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A digital guide for expats, travelers and even Romanians


The essentials

corina chirileasa



AISB was founded in 1962 and is currently Bucharest’s largest international school. We are a not-forprofit, independent, secular, co-educational school with many parents participating on the Board of Trustees and its committees. Parents play a very important role in managing and sustaining our school. Our language of instruction is English and our teaching is based upon the prestigious International Baccalaureate Programme throughout the entire school, from Early Childhood 2 through to Grade 12. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The Council of International Schools, and the International Baccalaureate Organization accredit our school. We are delighted to be able to offer the finest purpose-built facility in town, on a 10 hectare campus constructed in 2001; located near the Baneasa forest and 10km from the Henri Coanda International Airport. Our mission is primarily to serve the international community in Bucharest with a university preparatory program that enables students to attend universities worldwide, particularly in Europe, North America and Australasia. Our experienced faculty members, at the core of our educational process, are all licensed, most having advanced educational degrees. Student safety is a critical element of our operations and our warm, caring support staff, comprised of administrators, secretaries, and teaching assistants, endeavors to ensure that this is maintained at all times. Our enthusiastic, multi-talented faculty and staff come from twenty-one different nations to bring a wonderful international perspective to the school. There are currently fifty-seven nationalities of students who attend AISB. The faculty, staff and parents are continually working to keep our curriculum and program offerings evolving, in line with changing world demands, to prepare our students for a successful future of work and service. Communication is one key to a successful organization; please take some time to explore the many facets of our school on our website The doors of our school, classrooms and offices are always open to our school community. If you have particular questions, you can contact the faculty, any member of the administration, or me. Sincerely, ROBERT BRINDLEY, Director

Romania 2017 The essentials

A digital guide for expats, travelers and even Romanians

Highlights of this issue

Travel destinations around Romania, with recommendations from insiders

Bucharest essentials, including Old Town & Pipera

Special dossier: Romania in the tech world – recent insights

Curated & updated business directory for Bucharest

Bucharest, 2016 r r

Table of Compass Contents  3 3 City

Alphabetical Index About This Guide 

6 About Us 63 Airport Bus 38 Airport Essentials  37 Alphabetical Index For The Full Edition 61 American & Steak Houses  42 Apart Hotels & Short Term Apartments 53 Arieșeni 21 A Stroll Through Bucharest’s Neighborhoods  29

Discover Romania: Buzău Discover Romania: Dobrogea Discover Romania: Other Mountain Resorts Discover Romania: Seaside / Near Bucharest Discover Romania: Sinaia Dobrogea, The Southern Soul — Seaside, History & Danube Delta


Emergency Numbers Everything You Need To Feel At Home Expat Fair

Beaches Close To Bucharest Beer Halls  British  Bucharest Cab Signage & Identification Numbers Buftea Bulgarian  Buzău, On The Wild Side 

35 25 50 42

Eating And Drinking

Facts & Figures About Romania

37 25 42 14

Fast Food Five-Star Hotels Four-Star Hotels French  Fusion & Fine Dining

Car Towing Catering & Delivery Cernica Chinese  City Compass Intercultural Consulting  City Compass Media  City Compass Tours & Events  Clubs Comana Culture & Entertainment

49 40 48 25 42 63 63 63 32 25 35


Dacia Discover Romania

8 13

Cafés & Tea Houses

15 23 21 25 17 22 42 10 68 63 10 43 52 52 43 43

43 Getaway Places Near Bucharest 25 Getting Around, In And Out Of Bucharest 37 Getting Out Of Bucharest 40 Greater Romania, Communism & Revolution 9 Greek  43

Hostels Hotels & Travel Hotels How To Get There How To Use This Guide 

54 52 34 16 5

Table of Contents  4

Indian  International Cuisine  Italian 

43 44 44





Mediterranean  Mexican  Modern Times, Union And Independence Mogoșoaia Moldavian  Mongolian 

46 46 9 25 46 46

Night Buses Not To Miss In The Prahova Valley

38 20

Old Town – A Miniature Of Romania



Pastries & Ice Cream Pastry & Confectionery Restaurants Paying For The Ticket By Sms Pharmacies & Cosmetic Shops Prahova & Doftana Valleys Public Transport Pubs & Bars Pubs & Cafés

40 32 46 39 35 20 38 49 33

Raw & Vegan  Road Network & Traffic In Bucharest Road Tax Romanian  Romania’s History In Brief  Rânca

47 39 39 47 8 21

Shopping Sinaia, The Pearl Of The Carpathians  Snagov Souvenirs & Gifts Spanish  Special Tourist Line Street Food Subway Supporters Taxis, Car Sharing & Car Rental Taxis Thai  The Beaches, The Parties And The Unspoiled Black Sea The Danube Delta — The Wild Side Theatres Three-Star Hotels Travel Agencies Troubled Times Turkish Two-Star Hotels Up The Mountain 

Useful Info

Vatra Dornei

Vietnamese  Vlad Țepeș & Ștefan Cel Mare

What’s Inside The Full Edition? Wine Bars Wine Shops & Bars

35 17 25 34 47 39 50 39 55 37 38 48 22 23 34 53 54 9 48 53 20 24 21 48 8 66 50 34

Letters from the Editors  5

Dear Reader,

Dear Romania–Discoverer,



e are excited to introduce Romania to you. Or to help you discover new things about this country that so many foreigners now call home. We hope you will be amazed — and mostly in a good way! This new edition of our guide puts together essentials about the country, but also lesser known things, plus a host of recommended places and activities. Take a look inside: stop at your favorite places in Romania, or plan a tour to discover the countryside. While soaking up sunrises and sunsets, read letters from expats who love it here, or discover the exciting Romanian technological scene — see the Special Dossier this year. Take a stroll in Bucharest and stop to discover the gems. Enjoy the capital alone, with friends, or with your family. Learn bus routes and metros and navigate the bustling traffic like a local. Go shopping — at the mall or the farmers’ market. Try out yummy food in restaurants. Go to the Opera and visit museums. Run in the park, do some yoga. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy what Romania gives and that you feel happy here!


ur dream has come true: we have been helping expats, tourists and Romanians feel at home in Romania since 2008. Some years ago, we even started to make a living out of it. When coming to Romania in 2007, not knowing where my professional path would take me, I could have never imagined this outcome. I am truly thankful for the enormous efforts and the hard work of the City Compass Group team. We’ve worked together to show the positive sides of this beautiful country and help people work and live well here and understand its culture better. If we can be of help to you and your family with any of our divisions, please reach out to us: City Compass Media, the publisher of this book and of, and; City Compass Tours & Events for team building events, city & country tours and retreats; City Compass Intercultural Consulting for cross-cultural HR & expatriate trainings. To a good life in Romania!

VOLKER MOSER Co-Founder and Partner, City Compass Group

How to use this guide You can read this guide all at once, skim through it, or just choose your topic/chapter of interest. Check the table of contents on the next two pages for a quick overview of the book. An alphabetical table of contents can be found on pages 165 & 166. This book contains both feature texts written by our staff or contributors, as well as recommendations in the form of listings. These can be regular listings, organized alphabetically — the example to the right, top, or special listings, marked visually, and placed in the beginning, which are paid for — example to the right, bottom. The first part of the book focuses on places all around Romania, with features and recommended listings. Then we have the special dossier this year focusing on Romania’s contribution to IT&C and technology in the world. The second half of the book is dedicated to Bucharest, with a couple of features for a smooth integration to the city, and 60 pages of recommended listings, divided into main categories. The editorial content of this guide is free from bias, and advertising is always marked. If you want to be recommended in this guide in the next edition, please get in touch with

a1o Pictor Ion Andreescu St., Bucharest t+40722 206 413

City Compass – Feel at Home!

a10 Pictor Ion Andreescu St., Bucharest t+40734 611 223 City Compass Media, Tours & Events and Intercultural Consulting + Expat Fair.

6 City Compass

About this guide This English language yearly print and digital guide has been enjoyed by tourists, expats and locals since 2008.

In brief


ʡʡ 9 yearly editions in print ʡʡ 4 yearly digital editions ʡʡ 7,000 print & digital copies per edition ʡʡ 180+ served advertisers so far ʡʡ 34 customized (branded) editions for companies so far, including EY, Hotel Cișmigiu, AmCham Romania, Happy Tour, Athenée Palace Hilton, Infineon Technologies, Nordis

Expat managers, investors, consultants, diplomats, local & foreign consultants, multinational managers, expats and their guests, tourists, Romanians who return home, locals interested in new places in town. w

Distribution ʡʡPrint: Embassies, Chambers of Commerce, International Schools, targeted distribution to expat CEOs & managers, corporate readers (regular or special editions), direct sales to retail clients, distribution at selected business & cultural events, at City Compass Group events, at City Compass tours for newcomers, bookshops: Cărturești & Anthony Frost; ʡʡDigital: Amazon, Apple iBooks, via corporate customers (direct e-book download); via (e-book lite edition), via ʡʡWant a print & online combo? With we reach 160,000 unique readers/a month — biggest on our niche.

Advertising partners These are some of the companies which advertise in this guide or have ordered customized editions.

Email for the 2018 edition or print & online combo

Personalize City Compass  7

Personalize this guide In addition to enjoying the contents of this book yourself, you can also: ʡʡ Use the guide to promote & strengthen your brand, in a unique way ʡʡ Connect your name to a positive, beautiful Romania ʡʡ Include this book in additional benefit packages for your customers, team and visitors




: nd ania o Romare st & Bey Buch

e l-at-Hom . The Fee Romania ts, Guide to by Touris Enjoyed & Locals Expats


Bucharest & : Beyond


The Feel-at-H ome Guide to Rom ania Enjoyed by Tour . ists, Expats & Loca ls

Paul The Ametras Services

• Java development • ERP development • Web & Mobile Applications





contact on the backside

in detail:

ENT SOFTWARE DEVELOPM corina ,chi cityc 2014 r


se , 2015 d Guide an ass mism Comp dyna City ll of , in this “, fu nia mania e it py of in Ro and giv l co w Roma 10 end, rsona ne in 20 sence ar Fri nia a pe „the ab any er, De Roma g with way compyears of out entin in you arched Partn an ab ar ed mplim es ovide rese Germaſter 24 t, De ll pleas d co ploye pthe to pr Clien very oup an 0 em and su ure in a we y of country as ar Dear am 10 gr I ple ents to bsidi me cing“ our line my es all su my ho ally. ttom lars of th up outsour it is repr ies. ion t bo a sm to pil grow e which rtunit pid r shor rted back ofess e, bu the oppo g sta move and pr to fac one of th a ra „nea havin ose to nally enges being US. Wi ized in er Aſt I ch , perso chall ess, the ecial 2013 her try d some busin UK and has sp anot ve ha tion for any, Service s: ha ea We destina in Germ etras the ar as a offices 14, Am er in IN G, rtn our mn 20 a pa CH IV EN T PM L AR Y autu you as e VE LO EN TR GI TA spac ports E DE DATA S, DI and us of DE SK ST EM WAR edom ic foc ON AL HE LP SO FT T SY SI ial fre strateg r top & ES e nanc EM EN ou PR OF CE NT ER re fi s and th for th a AN AG LO W mo wi ice M pr ce LL T KF ates en fair rve you . CA M EN s cre mpet er a W OR ia) se ision core co to off , we oman DO CU ON IC lation div re ies (R le g TR a ur cit ab ese lastin ent to EL EC cing th e for yo r to be gh capa Timisoar long itm ur ou t of n us orde for mm Outso you ca any. In ovide eninly ou seek our co that comp d to pr am ma at we and ality! lly th trust high qu your ces an fied te rsona sed ond with servi quali ba u pe highly sure yo clients, time an s in our n as , I ca with service read the ships er our Enjoy deliv

ENTRY PROFESSI ONAL DATA • Invoice Processing • Bills of Ladings • Balance Sheets • Orders



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We can brand this guide for you This printed guide and its accompanying e-book are customizable as special branded editions, with: ʡʡ Your company’s logo on the cover ʡʡ Your personal welcome message in the beginning of the book ʡʡ Your full page ad inside the book or no ads from your competitors ʡʡ A special chapter on your company in the special edition e-book, with unlimited downloads available for your team/visitors/clients.

How others have used the special branded edition in the past

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8 City Compass

The Mausoleum in Mărășești, dedicated to First World War heroes.

Romania’s history in brief By Bogdan Popa


any Romanians are rightfully proud of their country’s very long and eventful history. Here are five key historical topics all visitors should know about:


Dacia was the name of an ancient kingdom that covered most of what is now Romania. Its rich resources attracted the Ancient Greeks, who colonized the shores of the Black Sea. The ruins of their stunning cities are still to be found in Histria, Tomis (today Constanța) and Callatis (Mangalia). Hundreds of years later, the mighty Roman Empire decided to annex Dacia. Trajan’s Column (pictured on the following page), which can still be seen in Rome, is considered the best account of the wars that ended with the conquest of Dacia. Romanians define themselves as the descendants of these two populations and speak a Latin language. Sarmizegetusa Regia, the ancient Dacian capital, today in Hunedoara County, also deserves some attention. Recently, there have been a number of exciting archeological digs that have revealed more about ancient and prehistoric Romania, as well as unearthing many valuable arti-

facts. Evidence of a very early Neolithic farming settlement was just discovered. At around 8,000 years old, this settlement is one of the oldest in Europe. Sarmizegetusa Regia is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The ancient Dacian capital hosts the Dacian Circular Sanctuary, one of the most important remains of its kind.

Vlad Țepeș & Ștefan cel Mare

Everybody has heard of Dracula! But before the myth, there was the history. During the Middle Ages, what we today call Romania was divided into three principalities. Transylvania (the center and northwest) was actually conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary in the 11th Century. In the 13th Century, the Hungarian kings invited Saxon colonists to migrate there in order to develop the local economy. The Saxon heritage, architecture and way of life are still very present in Transylvania. Moldova (the eastern part) and Wallachia (southern Romania) have existed as independent states since the 14th Century. For them, the Middle Ages were at times dark: there were civil wars and misery aplenty, yet the period also saw the beautiful and unique frescoes painted on the outside walls of the UNESCO heritage monasteries in Northern Moldova. Bram Stoker, the author of the novel Dracula (first published in 1897), did not, however, know too much about the

Romanian History


1914, leading a modernization (or Westernization) process stronger than in the previous decades. A new Constitution was passed in 1866. In 1878, following a war against the Ottoman Empire and the Berlin Congress, independence was officially gained. Yet, there was never direct Ottoman rule in the principalities. Before the First World War, Romania was reliant on agriculture, but industry was beginning to emerge. In 1913, modern Romania asserted its claims as a regional power through a decisive military and political intervention in the Second Balkan War.

Greater Romania, Communism & Revolution Romanian Middle Ages. This did not stop him from naming the main character of his novel Vlad, who shares his name with Vlad the Impaler, the cruel, yet beloved, Wallachian prince (1431, 1456–1462, 1476). His military actions against the Ottoman Empire — since the 14th Century a dangerous, powerful and influential neighbor — reveal a freedom fighter. Romanians still remember him, as much as they do his cousin, Ștefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great, who lived from 1457 to 1504), as both a warrior and church builder.

Troubled times

The 17th Century began with a significant act: Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave, who ruled shortly between 1593 and 1601) managed to bring the three principalities under his rule. However, it did not last long. This union became a cornerstone of the Romanian national identity. During the 18th century, the Romanian principalities were run by rulers appointed by the Ottoman sultan, called “phanariots,” who are still considered the last word in corrupt political regimes. When the Habsburgs annexed Hungary to Austria, Transylvania followed during the 17th century, and parts of Moldova’s territory were conquered by Austria (1774) and Russia (1812).

Modern times, union and independence

The 19th century brought tremendous transformation for Romanians. First, the long occupations brought reforms, such as the very first Constitutional Acts in 1834. They also brought Western clothes, music and dances, all signs of a newly-developing mentality. There was also a Romanian Revolution in 1848 and, while perhaps not one of the strongest in Europe, it proved the existence of a young and energetic elite, ready to guide the country in the direction of Western Europe. This was the engine of the 1859 Union between Wallachia and Moldova, the core of the modern state, still referred to as the “Old Kingdom.” In 1866, a German-born prince, Carol von Hohenzollern–Sigmaringen, related to both the French emperor Napoleon III and the German imperial family, became King of Romania. He reigned until

Romania fought the First World War with the winning side. The year 1916 saw Romania taking arms against the Central Powers. Finally, after heroic fights and a bit of luck, the 1859 Old Kingdom increased with the addition of Transylvania and the territories lost over the centuries to Austria, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. This was the beginning of what we call today, with nostalgia, “Greater Romania.” The interwar period was a time of economic and cultural growth, but problems were not solved by the 1918 Union. On the contrary, the new state had to cope with new and major economic, cultural and political challenges. But this Golden Age also sowed the seeds of the fascist movements, the collapse of Greater Romania in 1940, and the complete about-turn in the country’s diplomacy. In 1941, following a short extreme right-wing government (replaced after a bloody coup attempt by a military regime) Romania joined the Second World War, aiming to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. After Stalingrad, however, the Romanian military and political elite realized that everything was lost. On August 23, 1944, Romania withdrew its alliance with the Axis Powers and fought for the Allies until May 1945. But despite celebrating V-Day, the outcome of the war was terrible for Romanians. In 1945, the first communist-led government came to power. On December 30, 1947, the last King of Romania abdicated and a Popular Republic was proclaimed. The communist regime meant political repression, forced industrialization and difficult, conflicting daily life. Nicolae Ceaușescu’s ascension to power in 1964 and his policy in the early years was greeted as a possible change, but enthusiasm faded over the next decade. The 1980s were a complete economic and social disaster. Yet, for many, communism was a chance to start a different life. For others, it meant repression, hard daily life and a general setback. It ended in 1989, following the December 22 Revolution. Bogdan Popa was born, raised, educated and still lives in Bucharest. He has a PhD in history from the University of Bucharest and is a cultural & historical expert for City Compass Tours & Events and City Compass Intercultural Consulting.

10 City Compass

Facts & figures about Romania ʡʡ Location: Central and Eastern Europe, bordered by Hungary (W), Bulgaria (S), Ukraine (N, E), the Republic of Moldova (E), Serbia (SW) and the Black Sea (SE). Romania has 225 km of coastline. ʡʡ Capital city: Bucharest. Iași is the second largest city with 321,000 inhabitants, Tulcea has 200,000. Other major cities: Timișoara, ClujNapoca, Constanța, Brașov, Sibiu. ʡʡ Regions of Romania: Muntenia, Transylvania, Moldova, Dobrogea. 41 counties. ʡʡ Population: 20.1 million (2011 census). ʡʡ Bucharest: 1.8 million inhabitants. ʡʡ Ethnicity: 89% Romanians, 6.5% Hungarians, 3.2% Roma, 0.3% others; 18 ethnic minorities politically recognized. ʡʡ Religion: majority – Christian Orthodox, a minority of Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics. ʡʡ Climate: temperate – cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny & hot summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms.

ʡʡ Lowest point: Black Sea – 0 meters. Highest point: Mount Moldoveanu – 2,544 meters. ʡʡ Natural resources: petroleum, timber, gas, coal, iron ore, gold, silver, salt, arable land, hydropower. ʡʡ Natural hazards: earthquakes, landslides, floods. ʡʡ Form of organization: Republic, with a President and a Prime Minister who runs the Government. It has a Parliament with two Chambers. ʡʡ Membership: EU since 2007, NATO since 2004. ʡʡ Currency: the Leu – symbol RON. The Leu is a controlled floating currency: exchange rates against the EUR, USD and other currencies are set daily by the country’s Central Bank (BNR). ʡʡ Gross Domestic Product: EUR 160 bln (in 2015). ʡʡ Unemployment rate: 6.5% in February 2016. ʡʡ Phone prefix: +40; Internet domain: .ro. ʡʡ Flag: three equal vertical bands; blue, yellow, red. ʡʡ Language: the official language is Romanian. ʡʡ National holiday: December 1, celebrating Unification Day

Emergency numbers T 112

Consumer protection

This is a toll-free, general number & can be dialed from any phone, even when locked.

Anti-corruption line

t+4021 9551

t+40800 806 806



Electricity – Enel

Grigore Alexandrescu

t+4021 9291

t+4021 9281/9366

a30-32 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd. t+40213 169 366 Children’s hospital, 24/7, call for emergencies.


Marie Curie

Gas – Engie

t+40212 106 282 Info for first aid in case of intoxications.

Child protection

t116 111 Only from the Telekom network

a20 Constantin Brâncoveanu Blvd. t+40214 604 260 Children’s hospital


a19-21 Șos. Ștefan cel Mare t+40213 173 245

Bagdasar Hospital a12 Berceni St. t+40213 343 025

University Hospital

a169 Splaiul Independenței t+40213 180 519


a8 Calea Floreasca t+40215 992 300

Matei Balș Institute

a1 Calistrat Grozovici St. t+40212 010 980 Anti rabies vaccine here!

Victor Babeș

a281 Mihai Bravu Blvd. t+40213 172 727 Infectious and Tropical Disease vaccinations.


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Discover Romania Travel to Romania’s main cities and regions to uncover the natural beauties, the history, the people. From roling hills to mountain tops, citadels, to the Black Sea shores, there’s plenty to discover.

Full edition contents. Purchase it at Buzău – p. 16

Bucovina – p. 30

Brașov – p. 19

Maramureș – p. 31

Sibiu – p. 20

Danube Delta, Seaside – p. 33

Sinaia – p. 21 Other mountain resorts – p. 24 Cluj-Napoca – p. 26 Alba Iulia – p. 28 Sighișoara – p. 29

Near Bucharest – p. 36 Recommended listings – p. 37 Spa & destination hotels – p. 50

13 City Compass

Buzău, on the wild side By Thorsten Kirschner

One of the closest travel destinations to Bucharest, Buzău County has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. It offers breathtaking mountains and wild forests, unique natural phenomena, the cradle of Christianity in Romania, and one of Romania’s best wine regions.


he sparsely populated forests, hills and mountains of Buzău are perfect for sport and adventure activities: off-road tours, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning or paragliding. Traditional villages, monasteries and archaeological sites wait to be discovered. The city of Buzău is the capital of Buzău County and makes a convenient starting point, but as a tourism destination it pales next to the surrounding countryside.

Sun-drenched hills in the southwest, sub-Carpathian forests and hills in the center, and wild mountains to the north of Buzău County make a diverse and picturesque landscape, where rural tourism, and off the beaten tracks are predominant. Unfortunately, good maps or official trails are unavailable, so a local guide and good preparation in advance are recommended. Information signs are rare and the same goes for restaurants, whereas rural guesthouses — offering a range of standards — can be found across the whole county. The best-developed tourism destination in Buzău County is Sărata Monteoru — nicknamed “Little Switzerland.” It was once a famous spa with visitors from all over Europe. Nowadays, it has faded considerably in comparison to its former glory. Tourists mostly come to swim in its salty waters on summer weekends, off-season, but Monteoru is a good starting point to discover the Dealu Mare (Big Hill) wine region.

Discover Romania: Buzău 14

Another tourism center is the Berca area: the perfect place to hike, bike or tour off-road into the hills of its muddy volcanoes, its salt mountains, the Meledic Plateau, Lake Mocearu or the “Living Fires.” The Muddy Volcanoes, 12 kilometers from Berca, are a unique natural phenomenon. Gas from 3,000 meters underground pushes water and clay to the surface. The area is full of small cones of mud, which look like volcanoes. This area, a spectacular moon-like landscape, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Buzau County. Follow the signs to “Muddyland” instead of going where the vast majority of tourists go. There, you will find much bigger volcanoes. Besides the geological phenomena like the Muddy Volcanoes and the Living Fires, the Buzău area offers a wide selection of biodiversity and several world-class cultural sites. The triangle created by the counties of Vrancea, Buzău and Covasna is one of the wildest regions in both Romania and Europe. It is a large area without public roads or settlements and has butterflies, bears and wolves as inhabitants. The cave churches and settlements of Buzău are no less than the cradle of Christianity on Romanian territory — a mystical place full of legends and a cultural and historical treasure amidst a breathtaking landscape. More than 15 cave settlements are spread over more than three square kilometers: the region is nicknamed the Athos of Romania. Some caves are old geological forms, others are carved into the rock. Signs of the first settlement in this area date back to the Iron and Bronze Ages. Until the 19th century, hermits and monks used these caves as places to live and pray. Access: DN 10 to Pătârlagele–Colți–Aluniș. There is no direct access by car — a 4-6 hour walking tour with a local guide is highly recommended. Real mountain aficionados and climbers will find an El Dorado at Gura Țeghii, the area of Lake Siriu, Chiojdu or Bisoca. Over the last few years, Buzău has become the European mecca for motocross, enduro and off-road driving enthusiasts. The lakes, rivers and valleys of Buzău County allow for several interesting water sport activities. The Buzău River, which has its source at Lake Siriu, is one of the best places for rafting in Romania. Rafting in Buzău has become very popular for company team building

events, and canyoning can be done in Bâsca Mare near the village of Gura Țeghii. Paragliding courses are also available and offer spectacular flights over the Muddy Volcanoes. Bike tourism has already become a widespread sport in Buzău County. Besides the 140 km Dealu Mare cycling route, several one-day mountain bike trails are waiting to be discovered, for example the 30 km Muddy Volcanoes mountain bike trail (starting from Berca). Bicycles can be rented at the Tourism Infopoint in Berca or at Pensiunea Luminița in Sărata Monteoru. Buzău County is mainly a one-day or weekend destination in the summertime. Spring and autumn, however, offer very good conditions for leisure activities. The winter — completely free of tourists — creates an enchanting environment in the sub-Carpathian Mountains. Despite the lack of ski-lifts, a lot of activities can be enjoyed, including sledging, walks through the snow and truffle hunting. Buzău has also become a destination for corporate tours and events. Several new wineries, luxury wood cabins and guesthouses offer extraordinary places for teambuilding activities and events. Dealu Mare is one of the most beautiful winegrowing districts in Romania and said to be the Tuscany of Romania. Indeed, the region is situated on the same latitude as Northern Italy: it is a fascinating place with excellent wines from sunny south-facing hills and more than 3,000 years of settlement history. Thracians, Dacians and Romans have left their traces everywhere. Places to visit: the stone church and open-air sculpture camp at Năeni (with a spectacular panoramic view) and the vineyards at Pietroasele, Fințești, and Săhăteni. Special recommendation: a cycling tour through the vineyards. Information about the Dealu Mare Cycling Route can be found at Access: Dealu Mare extends around 60 km north of the DN 1B between Ploiești and Buzău. The best way to find it is to leave the main road and take one of the several small parallel roads that lead through the vineyards. Buzău is also ideal for truffle hunting: truffles can be found in Buzău’s forests between June and January. Together with the tourism association Travel Buzau, City Compass offers packages that include an introduction into the world of truffles as well as a hunting session with professionals, regional wine tasting and a cooking class with an interna-

15 City Compass

tional chef, who prepares a three-course dinner with these mushrooms. Most restaurants are found in Buzău city and become very scarce outside of town, apart from several lackluster motels on the main roads (definitely not recommended). Most of the guesthouses have restaurants or offer half or full-board for their guests. Prior booking is recommended.

How to get there

Access to Buzău is fairly easy, compared to the Prahova Valley. The closest destinations can be reached in one and a half to two hours’ drive from Bucharest. By car: DN 2 Voluntari—Urziceni—Buzău (c. 110 km); Alternatively: Bucharest–Ploiești Highway—DN 1B—Urlați–Buzău (c. 120 km): this route is much more attractive as it passes through the Dealu Mare wine region. From Brașov: by car, DN 10 Prejmer—Întorsura Buzăului—Lake Siriu (80 km)— Buzău (180 km). The Brașov–Buzău route is one of the most beautiful Trans-Carpathian routes. Terra Carpatica, a City Compass partner company, offers

unique fusion cuisine with high-quality regional products adhering to the “slow food” concept. Upon request Terra

Carpatica organizes outdoor culinary events in Buzău County for tourist groups with more than 10 participants ( Guided tours of Buzău County: City Compass — in

cooperation with the local tourism development association Travel Buzău — organizes the following guided tours (in English, French and German): hiking tour in the future Geopark Buzău, off-road trips, family safari, cycling tours, rafting, wine tasting and special events in the region (truffle hunting, wine events, team building, executive retreats).

Thorsten Kirschner holds a master’s degree in International Business and Cultural Studies and has been working as an international development and export consultant for more than ten years all over the world. He has been living in Romania since 2009 and is passionate about traveling. He is co-founder of Travel Buzău, the tourism development association of Buzau County, and of the ‘Carpathian Tourism Cluster Romania’ project. Since 2012 Thorsten has been a partner at City Compass, responsible for tours & events.

Feel at home everywhere. Whatever your needs might be:  Conferences  Management meetings and incentive trips  Exclusive team building and team retreats  VIP tours in Bucharest and Romania, You can count on us for the sound organization of corporate events. +40 744 336 464

Discover Romania: Sinaia 16

Sinaia, the pearl of the Carpathians By Ioana Enache

Sinaia is a must-see city in Romania for its unmatched history. It is the former summer residence of the Royal Family and has a large number of monuments: beautiful buildings designed by famous Romanian and European architects.


inaia grew just like in a fairytale. When the first King of Romania, Carol I, visited the area for the first time in 1866, he fell in love with the surroundings and decided to establish his summer residence there. At the time, there was just the Monastery of Sinaia and a very small number of inhabitants in the area. Once he decided to build a castle, the King appointed an architect to develop the plans and, almost at the same time, people of culture, high-ranking politicians and high-class families started building their own residences in Sinaia. They appointed the best Romanian architects of the time, such as T. Socolescu and P. Smărăndescu, while others decided to work with foreign architects to make sure their properties were elegant, fashionable, and, most importantly, unique. At the beginning of the 20th century, Sinaia was the place to be: an elegant, cultural and lively city, a special retreat for powerful Romanian and foreign families, and a year-round tourist attraction. Sinaia is a charming, full of history, impressive architecture and great landscapes, but, as communism has left its marks on the city, sometimes its treasures are hidden behind newly-built hotels or blocks of flats. I recommend you to take an organized tour of Sinaia organized by Asociația Redescoperă Sinaia to make sure you see the real city. My advice would be to stay a week or at least 2-3 days. You really have to spend some time to feel the city: breathe the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful landscape, visit museums, go hiking, go to the park, go to the casino building, recently re-opened for public eyes, swim in one of the two local pools, get a massage, have a nice dinner, take a walk and you will be highly rewarded for your curiosity. Then, schedule day trips to the Babele rocks, the Rhein cellars in nearby Azuga, or the cities of Brașov, Sighișoara or Bran. Please take time to visit the Peleș and Pelișor castles, including their interiors. Peleș is one of the best preserved castles in Europe and has a mix of eclectic styles from all over the world in special decorated theme rooms which are a great joy for any visitor. You will have to be informal and patient at the cafeteria across from the castle, which has a

self-service system, but recently some nice restaurants have opened nearby. The main park in Sinaia should be next on your list. It is well maintained and provides a great experience for adults and kids as well as for couples looking for a romantic escapade. George Enescu’s house is a little-known touristic spot, as it is not located in downtown Sinaia. The famous Romanian composer’s former house is in the Cumpătu neighborhood — which is a residential, quiet and elegant area on the opposite mountain from the city center. Enescu’s former residence, which was built using the great musician’s own plans and instructions, was recently renovated and offers entry tickets and audio guides (in the main foreign languages) at a ridiculously low price. The visit is rich in information and also very personal as you are surrounded by Enescu’s music all the way through. As previously mentioned, a walking tour should not be missed. These tours are organized by Asociația Redescoperă Sinaia, who have done extensive research. The tours will help you discover great places, architecture and monuments, but are also full of short stories that will help you absorb more the greatness of the area. You can start in Sinaia, visit Bușteni and return, or vice versa. For more details, contact Asociația Redescoperă Sinaia for guide recommendations ( Skiing, snowboarding and paragliding are also good options in the winter. The view at Cota 2000—when the sky is clear—is unbeatable and will fill you with good energy and peace. Sinaia Park offers playgrounds for different ages and a ‘Tyrolean’ zip-wire experience when the weather allows it. On rainy days, you can take the kids to the Carmen Sylva Cultural Center, where they can read and paint. Check the schedule as sometimes they organize guitar lessons on Saturdays. The playgroud near Kuib Reastaurant in Cumpătu is also a good option while the entire family can also enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. The cable car up the mountain makes two stops: one at 1,400 m, and the next at 2,000 m. The view on top is stunning — but be warned, at the stations everything is written in Romanian. Between May and September, you can enjoy a long or a short hike and from December to April or sometimes as late as May, you can go skiing. The mountain resort inaugurated in 2016 its new gondola lift, which links the city’s Cota 1400 to Cota 2000. The new gondola sets several national records. Besides reaching the highest altitude in Romania (2,050 meters), it also passes 120 meters above ground in the Brazi Valley area, this being the greatest height reached by such a facility. The new gondola lift goes up at a 45-degree angle

17 City Compass

on its first three segments, being the steepest such ascent. Up in the mountains, there is also the Stâna Regală cabin and restaurant. It is a hard drive, almost an hour on a poor road, but once there (pictured above), don’t miss the view from Franz Iosif Stone — if the sky is clear, you should be able to see the entire Prahova Valley — a breathtaking view. Finally, you can take the family to swim at Hotel New Montana or Hotel Mara, or go bowling at Hotel International Sinaia. Be aware that when the weather is bad it can be full on Friday and Saturday afternoons, so you might need to book in advance. My favorite place for food experience in Sinaia is Kuib, located in the Cumpătu area. They have a large variety from rawfood to international cuisine. Should you want to enjoy traditional Romanian food you can choose Cabana Schiori, or you could try Italian food at Cucina Sofia. In Sinaia it rains often, so it’s a good idea to have a raincoat and proper shoes with you. Generally the showers are short and you might see the sun again soon so don’t give up the plan for the entire day if it rains in the morning. Carry warm clothes with you at all times — even if it’s 38 degrees Celsius in Bucharest. It can still get very cold in Sinaia, especially if it rains or if you’re on top of the mountain. A short drive north of Sinaia brings you to the Rhein Wine Cellar in Azuga, where you can see how they produce Rhein Champagne, which has been made in Romania since

1889. They also have a restaurant and a small wine shop where you can buy award-winning Romanian wines. If you are staying in homeaway accommodation or want to help yourself to some food, you can find fresh vegetables and fruits at Sinaia market, which is located on a narrow street opposite Hotel Montana. Also, check the Angst supermarket for fresh, locally-produced ham and various meat specialties for the grill. Fresh fish, especially trout, is available in Azuga, a 10-minute drive from Sinaia. If you have a recommendation to add or want to find out more about Sinaia, please e-mail — the association focuses on the sustainable development of the city. How to get there from Bucharest: by car, via the Bucharest–Ploiești highway, or via the DN1, along Prahova Valley. The only rush hours are Friday afternoon to Sinaia and Sunday afternoon on the way back to Bucharest; by train, from the North Railway Station — check the Transport section in this book. Ioana Enache is one of the founders of the Asociația Redescoperă Sinaia, which aims to revitalize the town of Sinaia and reestablish it as an elegant, charming and green city with a good quality of life and rich cultural offerings.

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19 City Compass

Up the mountain By Corina Chirileasa

Foreigners often praise Romania’s mountains for their astounding beauty and for their diversity. Indeed, Romania has plenty of mountainous areas to cater to any taste. The Carpathians are the main chain of mountains in the country. They can also be found in other countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine. But Romania hosts half of this chain, which is vital to Europe as it is the last region on the continent to support large mammals such as brown bears, wolves and lynxes.


cross Romania, the Carpathian Mountains are divided into three main groups: Oriental (to the east), Meridional (south), and Occidental (to the west). When looking at Romania’s map, the country seems to revolve around its mountain chain as its main regions surround it. The tallest peaks can be found in the Meridional Carpathians, in a group called the Făgăraș Mountains. The highest is the Moldoveanu peak at 2,544 meters. These chains are often compared to the Alps (they are also called the Transylvanian Alps) and are more popular among tourists than other elevations in Romania. The Occidental Carpathians comprise the Apuseni Mountains to the west, and the Banat Mountains to the southwest. These are lower — the highest peak is at 1,850 meters. The Oriental Carpathians to the east separate the region of Moldova from the central region of Transylvania. The highest peak, Pietrosul Rodnei, in the Rodnei Mountains stands at 2,303 meters. There’s another group of mountains often forgotten – the Dobrogei Mountains in southeastern Romania. These are very old, and hence with low altitudes, similar to hills. The highest peak is the Greci at 467 meters. However, the Dobrogei have spectacular views with rolling hills leading to vast plains. All across Romania’s mountains, the hiker will find a diversity of rocks, which have led to beautiful valleys, lakes, waterfalls, and high altitude mountain passes. During winter, skiing is very popular, with several new ski slopes opened in recent years, backed up by EU funding. Many Romanians enjoy mountain hiking. Especially in the younger generation, there’s an increasing wave of love towards the mountain. Foreigners also appreciate what Ro-

mania’s mountains have to offer, although many foreigners and locals still tend to go to mountain resorts out of habit or because it is fashionable.

Prahova & Doftana Valleys

The Prahova Valley is the most popular region for those who want to spend time in the mountains and the closest to Bucharest – a two-hour drive (or more during weekends, because of the traffic jams since everyone wants to go there). Named after the Prahova river, the region has dug a valley into the Bucegi Mountains in southeast Romania. We’ve covered the city of Brașov and the resort of Sinaia on previous pages, but there are several other mountain resorts in the Prahova Valley. The first one on the route from Bucharest to Brașov is Câmpina, then comes Comarnic, followed by Sinaia. Bușteni, Azuga and Predeal follow suit, just before reaching Brașov. These mountain resorts are quite close to each other, so often travelers will find accommodation in one resort, and either ski or hike in others, or just visit places across the valley. Not as popular as Prahova Valley, but equally — if not even more — beautiful is the Doftana Valley. Lake Doftana (pictured above) offers amazing views, and the whole area is quiet - and yet not as overcrowded. To reach it, drive to Câmpina, then take the right turn.

Not to miss in the Prahova Valley

The Babele and the Sphinx are two rock formations shaped by the wind and the rain, at over 2,200 meters in altitude. The first resembles a group of old ladies (Babă with the plural Babe means old lady/ladies in Romanian). The latter has an even more interesting shape — that of a

Discover Romania: Other Mountain Resorts

head, and is one of the symbols of Romania’s mountains. Both are in the Bucegi Mountains, and are reachable from the Bușteni resort, by cable car, or by car from Sinaia on the TransBucegi road. The Cross on the Caraiman Peak is the tallest cross at such an altitude — 2,291 meters, according to the Guiness Book (2014). It is visible from down the valley when driving in Bușteni. Made of steel and almost 40 meters tall, the cross was built in the 1920s to commemorate Romanian heroes who died in the First World War. To reach it, take the cable car from Bușteni to the Babele (expect long queues at the cable car during the weekend), and from there, hike for about half an hour. Both the route and the view from the cross are spectacular! The Omu Peak is the highest peak in the Bucegi Mountains (2,505 meters), so it is reachable from the Prahova Valley. It can also be accessed from Sinaia, Bușteni or Bran, on various hiking trails, as well as by cable car from Bușteni. From there, it’s a two hour hike on one of the 40 hiking trails starting from Sinaia, Bușteni or Azuga. Ski on one of the 20 slopes in Sinaia, Bușteni and Azuga, including slopes for beginners. Best period – December to March. The Iulia Hașdeu Castle in Câmpina is a beautiful building erected in the late 1800s by Romanian scientist and writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hașdeu for his daughter Iulia, who died at 18. The castle is full of symbols, and was home to the father’s spiritism sessions, where he said he’d meet his dead daughter.


Rânca is a recently developed Romanian resort, at an altitude of 1,600 meters, at the foothill of Păpușa Peak in


the Parâng Mountains — the Meridional Carpathians. The resort is crossed by the famous Transalpina high altitude road, and includes six ski slopes.


This is one of the most popular resorts in the Apuseni Mountains in Western Romania. Also including ski slopes, Arieșeni is the start point to visits in the region – to the Bihorul Peak — the tallest in the Apuseni Mountains, at 1,849 meters — or to the Scărișoara underground glacier, as well as to two famous caves, the Coiba Mare and the Cetățile Ponorului. The latter has the tallest cave entry in Romania, 75 meters high.

Vatra Dornei

This resort is the most famous in northeastern Romania, in the Moldova region of Bucovina. Part of the Oriental Carpathians, Vatra Dornei also has ski slopes, spas, and breathtaking views. Located at the confluence between the Bistrița and Dorna rivers, Vatra Dornei is one of the oldest resorts in Romania. While there, walk past several historic monuments — the casino, the main spa building, the Sentinela Spring, the two railway stations and the town hall. Corina Chirileasa is the founder of and the editor of this guide. A media entrepreneur since 2010, and a journalist for over 11 years, Corina loves the Romanian countryside and enjoys trips across Romania, especially to mountain areas.

21 City Compass

Dobrogea, the southern soul — seaside, history & Danube Delta By Corina Chirileasa

It’s rather windy in Dobrogea, a small region in southeast Romania, home to two main attractions: the Black Sea coast with its famous resorts, and the Danube Delta. Besides these two main hot spots, the Dobrogea region itself is worth visiting at length: it has small mountains — the Măcinului range — and picturesque roads winding their way between the rolling hills, relics of old fortresses, and lots of history which combines in an unique way with the novelty of numerous wind parks.


he two main cities in the region are Tulcea and Constanța, capitals of their eponymous counties. Tulcea is the entry gate to the Danube Delta, and Constanța is the centre of the seaside attractions, together with its satellite resort Mamaia. Coming from Romania’s Muntenia region (or Bucharest), the easiest way is to choose one of the two bridges crossing the Danube: Giurgeni–Vadu Oii or Fetești– Cernavodă. The latter is the typical route to the Romanian seaside, via the A3 highway — also known as the Sun Highway. The option to cross the Danube on a ferry is also available at Brăila and Galați. The northern Dobrogea region closer to the Danube Delta and to the sea has its charm, and driving to Tulcea from either Măcin, Babadag or Topolog will reveal picturesque villages, enormous fields, and lakes dotted here and there. Driving around the large Razim lake is recommended, with its highlight at Enisala, where the medieval castle overlooks the lake and the hilly countryside from on high. Then, going further south, Jurilovca is a must. It gives access to the Doloșman cape and to the Argamum–Orgame ruins. From Jurilovca, boats across the Golovița Lake are available to reach one of the few remaining, almost unspoiled seaside spots in Romania: Gura Portiței

The beaches, the parties and the unspoiled Black Sea

The Romanian coast at the Black Sea seems to have something for every taste. It’s got posh retreats, places for family fun, resorts for hippies and for nudists, lively spots for young people and even a few untouched beaches away from the noise.

Almost everywhere you go, expect it to be crowded from June to the end of August. Some resorts are more popular than others and some have gained almost overnight popularity. The official beach season starts on May 1, when many Romanians go to the seaside for the first time in the year. September is sometimes a good month to go to the Romanian coast, depending on the weather, while August is probably one of the busiest. When most Romanians speak about going to the sea shore they have one destination in mind: the famous resort of Mamaia. It is the fashionable choice and, as a result, it is overcrowded every summer. The resort is expensive, with plenty of luxury accommodation options, and boasts some lively nightlife. Many choose Mamaia not so much for its beach — which is almost entirely privately managed — as for its parties. When it comes to parties, Vama Veche is another option, and is definitely cheaper than Mamaia. Vama Veche village used to be a hippie resort, home to the “flower power,” free-spirited generation (think “Woodstock forever”), but it has become increasingly popular in recent years and

Discover Romania: Dobrogea 22

now hosts a mixed crowd: those who come to regain their free spirit and listen to music while camping on the beach, and those who are there because it is trendy. While Mamaia is easy to reach — just take the highway from Bucharest and Mamaia will be next to Constanța — getting to Vama Veche requires a slightly longer journey. It is close to the border with Bulgaria, to the south of Constanța. By car, you have to pass Mangalia and head further south, while public transport will get you by train or bus to Mangalia train station and then by bus to Vama Veche, and to its sister resort 2 Mai — which is yet another option for those free-spirited people who want to enjoy a less commercial holiday. Another option for those searching for a peaceful holiday is Gura Portiței, a seaside resort which lives in two worlds: the Black Sea, and the Danube Delta. To get there, you have to take the boat from Jurilovca, which is in the northern part of the seaside, and cross Golovița Lake. Public transport to the resort is slow, so if you’re in a hurry and want to reach Gura Portiței fast, hire a private speed boat. However, if you are taking the one-and-a-half-hour boat trip, which costs RON 60 per person return, go early in the morning, as the last boat returning to Jurilovca is at 20:00 and you will want to spend a full day enjoying the wilderness. It feels like the end of the world, as it is one of the few remaining, nearly-intact coastal spots in Romania, but you’ll not be alone there. There is accommodation available as well as enough room for camping. If being cut off from the world is your cup of tea, then head to either Corbu or Vadu beaches which are in the northern part of the shore. These are two virgin beaches where, although you will not be completely alone (others

have discovered them too), it will be much quieter than the rest of the area. Access is not easy but they are not far from the city of Constanța — just keep north and drive past Mamaia and Năvodari, on the same route which takes you to the Danube Delta. Do bear in mind that these two beaches are indeed virgin, meaning there’s no accommodation available and no amenities — just a place to camp, the sand and the sea.

The Danube Delta — the wild side

The Danube Delta is a preferred holiday destination for many Romanians and foreigners due to its uniqueness and tranquility, on the one hand, and for its natural riches, on the other. The Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation, the only delta in the world with this status, is the biggest compact reed area and one of the largest waterbird wetland habitats on the planet: a paradise of pelicans, water lilies and fish. Most often, the first stop in the delta is the city of Tulcea — the gateway to the Danube Delta. Tulcea is accessible by car or public transport, and the Augustina Trans Company runs daily trips from Bucharest. The trip takes approximately four and a half hours with a twenty-minute break at a service station. The landscape draws attention, and who could resist taking a photo of the sunflower and canola fields? A train connection is also available from Bucharest. Tulcea can be overwhelming at first, particularly in the summer months, with the bustle of tourists and the sirens of ships. If you happen to travel to Tulcea in August you can catch the yearly rowing festival taking place here. The event was initiated by Romanian sprint canoeist and seven

23 City Compass

times Olympics winner Ivan Patzaichin. Adventure, relaxation, exploration, sports, family, cultural tourism… the Delta has a story for everyone. For trips of a day or a day and a half, the recommended option would be to sleep at a hotel in Tulcea and from there take a 4–5 hour trip through the canals. A trip to Sfântu Gheorghe, one of the oldest Danube branches, will take up to two days. The first towns, Mahmudia and Murighiol, can be reached by car, saving time and money. However, going by water is better. Beautiful landscapes reveal themselves on the narrow and hidden canals, so ask locals for help. Nearly every pension provides boat trips on the adjacent lakes and canals. Access to the Sfântu Gheorghe town is only possible by boat, which can be taken from Tulcea (a four-hour trip), Mahmudia (a two and-a-half hour trip) or Murighiol (a two-hour trip). Navrom Delta runs these boat trips. Near Sfântu Gheorghe’s sandy beach is the venue for the Anonimul International Independent Film Festival, usually held every August. Danube’s middle branch, Sulina, is the most easily accessible to tourists. Daily trips leave for Sulina, either through Navrom Delta or private companies. The Mila 23 fishermen’s village, situated on the Old Danube, is at the heart of a maze of canals, pools and swamps. It is one of the most important and best known jumping-off points for tourist itineraries in the delta. Crișan fishermen’s village completes the picture. This is also the starting point for tourist itineraries, towards the Caraorman bank (renowned for its sand dunes) or towards the Roșu and Puiu lakes. Finally, at the end of the journey on this branch is the second largest town in the Danube Delta: Sulina. It’s the easternmost town in Romania, the headquarters of the European Danube Commission, the location of a maritime graveyard unique to Romania and even to Europe, and has a wild sandy beach. The westernmost and probably wildest branch of the Danube, the Chilia branch, is the perfect place for people with a passion for nature and fishing. Tourism here is less developed, which is probably why the area has kept its wild, unexplored character. The journey here also begins from Tulcea, either by public transportation or with private boats. We recommend public transportation. If the sojourn lasts at least four days and you are not pressed for time, then it is the best option to feel the pulse of the delta. Do not expect luxury conditions! But you should expect to find fascinating people, to discover their life stories, hardships, challenges and joys. At the end of the journey down the Chilia branch, on the border between Romania and Ukraine, travelers can discover the Periprava Lipovan village, which feels far, far away from the noisy turmoil of the town, in the middle of nature, where the sky, earth and water meet. This area represents a true cultural mosaic: Periprava

is a Lipovan village, Sfiștofca and Letea have Ukrainian populations, and C.A. Rosetti has a mainly Romanian population. The best time of the year to go to the delta depends on the purpose of the visit: spring for ornithologists (April, May), summer for a first trip, when water lilies and pelicans abound (June, July, August), autumn for fishermen (pike in particular) and winter for hunters.

Useful info ʡʡAlways carry cash with you, in local currency; you will not find any ATMs, currency exchange points or POS for payments by card. ʡʡWrite down the destination you wish to reach and the specific route; while in Tulcea, some people speak foreign languages, English in particular. In the Delta, only large lodging complexes which have foreign languagespeaking staff. ʡʡTake insect repellent. Mosquitoes emerge mainly in the evening and it is better to go indoors; daytime should be mosquito free. ʡʡRegardless of whether it is summer or not, do not forget warm clothes for the cooler nights, as well as rain coats and wind stoppers — especially when taking trips on the canals. Mobile phones can’t get a good signal everywhere, so as many details as possible should be planned prior to departure.

Discover Romania: Seaside / Near Bucharest 24

Getaway places near Bucharest By Corina Chirileasa

For weekends when the exploration bug hits but there’s no time or inclination to drive long distances, here are a few destinations very close to Bucharest. Within easier reach of Bucharest are also Buzău and the Prahova Valley — see previous pages. Below are some of our recommendations of places within a maximum one-hour drive from the capital. Snagov

With its lake and forest, Snagov is one of the choices for countryside villas near Bucharest and a summer destination for many. Located 40 km north of Bucharest, it is easily accessible via the highway towards Ploiești. The forest is the largest remaining part of the Codrii Vlăsiei, the large woodland that once surrounded the capital. Also, Vlad Țepeș’ tomb can be found at the Snagov Monastery.


Cernica is located 15 km east of Bucharest. The monastery here is situated near the lake, and is also a destination for cyclists.


Mogoșoaia Palace (pictured above) is 10 km northwest of Bucharest and the ride there is usually popular among cyclists. A 17th century palace made of red bricks, a

beautiful lake and a nice park await. The palace was built in the Romanian Renaissance style or Brâncovenesc style (after the Prince of Wallachia Constantin Brâncoveanu).


Comana, 35 km south of the city, is known as the Delta near Bucharest, and is a good place for outdoor activities.

With an adventure park on site, a place to cool down at

Comana Monastery and plenty of options for off-road

cycling, Comana is worth discovering. Don’t expect lots of amenities and either pack your lunch or eat beforehand. The peony reservation is a must-see — they’re in bloom in late May. Enjoy bird and animal watching, and take some pictures of the remains of the lacustrine houses. For a taste of traditional crafts you can stop at Moara de Hârtie.


The main attractions in Buftea are the lake and Stirbey Palace. The Media Pro film studios are also here. The village is 23 km away from Bucharest, towards Târgoviște.

Beaches close to Bucharest

There are several less known beaches within a reasonable distance from Bucharest. One of them is Gostinu Beach in Giurgiu County, south of Bucharest. This is a Danube beach, and has become rather popular in recent years. No amenities on site, however. Search your maps app for the village of Gostinu. Another famous one is at the Argeș River, 20 km west of Bucharest. Also try the Shaker Beach at the Budeasa Lake, near Pitești.

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28 City Compass

A stroll through Bucharest’s neighborhoods By Bogdan Popa


et’s take a ride on tram number 41. It connects Piața Presei Libere (Free Press Square) with Ghencea Stadium — the North with the West of Bucharest. The full ride goes through Giulești, Crângași, Militari and Drumul Taberei neighborhoods. When boarding the tram at Piața Presei Libere, remember that the huge building called Casa Presei Libere (House of the Free Press) was built in the 1950s. It neighbors the Bucharest Exhibition Center (Romexpo), built on the spot of the former hippodrome, and the wonderful Herăstrău Park. Soon after leaving the departure terminal, tramway 41 crosses Grant Bridge. Originally built out of wood, connecting the northern districts built in the 1920s and the 1930s, until 2011 Grant Bridge was the only connection between two parts of the city divided by railway tracks. While on the bridge, take a look at the football stadium on the right, the veritable temple of the Giulești district. Looking right, the new bridge over the railroad and the student dormitories in Grozăvești are visible. Giulești was originally a village, integrated into the municipality of Bucharest in the 1950s, to create space for new buildings and green areas. Blocks of flats were built, but some streets in Giulești are still full of small family houses. Most of the people who live there were Romanian Railways (CFR) employees. Crângași, the district which begins at the end of Grant Bridge, is also a ‘new’ addition to Bucharest. It consists mainly of blocks of flats. The open-air market, one of the most famous in Bucharest, was modernized, and more than just fruits and vegetables can be found here. Lacul Morii (Mill Lake) lies to the right, which prevents the Dâmbovița River from flooding Bucharest. Many legends surround it — a former cemetery for the plague victims of 1813 — but locals still like taking an afternoon walk. After leaving Morii Lake on the right and catching a glimpse of the Parliament Palace on the left, the 41 reaches Militari district. The area used to be inhabited mostly by members of the military — militari means ‘soldiers’. It features a combination of large blocks of flats with houses and villas. It is a very populated and animated area, so expect a lot of small shops and a few cheap open-air markets. The Militari district is home to one of the most interesting and vivid theaters in Bucharest: the Masca theater, famous for public space performances and wonderful displays of commedia dell’arte. Breaking the journey at Lujerului Underpass and taking a left onto Iuliu Maniu Boulevard leads to the campus of the Politechnical University of Bucharest. On the other side of the street, the famous APACA textile factory still stands. The Presidential Palace is next in line, with the Bucharest Botanical Garden as its-

neighbor across the street. Drumul Taberei district begins nearby — one of the largest in Bucharest, consisting mainly of blocks of flats, carefully planned with lots of green space between them. The name comes from the military camp set up during the 1821 revolution against the Ottoman-imposed Princes of Wallachia. Continuing towards Drumul Taberei district by tram 41 leads to the new Sf. Vineri Church, one of the newest and largest in Bucharest. Finally, at the end of the line is Ghencea stadium, Steaua Bucharest’s training base. Ferentari is perhaps not a place to recommend to the average tourist, while the nearby Rahova district has a similar reputation, albeit not entirely deserved. Viilor (the vineyard district) harks back to the days when wine-making was one of the area’s main businesses. Bellu Cemetery (the biggest in Bucharest) is currently its main attraction and is part of Romania’s collection of national heritage buildings. Next to Bellu, the Tineretului district — a quiet, pleasant area — is centered around the park of the same name. Once there, try to locate the Dâmbovița River. Follow the river in order to get to the new National Library, recently inaugurated. The building, planned in the 1980s and nearly finished in 1990, was then abandoned for almost 20 years. Close to it, the church built by Bucur, a shepherd and the legendary founder of Bucharest, is squeezed between office buildings and blocks of flats. Keep walking to reach Piața Unirii, with its bright view of the Parliament Palace. Climb the hill to the 17th Century Patriarchy Church, packed with believers during religious celebrations. On reaching Piața Constituției (Constitution Square), stick to the river and give Cotroceni district a chance: quiet streets lined with beautiful 19th and early 20th century villas. Most streets bear the name of famous doctors. Then take bus 104 from Unirii Square to reach the National Arena (Arena Națională). Pantelimon was the home of Bucharest hip-hop. Its neighbor, the district of Colentina, was named after the river that flows through the area. In neighboring Fundeni, try finding the Fundenii Doamnei church, an extraordinary example of oriental architecture. Vatra Luminoasă mixes interesting old streets and blocks of flats. This was originally a settlement built as a charitable donation to the visually impaired. Buying some fresh, cheap and organically-grown vegetables at the Obor market would make a nice end to the trip. Back north, Floreasca, Primăverii, Domenii and Kiseleff districts are greener areas, with more villas and houses than blocks of flats, and a lot of interesting corners and side streets. Property in these areas are sought after by many people, due in part to the child-friendly parks. At the intersection between Domenii and Kiseleff, the Arcul de Triumf overlooks the rugby stadium and Herăstrău park. Just where we started our stroll!

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Old Town


Old Town – a miniature of Romania By Simona Fodor, Andrei Chirileasa

Nowhere is Romania’s fast, yet very uneven development more visible than in Bucharest’s Old Town (or ‘Centrul Vechi’), a 15-hectare area in the very heart of the country’s capital.


ore than a hundred of restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and shops have appeared in the last five years in the Old Town. And just as the country changed after the 2015 Colectiv nightclub fire, so did the capital’s old center. With new safety regulations enforced, many venues in the area closed down, toning down a bit of the hustle and bustle of the place. While one can find newly renovated buildings in the Old Town, they sit many times next to ruin-like buildings.

Shortly after the Colectiv fire a law was passed forbidding stores, restaurants and other commercial units to operate at the ground floor of buildings with high seismic risk. A third of the bars and restaurants located in the Old Town closed down as a result. Last but not least, one of the measures that impacted the local restaurants sector was the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces, starting March 2016. Changes aside, one can find in the area, inviting bars, stylish restaurants and laid-back terraces, with lots of people drinking their morning coffees, afternoon beers or evening cocktails, or just strolling around the area, soaking up the atmosphere. There’s still a long way to go until Bucharest’s Old Town is ‘polished’ like those of other European capitals, but progress is visible every year. The whole area is very competitive, some venues quickly disappear, hence the dynamism of the place.


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30 City Compass

RESTAURANTS The following list is a selection, including some our favorite places, in alphabetical order.

Aubergine Healthy Food

a33 Smârdan St. �+40213 137 548 A Mediterranean menu and a focus on healthy food.

Barză Viezure Mînz

a21 Șepcari St. �+40761 675 35  Must visit delicatessen shop and take-out restaurant with traditional Romanian products.

Bel Mondo

A6 Covaci St. �+40725 966 636 Italian cuisine in a nicely renovated building in the new part of Old Town.

Berăria Nenea Iancu

a3 Covaci St. �+40753 111 769 The venue offers local-themed food and a varied range of national and international beers.

Brauhaus Smârdan a39–41 Smârdan St. �+40725 523 081

Burger Bar

aȘelari Passage �+40212 339 096 � Great burgers!

City Grill Covaci

a19 Covaci St. �+40729 626 262 � This is a place with a simple menu and affordable prices, for quick lunches or dinners.

Caru’ cu Bere

a5 Stavropoleos St. �+40213 137 560 This is one of the favorite tourist spots. It is almost always crowded, so definitely worth booking in advance. You will like the architecture of the place — a historic building with an interesting story to tell. Food portions are large and there are plenty of Romanian dishes on the menu.

Crama Domnească

a13–15 Șelari St. �+40758 333 000 Good Romanian cuisine, large portions, wine cellar and garden terrace during the summer. The restaurant has a medieval feel. Book a table in the basement and ask for a tour of the cellar.

Dristor Kebab

a17 Franceză St. �+40213 155 540 �he most famous kebab place in Bucharest, initially opened in Dristor neighborhood, and now with a location in Old �own too. Deliveries and take-away also available.

the famous, historic names in Bucharest. The complex includes a Lebanese restaurant and Cafe Manuc.

Il Peccato

a30 Franceză St. �+40213 116 767

Lacrimi și Sfinți

a16 Șepcari St. �+40725 558 286 Romanian–inspired food (often) cooked and created by Romanian poet Mircea Dinescu. Very interesting interior and good food.

La Historia de Sudamerica

a3 Sf. Dumitru St. �+40722 626 043 Restaurant and pub in an 1850 building in Old Town. It features a menu with South American influences. Cocktails and drinks on the same theme.

La Mama

a1 Băcani St. (corner with Lipscani) �+40725 526 262

Latin Pizza

a37 Smârdan St. �+40773 775 055 

A 34 IC Brătianu Blvd. �+40746 909 189 Pizzas the Italian way. Take away also possible.

Gyros Thessalonikis


Hanul lui Manuc

Marin Seafood Grill


a2 Gabroveni St. �+40762 646 269

a62–64 Franceză St. �+40213 131 411 This complex includes several restaurants, some facing Unirii Square, while the main one has an interior courtyard. It has been recently renovated and is one of

a11 Franceză St. �+40758 020 058 

a4 Gabroveni St. �+40741 158 111 Fresh seafood cooked on a wood stove in front of the customers. The healthy alternative to kebabs.

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Old Town

Meze Taverna

� 6 Nicolae Tonitza St. �+40215 395 353 Greek restaurant with a fresh, Mediterranean feel in its food as well as design.

Mica Elveție

� 60 Franceză St. �+40212 245 017

Mi și Mu

a30 Brătianu Blvd. �+40799 006 688  This venue specializes in making mici, the popular Romanian minced meat dish.

Red Angus Steakhouse

�56 Franceză St. �+40756 600 000 This restaurant lives up to the promise of its name steaks from Europe, the US and New Zealand.


�21 Lipscani St. �+40733 135 834 Turkish cuisine.

Saint George

� 44 Franceză St. �+40213 171 087

Sushi Ko

�8 Stavropoleos St. �+40758 088 400 Japanese cuisine in Old Town. Situated at the main junction of Stavropoleos and Smârdan streets — hard to miss!

Taverna Covaci

a1 Covaci St. �+40747 226 677

Tic Taco - Taco Bar

a5 Blănari St. �+40725 260 087 Mexican food, including a selection of veggie and vegan tacos, soups and salads.

PASTRIES & ICE CREAM Cremeria Emilia Romană �38 – 42 Franceză St. �+40727 126 996 


Finnish Cocktail & Club

�28 Șelari St. �+40753 578 209 


�12 Gabroveni St. �+40732 166 604 This is the place to go for rock and indie music. Lots of live shows.



�24 Smârdan St. �+40722 373 336


La Bonita

�9-11 Șelari St. �+40748 881 085 One of the most popular and busiest places in Old Town, with three floors and an adjacent restaurant, offering parties every weekend and different evening events during the week.


�30 Smârdan St. �+40721 762 756


� 41 Smârdan St. �+40729 056 254

Club A

�14 Blănari St. �+40744 517 858 �.Bucuresti This is a club with a history in Bucharest, as it was opened during the Communist period. It plays mostly golden oldies and prices are aimed at students.

El Comandante Junior

�43 Lipscani St. �+40728 555 043 One of several El Comandante clubs in Bucharest, this is a small club which plays good music.

�24 Șelari St. �+40758 660 500  Mexican and Texan fast-food & club.

Laboratorul de Cocktailuri

�8 Stavropoleos St. �+4 0737 356 746 Designed like an old pharmacy, Laborator offers the young, hip customer a wide selection of cocktails, served in test tubes or chemistry beakers.

La Muse

�53 Lipscani St. �+40734 000 236 


�12 Blănari St. �+40740 111 550

Metal Jack

a82 Lipscani St. �+40729 042 681

Old City

�14 Șelari St. �+40729 377 774 �

32 City Compass


�17 Șelari St. �+40735 400 505 � As the name suggests, the venue is open for shots.

PUBS & CAFÉS 55 Jazz

�9 Franceză St. �+40731 672 728 �


�38 Lipscani St. �+40728 501 080 �


�10 Covaci St. �+40721 999 999 �

Beer O’Clock

�4 Gabroveni St. �+40735 187 012 � All the beers you can dream of in one single bar.

Berăria Siegfried

�29 Lipscani St. �+40756 014 040 �

Bernschutz Tea House

�6 Ion Nistor St. �+40213 104 788  You can either sit and drink tea or buy it to take home.


�2 Șelari St. �+40732 000 555 A rendez vous place for creatives, where all kinds of bicycle parts have been used to create a unique design.

Bistro Carusel

�55 Lipscani St. �+40728 828 929 �

�he last floor of the Cărturești Carusel bookshop.

Café Deko

�1 Covaci St. �+40733 562 233 �

Nomad Skybar

�30 Smârdan St. �+40735 448 080 


�9-11 Șelari St. �+40213 137 532 �

�9-11 Șelari St. �+40724 333 233 � Music, beer and lots of space over several floors. New branch at 3 Franceză St.



Curtea Berarilor

�2-4 Franceză St. �+40721 333 533 


�4 Brezoianu St. �+40736 374 432 � Not in the main part of Old �own, but worth the short walk, this self-proclaimed “urban experiment” is a meeting point for the young and creative.

Gloria Jean’s Coffees Old Town �12 � Calea Victoriei �+4021 332 1660 �

Godot Cafe Theater

�14 Blănari St. �+40736 414 244 �


�14 Gabroveni St. �+40768 585 148 � The place for sports fans. Live matches.

Les Bourgeois

�9 Lipscani St. �+40757 086 689 � Located slightly away from the main streets of Old Town, Origo is the new meeting point for coffee lovers.

Sankt Petersburg Pub

�55 Gabroveni St. �+40729 191 855 �

San�he Fitoceainarie

�104 Lipscani St. �+4021 528 0305 Fairy-tale decor with a social purpose as the place employs people at risk of social exclusion. Each product is priced RON 8.

Storage Room

�35 Smârdan St. �+40 732 363 712 � Small and unconventional.

St. Patrick

�23-25 Smârdan St. �+40755 110 008 � Irish pub and restaurant.

�20 Smârdan St. �+40720 132 994 �

�he Bankers

MoJo Music Club

�he Barrel

�14 Gabroveni St. �+40737 220 220 �

�15 Șelari St. �+40733 054 488 �

�27 Smârdan St. �+40725 523 082 �

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Old Town

�he Coffee Shop

�5 Băniei St. �+40756 077 399 � �his location of �he Coffee Shop chain is next to the Sf. Gheorghe market. � varied range of coffees is available and the staff can give advice on brewing techniques.

�he Drunken Lords

�3-5 Nicolae Șelari Entr. �+40314 056525 �

�he Elbow Room

�82� Lipscani St. �+40752 550 986 �

�he Embassy — Hanul cu �ei

�8 Piața Lahovari St. �+40733 500 303 �

�he Vintage Pub

�43 Smârdan St. �+40743 797 173 �

�ucano Coffee

�79 Lipscani St. �+4 0769 271 552 � Various coffee specialties, deserts and food.

Valea Regilor

�16-20 Calea Victoriei �+40213 112 969 Valea Regilor is one of the bestknown places for hookah pipes, and serves a wide range of teas.

Van Gogh

�9 Smârdan St. �+40311 076 371 � �his is a favorite spot, close to the center of Old �own but on a quiet street, Van Gogh includes a coffee shop, cafe, wine bar and meeting/ training space for hire on the top floor.

�INE SHOPS & BARS �bel’s �ine Bar

�10 Nicolae Tonitza St. �+40371 033 643 � �ine shop on one of Old �own’s less crowded streets.


�19 Șepcari St. �+40723 655 156 �



�he Souvenir Shop �24 Franceză St. �+40724 089 737

�HEATRES De pe Lipscani �heater

�53 Lipscani St. �+40734 000 236 � Independent theater company with a varied repertoire.


�3 Covaci St. �+40757 557 291 � Nice little wine bar, with a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff.

Europa Royale (4*)

Corks Cozy Bar

Hotel Cișmigiu (4*)

�1 Băcani St. �+4021 3112 265 � �ine bar with a large selection of Romanian and international wines, as well as snacks and meals.

�ine & Company

�28 Lipscani St. �+40737.730.770 �18 Smârdan St. �


�43 Lipscani St. �40-4777226  Gift shop retailing a variety of cashmere, silk and wool scarves and clothing, diaries and various meditation-practice items.

Souvenir Shop

�13 Smârdan St. �+40213 103 225 � �his shop can be found near Hotel Rembrandt.

�60 Franceză St. �+40213 191 798 � On the edge of Old �own.

�38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. �+40314 030 500 � Very close to Old �own.

Intercontinental Hotel (5*) �4 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd. �+40213 102 020 Just a few steps away from Old �own. It has a nice view over Bucharest’s city center.

Little Bucharest Hostel

�15 Smârdan St., 2nd Fl. �+40786 329 136 � �his is part of the Pura Vida Hostel chain. It is an artist’s vintage house in the middle of Old �own, with a nice view of the area.

Pura Vida Sky Bar & Hostel

�7 Smârdan St. �+40786 329 134 � Sky-bar and hostel part of the Pura Vida independent local hostels network, opened in 2015.

Rembrandt Hotel (3*) �11 Smârdan St. �+40213 139 315 �

34 City Compass

‘Z’ Executive Boutique Hotel (4*)

�4 Ion Nistor St. �+40731 699 971 � �his hotel is located on a small street at the edge of Old �own, and close to Universitate Square. It has a good view over the center.


Leather shoes made in Romania, affordable prices.

Ollie Gang Shop

�1 Blănari St. �+40726 543 128 � Urban lifestyle boutique.

Unirea Shopping Center

�41 Lipscani St. �+40213 155 410 �

�1 Unirii Square �+40213 030 208 � Bucharest’s most central mall; many fashion stores (Zara, H&M, New Yorker, Bershka), jewelry shops, restaurants and fast food outlets, plus a play center for kids, billiards and bowling (on the top floor).

Carrefour Express

Victoria Store

�didas Outlet

�76 Lipscani St. �+40213 104 075

Bizon Shoe Shop

� 54 Franceză St. One of the few supermarkets in Old �own, opened next to Red �ngus Steakhouse.

Cocor Store

�29-33 I.C. Brătianu Blvd. �+40213 131 403 � Just across the street from Old �own. You can’t miss it due to the large advertising façade. It accomodates some Romanian designers’ shops, a Subway restaurant and a Billa supermarket.


�30-34 Lipscani St. �+ 0800 897 777 � �his is the flagship store for H&M in Bucharest. It covers three floors.


�17 Calea Victoriei �+40762 970 122 If you want to experience the feeling of shopping in the old Bucharest of the Communist Era, then you might find a visit here interesting.

BANKS Banca �ransilvania

�102 Lipscani St. �+40214 072 360 �


�14-16 Doamnei St. �+4021 302 6163 �


�14 Lipscani St. �+40213 178 011 �

�26 Smârdan St. �57 Lipscani St. Clothing shops.

CEC Bank


Garanti Bank

�73 Lipscani St. �+4021 310 3999 �

�18-22 Lipscani St. �+40213 026 163 �

�43 Lipscani St. �+40800 801 234 �

Piraeus Bank

�12C Calea Victoriei �+40213 117 069 �

Raiffeisen Bank

�90� Lipscani St. �+40213 701 000 �


�60 Franceză St. �+40374 774 000 �


�12 � Calea Victoriei �+4021301 7475 �


�13 Calea Victoriei This big and beautiful building currently hosts the headquarters of the CEC Bank, a state-owned bank. Officially, the palace cannot be visited, but for big, organized groups, try getting in touch with the CEC Bank, they might organize a private tour for you. Otherwise, a great building to see from outside too, and photograph.

Curtea Veche Palace

�21-23 Franceză St. �+40213 140 375 �he place is currently closed down for visits for ongoing work on a new archeological site, but its remains can still be admired from the street.

Gabroveni Inn

�84-90 Lipscani St. �+40217 953 602  Historic building, recently renovated. Cultural events and one of the headquarters of �rcub, the

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Old Town

cultural center of the Bucharest City Hall.

�he Central Bank

�25 Lipscani St. �+40213 130 410 � The imposing Central Bank building hosts not only the headquarters of banking regulator in Romania, but also a museum with a large collection of coins and banknotes. The guided tour is free for all visitorsm but has to be scheduled in advance by email to Access to the museum via the 8 Doamnei St. and entrance based on the ID. Tours start daily at 10, 12, 14 and 16 hours.

National History Museum

�12 Calea Victoriei �+40213 158 207 � Overlooking the Calea Victoriei avenue, it is hard to miss - the man carrying a dog statue on its stairs will surely catch your eye.

Stavropoleos Monastery

�4 Stavropoleos St. �+40213 134 747 � � beautiful small church, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Very popular with foreign visitors. Make sure to also visit the small inside yard of this monastery.

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The info in this chapter is valid as of September 2016, when this guide was sent to print. The Old Town lives at a fast pace, and clubs and restaurants sometimes open and close down rather fast, be it because of lack of commercial success, or, more recently, for not complying with various regulations. So before you make any plans for your time out in the Old Town, make sure you check if the place of your choice is still open. Some restaurants also undergo renovation during off season (usually in winter; the Old Town is much more crowded in late spring, summer, early autumn while terraces are still open).

36 City Compass

Getting around, in and out of Bucharest Any new city can be overwhelming at first, but once you start figuring out its streets, bus lines, metro lines, find the hot spots and the places to avoid, life in the city gets much easier. Here are the essentials on transport in and out of Bucharest.

Airport essentials The Bucharest Airport is fairly big – 57 boarding gates, 2 floors, including a business lounge and a VIP lounge. Some 32 airlines land and take off from Bucharest, serving some 90 foreign destinations, and 7 domestic ones. The busiest international routes are London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and domestic, Cluj, Timișoara, Iași. The airport has its own app – HenriApp Port, offering the latest info on flights, an airport map and discounts to restaurant and cafes in the airport.

Taxis, car sharing & car rental

The taxi fare from downtown Bucharest to the airport (or the other way around) should be around RON 50 (less than €10), depending on traffic. Make sure to take a cab with a fare below RON 2 per km, which you will see written on its door. They might try to convince you to pay them for their trip back to the city, but you should not do this. There are touch screens in the airport for ordering taxis. When ordering, you will receive a print slip with the cab’s

BUCHAREST CAB SIGNAGE & IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS Bucharest cabs can carry a lot of signage and it is important to know how to scan for the right information and distinguish between licensed and overpriced cabs. The cab company name or logo can be found on the front door, as is the price per km. Most licensed cabs run at a tariff of RON 1.39 – RON 1.4 per km, with a RON 13.90 – RON 14 per hour when stopped. In some cases the tariff can go as high as RON 3.5 per km. The back door lists on a red background the logo of the Bucharest City Hall, a four-digit number, and a letters and numbers code below. These are the cab’s license and registration numbers. The red background also includes the validity date of the cab license. The cab’s identification number (indicativ), the one you are told when ordering a cab, is listed on the upper, back lateral sides. The cab company’s short, four-digit calling number is listed on to the lower, lateral sides of the car’s trunk, and its regular ten-digit numbers below. Each number corresponds to one of the three major mobile carriers in the country.

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Bucharest Practical Handbook: Transport 37

identification number – this is how you know which cab is yours. Very often, the taxi area is crowded and somebody else might take the cab you ordered. More info on taxis at the airport: w Alternatively, you can also use the Black Cab, Alpha Cab, Uber or Taxify apps — details in the Transport listings in this guide, page 132. As the taxi area of the airport has become increasingly crowded during 2016, we recommend you arrange your transport to the city beforehand – services such as Black Cab, Alpha Cab and Uber offer airport pickup at a certain hour. You can also rent a car at one of the car rental offices within the airport: the corridor between Departures and Arrivals.

Airport bus

Express Bus 783 departs round the clock from the International Departures Hall at the airport, and the journey to downtown Bucharest — Unirii Square — takes approximately 40 minutes, or even more, depending on traffic. It departs Monday through Friday every 15 minutes and every 20 minutes during the weekend between 6.00 and 20.00. At night, it runs every 45 minutes. The fare is RON 7 for a magnetic card valid for two trips and a monthly ticket costs RON 80. The cards can be purchased at the ticket counter in the Domestic Flights Hall. Cards must be validated upon boarding the bus, using the machines. Express Bus 780 goes to the main train station (Gara de Nord). The fee for one trip is about RON 3.5 and RON 27 for ten trips.

Taxis It is harder and harder to find a cab in Bucharest by calling the individual cab companies, so try using one of the many apps to order cabs — some of them are also in English, and all will detect your location with varying degrees of accuracy. This will help non-Romanian speakers order a cab with ease, but will require setting up an account. Once that happens, it’s pretty easy to order a cab, and you’ll be able to find one fairly fast, in our experience. Most cab drivers use only the app nowadays for picking up orders. We’d recommend Clever Taxi and Star Taxi; search them in your app store. When ordering a cab by phone or app, they have to take the ride, no matter your destination. But when picking up a cab on the street, many times cab drivers will refuse, saying they would only go to certain areas of the city (in many cases, closer to their home as they are at the end of their shift). When using a cab, passengers usually pay a 10% tip at the end of the drive, if the service was good. Increasingly popular alternatives to classical taxis are car-sharing services, which charge similar rates to taxis. With Uber and Taxify, for example, passengers don’t have to pay in cash or tip the driver as the app takes the money

directly from the user’s credit card. Or try Black Cab and Alpha Cab which provide a more luxurious experience. With Black Cab, you can even get a Ride Me Home service for when you have drinks in town. Romania has a 0.0 alcohol limit policy, so better not drink and drive. Black Cab will send two drivers, one will drive your own car home, and the other will drive you with the Black Cab car.

Public transport The local public transport company called RATB (Regia Autonomă de Transport București) runs street-level transport in the Romanian capital — buses, trolleybuses and trams — and is a great way of getting around. Day buses run from 5 AM to 11 PM, when some night buses take over. Tickets must be purchased beforehand (or via text message, see next page) and validated upon boarding. The ticketing system uses plastic cards that can be charged with any amount of money, resulting in the right to a certain number of journeys. One trip costs RON 1.3 on Bucharest’s regular public transport, and RON 3.5 for Express lines, such as the one connecting Bucharest Otopeni airport with downtown. The plastic cards can be recharged either with a subscription if you travel frequently, or with various amounts of money if you take a bus trip once in a while. The same cards work on trams, buses and trolleys. The card must be validated after boarding the bus using the orange devices onboard, by keeping the card in front of the orange machine for a few seconds, until you hear a long beep. Any transfer to another means of transport needs further validation. The express bus system serves destinations outside the city center. Two or 10-journey tickets, as well as monthly passes, are available for these buses. For bus schedules and routes, visit — English section available. Use Google Maps, which now offers information about public transport in Bucharest, as well, or even better, the app Waze - it is very popular and accurate as drivers report traffic jams and road repairs.

Night buses Night transport in Bucharest starts at 11 PM and buses arrive every 40 minutes from 11 PM to 1 AM and 3 AM to 4.30 AM, and every two hours between 1 AM and 3 AM. The price of a trip is the same as during the day RON 1.3, and all subscriptions for day buses work for night buses as well. All the night buses — 25 such lines — have the letter N in front of their number (N101, N102 and so on).

38 City Compass

BUS, TRAM & TROLLEY-BUS FARES ʡʡ One trip RON 1.3 ʡʡ For 1 urban line RON 30/month ʡʡ For 2 urban lines RON 35/month ʡʡ For all urban lines RON 50/month ʡʡ For all urban lines, valid 1 day RON 8 ʡʡ For all urban lines, valid 7 days RON 17 ʡʡ For all urban lines, valid 15 days RON 2

Paying for the ticket by SMS The option to buy one-day tickets via short text message (SMS) was reintroduced this year. The service is also available for the express lines connecting the Henri Coandă International Airport to the city center. Passengers can pay for a one-day ticket by sending the text “A” to 7458. In just a few seconds, they will receive a text message with a code that will confirm the transaction. The cost of such a ticket is EUR 1.65 + VAT. Those who want to buy a ticket for one of the express lines will have to send an SMS with the text “E780” or “E783”. The price of such a ticket is EUR 0.75 + VAT. Passengers need to keep the SMS on their phones throughout the day, until the one-day ticket expires, or until the trip is over.

Special tourist line Red double-deckers carry tourists along the Bucharest City Tour route. The buses serving this line run several times a day between 10.00 and 22.00 hours on the circuit Piața Presei Libere, Village Museum – Muzeul Satului, Arcul de Triumf, Piața Victoriei, Calea Victoriei, People’s Palace – Palatul Parlamentului, Piața Unirii, Universitate, Piața Romană, Piața Victoriei, Piața Charles de Gaulle, Șoseaua Kiseleff and back to Piața Presei Libere (Piața means Square.) The route is 15.4 km long and should take 50 minutes, with buses running every 15 minutes. The price of a ticket is RON 25 (the equivalent of € 5.6) for adults and RON 10 (some € 2.2) for children up aged between 7 and 14. The transport card can be bought on the bus and is valid for 24 h.

Subway Metrorex manages the subway network and the system operates between 05.00 and 23.00 daily. There are five lines M1, M2, M3, and M4, and the most frequently used is the north-south M2. Some of the most crowded metro stations — especially in the morning and afternoon rush-hours — are Unirii, Universitate and Victoriei, which are also good meeting places.

SUBWAY FARES ʡʡ For 2 trips RON 5 ʡʡ For 10 trips RON 20 ʡʡ For unlimited trips RON 8/day ʡʡ For unlimited trips RON 25/week ʡʡ For unlimited trips RON 70/month Note: All these are paper cards.

You can buy paper cards from the operator at the metro station or from one of the 35 automatic vending machines installed across Bucharest metro stations. It is not possible to use the RATB card on the metro system anymore — the collaboration between the two independent transport companies was suspended in the spring of 2014. In 2015, the Bucharest subway operator announced plans to upgrade its access system and introduce contactless cards.

Road network & traffic in Bucharest The main (and most congested!) boulevards are Calea Victoriei, Ștefan cel Mare, Buzești, Unirii Blvd., and Șos. Mihai Bravu. The traffic in Bucharest has however improved since the opening of the 1.9 km Basarab flyover, and more recently, with the Mihai Bravu flyover. Driving in Bucharest is not the easiest task, although we have heard of more hectic driving in other countries. Traffic is a problem here. Some of the streets are also bad, so expect some potholes. The rush hours — mornings and the end of the work day — are sometimes impossible, while some routes are clogged with traffic all day — Splaiul Independenței, Calea Victoriei, Piața Unirii, Bălcescu Blvd. Magheru Blvd., Piața Romană and Piața Victoriei. Sometimes drivers do not respect traffic lights, nor do they see anything wrong with driving off-road or parking on the pavement! The biggest challenge, apart from getting used to these in the first place, will be to stop yourself from doing the same after a while! Avoid going from south to north during rush hours. Expect to hear a lot of honking while driving, especially during traffic jams. To check the state of traffic in Bucharest, visit Google maps and use its Traffic feature for Bucharest. It also shows traffic on the main highways in Romania.

Road tax If you are moving to Romania with your car or are even just driving through, you have to pay the Romanian road tax, which is called Rovinietă. The authorities will be able to check electronically whether you have bought a Rovinietă or not, as cameras have been installed at city exits.

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Transport 39

The tax can be paid for a period of seven days (€3), thirty days (€7), ninety days (€13) and one year (€28), and can be paid in RON at current exchange rates. Most gas stations sell the Rovinietă — try Petrom and Rompetrol.

Car towing Cars are parked almost everywhere, including on pavements, at pedestrian crossings, at bus stops, on corners and where “No Parking” signs are clearly posted! There used to be a lot of confusion about car towing in recent years, as it was enforced differently across Bucharest. Car towing was suspended in mid-2015 pending unified rules.

Accidents Romanian law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident to stop immediately at the scene of the crash, and to find out if anyone is hurt. If someone is injured, call 112 right away and try to provide the injured person all reasonable assistance, including transport to a doctor or hospital. You must also report to a police station. For minor accidents, there is an option available which does not involve the police, which is called “constatare amiabilă” or “friendly resolution.” Your insurance company will issue a form that you can use. If the accident resulted in only material damages, you must go to a Collision Damage Bureau to obtain repair permits, within 24 hours of the crash.

Getting out of Bucharest

Parking Parking is one of the biggest issues in Bucharest. Most office buildings and shopping centers have adequately sized parking lots, but the municipality itself does not offer many options. There are several public car parks however — check the listings section of this guide. To park your car near your home, the municipality offers the option of renting parking places outside your building. After you have bought your parking place from your sector’s office you can mark it with your car registration number. Avoid using someone else’s paid spot as they may damage your car if you do so a couple of times in a row. People tend to get very angry about this in Bucharest. If someone takes your parking place, you can use the Romanian method honk your horn until they come and move their car. It is surprisingly effective. If they do not come, or it happens more than once, lift up their windshield wipers this will let them know they are in the wrong spot!

Most Romanians love to get out of Bucharest on weekends, either to the seaside or to the mountains, depending on the season. The most popular Bucharest exits are the Sun Highway in the east to go to the coast, the Bucharest–Ploiești Highway to go north, and the DN1, also to the north, via Otopeni, which goes to Ploiești and the mountain resorts in the Prahovei Valley. Another exit to the west on A1 Highway towards Pitești is the main road to western Romania, and an alternative route for those heading to Transylvania. The Romanian railway company CFR (Căile Ferate Române) provides a reliable and often scenic means of transport to destinations outside Bucharest. Information in English, or Alternatively, several private railway operators run routes throughout the country. For CFR, you can buy tickets in advance for all trains at Bucharest’s main railway station (Gara de Nord). Visitors departing within 24 hours, however, must buy their tickets at the relevant train station, where queues can be long. For Transport listings, with contact data and more hints, go to page 132.

Bucharest Practical Handbook: Transport 40

Bucharest Practical Listings Directory Full edition contents. Purchase it at ʡʡ Eating & Drinking, including 


ʡʡ Restaurants on main cuisines and Catering & Delivery 


ʡʡ Cafes & Tea Houses 


ʡʡ Pubs & Bars and Beer Halls 


ʡʡ Wine Bars & Street Food 


ʡʡ Hotels & Travel 


ʡʡ Legal & Business, including 


ʡʡ Main Authorities 


ʡʡ Law Firms & Various Consultancy 


ʡʡ Chambers of Commerce 


ʡʡ Education & Language 


ʡʡ Traffic & Transport 


ʡʡ House & Home 


ʡʡ Fun 


ʡʡ Shopping, including 


ʡʡ Traditional Markets & Ethnic Food 


ʡʡ Shopping Centers 


ʡʡ Maternity & Children 


ʡʡ Personal Care & Development 


ʡʡ Health Care 


ʡʡ Culture & Arts 


ʡʡ Sports 


41 City Compass

Eating and drinking Restaurants AMERICAN & STEAK HOUSES Antricot

a148B Calea Floreasca, (inside Promenada Mall) t+40217 950 960


a8 Șoseaua Nordului, Herăstrău t+40720 100 400 They serve steaks and sushi, a common combination in South America.

Aria Gourmet Burger

a2 Slănic St., Bucharest t+40773 778 860 Open-kitchen concept, burgers, wraps and salads.

Barbizon Steak House

a10 Montreal Square (inside Pullman Hotel) t+40213 183 000

Black Buffalo Kitchen & Bar a3 Decebal Blvd. t+40740 040 050 

Buffalo Baz

a7 Calea Floreasca t+40736 368 335 

Burger Bar

a182 Calea Dorobanți aNicolae Șelari Entrance, Old �own t+4021 233 9096

Champions – American Sports Bar and Restaurant

The Beef Club

a90 Calea 13 Septembrie (J� Marriott Grand Hotel Bucharest) t+40214 031 917 

a30A Ermil Pangratti St. t+40788 904 244 The same chain as Red Angus also highly recommended.



a262 Prelungirea Ghencea t+40799 358 585  Gourmet burgers, Scandinavian decor.

Hard Rock Café

a32 Kiseleff St. (inside Herăstrău Park) t+40212 066 261 Bucharest The famous restaurant now also serves vegetarian dishes.

JW Steakhouse

a90 Calea 13 Septembrie (inside J� Marriott Bucharest hotel) t+40214 031 903


a12 Duzilor St. t+40799 630 693 They serve tasty burgers.

a111 Calea Floreasca t+40731 351 135

White Horse

a4A Călinescu George St. t+40212 312 795

Zvetto Burger Bar

a3 - 5 Ion Minulescu St., Bucharest t+40728 875 665

BRITISH Peter’s Kitchen Bistro

a6 Speranței St. t+40742 580 686 Focused on British cuisine, also serves other international dishes.



Taverna La Ceflica

Prime Steaks & Seafood


a19-21 Primăverii Blvd. t+40215 683 031

a63-81 Calea Victoriei, B-4 (inside Radisson Blu hotel) t+40213 119 000 hotel-bucharest/restaurants

Red Angus Steakhouse

a56 Franceză St. t+40756 600 000  Tender, juicy steaks and burgers, highly recommended.

a1 Șos. Ștefan Cel Mare t+40212 339 798

5 Elemente

a15 Icoanei St. t+40766 331 511

Chong Qing

a28 Pache Protopopescu Blvd. t+40731 383 952

Nan Jing

a2-4 Gheorghe Manu St. t+40213 181 285

Bucharest Practical Listings: Eating & Drinking 42

Orașul Interzis

a3 Silvestru St. t+40314 254 747

Qian Bao

a2 Intrarea Baba Novac t+4 0722 622 865

Wu Xing

a6E Dimitrie Pompeiu Blvd. t+40722 830 330

FAST FOOD Most of these fast food outlets have several locations throughout the city below we list one main location for each. Check their websites for more locations.

Calif Three such restaurants selling shaorma, kebabs and dills with some interesting ingredient combinations.

Dristor Kebab

a1 Camil Ressu St. t+40213 468 100


t+4021 303 9913 (near Unirea Shopping Center) Many other restaurants in the city.

Nord see

aAFI Palace Cotroceni t+40734 272 212

Pizza Hut

a5-7 Calea Dorobanți t+4021 201 1755

Pizza Hut Delivery

t+40212 101 010


a1 Nicolae �itulescu Blvd. t+ 0721782929

FRENCH Ici et Là

Veranda Casa Frumoasa

a38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40731 453 608 Ici et Là is a French Restaurant situated in the heart of Bucharest, just two steps from Cișmigiu Park. Vanessa & Philippe Dupré welcome you to a friendly atmosphere in pure French style at the 6th floor of the famous Cișmigiu Hotel.

Galli, Rôtisserie Française a6 G-ral Christian �ell St. t+4021 313 8230 

La Cantine de Nicolai

a15-17 Povernei St. t+40725 210 608

Le Fin Palais Royal

a13 Amzei Square t+40213 136 464


a33 �eodor Iliescu St. t+4021 233 9079

FUSION & FINE DINING Joseph by Joseph Hadad

a8 Dr. Ion Cantacuzino St. t+40753 999 333 Among the best fine dining options in the city, as well as one of the most expensive.

Madame Pogany

a5 Clopotarii Vechi St. t+40733 735 932

GERMAN Casa Warsteiner

a132 Uverturii St. t+40732 919 524 

Die Deutsche Kneipe

a9 Stockholm St. t+40722 284 560

GREEK Amvrosia

a11 Drumul Bisericii St. t+40722 227 465

La Kostas Taverna

a237 �raian St. t+40733 567 827

La Zavat

a16 Popa Nan St. t+40766 526 791/ 021 252 29 56

LNKO Souvlaki & Grill

a3-5 Pierre de Coubertin Blvd., inside Mega Mall t+40736 887 307 

Meze Taverna

a6 Nicolae �onitza St. t+40215 395 353


a40-44 Banu Antonache St. t+40735 091 532 




a30 Oltețului St. t+40747 083 083

a3 Episcopul Radu St. t+40212 110 390

a36 Iancu Căpitanu St. t+40212 525 157

43 City Compass

Kumar’s Agra Palace a6 Mântuleasa St. t+40764 523 202


a127-131 Calea 13 Septembrie t+40748 133 300


a2-5 Presei Libere Square, City Gate South �ower, 18th fl. t+40733 501 401 Great view over Bucharest from this top-floor restaurant.

Beca’s Kitchen

a80 Mihai Eminescu St. t+40744 344 700

Casa di David

a7-9 Șoseaua Nordului t+40212 324 715

Chefs Experience

a55 Calea Floreasca t+40723 856 916

Chez Marie

a48 Dionisie Lupu St. t+40730 344 810

Chico Chillout

a10 �onitza St. t+40733 324 426


a1 Poligrafiei St. (inside Crowne Plaza hotel) t+40212 240 034

Corso Brasserie

a4 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd. (inside Intercontinental Hotel) t+40213 102 020


a1 Șerban Petrescu St. t+40726 555 679 Three restaurants in Bucharest.


a23 George Enescu St. t+40785 238 910 

Iconic Food Wine & Design a7 Aleea Alexandru t+40720 333 541

La Samuelle

a3-5 Charles de Gaulle Square t+40730 173 180 This venue has an international menu and proposes the ‘gourmet travelling’ concept.

La Veranda

a1 Poligrafiei St. (inside Crowne Plaza Hotel) t+40212 240 034

Naan Food & Drink Studio

a26 C.A. Rosetti St. t+40721 662 114

Salon Golescu

a17 Nicolae Golescu St. t+40314 360 338


a26 Negustori St. t+4021 310 2700 


a1A Șos. București Ploiești (inside Bucharest Business Park office building) t+40744 777 043

The Garden

a90 Calea 13 Septembrie (J� Marriott Grand Hotel Bucharest) t+40214 031 919 �MarriottGarden

Victoriei 18

a16 - 20 Calea Victoriei t+40740 100 171  Restaurant doubling as showcase for Romanian design products.

Vivolis Flavors

a155 Șos. București-Ploiești t+40785 280 226 An international menu, reflecting the owners’ passion for travel.

Vu’s Rooftop

a6 Splaiul Unirii, B3A Block, 8th Fl. t+40767 666 687 High-level dining, with a panoramic view of the Unirii area.

ITALIAN Grano Italian Fine Food  a40 Puțul lui Zamfir St. t+40212 312 386 One of the author’s favorite Italian restaurants in town, run by Giulio Da Sacco. It also hosts a small delicatessen shop.

Roberto’s  a1-3 Episcopiei St. (inside Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel) t+40731 305 777 Choose to experience “pura cucina italiana” in this elegant restaurant, an ideal venue for lunch or dinner. Savor delicious antipasti and a wide range of Italian wines, while taking in the views from the restaurant’s charming terrace opened during summertime.

Bocca Lupo

a1 Joseph Lister St. t+40314 050 050 a87 Alexandru Șerbănescu St. (inside Phoenicia Hotel) t+40316 201 243

Bucharest Practical Listings: Eating & Drinking 44

Caffé Città

Patrizia Ristorante

Sushi Room


Pizzeria Capricciosa Ristorante


a63-81 Calea Victoriei St., (inside Radisson Blu Hotel) t+40213 119 000 

a90 Calea 13 Septembrie (J� Marriott Grand Hotel Bucharest) t+42021 4031 902 �MarriottCucina

Cucina Borghese

a33 Jean Louis Calderon St. t+40213 131 119

Fior di Poesia

a76 Aviatorilor Blvd. t+40744 502 000

Gallo Nero

a239 Calea Dorobanți t+40728 246 925

a12 Mihail Moxa St. t+40731 202 027

a2 Ion Ionescu de la Brad Blvd. t+40722 224 799 Great for lunch meetings on the way to or from the airport.

Quattro Stagioni

a1 Mareșal Prezan Blvd. t+40723 196 380


a11 Ion Câmpineanu St. t+40731 333 311


a2-4 Episcopiei St. t+40213 132 707

a40-44 Banu Antonache St. t+40314 290 280


a5 Puțul lui Zamfir St. t+40761 341 667

Zen Sushi

a56 Grigore Alexandrescu St. t+4 0721 755 455 They have more restaurants in the city.


a94 Basarabia Blvd. t+40722 752 832

Chez Toni

Terra e Fuoco

Coin Vert

a7-9 Șos. Nordului, Herăstrău Park t+40723 286 742


El Bacha



Il Locale

a7 -9 Soseaua Nordului t+40723 340 420 

La Fattoria

a4 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd. (inside Intercontinental hotel) t+40213 102 020

Osteria Ciao Niki

a90 Mihai Eminescu St. t+40734 356 217 Small, popular venue, tasty food, daily menu varies.

Osteria Gioia

a16 Ion Mihalache Blvd. t+40734 044 642

a63 Ion Neculce St. t+40311 071 650

a29 Popa Savu St. t+40212 227 210


a5-7 Calea Dorobanților (inside Sheraton hotel) t+40212 015 030 

Edo Sushi

a122 Calea Victoriei t+40735 111 001

Kanpai Bistro

a49 George Călinescu St. t+40371 184 961

a3 Glodeni St. t+40740 007 878

a75 Sandu Aldea St. t+40213 192 439

a6 Alba Iulia Square t+40212 691 392

Four Seasons

a177 Calea Dorobanților t+40722 216 666


a8 Armenească St. t+40213 135 060

Piccolo Mondo

a9 Clucerului St. t+40212 225 755


a103 Calea Calarasilor t+40727 730 819

45 City Compass


a2 Nicolae Caramfil St. t+40737 299 900

MONGOLIAN QuanQuan Mongol


a1A Ion Ionescu de la Brad St. t+40212 692 189



a3 Cristian Radu St. t+40744 496 577 


a5-7 Calea Dorobanților (inside the Sheraton hotel) t+40212 015 030


a49 Jean Louis Calderon St. t+40727 239 239 East Mediterranean cuisine.


a21-23 I.L. Caragiale St t+40765 433 305  Contemporary Mediterranean cuisine.

Sharkia - East Mediterranean Cuisine

a63-81 Calea Victoriei St., (inside Radisson Blu Hotel) t+40216 013 600 

Sole Restaurant

a48 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd. t+40740 403 333


a30 Iancu Căpitanu St. t+40212 526 688

La Tortilla

a90 Dornei St. t+40731 221 121 They do home deliveries.

La Plăcinte

Bread & Spices

a4 Șos. Pipera t+40770 695 416 


a6 Episcopiei St. t+40743 777 807

a49 Nicolae Caramfil St. t+4031 4108 021 Moldavian dishes, mainly pies with all sorts of fillings. They have other restaurants in town.



Cofetaria Vanilla


a4 Corneliu Coposu St. t+4021 326 6095 Several other confectionery shops across Bucharest.


a123-125 Șos. Mihai Bravu t+40744 486 465 Great cakes, including for special occasions. Usually very popular among buyers, and quite crowded sometimes.

Ana Baking Co.

a134 Calea Dorobanților t+40311 017 405

Brot Manufactur

a30 Nicolae Caramfil St. t+0314 258 223


a3 Popa Savu St. t+40721 754 054 Pastry and confectionery lab. They make deserts on-demand and sell gluten-free, raw-vegan sweets.

aBăneasa Shopping City t+40213 065 505 Very good cinnamon rolls and cupcakes. More units in shopping malls — check their website.

a47 Mihai Bravu St. t+40731 909 009  Amazing cakes — highly reccommended!

Crêperie d’Amour

t+ 0726 301 317

French Bakery

a18 Paris St. t+40212 205 321 More locations in Bucharest check their website.

Le Grenier a Pain

a87 Nicolae Caramfil st. t+40212 331 916

Maison Laduree

a126-130 Calea Dorobanților t+40755 747 325 


a15-19 Regina Elisabeta Blvd.  Plus other locations throughout Bucharest.

Rue du Pain

a111-113 Calea Floreasca t+40213 120 060

Bucharest Practical Listings: Eating & Drinking 46


a9 Emanoil Porumbaru St. t+40720 928 278

Fitto Cafe Victoriei

a4-8 Nicolae �itulescu Blvd. t+40752 148 401 This cafe focuses on fresh and healthy eating and plans its menus accordingly. They serve a Lawyer Breakfast and a Dr. Order one. Catering service available, plus new location in Floreasca.

Ostraw Vegan

The Livingroom Café

a3 Hristo Botev St. t+40723 694 937  This vegetarian and vegan restaurant does breakfast and brunch and doubles as a sandwich shop.

ROMANIAN Caru’ cu Bere

a5 Stavropoleos St., Old Town t+40726 282 373 One of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest, always crowded with foreigners.

La Mircea Măcelaru’

a15 Maior Alexandru Câmpeanu St. t+40737 521 738 This venue serves traditional Romanian food. A butchery is also available, as is a catering service.

La Nenea Iancu

a55 Romulus St. t+40747 020 603 


a13 Toamnei St. t+40212 112 480


a58 Ferdinand Blvd. t+40725 683 426 Raw-vegan sweets.

Casa Doina

a4 Șoseaua Kiseleff t+40212 226 717

aPescăruș Alley, inside the Herăstrău park t+40731 330 034


Hanu’ Berarilor

Zexe Zahana

a50-52 Puțul lui Zamfir St. t+40784 203 251 Restaurant, shop and home deliveries.

Salad Box

aMajority of Bucharest malls. Chain of restaurants with units in most Bucharest malls and across Romania. They serve salads and soups, with the option to choose your salad ingredients out of many.


a25 Banu Manta Blvd. t+40736 392 587

Soup Up

a14 București Nord Road, Voluntari, inside Pipera Mall t+40799 144 896  Soup bar, serving a wide selection, including raw and vegetarian soups. Salads also available.

a2 Poenaru Bordea St. t+40213 368 009

Hanu’ lui Manuc

a62-64 Franceză St., Old �own t+40730 188 653 This restaurant is famous in the Bucharest Old Town, and is run by the City Grill Group, the same as Caru’ cu Bere.


a50-52 Georgescu St. t+40213 353 338

La Ceaunu’ Crapat

a7 Masaryk �homas St. t+40730 614 108

La Conu’ Iancu

a24 Prof. Dr. Mihail Georgescu St. t+40213 263 036

La Mama

a9 Episcopiei St. t+40213 129 797

a80 Icoanei St. t+40732 232 424


a4 Popa �atu St. t+40721 384 983

Don Quijote

a14 Bucuresti Nord Road t+40735 512 838 wfb/donquijoteenrumania

El Puerto Iberico

a61-63 Calea Dorobanți t+40735 042 546 wfb/marcosantoniocanoruiz

La Finca by Alioli

a77 Grigore Alexandrescu St. t+40767 150 500

La Rambla

a8 Grigore Alexandrescu St., (Victoriei Square) t+40213 131 002

47 City Compass

Pata Negra

a21 Crișana St. t+40734 349 076


a78 Căderea Bastiliei St. t+40722 510 583

THAI Kunnai

a6-12 Copilului St. t+40722 687 343

Tuk Tuk

a15 Puțul lui Zamfir St. t+4031 109 9670 wfb/�uk-�uk


a7-9 Șos. Nordului t+40756 990 999

Les Ottomans

a26 Iancu Căpitanu St. t+40722 600 630

Kafeterya Café

a8 Schitu Măgureanu Blvd. t+40726 222 567 Cafe and restaurant serving several Turkish dishes.

Toan’s – Vietnamese

a12-14 Magheru Blvd. t+40737 053 128  Vietnamese fast food; delivery also available.

Catering & delivery Many restaurants in Bucharest also provide catering and delivery services — below you can find the listings for a selection of them. If you have a favorite restaurant, ask if they also do home deliveries.

Big Daddy Burgers

Fabio make some of the best pizzas in town, with interesting recipes, and the choice of ordering a wholewheat base.


t+40736 673 165 Delivers fresh fruit to your office every week based on a longterm contract. The website is in Romanian, but you can call and order the products to be delivered to your door.

Jerry’s Pizza

a21 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd. t+40373 303 030 Night service also available in Bucharest.

aCalea Buzești t+40720 534 534 Freshly-made burgers.

Noodles Bar

Bucate pe Roate Catering

a11 Rabat St. t+40733 725 282

t+40721 282 283 Catering for events and home food delivery.

Candy Cat

t+40216 487 059 Pastry and cake deliveries

Coșul de Legume

a2 Cameliei St. t+40786 304 245

Salad Revolution


a25 Banu Manta St. t+40736 392 587 Vegetarian, home deliveries.


a169 Calea Floreasca t+40724 228 958

Sector Gurmand


t+40751 164 015 Coșul de Legume (which translates as ‘The Vegetable Basket’) delivers fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as jams and traditional homepreserved fruits and vegetables. Online orders also possible — website in Romanian.

Li-Wu Vietnamese Fast Food

Diet To Go

Trenta Pizza


a247 Șos. Mihai Bravu t+40785 551 050

a26 Șos. Ștefan cel Mare t+40730 201 111

Thang Long

a11 Bucur St. t+40763 725 353

t+40721 764 752 Home or office delivery of full diet plan meals.

Fabio Pizza

t+40372 188 330

t+40733 722 126 Food delivery, with daily menus, including a vegetarian one.

Sushi Mania

a79-91 �raian Popovici St. t+40213 278 744

t+4021 9645

Wok pe Loc

a6 Grigore Ionescu St. t+40 770 253 780 Asian food delivery service.

Bucharest Practical Listings: Eating & Drinking 48

Cafés & tea houses Café Athénée 

t+40216 502 020 A nice garden terrace tucked away from the Magheru boulevard.


a6D Dimitrie Pompeiu Blvd. Many other locations in Bucharest, mostly in shopping malls and office buildings, plus one in Old Town.

a1-3 Episcopiei St. (inside Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel) t+40213 033 777 Enjoy the coziness of Café Athénée and unwind with a glass of wine, French dishes and gourmet pastry while looking out onto the bustling Revolution Square. As the sun sets, the restaurant transforms into a comfortable lounge.

Green Hours

a7 Grigore Romniceanu St. t+40723 175 300 A nice café in a villa next to the only stair–street in Bucharest.

The Coffee Factory

4+ Social Caffe

La Scena

The Coffee Shop


Kahve Dünyası

a37 I.D. Mendeleev St. t+4021 313 4482 Social economy project supporting the ‘suspended coffee’ concept.

a3 �oma Caragiu 3 t+40213 104 788

Camera din Față

a22 Mendeleev St. t+40213 111 512

Cărturești Garden (Café Verona)

a13-15 Pictor Arthur Verona St. t+40732 003 050 A beautiful and popular terrace behind the Cărturești bookshop.

a120 Calea Victoriei t+40788 452 485 This is a jazz café known for the many live performances it hosts.


a55 Calea Călărașilor t+40724 081 810 Also hosts theater events.

a55 - 59 Calea Vitan (inside Bucuresti Mall Vitan) t+40213 230 055


a8 Arcului St. t+40212 109 696

Nespresso Boutique

a120 Calea Dorobanților t+40800 008 300 The venue falls under the luxury retail line of the brand.

Sky Bar

a155 Calea Dorobanților t+40724 759 227

a54 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40731 065 207

a5 Băniei St. t+40756 077 399

Tucano Coffee

a18 Calea Dorobanților t+40763 032 930

Pubs & bars Blå Lounge Bar

a63-81 Calea Victoriei St., (inside Radisson Blu Hotel) t+4021 210 5422

Brasserie Cotroceni

a3-5 Ernest Juvara St. t+40786 346 346


Readers Café

Crowne Café Bar

Grand Café Galleron

Share Café

Copper’s Pub

a42 Prof. Ștefan Mihăileanu St. t+40752 688 759 

a18 A Nicolae Golescu St. t+40213 124 565

Grădina OAR

a19 Pictor Arthur Verona St.

a56-60 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd. t+40737 323 377

a8 Olari St. t+40374 644 700  Cafe opened as part of a social economy project.

a1 Poligrafiei St. (inside Crowne Plaza Hotel) t+40212 240 034

a25 Hristo Botev Blvd. t+40787 655 876 �heatre

Fabrica Club

a50, 11 Iunie St.

49 City Compass

t+40213 350 323 This venue gathers in one place a bar, pub, billiard & darts and a playground for children.

Gradina Dorobanti

a44 Calea Dorobantilor t+40726 577 898

Journey Pub

a25 George Enescu St. t+40213 152 090

Lokal Gastropub

Weiss Beer Garden a132 Uverturii Blvd. t+40733 582 852

Wine bars Bruno Wine Bar

a3 Covaci St. t+40757 557 291

Winestone Victoriei 37

a37B Calea Victoriei (inside Novotel Hotel) t+40213 088 530 �inestone-Victoriei

a57 A Eminescu St. t+40732 450 658

Piua Book Bar

a76 Dionisie Lupu t+40727 337 441  An all in one book and gifts store and bar.

Beer halls Berăria Bragadiru

a157 Calea Rahovei t+40737 500 150 

Berăria H

a32 Kiseleff Blvd., inside Herăstrău park t+40725 345 345

Berăria Nenea Iancu

a3 Covaci St., Old �own t+40752 034 171

Berăria Siegfried

a19 Șos. Orhideelor t+40756 014 040


a38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40731 422 181

Street food The street-food trend is catching on in the capital.


t+40721 233 276 Wood-fired pizza and pies.

Duma’s Van

a89-97 Alexandru Grigorescu St. t+40724 483 017  Mexican dishes.

Escobar Café

a25 Nicolae Caramfil Coffee van found in various locations.

French Kiss

a43 Pipera Road t+40758 099 148�ryFrenchKiss Various type of gourmet crepes.

Grano Food Truck

a1 Dimitrie Pompeiu St. t+40747 042 711 Pasta, pizza and other Italian dishes by Grano.

Squadra Pizza della Strada

a 4 Șelari St. t+40760 660 959 Twelve types of Italian-style pizza.

Sunday Bagels and Coffee

a2-4 George Constantinescu St. t+40748 786 329

Urban Burger

a+40733 979 062 Gourmet burgers and hot dogs.

Van Fruct

w Juice bar & specialty coffee.

Voyageur Van

t+40757 708 836

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Bucharest Practical Listings: Hotels & Travel

Hotels & travel

Hotel Epoque

a17C Intrarea Aurora t+40213 123 232

Intercontinental Hotel

FIVE-STAR HOTELS Athénée Palace Hilton 

a1-3 Episcopiei St. t+40213 033 777 Set in the heart of the city center, Athénée Palace Hilton is a historic landmark offering upscale accommodation and warm hospitality, a wealth of premium amenities, such as a fully equipped Fitness Centre, a Health Club and a Casino, and great food options in the two restaurants, on the summer terrace and in English Bar.

Snagov Club

a1B Aleea Nufărului St., Snagov t+40213 526 079 Snagov Club can be your fun paradise and your relaxation oasis at the same time. A pool bar with palm trees and good music, Conference Center, a beautiful SPA Center, 3 restaurants, The Lake Pavilion, pier, generous garden and luxury rooms.

Casa Capșa

a36 Calea Victoriei t+40213 134 038

Carol Parc

a23-25 Aleea Șuter St. t+40213 363 377

Grand Hotel Continental a56 Calea Victoriei t+40372 121 721

a4 Nicolae Bălcescu Blvd. t+40213 102 020

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel

a90 Calea 13 Septembrie t+40214 030 000 

Marshal Garden Hotel a50B Calea Dorobanților t+40213 194 444

Radisson Blu

a63-81 Calea Victoriei t+40213 119 000

Sheraton Bucharest Hotel

a5-7 Calea Dorobanților t+40212 015 000 The former Howard Johnson hotel


This hotel has both three-star and four-star rooms.

Arc de Triomphe Hotel

a19 Clucerului St. t+40372 150 700

Capital Plaza Hotel

a54 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd. t+40372 080 080

Caro Golf

a164 A Barbu Văcărescu Blvd. t+40212 086 100 A three-and two-star mix.


a13 Brezoianu St. t+040213 155 635

Christina Hotel

a13 Ion Slătineanu St. t+40212 107 303

Crystal Palace


a18-20 Alexandru Șerbănescu St. t+40212 332 030

Hotel Cișmigiu 

Crowne Plaza

a38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40314 030 500 Enjoy one of our 60 suites and fully equipped apartments, designed for your comfort! The hotel also harbours the Gambrinus Restaurant, as well as a decadent top-floor terrace and the French restaurant „Ici Et La” on the 6th floor, an efficient Business Center with 7 meeting rooms and a practical underground parking.

Amzei Hotel

a8 Piața Amzei t+40213 139 400

a1 Poligrafiei Blvd. t+40212 240 034

Domenii Plaza Hotel

a33 Alexandru Constantinescu St. t+40372 150 700

Double Tree by Hilton a3A Nerva �raian St. t+40212 006 270 

Duke Hotel

a33 Dacia Blvd. t+40213 174 186

52 City Compass

Europa Royale

a60 Franceză St. (Old �own) t+40213 191 798

Golden Tulip Times

a19 Decebal Blvd. t+40312 295 090

Golden Tulip Victoria

a166 Calea Victoriei t+40212 125 558

Grand Boutique Hotel

a1B Negustori St. t+40314 256 230

K+K Hotel Elisabeta

a26 Slănic St. t+40213 029 280

La Conac

a367B Odăi Road t+40372 150 700

Lafayette Hotel

a1 Ferdinand Blvd. t+40212 569 080

Mercure Bucharest City Center

a15-17A George Enescu St. t+40372 426 000

NH Hotel

a21 Mircea Vodă Blvd. t+40213 000 545

Novotel Bucharest City Centre a37B Calea Victoriei t+40213 088 500

Orhideea Residence & Spa a145 Calea Plevnei t+40215 696 360

Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence

a2-4 Luterană St. t+40216 103 600

Phoenicia Grand Hotel

a87 Alexandru Șerbănescu Blvd. t+40213 000 888

Pullman Bucharest World Trade Center a10 Montreal Square t+40213 183 000

Ramada Plaza

Ibis Gara de Nord a143 Calea Griviței t+40213 009 110

Ibis Parliament

a82-84 Izvor St. t+40214 011 011

Opera Hotel

a37 Brezoianu St. t+40213 124 855

Rembrandt Hotel

a11 Smârdan St. (Old Town) t+40213 139 315

a3-5 Poligrafiei Blvd. t+40215 493 000

Volo Hotel

Ramada Majestic


a38-40 Calea Victoriei t+40213 102 715

Sarroglia Hotel

a59 Vasile Lascăr St. t+40314 126 000


a2 Pompiliu Eliade St. t+40213 106 872 w

THREE-STAR HOTELS Avis Boutique Hotel a10 Aerogării Blvd. t+40212 324 478

Hanu’ Berarilor Hotel

a2 Poenaru Bordea St. t+0314 382 632 Freshly renovated and located in an historic building, which also hosts a restaurant by the same name.

a6 Schitu Măgureanu St. t+40213 133 323

R’Urban by PoemBoem  t+40723 347 103 Home away, elegant short term rental, self-catering apartment in Armenească, Icoanei area, in central Bucharest. Welcome to R’Urban by PoemBoem!


a33 George Valentin Bibescu St. t+40212 320 406

Hotel Bucuresti – SS Residence Apart-Hotels a40 – 42 Cuza Voda St. t+40720 533 355


a143 Calea Griviței (close to North Railway Station). t+40372 121 800 Chain hotel run by Continental Hotels.

Bucharest Practical Listings: Hotels & Travel

HOSTELS Antique Hostel

a2A Splaiul Independentei t+40314 258 519

The Cozyness Downtown a28 Drumea Rădulescu St. t+40770 357 448

Friends Hostel

a114 Mircea Vulcănescu St. t+40318 053 414

The Midland Hostel

a22 Bizerica Amzei St. t+40213 145 323

Pura Vida Sky Bar & Hostel a7 Smârdan St. t+40786 329 134

X Hostel

a9 Bălcești St. t+40213 674 912


t+40213 141 492


t+4031 9998 They offer holidays to exotic places, including with tour guides.


t+40364 803 888


Happy Tour

t+40213 070 600

Himalaya Adventure

t+40722 619 099


t+4021 9448

Paralela 45

t+40213 148 436

Perfect Tour

t+403110 19736


t+40374 977 700

TUI Travel Center

t+40314 387 321

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54 City Compass

Supporters The full edition of this book was kindly supported by the following partners, who either advertised in it, or ordered special branded editions in print or digital.

5Senses Romania

t+40724 878 750 The 5 senses holiday experience.

AGS Movers

a256 Basarabia Blvd. t+40213 450 666 AGS Movers provides national and international moving services, storage, relocation and records management. Free pre-move visits and quotations.

American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania)

a11 Ion Câmpineanu St., Union International Center, 4th Floor t+40213 124 834 The American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham Romania) is the first choice for advocacy and business growth in

Romania, representing over 400 members - U.S., international and local companies, large corporations, SMEs and entrepreneurial businesses alike, with total investments in Romania worth over UDS 20 billion.

Athénée Palace Hilton is a historic landmark offering upscale accommodation and warm hospitality, a wealth of premium amenities, such as a fully equipped Fitness Centre, a Health Club and a Casino, and great food options in the two restaurants, on the summer terrace and in English Bar.

American International School of Bucharest

Băneasa Shopping City

a196 Pipera Blvd., Voluntari t+40212 044 300 AISB was founded in 1962 by the US Embassy to serve the educational needs of the American and international expatriate community. AISB has a richly diversified population of approximately 820 students from 56 nationalities attending Early Childhood 2 through Grade 12. Romanians comprise approximately 30% of the student population.

a42D București - Ploiești St., District 1, Bucharest t+40213 065 505 The commercial centre Băneasa Shopping City is leading the Romanian fashion and entertainment market, by offering its customers a unique mix of brands that can satisfy even the most demanding desires in terms of shopping, from the internationally renowned to Romanian designers shops, as well as a variety of fine restaurants and cafes.

Athenee Palace Hilton

Bucharest Running Club

a1-3 Episcopiei St. t+40213 033 777 Set in the heart of the city center,

a7 Brazilia St., Bucharest, Romania t+4 0762 405 184

Supporters 55 We believe within a future world where sport will support each individual to go beyond its physical and emotional limits, beyond any material or financial constrain, contributing to its own and community life’s ideals fulfillment as well. Bucharest Running Club premier events: Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon, OMV Petrom Bucharest Half Marathon, Uniqa Asigurari Bucharest 10K & Family Run.

care of your dental health and smile . We speak English, german, French and Italian.

Café Athénée

a1-3 Episcopiei Street (inside Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel) t+40213 033 777 Enjoy the coziness of Café Athénée and unwind with a glass of wine, French dishes and gourmet pastry while looking out onto the bustling Revolution Square. As the sun sets, the restaurant transforms into a comfortable lounge.

in leisure and entertainment market in Romania. From operating the biggest indoor (Divertiland Playland) and outdoor entertainment parks and venues (Divertiland) to supplying equipment to home&corporate parties, Divertiland offers customized solutions for all type of events/ parties and top quality services and products(Carousel Events).

DSBU – Deutsche Schule Bukarest București Mall - Vitan

a55-59 Calea Vitan, District 3, Bucharest t+40213 276 700 The first modern shopping center in Romania that has recently went through a complex reconfiguration process, București Mall is the ideal destination for fashionistas, who benefit from the fabulous events it hosts and from the mix of wellknown, cutting-edge and exclusive brands this mall has to offer.

Dental 24/7

a34 I.C. Bratianu Blvd., 4th floor, apt/int 12, District 3, Bucharest t+40751 051 096 Leading dental clinic in Bucharest with the latest technology and experienced professionals, at fair costs. Surgery, implantology, aesthetic dentistry, orthodontics and endodontics are some of our top specialties. The highly qualified staff speaks 7 languages. We’re always on-call, ready to make appointments to suit your agenda. Come as you are!

Euro Mini Storage Romania a42 Theodor Pallady Blvd. t+40311 001 888

Clinica Dr. Vereanu

a22 Paris St. t+40212 310 808 We are a family dental clinic with high-level specialists in oral implantology and aesthetic dentistry welcoming adults, kids and teenagers alike. Our specialists cover all your needs. Just make an appointment, and we will take

a51 Aron Cotruș St. t+4021 210 60 70 Welcome to the German School Bucharest! The –DSBU– German School Bucharest, is the only school in Romania that fully follows the German curriculum and is accredited by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our very good teacher-to-pupils ratio encourages individual thinking and creativity in classes taught by native speakers.


t+4021 9446 (normal taxes apply based on your carrier) Divertiland is the biggest operator


a15-17 ion Mihalache Blvd. t+40214 024 000

56 City Compass

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 212,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients, and our wider communities achieve their potential.

Grano Italian Fine Food

aA40 Puțul lui Zamfir t+40212 312 386 One of the author’s favorite Italian restaurants in town, run by Giulio Da Sacco. The restaurant also hosts a small delicatessens shop.

Grecu & Partners Favorit Dental Clinic

a27 Drumul Taberei Blvd., building Z33, Apt. 3, District 6 t+40722 367 642 At Favorit Dental Clinic we are committed to providing the highest quality of dental care covering the entire spectrum of dental treatments, on a par with the ones in the West but at more affordable prices, in a friendly, efficient and caring environment. Our team is made of highly qualified and experienced professionals.

Gosselin Mobility

a20 Tamasi Street, Buftea t+40311 020 665 Gosselin Mobility offers international moves and relocation services for multinationals, expats, diplomats, military personnel and private persons. Gosselin employs 750 co-workers that generate more than 200 million euros in turnover. The company has 48 offices in 32 countries and has a strong presence in Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

a1 Pache Protopopescu Square, 2nd Floor, Apt. 6 t+40314 315 402 We are always dedicated in keeping the balance in the favor of our clients. The people with whom we work, attorneys and advisers, all experienced in Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, Labor Law, Advertising Law, Transport Law and Competition Law are committed to assist our clients with any legal advice.

Hotel Cișmigiu

a38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40314 030 500 Enjoy one of our 60 suites and fully equipped apartments, designed for your comfort! The hotel also harbours the Gambrinus Restaurant, as well as a decadent top-floor terrace and the French restaurant „Ici Et La” on the 6th floor, an efficient Business Center with 7 meeting rooms and a practical underground parking.

IBSEN - Language School

a8 Gen. Ion Florescu, 2nd floor, Bucharest t+40722 710 351 t+40746 644 773 Learn a new language and travel around the world. Choose from English, French, German, Spanish, to other languages such as Romanian, Sweedish, Russian and Greek!

Ici et Là

a38 Regina Elisabeta Blvd. t+40731 453 608 Ici et Là is a French Restaurant situated in the heart of Bucharest, just two steps from Cismigiu Park. Vanessa and Philippe Dupré welcome you to a friendly atmosphere in pure French style at the 6th floor of the famous Cismigiu Hotel.


a1 Fritz-Schäffer-Promenade, D – 94032 Passau, Germany t+49851 988 666-0 With offices in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China and Dubai, ICUnet.AG provides international

Supporters 57

solutions for 350+ companies: premium preparation for expatriates and their families, skills for global leadership and global teams. 160 full-time professionals support thousands of executives and employees in their missions abroad and revolutionize Global Mobility.

2 to 6 years old. English is the only language spoken throughout the school. Developing global citizens with 21st century skills who can move around the world with confidence!

Ion Rațiu Guesthouse

International School of Bucharest

a1R Gara Cățelu St., District 3 t+40213 069 530 The International School of Bucharest provides a high standard of education in English for over 800 students from 40 countries. ISB offers a British style education supported by the Cambridge Primary and Secondary Curriculum and adapted to suit the needs of our international students as well as those from our host country, Romania.

a1 Piața 1 Decembrie 1918, Turda, Romania t+40732 670 178  Located in Turda, Transylvania, Casa Rațiu is a historical family home, turned into a social business initiative to support the projects of the Rațiu Democracy Center. You can find us on Booking and Airbnb.

King’s Oak British International School

a72 Petre Aurelian St., Greenlake Residences t+40213 803 535 t+40213 803 838 King’s Oak British International School is set on the side of a lake only 10 minutes away from Pipera. The school focuses on developing the whole child, through a creative, skills based British curriculum. The classes are very small with an exceptionally high ratio of teachers to children. British Education - International Future.

Kuib Restaurant

a10C Gârbovei St., Cumpătu t+40732 127 737

Kathrin Weident Photography

IOANID International Kindergarden

aStejarii, 14 Jandarmeriei St., District 1 t+40746 041 000 A unique, purpose built school, situated in forest setting, offering education to children from Rising t+40 743 692 894 German artist offering high quality photography services with a personal touch to private and corporate clients. Personal and employee portraits, company presentations and any other project upon request. Kathrin’s photos, your story!

my romanian store

a6 Episcopiei St., Bucharest, Romania (behind Romanian Athenaeum) t+40724 505 010  my romanian store brings in one place the best of authentic Romanian handicraft! Only here you will find products made with passion by well-known artisans, as well as works of young designers. We welcome you to discover our

58 City Compass

ceramics, wood products, carpets, our famous national blouses ”ia”, as well as modern clothes and accessories. my romanian store handmade stories!

Poerner Romania Nomenius

a1 Pache Protopopescu Square t+40314 315 402

a28 B.P. Hasdeu St., Ploiesti, Romania t+40244 529 151 Poerner Group is a privately owned Austrian engineering company founded in 1972, working mainly in the refineries, chemical and petrochemical industries.

Piatra Șoimului

aComplex A10C Gârbovei St., Sinaia, Prahova county t+40244 310 302

Rilvan – Moving & Relocations

a29 Topraisar St., 1st District t+40212 219 546 t+40 729 989 562 We offer high-standard services: immigration and visa assistance; consultancy on all required permits; settling-in services; home and school search; spouse support; general mentoring on all newcomer issues you may meet, local and international household moving; packing and logistics; specialized art, pet and vehicle transportation. VIP airport assistance.

Questfield School

Plaza România

a26Z Timișoara Blvd., District 6, Bucharest t+40214 078 464 The trademark of this mall is the cozy shopping and leisure experience that it provides for both families and urban communities. Following its refurbishment, Plaza Romania offers a wide range of brands, a variety of events, art and urban exhibitions.

a26 Titu Maiorescu Street, Voluntari-Pipera, Ilfov t+40212 674 134 Questfield is an educational institution authorized by the Ministry of Education of Romania with a concept that implements its own educational curriculum based on the British model. Questfield consists of a pre-nursery, a nursery school, a primary school and a summer school program.


a1-3 Episcopiei Street (inside Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel) t+40731 305 777 Choose to experience “pura cucina italiana” in this elegant restaurant, an ideal venue for lunch or dinner. Savor delicious antipasti and a wide range of Italian wines, while taking in the views from the restaurant’s charming terrace opened during summer time.

R’Urban by PoemBoem

t+40723 347 103 Home away, elegant short term rental, self-catering apartment in Armenească, Icoanei area, in central Bucharest. Welcome to R’Urban by PoemBoem!

Rolang School

a28 Tudor Arghezi St., 5th floor t+40 734 936 290 ROLANG School specializes in teaching Romanian language to international students. Programs

Supporters 59

are suitable for adult students of all ages, as well as for the different language skills requirements. The school was founded in 2009 by Mona Moldoveanu Pologea, Ph.D. Linguist and it is a member of the European Language Council.

Snagov Club

a1B Aleea Nufărului St., Snagov Sat, Ilfov t+40213 526 079 Snagov Club can be your fun paradise and your relaxation oasis at the same time. A pool bar with palm trees and good music, Conference Center, a beautiful SPA Center, 3 restaurants, The Lake Pavilion, pier, generous garden and luxury rooms.

Terra Carpatica

a76 Bisericii St., Ratesti, Buzau, Romania t+40729 836 963 Terra Carpatica promotes slow food concepts and culinary treasures of the Carpathian Mountains. The portfolio comprises organisation of culinary tours & events, cooking classes and artisanal food workshops, catering services for business events and tourist groups as well as the production of artisanal Carpathian fine food and culinary souvenirs.


a169 Calea Floreasca Blvd., Cube Business-Hub, 1st Floor, District 1 t+40720 548 793 t+40721 276 836 TraducemBine is a language services provider offering specialized translation, localization services as well as interpreting services. We help our clients meet global business objectives through top-quality, on-time translations, promptitude and close communication. TraducemBine covers a variety of languages with expertise in various industries, and can support different content types.


a2 Dr. Nicolae Staicovici St., Opera Center II, 5th District, Bucharest Romania t+40 213 214 007 We are an international real estate organization with over 25 years of experience. The cornerstones of our operations are the management of portfolio properties and the development of commercial real estate, including residential development and sales.

Villa Poem Boem

aCumpătu Residential Area t+40723 347 103 t+40722 687 936

Enjoy an exclusive retreat in Sinaia at PoemBoem Villa and feel the refreshing air of the mountains in the peaceful garden with spring All Around Romania: Practical Listings 43 water. Indoor you will be charmed by the warm spirit of the villa, the beautiful decoration, fire place, sauna and high quality amenities. Perfect city getaway for families and romantic escapades!

World Class World Class is the leading fitness chain in Romania, operating 31 clubs around the country. In the summer of 2015, World Class Romania launched W, a new fitness and lifestyle concept embodying an urban holistic oasis, where members can enjoy tranquility and fitness classes in an exclusive and private setting.

Alphabetical Index 60

Alphabetical Index for the full edition 2

Mai – seaside  24-hour pharmacies 

47 157


bout us  167 Accommodation  37–48, 115 Adventure parks  49 Air condition repair  136 Airport  89 Alba Iulia  28, 43 Alcohol & drug addictions  152 American restaurants  104 Antique & crafts  147 Apart hotels  116 Architects & interior designers  136 Arieșeni  25, 41 Art galleries  158 Arts & sports  150 Auction houses  158 Azuga  41

Baby sitting 

149 Banking & money wire  126 Beer halls  113 Bike rental  133 Birth & hospitals  88, 148 Black Sea  34 Bran–Moeciu–Rucăr  41 Brașov  19, 38 Breastfeeding  88 British restaurants  104 Bucharest Practical Handbook  67 Bucharest Practical Listings  103 Bucovina  30, 45 Buftea  36 Building contractors  136 Bulgarian restaurants  104 Business  118 Bușteni  41 Butchers  142 Buzău  16, 37


able TV, Internet, telephony  138 Cafés & tea houses  112 Car dealers & registration  133 Car parking  134 Car rental  133 Car sharing  89, 90, 132 Car towing  92 Carpentry shops & carpenters  136 Catering & delivery  111 Câmpina  41 Cernica  36

Chambers of commerce  Childbirth care  Chinese restaurants  Churches & culture  Cleaning services  Climbing  Clinics, private  Clubs  Cluj-Napoca  Coaching  Comana  Constanța  Cooking  Corporate events  Costume shops  Cultural centers  Culture & Arts 

126 148 104 49, 159 151 161 154 138 26, 42, 60 122 36 46 139 124 140 157 76, 157


ance & parties  139 Danube Delta  34, 48 Darts  161 Delicatessens, bio & ethnic food  143 Dental clinics for children  149 Dentists  156 Dermatology & plastic surgery  154 Dialysis centers  154 Discover Romania — listings  37 Dobrogea  33 Doftana Valley  24, 42 Do-it-yourself shops  147 Drinking in Bucharest  79, 104


ating out  41, 42, 48, 79, 104 Education & Language  127 Eforie Nord  47 Electricity  138 Elementary, middle, high schools  128 Emergency numbers  13 English bookshops  140 Entertainment in Bucharest  81, 138 Entertainment in RO  39, 41, 45, 46, 47 Escape rooms  140 Expat Fair  167 Eye clinics & hospitals  154 Eyebrows  152

Facts & figures about Romania  Family life  Fashion designers  Fashion stores  Fast food restaurants  Financial authorities 

13 86 151 146 105 118

Fitness centers  Foreign exchange offices  French restaurants  Fun  Furniture shops  Fusion & fine dining 


ardening & landscaping  Gas services  General info  German restaurants  Gift shops  Glassblowers  Golf  Graphic design  Greek restaurants  Gura Portiței 

160 120 105 81, 138 147 105 137 138 38 105 147 136 164 121 105 47


airdressers & beauty centers  153 Hairdressers for kids  151 Handymen for various repairs  136 Health care  154 History  11 Horse riding  49, 161 Hospitals for children  148 Hospitals, private  154 Hospitals, state-owned  154 Hostels  117 Hotels, 2* & 3*  116 Hotels, 5* & 4*  114 Hotels, Old Town  75 Hotels, spas, in Romania  50 House & Home  98, 134 House cleaning & house maids  137 House repairs & maintenance  135 HR & head hunters  122 Hypermarkets and cash & carries  142


Indian restaurants  Insurance companies  Intercultural  International cuisine  IT hubs  IT&C, web development  Italian restaurants 


apanese restaurants  Jewelry & watch shops 


arting  Key cutting/copying centers 

121 105 126 124 106 59 122, 147 106 108 146 161 136

61 City Compass

Kids’ entertainment  Kindergartens 


actation consultants  Language lessons  Law firms  Lebanese restaurants  Legal  Letters from Romania  Local & central authorities  Locksmiths  Long-distance buses & rental 

150 82, 127 148 130 121 108 118 8 119 136 133


ain ministries in Romania  119 Malls  144 Mamaia  46 Manicure  152 Maramureș  32, 46 Massage  152 Maternities  148 Maternity wear & baby clothes  149 MBAs & higher education  130 Mediterranean restaurants  109 Mexican restaurants  109 Mogoșoaia  36, 85 Moldavian restaurants  109 Mongolian restaurants  109 Mountain Resorts  24 Movie theatres  139 Moving companies  134 Museums  157 Music & theater  158 Music shops & lessons  140


annies  Near Bucharest  Neighborhoods, Bucharest  NGOs  Night buses  Nurseries 


ffices, short term  Old Town  Opticians 


88 33, 48 68 159 90 127 124 71 152

160 Paintball  164 Painting & decorating  136 Parcel & courier services  137 Parking  92 Parks  86 Parties  86 Pastries & ice cream  73 Pastry & confectionery restaurants  109 Pediatricians  148

Personal care  151 Personalize this guide  7 Pharmacies & cosmetic shops  76, 157 Photo prints  153 Photographers  153 Pilates  161 Pipera  78 Plastic surgery & body remodeling  152 Playgrounds  86 Plumbers  136 Pool & bowling  161 Pool cleaning  137 Practical listings Romania  37 Prahova Valley  24 Predeal  42 Pregnancy clothes  88 Pretzel shops  143 Property management  134 Public notaries  124 Public Relations agencies  122 Public transport  90, 133 Pubs & bars  39, 74, 113


aw & Vegan restaurants  110 Rânca  25, 42 Real estate – residential  94 Real estate agencies  134 Recycling centers  138 Restaurants, Bucharest  72, 79, 104 Restaurants, RO  38, 40, 44, 45, 46, 47 Road network  91 Road tax  91 Romanian restaurants  110 Roof repairs  137


chools, English & bilingual  82 Scuba diving  48 Seaside  46 Security companies  138 Shoe repair  151 Shoe shops  146 Shopping, Bucharest  76, 78, 86, 95, 142 Shopping, Romania  39, 41 Short term apartments  116 Sibiu  20, 39 Sighișoara  29, 44 Sightseeing in Bucharest  85 Sinaia  21, 40 Sky-diving & parachuting  161 Smoking addiction  152 Snagov  36 Soccer  161 Souvenirs & gifts  75 Spa & beauty centers  152 Spa hotels in Romania  50

Spanish restaurants  Special Dossier  Special tourist line  Spice shops  Sports  Squash  Start-ups, tech  Stock & forex brokers  Storage  Strategy consulting  Street food  Subway  Supermarkets  Swimming pools & spas 

111 53 91 144 160 160 63, 65 120 135 122 113 91 142 161


ailors  151 Tanning salons  152 Tattoos  152 Tax consulting & accounting  121 Taxation  102 Taxis  89, 90, 132 Tech  53 Tennis  160 Thai restaurants  111 Timișoara  44 Toy & baby gear shops  149 Traditional markets  142 Traffic  89, 132 Translation centers  122 Transport, Romania  46, 48 Transylvania  45 Travel agencies  117 Traveling with kids  88 Trends, tech  55 Turkish restaurants  111


pholsters  Utilities 


Vama Veche  Vatra Dornei  Vietnamese restaurants  Visa 

Watch repairs 

Water & amusement parks  Water delivery services  Windows & doors  Wine bars  Wineries  Work permits  Wrestling 


136 138 47 47 25, 42 111 101 152 139 136 135 75, 113 37 101 164 153

Alphabetical Index / About us 62

About us City Compass Media

Expat Fair

The publisher of this guide. Online, it reaches some 160,000 unique visitors a month (end-2016). City Compas Media offers quality news and feature in English and inspiration for life on Romania via the portals – by far the most read on its niche,, daily and weekly newsletters, Facebook pages, this printed guide / e-book,, via Apple News, and a daily english press review for top managers at Email for ads and media services, custom reports.

Organized by our teams of Media and Tours, this is a large scale event for expats and Romanians, offering integration and information on Romania with networking, workshops and introductions to expat services providers in all fields. Request more info —

City Compass Tours & Events Together with its associated slow food catering partner Terra Carpatica, it helps discover numerous new places, tastes and hidden locations in Romania with team building events, city and country tours and country retreats. Request more info —

City Compass Intercultural Consulting

Together with its partner ICUnet.AG, it offers a wide range of cross-cultural HR & Expatriate integrated training concepts, such as Business Etiquette and mentality in Romania, (Virtual) Leadership with Romanian employees, support for M&A and presentation skills. Request more info —

In picture, left to right. Front row: Irina Popescu, Senior News & Features Writer, Oana Pascu, Business Development Manager, Corina Chirileasa, Managing Partner, & her son, Irina Chirileasa, Media Projects Coordinator. Back row: Volker Moser, Co-Founder, City Compass Group, Alina Niță, Tours & Events Coordinator, Simona Fodor, Associate Editor, Ruxandra Stan, Office & Administrative Coordinator, Diana Meseșan, News & Features Writer, Andrei Chirileasa, Partner, Editor-in-Chief

63 City Compass

Since 2010, Romania’s most read news & features website in English. We can help you reach a premium, niche audience with high resources and decision makers. ○ Over 1.6 mln unique readers/year (2016) ○ Over 7,000 daily newsletter readers ○ 12,000 followers on Facebook ○ Premium international & local readership: C-level readers, top managers & investors; university studies, high income ○ Geo-targeting possible to Romania, US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Poland, among others

How you can promote your brand & services ○ Banner campaigns, including website branding and pop-ups, for short & long term ○ Special content projects, including customized e-books, content licensing, branded mini websites ○ Text advertising on the site and in newsletter, with photo galleries ○ Direct emailing campaigns ○ Online, print, social media and event combos

Who has been advertising with us – selection ○ Many of our advertisers go for long term campaigns and multi-annual collaborations

Get in touch with us now at and we will advise you on the best package for your budget and marketing targets.

Alphabetical Index / About us 64 Copyright © 2016, Business Insider SRL A10 Pictor Ion Andreescu St., 1st Fl., Apt. 2, Sector 2, Bucharest, 021424, Romania


Founders of City Compass Volker Moser, Christian Pauls, Cristian Bizău Publisher Volker Moser Editor-in-Chief Corina Chirileasa

I. Chirileasa, Corina 4000 copies (PRINTED EDITION, 2016) + e-Book version

Local time Romanian time is GMT+2. Summertime starts on the last Sunday in March (03:00 becomes 04:00), and wintertime on the last Sunday in October (04:00 becomes 03:00).

Pronunciation & special signs We use the following special signs (diacritics) in our guide: dȚ or ț is pronounced TS like ‘ts’ in ‘skits’ dȘ or ș is pronounced SH like ‘shoe’ dĂă, Ââ, and Îî, are difficult — but not impossible — for most foreigners to master, and they eventually do. They sort of sound like ‘uh’ but we recommend that you just listen very closely as a Romanian pronounces them, and then practice thousands of times. Seriously!

Conversions 1 inch = 2.54 cm 1 m = 3.3 ft = 1.1 yd 1 mile = 1.6 km 1 kg = 2.2 lb 1 oz = 28 g1 Imperial gallon = 4.55 L 1 US gallon = 3.78 L

Associate Editor Simona Fodor Proof Reading Giles Eldridge Contributors Alexandru Aramă, Alina Niță, Paul Brummell, Alexandra Duță, Andrei Chirileasa, Bogdan Popa, Corina Chirileasa, Petra Müller-Demary, Ioana Enache, Irina Chirileasa, Matt Sampalean, Oana Pascu, Despina Ponomarenco, Ruxandra Stan, Simona Fodor, Thorsten Kirschner, Volker Moser Design & Layout PQB Digital Business Communication Photos Corina & Andrei Chirileasa, Fotolia, Mihai Constantineanu, Kathrin Weident Advertising Sales Irina Chirileasa Oana Pascu Administrative Support Ruxandra Stan Printing Smart Print

DISCLAIMER Unless otherwise stated, all material that is contained within this publication, provided by Business Insider SRL, shall not be reproduced in whole or in part, without specific written permission. Business Insider SRL offers this guide as a publication for entertainment purposes only and takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data or information within its pages. A good faith effort has been made to present the information contained within this book accurately, however no liability is accepted for any inclusions, exclusions, advice given, or for omissions from the publication. While Business Insider SRL exercises editorial control for contributions, it takes no responsibility for the actual content provided by its outside contributors, and recognizes that they are solely responsible for the content they provided. In addition, any information from any outside contributor does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of Business Insider SRL. Due to the nature of the information business, contact information may change regularly and it is therefore recommended that the respective websites listed, as well as are consulted for more recent information and updates for listings. Business Insider SRL does not take any responsibility for the content of links published within its pages as Business Insider SRL has no control over the dynamic nature of those sites and their content.

65 City Compass

What’s Inside the Full Edition? Get the full edition at

Special dossier:

Perspective: Romania Letters from Romania

Romanian history


› 11


Technology trends

› 54

Romanian discoveries

› 56

IT hubs 

› 59


› 63

Facts & figures › 13

Discover Romania

Practical listings


› 17, 37


› 21, 40


› 19, 38


24, 41

Sighișoara ›


› 20, 39


26, 42


Alba Iulia

› 37

› 28, 43


› 31, 46

29, 44


› 33, 46

› 30, 45

Near Bucharest› 36, 48

Table of Contents 66

Spa & destination hotels  › 50

Bucharest Handbook & Practical Listings Directory

Bucharest neighborhoods › 68

At home in Bucharest

› 98

House & home directory

› 134

Hotels & travel agencies

› 114

Real estate – Finding a home › 94

Old Town

› 71


› 78

Shopping spree

Five must-see places

› 84

Shopping directory

› 142

Getting around Bucharest › 89

Taxes & visas 

› 101

Traffic & transport directory › 132

Legal & business directory

› 118

› 95

Bucharest Practical Listings Directory › 103 Looking for a complete list of topics? Check out the alphabetical index at the end of the book.

› 165

Everything you need to feel at home. HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EDITION � new Letters from expats � updated Travel destinations from all over Romania, including main cities, mountain resorts, seaside & Danube Delta � new Spa & destination hotels in Romania � updated Bucharest neighborhoods, including Pipera – the expat area & Old Town � new Special dossier: Technology � Tech trends � Romanian discoveries � IT hubs � Start-ups � updated & curated Bucharest business directory, in easy to browse format: � Restaurants, Hotels, Shopping � Education, Transport, Home & more w

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AISB City Compass Guide  

A digital guide for expats, travelers, and even Romanians