Best things to see in Bucharest in 1 day

Planning to visit Bucharest on a short trip?

Bucharest huge boulevards really make exploring this city on foot a breeze! You definitely want to allow at least 3 days in Bucharest, not only to see all the sights but to take in the gorgeous views of the old buildings, and also (of course) enjoy a few pints of Ursus in one of the city’s many beer gardens!

However, if you’re passing by Bucharest for just 1 or 2 days, you can still manage to see the main attractions with a bit of planning. Here it’s a list of must-see places in Bucharest that you can take with you during your travels:

Village Museum, Soseaua Kiseleff

Bucharest’s Village Museum is easily one of the most impressive outdoor museums you’ll ever visit in Europe. The Village Museum is huge and it’s no doubt the star attraction in Bucharest because it beautifully showcases the evolution of traditional village life in Romania from the Middle Ages right up to the late 1940’s.

Best of all, the farms, huts, mills, houses, etc you’ll see exhibited there aren’t replicas but original buildings taking from all across Romania, which makes this museum an even more amazing place to visit!

Palace of the Parliament, Strada Izvor

The Palace of the Parliament is certainly one of the best things to see in Bucharest in 1 day. However, this sight is possible the most controversial attractions you’ll visit in Bucharest because it’s built by the late Romanian dictator “Nicolae Ceusescu", who built this opulence palace for himself by demolishing nearly half of Bucharest’s old quarter.

In the process, Nicolae Ceusescu destroyed much of the old heritage of Bucharest and created what it is today the biggest government building in the world (even bigger than the Pentagon Building).

Taking a guided tour of the building is highly recommended to see first-hand just how lavish the palace really is. Velvet curtains, gold leaf d├ęcor, marble-covered corridors, thousands of crystal chandeliers…you can really tell the former dictator certainly spared no expense to build to its specifications!

Herastrau Park

Herastrau Park is located a short 30 minute walk from the Village Museum and it’s one place you cannot seeing because it’s the largest and most stunning park in Romania. You can see the beautiful flowers booming during the spring, while in the autumn you can take in the striking views of the fall color leaves.

During the summer months, you can really have a ton of fun at the park enjoying pleasant picnics and boating in the lake. You can hop on a sightseeing boat tour, or hire pedal and rowing boats to ride at your leisure!

Lipscani District

A visit to Bucharest would not be complete without walking the famous Lipscani area, which is the oldest section of Bucharest. You really get a sense of history walking through this bustling old little quarter, which was once known as “Little Paris” because of its elegant buildings.

At the moment, the Lipscani district is going through a renovation process aimed at bringing the district back to its old splendor, though you can still take in the beautiful sights of the buildings, do a lot of people watching and enjoy a nice dinner out in a terrace of a restaurant while listening to street buskers playing their music.

Romanian Athenaeum, Strada Benjamin Franklin

The Romanian Athenaeum is home to the famous George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, though this landmark is probably most popular known for its striking resemblance to the White House. When looking at it from the distance you cannot help but notice the subtle similarities the Romanian Athenaeum has with the White House even though it's just half the size.

In whichever case, the Romanian Athenaeum is so gorgeous and so photogenic that it really warrants a photo opportunity.

By the way, the annual George Enescu music festival is held between Aug 30 and Sep 26th, which is the best time of the year in Bucharest to catch an orchestra, opera or ballet performance. The Romanian Athenaeum, Palace Hall (Sala Palatului) and Hall Radio (Sala Radio) are three of the festival’s venues.

Stavropoleos Monastery, Strada Stavropoleos

The Stavropoleos Church is a lovely well-preserved example of Orthodox architecture in Bucharest. The church is one of the oldest in the city and its location in the heart of the busy district of Lipscani makes this little gem stand out in a good way!

Be sure not to miss a photo opportunity and going inside the church to see the lovely courtyard and marvel at the paintings and the wall-panel of religious icons in the lobby area of the church.

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