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Romania is quickly becoming a more popular tourist destination, but Bucharest is rarely on any list of must-visit cities in Romania. That might lead you to wonder is Bucharest worth visiting?
And is Bucharest worth visiting alone?
I’ve visited Bucharest alone, and I’m going to share my first-hand thoughts on whether Bucharest is worth visiting.
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is more difficult and nuanced than it normally is. We’ll compare the pros and cons of visiting Bucharest, so you’ll be able to decide if Bucharest is the right destination for you.
Table of Contents
Reasons Visiting Bucharest Alone is Worth it
There are a few things that make Bucharest stand out from the rest of Romania. I spent three weeks travelling around Romania, and Bucharest felt different than every other city I visited.
Of course, I didn’t visit every city in Romania, but I got a good sense of what the country was like and what is typical of a Romanian city outside the capital.
But is Bucharest worth visiting just because it has some unique aspects? Let’s find out.
It’s the Government Headquarters
It shouldn’t be surprising that the government operates out of Bucharest. This means there are tons of government buildings all around the main part of the city.
While that alone isn’t that interesting, there are a few things you can only do in Bucharest, and they relate to the government headquarters.
The first is the Palace of Parliament.
It’s the most famous building in Bucharest and maybe the entirety of Romania. You truly have to see it to believe it.
The Palace of Parliament is probably the biggest tourist attraction in Bucharest and is the main draw for tourists.
That and the National History Museum of Romanian History. Although after visiting that museum, I don’t think it is worth going to Bucharest just to see. But if you do visit Bucharest alone, you should definitely check it out.
You Want a Big City Vibe
Bucharest is the biggest city in Romania by a long shot. One of the reasons the answer to the question is Bucharest worth visiting might by yes is if you’re looking for the big city experience in Romania.
You’re not really going to find it anywhere else in the country.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t bigger cities in Romania, but none really have a big city feel to them. They’re very walkable, and you don’t really need to rely on public transportation or have big buildings like in Bucharest.
So, if you want to experience big city life in Romania, Bucharest may be the perfect city for you.
The Food is Incredbile.
I’ll admit this point isn’t exclusive to Bucharest, but I had to throw it in here.
The food in Romania is outstanding.
Romanian isn’t the typical cuisine you think of when you think of delicious European cuisines, but it should be. I was blown away by everything I ate in Romania.
Do what you will with that information but do know you’ll be having a lot of good meals while in Romania. And for a really fair price.
You’re Planning a Bigger Trip Through Romania
If you’re planning to spend a decent amount of time in Romania, then I definitely think the answer to the question is Bucharest worth visiting alone is yes.
No trip across the country is complete without a stop in the capital city.
It also has the largest airport, which makes it the most convenient way to enter the country if you’re not taking the bus or train from a nearby country.
It’s convenience is one of the main reasons a lot of people visit Bucharest.
Bucharest is a great jumping off point where you can easily arrive in the country without a bunch of layovers, and you can easily get to other cities in Romania from Bucharest.
There are other airports in Romania, of course, but getting to them will likely require a layover in Bucharest.
So you may as well check out the city if you have the time.
Reasons Visiting Bucharest Alone Isn’t Worth it
Now it’s time to get into why the answer to the question is Bucharest worth visiting alone may by no.
It all comes down to personal preference, what you want to see, and how long you have in Romania.
Bucharest Lacks Personality
If you visit Romania, you’ll quickly find out that it has a lot of personality. Most major tourist cities are small but have quirk and charm.
That’s not the case for Bucharest.
It is basically a big, Soviet-style city that doesn’t have much, if any, charm or personality.
That doesn’t mean Bucharest isn’t worth visiting, but it is worth noting. You won’t leave Bucharest thinking it is a beautiful city or rave to your friends about what a good vibe it has.
It’s a big capital city, and it doesn’t really have much to make it stand out outside the main two or three tourist attractions.
There Isn’t a Ton to Do
Speaking of tourist attractions, there isn’t that much to do in Bucharest.
It’s main draws are the Palace of Parliament, the National Museum of Romanian History, and the Old Town.
There are also some cute, up and coming neighbourhoods that are developing that are giving the city more personality. They aren’t really much of a tourist draw at this point.
In my opinion, you can see the highlights of Bucharest in two days and then move on to another Romanian city.
Nature is Lacking
It isn’t surprising that there isn’t a lot of nature in Bucharest outside a few parks. It is a major city, and most major cities don’t have tons and tons of green space.
However, Romania is partially known for it’s incredible scenery and nature, and it is a shame you don’t get a taste of that in Bucharest.
So, is Bucharest Worth Visiting Alone?
Okay. We’ve covered why you may or may not want to visiting Bucharest alone. Now I’m going to give you my honest opinion as someone who travelled a lot of Romania alone.
If you’re only planning to visit one or two cities in Romania, I don’t think Bucharest should be at the top of your list.
There are countless other cities that I think are vastly superior to Bucharest I think are more worth your time.
My personal favourite is Timișoara. I adore that city. Brașov is another city you should definitely visit.
If you’re spending a few weeks in Romania and visiting four or five cities, I definitely think Bucharest is worth visiting.
It has enough interesting things to do that I think you should spend a day or two in the city.
Plus it has the best airport, so that alone could be enough motivation to spend one day in Bucharest at the start of your trip and one day at the end of your trip.
Whether or not Bucharest is worth visiting really comes down to you and what you want to see.
I don’t think there is enough in Bucharest to make me suggest to you that you should just plan a trip to Bucharest and nowhere else in Romania. I think most other people who have been to Romania would agree.
Bucharest is a nice city to visit if you’re planning a larger trip to Romania but don’t plan a trip to Romania just to visit Bucharest.
PS- Don’t forget to download an esim on your phone, so you can access the internet everywhere in Bucharest with zero hassle!