The capital of Romania, Bucharest, has been named one of the coolest cities in Europe by a French website. It might sound surprising to you, as Romania has escaped communism only 22 years ago, but “Little Paris” can be one of the best places to party till dawn, take long walks across the river Dambovita, meet beautiful women or wander the streets in the Old Centre. The French website Slate stated that Bucharest is the second coolest city in Europe, after Vienna. They reached this conclusion based on the night life, beer prices and the number of students located there.
Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.”In 1900, Bucharest earned the nickname of “Little Paris” because of its glorious Belle Époque buildings, tree-lined boulevards and the high life. Many of the buildings constructed in the early 1900s were modeled after existing buildings in Paris, and even the city lay-outs of Bucharest and Paris were similar.
Nowadays the city is a bustling metropolis, very urban and modern, although you can still see the scars left by the communist era and its leader – Nicolae Ceausescu. It has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its initial reputation. Finding a 300 year old church near a steel-and-glass building that both sit next to a communist style building is commonplace in Bucharest. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has, in recent years, cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital.
There’s a say that Bucharest has grown into a city of contrasts, that is probably why you only have two choices when it comes to it – love it or not.