Book a flight to Bucharest with Qatar Airways and you'll find there's definitely something going on in Romania's capital city. One of the largest cities in South-East Europe, Bucharest was once known as 'Little Paris', with its eclectic mix of old and new architecture.
Where else can you find grey communist-era housing blocks alongside medieval churches and 21st-century skyscrapers? Time blurs with every step you take here and today the city's cultural attractions rival that of any European capital. So fly to Bucharest and spend at least a few days in this trendy, cosmopolitan city.
Although many people stop off in Bucharest on a Halloween tour of Transylvania, there are plenty of historic sites and attractions to warrant a trip to Bucharest at any time of year.
Stroll around the 19th century buildings and winding cobblestone streets of the old centre, then take a tour of Parliament Palace. The world's largest parliament building has 3,100 rooms and you can book a basic or extended guided tour.
Don't miss the opportunity to see the Romanian Atheneum near Revolution Square – make sure you visit the interior where you can see a beautiful historic fresco.
The city's museums include the National History Museum, where you'll find a replica of Trajan's Column and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. This unusual museum offers a fascinating insight into the traditional way of life in Romania.
Other museums worth looking out for are the Village Museum and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Take a walking tour for the best way to experience Bucharest up close and personal. Free guided tours usually run every day, whilst bike tours are also popular, visiting the city's most important sights.
If you have time when you travel to Bucharest, the city has plenty of live music venues where you can listen to opera or classical music. The National Opera and George Enescu Philharmonic are the two most popular venues.
At weekends, mingle with the locals at the city's parks. Cismigiu Garden in the city centre offers boat rental during the summer months and an ice rink in the winter; a great family picnic spot.
Romanians love their food and Romanian cuisine is characterised by its variety. Taking influences from Greek, German and Hungarian dishes, specialities such as Ciorba (soups), Mamaliga (a polenta type grain) and Parjoale, a type of meatball, are popular. Romanian Papricas, or goulash, is also available in most restaurants.
As well as traditional Romanian restaurants offering live music, you'll find Turkish, Greek, French, Italian and Indian food here. In fact, whatever type of cuisine you are in the mood for, you'll usually find it in Bucharest. It is possible to eat well at restaurants offering a fixed-price menu, but the city also offers plenty of options for fine dining at five-star hotels and English-speaking establishments.
For lunch on-the-go, Bucharest has its fair share of fast food establishments offering freshly made sandwiches, salads and hummus.
Bucharest's main boulevard – Calea Victoriei - is home to designer boutiques and international brands. When you travel to Bucharest, make sure you check out the city's biggest shopping centre, Baneasa Shopping City, which has a great mix of Premium Brands and refined restaurants, as well as a Multiplex and various playgrounds.
For souvenirs, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant gift shop is a must-visit. Here you'll find ceramics, local crafts, woven rugs and table runners. Bucharest has a number of English-language bookshops too, so you'll never be stuck without a bestseller.
Flights to Bucharest with Qatar Airways arrive at Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni, around 18km from the city centre. You may hear the airport referred to as Otopeni Airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Bucharest please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Romanian Leu (RON)
Voltage: 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / F
International dialing code: +40
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