, you can get a short term rental on a pleasant, centrally located apartment for a price comparable to a midrange hotel like the Capitol (with good discounts for long-term stays). The office staff speaks excellent English.
  • Hotel Carpati, Str Matei Milo 16, phone: (40 21) 315 01 40; fax: (40 21) 312 18 57. By all accounts, Bucharest's one genuinely good, centrally located bare bones budget one-star hotel. As of 2002, singles US$11-17, doubles US$25-33 and a couple of apartments at US$40. Except for the apartments, expect to share a bathroom down the hall. Some of the rooms have balconies (ask). If you arrive on the day and they are full, they are likely to be able to tell you what else in the area is also relatively cheap and decent. They tend to be comfortable answering that sort of question because they know the only reason anyone would be looking elsewhere is that the Carpati is full.

Stay safe

Beware street scams, especially the maradona, in which fake plainclothes police will try to take your money or papers.

External links

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