While not the most famous travel destination in Europe, Bucharest has surely been making an appearance in many blogger’s travel diaries and many people’s bucket lists. And we can tell why. The Romanian capital has experienced some unspeakable destruction as part of the communist regime but it is safe to say that it has also emerged out from its doom and gloom to reveal a vibrant, light-hearted and welcoming capital city.
Not only has the city recovered but it’s actually booming. With the buzzing cafes and bars, varied and contrasting history and architecture and not to mention the superb nightlife, it’s no wonder that Bucharest has been referred to “The Paris of the East”.
Now, why is this a good destination for your hen do?
Many reasons really but mostly because of the fact that:
↪You will fall in love with its variety and character
↪You will experience the heartiness of its cuisine
↪You will not break the bank – as everything is very cheap
↪You will taste the best dessert in the world (we’re not kidding you!)
↪You will indulge yourself in the biggest spa in Europe
↪And if that is not enough – you will be able to experience a destination in its authenticity before the big tourist wave hits.
So without further ado let’s get into some of the top places that you and your girls should visit on your hen do!
Therme Bucuresti Spa
First things first. Let’s talk about this spa!
This is the biggest relaxation and wellness centre in Europe, Therme Bucuresti is an ‘Everyday Holiday’. With three separate areas to discover featuring 9 pools, 6 saunas, 4 wet saunas and 16 water slides you’ll definitely need an entire day. Did we also mention that it’s the largest botanical garden in Romania with 800,000 plants?
The 3 zones of Therme Bucuresti
The Palm (16+)
A tropical garden, hydromassage beds, relaxation pools, restaurants, terraces, pool bars, wet saunas and sands of therme beach can all be enjoyed in The Palm. A vast timetable of activities takes place in this zone including aqua shape, hydrobalance, yoga, pilates, face masks, live music, DJ sets, thermotherapy and more. This – together with the Elysium – is the zone I enjoyed.
The Elysium (16+)
The Elysium is the wellness area that can be accessed via the Palm. In the Elysium you’ll find themed saunas, calla shower, infra-red beds, relaxation pools, terraces, pool bar, massage facilities and the mango tree restaurant. Activities taking place in this area include an ‘aufguss ritual’, yoga, Pilates and stress away massages. Rates for the Elysium include free access to the Palm and Galaxy areas.
The Galaxy – best for families
This zone of the spa is mainly for families as children cannot access any of the other zones. On a hen do you probably won’t be bringing along children but in any case it is still worth a visit. Featuring an array of facilities including; a relaxation pool, wave pool, waterslides, relaxation area, restaurant and snack bar, galaxy beach, alt library, wet saunas, hydro massage beds, infra-red beds, pool bar, interactive water playground, play station area with consoles and terraces.
We recommend that you spend a full day at the spa so that you and your girls can enjoy all the facilities and also pamper yourself ready for the big day!
A great way to see the city and learn about its history and culture is on foot with a free walking tour. These tours are so popular as you gain so much value – for free! There are many different tours available such as history and culture, haunted buildings, old town and parliament, story of Bucharest, architecture and fun and relaxation – so do go for a tour that spikes your interest.
Food. We think that you would agree that it’s imperative to try the local cuisine of any destination you visit. And we also think that you will be very pleasantly surprised with the traditional Romanian food too. It’s rich and filling just the way we like it. Make sure to ask for some popular traditional dishes such as;
- Chiftele – fried spicy meatballs with herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic. They can either be eaten as such, marinated in tomato sauce or served with rice or mashed potatoes on the side. Usually, they are made of pork but some do like to roll them with beef or chicken meat.
- Mititei – this mixture of minced pork, lamb or beef is considered the favorite among Romanian people. The dish is very popular in Bucharest among tourists, too, as you will see them crowding the outdoor stalls and low-key eateries as well as fancy restaurants to have a taste of this versatile specialty.
- Toba – is traditionally prepared for the Christmas holidays. It is made of pigs leftovers, which are wrapped in its own stomach and simmered. When the final product is complete, it is left to dry and served with pickles, mustard, and other combinations.
- Tochitura – strict nutritionists think of this meal as an outrage but it melts in your mouth like no other. Pig is fried in its own fat, served with fried eggs, sausages, grated salted cheese, and cream. Also, pickles are a must when eating this delicacy.
- Drob – is made during Easter and is best described as lamb haggis served as a side dish. However, Romanians don’t simmer it but cook it in the oven instead. It consists of pre-boiled lamb organs, herbs, onions, and sometimes even hard-boiled eggs.
- Sarmale – is an immensely popular dish in the whole of Balkans. Basically, they are stuffed cabbage rolls, consisting of forcemeat. However, there are vegetarian varieties as well as rolls made of grapevine leaves, especially if you go on a winetasting tour.
Some restaurants that you can try these dishes in include; Caru cu Bere, Zexe, Hanu’Beranilor Casa and Pescarus Restaurant.
Whatever type of night out you’re seeking, it shall be found in Bucharest. It’s a clubbers paradise! From mega clubs where the trend-setting high society likes to party to the counterculture clubs where students and youngers get their clubbing hit to the live music venues where you will find many local bands playing every night – there is something for everyone.
Here are some recommendations for your nights in Bucharest:
- Storage Room Cafe
This huge bookstore is basically a regular bookstore but due to its growing fame on social media it is now a popular tourist attraction in Bucharest. So when you are done taking photos you can purchase one of the many books in the store and head up to the top floor where you can enjoy a nice coffee and cake while reading your new book.
This cute little umbrella-lined pizza place is another prime example of the power of social media to draw attention to hidden gems like this turning them into full-blown tourist attractions.
Palace of Parliament
This is the single most famous building in Bucharest. It has a surface of more than 330,000 square metres and more than 1,000 rooms. It is also one of the most controversial buildings in Romania, since it acts as a constant reminder of the communist era and the sacrifices made to build it.
A lot of people considered this monumental structure an irony because it was called the “People’s Palace” made solely for one person – Nicolae Ceauşescu, who was, in fact, killed in the revolution before the building was completely finished.
Its marble-plated halls are breathtaking. They ooze such splendor and grandeur, you are basically left speechless when you realize the magnitude of this structure. It is also the heaviest building in the world, believe it or not.
The Old Town of Bucharest is actually pretty new, locals like to joke by saying it’s the “newest Old Town in the world”. Some of the buildings in the area are a couple hundred years old, however the pedestrian cobblestone-paved roads that define the Old Town were laid down in 2011, when the City Council decided that Bucharest needed a central area for people to hang out. They were very successful at this, and the Old Town of Bucharest is now a vibrant and lively area full of bars, restaurants, shops and people at all times of day.
With the places we’ve mentioned above and much more, we are sure that you will have an unforgettable hen do in the top rising travel destination Bucharest!
Author: Anna Popova