A city of amazing contrasts, Bucharest is a stately city of cultural treasures as well as a modern vibe. The Old Centre (Centrul vechi in Romanian) is Bucharest’s mythical birthplace as well as its matchless hustle-and-bustle downtown. Can’t wait to explore the ancient Orthodox churches, beautiful facades and more unknown surprises in the mesmerizing cobblestone streets? Here’s our guide on unveiling the charm of the Romanian capital’s old town to get you started.

1. Cărturești Carusel

Unfold your journey by visiting one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Cărturești Carusel by the Chrissoveloni family. Once confiscated by the Communist regime in the 1950s, the building was finally returned to the hands of the family in 2007. After years of meticulous renovation, the historic building has outshined its past glory. Its beauty not only lies in the white columns and spiral staircases but also in its collection of more than 10,000 books. Before you leave, don’t miss out on the sunlit plant-filled café on the top floor.

2. Pasajul Victoria

After spending the morning immersing yourself in the world of books, it’s time for a spot of lunch. Grab your camera and head for the Insta-famous Pasajul Victoria. Close to the French-inspired boulevard that gives Bucharest the name of Little Paris, this narrow hidden passage has gained its fame due to the rainbow-colored umbrellas. You’ll find cafés and pizzeria lining the alley for you to enjoy a meal under the cheerful shade.

3. Caru’ cu bere 

Nestled in a gothic revival building built in 1899, Caru’ cu bere is noted for its Art Nouveau style interior. If you’re up for an authentic and atmospheric dining experience, look no further and book a table at Caru’ cu bere. With ornate woodwork, delicate ceilings, and impromptu folklore shows, the restaurant is an excellent combination of vintage, vibrant ambiance and superb local cuisine. The menu offers a good selection of traditional Romanian plates with genuine ingredients and home-brewed beers.

4. Bazarul cu Amintiri (The Memories Bazaar)  

If you happen to be in Bucharest old town on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, visit Bazarul cu Amintiri for some hidden treasures. Bazarul cu Amintiri is an amazing wonderland for open-air vintage shopping, where you can find everything from antique furniture, bric-a-brac and jewelry to military memorabilia. Be careful with your personal belongings when you shop, and don’t miss out on the most exciting part: haggle for the best bargain!

5. Free Walking Tour

A walking tour is always the best way to be exposed to the cultural richness of one destination. Discover the many faces of the Romanian Capital’s old town, and stroll through 500-ish years of Romanian history on a private walking tour. You will explore the sights and sounds of the medieval Old Town’s famous squares, historic churches, and beautiful buildings. Please note that free tours in Europe and beyond aren’t actually free, guests should pay by tipping at the end of the tour.

See more:
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Bucharest revealed: 5 historical traditions you didn’t know
Why Digital Nomads in Bucharest Think it’s the Perfect Place to Stay
8 Unique Local Products and Things to Buy in Bucharest
5 Absolutely Delicious Pastry Shops and Bakeries in Bucharest

When you’re planning your trip to Bucharest, count on Olala Homes if you want to stay in downtown to experience the local vibe! Our chic and cozy apartments are the perfect home-away-from-home!