When visiting Bucharest, the Old Town is one of the first places you’ll want to visit. Filled with cafes, restaurants, clubs and outdoor terraces, this historic area is one of the favourite hangout spots for the locals and also a very popular place for tourists. The Old Town is home to many beautiful period buildings, some old churches and also some hidden gems that you don’t want to miss.
If you’re walking through the Old Town, you will probably see the beautiful building that’s home to one of the most popular bookshops in town. Situated on Lipscani Street at number 55, Carturesti Carusel has 6 levels containing a bistro on the top floor, a multimedia space in the basement, a contemporary art gallery on the first floor and a space for reading, socializing and artistic exploration of the heart of the city. The great architecture of the building and the interior design make this place perfect for taking pictures, and the variety of books, gifts and souvenirs make it a great choice for shopping. This is definitely a must-visit for all book lovers!
With a rich history of over two hundred years, Manuc’s Inn is not only a great place to stop and try some Traditional Romanian dishes, but also a great place to visit. The Inn was built in 1806 and had a very unique architecture for that time, but during the 20th century got through significant restoration that altered the medieval spirit of the building. After several years of repairs, the inn began to look again like its original self and today holds a hotel (the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest), a wine cellar and a restaurant with a summer garden that serves exquisite food and interesting events.
Being one of the few still standing old inns in central Bucharest, Hanul cu Tei was built in 1833 on Lipscani Street and it was known as "The Inn on the Wide Street of the Merchants". The inn is the only one in Bucharest that has preserved its original shape, and you can still see the "seal" of the first owners ("A.P." and "S.P.") at its entrance from the Blǎnari Street. Today, the inn is home to several art galleries and art supplies stores, but also some spaces meant for events. There’s also a small restaurant inside where you stop if you want to grab a bite in a more quiet spot.
This beautiful monastery built in Brâncovenesc style is one of the most peaceful places to stop in the Old Town. The church was built in 1724 and holds the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania, giving its interest in Byzantine music expressed through its choir. The small church has regular church services, some amazing wall paintings that are definitely worth admiring and a beautiful little courtyard on the side of the building where you can rest, enjoy some quiet time and see some old artifacts.
You can’t visit the Old Town without stopping at the Macca-Villacrosse Passage, a beautiful fork-shaped, yellow glass covered arcaded street situated in the Old Town. The passage host several cafes and restaurants where you can stop for lunch or a drink, while admiring the beautiful architecture designed by architect Felix Xenopol. In the past, this street hosted the first Stock Exchange House of Bucharest and also the Câmpineanu Inn, and it was designed to allow the entry of natural light while providing shelter from the rain. If you like the beautiful colours of this passage, you can also stay at the Vilacrosse Boutique Inn, a colourful hotel situated right at the street entrance.
While exploring Bucharest's Old Town don't forget to pick up a few souvenirs to take home with you - we've even put together a list of our favourite Romanian souvenirs. And of course at some point you'll like get hungry, in which case we recommend checking out our selection of Romanian restaurants.
Put our app in your pocket