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Lovely Bucharest

SmarterTravel

Author: cruisinbob
Date of Trip: September 2014

This is short but I only had 3 nights, I flew to Bucharest from Istanbul; airport was a bit of a challenge, due to the many other travelers in the area going on holiday and needing to verify all their various visas at the check in area – we were glad we had arrived a good 3 hrs early for our flight!

I arranged my stay at the Tempo Hotel as well as both airport pickup and drop off, and they worked well. Read my review of the hotel (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294458-d601712-r233644102-Tempo_Hotel-Bucharest.html). As for Bucharest, it is still a fairly undiscovered city as far as tourism. The city is very spread out with many parks, greenery and much to see, old and new, with remnants of the former dictator and Soviet collective system.The town is walk-able, but due to the distance between sights, a bike is advised. With that in mind, I booked a bike tour with Mike
(http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294458-d3326816-r232865533-Bike_Tour_Bucharest_City_of_Contrasts-Bucharest.html#REVIEWS). Mike was the best thing I did while in Bucharest; my brave little group got to see a great deal more than we would ever have managed on foot. Following the tour, I went back to the Peasant Museum which we had seen on the bike tour, to get a taste of the country life. Afterwards, we took public transportation and then walked the Old Town which is quite charming and well worth a much longer visit. We wanted to also get a taste of Transylvania, so I booked a tour of the Transylvania countryside/my review(http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294458-d4909060-r233361528-Romania_To_Go_Private_Day_Tours-Bucharest.html#REVIEWS). The tour took us to Sinaia, which is about a 1.5 hr drive from our hotel. In Sinaia, we visited the magnificent Peles Castle, and then drove to Dracula’s Castle (about an hr+ from Sinaia). We did not go in – just saw it from a distance as we were told the castle is empty & disappointing, just a lot of tourist hype, and we totally trusted our awesomely informative guide, Chris. In Bran we stopped for lunch, followed by a visit and drive to Brasov, which is a bit of a Medieval Town. In Brasov we visited the Black Church before heading back to Bucharest. Overall, a great day but VERY long (13+ hrs total) – be aware that traffic in Bucharest is heavy and challenging, but is worth the effort.

Romania is a wonderful country to visit and see; two days does not do it justice.

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