A few facts about Bucharest:
- Bucharest is a very large city by Romanian standards, it’s home to about 2.1 million people if you count with the suburbs together. It is second only to Moscow and Kiev of all the capitals of Eastern Europe in terms of population.
- The oldest mention of Bucharest was found in documents written by Vlad the Impaler in 1459. Yes, this is the same Vlad the Impaler who was known as Vlad Dracula. Moreover, Bucharest was the residence of Dracula, Prince of Wallachia, and his entire court was located here.
- Primitive people lived on the territory where the capital of Romania stands now, thousands of years ago, back in the stone age.
- In the XVIII century, this city was on the verge of warring forces that it could not cope with on its own. It managed to stay under the control of Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary.
- Bucharest has been the capital of united Romania for more than a century and a half, since 1859.
- The Palace of Parliament located here is the largest civil building in Europe, as well as one of the largest buildings in the world by square and volume, 350.000 m2 and 2.550.000 m3, respectively. It has 1,100 rooms! It’s the second largest administrative building in the world after Pentagon in US.
- Bucharest has 20 sister cities in other countries, mostly the capitals of other countries. However, two of those cities are in US – Detroit and Atlanta.
- The Bucharest Botanical Garden (Gradina Botanica) was founded in XIX century. It’s home to more than 10,000 species of various plants nowadays.
- About 65% of all taxes collected in Romania are paid by residents of Bucharest and companies registered in the capital. Although this city is home to only about 10% of the total population of the country.
- Bucharest is almost a mono-national city. Native Romanians here account for about 97% of all citizens.
The Arch Of Triumph
Bucharest has its very own Arch of Triumph! This monument was made, speedily, to celebrate the end of World War I. The original design did not last long but was replaced with stone. If you are lucky, and you time your trip right, you might just get up it. Did you know that Bucharest’s nickname is ‘Little Paris’?
Romanian Athenaeum is a beautiful building and one that we are most proud of. It’s actually the main concert hall of Bucharest, so if you like classical music try to attend one of the concerts. You can also visit the Athenaeum and admire its beautiful architecture during the day. Make sure to take a look inside, the interior is stunning!
Seriously, this is Bucharest Parliament! I know, this ‘House of the People’ resembles a battleship but this home to politicians is not just any parliament, it is second-largest administrative building in the world, after The Pentagon of course! This monstrosity of a building was created by Romania’s dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu’s, in 1984 (five years later the Romanian revolution would kick-off).Visitors can take a tour of the Parliament, (book in advance and take your passport for ID). When you hear that it eventually took 700 architects (initially headed by a young woman, Anca Petrescu) and 20,000 building workers to erect this thing, it’s easy to see why it is one of the top things to do in Bucharest Lonely Planet.
Lipscani (Old Town)
Probably the youngest Old Town in the world, Bucharest Old Town is that a decade old!The aim of the redevelopment of Centru Vechi (the Old Centre, as the locals call it) was to entice locals and tourists alike to enjoy some social drinking while spending a bit of coin. The plan has been successful, this area if jumping.Streets and streets of bars, restaurants, kebab shops, and pumping music, all housed in grand buildings.