5 things you must do in Bucharest

29 October 2019 08:19

Take a look around the world's heaviest building

Take a look around the world's heaviest building

Check out what Romania's capital has to offer before heading off to Transylvania this Halloween.

1. Step inside an architectural giant

Romania's Palace of Parliament is an architectural heavyweight, quite literally, as it holds the title of the world's heaviest building. Taking inspiration from a visit to Pyongyang, former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ordered the construction of the 1,100 rooms (only 400 are completed) that make up the Palace of the People. Don't leave it too long to visit the palace, as it's said to sink by 6mm every year.

2. Unwind in an urban oasis

Bucharest isn't lacking in outdoor space. The city's largest open space, Herastrau Park, covers 187 hectares and sits beside the scenic Herastrau Lake. The park is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, who can hire a boat on the water or even visit the Michael Jackson memorial. The King of Pop is a celebrated man in the city he once greeted with the now famous line, "Hello Budapest", during his 1992 Dangerous World Tour. Alternatively, the Village Museum in the park offers a glimpse into Romanian culture from a bygone era.

3. Take a street art tour

Pay special attention to the walls of Bucharest and you'll find more than Parisian-style architecture - murals and street art projects have boomed in recent years. Autumn 2019 is set to be an especially exciting time as the ColorsTalk project invites the public to watch six urban artists get to work across a range of public venues. For those craving even more colour, frequent tours take art lovers off the beaten track to showcase modern Romania's latest creations.

4. Visit the Witches Pond

Romania's hallowed Halloween ground may be over 160 miles away in Transylvania, but the capital can claim supernatural sites of its own. Sitting quietly in the Boldu Forest, just outside the city, lies an inconspicuous pond that swallows anything that's thrown into its shallow banks. Freak snow storms and animals refusing to drink from the pond have led to witches visiting the site for centuries, especially around this time of year.

5. Sample Romanian cuisine

Romanian cuisine is as varied as the expansive boulevards and winding cobbled streets of its capital. The national dish sarmale is made up of cabbage rolls stuffed with spiced pork and rice, a comfort food that can be found in many of the city's restaurants. Harder to find and perhaps harder to swallow is creier pane, a dish usually made using pig's brains, although cow or lamb's brains are also used. Expect boiled grey matter coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried in Bucharest's more elegant eateries.

Heading to Bucharest? Get covered!

Before you immerse yourself in Romanian culture, don't forget your travel insurance. At World First, we provide dedicated European cover, so you'll be fully covered for your Balkan adventure...