Some thoughts on traveling to Bucharest.

Some things are great about living in the Middle East and one is definitely easy access to the rest of the world – especially parts of the world I wouldn’t usually go to.  Case in point, Bucharest.  I made plans a few months back to meet up with a friend, and unlike my usual travel style, I didn’t do a lot of research or planning beforehand.  In the end, it wasn’t really necessary – the city is very laid back.

So, let’s jump in with first impressions and suggestions!

1. Poem Boem (Airbnb booking)  The trip started on a very high note as we checked into the best Airbnb property I’ve ever stayed at.  The 2 bedroom was massive, quiet, well appointed and due to the heat, I was very glad to have the fully functioning aircon.  I would recommend anyone traveling to Bucharest to book this apartment.  As a bonus, the owners suggested a wonderful driver to collect me from the airport.  Alberto was professional and easy to work with throughout the trip.

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2. Simbio At the recommendation of the tour we were on, we stopped into this charming place to have lunch.  I loved all the fresh ingredients and the location was very chill.  I would think about coming back to check out the bar downstairs.

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3. Interesting Times Bureau A company that bills itself as ‘alternative guided tours’ was a highlight of the trip.  My friend and I opted for the Hidden Gems tour, which showcased a number of interesting places around Bucharest.  It was hot, but it was definitely worth it.  There are other tour options, which I would be interested to check out on a return visit.

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We saw other stuff, but these doggies were a highlight.

4. L’Atelier At the recommendation of a chef friend of my friend, we decided to end our trip with dinner at this restaurant, located in the charming (and centrally located) Hotel Epoque.  There was almost too much good food to choose from and each of our dishes was not only delicious but also gorgeous to look at.

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Who knew stuffed squid could look so pretty?

5. Carul Cu Bere While I wasn’t super impressed with the food or the slow service, I would go back simply for the Papanași and the atmosphere.  This is a top rated experience for a reason.  It’s a place to be a tourist and eat and drink.

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And many noms were had.

6. Cărturești Carusel I’m up to visit any fancy bookstore, so this was a fun visit.  As a writer, even if most of the books were in Romanian, I still enjoyed walking through the cleanly designed space.

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I felt my four nights cut things a bit short, and definitely wished for more time.  Have you ever been to Bucharest?  What was your impression?

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