Bucharest’s hidden gems
Bucharest, the city of hidden gems – At a glance, the Romanian capital is not the most picturesque town in Europe. Some may even say it’s not a city where one falls in love at first sight. It is rather a place where the adventurers are challenged to hunt for its secret gems. After all, most shops in Bucharest are hidden either between alleys or behind decaying buildings; sometimes underground or even concealed like a speakeasy in an era of prohibition.
Luckily, on my Experience Bucharest trip, I got to meet many locals that were more than happy to share with me some of their favorite spots. So here is a complete guide to help you navigate the quirky city and find its hidden gems. The list is a compilation of places I visited as well as local’s recommendations.
Bucharest is the Capital of Romania
Bucharest time zone: Eastern European Time Zone | UTC+02:00
Romania Currency: Leu/Lei 1 USD = 3.99 Lei
Note: Some of the photos are not taken by me. You can find the owner by clicking or hovering over the image.
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is exploring its coffee culture. I love finding hips and unique coffee shops where I can sit and relax, watch people walk by, or catch up with work. There’s nothing like the aroma of coffee to boost productivity.
Bucharest’s coffee culture went from just a handful of coffee shops in the city to new ones popping up on every corner. Catching up to the modern coffee scene, Bucharest has certainly managed well. The city is now bustling with unique and trendy cafes that are not only Instagram-worthy but also know a thing or two on how to make perfectly brewed coffee.
Strada Lipscani 9
Str Jules Michelet 12
Constantin D. Aricescu 50A
Intrarea Bitolia 4
Strada Mendeleev, 2
Location 1: Visarion 2 (Bulevardul Dacia 19) | Location 2: Uruguay 22
Bloom Specialty Coffee
George Vraca, nr. 7
Strada Ion Câmpineanu 21
Boiler Coffee Shop
Str Daniel Constantin, nr 25
Bd Iancu de Hunedoara, nr 54B
Camera din față
Str Mendeleev, nr 22
Tip: Try the coffee before adding sugar! Great coffee doesn’t need sugar 😉
If coffee is not your thing, you can check out the many tea places in the city.
Bernschutz & Co Tea
Str Ioan Nistor, nr 6
It wouldn’t be Experience Bucharest if I didn’t stop by a few bars and clubs! The party scene in Bucharest is eclectic and hidden in unusual places. Music can range from electronic to contemporary Gypsy.
On my first day in Bucharest, the night started with cocktails at a rooftop, followed by an after-party at one of the best clubs in Bucharest. The following nights, we visited different bars, lounges, and clubs. If you are not into partying until the sun comes out but still want to enjoy Bucharest nightlife, you can also taste local beers or creative drinks at hip bars, or a nice glass of wine at wine bars. Bucharest nightlife caters to any taste.
Tip: If you want to party where the locals do, skip Old Town Bucharest.
Although locals steer away from Old Town Bucharest, there are a few hidden gems in the area you should check out.
As the name implies, Shoteria serves shots! But not just any shots. Their drinks are creative concoctions that will have you coming back for more!
Pura Vida offers an intimate atmosphere with a great view of the old town.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere right? Enjoy a drink with friends or solo at one these fantastic places.
The Wine Bistro Vinexpert
Calea Victoriei nr. 155, Bl. D1, sector 1
Linea / Closer To The Moon
Calea Victoriei 17, Sect 3
FIX me a drink
Str Ion Brezoianu, nr 23-25
Strada Duzilor, nr.12
Biutiful by the lake
7-9 Nordului Street
Opened during the day in the summer only.
Str. Dianei, Nr. 4
Calea Victoriei 107 (Palatul Stirbei)
Dining in Bucharest
It may be strange to think of Bucharest as a foodie’s destination but check out these restaurants. It may change your mind!
Tipping in Bucharest: The standard tip is 10%
Tip: Make sure to try Bucharest’s refreshing lemonades! They are 100% natural and with no sugar added. You will find a lemonade section in many restaurants’ menu.
For traditional Romanian fare visit:
La Mama Centrul Vechi
Strada Băcani 1
As the name implies, La Mama invokes traditional homecook fare made by mom. You will find here traditional dishes like Sarmale and Mici but make sure to leave some space for dessert and get their famous Papanasi.
Novotel – Winestone restaurant
Calea Victoriei 37B Sector 1
Winestone has a modern take on traditional Romanian dishes yet still remaining true to its roots. They also have a wide selection of local wines that you must definitely try.
Str. Viitorului 34, Bucharesti
Gastronomika’s chef/owner brings together Romanian cuisine and his favorite dishes from around the world. The winning combination will satisfy anyone looking for great food and a cozy atmosphere.
For more internatinal dishes visit:
Kid you Not
Str Domnita Ruxandra, nr 7
Bd Mărăști, nr 20
Șoseaua Mihai Bravu, nr 32
Palatul Bragadiru, Calea Rahovei, Nr 147-153
Str Polona, nr 40
Str Nicolae Golescu, nr 16
Str General Eremia Grigorescu, nr 10
Bulevardul Nicolae Titulescu, nr. 4-8
Calea Victoriei 214
Calea Victoriei 147, Sector 1
Strada General David Praporgescu 31
Lulu’s Social Bistro
Str. Foișorului, nr. 107, Sector 3
Str. Ion Brezoianu, nr.4
Vegan Restaurants in Bucharest
Romanian is meat lover’s paradise! The country’s traditional cuisine is a blend of neighboring regions’ traditional dishes as well as Turkish cuisine. Unsurprisingly, you will find lots of meat-heavy dishes in Romania. But fear not, vegans can also strive in Bucharest. There are few vegan restaurants in the city where you can find from simple salads to traditional dishes like Sarmale prepared vegan.
Local tip: During fasting, Romanians Orthodox eat “fasting food” which is vegan. So if you find yourself in a restaurant with limited vegan options on the menu, try ordering “mancare de post”
Strada Puțul lui Zamfir 50
Smardan Street No 33
Strada Aricescu D. Constantin 50A
Raw Vegan Little Tyke
Soseaua Vitan Barzesti, Sector 4, Nr 7D -7E,
Bulevardul Ficusului 10B
Strada Nicolae Caramfil 85
Strada Negustori nr. 26
Vegetarian-friendly and vegan options available.
Some of these places serve vegetarian dishes so make sure to ask before ordering.
Shopping in Bucharest
In a city like Bucharest where everything is trendy and quirky, shops are no exception.
Calea Victoriei 14
This shop is probably the most famous store in Bucharest. Its beautiful architecture attracts many visitors and photographers. And if you were anything like me, you would easily spend an hour browsing its catalog. Bonus: They have a lovely coffee shop at the top.
Strada Lipscani 55
Imagine a magical place that serves coffee, sells trendy clothing, and plays killer underground electronic music after hours. Enters The Urbanist.
14 Nicolae Golescu Street
Events / Market
The Romanian capital is not only about cool places but also about events. Bucharest is always busy! Between festivals, markets, and art walks, there is no shortage of things to do in Bucharest.
Make sure to check out the event calendar before visiting here:
The Antiquities Collectors Market
Is there any other place you would like me to add? comment down below and let me know!