Archives

Advantages of Dental Tourism in Romania

Posted by on
dental cabinet with doctor and patient

Besides other Eastern European countries, Romania has emerged during the last years as a top dental tourism destination, attracting patients from the UK, Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, etc. If the myth of Dracula appeals to some of its visitors, there are also those who come to visit the famous vampire’s country for totally different reasons – undergoing dental treatment procedures at a lot lower costs than they would have to pay in their own countries. Here are some of the advantages Romania offers on the steadily growing dental tourism market.

Modern facilities using the latest technology

Romania’s capital city, Bucharest is dotted with modern clinics performing complex dental procedures at the same standards as in Western Europe. Actually, once you stepped inside these clinics, you will forget on the spot that you are in an Eastern country. Modern looking interiors, top notch medical equipment and high quality materials are just few of those clinics’ advantages.

Half sliced dental treatment price

Given the high standard facilities, you might think the prices would be sky rocketing. However, this is far from being the truth. Just ask for a quote on a dental implant procedure from your clinic in the UK or Germany and you will see that Romanian prices are just half of it.

Friendly personnel and quality services

When entering those clinics, you will be welcomed with a smiley, but this is not all. The quality of service you get in Romania’s clinics is compliant with any Western standards.

Many Romanian dentists are trained in Western Europe

A member of the European community, Romania is part of students exchange programs that allow the future doctors to benefit from a few months or even a year or two of training in Western European universities.

Many Romanian dentists work abroad

Given the shortage of medical personnel, many Romanian doctors receive offers to work in Western European countries. This comes as recognition of their quality as professionals of the medical field.

You won’t meet any language barrier

Learning foreign languages has been a constant trend in Romania during the last two decades. The vast majority of the young generation speaks English, but you will find also people with French, Italian and German speaking skills. Clinics specializing in dental tourism make sure their personnel are able to respond to your linguistic needs.

You can discover Dracula’s country

As an extra, but at no extra cost, you will become acquainted with Dracula’s country. Although you won’t be able to meet the vampire in person, you can explore the country’s rich history through its landmarks and admire the breathtaking scenery the mountainous regions offer.

Shopping in Bucharest

, , Posted by on

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.

Bucuresti Mall

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.

Bucharest Old City

, , , Posted by on
picture of cec palace and bucharest old city center at night

Every city has an ‘old center’. This is usually a part of the city itself where the architecture has been preserved as it was tens of years ago and which people are trying to advertise as the ‘heart and soul’ of it. The ‘old city’ in Bucharest is much more than that: it looks and feels like a mini version of Romania.

The Old City in Bucharest is a marvelous rather small place crammed up between buildings with ancient looking architecture where you can find anything in terms of pubs and bars. And I do mean, anything. There are pubs dedicated to Irish drinks, ones that focus on Dracula, who became like a trademark of Romania, ones that concentrate on offering their guests the typical East European atmosphere and many more. There is a pub for every taste in the old city and each one of them is unique.

When you first enter the old city, a totally different sight envelops you. On the outside, you have the typical Romanian capital: a mass of people in a concrete jungle with cars honking everywhere. It’s not that bad, but at the same time, you need to breathe once in a while. Once you enter the old city, you are welcomed by old buildings that sent you back hundreds of years in the past. A certain smell envelops you and draws you further in the Old City. As you walk in, hostesses smile at you and try to convince you to enter their restaurant or pub. You walk further in, more hostesses try to draw your in. However, choosing one restaurant is not easy. The selection is so wide, if this is your first time in the Old City, you will either have a very hard time choosing only one pub or you will go from pub to pub for the whole night!

The Old City in Bucharest is known more for the fun it provides and not for the architecture however. There are lots of things to do here, even if you are not the drinking type. There are restaurants, clubs for all types and many more. The Romanian people are very outgoing, so if you ever happen to find yourself in the Old City, you are guaranteed to have a good time!

In terms of prices, when compared to the prices of other major cities in Europe, Bucharest is actually pretty cheap and the Old City is no different. You can enjoy dinner and several drinks for much less than you would in, say, London, Paris, Berlin or any of the Scandinavian cities. This is a major advantage of the Old City and one which you will certainly enjoy.

In terms of pubs, restaurants or coffee shops that you can find in the Old Town, here are some examples:

  1. Grand Café Van Gogh

As the name suggests, this coffee shop focuses on style, elegance and on providing high quality service to all customers. If you want to amaze your friends and enjoy your coffee in a marvelous coffee shop, try Grand Café Van Gogh. You won’t be disappointed!

  1. Mojo

Mojo is the place to be when it comes to music or sport. The place is built on three stories, the top one focusing on karaoke and the ground one focusing on football and sports matches and packed with all the necessary equipment so you can enjoy a football match as if you were right there on the stadium!

  1. Rembrandt

This is another great place for those who want to be amazed by the architecture and the 1920s like interior. The Rembrandt hotel, coupled with the coffee shop across from it, was renovated with one thought in mind: to keep all the pieces and build on them, not demolish them. The hotel is truly a representation of the old times of Bucharest set in, not surprising, the Old Town.

  1. Corks Cozy Bar

Wine. This is exactly what you need to know about this bar. It offers a great range of wines for all tastes and the atmosphere is a nice and cozy one, as the name suggests. They also offer great snacks if you are feeling hungry. This is a great place to have a drink with a couple of friends before going out to visit the Romanian capital.

  1. Gilda

Transformed from an old theater into a new restaurant / club, Gilda seems to have reborn from its ashes, like a Phoenix bird. Years back, this was a theater known to many as Muse. Now, it is a place with great music, a live DJ and food worthy of a restaurant. It is advertised as a place where you can both spend the day, relaxing and tasting the most wonderful dishes of Romania, as well as the night, where you can enjoy great music and a spot to dance in.

The Old Town of Bucharest is a mix of places that offer everything you need to spend a great day or night. The pubs, restaurants and hotels are there to satisfy all tastes and you will definitely find the perfect spot to have fun, regardless whether you have refined tastes or whether you’re just out to have a good time in the Romanian capital.

Image Credit: Eu Aleg Romania

Tourist Attractions in And Near Brasov

, Posted by on
city center at night

Among Romania’s best known travel destinations, Brasov and the area surrounding it offer plenty of tourist attractions to cater to all tastes and types of travelers. For history enthusiasts, there are lots of landmarks telling stories from the country’s past both inside the city and in its neighborhoods. Outdoors lovers are spoiled with choices no matter the season they visit Brasov. Those looking for some traces that will confirm Dracula’s existence will be happy to visit the vampire’s castle, located a few kilometers away from Brasov. Indeed the list of tourist attractions in and near Brasov is almost infinite.

Brasov’s Old Center

city central square in Brasov

Also known as Piata Sfatului (Council Square), Brasov’s historical center is probably the city’s best tourist attraction and its most visited place. This is where the visitors go to admire Brasov’s iconic landmarks; this is where the locals get out for a walk, where they meet up and have fun; this is where cultural and artistic events, outdoor concerts and theme fairs are organized  on a regular basis.

A great spot where to start your discovery of Dracula’s country, Council Square is the departure point for most of Brasov’s attractions such as the Black Church, the White Tower, the Black Tower, the old citadel’s bastions, the old walls of Tampa citadel, etc. The most impressive building in Brasov’s old town is the Town Hall. Located right in the center of the square, this edifice erected in 1420 houses nowadays the History Museum. At no.16, you will find the first drugstore in the city.

The Black Church

black church in Brasov

An impressive Gothic Evangelical church located in Brasov’s old center, the Black Church is an architectural gem, whose construction started in 1384 and was completed in 1477. Formerly known as the Church of St. Mary, the religious landmark was partially destroyed by the great fire of 1689. This is when the building received its current name. Severely damaged by fire, the Black Church was rebuilt with the help of craftsmen from the Hanseatic city of Danzig, because locals didn’t know how to close big sized vaults. The new vaults are, however, are Baroque, not Gothic as the original architecture of the building would require.

Measuring 89 meters in length and 38 meters in width and able to accommodate about 5,000 people, the Black Church is the largest Gothic style religious edifice of South-Eastern Europe. However, the Black church is famous not only for its size: it houses the largest church bell in the Romania, weighing six tons, and largest organ in South- Eastern Europe, equipped with over 4,000 pipes.  Actually, the Black Church organizes an organ concert on a weekly basis. The carpets collection inside this religious landmark if the richest of this kind in the country.

Bran Castle

Medieval castle in Transilvania with forrest

Many times included among the top 10 most beautiful castles in the world, Bran Castle (also known among international tourists as Dracula’s Castle) is located in the village Bran, situated less than 10 kilometers away from the city of Brasov. The locals would disagree that the castle had anything to do with the legendary vampire made famous by the Irish novelist Bram Stoker. Nevertheless, the castle is worth visiting if you want to understand a bit Romanian history, but also for the great views on the Moeciu region that you can get from its balcony.

The fortified churches

The Romanian region of Transylvania is home to about 300 fortified churches, and some of them are located in Brasov’s proximity. The fortified churches of Viscri, Prejmer and Biertan with their thick walls and impressive architectural details will provide you with a more comprehensive perspective upon the country’s history.

Poiana Brasov

Skying Slopes Map at Poiana Brasov

The most popular ski resort in Romania, Poiana Brasov offers 12 ski slopes of different degrees of difficulty. Poiana Brasov is also the place where you can do some snowboarding, but it can be suitable also for just soaking the winter atmosphere during the cold season. During the summer, Poiana can be a starting point for exploring Romania’s mountains. If you are not really a hiker, just take the cable car up Postavaru Mountain. You will certainly enjoy the view. Although it cannot be compared to the Alps’ chocolate villages, Poiana Brasov is a modern mountain resort, nice to visit at any time of the year.

Image Credit wikimedia.org, wikiwand.com

Best Free Tours for Tourists in Bucharest

, , Posted by on
calea victoriei square palace

Visiting a European capital is something everybody wants, but most of the time, the thing that stops them from doing this is money. Transportation, hotels, food, everything can amount to a large sum of money that not everybody can afford. On top of that, in order to make sure that you visit all the greatest places, you also need a guide, which amounts to extra money.

In Bucharest, you can enjoy a tour of the greatest places to visit without spending any money. There are free tours organized all around the city which you can use to visit the greatest tourist attractions in the Romanian capital. Here are some you should consider if you want to make the most out of your trip to Bucharest.

Bucharest Center 100+ Free Tours

These are tours that last 120-180 minutes and they cover the central part of Bucharest with the most important monuments here. Usually, the tours begin in the morning, after breakfast and all those who wish to participate have to present themselves at The Old Court entrance, also known as Dracula’s Fortress. They are designed for families or small groups, as well as independent people. The tours can also be organized in the afternoon, provided that you call and ask about the guides’ availability for that particular time of the day.

Here are some of the tours they provide:

  1. Old Town free tour

The Old Town of Bucharest is one of the most beautiful places one can visit in the capital. The tour focuses on displaying the huge differences in terms of architecture between the Old Town and the newer part of the city. The guides can present the tour in multiple languages, including English, Romanian, Italian, French and Spanish. If you would like someone who speaks a particular language, make sure you message the agency and book a tour ahead of time.

The tour is designed to be a walking tour and can include up to twenty people, although larger groups are also accepted. For additional information, contact the agency at http://bestofromania.eu/bucharest-free-tours/

  1. Calea Victoriei free tour

This tour is designed specifically for the palaces on Calea Victoriei. The departure point is Victoria Square, at the metro station exit near the Victoria Palace. As the name suggests, this tour focuses on presenting the palaces that can be found on Calea Victoriei.

The tour usually starts at 9 AM in the morning and finishes at 12. For afternoon tours, you will have to call the agency ahead of time. The groups accepted for this tour include up to 20 people, but larger groups are also accepted. For additional information, contact the agency at http://bestofromania.eu/cvtour/

  1. Bucharest Squares free tour

This tour focuses on the Bucharest Squares and it takes about 120-180 minutes to complete. The guides speak multiple languages and like the other ones, it typically starts in the morning, after breakfast. The departure point for everybody is Unirea Shopping Center. From there, the guide will take you to visit some of the most impressive monuments that Bucharest has to offer.

Although the official page states that this tour is in English and Romanian only, if you call ahead, the agency can book you a guide who speaks your native language.

Why choose a free tour?

  • They are free, obviously. The only thing the agency asks from the participants is promotion. You are free to tip the guides for a job well done, but other than that, there are no expenses involved.
  • You can meet other likeminded tourists who are also in the process of discovering Bucharest and you can hang out together.
  • The tours are short and the guides speak multiple languages. You can call the agency a couple of days in advance and you will be able to book a guide who speaks your native language. This will make the tour much more enjoyable and much more interesting.
  • The guides are regular people who want to help you uncover the hidden beauties of Bucharest. These tours will not be rigid and professional, but will seem more like a trip among friends. You can enjoy them much more than you would if you would pay an agency to show you around the town.
  • You can save the money you would normally spend on a tour for something else – a cocktail, a beer in the Old Town or a traditional dish cooked at a restaurant in Bucharest.

In conclusion, the Bucharest free tours are the best option if you want to visit the Romanian capital, but you don’t feel like spending a ton of money on guides and tourist agencies. You can also have a lot of fun, enjoy the inner beauty of Bucharest, all without having to spend an entire month’s salary.

Cotroceni Palace

, , , Posted by on

Bucharest is not only a modern city, but it is also filled with history. On every street and in every neighborhood you can find a building that tells stories, and one of them is the Cotroceni Palace. While you are in Bucharest, make sure you take a day to visit it; you will not regret.

The Cotroceni Palace is the home of the President of Romania, but even so a part of it is open for visitation since 27 of December 1991 when the National Museum of Cotroceni was opened. The building goes back to 1679, when one of the rules of Romania built a monastery. A church and other small buildings were added in the next two years, but not all of them are still standing today. In 1862, the first ruler or Romanian Principalities, Alexandru Ioan Cuza decided to make the monastery his home during the summer months.

Years later, in 1984, the church that was built near the monastery was demolished following the orders of the former communist ruler of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu. 5 more years and a revolution passed until the monastery became officially the residence of the President of Romania. Today, only the Museum of Cotroceni is open for visitation, but during certain times of the year visitors are allowed to take the tour of the Palace and see the building where the President lives. Yes, sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of the President while he is going in or out of the Palace.

cotroceni-palace-garden

In the Museum of Cotroceni the visitors have the chance to see not only an impressive example of old architecture, but also important art objects from the history of Romania. Dozens of famous paintings made by Romanian artists and not only can be seen there, as well as many objects that used to belong to the Royal Family of Romania. In a wing of the Museum the visitors can see parts of what was left of the old church Cotroceni, as well as religious paintings that were hidden during communism.

In the Museum you can find tour guides that speak many different languages, so you will have the chance to find out the story of the artifacts that are presented here even if you don’t speak the Romanian language.

If you are lucky, you might find one of the many international exhibitions that can be visited here in different times of the year, and you can attend various events like concerts, debates and conferences and book launches.

After you finish visiting the Museum, do not forget to go to the souvenir boutique that is waiting inside the building and get something that will remind you of the beautiful experience you had in Romania.

The Romanian National Opera Bucharest

, , , Posted by on
The Romanian National Opera Bucharest Building

The Romanian National Opera Bucharest is one of the four National Operas in Romania and it is considered the largest lyrical theater in the country. The name “Romanian Opera” was used nationwide long before a special building was designated for hosting the many local opera and ballet shows. The writer, conductor and singer George Stephanescu is the one who has always fought for creating this artistic institution, which he funded under the name “The Romanian Opera Company”.

The Romanian lyric theater tradition has more than two centuries, marked by outstanding artists that have enriched our country’s musical culture. At the beginning of 1772 historians mention the presence of an opera band in Bucharest, but only in 1919 the Romanian National Opera was funded. Starting then, it has become the first lyrical stage in the country where the most important opera concerts were held. Its repertory includes over 150 titles of opera and ballet, some of the most diversified and spectacular International music pieces ever created.

A particular attention was shown to the development of the Romanian classical music, which has known a remarkable progress thanks to the work of world famous writers such as Gheorghe Dumitrescu, George Enescu, Zeno Vancea, Alfred Mendelsohn, Mircea Kiriac, Laurentiu Profeta and Cornel Trailescu. The new location of the Romanian National Opera was built in 1953, in Bucharest, and it represents a more appropriate and elegant setting for hosting the wonderful and rich opera and ballet stage offered by Romanian culture.

Bucharest’s lyrical band was launched on the 8th of May 1885, hosting progressively a repertory that became richer by the day. At the beginning, the company included mostly Italian and French opera that were very popular at that moment, but also comedy opera from the National portfolio, in which debuted some of the most iconic Romanian voices of all time.

Although the existence of an artistic Romanian band of lyrical theater known as the Romanian Opera Company was made public in 1885, the founding of the Romanian Opera as an institution financed by the Public Budget was possible only in 1921. The absolute premiere took place with the Lohengrin opera show under the directions of George Enescu.

The current building of the Romanian Opera, with a capacity of 952 places, was constructed in 1953 according to the sketch of the famous architect Octav Doicescu. It was named the Opera and Ballet Theater and it was focused on two big International events: the third World Youth Congress (25-30 July) and the fourth World Festival of Youth and Students (2-14 August), but it was inaugurated only on the 9th of January 1954 when the “Queen of Spades” opera show by Piotr Ilici Ceaikovski was hosted.

The façade of the building has a portico with three monumental arcades decorated with the statues of four muses and three access doors which allow the entrance in the sumptuous lobby constructed on two levels. The building is listed on the list of Bucharest’s historical monuments with the code B-II-m-B-19004.

The opera hall has a horseshoe shape. The stage is 24 meters wide, 20 meters deep and 30 meters tall. At the last floor there is the Opera Museum. In the park located in front of the building there is the statue of the great musician George Enescu, a bronze sculpture made by Ion Jalea. Also in front of the building, but facing the entrance, there is the statue of the writer Gheorghe Stephanescu (1843 – 1925), the founder of the Romanian Opera.

On the building’s front side instead of two smaller arcades, which used to initially frame the larger ones, two reliefs were added, one that depicts an opera scene (made by the sculptors Zoe Baicoianu and Boris Caragea), and the other of two ballet dancers flying( the sculptor being Ion Vlad). In the opera hall there is a magnificent chandelier with 100 branches made on golden crystal. Occasionally, some shows are hosted in the Yellow Foyer, which has a capacity of maximum 200 places.

Schitul Darvari

, Posted by on

Right in the center of Bucharest, where you can hear the city beating there is a small oasis of quietness. Here you can feel serenity, faith and get a bit closer to God. The name of the place is Darvari Hermitage. This is a place that has nothing to do with the hectic urban set. It is actually very similar to the remote monasteries where you usually go to hear the call of your spirituality. The locals are very familiar with this sanctuary and more and more tourists discover its uniqueness every year.

Between old houses, embassies and beautiful architecture there is the Darvari Hermitage. To be more exact, next to “Gradina Icoanei”. As soon as you walk inside, you step into another world. Here, time stays still, belief takes over and you experience another pace of life. It is a monastery in the center of the busiest city in Romania, a calm area surrounded by rush and noise.

The hermitage was built in 1834 by Mihail Darvari and his wife, Elena, born in the Buzesti family. The worship place was made of wood, it didn’t have a tower and its patrons were Saint Lazarus, the Saints Constantine and Helen and the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The small church was constructed as a praying place for the family and their friends. The founders have also built the stone walls, sanctums, and in 1835, 12 nuns were brought to the hermitage to form its first monastic community.

Between 1989 and 2002 the hermitage was the subject of intensive restoration works. Its beautiful paintings were deteriorated due to the abundance of smoke used during the communist period, the sanctums were also in a poor shape and the bell tower was unusable. Following the original architectural plans, Darvari Hermitage has been restored to its original conditions. Now the worship place is opened to visitors and it is a wonderful monastic setttlement where you can admire church architecture, mural paintings, enjoy tranquility and discover a little bit of history.

This sanctuary is the work of art of the renowned architect Nicolae Vladescu. It is a complex construction which includes 9 sanctums, the refectory, the bell tower, a shop and a small prayer chapel. Since 2007, the abbot of the Darvari monastic settlement is the archimandrite father Teofil Anastasoaie.

On 8 November 2011, at the celebration of the second patrons of the church, the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Patriarch Daniel has held a special ceremony for blessing the church’s paintings, iconostasis and the new silver reliquary where there are kept small parts of holly relics. The silver reliquary was made in the Romanian Patriarchate’s workshops.

If you want to discover a unique place in Bucharest’s modern setting then you should consider visiting Darvari Hermitage, a holly destination with a rich history. Here every step unveils amazing architecture, religious art and a return to spirituality.

Rihanna’s First Romanian Concert

, , , Posted by on

It is going to be an unforgettable summer for Bucharest. Sources from the musical industry claim that on 14th of August Rihanna will sing at her first concert in Romania. At there’s more! The artist won’t be coming alone, but accompanied by a Grammy winner- The Weekend!

The best news of the year comes from the music industry. Romanians were waiting for a couple of years now for this event and now it will finally come true. Rihanna will end her European tour with a concerted that will be hosted in Bucharest. The show is scheduled for 14 August when she will light up the stage at the grand finale of her tour in Europe which is meant to promote her new album “Anti”. After her concert in Zurich that will be held on the 12 of August Rihanna will fly to Bucharest where she will spend an entire day resting and preparing for the big event. She will meet her fans on Sunday night where she will impress everyone with her amazing performance.

Various locations were considered, but in the end, it was decided that the concert will take place in the “Constitution Square”. It seems that this location is very popular among foreign artists since the pictures posted by Robbie Williams and Bon Jovi after their concerts in Romania circled the globe, becoming one of the most preferred sites for concert planners.

As we were saying earlier, there’s more! Rihanna doesn’t want to sing with local artists at the opening of her concerts. She wants a sure bet so she decided to opt for The Weekend, a singer that enjoys a great success these days. Recently, the artist has received a Grammy award for the soundtrack of “Fifty shades of Grey” and it is always present in the most important top 10s. The Weekend will walk on the stage from “Constitution Square” at 20:00 o’clock and he will prepare the Romanian audience for an incredible concert.

The show will exceed all expectations, the décor will be unforgettable and the number of dancers will be over a couple dozens. The Barabados artist is famed for her unconventional appearances, hot choreography, provocative attitude and unique shows so this Romanian concert will surely be one of the most anticipated events ever.

In the meanwhile, Rihanna sets new records with her recent song “Work”. The controversial music video is one of the main factors of its success, the song being already number one in International tops. There are two versions of this video and both are equally explicit.

In august, before the concert in Romania, the 28 years old artist will sing in Sweden, Poland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This extensive European tour promotes her new album “Anti”. Until now, Rihanna has launched 8 studio albums that were sold in over 150 million copies worldwide. Her flaming career brought her 8 Grammy prizes as well.

The wait is over. Rihanna’s concert is a sure thing. The extremely popular artist will be on the 14th August in Bucharest to perform for us in the “Constitution Square”. This is one of the greatest events of 2016, a music recital that will make this summer truly unforgettable.

Lacul Morii

, , Posted by on

Mill Lake is one of the largest lakes in Bucharest, a beautiful place that offers beautiful and lush landscapes for those who are looking for a serene destination where they can relax and enjoy a slower pace of life. With an area of 246 ha and located at 6 km from Bucharest’s center, this blue attraction is one of the most appreciated destinations for locals or tourists with a passion for photography and unique scenery.

Mill Lake is actually an accumulation lake created in 1986 on Dambovita River after closing the Ciurel Dam, a dam that was built for protecting Bucharest from floods. The lake is located between the Crangasi neighborhood, Giulest neighborhood and Chiajna village. Mill Lake also allowed the construction of a recreational area in Crangasi neighborhood and ensures a rate of clean leakage on Dambovita within the Capital’s limits.

The Lake resulted when the 15 meters tall Ciurel Dam was built which has a central concrete body reinforced with earth dams that measure 7 km. It truly is a remarkable man made construction that generated one of the most stunning artificial lakes in the country. In the northern side of the lake there is one of its most interesting treasures, a 32.723 m² peninsula called “Mill Lake Island” which is connected to the lake’s shore by a narrow trail of land.  To enhance its beauty, in 2011 a few volunteers planted 475 trees here. Due to its unique and exotic beauty, the Mill Lake Island hosted a few very important music concerts, festivals, water sports and shows. For instance, the “Coke Live” music festival took place here.

Mainly, the lake is used as a recreational destination and very often it offers cultural shows, Air-Show exhibitions, scooter, boat and sailboats competitions. Windsurf is another increasingly popular sports on Mill Lake. Actually, here there are courses for water sky, windsurf, sky jet and other modern water sports.

There are even a few projects that plan to turn Mill Lake into a travel destination, a residential complex, a business and a commercial center. To ease the access to this fantastic attraction there is even a project of building a highway tunnel that would connect Bucharest’s center with Mill Lake and A1 highway.

The lake was built by the communists on a ground that used to be occupied by the Saint Nicolas Church and its cemetery. These two were covered by concrete and initially the architects wanted to build in the center of the lake shops, promenades and benches. But these plans were seized in ’89 and in their place Mill Lake resulted. Now this is the favorite destination for photographers, locals or tourists who are looking for a green alternative to the grayish city décor.

When you are in the mood of discovering a beautiful gem in Bucharest do not hesitate to take a short trip to Mill Lake where you can admire one of the largest lakes in the city, stunning scenery and even try out some thrilling water sports.

Featured Properties