It is not hyperbole to state that the fallout from last October's fire at a Bucharest club, Colectiv, which took 61 lives, has changed the Romanian capital forever. In the many years we have been writing about the city there have been few periods as bleak or as difficult as the months since the accident. And yet both Bucharest and its people are made of stern stuff, and the city is slowly recovering. Things will never be the same, however.
For a start, a number of Bucharest's most popular venues have been closed since the fire at Colectiv, and there is much doubt regarding how many will ever reopen. Many were located in cellars and offered little in the way of an emergency exit. Closing them was morally the right thing to do, and we applaud those business owners who have done the right thing. Meantime, Romania's government has introduced a much overdue law which forbids commercial activity in buildings considered a grade one earthquake risk (those which display a red disc at the entrance). This has forced a number of venues to close or - in many cases - relocate. Another new law - which will be introduced sometime in March - will see smoking outlawed in all indoor public spaces.
As an objective guide to Bucharest, it's very much our role to announce to the world that the city remains open for business.
You can read more about the fire and its aftermath here.
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Bucharest In Your Pocket has been publishing the complete insider's guide to this unique city for seventeen years. Indeed, in April we will celebrate the publication of our 100th issue. Amid libel battles and law suits, we continue to bring you the best (and sometimes the worst) of this unique city. If you know of a place we have not featured, or think we have been unfair in our assessment, please contact us at bucharest (at) inyourpocket.com.
If you want to get your hands on our print guide, you can generally find one at any Bucharest hotel. Alternatively, download the full guide in PDF, for free, right here, before you leave home.
And if you're planning on tripping elsewhere in the country, check out our guides to Sibiu, Brasov or Poiana Brasov.
For an alternative look at the city there's the Editor's Bucharest Life Blog here. You can also now follow the Editor's adventures in Bucharest via Twitter, and while you are there sign up to follow the main In Your Pocket account too.