You would never know that Bucharest, Romania’s thriving capital city, was the site of a devastating revolution: It was here that protesters tore the streets apart while ousting the Communist regime from the city merely two decades ago. Today, Bucharest is a vibrant city that remembers its past while embracing the new.
The festivals that take place in the city each year showcase the plethora of artistic and musical talent cultivating in Bucharest, while the universities inject a youthful energy into the nightlife scene. All of this refreshing activity takes place alongside the solemn structures built throughout the reign of Nicolae Ceau?escu, the Communist president of Romania. His urbanization plans displaced thousands of people and forced them to move into these cold concrete buildings still standing today. Ceau?escu’s control of Romania ended with the 1989 Revolution, when he was publicly executed in the series of weeklong riots and violent protests that ultimately overthrew Communism in Romania.
One of the first things travelers notice when they visit Bucharest for the first time is the city’s artistic community: the innovative music and performance art of the locals gained momentum in the wake of the political turmoil by which the city was once burdened.
Bucharest is famous for its house music, with clubs scattered throughout the neighborhoods of the city blasting bass into the early hours of the morning. Most of Bucharest’s annual festivals revolve around music and celebrate music in all of its forms. Regardless of when you book your Bucharest flight, you’re sure to be surprised by the artistic and creative adventures that await you in this city that spans the centuries.
Bucharest feels each season distinctly, as is evidenced by the severe heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Courtesy of Bucharest’s location on the Romanian Plain, the city is subject to chilly winds that drive the temperature well below freezing in the wintertime. Summer, by contrast, is dry and hot with temperatures about 80 degrees on average. The transitional seasons of spring and fall are the most comfortable times for booking flights to Bucharest: You may need to pack an umbrella to shield yourself from the Romania rainclouds, but the temperatures are far more comfortable for travel at 60 degrees on average.
Summertime flights to Bucharest are full with tourists wishing to take in the sights of the city when the sun is out in full force. This is Bucharest’s busiest festival season. If you’re planning on booking an international or domestic Bucharest flight, be sure to make your Bucharest travel reservations months in advance.
Cheap flights to Bucharest are easy to come by in the fall and spring, when the weather’s a bit damp. Plenty of visitors take advantage of Bucharest cheap flights during the spring to be a part of the multitude of arts festivals hosted by the city. This includes the Bucharest International Film Festival held yearly in April and the George Enescu Music Festival, which is held biannually.
Most people prefer to book flights to Bucharest between June and August, this is when the city is full of lively festivals, attractions are open, and the parks are in full bloom. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can also be a good time to visit if you want a quieter holiday. There may be a bit of rain, so pack an umbrella to be on the safe side. April and May offers arts festivals such as the Bucharest International Film Festival (April) and the EuropaFest (May).
While there are no direct flights from the United States to Bucharest, you can easily reach the city on flights stopping through places such as Berlin, Prague, and London, Flight times from New York City is 10 hours, from Chicago is 11 hours, from Los Angeles is about 13.5 hours, and from San Antonio is about 13 hours.
Major U.S. carriers that offer connecting flights to Bucharest are Delta, United, and American Airlines. Other airlines with flights to the city include British Airways, Royal Jordanian, Alitalia, Lufthansa, and Air France. Flights from the U.S. arrive at Henri Coanda International Airport, which is located about 11 miles north of Bucharest in Otopeni.
Bucharest’s climate ranges from hot and dry in the summer to cold and windy in the winter, so what you pack will depend on the season. The city has a casual atmosphere, so no formal clothing is necessary. Pack jeans or a casual warm dress for the winter and shorts, t-shirts, sundress, and sandals for the summer. A good pair of boots is essential during for winter and any time of the year if you plan to spend a lot of time walking. A light jacket, sweater, and scarves are good layering items for when the temperature becomes cooler, and a travel-sized umbrella will prepare you for sudden downpours.
Henri Coand? International Airport (OTP) is located around 10 miles north of Bucharest’s city center. There is a direct train and express bus service to Gara de Nord railway station in Bucharest, both of which are frequent and inexpensive. Taxis are also available. Rental car counters are situated between the Departures Terminal and the Arrivals Terminal.
After your cheap flight to Bucharest arrives, hop on a taxi for downtown Bucharest or take the RATB Express Bus 783, which connects with Henri Coanda International Airport. Bucharest is an easy city to get around with its efficient network of trolley buses, subway, buses and trams that are run from 5am until at least 11pm. You can buy bus and tram tickets from RATB street kiosks. Metro tickets are available inside the stations. Save money with an unlimited weekend metro pass.
Bucharest is a wonderful mix of new and old, and the best way to get to know the city is by spending time walking through the streets taking in the sights and sounds. One of its earliest settlements was Old Town, whose historic buildings have been carefully restored and today houses shops, cafes, theaters, and restaurants. Spend the afternoon strolling through the cobblestone streets, then stop by the Carturesti Carusel bookstore to browse the aisles covering six floors and enjoy coffee in its cafe. In the evening, listen to the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic play at the 19th century Romanian Athenaeum, which resembles an ancient temple.
To get a sense of Romania’s proud history, spend time at the National Museum of Romanian History, showcasing the Romanian Crown Jewels, Pietroasele Treasures, and other artifacts. The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum is an open-air museum in Herastrau Park that represents Romania’s traditional way of life. Each of the 300 buildings were shipped from towns throughout the country. At the National Museum of Art, visit galleries highlighting some of Romania’s most prominent artists, such as Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, and Milita Petrascu.
Gorgeous parks are located all over the city, and are a great way to relax when the weather is nice. The oldest park is Cismigiu Garden, and you can spend the day relaxing under the trees or rowing along the lake. At Herastrau Park, you can visit the open-air museum, enjoy an old-fashioned amusement park, or settle in for a picnic. Carol Park is a popular pot during the summer, when it hosts concerts in its open-air theater, Arenele Romane.
Bucharest is the perfect base for exploring the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the rest of Eastern Europe. Cheap flights can help you find great prices on many flights throughout this region.
There are several public transportation options to travel to and from Henri Coanda International Airport. The 783 Express line will take you to the city center and runs throughout the day, and the express train travels between the airport stop and Bucharest North Railway Station. Taxis are also available at the airport. You will want to be sure to give yourself enough time to reach the airport and check-in, especially during busy travel times.