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Any city that wants to attract tourists (or that it is already visited by tourists) should provide some tours of the city with different ways of transportation. I have to admit that Bucharest, the capital of my country, Romania, didn’t had such a service.
Recently however, the local public transportation company launched Bucharest City Tour – a tour of the city with a touristic bus.
At first it was only the trip – now there are also audio guides offered, included in the price of the ticket. Audio guides offer information – for the moment – in English and Romanian.
The tour has many stops 14, plus the end of the tour – you can hop on or off at any one of them! It’s an ongoing tour – if you start your trip from a station you can stay on the but until you go back there (you don’t have to descend at the end of the tour, the official start point, Piata Presei Station). I must admit I liked that!
10:00 – 22:00
Daily departures approx. every 15 minutes
Tour duration: approx. 50 minutes
Tickets: 1 day travel card
Travel cards remain valid for 24 h after the initial validation.
– Adults: 25 lei
– Children aged 7-14: 10 lei
Children under 7 travel free.
Travel cards must be validated upon every boarding.
You can purchase your travel card:
– on board of the buses
Now, let me tell you my story.
We live closer to the Piata Unirii station – so we took the bus starting there. Of course, I had to stop and photograph a beautiful fountain in this square.
Just as we arrived toward the station a bus was leaving – but in less than 15 minutes another one arrived. We got in the bus and of course went up – the only place suitable for the tour.
There were some people but there also were several free places left. We sat down on 2 of them :).
And we started the tour.
It was almost 8 o’clock – so it was getting darker and also the wind was blowing our hair. So tip 1: if you take the tour at night or when there is some wind announced do take a hat and maybe a jacket too. I was wearing a short sleeve blouse.
The first stop for us: Piata Universitatii. The audio guide announced us that we can see The Bucharest City Museum that was established in 1921 and is a repository of facts, events and portraits of important figures in the history of the capital city (stop 9, tourist attraction N). N). The guide offers more info than this short presentation (from the official page) so pay attention to the explanation – tip no. 2.
The minus is that the explanation didn’t mentioned where exactly is this Museum (that is located on the left side) – and it was the same for all the monuments and important touristic objectives mentioned in this tour. So tip no 3: if you have a Romanian friend to guide you through, “use” him/her. We played at some point as guiding tours from some of our friends and it was great!
For instance, at Piata Universitatii stop, you see – on the right side – The Coltea Hospital and Church and the statue.
The tour continues with Piata Romana – and the monument presented is The Museum of Romanian Literature offers an eloquent image on the development of Romanian literature (stop 10, tourist attraction O). The monument is on a boulevard on the left side – you cannot actually see it from the bus. You’ll see however, your right side, ASE – the Economical Studies Academy, famous in Romania.
Afterwards you have Piata Victoriei – with the Government headquarter, in fact The Victoria Palace.
You’ll then see on the road a monument dedicated to air heroes.
You’ll reach Charles de Gaulle’s Square where you’ll see Charles de Gaulle’s Statue which was sculpted by the artist Mircea Corneliu Spătaru (stop 12, tourist attraction R).
By this time you are heading towards The Arch of Triumph, a monument that celebrates the victory of the Romanian troops during the First World War and was inspired by the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris (stop 3, tourist attraction C).
Afterward we continued the road through the boulevard – finding out interesting info on Herăstrău Park (the largest park in Bucharest, located in the northern part of the city – stop 1, tourist attraction A) and “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum (one of the largest open-air ethnographic museums in Europe – stop 2, tourist attraction B).
Trees from the margins were very close to us – almost could touch the leafs. It was almost night.
You’ll reach Casa Presei Libere.
And than we started the tour back – that has also new points os interest on the way!
We first heard again the info on Herastrau Park and “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum, reached The Arch of Triumph and than took it on Kisselef boulevard that offered us the possibility to find out more (and see on the right side of the road) The ”Grigore Antipa” Natural History Museum which explores the biodiversity and life dynamics on Earth (stop 4, tourist attraction E) and The National Museum of Geology that exhibits over 80.000 samples of minerals, rocks and fossils (stop 4, tourist attraction F).
When reaching Piata Victoriei, The Victorial Palace was on our left side this time. We continued the trip on Victoriei Boulevard, seeing different churches and also George Enescu’s Museum,
Romanian Casino Palace, Academy’s building, and reaching to The Romanian Athenaeum (a landmark of Romanian culture)
and Kreţulescu Church – one of the most valuable monuments of architecture in Bucharest (stop 5, tourist attraction I).
You’ll also see some nice hotels – and peak into their room (not of the guests, but conference/balroom) – we did that and saw a very nice and good looking one on a hotel on the left side. And yes, all of us, ladies, were admiring the room 😀
You’ll see also The Military National Circle.
You’ll be able to take a peak at the streets of Old Bucharest – in the middle of the city – (Lipscani, Selari etc.)
and see The CEC Palace that was built between 1896-1900 in French eclectic style and is one of the earliest savings banks established in Romania (stop 6, tourist attraction J) and
You’ll see also The Palace of the Parliament has a surface of 265.000 m² and is the world’s second largest building after the Pentagon (stop 7, tourist attraction L).
and The Architectural Ensemble on Mitropoly Hill and the Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral were built in 1656 (stop 8, tourist attraction M).
This is the way we took the tour. As I already pointed out you can hop in at any station and during a 24 hours period you can take as many short or long trips with the bus as wanted. The ticket is not nominal;)
Even if some info are missing – the tour is definetely improvable and I’m sure it will be improved from the point of view of offered information and audio guides languages, the tour is worthing your time. I had a great time, took photos. Some kids were simply charmed by the bus 😉
The company was also interesting. Many tourist – we had people from France near us – a Romanian couple that was with them was presenting them the city. Another French couple got on the bus at some point. English speaking people were also in the bus – and Romanians too. And we didn’t speak with all the people on the bus.
I must admit that in almost an hour we actually met some interesting people from all over the world – like a community. Simply great!
I loved it and I really want to take the tour again! for we didn’t manage to take another ride in the second day 🙁