Bucharest is one of the most picturesque and colorful capitals in Europe. It is a city with an amazing energy, a captivating culture and dynamic history, where great architectural, artistic and cultural contrasts blend. This bustling city has much to offer to foreign tourists who are looking for an unforgettable adventure or to simply spend a great time enjoying green city parks, lovely afternoons in chic cafes, ranging pulse in old city markets, irresistible shopping sprees in modern Malls and thrilling sports in and around Bucharest. This restless capital has many hidden charms and unveils many leisure possibilities for tourists all over the world. Not falling in love with its inimitable energy is impossible as day by day, moment by moment you will be, slowly and irreversibly, conquered by its increasingly fascinating treasures.
Discover Bucharest’s amazing shopping Malls
When you’re in Bucharest shopping is a must. Surprisingly, something as simple as buying a new outfit or a couple of souvenirs to remind you of your visit can turn into a real challenge. This is because the city is rich in shopping Malls and eclectic local markets, endless shops and places where you can find many amazing things. Bucharest’s Malls are so popular that they attract over 2 million visitors every week, a number greater than the city’s inhabitants. For shopping, watching a movie, having a café, a nice meal at one of the diverse restaurants or for a stroll among other shoppers this is the right place to go. And another great thing about the city’s Malls is that these are plenty to choose from.
Bucharest has numerous shopping Malls that range from small and chic shopping centers to incredibly large and impressive buildings with a wide selection of brands, restaurants, cinemas, indoor playgrounds, beauty centers and more. There is something to do and see for everyone. Still, what are the best, most popular or the newest shopping centers in Bucharest? What are the places where people go when they want to have fun, meet other people or simply discover fashion opportunities?
There are currently 11 Malls in Bucharest. The newest ones are ParkLake and Veranda Mall. ParkLake is located near Titan Park, a lovely green space in the city center’s proximity. The center measures over 70,000 square feet which means more than 10 football stadiums. Veranda Mall was the last one to be inaugurated and it measures only 28,000 square feet, about 5 football stadiums. But these two recent shopping centers have some serious competition as the other 9 Malls enjoy a vivid clientele that doesn’t miss out on the opportunity of spending a great time within its premises. If you are in Bucharest and you feel like visiting one, here is everything you need to know about the city’s best shopping centers.
Baneasa Shopping City
Located in the northern area of Bucharest, Baneasa Shopping City is one of the most famous and appreciated malls in Romania. Its location is a key factor for its success as in this part of the city live expats, business men and people with high income. Opened in 2008, the center is the largest one in Bucharest as it measures 85,000 square feet. With 200 brands stores, a big cinema, many restaurants, cafes, beauty shops and indoor playground, Baneasa Shopping City is acknowledged as Bucharest’s best destination for shopping and leisure. This is also the reason why most foreign investors choose this Mall for opening their first clothing shops in Romania.
Unirea Shopping Mall
This is the place where everything starts, the first destination for vibrant shopping, joyful get-togethers with friends and chic cultural experiences. Located right in the heart of Bucharest, Unirea Shopping Mall is the number one choice for countless tourists. Because it is so close to the city’s Old Town, it represents a terrific shopping opportunity. You can adventure here right before setting on a lovely cultural adventure on the picturesque streets of the Lipscani area. With 84,000 square meters and 250 shops, Unirea Shopping Mall was first opened in 1976, but due to its continuously increasing number of visitors it was enlarged in 1989 and continued to function under the name of Unirea Store. In 2004, it was reopened under a new ownership and name- Unirea Shopping Mall. Even though it was known as the largest department store in Communist Romania, now, in modern days, it has become an extremely fashionable destination for young people and tourists from across the globe. The fact that it has 1000 parking spaces and a convenient proximity to the metro station makes it a very attractive and accessible choice for visitors of all ages and social backgrounds.
You can’t talk about Bucharest’s shopping centers without mentioning the first official shopping center built in this restless European Capital. With a big appetite for shopping, the city’s inhabitants felt the need for a big and modern shopping center about 28 years ago, in 1999, right when they stepped out of the Communist era. At that time, the opening of a big Mall was an outstanding event, a step forward for progress so it is easy to understand why its success was inevitable and why its name still echoes across local shoppers. The shipping center measures a modest 36,000 square meters surface and includes 115 shops, but the brands that are available here are a great selection of the most popular and sought after brands in Romania. Bucuresti Mall also has a modern cinema, many restaurants, cafes and a big car parking.
AFI Palace Cotroceni
Most people agree that this is one of the most fun and interesting Mall in Bucharest. With a very attractive design, excellent parking facilities, great entertainment areas and complex playgrounds, AFI Palace Cotroceni is extremely popular and fun for both locals and tourists. The building measures 76,000 square feet and has 300 shops and it was inaugurated in 2009. Located in the central-western part of the city, between the city center and two of the most important areas, Drumul Taberei and Militari, the shopping center also invites its visitors to spend a pleasant time watching a movie in its I-Max cinema complex with 20 screens, have a delicious meals at one of its 30 restaurants and fast foods, do wall climbing or have fun on its ice rink.
There are many other shopping centers in Bucharest that await for shoppers to indulge themselves for a couple of hours or more with fashion shopping, entertainment opportunities, beauty sprees, gorgeous foods and the newest box office movies. Above you have a short list of the most important and popular shopping destinations in the city. Choosing which one to visit is a personal choice that depends on the things that matter most to you.
Shopping in the Old Town area
Most of Bucharest cosmopolitan’s vibe and energy is concentrated in the City’s Old Town which still preserves the ambiance and décor that gave to Romania’s Capital the nickname “Paris of the East”. In the center of the gray landscape and endless rows of tall concrete buildings, there is still life, color and beauty. Bucharest continues to take your breath away with wonderful art nouveau buildings, eclectic small museums, old monasteries and churches, elegant brick streets, coquette lakes and stunning green parks. Currently, the Old Town is called Lipscani which is the main street that crosses the area. Here is where tourists and locals go to have a good time in the long summer days while sipping a delicious drink on the street terraces or while tasting amazing International cuisines. During the night, the streets are transformed into bustling alleys that burst with joy and color. The bars and clubs are overwhelmed with people who are looking to experience the vibrant night life.
But the Old Town isn’t just about bars, restaurants and night life. It is also an amazing place for shopping. With wonderful antiques markets and chic boutiques the city center is a great opportunity for foreign tourists to find and buy unique souvenirs that will remind them of the fascinating Bucharest. Of course, there are numerous shops on the small streets of Old Town. These are all excellent places for finding lovely objects that concentrate the local charm of Bucharest or clothing that encapsulates the best of Eastern European fashion. Below there is a list of such small shops that you simply can not miss.
Hobirama is a one of a kind, playful and nonconformist store that carries brands which are not available anywhere else. It is ideal for those who are fed up with commercial brands and fashion trends and prefer to dress differently. Minimalist shapes, unique sneakers, original outfits, surrealist prints and non-colors are just a few of the peaks of Hobirama. This little clothing shop located on Lipscani no 63-65 is the go place for amazing fashion statements.
If you count the cities you’ve visited in the number of perfumes you love then Createur5dEmotions is a must stop. This boutique started as a perfumery and it offers a lovely range of fragrances that boost powerful emotions and create an urge for discovering beautiful things. These days, the brand is an irresistible source for chic handbags, jewelry, scented candles and unique perfumes. The shop can be found at Doamnei Str no 105.
David Sandu is one of the most famous and appreciated modern Romanian jewelers of our days. If you are looking for a more extravagant memoirs of Bucharest then one of his jewelries might be just the thing for you. He is the official supplier for the Romania Royal House and his creations are unique and utterly refined. You can find his store on Smardan Str no 30.
Atelier A!urea is a new concept in Bucharest. It is vintage boutique with retro outfits and modern accessories. The accessories have been manually crafted and are one of a kind, meaning only one piece has been made. Hand painted shoes, personalized bags and much more await to be discovered here, on Covaci Str no 19.
Discover the lovely local flea markets
Everyone agrees, Bucharest bears the beauty and nostalgia of the old days when everyone knew it as “Little Paris”. And besides its monumental Soviet architecture with communist influences, there are still many things that remind us of its past. Its flea markets are the perfect opportunity for walking down memories lane and for discovering a retro chic souvenir that preserves the charm of old Bucharest.
The Antiquities Collectors Market
The most important antiques flea market in the Old Town area is The Antiquities Collectors Market that takes place every second and fourth week of the month near University Square, in the front yard of the neogothic Sutu Palace. Even though the market is rather small, there are many hidden treasures here sold by 25-30 exhibitors. The products available include vintage photographs, postcards, old coins, antique jewelry, furniture, vinyl, books and ceramics. Some of these items are hidden gems that are simply waiting to be discovered.
The Memories Bazaar
One of the largest flea markets in Bucharest is called Memories Bazaar and as the name suggests it is filled with antiques offered by over 500 sellers and displayed over a surface of 5,000 square meters. The flea market is located on BD Timisoara no 101 and takes place three times a week on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, from 6 AM to 1 PM. Here you will find a lovely mix of vintage and new stuff. For antiques hunters it is a great place to find things like old furniture, jewelry, clocks, ceramics, coins and collectibles. But if you are looking to get new products at a great price then you will love its selection of shoes, clothing, mobile phones, home appliances and scooters.
The Vitan Market
This is without a doubt the largest market in Bucharest and it takes place every Sunday between 7 AM and 2 PM on Splaiul Unirii no 450. There are over 5,000 sellers and roughly 30,000 visitors that choose to come here for trading antiques, vintage products and new items. It is impossible to not find something you like as the selection includes jewelry, musical instruments, home décor, furniture, gadgets, mobile phones, home appliances, car parts, clothing, shoes, bags and much more.
Decathlon, affordable shopping for ski gear
Decathlon is world renowned for selling a wide range of sports equipment and sportswear of very good quality at prices that are incredibly convenient. Bucharest has 3 Decathlon shops located in Iulia Maniu, Berceni and Pallady areas. Just like all the other stores that bear this brand name, the ones in Romania’s Capital are a great place for shopping sports equipment especially sky gear. The really amazing thing about Bucharest it that it is at a couple hours’ drive or train fare from one of the nicest Sky destination in Eastern Europe. So if you are travelling to Bucharest in the cold season and the forecast says snow then my advice to you is to take advantage of this opportunity and head to Poiana Brasov or Predeal for an unforgettable skiing session in a winter wonderland setting.
When it comes to shopping, Bucharest is a surprisingly generous city. It has a wonderful selection of shopping centers, charming flea markets, charismatic boutiques with souvenirs, clothing, perfumes and jewelry, and many large sportswear stores for edgy, outgoing tourists. Visiting Bucharest it a lovely experience, a chance to discover the energy and beauty of a dynamic European Capital that bursts of social, artistic, cultural and social life.