Bucharest attractions include the Palace of Parliament, Cismigiu Gardens, Snagov monastery, Bucuresti Mall, and the Romanian National History Museum.
The Palace of Parliament (www.cdep.ro) is the world’s second largest administrative building, after the U.S. Pentagon, with a total of 1,100 rooms within 12 floors, plus four underground floors.
The palace, which is still under construction (work on it commenced in 1983), has been built with…
- one million cubic meters (35.3 million cubic feet) of Transylvanian marble,
- 3,500 tons of crystal on 480 chandeliers, and
- 1,409 ceiling lamps and mirrors.
Today, the palace houses offices for the Romania’s national administrative departments. In addition, the vast building houses…
- National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), and
- a museum about totalitarianism and socialism in Romania, open to visitors since 2004.
Cismigiu Gardens, meanwhile, is a public garden park near city center of Bucharest, containing an artificial lake.
The gardens are the oldest and the biggest (at 17 hectares / 42 acres) of its kind in central Bucharest.
Main entrance to the park is from Elisabeta Boulevard, from in front of the city hall, with another major entrance being from Stirbei Voda Boulevard, near Creţulescu Palace.
The park’s highlights include:
- Rondul Român, containing 12 stone statues of important Romanian literary personalities, and
- French Heroes monument, built to honor French soldiers who fell on the Romanian front during the First World War.
Snagov monastery, on the other hand, has risen to world-fame due to being the assumed burial place of Vlad Tepes, the historical figure that Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” was based upon.
Vlad Tepes’ grave is believed to be at the monastery of Snagov because he died in the region at the hands of Ottoman Janissaries, during a battle between Wallachian and Ottoman troops.
Snagov (snagov.ro), located about 40 km (24.8 miles) from the center of Bucharest, an easy day trip away, is also known for its beautiful nature.
During Romania’s communist period, the region was used for recreation by the country’s leaders, including Nicolae Ceausescu.
Bucuresti Mall (bucurestimall.com.ro) is located on Calea Vita street, about 1 km (0.62 miles) from the historical center of Bucharest.
The shopping center, Bucharest’s biggest shopping mall, is spread into four floors, containing a total of 140 shops within 50,000 m² of store space.
Bucuresti Mall was completed in 1999, built into a Communist era food storage building, which the locals, in fact, had nicknamed “hunger circus”.
Bucharest attractions also include Romanian National History Museum (www.mnir.ro), located within Calea Victoriei street, with exhibitions about the history of the country, from pre-historic times to the modern day.
The museum is located within a former palace of postal services, which currently also contains a stamp museum.
Highlights within the permanent exhibitions include an exact copy of the column of Trajan, Romanian Crown Jewels, and the Pietroasele treasures.