The idea of “traveling deeper” has really taken off in recent years. This is a great thing. I means more travelers are seeking out unique and authentic culture experiences in stead of airbrushed t-shirts and Hard Rock Cafe pins. Perhaps we are evolving!
Bucharest is the perfect place to delve a bit deeper into the culture and history. That’s not to say I didn’t check out Dracula’s Castle… I totally did and I loved it, but with so little known about Bucharest abroad, it’s a great excuse to really have a more meaningful cultural experience.
Most of the people I told I was going to Bucharest didn’t know a thing about it, including what country it’s in. This is a shame because it’s such a spectacular city people are missing out on, but it is good because travelers don’t necessarily come prepared with “must-dos” and it gives them more freedom to explore the real soul of Bucharest.
If you’ve followed me or any of the 100 other influecers there at the time, you’ve heard about Experience Bucharest (if not, check out #ExperienceBucharest on any social media, I promise you’ll like what you see!). This incredible event was aimed at bloggers and social media content creators to show off this hidden gem of a city. With so many of us in the city, many tour companies offered their finest and I am happy to report that they went much deeper than just walking tours of the city sights (though those are great too). Here’s a look at a few of the tours I was fortunate enough to be a part of. All of these tours are available to the general pubic and come highly recommended (by me.)
Bellu Cemetery Discovery Tour
Weird confession; I LOVE looking around old cemeteries. I think it’s a great way to connect with the history of a place and I really want to see a ghost! The Bellu Cemetery seems like the perfect place for it too. The cemetery is huge and would be great to just walk around at your leisure, but it’s really best seen through a tour. I went on a tour with Roaring Romania that was filled with great information. There were so many stories of tragic lives and sordid affairs (and who doesn’t love that?). There are also a number of illustrious Romanians, none of whom I would have known about without the tour, mostly because I don’t speak Romanian (yet). In fact I’m planning a longer post full of pictures and stories about dead guys, so that’s something you all have to look forward to.
Culinary Workshop – Garlic Themed
Food is the best way to connect with any culture, and what food is more synonymous with Romania than garlic? Not only is it delicious, but it wards off vampires! Of course their are not real vampires, but this tour does come packed with plenty of information about Vlad the Impaler (the real-ish Dracula), and Romania folklore. Vampires, folklore, and plenty of delicious garlicky food! Want in? Contact My Secret Romania… Just make sure you don’t have a hot date after.
Outcast Tour – Homeless Life in Bucharest
Surly the best people to show you around the streets of Bucharest are those who used to live there. This fascinating tour by Urban Adventures is lead by formerly homeless residents shows a different and sometimes seedy side of the city, but it also helps with initiatives to get people back on their feet. Our guide Sergiu shared his moving and deeply personal story and did an amazing job guiding us around the city. It’s really a tour that shouldn’t be missed. I only wish more cities would take note and offer similar experiences.
Tasting Bucharest – Lunch Food Tour
You know I had to do a food tour! This particular tour by Bucharest Food Tours includes 3 stops, first sampling traditional peasant foods, then onto a fancier experience, and finally topped off with a stop at a coffee shop with more options than I knew were possible in a coffee order. Of course there was plenty to drink too. If I learned anything about Romanians it’s that they are a special kind of drinker. I think I’m a champ, but whoa! These guys are serious. But fill me with delicious food and booze and I’ll love forever… and that’s how I feel about Bucharest.
So cheers to a great time discovering a great city!
Oh yeah… and sometimes their wine is blue. How bananas is that?!
*Disclaimer- I was hosted on the above tours as a guest of Experience Bucharest, but as always all opinions are my own
31 thoughts on “Travel Deeper in Bucharest”
Bucharest seems like such an amazing city. And the ExperienceBucharest event sounds awesome. 100 bloggers, what a feat! Your photos came out gorgeous and that blue wine – what an experience.
Thanks Debra. It was really amazing. Bucharest was never really on my radar, but it absolutely stole my heart. If you have the chance GO!
Very nice! I definitely want to visit Romania some day. And I have to confess, I like visiting cemeteries too. Even when I don’t know anyone buried there. It is just a way to respect the history of the place, and it is interesting to learn something about local life.
Those types of tours are great because it allows you to discover more than just the most well-known tourist attractions. It certainly was a great way to discover Bucharest in depth.
Wow, now this seems like the way to see a city. I love the idea of traveling deeper and not just hitting the well-known sights. Bucharest seems like a fascinating place, and I’d be interested in doing your same itinerary.
I would have loved looking around the cemeteries too and the lunch tour looks right up my street.
Bucharest looks like an amazing place. Oh the food looks so delicous. And when we can enjoy the food with the city backdrop, nothing gets better than that.
How funny that I should read this post, as my husband and I had just watched “Brahm Stoker’s Dracula” tonight! Bucharest looks like such a unique and fascinating city. And I love all the different types of tours you present in your post, to help visitors get a more in depth look at the city. I love doing those types of tours when I travel!
I am so happy to see this article about my hometown 🙂 It has indeed a lot to offer to any type of visitor!
I’m seeing lots of blog posts from Bucharest lately, nice to see more people checking it out. I’m a big fan of cemeteries too. It’s always enlightening to see how a culture remembers its dead.
I read about the blue wine. How was it?
Honestly, I think the blue wine was better for instagram than for drinking lol. It’s worth trying once though. It just tastes like a pretty average chardonnay (I don’t like chardonnay), so it’s not what you’re expecting when you see the color.
Now, this is a trip that I can get behind. So much delicious looking food! Though I’m not sure about that garlic-themed food tour. I’ll have to stay away from people!
Glad you enjoyed our city Maggie! Come back again and get ready to explore the beautiful countryside, plenty of friendly locals like me and interesting things to do (see my link for some examples). And Transylvania will blow you away!
Your Romanian Friend
I’m already trying to plan a trip back to explore more of the country! I wanna make it to some of the vineyards!
Sounds good – I’ll be waiting 🙂 look me up before you start planning so I can give you some tips first
It looks like you all had a blast at the event! I love the urban tour, I’ve heard more and more cities are doing this and it’s a great initiative. Also, blue wine, yes please!
Bucharest sounds amazing. I’m definitely looking into the Experience Budapest ideas. Putting previously homeless to work as tour guides is a brilliant way to get off the beaten path and do good. I’m with you and hope other locations follow suit.
It looks like the Experience Bucharest team put together a really great itinerary for you. The food and cultural scene are a surprise to me – there’s more to Bucharest then I would have thought! Thanks for highlighting this destination.
Romania is on my list. The former eastern block countries hold a special allure for me. I know people who have lived there and I would really like to experience it myself. I can see myself on one of the food tours.
I have made a point of going deeper in experience on my trips for ever. I guess I was ahead of the game ha ha. Bucharest looks gorgeous. and looks like there are really cool tours. I love cemeteries. Is the wine really blue?????????
Your eyes do not deceive you. The wine is really that blue! It’s worth a trip to Bucharest just for that!
It was so lovely to meet you there Mags! That bloody blue wine! I wish I had managed to get on the outcast tour, such a great way to travel deeper in any city.
Dannielle | While I’m Young recently posted…May Highlights: Bucharest and Benidorm
Hi Dannielle, so great meeting you as well! There were so many tours that looked interesting, it was impossible to decide. If you need a travel buddy to go back and try the rest of the tours, just let me know 😉
I considered Bucharest as one of our potential destinations. We are slow travelers, so I was thinking about staying there for about 3 months. The main attraction of this city for us was the fact that Romania is not a part of Schengen zone. I was looking for a place somewhere in Europe outside of the zone since we run up our time allowance there. Ultimately, we ended up in Sofia instead. We loved Bulgaria, so I have no regrets, but your post brought back the possibility of visiting Bucharest. I am not sure about tours you described. Frankly, I prefer to explore a new place on my own. The cemetery looks interesting. Just like you, I love cemeteries and try to visit them in any new location. Out of curiosity, what makes the wine blue? Cheers!
That is a great question. I was told that something in the grape seeds makes the wine blue, but I’m a bit suspicious.
We have never done a food tour but love travelling deeper. That blue wine is something I have never seen!
Although Romania is pretty underrated destination, Bucharest seems like a great place to visit. There must be a reason why people call it “Little Paris”, right? And by the way, how about the blue vine????
I absolutely love that “travel deeper” has become more encouraged and practiced. I always believed that you never really visited a place until you’ve met the people there and eaten the food and learned the history. It’s totally unfair to a city and its residents if you put it on your list when you really just took a quick look out your hotel window and hopped on a plane to your next destination. Bucharest looks so beautiful and I’ve heard a lot of great things from my friend who recently went too
These tips are very useful and practical! I will bear these tips in mind next time I go to Bucharest!
Food looks so delicious! You’ve just inspired me to make my dinner.
[…] if you follow me on instagram (which you definitely should), I was completely smitten with Bucharest. I was invited last month to participate in Experience Bucharest, a huge initiative attracting […]