First and foremost, after the long dinner last night and a good night’s rest, we’ll start the day by taking a copious breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant.
Your morning tour begins with a chance to visit the Palace of the Parliament, the world’s second largest administrative building after the Pentagon.
There were many interesting objectives to visit, but I had to keep in mind that the purpose of this tour (that I’d like to offer to the American tourists) is to offer a rich and genuine Romanian Experience, rather than carrying people through all sorts of tiresome and [more or less] irrelevant places.
The reason we decided to show you the Palace of the Parliament (in Romanian: Palatul Parlamentului), also known in English as the People’s Palace (in Romanian: Casa Poporului), is because it was built during the communist regime and it’s sort of a symbol of that era. An interesting point is that the building was built exclusively with Romanian materials.
It is an impressive building. It is the world’s largest civilian building having an administrative function. Measuring 270 m by 240 m, 86 m high, and 92 m under ground, it has about 3,000 rooms and it’s 12 stories tall, with additional 8 underground levels. The edifice also holds the world record for being the heaviest and the most expensive administrative building (only the electric lighting exceeds 6 million dollars per year; there are chandeliers with over 700 bulbs!).
The Palace of the Parliament, as surface, it’s the second building in the world, after the Pentagon. It has a total surface of 330,000 square meters (approx. 3,552,090 sq-ft.)
The building exceeds with 2% the volume of the Keops pyramid.
Then, as a contrast, we decided to visit and show you the Old City of Bucharest – actually, the original settlement of the city. The city of Bucharest was essentially founded here. The “Old Court” museum (i.e., Curtea Veche) it’s the oldest medieval monument in Bucharest, built between 1386 and 1418.
Between 1458 and 1459, this fortress was the residence of Vlad Tepes (well known as “Dracula”). Initially, in this place was a small brick fortress of about 160 square meters (1722 sq-ft). Vlad The Impaler built a new fortress, with stone walls, of about 700 square meters (7534 sq-ft). He ruled from this palace. You can say that this is Dracula’s fortress in the middle of Bucharest.
The entire area, called Old City of Bucharest, preserves a feel of “old times”, with paved narrow streets (only pedestrians allowed) and restaurants with outside tables. It resembles the Latin Quarter of Paris (this is the reason why Bucharest was nick-named in the past “Little Paris”). Take time to stroll the lively pedestrian streets of this charming area where local street vendors offer regional gifts.
From here, since it’s about lunch time, we’ll head towards Manuc’s Inn (Hanul lui Manuc), which is nearby. This is one of the oldest restaurants in Bucharest, built in 1808. The building still preserves the original architecture and the food is specific Romanian (and the wines are great, too).
Enough history for today… It’s time to relax a bit.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure at the Baneasa Shopping City and have some fun… There are about 200 stores there, including all of the big European brands. It is the largest Mall in Bucharest. Have dinner at one of the top-notch local and international restaurants, well-known for their delicious menus, either you want to eat an Argentinian steak, a bowl of noodles or a delicious sushi.
Here there are a couple of links, if you want more details:
Then we’ll go to the hotel, for a good sleep. Tomorrow it’s another day…