We have a dog sitter!
With Zombie Rose’s (our goldendoodle) accommodations and welfare determined for the upcoming holiday the next step was figuring out where to go. Mathew had October 24th through November 1st off of school and we were planning to take full advantage of our European location and regional airlines cheap fares to go somewhere new.
As someone who grew up watching The Lost Boys, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and any other vampire movie that was released both good and bad, I could not resist the opportunity to visit the one region (Transylvania) that always came to my mind when thinking about the legend of vampires and more importantly visiting that region during Halloween.
So our trip started to come together – We would fly into Bucharest, Romania’s capital city and make our way through the country.
Bucharest (București) itself while not in the Transylvanian region of Romania is a beautiful city and acts as the cultural, financial and industrial hub for the country. We were informed throughout our trip that Taxi’s are not a recommended mode of transportation anywhere in Romania. Thankfully, getting into the main city from the airport was easy via buses stationed outside of the terminal – however, do not forget to validate your ticket as buses leaving from the airport have plain clothed officials stationed on them to check tickets and fine you upwards of 50 Leu for un-validated tickets. The ticketing booths give you one ticket for two people so you need to validate it twice.
We stayed approximately 1 kilometer south of Piata Unirii – a large central square in the heart of Bucharest – at The Cozyness Downtown Hostel for 2 nights. The host was informative and friendly and the dorm style room was warm and clean. I would recommend staying here if you are looking for affordable (approx. 10 euro per person per night), comfortable, and quiet accommodation. While it was about a twenty-minute walk from the old town, it was also near an underground train station and bus stops if you felt the need to catch a ride.
On our first day in Bucharest we caught a bus to Herastrau Parc (Parcel Herăstrău) and enjoy the beautiful autumn weather. Herastrau Parc is the largest park in northern Bucharest and offers many activities such as, bike rentals, boat rentals, walking trails, dog parks, playgrounds, food vendors, and is also home to the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum. While we did not have enough time to walk through the Village Museum I would highly recommend doing so if you are able. The Museum is an outdoor village that contains 272 authentic abodes featuring architectural styles from throughout Romania. A full day of walking and we were ready to call it a night, after a quick stop in Old Town for dinner and a drink we made our way back to the hostel.
The morning of our second day we decided to join up with the Bucharest – Walk About Free Tours who meet every day rain or shine in Piata Unirii. Our tour guide was personable and seemed to love his job which made the walk enjoyable and a must do if you want to see some of the main sights of Bucharest while learning more about it’s history – best of all it is FREE.
After the walk we made our way over to the Palace of the Parliament to take some pictures of the worlds second largest administrative building and explore the park located just outside before heading to Caru’ cu Bere for dinner and drinks. If I were to recommend any restaurant that you have to visit in Bucharest for simple ambience alone it would be Caru’ cu Bere (there food was not bad either). Reservations are recommended however, we only waited 20 minutes for a table without one.
All in all Bucharest was a diverse city; filled with beautiful architecture, friendly people, and one of the prettiest parks we have been to. Not to mention that Vlad III the Impaler once called it home, making it the perfect way to start our Halloween inspired Romanian journey.
For more picture of Bucharest click here
Food & Beverage
Caru’ cu Bere ($)
Bucharest – Walk About Free Tours (FREE- donations suggested)