Bucharest, known as ‘the little Paris’ in the past is Romania’s biggest city as well as its capital and its industrial and commercial hub. The city is home to over 2 million people and is expected to become even larger in the next ten years. Bucharest is port of entry to Romania because of its location on the banks of the Dambovita River.
The city is an interesting mix of the old and new. Bucharest is a city with a rich tradition but the recent economic boom is seeing new and modern high structures rising next to Belle Époque buildings. A leisurely stroll through the city’s tree-lined boulevards is perfect after a day of shopping at the city’s trendiest shopping spots. The nightlife is as equally as colorful and sophisticated as the Old City Center is old and charming. A walk through the city’s own version of the Arc de Triomphe at the Soseaua Kiseleff Avenue is enough for a whiff of Paris.
A cheap means of going around Bucharest is by bus or by train. The Metro is quite cheap, although it can sometimes get crowded. If you must take a taxi, take those operated by official taxi companies, as those driven by independent private drivers can charge you higher rates. Tourists are also advised to be wary of taking taxis to areas where large tourists congregate such as the Gara de Nord, since some of these taxis are operated by con men. The best time to visit the city is from April to June and from September to October.
No visas are required of American tourists, as long as a valid passport is present. American tourists are allowed a short stay of a maximum of 90 days or three months, and visitors must hold all other documentation for further travel, return tickets, proof of hotel accommodations and a documentation of the intended period of stay.