Discover some of the best hidden gems in Bucharest Romania

12 Hidden Gems of Bucharest That Most Tourists Never See

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Looking for some cool places in Bucharest or want to get a bit off the beaten path in Romania’s capital city? Read on!

In our previous article, you could read all about the main highlights of Bucharest. And while it’s an absolute must to visit the Palace of Parliament and the Revolution Square, you should also see the other side of Bucharest in order to truly appreciate the city as it is today!

So in this post, I’m sharing some different things to do in Bucharest, some less-known places, the hidden gems of Bucharest.

From street art to abandoned buildings, and from trendy bookstores to some of the hip rooftop bars that only locals know about… Find out!


I was extremely lucky to explore Bucharest with the local guides and discover not only the most known landmarks but also some of the best less-known places of Bucharest that most tourists never see.

In this article, I want to share some of these hidden gems with you so that you too can experience Bucharest as a local. Some of these cool places you can easily visit on your own. However, several others can only be visited with a guided tour, as you not only need to know the location but also have permission to enter.

In no specific order, here are some of the best hidden gems of Bucharest, Romania:

1. Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca

Bucharest is sometimes called the Little Paris. No other place in Bucharest reminded me of Paris more than these two tiny passages hidden right in the middle of the city center – Vilacrosse passage and Macca passage. Even the tables and the chairs looked like they came straight from a Parisian café.

Location: Pasajul Vilacrosse

Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca in Bucharest Romania
Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca
Macca - Vilacrosse Passage in Bucharest Romania
Vilacrosse Passage cafés

2. Pura Vida Sky Bar

You’ll probably never think of climbing five flights of stairs of a hostel in the center of Bucharest in order to get to a bar. But if you are fit enough, I strongly recommend that you check this place out!

The views from Pura Vida Sky Bar are incredible. Furthermore, they make some of the best cocktails in Bucharest.

TIP: go in the evening and enjoy beautiful sunset views over the Old Town.

Location: Strada Smârdan 7

Pura Vida Sky Bar is a hidden gem in the Old Town of Bucharest Romania
Pura Vida Sky Bar

3. Carturesti Carusel

This beautiful bookstore is a true gem right in the Old Town of Bucharest. Carturesti Carusel is one of those Instagram-perfect places that probably get a lot of visitors thanks to social media.

Nevertheless, it’s not something you’ll probably find if you are not specifically looking for it, so keep in mind when exploring the Old Town.

TIP: on the top floor you will find a café that serves some really good home-made lemonade.

Location: Strada Lipscani 55

Carturesti Carusel bookstore in Bucharest Romania
Carturesti Carusel

4. Carturesti Verona

Less known, but just as interesting to visit is another bookshop in the centre of Buchrest – Carturesti Verona. It’s actually an old house with many rooms, each with different design and a variety of gifts and books classified per genre. It’s a great place to just walk around and discover something new in every room you venture. We saw several people sitting in different rooms and reading books from the store. One of the biggest rooms has a café as well.

Tip: don’t miss the mural of the cat reading a book on the front side of the building.

Location: Strada Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15

Carturesti Verona book shop in Bucharest
Carturesti Verona
Carturesti Verona bookstore in Bucharest Romania
Carturesti Verona

5. Abandoned buildings of Bucharest

Bucharest has incredible architecture, but also many abandoned buildings that still have so much charm.

Two of my favorites were the 120-year old Macca House and The Truth newspaper Trust (1898)

These places cannot be visited individually, so you will need to book a tour.

Update: the same tour that I did seems to be unavailable at the moment. But there is an alternative tour you could consider instead.

Abandoned building of The Truth newspaper Trust (1898) in Bucharest Romania is just one of the hidden gems we found when exploring Bucharest with a local guided tour
The Truth Newspaper Trust
Old palace in Bucharest - read all about where you can find this and other hidden gems of Bucharest
Macca House Entrance Hall Ceiling
The 19th century Macca house - one of the best finds off the beaten path in Bucharest
The 19th century Macca house

6. The English Passage

The English Passage leads you straight through a building that was first built as a brothel in 1900. Since WWII it’s being used as social accommodation. The architecture is really worth seeing.

TIP: In the far corner of the passage you will see a little hat shop – Palaraii la mesterul Nicu. We had the pleasure of meeting the owner. Nicu was almost 90 at that time and he has been making hats since he was 14. It’s really worth taking a look inside his little shop. And who knows, maybe you will find a perfect hat for you.

Location: Pasajul Englez

The English Passage in Bucharest Romania
The English Passage
Palaraii la mesterul Nicu - an old hat maker in Bucharest Romania
Palaraii la mesterul Nicu

7. Bucharest street art

Bucharest has a lot of street art and you will probably be able to find at least a couple really interesting murals on your own.

However, Romanian street art often goes deeper than just a painting on the wall. There is so much history, so much social involvement and political protest behind these paintings, that to truly appreciate what you see you should better take a guided tour with a local.

Here is a small selection of really nice tours that will show you the alternative side of Bucharest:

Bucharest street art
How to find some interesting less known places and true hidden gems in Bucharest Romania
Bucharest street art is easiest to find by taking a tour with a local
Colorful street art in Bucharest Romania

8. Pasajul Victoria – umbrella street and a hidden bar

The first day I arrived in Bucharest I stumbled upon this little passage – Pasajul Victoria, just next door to my hotel. I posted a picture on Twitter and before I knew it the hundred other bloggers that were attending #ExperienceBucharest had found the street as well.

So thanks to Instagram and other social media this little hidden passage is now probably the most popular street in Bucharest. I assume I wasn’t the first one there, so please don’t blame it on me… 🙂

Anyway, in the meantime, Bucharest umbrella street has become a must. So walk through it and have a drink or a pizza at the restaurant under these colorful umbrellas.

And once you are there, don’t miss the hidden underground bar as well.

Location: Pasajul Victoria

Colourful umbrellas of Pasajul Victoria in Bucharest
Colorful umbrellas of Pasajul Victoria
Hidden underground cafe on Pasajul Victoria in Bucharest
Hidden underground cafe on Victoria Passage

9. Antiquities market at Bazar

If you like flee markets and looking for some old hidden treasures, then don’t miss this antiquities market in Bucharest.

It’s located inside an old semi-abandoned building in the center of Bucharest. Even if you don’t buy anything, the beautiful interior is worth a short stop.

Location: Strada Doamnei 11

Antiquities market at Bazar in the center of Bucharest
Antiquities market – Bazar

10. Largest Corkscrew Collection and The Pressing Iron Collection in the World

Bucharest is full of surprises.

The privately-owned corkscrew collection that comprises of more than 30,000 individual pieces and the pressing iron collection with over 35,000 pieces is a true hidden gem in Bucharest!

The collection is curated by the Museum of Romanian Records. It was not open to the public when I visited (only for events), but it seems that it’s now open to everyone. In any case, it can be visited if agreed in advance, and also for corporate events and group trips. You can find more information here.

Location: Strada Parfumului 25-27

Largest corkscrew collection in the world in Bucharest Romania
Largest corkscrew collection in the world
Largest pressing iron collection in the world - Bucharest Romania
Largest pressing iron collection in the world

11. Hanul lui Manuc

Manuc’s Inn is the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest (built in 1806).

Nowadays, you will find a beautifully restored medieval tavern, a wine cellar, and the summer garden that is well worth a stop.

I don’t know how the food is at the restaurant, but you can see the Inn even if you are not a customer here.

Location: Strada Franceză 62-64

Hanul lui Manuc 19th century Inn in the Centre of Bucharest Romania
Hanul lui Manuc 19th century Inn

12. Simbio restaurant

If you are looking for a good meal, I can highly recommend Simbio restaurant. It had a great atmosphere and the best meal of my 5-day trip in Bucharest.

Just prepare to walk a bit in order to get there. The place is literally a hidden gem and is outside the main tourist areas.

Location: Strada Negustori 26

Delicious Romanian food at Simbio restaurant in Bucharest
Lunch at Simbio restaurant

So, these are some of my favorite hidden gems of Bucharest. Bucharest is truly a city of contrasts and if you only see the landmarks, you’ll be missing a great deal.

Have you been to Bucharest? Please leave a comment and share your favorite places in the city!

Planning a trip to Bucharest? You can find the best deals for Bucharest accommodation here.

TIP: If you have some extra time in Bucharest, try to see a bit more of Romania! Here you can read about the most beautiful towns and cities in Romania. Below is a small selection of the best-rated day tours you should consider. Take a look!


READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Bucharest

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12 incredible hidden gems off the beaten path in Bucharest Romania


  1. Incredible.
    Next year I will start planning for a trip to Bucharest. Thanks.

    1. Author

      If you can, take a few days extra and visit Romanian countryside. There are so many amazing day trips that you can do there, or even make a road trip.

      1. I will probably plan a nine or ten day stay in Bucharest so I can make at least one excursion into the country side. 👍

        1. Author

          Sounds like a lot of time, but slow travel is the best way to see any country. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  2. You should have tried Therme, the most beautiful thermal baths in Europe.

    1. Author

      Yes, I heard of it, but had no time to go there. Next time 🙂

  3. I visited Romania a few years ago and my guide was a romanian friend.
    I loved the country and now she shared with me this post with new things to visit when I decided to come and visit the country.
    I loved the suggestions.

    Romania it’s a great country to explore!

  4. The English Passage is a great place for a quick visit. It was also used as a filming location from some Romanian and American movies, as well as for videos for Romanian singers, probably because of its interesting architecture.

  5. FYI

    Beautiful Decay Tour of Bucharest
    Sorry, this product is currently unavailable

  6. Lovely cover of my home town.
    My hat goes off to you for mentioning the passages on Calea Victoriei, especially the English one. It smells awful, but if I have friends from abroad visiting, I take them there, and they like it, though the stay is always short 🙂

    1. Author

      That’s strange you say that, Mirela. It didn’t smell bad at all when I visited. I passed there several times a day for four days in a row and never noticed any bad smell. Bucharest has left a very good impression on me – really clean, green, and safe.

  7. Just my first hour on Bucuresti and I read the post while eating at Zexe in old town (great Romanian food as a recovered tradition) and I really enjoyed your post and will visit those gems next. My first impression of the city you expressed in the right words: “a city of constrats”. Great post!!!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Jorge. Hope you’ll be able to find all these places and enjoy discovering Bucharest as much as I did!

  8. THANK YOU very very much Jurga for your kind words and lovely description of my birth town! There are some places in BUCHAREST that I never was till now…but after reading your impressions I shall go there!! Kisses lovely lady! Come again here & ENJOY!

    1. Author

      Thank you very much, Mikaella. We will definitely try to visit again! Glad to hear that even a local still found some inspiration in this post! We don’t always take the time to explore places where we live neither. We are still discovering many new things here at home in Belgium too.

  9. Wow you’ve made Bucharest look so nice with your pictures. Thanks for these suggestions. I hope to visit there within the next year or so!

    1. Author

      Thanks Mike. Appreciate it! If you go, try to make the time for at least one tour with a local. It makes a huge difference!

  10. I love this post! Great photos <3 <3

  11. Not quite so! Almost all the places you listed are in or near the Old City, which is the premier touristic destination in Bucharest. They are anything but “hidden”..
    The only place I wasn’t aware of is the corkscrew museum, which sounds totally boring.

    1. Author

      Of course, Nicu! They might not be ‘hidden’ for a local like you, but very few tourists will know about them since most are not mentioned in the usual travel guides. On top of that, some of these places are not even accessible to the public without permission. So to a tourist like myself they were all a very nice find and made the whole Bucharest experience more unique.
      And as far as museums go, everyone has different tastes. 🙂 Normally I wouldn’t go out of my way for corkscrews either, but I have to admit that it was a truly enjoyable visit, more fascinating than I would have thought it to be (did I mention they had a nice wine tasting and a beautiful rooftop terrace there as well? ;)).

  12. Great stuff Jurga – wait till you start exploring the country, you’ll be blown away (and take awesome pics!)

    your Romanian Friend 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you, Marius. I really loved Bucharest and would love to explore Romania more.
      It was great meeting you and hearing about those wonderful off-the-beaten-path trips you organise in Romania. You have sold me with that bear watching experience ;).

      1. happy to hear that, Jurga!! I also know someone doing donkey trails in the Transylvanian hills, perfect for a family trip with kids 🙂

        1. Author

          Sounds like fun! Kids would love it for sure!

  13. Thank you for sharing, Jurga!

  14. Beautiful photographs – looks like a great place to visit! I would definitely want to do the decay tour!!!

  15. Great photos and list. Bucharest is beautiful and often underrated. Thanks for showing the great side of this wonderful city.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Allison. I think many places are unloved because they are unknown, Bucharest definitely proves all the sceptics wrong!

  16. Lovely portrait of Bucharest. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    1. Author

      I certainly did, Ana! And I want to inspire others to open up to new experiences and travel deeper, because no matter where yo go, there are incredible hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

  17. If I ever go I will definitely be booking a decay tour – that’s right up my street, or should I say hidden alley way!
    Beautiful pictures Jurga. Which lense did you use for your photos of the staircase and ceiling?

    1. Author

      The Urban Decay tour was my favourite too, Alex. As for the lens, I took all my Bucharest pictures with Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM. I use this wide angle lens more and more recently, especially for city trips..

  18. Bucharest has changed a lot since I went there and for the better. Glad to see that it is now clean and pretty. Your post has definitely may me rethink going again in a good way. Lovely pictures.

    1. Author

      I hear that a lot, Melissa. Bucharest has undergone a complete makeover in the last couple of years and it’s just a matter of time before tourists discover the city.

  19. This was a BEAUTIFUL post! I enjoyed your words but also every picture was stunning!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Ari. Appreciate it! I’m hoping to show other travellers that there is so much more to Bucharest than most people (myself included) could have imagined before the visit.

  20. Can’t stop repeating that I love your photos, Jurga! Btw I didn’t see the passage in the 1st point, it looks amazing!

    1. Author

      Really?! Now you’ll need to go to Bucharest for the 3rd time, Liza ;). It was right in the old town, I took a couple of other bloggers there since they didn’t know about it either. I guess it just confirms what I thought – some of these places are really not widely known to tourists, even though they are so easily accessible.

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