despre ce se mănîncă în București - și cu ce se mănîncă Bucureștiul



arhiva

First impressions after a short time living in Bucharest

For those arriving by air to Henri Coanda Airport most local people you meet understand English very well and are happy to give information you may need to get you on your way, although like any major airport there’s always unofficial cabs which you should avoid; you’ll be approached as soon as you arrive but take your time, find a yellow cab and ask him the price to where you want to go (especially if there is no taxi meter) preferably get a yellow cab with a taxi meter or else agree the price up front, cab prices are reasonable enough and are shown at the airport when you arrive so keep an eye out, you can also book a cab for when you arrive, there are yellow cab services that for a small extra charge will be waiting for you with a sign up, definitely recommended if you are arriving late or don’t wish to engage with drivers on your first visit.

You may arrive in the smaller Aurel Vlaicu International Airport, which has less amenities so probably not worth waiting around too long.

There are many ways and means of travelling around Bucharest relatively easily including trams, subway and by taxi. Tickets can be purchased at any one of the many kiosks located frequently around the city; for the subway you can also pick up tickets at very reasonable prices, if you are staying any length of time the best bet is to buy a monthly ticket for approx 7 or 8 Euros. Watch out for the trams, in places they go on the same side as the traffic but in the opposite direction so always take a good look. When you see a red sign at a pedestrian crossing then it’s safest to heed it, wait for green before you go, you will always get a few people who’ll take a chance but traffic can be unforgiving here, best to obey the signs; being Irish I have to say that breaking pedestrian traffic laws is like a national pastime at home but I wouldn’t recommend it here. Even if it’s green keep an eye out, no guarantees… you might claim to be in the right if there’s an accident however you don’t want that as your epitaph!!

If you’re planning on travelling around the city by car then make sure you are a well accomplished driver who’s not afraid to take the initiative, driving is not for the faint hearted and I’d suggest not for anyone but locals, safest option is by public transport, it’s safe, fast, easily accessible, efficient and cheap.

There are a large number of hotels to stay in ranging from very reasonably priced small local hotels to the Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental etc. Depending upon how long, what your price range is and where you plan on visiting there are numerous options to choose from – if your stay is extended it is also worth considering an apartment, again a large range of different standards to suit different budgets however be sure you get some local advice on the most appropriate locations and types of apartments so as not to be disappointed when you arrive. Recommended places to stay are closer to the centre as possible anywhere from Piata Victoriei down to Unirii will keep you close to the heart of the city, close to all transport and most importantly close to most of the many museums, buildings and places of interest you may plan to visit. Hostels are also numerous throughout the city but similar recommendations in terms of locations and having some knowledge in advance of arrival.

The city is probably best visited from March or April onwards through the summer as the winters can be very cold; however being here during the winter has its charm also so if you can handle a little cold you’ll get to see the city in a blanket of snow which I found to be very appealing. Be prepared though for getting around in the snow and ice with the right footwear.

For day to day shopping, restaurants and purchasing of gifts etc the prices range greatly depending upon what you are looking for, Bucharest is a city where you can pay anywhere from very reasonable prices for food, clothes & gifts to some extremely high prices that far exceed prices in some of even the more established Capitals in Europe so be aware of the prices in restaurants etc before you indulge yourself, if you look around you can find cafes and restaurants that have all the charm of their European counterparts but that are very reasonably priced and come strongly recommended.

Like any major city you always want to be careful when it comes to money but I’ve found using any of the huge amount of ATM’s is safe and convenient – also paying by credit card is similarly easy and accepted throughout the city from tourist shopping to restaurants to clothes etc just be as vigilant as you would in any new town.

More to follow 🙂

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dhannon@simplybucharest.ro

10 comments to First impressions after a short time living in Bucharest

  • Dan

    Well, you’ll also discover that Bucharest is one of the safest cities in Europe, with a pretty low crime rate; the point is that you should simply guard your pockets closely and look around for stray dogs but other than that nothing really happens to most people, including foreigners. The edges of the city are even safer than the center when it comes to “human” crime but the dogs are more numerous (and worse on the wild side) than in the center 😉

  • Fritz

    You’re making Bucharest sound like a normal European city :))

  • “well accomplished driver who’s not afraid to take the initiative” very funny :))

  • “get you on you’re way”?
    “there’s always unofficially cabs”
    “Even if its green”

    – Grammar check, please.

    This sounds like advice for tourists. I was thinking maybe you’d like to make it a bit more personal while telling what Bucharest feels like after 4 months of living here, not writing a tour guide. Good luck!

  • Freesys

    Si mie imi suna a indrumar turistic TUI .

  • hm

    Raiden: corectai, că nu trebuia să apară aşa! Scuze tuturor.
    Aveţi răbdare, a zis c-ajunge şi la cele văzute de el. Asta e şi ideea, să devină mai personal.

  • Anonymous

    un proiect asemănător al lui Raoul Pop: Romania through Their Eyes
    http://raoulpop.com/2011/03/03/romania-through-their-eyes-tom-lovelock-rtte-002/

  • Quiet Irish Guy :)

    Thanks for comments and taking the time to review and feedback, all comments are welcome. Will take on board for followup :))

  • Tudor

    .. and: never come in Bucharest – always come to somebody in Bucharest. Bucharest doesn’t have any love for tourists, no maps, no English translations for stuff you need to get by in a town so you’ll and up in People’s Palace and then ask yourself what to do next until your plain leaves. Bucharest can be interesting when you are guided by somebody who knows it and loves it… but otherwise is just grey and dirty no matter the season.

  • Tudor, fara a avea vreo rautate fata de tine, spun obiectiv: nu mai scrie in engleza. Te rog.

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