Why Bucharest is on our bucket list
That’s right, Bucharest not Budapest, although travellers often mistake one for the other, the differences between the two nations can be quite stark.
Despite these differences and almost 900km separating the two, confusion still rains on where exactly Bucharest is – the capital of Romania if oft-overlooked and for little reason as it is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe, creating a mélange of belle époque architecture with modern cityscapes.
1. Old Town
Before World War 2 Bucharest was affectionately named “Paris of the East”, fit with romantic cafes hidden behind charming cobblestone streets, stunning architecture and even its own Arc De Triumph! Nowadays, Old Town is still as endearing as ever, despite the political and environmental challenges that have seen some of its architecture disappear.
2. Tunnel of Love
If you’re an aspiring photographer or are looking for the perfect photo to boost your Instagram profile, the Tunnel of Love must be on your itinerary. Located approximately six hours from the capital in the Caras Serevin region, the tunnel was only discovered in 2013. The colours of the tunnel come to life throughout every season as the landscape changes from lush green foliage in winter and amber and gold in Autumn.
3. Bran Castle
When one thinks of Romania, surely Dracula and the tales of Transylvanian spring to mind. Despite never visiting Transylvania, Dracula’s author, Bram Stoker, immersed himself in the history and legends of the land, so many of the places and characters in the tale are based on reality. A trip to Bucharest is not complete without bringing the ghoulish tale to life with a Transylvanian Castle Tour; while not strictly a home to Vlad The Impaler, the area has embraced the tale to bring the story to life.
4. Transfagarasan Road
Hailed the “greatest driving road in the world” by Top Gear, the Transfagaran Road which curves through the Fagaras mountains makes for a stunning sunset drive. Be careful to keep your eyes on the road though, with stunning landscapes sweeping by your window, you’ll be tempted to stray your gaze!