The Town

Visit Bucharest!

Why Bucharest? For its history, for its people and places, for its art and architecture, its restaurants and terraces, its shops, business centers… A dynamic city in constant evolution is waiting for you with open arms, either as tourists or for business purposes, a city in which modern contrasts with the old town.
Duke Hotel is located in the city center, in Roman Square, very close to business or touristic attractions. Reaching them is easy thanks to several bus lines and to the subway station located 1 minute away from our hotel. If you prefer taxi, you can find one in the Roman Square or we will happily order one for you right in front of the hotel.

Old Town (5-10 minutes away)

Live the atmosphere of the old Bucharest! In the old town, you will find a different world, where history is engraved on the architecture of each building. Here you can visit impressive historical monuments and, after walking on the streets full of stories, you can enjoy the offer of the countless restaurants and terraces located in this part of the city. If you like nightlife, this is the ideal place: pubs, terraces, discos and clubs!

What you can visit in the old town:

  • Stavropoleos Church

It is an Orthodox church, built in the Brancovan style, located in the historic center of Bucharest. It was built in 1724, during the reign of Nicolae Mavrocordat. The church and the monastery were built in the courtyard of his inn by Ioanichie Stratonikeas, a common situation in those days.

  • The Russian Church

The Russian Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was built between 1905 and 1909, on the initiative of the Russian ambassador Ghiers for the embassy staff and for the Russian believers in Bucharest. The interior is painted in the Byzantine style and the iconostasis is carved in wood and overlaid with gold. During World War I, the church was closed and the religious objects and archives were sent to St. Petersburg, where they got lost during the Russian Revolution.

  • Curtea Veche Museum – The Princely Palace

Curtea Veche (the Old Court) is the first princely court in Bucharest. The exact founder is unknown, but, according to historians, it seems to have been built by Mircea cel Batran in the late 14th century – the beginning of the 15th century. Originally, the Princely Court consisted of a palace – the Princely Palace, the Church, reception halls, princely chancelleries, stables and gardens. It became inoperable after the fire of 1718, which destroyed the entire city and after the earthquake in 1738.

  • Hanul lui Manuc (Manuc’s Inn)

An important tourist attraction and historic monument, the Inn was built by Moldavia’s Bey, Manuc, in 1808. Because of multiple restorations, the original architecture is unknown, but descriptions of the early 19th century show that its structure consisted of a basement with vaulted cellars, a ground floor with shops and halls, and a first floor with guest rooms. In the courtyard, there is a garden with fountain and café.
The inn hosted the officials who held the peace talks aimed to end the Russo-Turkish War (1806-1812).

  • National Bank of Romania Palace

The building was built by Albert Galleron and Cassien Bernard, both students of Charles Garnier, who built the Paris Opera House, based on the architectural principles of the academic eclectic style.

  • Caru’ cu Bere (Cart with Beer)

Famous beerhouse in the Old Town, opened in 1879, a place full of tradition, where time stopped in the Little Paris era. A building with murals, stained glass and carved cross-beams. The symbol of this place is Mos Ghita (Old man Ghita), the cellarman who worked for decades at Caru’ cu Bere, going down with his lamp to the cellar full of barrels thousands of times. His sillouhette guards even today the right cross-beam.

Important buildings and monuments in Bucharest:

  • People’s House (The Parliament Palace) (10 min)

People’s House got into the Guinness World Records 3 times: as the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, the world’s most expensive administrative building and the heaviest building in the world.

  • Palace of Justice (10 min)

The foundation stone was laid by King Carol I of Romania himself on October 7, 1890 and the building was inaugurated on October 4, 1895. The central part of the building was built in the French Renaissance style. There are six allegorical statues above the main entrance: Attention, Force, Law, Justice, Eloquence and Truth.

  • Cotroceni Palace (15 min)

The Cotroceni Palace was built by Carol I of Romania in the classic Venetian style, in the precincts of the old monastery started by Serban Cantacuzino in 1679 and continued by Constantine Brancovan (in Romanian: Constantin Brancoveanu). After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, the palace became the official residence of the Romanian President.

  • Victoria Palace (The Romanian Government) (5 min)

The Victoria Palace was begun in 1937 and finished much later, in 1952; it was badly damaged during the bombing of 1944. During the communist period, it was the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the Council of Ministers; after 1989, it became the seat of the Romanian Government.

  • Arch of Triumph (10 min)

It is one of Bucharest’s symbols and commemorates Romania’s victory after World War I, at the end of which almost all the territories inhabited by Romanians were united.

  • CEC Building (10 min)

The foundation stone of the Savings Bank Palace was laid on July 8, 1897, in the presence of King Carol I of Romania and Queen Elizabeth; the palace was completed in 1900. Until 1875, there was the St. John the Great Inn, which was demolished because of its degradation. The construction plans were made by the architect Paul Gottereau, with specific elements of the late nineteenth-century French architecture.

  • The Patriarchal Cathedral and The Patriarchy Palace (10 min)

The Patriarchy Palace was built by the Romanian state in the early twentieth century, on the site of the former hall of the Assembly of Deputies on the Mitropoly Hill. The ensemble made up of the Patriarchal Cathedral and the Patriarchy Palace lies on the site of the “St. Constantine and Helen” monastery founded by Constantin Voda Serban (1654-1658) and donated to the Wallachian Mitropoly.

  • University of Bucharest (5 min)

The University Palace is located in the University Square and it was built in the neoclassical style on the former site of St. Sava Monastery, in 1857. The side buildings were added later, between 1912-1926. The four muses on the facade of the building were added in 1929 and were made by the sculptor Emil Wilhelm Becker, whose daughter, Else, served as a model.

  • Romanian Opera House (15 min)

The National Opera House of Bucharest was built in 1953 according to the plans of the architect Octav Doicescu. Its facade has a portico with three monumental arches, decorated with the statues of four muses and two bas-reliefs, one depicting an opera scene, and the other the flight of ballet dancers. The performance hall has a chandelier with one hundred gold-coated crystal arms.

  • National Theatre (5 min)

The original building of the National Theater was located on Calea Victoriei, but it was almost completely destroyed during the bombing of 1944. In 1990, the Novotel hotel was built on that site and it keeps part of the former National Theatre’s facade.
The current building is located in the University Square and it was opened in its current form in December 1973. In the ‘80s, the building was remodeled at the request of Nicolae Ceausescu.

  • Athenaeum (George Enescu Philharmonic) (5 min)

This symbol building of the city was built 120 years ago by the French architect Albert Galleron. The inauguration took place on March 5, 1889. The Romanian Athenaeum Palace was built with funds raised by public subscription; the call to citizens sounded like a popular call “Give a penny for the Atheneum!” (in Romanian: Dati un leu pentru Ateneu!), a call that turned into a lesson of unity and awakening of national consciousness.

Museums

  • Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History (5 min)

The “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest institutions of biodiversity research and education and enlightenment of the public. Many of the collections found here are world heritage values.

  • Museum of the Romanian Peasant (5 min)

The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a museum of folk art and tradition, located in Victory Square, Bucharest, near the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History and the Geology Museum. The building is a Neo-Romanian style historic monument, its rich collections of objects and the original museography brought the EMYA trophy – European Museum of the Year Award in 1996.

  • National Museum of Geology (5 min)

The imposing building, which was declared an architectural monument, was built in the neo-Brancovan style by the architect Victor Stefanescu in the early twentieth century. The museum is a huge book that illustrates all branches of geonomic sciences, from the formation of plants, minerals, rocks, deposits, global tectonic to the evolution of life on Earth, evolution of man and his interaction with Earth.

  • National Village Museum (15 min)

The museum is not a mere collection of Romanian traditional houses; it is a “village museum”, a real village with lanes, fountains, markets. Traditional houses, a wooden church from Maramures, five windmills, a watermill, an oil press, a distillary, a fishery and other outbuildings, as well as original and unique monuments were transported and reassembled on the territoriy of the museum.

  • George Enescu National Museum (Cantacuzino Palace) (10 min)

The “George Enescu” National Museum is in the Cantacuzino Palace, on Calea Victoriei, one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest, built between 1901 and 1903 by Grigore Cantacuzino (former mayor of the Capital, Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party).

  • National Art Museum (Royal Palace) (5 min)

The Royal Palace is a monumental building in Bucharest, close to the Athenaeum, originally the center of the monarchical power in Romania. After the fire of 1926, which destroyed the central building, it had to be replaced and a new palace was built by the architect Nicolae Nenciulescu, which was finished in 1937. Currently, the Palace houses the National Art Museum of Romania.

Parks and Gardens

  • Herastrau Park (15 min)

It is the largest park in Bucharest, spreading on 110 hectares, located in the northern area of the city, on the shores of the Herastrau Lake. The attractions of the park are most diversified: cafés and restaurants, nautical clubs, boat trips, exhibitions, summer theater.

  • Carol Park (15 min)

The park on the Filaret Hill was designed by the Swiss landscape architect Eduard Redont and it was inaugurated in 1906 to celebrate 40 years of King Carol I’s reign. Here you can visit the Mausoleum (1962), the George Grigorie Cantacuzino Fountain (neoclassical style, 1870), the Giants’ Statues, the Monument of the Unknown Soldier (brought from Marasesti in 1991) etc.

  • Cismigiu Garden (15 min)

The Cismigiu Garden is the oldest public garden in Bucharest, with an area of 16 hectares, located in the city center. There is a special place here, called La Cetate – the ruins of a monastery built by the scribe Vacarescu in 1756, which had a secret tunnel that connected the Cretulescu Palace to the shore of the Dambovita river.

  • Botanical Garden (20 min)

Established in 1860, during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Botanical Garden is an institution of culture, education and research. A wide variety of plants are cultivated here mainly for scientific reasons, but also for the pleasure and education of the general public.

Shopping

  • Unirea Shopping Center (10 min)
  • Cocor Shopping Center (10 min)
  • Afi Palace Cotroceni (15 min)
  • Calea Victoriei (5 min)
  • Magheru Boulevard (1 min)

Info Bucharest

www.seebucharest.ro
www.centrulvechi.com