Today we took the train from Bucharest to Braşov. One thing to remember about Bucharest is that it's not Budapest, though they are frequently mixed up. Here's what we did there.
Days in Bucharest: 7.5
Days that it rained: 0. The weather was sunny and warm the whole time.
Stairs to our 8th floor apartment: 128. Luckily, there was an elevator, but it was old and kind of sketchy.
Tours taken: 1, by Rachel, and 2 by Jeff. We both took the Guided Bucharest free tour, and Jeff took an additional Communist Bucharest tour with the same company.
Courses in our molecular gastronomy dinner: 19 – most were just one spoonful.
Symphonic recitals attended: 1, at the Atheneum.
Number of 900-gram yogurt buckets we bought: 2, for tasty yogurt muesli bowls.
Number of parks visited: 6
Bucharest is a big eastern European city that yearns to be like the cities of Western Europe. It is changing rapidly, and still discovering itself after the fall of communism in 1989. We imagine if we visit in ten years, it will be totally different. Maybe better, but maybe not. We liked the abundant parks but didn't like that restaurants were difficult to find.
Some Bucharest prices:
- Shabby bedroom in a Soviet-era apartment block, per night: US $15
- One ride on the metro: 2 RON (US $0.60). One ride on the bus is 2.10 RON.
- 7-day unlimited metro pass: 20 RON (US $6.00) – very worth it if you're staying for a week!
- One evening movie ticket at Bucharest Mall: 27.30 RON (US $7.93)
- Entry to the Village Museum, per person: 10 RON (US $3.33)
- One ticket to a small chamber recital at the Atheneum: 30 RON (US $8.71)
- Lunch at Caru' cu Bere, Bucharest's most famous restaurant, for two: 64 RON (US $18.58)
- Dinner for two at the Artist, a molecular gastronomy restaurant: 303 RON (US $87.95)
One thing that was unusually expensive in Bucharest was bottled water at restaurants. A large bottle was usually around $3.60. Tap water is safe to drink so you are best off bringing around your own water bottle. Food can be cheaper if you eat from the hot dog carts and kebab stands, but the price of Caru' cu Bere is pretty indicative of prices in the old city. It's a great place to do some of the things you might want to do in Western Europe without spending all your money, as it's pretty affordable – or at least now before it has changed to the Euro.
Have you been to Bucharest?