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BUCHAREST
October - November 2010 In Your Pocket: A cheeky, wellwritten series of guidebooks. The New York Times

Along the Enchanted Way


We review a highly controversial book

Old Town In Your Pocket


N67 - 12.00 lei
bucharest.inyourpocket.com

A 12-page special on Bucharests Old Town, the area also known as Lipscani

Contents

E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Contents
Basics
8 Everything you wanted to know about Bucharest and Romania, but were afraid to ask 11 14

Culture & Events


The opera season is well underway again

Where to Stay
From palaces of gold to flea pits

Restaurants

23 Where to eat, and where to get food poisoning

Bucharests third full marathon takes place on October 17, starting and finishing in Piata Constitutiei, in front of Casa Poporului. Besides the main marathon (which begins at 09:30), there is also a half-marathon, a wheelchair marathon and fun runs for kids. For more information see www.bucharestcitymarathon.com.

Cafes
So many, weve given them their own chapter

44 46

Nightlife
Clubs, bars, pubs and the like

Sightseeing
What to see Where to spend your days 54 58 70 74

Old Town
The heart and soul of the city

Getting around
In September, Bucharest city council announced that they were planning on creating a further 70 kilometres of cycle paths in the capital by the end of the year. This in addition to the existing 400 kilometres of cycle paths already in use. Now, we say cycle paths in the very loosest sense of the word of course, for in the main a cycle path in Bucharest is in fact a slip of pavement with a picture of a bike painted on it. (Motorists tend to view thesecycle paths as car parks). As such, we welcome the initiative, but have little hope that the experience of the Bucharest cyclist will become all that much better anytime soon.

Shopping & Directory


Everything from malls and souvenirs to accountants, realtors to dentists

Maps & Street Register


Northern Bucharest Central & Southern Bucharest Hotel Map Index Street Register 78 80 76 82

bucharest.inyourpocket.com

October - November 2010

Foreword
Bucharest is a vibrant, modern city which while it has its problems is increasingly like any other European capital. The young (and the not so young) enjoy going out in its cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, clubs, discos and live music venues, much as their counterparts do in almost every other city in the developed world. So it is disconcerting when journalists from newspapers in Western Europe describe Bucharests rejuvenated Old Town the buzzing entertainment area increasingly serving as the heart of Romanias capital as all a bit homogenous and uninteresting. We wonder what it is they would have preferred to find in Bucharest? Empty shops with long queues of locals outside hopefully waiting for a delivery of fresh milk? Teenagers offering to buy your jeans and asking about the latest Beatles records? Or simply the no-go area that was Old Town until entrepreneurs discovered its potential and turned it into the throbbing district it is today? Would that have been less homogeneous and a bit more interesting? We have always been stunned by how some travellers (not just to Romania) can be genuinely disappointed to find that people in once poorer countries actually have the same aspirations (and a desire to enjoy the same kind of nightlife) as they do. For they are missing the point. The fact that Bucharest is increasingly affluent, increasingly modern and increasingly just like every other European capital is something to be celebrated. Compare Bucharest now with the Bucharest of 20 years ago. Then ask locals and only locals, for nobody elses opinion is of any relevance what they prefer: the austerity of then or the abundance of now? The nights when the lights went off at 8pm or the 24-hour city we have today? We are fairly confident we know the answer. Send your own thoughts on the matter to us at editor@inyourpocket.com.

The In Your Pocket iPhone App


Bucharest In Your Pocket is now available in iTunes as an iPhone app. Developed in association with Meta4Labs, the app combines all the best features of In Your Pocket guides - up-to-date, accurate, well-written and independent information - with the functionality of the iPhone.

You can search all venues in Bucharest by location, and find the cafes, bars and restaurants closest to you, as well as browse the apps entire content offline. Visit the App Store on your iPhone or PC/ Mac now. And note that we also have tens of other apps for other cities around Europe available.

E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Bucharest In Your Pocket Str. Stefan Burileanu 1-3 Bl. 21E, Sc. 1, Ap. 8 014191 Bucuresti, Romania tel. (+4) 021 321 44 18 fax (+4) 021 322 25 22 bucharest@inyourpocket.com www.inyourpocket.com ISSN 1454-5276 IYP Romania Srl Printed at MEGAPress SA, Bucharest Tel. (+4) 021 461 08 08/09 Published six times per year, up to 20,000 copies produced each issue

Editorial Editor Craig Turp Researcher Anca Bucataru Photography Craig Turp/IYP Romania Srl unless otherwise stated. Cover photo (of Cretulescu Church, see page 38) Constantin Bogdan Carstina/Dreamstime. Sales To contact our sales team send an email to bucharest@inyourpocket .com, or call our office and ask for the sales department.

Copyright notice
Text, photos and maps copyright IYP Romania Srl 1999-2010 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of its review, without written permission from the copyright owner. The trademark In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Vokieciu 10-15, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76).

Editors note
The editorial content of In Your Pocket guides is independent from paid-for advertising. Advertorials are clearly marked as such. We welcome all readers comments and suggestions. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of going to press and assume no responsibility for changes and errors.

Bucharest In Your Pocket is a member of the Romanian Audit Bureau of Circulation (BRAT)

Bucharest In Your Pocket

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BasiCs
Arriving in Bucharest
Bucharest has two international airports, Otopeni Henri Coanda, and Baneasa Aurel Vlaicu. Arriving at Otopeni After getting off the plane and easing your way through passport control, youll find yourself in the baggage reclaim area. Ignore all of the services on offer here, be it currency exchange or limousines to the city centre. Past customs is the arrivals area, where there are a couple of ATMs, a small cafe, and car hire desks (to your right). You will see signs pointing you towards trains to Gara de Nord: ignore them. You first have to take a bus to the airports train station, and the trains themselves run irregularly. The bus or a taxi are better bets. You will be set upon by taxi drivers offering you a ride to the city centre: ignore them. Outside you will instead find a line up of shiny, expensive but generally honest taxis. Their cabs will display an Airport sign. A ride to the city centre with one of these smiling Charlies will set you back around 130 lei (32). So instead, walk through to departures (turn right as you exit baggage claim) and take a regular Bucharest taxi as it drops somebody off. You will pay around 45 lei for a trip into town. There is a regular stream of these and you should never have to wait too long. You can also get to town by taking bus N 783, which stops underneath the arrivals hall, in front of the internal flights terminal. It leaves for the city centre (stopping at Piata Victoriei, Piata Romana and Piata Universitatii) every 30 minutes from 05:23 until 23:53. Tickets costing 7 lei (valid for two trips) need to be purchased before boarding from the little booth which youll find on your right hand side as you exit the airport building. Another bus, N 780, runs direct from Otopeni to Gara de Nord via Baneasa. Arriving at Baneasa Baneasa is much closer to the city centre than Otopeni. There is an ATM in arrivals, and avoid the currency exchange booth: a rip-off. Bus routes 131 and 335 stop outside, both terminating at Piata Romana. A standard RATB ticket costing 1.30 lei must be bought before boarding: there is a kiosk next to the bus stop. Express bus N 780 runs direct from Baneasa to Gara de Nord, and tickets cost 3.50 lei. Taxis wait outside, but make sure you take one belonging to a trusted company (see Taxis, page eight). The fare to town should cost no more than 35 lei, and take 15 minutes depending on traffic.

BasiCs
When Things Go Wrong
In an emergency call 112. You do not need to use the city code, whether calling from a landline or a mobile. You wll be asked which service you require (Politia/Police, Ambulanta/Ambulance or Pompierii/Firemen). Emergency call centre operators are all meant to speak English or French but in our experience they do not always do so. If you can, ask a Romanian to call; at least make sure you know the name of the street you are calling from. If you get into trouble with the Police, demand to call your embassy. There is a full list on pages 75 and 76. The citys main police station is the brand new building at (B-4) Str. Lascar Cartagiu 22, tel. (+4) 021 212 56 84. The best Casualty Unit (Emergency Room) in the city is at Spitalul de Urgente, (C-3) Calea Floreasca 8, next to Dinamo Stadium. More details in the Health box on page 75. There is a list of Pharmacies on page 76, and an English speaking Dentist on page 75.

By Air

Crime & Safety

If you keep your nose clean, Bucharest is safer than many other cities in Europe. There is almost no violent crime. However, if you go looking for trouble by visiting rough areas, such as Ferentari or Salaj, you will find plenty. Petty crime on the other hand is a major problem. Pickpockets are ubiquitous on public transport, in crowded bars and pubs and even in restaurants (beware that young lad trying to sell you a rose).

Etiquette

In their own homes, Romanians are by and large fabulous hosts. You had better be hungry, because the food never

stops coming. On and on, dish after dish. You must bring something: flowers, chocolates or a bottle of good whisky. You will probably be offered local brandy, uica. Most Romanians love to chat about their country, its politics, problems and history. Dont be surprised if they ask you very direct questions. In all cases, be diplomatic in response.

Left Luggage

By Train

Arriving at Gara de Nord If you arrive by train you will arrive at Gara de Nord. It is OK, but has the usual collection of gypsies, tramps and thieves to contend with. There are ATMs, shops, kiosks and a McDonalds. To get to town take an honest taxi from outside (beware sharks) or take the metro: you are just two stops away from Piata Victoriei. To get to either of the airports from Gara de Nord, take bus N 780.

There are left luggage facilities at Gara de Nord, but no luggage lockers. You will find the left luggage counter opposite the Wasteels office, a short walk from the platforms. The charge is cursory: 4 lei per small bag per 24 hours, 7 lei for a bigger bag. Note that the office keeps irregular hours (with staff taking breaks seemingly willy-nilly), so always make sure there will be someone on hand to give you back your bag when you want to pick it up. There is no left luggage facility at either Otopeni or Baneasa airport.

Local laws & Police

If you are driving, or are out late at night, it is a good idea to carry at least a photocopy of your passport and driving license. Drinking in public (except in designated areas) leaves

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BasiCs
Time & People
Romania is in the Eastern European Time Zone: GMT + 2 hours. When it is 12:00 in Bucharest it is 11:00 in Berlin, 10:00 in London and 05:00 in New York. The population of Romania is 21,700,000, and of Bucharest 2,100,000 (both 2007 estimates).

CULtUre & events


Classical Music
17.10 Sunday Celebrating Chopin - Ivo Pogore315 68 75. Q Performance starts 19:00. Tickets 100 - 200 lei from www.eventim.ro.

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lich C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3 (Ateneul Roman), tel. (+4) 021 Enescu Philharmonic B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 50-180 lei from www.myticket.ro.

20.10 Wednesday Eitetsu Hayashi and George 27.10 Wednesday Labeque Sisters

Taxi Tactics
Bucharests taxi drivers have a refreshingly liberal sense of equal opportunities: basically, when it comes to ripping people off, they view anyone as fair game. Locals, foreigners, young, old, male, female: anyone who steps in the wrong kind of taxi can expect to be well and truly buggered. The important thing to remember when getting into a taxi in this city is that there are two kinds: those which are operated by a tried and trusted taxi company (good) and independents (bad). The problem is spotting the difference. By and large, trustworthy taxis are easy to spot as they are emblazoned with the name and phone number of the company they are associated with. To counter this, the independents have also started to plaster phone numbers (often 9403) over their cars, alongside copy-cat logos that look cunningly like those of decent taxi companies. The best way to avoid being ripped off however is to pay careful attention to the tariffs, displayed on the driver and passenger door of all taxis. There should just now be one single tarif displayed, and anything higher than 1.99 lei per kilometre should start alarm bells ringing. Be extra careful around Gara de Nord, Baneasa Airport, Bucuresti Mall, Piata Universitatii, Piata Unirii. To avoid any problems, call one of the taxi companies listed below. If you are in a hotel or restaurant, ask your concierge or waiter/waitress to call a taxi for you. If you feel something is a bit suspect in any taxi, note down the drivers number and call his company to report him. Autogeneral 021 9401, Cobalcescu 021 9451, Confort 021 9455, Cristaxi 021 9461, Golden Blitz 021 9415, Leone 021 9425, Mavi 021 9450 Meridian 021 9444, Mondial 021 9423, Speed Taxi 021 9477, Taxi As 021 9435, Taxi Total 021 9424. Most of these companies have at least one operator who speaks English.

C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3 (Ateneul Roman), tel. (+4) 021 315 68 75, www.cruciadaculturii.ro. Q Performance starts 19:00. Tickets 75 - 150 lei from www.eventim.ro. C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3 (Ateneul Roman), tel. (+4) 021 315 68 75. Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 100-300 lei from www.eventim.ro. (+4) 021 315 68 75. Q Performance starts 19:00. Tickets 100 - 200 lei from www.eventim.ro.

27.10 Wednesday Mischa and Lily Maisky

09.11 Tuesday Celebrating Chopin - Jean Marc Luisada C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3 (Ateneul Roman), tel. 19.11 Friday Archi della Scala di Milano 28.11 Sunday Sarah Chang

B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 19:30. Tickets 50-150 lei from www.bilete.ro C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3 (Ateneul Roman), tel. (+4) 021 315 68 75, www.cruciadaculturii.ro. Q Performance starts 19:00. Tickets 75 - 150 lei from www.eventim.ro.

Opera, Operetta & Ballet


All performances at Opera Romana (A-5, B-dul Kogalniceanu 70-72), tel. (+4) 021 314 69 80. Performances start at 18:30 unless stated. Tickets 5.30-53 lei from Opera Romana.

you open to a fine, and note that despite appearances to the contrary, prostitution remains illegal. If you are arrested ask to speak to your embassy for advice.

Money

Romanias currency is the leu (plural lei), divided into 100 bani. At the time of writing one leu was equal to 0.25, or 0.23. Notes come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. These are supplemented by 50, 10 and 5 bani coins. The best place to get your hands on Romanian money is at an ATM. If you do have to change cash, do it inside a bank. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Some trusted taxi companies:

Toilets

The only decent public toilets in town are those in the Piata Universitatii underpass (and which are free). By and large your best bet in Bucharest is finding the nearest fast food outlet and purveying yourself of their facilities.

09.10 Saturday Turandot 10.10 Sunday A Balanchine Evening 10.10 Sunday Puss in Boots (11:00) 13.10 Wednesday Amadeus 13.10 Wednesday Sleeping Beauty 14.10 Thursday Carmen 15.10 Friday Cosi Fan Tutte 16.10 Saturday Samson et Dalila 17.10 Sunday Giselle 20.10 Wednesday Tango Emocion 21.10 Thursday Anna Karenina 22.10 Friday La Traviata 23.10 Saturday Faust 24.10 Sunday A Midsummer Nights Dream (11:00) 24.10 Sunday A Balanchine Evening 27.10 Wednesday Le Catatrici Villane 28.10 Thursday Il Corsaro 29.10 Friday La Tragedie de Carmen 29.10 Friday Le Nozze Di Figaro 30.10 Saturday Evgheni Oneghin 31.10 Sunday Snow White (11:00) 31.10 Sunday Turandot 04.11 Thursday A Balanchine Evening 05.11 Friday Der Fliegende Hollander 07.11 Sunday La Canterina 10.11 Wednesday Young Choreographers Evening 11.11 ThursdayTurandot 12.11 FridayMadame Butterfly 13.11 Saturday Fantastia bucharest.inyourpocket.com October - November 2010

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CULtUre & events


Venues & Tickets
Arenele Romane Str. Cutitul de Argint 26 (Parcul Ateneul Romn C-5, Str. Franklin 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 315 68 75, www.fge.org.ro.QOpen 12:00 - 19:00, Casa de Cultura a Studentilor Preoteasa A-5,
Carol).

CULtUre & events


14.11 Sunday A Midsummer Nights Dream (11:00) 14.11 Sunday I Due Foscari 17.11 Wednesday Marina Krilovici (Concert) 18.11 Thursday Sleeping Beauty 19.11 Friday I Due Foscari 20.11 Saturday La Boheme 21.11 Sunday A Balanchine Evening 21.11 SundayHansel and Gretel 24.11 Wednesday Amadeus 25.11 Thursday Tango Emocion 26.11 Friday A Gershwen Evening (Concert) 27.11 Saturday A Midsummer Nights Dream 27.11 Saturday An Evening of Spanish Music 28.11 Sunday Celan

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Sat 16:00 - 19:00, Sun 10:00 - 11:00, 16:00-19:00. Closed Mon.

Calea Plevnei 61, tel. (+4) 021 315 25 42, www. ccs.ro. Diverta E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bucuresti Mall), www.diverta.net. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Jet Set Events Hall B-6, B-dul Libertatii 1, tel. (+4) 0728 44 64 16, www.jtsevents.ro. Magazin Muzica B-4, Calea Victoriei 41-43, tel. (+4) 021 314 56 08. National Theatre (Teatrul National) C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 2, tel. (+4) 021 314 71 71, www. tnb.ro. Q Box office Open Mon 10:00-16:00, Tue-Sun 10:00-19:00.

Rock, Pop & Club Nights


C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www. control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 30 lei from Control Club. B-5, Str. Berthelot 60-64 (Sala Radio), tel. (+4) 021 314 77 70. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 50 - 200 lei from www.bilete.ro.

07.10 Thursday Clan of Xymox

14:00-19:00.

Romanian National Opera (Opera Nationala Romana) A-5, B-dul Kogalniceanu 70-72, tel. (+4) 021 314 69 80. Q Box office open 10:00-13:00,

09.10 Saturday Nicola Piovanni

19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Sala Polivalenta B-dul Tineretului 1 (Parc Tineretului), tel. (+4) 031 425 78 01. Sala Radio B-5, Str. Berthelot 60-64, tel. (+4) 021 314 77 70/(+4) 021 303 12 97, www.srr.ro. Zone Arena C-3, Str. Barbu Vacarescu 164.

Sala Palatului B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28, tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Box office open Tue-Fri 10:00-

Kittin, SIS Live Str. Cutitul de Argint 26 (Parcul Carol). Q Concert starts 23:00. Tickets 35-70 lei from www.bilete.ro.
B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 40 - 100 lei from www.bilete.ro.

09.10 Saturday The Mission: Jeff Mills, Miss 14.10 Thursday Folk Marathon

15.10 Friday David Guetta B-dul Marasti 65-67 (Romexpo, Pavilionul Mare). Q Concert starts 21:00. 17.10 Sunday Jennifer Rush B-5, Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets
Tickets 95-300 lei from www.eventim.ro.

- 65 lei from www.eventim.ro. lei from www.eventim.ro.

17.11 Wednesday Sabaton A-5, Calea Plevnei 61 (The Silver Church). Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 60 19.11 Friday Anathema Str. Cutitul de Argint 26 (Arenele Romane). Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 70 - 90 19.11 Friday Lyrebirds C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. Q Concert 20.11 SaturdayVanessa Mae B-5, Str. Ion Campstarts 20:00. Tickets 30 lei from Control Club.

50-250 lei from www.bilete.ro. 18.10 Monday Cesaria Evora B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 70-250 lei from www.myticket.ro. 22.10 Friday Obits C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 20 lei from Control Club. 26.10 Tuesday Rockapella B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului). Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 50 150 lei from www.bilete.ro. 29.10 Friday Herbie Hancok B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 80-240 lei from www.myticket.ro. 04.11 Thursday Gallon Drunk C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 21:00. Tickets 30 lei from Control Club. 05.11 Friday We Have Band C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 21:00. Tickets 30 lei from Control Club. C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www. control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 21:00. Tickets 30 lei from Control Club.

ineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 0721 60 08 45 (info). Q Concert starts 19:30. Tickets 100-250 lei from www.myticket.ro, Diverta. 25.11 Thursday Psychic TV C-5, Str. Academiei 19, tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. Q Concert starts 21:00. Tickets 60 lei from Control Club. 26.11 Friday Sabrina & Samantha Fox B-5, Str. Ion Campineanu 28 (Sala Palatului), tel. (+4) 021 315 73 72. Q Concert starts 19:00. Tickets 50-250 lei from www.myticket.ro

Park Aventura, Brasov


For an action packed day out, take the kids to Parc Aventura (Cartier Noua, tel. (+4) 0755 08 55 55, www.parc-aventura.ro) in Brasov, a two and a half hour drive north of the capital. Set over two acres, there are more than eight different trails to complete (one of which is suitable children as young as four). You will find it opposite Brasovs zoo (follow the signs for the zoo as you come from Bucharest). Q Open 10:00-21:00. Admission (3hrs) adults 33 lei, students 28 lei, children (8-11yrs) 23 lei, children (4-7yrs) 18 lei.

06.11 Saturday Doll &The Kicks

12.11 Friday Darkwave.ro Festival

C-6, Str. Sfanta Vineri 4 (Club Kulturhaus), www. darkwave.ro. Q Concert starts 20:00. Tickets 70 lei from www.myticket.ro. 20:00. Tickets 50 lei from www.eventim.ro.

13.11 Saturday Sex Pistols Experience C-6, Str. Gabroveni 14 (Mojo Club). Q Concert starts

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where to stay
players, the Carol Park is coquette and secluded: you have to know about this place, as you do not find it by chance. A gorgeous place where the finest things are offered to all who pass through its doors, expect only fine, classic furnishings and very personal service. Q 17 rooms (14 singles/doubles 139-250, 3 apartments 450). Prices do not include VAT and breakfast. PHARULGKW

Crowne Plaza Bucharest A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1, tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, www.crowneplaza.com/bucharest. Contemporary and welcoming, the Crowne Plaza Bucharest offers all the reassuring global standards you would expect of the brand, from first class accommodation to world class facilities. With a renowned reputation for individual and friendly service, the hotel can also offer the greenest setting in the capital, surrounded as it is by beautifully maintained grounds. Can also boast a large swimming pool, big, comfortable rooms (and bathrooms to match) and some outstanding drinking and dining options. Q 164 rooms (130 singles/doubles 180-190, 26 Club 215, 8 apartments 250). Prices include Breakfast. VAT not included. PTHAR6UFLG KDCW
(+4) 0372 01 03 00, www.continentalhotels.ro. Opened at the beginning of 2010, this is the latest five star boutique hotel in Bucharest. Making the very best of a wonderful building (which dates from 1886) on chic and central Calea Victoriei, todays Grand Hotel Continental is the result of more than four years of loving renovation and restoration. Theres antique furniture bought at auction in Vienna at every turn, while other pieces brought from the mansions of Italian noblemen abound. if you want to forget the time and place you are in, this is the perfect choice.Q 59 rooms (20 singles/doubles 280-300, 39 suites/ apartments 330-920). All taxes and breakfast included. PTHAR6UFLGKDW

Grand Hotel Continental C-5, Calea Victoriei 56, tel.

Cream of the Crop


Athenee Palace Hilton C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77, www.hilton.com. Much spoken of in the past tense (this place has a seriously long and legendary history; a home of intrigues and adventure for more than a century) it is less often referred to in the present. This is a deep shame, as to dwell on the past ignores the fact that this is a great, modern hotel. Luxuriously furnished, the immense rooms offer the latest in gadgetry and perhaps the fluffiest bathrobes in Romania. Ask for a room with a views over Piata Revolutiei for best effect.Q 271 rooms (175 singles/ doubles, 96 suites & apartments. Prices from 110-250). PHARUFLGKDCW Carol Parc Aleea Suter 23-25, tel. (+4) 021 336 33 77/
(+4) 021 569 33 77, www.carolparchotel.ro. Luxurious, certainly, but offering something a bit different to the bigger

Howard Johnson Grand Plaza B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 00, fax (+4) 021 201 18 88, reservations@hojoplaza.ro, www. hojoplaza.ro. This is a high-rise hotel in the busy centre of Bucharest, where the sleek, modern exterior is matched by the interiors, all of which carry the signatures of top-name designers. The breakfast is perhaps the best in the city, coming as it does with champagne (for those who enjoy such things in the morning), and the dining opportunities in general are excellent: there is a wonderful Japanese restaurant, Benihana, on site. To really get the bets out of this place though, ask for a room on one of the upper floors, for the views over the city. Q 285 rooms (268 singles/doubles 125-160, 15 suites 215, 2 apartments 375). Prices include breakfast. POTHARUFLGKDW

Symbol Key
P Air conditioning O Casino T Child friendly R Internet (Standard) F Fitness centre K Restaurant C Swimming pool A Credit cards accepted H Conference facilities U Disabled facilities L Guarded parking G Non-smoking rooms D Sauna W WiFi Internet

Aparthotel
Centre Ville Elite B-5, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel.
(+4) 021 312 70 70, www.centreville.ro. aken together, the Centre Ville Hospitality Complex, with includes the Centre Ville Apartments, the Radisson Blu, World Class Health Academy and the Platinum Casino, is one of the largest hospitality complexes in Europe. Yet whereas size can often disappoint, here the grand scale merely adds to the luxurious feeling of staying somewhere rather special. The apartments here are large, airy and brilliantly, uniquely decorated. Q 62 hotel-apartments (49 apartments 120-150, 13 suites 160-250). Prices include VAT. POTHARUFLGKDCW

M Nearest metro station J Old Town location

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where to stay
rooms are big, with bathrooms particularly impressive. Excellent, lively lobby bar and a big indoor swimming pool are other added benefits of staying here.Q 258 rooms (242 singles/ doubles 225-245, 16 suites/ apartments 275-375). Prices do not include breakfast and VAT. POTHAR6U FLGKDCW Montreal 10, tel. (+4) 021 318 30 00, www.pullmanhotels.com. The spacious, luxurious rooms are the main attraction at this high rise in the north of the city, where the bathrooms boast perhaps the deepest bathtubs in the city. There are separate showers, and all in we think that the squaremeterage-per-euro ratio is higher here than anywhere else in Bucharest. A good on-site steak house keeps you well fed, and though there is no pool there is a good fitness centre with sauna and massage available. Q 203 rooms (188 singles/ doubles 205-225, 15 suites / apartments 305-800). Prices do not include VAT and breakfast. POTHAR6U FLGKDW 311 90 00, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-bucharest. A gleaming temple of steel and glass amongst the more classical buildings of Calea Victoriei, the Radisson excels in playing the role of futuristic Bucharest hotel of choice. As you walk in the glass bar strikes you as daring and modern, and the rooms themselves are equally avant garde in design. Bathrooms offer both tubs and showers, and there is both an indoor and outdoor pool. Excellent restaurants. Q 424 rooms (424 singles/ doubles 500-750 lei, 113 suites/ apartments 730-8500 lei). Prices include breakfast (except single, double and extra bed rates). PJHARUFLGKDCW

Pullman Bucharest World Trade Center A-1, P-ta

Radisson Blu B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel. (+4) 021

InterContinental C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 2-4,

MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20, www.intercontinental.com/bucharest. Still the tallest hotel in Bucharest (complete with a swimming pool and sun terrace on the top floor) the Inter Continental was the first major five star hotel to open in Romania, at the beginning of the 1970s. Today it is one of many but remains something of a first choice for journalists and business people, many of whom have been loyal guests for decades. The rooms here all boast big balconies with great views of the city, there is first class dining in the building, and the management is commendably handson. Q 257 rooms (236 singles/doubles 169, 21 suites/ apartments 309 -1500). Prices include breakfast. VAT not included. POTHAR6FLGKDCW

Over 150
00, www.angelo-bucharest.com. The hotel closest to Bucharests Otopeni airport. The Angelo is operated by Vienna Hotels, and its bright exterior is matched by the interior: bold colours abound in all the rooms and the common areas. There is high speed Wifi throughout, and a fitness centre complete with sauna. Transport to and from the airport is complimentary. Good buffet breakfast. Q 177 rooms (172 singles/doubles 165-175, 5 apartments 215). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHAR6UFLGKDW

Angelo Calea Bucurestilor 283, tel. (+4) 021 203 65

tembrie 90, tel. (+4) 021 403 00 00, www.marriott. com/buhro. To the south of Casa Poporului the JW Marriott occupies something of a palatial building that at first glance probably makes it the most immediately impressive of Bucharests big five star hotels. The scale of the place, and its cavernous interiors, betray the fact that it was built as part of the same grand plan as the Casa Poporului itself. Yet the rooms are homely and well-furnished, providing a welcome contrast to the building. Q 402 rooms (379 singles/doubles 740-790 lei, 23 suites & apartments 1500-5000 lei). Prices include breakfast. VAT not included. POTHAR6U FLGKDCW

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand B-6, Calea 13 Sep-

Duke C-4, B-dul Dacia 33, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 317 41 86/(+4) 021 317 41 87, www.hotelduke. ro. Now this place is central. A proverbial stones throw from Piata Romana, this modern hotel is squeezed in to a tight spot between two classic Bucharest buildings of the past. Rooms are well-sized, bathrooms have tubs and showers, and theres free and fast Wifi throughout. Beds get high marks for their excellent mattresses. Q 38 rooms (32 singles/doubles 150-180, 1 triple 190, 5 suites/apartments 200-210). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PARGKW Golden Tulip Times E-6, B-dul Decebal 19, tel. (+4) 021 316 65 16/(+4) 021 316 65 18, www.goldentuliptimes.com. This, people, is a very good hotel where you get a hell of a lot of room for a relatively small amount of money. All come furnished well with terrific beds, big desks and comfy armchairs. Bathrooms are equally impressive and modern. There is Wifi throughout and a host of extras: not least of which is the fantastic breakfast. The on site restaurant is one of the best hotel-based eateries in the city. Q 70 rooms (54 singles/doubles 169-189, 16 apartments 219). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHARULGKW bucharest.inyourpocket.com

Novotel Bucharest City Centre B-4, Calea Victoriei 37B, tel. (+4) 021 308 85 00, www.novotel.com. Few locations are better than this, right on fashionable Calea Victoriei. The entrance is impressive: a replica of the old neoclassical National Theatre which stood on this exact site until the British bombed it to next week during the Second World War. Shiny and new the main part of the hotel is wonderful: Bucharest In Your Pocket

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where to stay
62 70, www.tulipinnbucharestcity.com. Located just off Bulevardul Unirii, the Tulip Inn is something of a beacon of glass and steel in an area of monumental socialist architecture. The hotel is a decent place offering big-ish rooms, with commendably big bathrooms. Happy, multi-lingual staff are a bonus not always found in Bucharests hotels. Good cafes (there are two) to choose from on the ground floor: one has a covered terrace. Q 88 rooms (23 singles 185, 43 doubles 215, 7 superior rooms 220, 14 deluxe rooms 260, 1 presidential suite 485). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PHARUFGKDW

where to stay
Tulip Inn D-7, Str. Nerva Traian 3A, tel. (+4) 021 200 Central B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 13, tel. (+4) 021 315 56
35/(+4) 021 315 56 36, www.centralhotel.ro. Central by name, central by nature. Slap, bang on Bucharests version of Broadway (its all relative), amongst cinemas and theatres, the Central was totally renovated last year and is now one of the best value stays in the city. We like the staff who are always friendly, and who go out of their way to make sure you do not get ripped off by dodgy taxi drivers: such attention to detail is to be applauded. Q 62 rooms (57 singles/doubles 140-160, 5 suites & apartments 199). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTARGKW

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100-150
Amzei B-4, P-ta Amzei 8, tel. (+4) 021 313 94 00, www. hotelamzei.ro. A delicious villa conversion in the middle of Piata Amzei, close to, well, everything. The rooms are all enormous, all are individually furnished and have bags of character, many with sloping ceilings and hidden nooks and crannies. The bathrooms are a little more modest, but are a decent size and very well decorated. Q 22 rooms (14 singles/doubles 99-134, 5 triples 129-154, 3 suites 135-168). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTHARFLGKDCW Armonia D-4, Calea Mosilor 112, tel. (+4) 021 312 04
77, www.hotelarmonia.ro. Not altogether that inviting from the outside, the Armonia offers terrific (though not all that big) rooms that come complete with what have to be contenders for the best bathrooms in the city prize we often mention but never get round to handing out. In spring and summer the terrace at the back is a great place to take your breakfast (included in the price of a room). Q 32 rooms (29 singles/ doubles 110-140, 3 suites 220). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTHAR6ULGKW

El Greco C-5, Str. Jean Louis Calderon 16, MP-ta Universitatii, tel. (+4) 021 315 81 31/(+4) 021 315 90 00, www.hotelelgreco.ro. Located in the heart of what was, pre-World War II, the most stylish residential area in the city. This is one such villa dating from that period, though it has of course been renovated and refurbished to include a rack of modern luxuries. Fortunately, however, the ambience of the ancien regime has been preserved, making this one of the best villa conversions in the city. Q 20 rooms (18 singles/doubles 95-110, 2 apartments 140). PHARULGK Horoscop C-7, Bd. Dimitrie Cantemir 2, MP-ta Unirii,
tel. (+4) 021 335 40 31/(+4) 021 336 62 42, www. hotel-horoscop.ro. A hotel whose biggest claim to fame is probably that it sits above one of the first pizza parlours ever to open in Bucharest (also called Horoscop). Rooms are quite big (though some are bigger than others and are priced accordingly), and come complete with great bathrooms, some of which have jacuzzis. Q 15 rooms (11 singles/doubles 224392 lei, 4 suites/ apartments 392-781.45 lei). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PHA6FGKDW

K+K Elisabeta C-5, Str. Slanic 26, tel. (+4) 021 302 92 80, www.kkhotels.ro. We loved this place for a number of reasons, not least the fact that the huge breakfast buffet stays open until 11:00, meaning late starters can still get breakfast. The hotel is located in a huge, renovated period house just behind Piata Universitatii. The discretion of the location betrays the fact that this is the kind of place you come to if you like old fashioned luxury, good service, and possess exceptional taste. Q 67 rooms (59 singles/doubles 252275, 7 triples 330, 1 suite 400). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHAR6FGKDW
300 05 45, www.nh-hotels.com. Not located in the most attractive area of the city, the NH makes up for that by offering a modern, contemporary hotel experience for a fair amount of money: you can usually stay here for far less than the rack rates. Expect well sized rooms with plenty of extras and a very good on site restaurant. Good place to stay with children and babies: the staff make a point of making them feel welcome. Q 78 rooms (78 singles/doubles 80-90). Prices include VAT. Breakfast not included. PTHARULGKW A-6, Str. Izvor 106, tel. (+4) 021 411 99 90, www. parliament-hotel.ro. So named because it is located behind Romanias parliament building, Casa Poporului, which you can see from almost all of the rooms. This hotel has been around for a decade now and offers a four/five star experience: many of the rooms have jacuzzis in their bathrooms and are packed with luxuries such as the huge, high double beds, which are among the best weve come across in Bucharest. Q 76 rooms (singles/doubles 130-150, suites/apartments 170). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PHARUGKW

NH Bucharest D-6, B-dul Mircea Voda 21, tel. (+4) 021

A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 3-5, tel. (+4) 021 549 20 00, www. ramadabucharestparc.ro. The Hotel Parc has been around a while, but only came under the Ramada banner a short while ago. A high-rise in a leafy suburb (close to Romexpo and Herastrau park - hence the name) it boasts nice rooms which - while not big - are comfortable and boast brightly coloured dcor and gorgeous, soft cotton sheets on the beds. Great buffet breakfast included in the price. Q 267 rooms (180 singles 156, 79 doubles 178, 8 apartments 235). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PHAR6 UFGKDCW

Ramada Bucharest Parc

Parliament

Ramada Majestic B-4, Calea Victoriei 38-40, tel. (+4) 021 310 27 20, www.ramadamajestic.ro. Standing (dare we say it) majestically on Calea Victoriei, the Majestic has long been one of Bucharests best hotels. It offers very big rooms with glorious bathrooms, a great breakfast and - a real bonus - a swimming pool (albeit a rather small one). In a city in which even some of the five star hotels lack pools, the Majestics makes it well worth that little bit extra cash. Q 111 rooms (85 singles/doubles 240-290, 26 suites / apartments 350-1200). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHARUFLGKDCW Ramada Plaza Bucharest B-dul Poligrafiei 3-5, tel.
(+4) 021 549 30 00, www.ramadaplazabucharest.ro. Slightly more upmarket than its sister establishment across the road, what you get here is a slightly bigger room than at the Parc, and much bigger bathrooms. The design of the place is nicely futuristic, and we loved the beds which we think are amongst the best in Bucharest. Free Wifi is a bonus, there is a good lobby bar and a decent on site bistro. Q 266 rooms (259 singles/doubles 178-200, 7 apartments 302). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PHARUFGKDCW

Bucharest In Your Pocket

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where to stay
special treat if you can splash the extra cash. Q 11 rooms (10 single/double 159-219, 1 suite 259). Prices include breakfast. PTHAR6FLGKW

where to stay

21

Starlight B-4, Str. Grigore Alexandrescu 89-97, tel. (+4) 021 211 34 13, www.starlighthotels.com. At the bustling junction of B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara, and glitzy Calea Dorobantilor is Starlight. Every room is a suite, complete with separate living and sleeping areas; some have two bedrooms. All have air conditioning, the latest in home entertainment systems, and kitchenettes complete with microwaves. The fitness centre is free to guests, and a continental breakfast is included in the price. Excellent value for money. Q 78 rooms (72 suites 81-95, 6 apartments 120-135). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTAR6UFLGKDW Venezia B-5, Str. Pompiliu Eliade 2, tel. (+4) 021 310 68 72, www.hotelvenezia.ro. Lovingly renovated with care, taste and not a little style, the Hotel Venezia completes a handy little triumvirate of three-star accommodation options in and around Bulevardul Kogalniceanu (the others being the Opera and Central hotels, all part of the same chain). Expect some unique rooms, some with real character provided by the shape of the building, lovely staff and some thoroughly reasonable prices. Add in speedy internet connections, air conditioning in all rooms and a non-smoking environment, and you have a winner. Q 49 rooms (42 singles/doubles 140-160, 7 suites 199). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTHARLGKW Vila Arte C-5, Str. Vasile Lascar 78, tel. (+4) 021 210 10 35, www.vilaarte.ro. Now here is something new and different. A small, perfectly formed little boutique hotel, where the seven rooms have each been designed to offer something different to the next. In all, design and comfort have been combined to great effect, and throughout the place the art which adorns the walls is all local and most is for sale. Good young staff, free wifi and a decent breakfast all make for an enjoyable stay.Q 7 rooms (6 singles/doubles 50-110, 1 apartment 125-145). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PARFLGKDW

tel. (+4) 021 650 55 55, www.hotelmoxa.com. Rather special and worth the money, this hotel is located close to the city centre in a wonderful Secession building that has been brilliantly converted into a very good place to stay. The entrance is impressive, and sets the scene for the exquisite rooms, furnished in classic style. The bathrooms by contrast are the height of modern design. A real treat of a hotel. Q24 rooms (24 Total rooms ). 52 rooms (48 singles/doubles 80100, 4 suites 110-120). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PARFLGKDW

Le Boutique Hotel Moxa B-4, Str. Mihail Moxa 4,

Residence Arc de Triomphe A-3, Str. Clucerului 19,

tel. (+4) 021 223 19 78, www.residencehotels.com.ro. Fantastic hotel in a good area of the capital, offering large, excellent value rooms and super services. There are little touches of class all over the hotel that suggest they really care. The wrought iron beds, for example, are fabulous, as is the newly added spa, complete with sauna and jacuzzi. The restaurant is also worth a visit, serving good international cuisine. Q 35 rooms (25 singles/doubles 90-100, 10 suites/ apartments 110-120). VAT not included. Prices include breakfast. PTHARLGKDW

suites/apartments 55). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTAR6ULGKXW 58, www.hoteldan.ro. Smart addition to Bucharests enormously popular three-star scene. The location is central without being noisy, and the rooms themselves are all wellsized and well-equipped. Staff are friendly, befitting a small hotel, and ready to see to your every need. Q 15 rooms (14 singles/doubles 50-60, 1 triple 65-70). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTARULG

Dan B-4, B-dul Dacia 125, tel./fax (+4) 021 210 39

Under 100
Charter Drumul Odaii 1D, Otopeni, tel. (+4) 021 352 87 19, www.hotelcharter.ro. For what you pay at this hotel, you get a large amount of room indeed. Really: these must be the biggest hotel rooms in Bucharest, and they cost about 1 per square metre. Close to the airport this place is perfect if you have an early flight, though it is only fair to say that it is a good 30 minutes or so to the city centre. Q 23 rooms (17 singles/doubles 35-40, 1 triple 50, 5

Opera

B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 37, tel. (+4) 021 312 48 57, www.hotelopera.ro. You could quite literally throw a stone from the rooms here into Cismigiu Park (though we do not recommend it), and as such we think this is a great place for families with children to stay when visiting the capital. Not cheap, we think that you get value for money, especially given the size of the rooms and the terrific breakfast spread they lay on every morning for guests. Staff happy and smiley too. Q 33 rooms (26 singles/doubles 140-160, 7 suites 199). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PTHARLGKW

Ramada Bucharest North C-6, Str. Daniel Danielopolu


44A, tel. (+4) 021 233 50 00, www.ramadanorth. ro. Well named, for it is indeed in the north of the city. It has great rooms - amongst the biggest, on average, in Bucharest - and the bathrooms are tremendous: all have bathtubs. The hotel boasts a good spa centre (with excellent Turkish bath), big fitness room with loads of equipment and has a good lobby bar. The on-site dining is decent too. Q 232 rooms (164 singles/doubles 111-122, 24 triples 133, 44 suites/apartments 156). Prices include all taxes. PTHARUFLGKDW

Residence Domenii Plaza A-2, Str. Al. Constantinescu 33, tel. (+4) 021 224 50 44/(+4) 0372 15 06 00, www. residencehotels.com.ro. A wonderful villa, this place offers real luxury and a quiet, understated atmosphere. Its a classy place for classy people, basically. All the rooms, studios and apartments are bright, big and have stunning bathrooms. It also has a fantastic spa, complete with sauna, steam bath and enormous jacuzzi, perfect for tired business types in need of evening relaxation. The rooftop terrace has fine views of what is the citys best residential area. Q 33 rooms (15 singles/doubles 90-100, 18 suites/ apartments 110-120). Prices include breakfast. VAT not included. PTHAR LGKDW Scala Bucuresti C-5, Str. C. A. Rosetti 19, tel. (+4)
NEW

Golden Tulip Bucharest B-4, Calea Victoriei 166,

MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 212 55 58, www.goldentulipbucharest.com. Half-way along Calea Victoriei, a pleasant walk to both Piata Victoriei and Piata Universitatii, the Golden Tulip is a fine hotel that makes great use of the

031 104 11 11/(+4) 031 104 11 13, www.hotelscalabucuresti.ro. As central as they come, this gorgeous conversion of a glorious ancien regime Bucharest house is as fine a place to stay as now exists in the Romanian capital. You will love the grand,classically furnished rooms, which come complete with high ceilings and restored, original wooden flooring. Th loft suite, complete with skylights, is a

Bucharest In Your Pocket

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October - November 2010

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where to stay
Heading to Brasov?
Kismet Dao Str. Democratiei 2B, Brasov, tel. (+4) 0268 51 42 96, brasov@kismetdao.com, www. kismetdao.com. Long regarded as one of the best hostels in Romania, the Kismet Dao is the perfect choice for budget-conscious travellers in Brasov. The location is good: in Schei, not far from the city centre, and the atmosphere is friendly. Q 1 double 30, 3 rooms with 6 beds 11, 2 rooms with 8-10 beds 10. Prices include VAT and breakfast. HARLGBW
enough compensation. For a start there is a big pool to enjoy, there are tennis courts, a good breakfast included in the price and even conference rooms. Ideal for a company retreat. Q 6 rooms (6 singles/doubles 70-80). Prices include breakfast. VAT not included. PTHARLGKCW

where to stay

23

Trianon B-5, Str. Grigore Cobalcescu 9, tel. (+4) 021

311 49 27, www.hoteltrianon.ro. If location really is everything then you cant do much better than this cracking place on Str. Cobalcescu, opposite Cismigiu Park. The building is a superb Secession renovation. Inside the rooms are simple, tastefully decorated and offer excellent value for money. Bathrooms have either a bath or a shower.Q 26 rooms (24 singles/doubles 64-104, 2 apartments 128). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PAR6ULGKDW

clients are penniless students, but it sounds like irresponsibility to us. Anyway, this wacky! crazy! hostel will appeal to the kind of person who enjoys puns like clucking good atmosphere or being told that the staff are friendly but smelly.Q4 dormitory rooms (18 beds 40 lei/bed). Prices include all taxes. NLGW

Hostels
The Funky Chicken B-5, Str. Gen. Berthelot 63, tel. (+4)
space available. The bathrooms for example are not huge but feel far bigger than they are, and all have enough room for bathtubs. Bright and modern in design we think its suited best to business travellers looking to get great value for their companys dollar. Q 83 rooms (81 singles/doubles 75-90, 2 junior suites 115). Prices include VAT and breakfast. PJARUFLGKW

Hello Hotels B-4, Calea Grivitei 143, tel. (+4) 0372 12 18 00, www.hellohotels.ro. Two stars never looked so good. For you paltry amount of cash you are getting a lot of hotel room here, complete with flat screen televisions and mattresses thicker than many a five-star. Bathrooms are a bit pokey but they are more than adequate, and as far as value for money goes we think this is one of the best deals in the city.Q 150 rooms (150 doubles 31-33). All taxes included. Prices do not include breakfast (5 per person). PTAR6ULGKW

Nord, tel. (+4) 021 300 91 00, www.ibishotel.com. A hotel for more than 40 years this building (and the whole area) was given a real lift when it became a good old Ibis some several years ago now. Expect a room a bit bigger than standard Ibis size, the usual services, few frills (breakfast costs extra) and all in all a good value stay. Right opposite the station. Q 250 rooms (235 singles/doubles 85, 15 apartments 105). Prices include VAT. PHAR6ULGKW

Ibis Gara de Nord A-4, Calea Grivitei 143, MGara de

021 312 14 25, www.funkychickenhostel.com. Offering free cigarettes may appear to be a good idea when the bulk of your

Vila 11 A-4, Str. Institutul Medico Militar 11, MGara de Nord, tel. (+4) 0722 49 59 00. Located in a lovely 1920s house close to Gara de Nord (one block east of Strada Vespatian and Dinicu Golescu) Vila 11 has a variety of private rooms, dorm facilities and family suites available for backpackers and families of all ages. Friendly and welcoming the owners do a great breakfast (included in the price) and are a wealth of inside info when it comes to getting the best out of Bucharest. Q (4 singles/doubles 90-135 lei, 1 triple 180 lei, 14 dorm places 50 lei). Prices include VAT and breakfast. 6G

Ibis Palatul Parlamentului B-6, Str. Izvor 82-84, tel. (+4) 021 401 10 00, www.ibishotel.com. If you want a view of Casa Poporului then this is perhaps the best place in Bucharest to come. Other than that it is a fairly standard Ibis hotel, just as you love them (or otherwise!) from anywhere else on the planet. Not entirely ideally located if you are not driving, it does boast non-smoking rooms very good staff. Q 161 rooms (154 singles/doubles 85, 7 apartments 105). Prices include VAT. PHAR6ULGKW
15, www.rembrandt.ro. The Rembrandt is what happens when people with taste renovate buildings in Old Town Bucharest (the gorgeous cafe next door belongs - unsurprisingly - to the same people). Luxurious without overdoing it, expect to find original 1920s wooden floors and period furnishings complimented by up-to-the-minute technology. The hotel celebrated its fifth birthday in January 2010: long may it go on. Q 16 rooms (10 singles/doubles 55-98, 6 triple 118). Prices include all taxes and breakfast. PTHARFGKW

Short Term Rental


Professional Realty C-6, Str. George Valentin Bibescu 33, bl, 10/2, sc. A, ap. 6, tel. (+4) 021 232 04 06, www.accommodation.com.ro. These people have been offering great apartments in central Bucharest since 1996. Apartments are well furnished, and they offer a full 24-hour service. Q Prices from 50-150. VAT not included. A RomVision Travel E-6, B-dul Burebista 1, bl. D15, sc. 4, ap. 133, tel. (+4) 021 322 65 33, www.romvision.ro. A wide variety of apartments in the city centre of all types and sizes, from small and simple to big and luxurious, with something for all pockets.QPrices from 48-68/night. VAT not included.

Rembrandt C-5, Str. Smardan 11, tel. (+4) 021 313 93

Residence Club Palace Str. Odaii 137A, tel. (+4) 021 315 16 66, www.residencehotels.com.ro. Its a fair distance from the city centre, but the sense of luxury and the get away from it all atmosphere of this exclusive club is more than bucharest.inyourpocket.com bucharest.inyourpocket.com October - November 2010

Bucharest In Your Pocket

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restaUrants
American
Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 19 17. Still serving the very best burger in Bucharest (you can choose one or design your own from an endless choice of toppings), a fact undisputed by anyone weve ever met. It is also one of the biggest. In fact, now we think of it, the portions of everything here are enormous: even the childrens servings are very healthy indeed. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. . PTAX

Chinese
Nan Jing B-4, Str. Gheorghe Manu 2-4, tel. (+4) 021
311 15 50. The Nan Jings claim to fame is that its the oldest Chinese restaurant in Bucharest, having been founded in the 1960s. The food has a sort of Chinese-style to it, but even though portions are large (and so they should be considering the prices) the nosh is no better than average. Popular with those staying at the Minerva Hotel (the Nan Jing is situated in the hotels lobby). Q Open 12:00 - 23:00. . PALBS

Champions B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott

Hard Rock Cafe B-3, B-dul Kiseleff 32, tel. (+4) 021 206 62 61, www.hardrock.com. Wham, Bam, thank you Maam. Americana gone berserk in the very best sense of the word. Nobody can knock this place and it is easy to see why. Feast on top level, upmarket-burger bar and Tex-Mex food, served in huge portions by perky Bond girls who have a smile for everyone. Then sit back with great cocktails and listen to some very good rock and roll supplied by some of Bucharests best live acts. Seriously good. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. . PAUEBW

Argentinean
La Blanca C-4, Calea Dorobanti 18, MP-ta Romana, tel.
(+4) 021 619 07 35, www.lablanca.ro. In a magnificent villa on Dorobanti, that has been given the million dollar treatment and then some, this is a genuine Argentinean steak house in the sense that the hardware is indeed shipped in from the Pampas. There are all kinds of steaks to enjoy, from striploin to T-Bone to rib-eye. They also have a few non-beefy extras, such as scallops, king prawns and fresh foie gras. Fine wines from around the world and sweet, tasty desserts. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. . PALBXSW
NEW

425 47 47, www.orasul-interzis.ro. Bucharests first upmarket Chinese restaurant combines all the cuisines of that great country and delivers them to your plate with real aplomb. And with due reason. This is the best Chinese food in Romania since, well, just about ever. At least since John Wing left. The menu is adventurous and features all sorts of dishes that place it way above anywhere else in town, such as the sea cucumber and mushroom soup, or the Chinese cabbage, served correctly with dried oysters. To get the best out of this place though round up three friends and go for one of the set menus. Tremendous value. QOpen 12:30 - 24:00. . PAB

Orasul Interzis D-5, Str. Silvestru 3, tel. (+4) 031

French
Boutique du Pain C-5, Str. Academiei 28-30, tel. (+4) 0728 44 33 00, www.boutiquedupain.com. This is in fact more bistro than anything, serving breakfast, lunch and evening meals in fresh, bright surroundings. The selection of morning pastries is the best in the city, with office workers going out of their way to stop here for fresh supplies. For lunch there is a range of sandwiches, and the small selection of hot meals of an evening - the menu changes daily - are perfect for a casual dinner. Serves a magnificent hot chocolate.QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. . PJASW Casa Vernescu B-4, Calea Victoriei 133, tel. (+4) 021
311 97 44, www.casavernescu.ro. Before the food, there is the villa: built in the 1880s it is an eclectic mix of styles that has been impressively preserved over the years. The restaurant inside has quite a job living up to the surroundings, but with the cooking in the hands of one of the countrys best chefs, it does so with ease. Goose liver with truffles, sea bass marinated in Pernod, chocolate and orange mousse: mouthwatering combinations every one. Considered (not without reason) to be expensive, this is a wonderful place to eat and for what you get in terms of ambiance, service and food, you are getting your moneys worth. QOpen 18:30 - 01:00. . POALE

Escargot Bistro D-4, Str. Toamnei 101, tel. (+4) 021 201 71 33, www.escargot.ro. Bucharest foodies: this is the place you have been waiting for. A sensational French restaurant where the love and care the chef has for his food oozes onto your plate. Duck that takes 48 hours to prepare, an onion soup of the like weve never eaten in Bucharest, fresh snails, outstanding wines and all served in minimalist surroundings: the food is king here.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon. . ABW French Bakery Le Restaurant C-5, Str. Nicolae Golescu 17, tel. (+4) 021 310 33 02, www.frenchbakery.ro. It had to happen. A French restaurant that actually delivers the goods time after time yet does so in an atmosphere that begs you to spend more time here. The menu features a number of simple, new-wave French cuisine which - for this city - is very well-priced. The tasty duck dishes stood Bucharest In Your Pocket bucharest.inyourpocket.com

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out for us, as did the desserts and the excellent wine list which - while featuring a great list of French grape - for once acknowledges that the New World can make decent wine too. In short, this place a mini-revolution on the Bucharest dining scene and worthy of your time. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Also at Str. Smardan 13 and numerous other locations around the city. . PAW C-4, Str. Polona 19, tel. (+4) 021 210 88 50, www. heritage-restaurant.eu. Quite simply one of Bucharests best restaurants, and as such attracts a mixed crowd of people who like fantastic food in a classy atmosphere, be they business partners, or families enjoying a weekend dinner. Prices are not as high as you might think, and given the standard of the food you are guaranteed value for money. Q Open 12:30-24:00. Closed Sun. . PALGB C-4, Str. Mendeleev 43, tel. (+4) 0731 45 36 08, icietla43@yahoo.fr, www.icietla.ro. As regular readers will know we are suckers for an open kitchen, and that is what we have here: sit and watch the chef and owner prepare your gorgeous homemade French meal. They are rather proud of their smoked salmon here (and rightly so) and the wine list features plenty of affordable grape. Top it all off with the magnificent creme brulee. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. . PAXW 0745 99 91 11. With the former chef of one of Bucharests other top restaurants at the helm, we knew the food here would be very good. Classic French food with a few surprises in a formal setting designed for people who enjoy the finer things in life. Snails usually available, and on the occasions we have visited they have always been done perfectly. Check the blackboard on the way in for the daily specials. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. . PAEBXSW 44 44 22, www.palatul-ghika.ro. Yes, it really is a palace: a 19th century palace on the shore of lake Plumbuita in the north of the capital. Thoroughly renovated and looking better than ever, the palace is now put to great use as a fusion restaurant, bar, lounge and event venue. There is always something going in, from tango nights to theatre evenings and concerts. Coming here certainly makes a welcome change from yet another night out in Old Town. QOpen 17:00 - 03:00. . ALEBXSW new and interesting - and usually inventive - on the menu, and a good wine to go with our meal. The Sunday Brunch is excellent value and a good introduction to the place for those on a bit of a budget. Q Open 12:00-15:00, 19:00-23:00. Sun 12:00-16:00, 19:00-23:00. . PAGB C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 2, tel. (+4) 021 212 14 60, www.balthazar.ro. When you no longer need a reservation to eat here on a Saturday night, you will know the global recession really has hit Romania. And it has not happened yet. Yes, its by no means cheap, but the service, tableware, range of food and above all outstanding cooking make it a joy to dine here. (All now done by a new chef, and with an added sushi menu). And whisper it, but it should be said that if you lay off the imported wines, Balthazar is not all that more expensive than other places not fit to lace its boots. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PABLSW

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Balthazar

Heritage

Ici et La

German
Die Deutsche Kneipe C-3, Str. Stockholm 9, tel. (+4)
021 233 94 62/(+4) 0722 28 45 60. Really, one of our favourite places in Bucharest, now as ever (and it has been around for more than a decade). Serving giant portions of great German sausages (all made on the premises) as well as pork knuckles, kraut and the like, they keep the prices down and their punters very happy. You usually need a reservation at weekends. Good place for a simple pint of German beer too. QOpen 15:00 - 23:30, Sat 14:00 - 23:30. Closed Sun. . PB

Maison de Karin B-4, Str. Mihail Moxa 12, tel. (+4)

Indian
Barka Saffron A-2, Str. Av. Sntescu 1, tel. (+4) 021 224 10 04/(+4) 0745 00 36 60. We have been coming here since the last century, when there was precious little choice in Bucharest for people wanting something a little different; a little more spicy. Now there is plenty of choice but we still trot up to Barka whenever we can. On our last visit we went for the lamb with spinach in tomato sauce which was as good as we had hoped. The onion bhajis remain Bucharests best. First class cocktail list. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. . PALES Musafir by Amarjit Calea Rahovei 196A, tel. (+4) 0746 87 23 47, www.musafirbyamarjit.com. Indian food at The Ark for the cognoscenti. Amarjit used to cook over at Barka Saffron, but long ago set out on his own. His place at The Ark is a kind of gourmet fast-food kind of stall around the back, where he cooks a few dishes for the hip young international crowd that throngs here to blow its money as fast as it can at
weekends. Eat at the wooden tables, something you can do even when it rains courtesy of a massive waterproof sheet. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. . AB

Palatul Ghika E-2, Str. Doamna Ghica 5, tel. (+4) 0735

International
B-2, Str. I. Cantacuzino 8, MAviatorilor, tel. (+4) 0753 99 93 33/(+4) 021 260 29 60, rezervari@restaurantarcade.ro, www.restaurantarcade.ro. Other places may come and go, but this one has been first class for well over seven years now. Every year they come up with new, sharper menus (the current one stars a glorious duck confit) meaning you have no excuse not to go as often as you can afford it. The lovely, high-ceilinged indoor dining room is a joy in which to dine. All round, superb. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PALB

Arcade

Traiteur Petit Heritage B-3, Str. Radu Beller 13, tel. (+4) 031 710 41 51, www.heritage-restaurant.eu. What you might call Heritage-light, this is a less formal version of top-peoples restaurant of the same name, though where you can still get the same excellent, high quality food that has been the hallmark of Heritage for years. With an eye on the lucrative Dorobanti breakfast, lunchtime and after work market, we think that they are on to something here. QOpen 07:30 - 21:30, Sun 09:00 - 12:00. . PASW

Fusion
Avalon B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard Johnson Grand Plaza), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 30, www.hojoplaza.ro/ro/avalon-restaurant. Another restaurant goes totally non-smoking. Slowly, but surely, the smoke-free revolution is taking hold in Bucharest. At Avalon, the fresh air is welcome as it allows diners to really enjoy the flavours and smells of the superb Fusion cuisine. Every time we visit (and we visit as often as we can) we find something Bucharest In Your Pocket bucharest.inyourpocket.com bucharest.inyourpocket.com October - November 2010

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Byblos B-2, Parc Herastrau, tel. (+4) 0372 789 896, www.restaurantbyblos.ro.Though no longer in the city centre, Byblos remains a fixture on the Bucharest dining scene thanks to its superb new location up in Herastrau Park. Expect the same high quality food, though now with added events: film screenings, live music and the like all take place here.QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PALEBS
021 305 38 38, www.lebistro.ro. Look people, this is a very good restaurant. It is part of the Radisson Blu/Centre Ville complex and offers a rich and varied menu of Mediterranean food, including a number of good seafood and fish dishes. The choice of seafood in Bucharest is improving but still few places offer as much - and do so quite as well - as this place. Best of all though is the setting: eating under the enormous glass roof - especially in inclement weather - is something of a unique experience in these parts. They also make a terrific strawberry daiquiri. Q Open 06:30-10:30, 12:00-24:00. . PALEBSW got notched up even further with the opening of the Grand Continentals showcase dining room, a match for any other in the city. This is the place to come for highly creative nouvelle cuisine, accompanied by a long list of the worlds finest wines (from Romania, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, North and South America). The setting is to die for, and the staff are knowledgeable about both food and wine and will talk you through everything on the menu. Bucharests gourmands are now indeed spoilt for choice. Q Open 12:00-16:00, 19:00-22:00. . PALW tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00. The best thing about this place is that the cracking breakfast (the best in the city), which is open to allcomers: simply turn up before 10:30, pay your money and fill up for the day (we would have liked to have stayed for the day such was the wealth of goodies on offer, but they had to get ready for lunch...). The Dacia-Felix is also the setting for the Radissons excellent Sunday Brunch, La vie en rose, which, though it goes on for four hours, is not long enough to savour everything on offer. Bags of pink sparkling wine too... Q Open 06:30-10:30, Sat, Sun 07:00-11:00. Sunday Brunch 12:30-16:30. . PAG

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Centre Ville Le Bistro B-5, Str. Luterana 2-4, tel. (+4)

Dacia Felix B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson BLU),

Chez Marie C-4, Str. Dionisie Lupu 48, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 031 107 20 33, office@chezmarie.ro, www. chezmarie.ro. A wider variety of dishes you are unlikely to find in a Bucharest restaurant, and most of the time everything on the menu is available. We have always stuck with the beef dishes: both the steak with gorgonzola and the beef stroganoff are good efforts, but if you simply want a ceafa de porc with fries, they will rustle that up too. Good drinks list and the place itself is rather nice. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PALEBXSW Concerto C-5, Calea Victoriei 56 (Grand Hotel ConBarbizon Steak House
tinental), tel. (+4) 0372 01 03 05, www.grandhotelcontinental.ro. Oh yes. The fine dining stakes in Bucharest

Doncafe Brasserie

B-3, Str. Ankara 7, tel. (+4) 0746 22 24 44, www. doncafe-brasserie.ro. Brought to you by the same people who run Arcade, for years one of our favourite places, this cafe/brasserie was perhaps the best of the new bunch of brasseries to open during 2009. From early until late it is everything you could want in a brasserie: there are good, cheap breakfasts on offer in the mornings, and a small but perfectly formed choice of daily specials the rest of the time. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00. . PALBSW C-4, P-ta Lahovari 8, tel. (+4) 0733 50 03 00, www. embassy-club.ro. Boasting probably the biggest terrace in the city centre (not entirely open at this time of year), you will need to reserve a table if you want one of the comfy sofas. Popular with a wealthy crowd, it is a little difficult to see at first what the attraction - beyond the brilliant location - is. Service can be a bit slow when they are very busy, and the food - with one exception - is distinctly average. The exception is the burger, which is really rather smashing and one of the citys best. The place grows on your though: chances are you will come more than once. QOpen 10:00 - 03:00. . PAEBSW

A-1, P-ta Montreal 10 (Pullman Bucharest World Trade Center), tel. (+4) 021 318 90 00. This is the latest restaurant to open up in the Pullman, and is the best eatery weve been to at this particular five star. As you would expect, steaks top the bill, and what steaks! All the beef is shipped in fresh from South America, and though prices reflect the quality you will not argue at the end of the evening. Good wine list (we like the inclusion of Moldovan wines) and an open kitchen is always welcome. Q Open 12:00-14:30, 18:00-22:30. Closed Sat. . PALW

Embassy

Bistro Edge C-5, Str. C.A. Rosetti 10, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0755 90 03 00, www.bistroedge.ro. Close to the golden triangle of Hilton, Radisson and Grand Continental, this great little bistro buzzes all day long with business types and foreigners looking for a good local eatery not in a hotel. Simply furnished, with good taste, theres Wifi and even a selection of books to read while enjoying your breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee. A number of other places in Bucharest could learn a lot from Edge. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 09:30 - 24:00. . PALEBXSW

Gargantua C-5, Str. J.L. Calderon 69, tel. (+4) 021 211

40 41/(+4) 0722 70 25 60, www.restaurantgargantua. ro. Bright and airy place that gloriously lets the light in through its huge windows on all sides. Fine food, including a luscious fried brie with onion marmelade, an outstanding chicken and artichoke salad, a couple of duck dishes and good steaks. Prices are more than fair given the location, setting and quality of food. Find it on the corner of Stradas Calderon and Verona. QOpen 08:00 - 01:00. . PALEBXSW

99/ (+4) 0749 07 40 84, www.restaurant-jardiniere. ro. Oh, we like this one. For once a new place opens with its eyes set firmly on doing things better than elsewhere. Not one corner is cut as magnificent food such as linguini with fried capers and what we think will become a legendary pancake pie are served by friendly staff in a relaxed, laid-back kind of setting (we love the lounge) where friends meet up with friends and make new friends. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PALVBXSW

Jardiniere C-4, Str. Leonida 11, tel. (+4) 021 210 40

NEW

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La Brasserie
A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza), tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, reservations@crowneplaza.ro. Redesigned and reinvented, La Brasserie is now less about fine dining (pop over to The Vineyard for that) and more about good quality, simple food for all the family. The menu is available buffetstyle or a-la-carte, and makes a great choice for families or groups on the run. The wine list remains a work of art and the atmosphere is now cosier than ever. Q Open 06:00 - 23:00. . PALEGS
NEW

eigners were eating here: it must be one of the most popular tourist and visitor spots in town. QOpen 11:30 - 01:00, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. . PALBS

toriei, tel. (+4) 021 318 28 74/(+4) 0733 97 64 71, office@clubuniter.ro, www.clubuniter.ro. A bit of food with your jazz? Or a bit of jazz with your food? There is always usually something happening at Le Theatre, and even if there isnt, the food is enough to keep you here for most of the evening. The lamb chops we ate were terrific: pink and tender, and they went down well with a plate of fresh spinach. Great atmosphere, good people, a decent choice for dinner. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. . PALEBXSW

Le Theatre B-5, Str. George Enescu 2-4, MP-ta Vic-

tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, reservations@crowneplaza. ro. The feather in the Crowne Plazas cap, this is now the hotels flagship restaurant, a work of great detail where everything is lovingly prepared by Exec Chef Ashlie Dias and his highly experienced team. Based around Mediterranean cuisine you can always expect to find something exotic and a bit different on the daring menu, and a number of the dishes require waiter or audience - thats you, diner -participation. An indulgent treat. QOpen 17:00 - 23:00. Closed Sat, Sun. . PALEG

The Vinyard A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza),

NEW

Times (Golden Tulip Times Hotel) E-6, B-dul Decebal

Memento Bistro C-4, Calea Dorobanti 29, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 212 40 08, www.mementobistro.ro. We like it. On Dorobanti (the ASE end), this tasty little bistro is a well-priced, well-run establishment that is as happy serving students from the university as it is welcoming high-powered business people. Everybody feels at home and gets a welcome unlike most other places in the area. The Memento Cafe up in Floreasca is an equally bright and breezy place, one of few cafes in the city that has fresh flowers on the tables! Q Open 08:00-01:00. Also Memento Cocktail Bar & Lounge at (C-2) Str. J. S. Bach 3, tel. (+4) 0722 35 11 83. . PAXSW Omnivores Dilemma B-4, Calea Victoriei 214, tel.
(+4) 021 212 56 66, www.omnivores.ro. Brilliant! Tiny place serving the best cooked lunch in central Bucharest. There are just a few dishes to choose from each day: ask the staff whats good, hand over a pittance and try and bag a seat at one of the tables (there are only three or four). You can take away of theres no space.QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. . PALEBSW

19, tel. (+4) 021 316 65 16, www.timesevents.ro. The prawn spring rolls we ate here were just about the crispiest, lightest and tastiest we have come across in Bucharest. We couldnt make better at home (and we tried). There are plenty of other treats on a varied international (with a hint of Romanian) menu here too. This is a real surprise of a restaurant: do not let the hotel location put you off. Note the last kitchen order is at 22:30. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PALGW

B-3, Str. Rabat 2, tel. (+4) 021 231 40 77, www.uptown. ro. Uptown indeed. In the wealthiest part of the wealthiest part of the city, the citys wealthiest people come here to eat. The real draw is the terrace, one of the citys best. The food is good, a mix of Italian-esque and modern European dishes, which share a menu with an excellent wine list. Prices not cheap but value for money very high. Make sure you reserve well in advance or turn up with a local celebrity if you want a table on the terrace. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PALB

Uptown Bar & Grill

Italian
Caffe Citta
B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel. (+4) 021 601 34 36, www.caffe-citta.ro. Styled as a Northern Italian city centre cafe/bistro the emphasis here is on good, simple, urban food. Try the risotto with saffron, the saltim bocca and the tiramisu: all signature dishes and all done to perfection. The drinks menu is a bit special: go for the apple mojito (as delicious as it sounds) or try any number of great wines, all available by the glass. Keep the kids happy with the freshly made ice cream. QOpen 11:30 - 23:30. . PAGB

The Harbour B-4, P-ta Amzei 10-22, tel. (+4) 021 319 72 57, www.harbour.ro. A top location, in Piata Amzei, with food to match, as well as friendly and efficient staff. The atmosphere is relaxing, the food better than average, though the real joy of this place is its view to the market. We came here for lunch recently and were stunned by how many for-

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Capricciosa B-dul Ion Ionescu de la Brad 2, tel. (+4)
021 233 06 35, capricciosa_restaurant@yahoo.com. A bustling Italian restaurant and pizzeria whose menu is a veritable dictionary of pizza. They even do truffles and, lets face it, you dont see those every day on a menu in Bucharest. Well worth making the journey uptown for both the food and the atmosphere, which demonstrates that top restaurants dont have to be fitze. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. . PALBSW

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Casa di David B-1, Sos. Nordului 7-9, tel. (+4) 021 232 47 15, www.casadidavid.ro. You can say what you like about this high-class place (and most party people in Bucharest have some kind of opinion), but to us it remains a very nice place to spend the evening, with its big windows and simple furnishings. The food is ristorante Italian, and very good, with enough fish dishes to make it appealing to sea food lovers, and though the big screen TV is annoying, thats the only fault we have. Staff are good and the wine list a cracker. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PALEB Cucina B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott), tel. (+4) 021 403 19 02, www.jwmarriott.ro. Bright and breezy, Cucina at the JW Marriott is a wonderful Italian restaurant where you can find probably the best (and perhaps only) swordfish steak in the city. The veal cutlets are incredibly expensive but worth every penny, while for a simple reminder of great cooking and intense flavours, the pumpkin and goose liver soup is a masterpiece. No fewer than 19 good Italian reds grace the wine menu. QOpen 19:00 - 23:30. . PA Memories C-5, Str. Batistei 16, tel. (+4) 031 808 08 80/(+4) 0768 98 94 75. As central as you like, this place serves possible the best lunchtime deal in Bucharest: a set

menu for just 19 lei. Even in the evening the standard off-themenu prices are far from high for what is some very good food indeed. A welcome bargain. Q Open 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. . PAXSW

InterContinental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0730 64 48 06, modigliani@interconti.ro. The InterContinentals new showpiece restaurant is a million miles from what has gone before. Now boasting a fantastic new chef, Andrea Aiudi (brought here from the InterContinental San Francisco), the Italian stakes get ratcheted up another notch. All the pasta is made fresh, the steaks are of the finest Argentine beef or Romanian pork, and the wine is a selection of the best the world has to offer. Prices are high-ish, but reflect quality, and by no means reach the levels of a few other places we could mention. QOpen 18:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. . PALXW

Modigliani Pasta/ Carne C-5, Str. Batistei 9 (Hotel

NEW

pricier) food youve come to expect from the Il Calcio boys. This first Il Calcio restaurant is in a lovely house on Strada Clucerului, quickly becoming something of a magnet for great places to eat. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. . PALBW

Robertos

C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hilton), tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77, Without question, this is still one of the best Italian chophouses in the land, and a great choice for a formal, shirt and tie dinner. The menu changes regularly, and features cuisine from all of Italys regions, usually rotating on a monthly basis. Great wine list and still the setting for what was the first (and still one of the most celebrated) Sunday Brunches in town. Go for the squid ink risotto. Q Open 06:30-10:00, 12:00-23:00; Robertos on La Strada (terrace) open 11:0002:00. . PTALEBW

Trattoria Bocca

222 19 42. The restaurant formerly known as Exile is now Restaurant 41, owned and operated by the lovely people who have for years looked after visitors to Bucharest at the Vila 11 hostel and bed and breakfast. Expect great cooking, good service and a welcome that will have you swearing to visit again before you have even sat down at your table. Yes, that friendly and that good. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Fri 10:00 - 20:30, Sat 21:00 - 02:00. . PNBW 0729 57 48 02, www.trattoriailcalcio.ro. As opposed to T rattoria Il Calcio? Yes. For this is a ristorante, a notch up from trattoria. Expect a more refined menu and surroundings, but the same warm, friendly service and great value (if

Restaurant 41 A-3, Str. Clucerului 41, tel. (+4) 021

C-5, Str. Jean Louis Calderon 41, tel. (+4) 021 319 71 49. A fantastic-looking villa on one of Bucharests most charming streets (all classy villas and grand houses), this is a proper Italian serving some very good food at prices that - when it comes to value for money - are really rather good. Excellent service and a bunch of local and Italian wines for all pockets make it a decent choice. QOpen 11:30 - 24:00. . PABXSW

Ristorante Il Calcio A-3, Str. Clucerului 7, tel. (+4)

C-4, Str. Mendeleev 14, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0722 13 42 99, www.trattoriailcalcio.ro. A football-themed Italian trattoria with strangely appealing murals of scenes from important matches in seasons past. Offering very good trattoria food, decent pizzas and one of the best salad bars in Bucharest, you will come, love it, and come again. Prices are

Trattoria Il Calcio I

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Mediterranean
99, info@aquachique.ro, www.aquachique.ro. For Bucharests rich set this is the latest dining sensation. On our last visit the other diners were almost all famous models, business people and TV personalities. So hows the food? Good, is the answer. Pricey but good, an adventurous mix of Mediterranean and modern European. The wine list is sensational, service very good and the decor as exclusive and chic as you would expect, without over doing it. Only the televisions let it down. QOpen 12:00 24:00. . PALBXSW

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Aqua Sos. Nordului 7-9, tel. (+4) 0731 88 89

35

Cerisiers A-2, Str. Al. Constantinescu 33, tel. (+4) 0722 59 98 05, www.restaurantcerisiers.ro. We attended a Christening at this place recently, and were blown away by the quality of the food: really outstanding. The seafood and fish dishes are the best of whats on the menu, but there is more than that to enjoy: try the cracking salads or the beef carpaccio. As for the rooftop terrace, there is no more romantic place to eat in the city. And we mean it. QOpen 12:00 - 23:30. . PALBW Oliviers A-3, Str. Clucerului 19, tel. (+4) 0733 10 91
37 / (+4) 0372 15 07 00, www.restaurantoliviers. ro. Can a hotel restaurant be this good? Yes. The ambitious owners of the Residence hotel are very keen to promote their excellent restaurant, and with good reason. A small but perfectly formed dining room is the setting for a tantalising menu of Oriental, Meditteranean and local dishes. A much larger conference room is a great setting for larger, formal dinners. QOpen 12:00 - 23:30. . PALW

extraordinarily cheap and the queues outside at lunchtime speak volumes. Service is provided by bright young things in football shirts. Championship winning stuff. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. Also at (I-4) Str. Delea Veche 36, tel. (+4) 0726 01 03 83; (C-3) Calea Floreasca 118-120, tel (+4) 0728 63 99 06. . P

Trattoria Il Peperoncino

Trattoria Il Calcio II C-5, Str. Benjamin Franklin 1-3, tel.

(+4) 0732 52 81 40, www.trattoriailcalcio.ro. What we have here is the best use of perhaps the best terrace space in the city. Of course, at this time of year you will have to sit inside, but you still get a decent view of the big open square outside. As with the original Il Calcio, service can be a bit hit and miss but the good - if not outstanding - Italian food at fantastic prices makes this a good default choice for dinner. Stick to the pizzas, salads, have a little patience and you will love the place. Q Open 12:00-24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00-01:00. . P

C-4, Str. Dionisie Lupu 88, tel. (+4) 021 318 58 38/(+4) 0729 35 44 06, trattoria_ilpeperoncino@yahoo.com. The newest Italian trattoria in the city, and already installed by those in the know (as well as ourselves) as one of the very best. They are not cutting any corners here, with their correct, imported ingredients and menu that keeps it simple and generally seasonal. Quiet location on a backstreet behind Bulevardul Magheru adds a sense of discretion and occasion. We like it. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PALBW (+4) 021 210 81 57, www.trattoria-roma.ro. Brilliant, truly brilliant, and we rarely give praise that high. It might nominally be an Italian but what people come to this place for is the seafood. Huge plates of steaming mussels come in at a top value 26 lei, and theres fresh lobster (fresh as in they pick it live out of a fish

tank) for 120 lei. Add in decent house wine at giveaway prices, good pasta (a classic aglio, olio is recommended) and you have a winner. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Also at (B-3) Calea Dorobanti 177, tel. (+4) 021 230 40 83 and (A-6) Str. Dr. Lister 1, tel. (+4) 0766 33 42 24, (+4) 021 411 63 30. . PAL

Japanese
Grand Plaza), MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 201 50 30, fax (+4) 021 201 18 88, www.benihana.ro. With cracking new menus specially put together for summer, this is a great time to come and try the vast array of Japanese specialities on offer at Benihana. There is a great value summer sushi lunch for just 125 lei per person, and you can add in a teppanyaki for an extra 75 lei. Great value, and perfect for big groups. Q Open 12:00-14:45, 19:00-22:30. Closed Sun. Sushi bar open 12:00-15:00, 19:00-22:30, Sun 19:00-22:30. . PTAULS

Trattoria Roma D-4, Str. Mihai Eminescu 114-116, tel.

Benihana B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard Johnson

Lebanese
Chez Toni C-2, Str. Glodeni 3, tel. (+4) 021 242 02 04/
NEW

(+4) 0740 00 78 78, office@cheztoni.ro, www.cheztoni. ro. Terrific Lebanese food in the leafy, away-from-it-all setting of the Pescariu Tennis and Sports Club. All your Middle Eastern favourites are here, from Antaki, Adana and Beiti kebabs to sujuk (those tangy, spicy little sausages) and simple yet perfectly grilled sea bass (and a ton of other fresh fish). Everything is cooked by the resident Lebanese chef. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PALEBXSW

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Jewish Bucharest
021 313 17 82, erwin@jewish.ro, www.jcc.ro. The Jewish Community Centre organises all sorts of events including film, dance, music and food evenings, as well as various events for children. QOpen 08:00 - 15:00, Fri 08:00 - 13:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Holocaust Memorial B-6, Str. Ion Brezoianu/Str. Ilfov, MEroilor. Unveiled in October 2009, Romanias Holocaust Memorial finally recognises the countrys role in the genocide of Europes Jews (a role ignored by the Communists, and minimized by subsequent governments). This monument is full of symbolism hundreds of thousands were killed who would have contributed to the cultural and economic prosperity of Romania, said Rabbi Menachem HaCohen, Romanias chief rabbi, at its opening. Just 6,000 Jews remain in Romania. (+4) 021 311 08 70. Seperate exhibitions display how the once vibrant Jewish community of Bucharest used to live. Housed in an old synagogue, the main display is in fact a sculpture that mourns the 350,000 Romanian Jews sent to their deaths at Auschwitz in 1944 and 1945 (Nobel winner Elie Wiesel was one of the few survivors of this late deportation). QOpen 09:00 - 14:00, Fri 09:00 - 12:00, Sun 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sat. Admission free. The Great Synagogue C-6, Str. Vasile Adamache 11. Bucharests Great Synagogue was built from 1845 -1846 by the Ashkenazi Polish-Jewish community. With an impressive mixture of baroque and rococo architectural styles, the Great Synagogue remains the most important Jewish building in the country. The synagogue hosts an excellent exhibition dedicated to Romanias Jewish martyrs, and to Dr. Moses Rosen, who served as Romanias Chief Rabbi for 30 years until his death in 1994. QOpen 08:30 15:00, Fri, Sun 08:30 - 13:00. Closed Sat. Morning Prayer: Sun-Fri 08:00, Sat 09:30, Evening Prayer: Sun-Fri 19:00.

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Medieval
Excalibur - Locul Cavalerilor C-5, Str. Academiei 3941, tel. (+4) 021 314 56 70/(+4) 0730 19 03 64, www. loculcavalerilor.ro. Brilliant, just brilliant. Plates, knifes and forks are dispensed with at this enjoyable Medieval-themed restaurant, where you can sit down at huge round tables and enjoy King Arthurs Dinner or Sir Lancelots Lunch direct from a wooden platter. Its very good Romanian grill and barbeque fare presented as Medieval cuisine, and the prices are more than decent and both the atmosphere and service are fantastic. Kids love it. Finger licking good. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Also at (B-5) B-dul Mihail Kogalniceanu 3, tel. (+4) 021 311 62 82 , Open 13:00-24:00. . PAW

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Bucharest Jewish Community (Centrul Comunitar Evreiesc) C-6, Str. Sf. Vineri 9-11, tel. (+4)

Mexican/Tex Mex
El Torito C-4, Str. Iancu Capitanu 30, tel. (+4) 021 252
66 88, www.eltorito.ro. Tex-Mex as it should be: spicy, tasty but free of frills. Expect the biggest and best burrittos in the city, topped with lashings of tangy cheese; sizzlingly hot fajitas, no fewer than eight types of taco and - best of all - that splendid Mexican staple so often forgotten or passed over as being dull: cream of corn soup. The super nachos are worth trying too: filled with ground beef the portion is big enough to serve as a main course. In fact, beware: all the portions here are supersized.QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PAGW

Jewish History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Evreilor din Romania) C-6, Str. Mmulari 3, tel.

Modern European
Hilton), MP-ta Victoriei, tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77, www. hiltonbucharest.com. Joy. The village pub has reopened and is better than ever. First off, you can now see out of the windows: the dreary net curtains of yore have gone. Completely redesigned, it is more open, feels bigger than before, and you can now sit at the bar. The menu has been jigged - a fantastic shepherds pie added - but they have sensibly kept the burger: always one of the best in the city. And there is also now a bites menu of substantial finger food for executive snacking, and bigger, wider range of beers, wines and cocktails then ever. A winner that shoots and scores yet again. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00. . PAEBX

Cafe Athenee C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace

NEW

steak in the world (the Irish Hereford Prime - which we can tell you, as we have eaten it, is amazing), we can also recommend the duet of foie gras with raspberry mousse and caremelized pineapple, the grilled scallops and the lobster bisque. (And just about everything else). Its genuinely amazing this place, and worth every last penny. Q Open 12:30-15:00; 18:30-23:00, Sat, Sun 18:30-23:00. . PALG

A-3, Str. Clucerului 9, tel. (+4) 021 222 57 55/(+4) 0722 20 50 50, restaurant @piccolomondo.ro, www. piccolomondo.ro. Lebanese food that is both filling (with plenty for vegetarians to choose from) and well made. Kebabs are one of the chefs strong points, and are very tasty indeed. After your meal you can enjoy a smoke on a hookah pipe. Always packed so reserve a table. QOpen 11:30 - 01:00. . PABW

Piccolo Mondo

Romanian
Bistro Atheneu C-5, Str. Episcopiei 3, tel. (+4) 021 313 49 00. Also known as the thinking mans La M*ma. If you want very good Romanian food cooked slowly and with great care then this is where to come. There is no menu as such: simply choose one of the delicious specials chalked up on a blackboard that the pretty waitresses will bring to your table. There is usually a good ciorba or soup, and more often than not a lamb dish: if they have the lamb stew when you visit, make sure you order it, its great.QOpen 12:00 24:00. . PALE Burebista Vanatoresc C-5, Str. Batistei 14, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 211 89 29, www.restaurantburebista.ro. The smell of the wooden fixtures and fittings could convince you that youre in the countryside, not metres away from the city centre. Portions are good, the food tastes super (good smoked meats, such as the smoked sausage and white beans, and lovely fresh sarmale) and all have a personal touch to their taste. The live, loud folk band add to the party atmosphere. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PAEB Casa Doina B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 4, tel. (+4) 021 222 67 17, www.casadoina.ro. Alma mater of Romanian restaurants, an integral part of the citys rich tapestry. This classy place pulls in the cream of Bucharest society, served

Prime Steaks & Seafood B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81

(Radisson BLU), tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00, primerestaurant.bucharest@radissonblu.com, www.prime-restaurant.ro. Boasting a new menu (put together by Executive Chef Bernd Kirsch, who has been in charge of the kitchen here since Prime opened more than two years ago), Bucharests best restaurant just got better. Now serving the finest fillet

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by charming, splendid waiters in smart dress. The food is superb, and in a city where standards rise only to fall so often, Casa Doina can be considered a paragon of consistency. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. Also at (A-1) B-dul Poligrafiei 3-5 (Ramada Bucharest Parc), tel. (+4) 021 549 25 41. . PALEB

more to Casa Veche than just pizza. It serves a wide range of dishes, included great salads, all in a picture-perfect setting just off the citys main street. The walled garden/courtyard is delightful on sunny days, but can be extremely popular: you will generally need a reservation. Q Open 11:00-01:00. . PABSW C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 4 (Hotel InterContinental), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20. Breakfast, lunch or dinner on the boulevard; Magheru, that is. If this place doesnt occupy the best people-watching spot in the whole of the city, then we dont know where does. The menu has gone more local of late: you can now enjoy exemplary sarmale and mamaliga here, as well as a brilliant iahnie de fasole with ciolan (pork knuckle with beans to you and me). Also still home of the best brunch in town. Q Open 06:30 - 23:00. . PTALW C-3, Str. Barbu Vcrescu 3, tel. (+4) 021 212 40 86, www.lamama.ro. Not exactly a Romanian McDonalds - after all, this is hardly fast food - though this is a chain of cheap restaurants which all look the same and all serve the same food. Expect big portions of standard Romanian food - they do good mici and the musaka is usually OK - but nothing too adventurous, as well as cheap beer and a fight for a table: these restaurants are very popular and the busiest locations require reservations. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 04:00. Also at (I-3) Str. Delea Veche 51, tel. (+4) 021 320 52 13, (+4) 0723 29 28 46; (C-4) Str. Episcopiei 9, tel. (+4) 021 312 97 97, 0721 52 62 62; (E-6) P-ta Alba Iulia 2, tel. (+4) 021 320 20 00, (+4) 0728 85 38 53; (B-6) Spl. Independentei 210 - 210B (Orhideea), tel. (+4) 021 220 33 95, (+4) 0724 50 56 05. . PAB 232 87 96, www.lacocosatu.ro. We put out an appeal on our Facebook fan page for the best mici in the city. The response was immediate and overwhelming: Cocosatu uber alles. A bit of a trek from the city centre (it is just around the corner from Baneasa Airport) the mici here are indeed the best we have tasted: big, tangy, made with loads of mutton and a few spices for extra kick. The ultimate Bucharest mici experience, and all at peanuts prices. QOpen 07:00 - 24:00. . PALB

Casa Veche B-5, Str. George Enescu 15-17, tel. (+4)

021 315 78 97, www.casaveche.ro. Best known as being the first ever proper pizzerie in Bucharest, there is far, far

Corso Brasserie

Bucharests Historic Churches


Creulescu Church (Biserica Creulescu)
C-5, Calea Victoriei 47, MUniversitate. Probably the most celebrated historic church in Bucharest. Biserica Creulescu was raised from 1720-2 by Iordache Creulescu and his wife Safta, a daughter of Romanian humanitarian Constantin Brncoveanu. The outstanding paintings on the entrance are original, the work of an unknown artist, while the interior icons were added in 1859 by Gheorghe Tattarescu. Damaged during the fighting of December 1989, the church has recently been restored to its full glory, and is a must.

La Mama

churches built in Bucharest during the reign of Constantin Brncoveanu, New St. Georges Church was consecrated on June 29th, 1707. It was a wonder of the age, having been designed by an Italian, Vaseleli, and decorated by the great Romanian maestros of the times: the painter Mutu, the carpenter Istrate and the sculptor Caragea. Damaged in a fire in 1847, the church was renovated from 1852-3 by the Spanish architect Villacrosse. New and outstanding interior murals were added by Marian Popp. Brncoveanu is himself allegedly buried under the church, in an unmarked grave. Patriarchal Cathedral (Patriarhia) C-6/7, Str. Dealul Mitropoliei. Set atop one of the citys few hills, known as Mitropoliei, the Patriarchal Cathedral has been the centrepiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since the seventeeth century. Built to a design based on the Curtea de Arges, near Pitesti, it has undergone a number of facelifts, but the overwhelming majority of the cathedrals structure is the original, built between 1654 and 1658. The outstanding bell-tower at the entrance was built in 1698, and restored in 1958. Next to the church - and closed to the public - is the Patriarchal Palace, residence of Daniel Ciobotea, the recently elected Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It was built in 1708.

New St. Georges Church (Biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou) C-6, Piata Sf. Gheorghe. The largest of the

La Cocosatu Str. Neagoe Voda 52 A, tel. (+4) 021

Locanta Jaristea B-6, Str. George Georgescu 50-52, tel. (+4) 021 335 33 38, www.jaristea.ro. This is that rarity in Bucharest (and indeed Romania): an upmarket Romanian restaurant. The surroundings, location, exquisitely decorated dining rooms, service and choice of high quality bucharest.inyourpocket.com

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Along the Enchanted Way
Along the Enchanted Way By William Blacker Apparently, in 1997, planes bound for Romania departed from the great media and financial centres of the western world carrying a sinister cargo: slick advertising executives hell bent on selling Romanias dirt poor yet blissfully happy peasants all sorts of evil goods (such as God forbid shampoo) that they neither needed nor wanted. Just a few months after their arrival, two country boys who had hardly ever left their home village of Breb, in Maramures, northwestern Romania set off for the nearest town to try their luck. They had been seduced by the sinister, slick advertising they had seen on their newly acquired television, which disgracefully and with wanton abandon showed them that there was in fact more to human existence than grinding out a living as a subsistence farmer. Tragically, the boys died not long afterwards. Despite not knowing how to swim, one hot afternoon they had joined their new work mates at a lake. Underestimating its depth they jumped in. Both drowned. The story of the two boys (like every other vignette in this book: and there are many) is told in William Blackers startling matter-of-fact style, one of the many reasons that the pages rattle along and why despite its reactionary politics it is such a good read. Yet Blacker is wrong to look to modern society as the cause of the two boys deaths (the modern world had made short work of them, he writes). To Blacker, the slick advertising executives and the televisions that carried the images they created were guilty for having seduced the boys with enticing images of modern life. If only they had been left alone in their blissful rural ignorance they would still be alive today. A fair point? Perhaps. Yet the march of progress into the Maramures and the other remote parts of Romania has by and large been welcomed by locals. Cruel, hard, medieval lifestyles are at last on their way out. Running water, inside toilets, double glazing, shampoo and jeans (with which Blacker appears to have a particular problem) are on their way in. Given the choice between back-breaking work and anything else, most Romanian peasants have taken the anything else. Unfortunately, there remain far too many who have yet to be given the choice, and who remain tied to the land in much the same way serfs were hundreds of years ago. In not condemning this feudalism (in fact he in many ways romanticises it) Blacker commits an error, yet a forgivable one. He appears to be genuine when he writes that the people of Breb, despite the alcoholism, the domestic violence, the lack of health care, the back-breaking work and the outside toilets are the happiest people I have ever met. It is not a sin to be naive. So as much as we want to dislike this book, we cant. That we in fact thoroughly recommend it is ample testament to Blackers many gifts as a writer and storyteller. We hope he will write more. Blacker writes in his introduction to Along the Enchanted Way that he felt compelled to visit medieval Romania when he did (and subsequently write his book) because to do so will be impossible in the not too distant future. Lets hope so Willy, lets hope so. You can find copies of Along the Enchanted Way in Bucharest at Anthony Frost English Bookshop (C-5, Calea Victoriei 45, tel. (+4) 021 311 51 38). The Romanian price is 50 lei.

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food will convince you of that. This is one of very few places in Romania where you can enjoy an entire suckling pig (though note that you will need phone ahead and ask then to start preparing it a day in advance) and sample some of the best vintage wines Romania has ever produced. QOpen 11:00 02:00. . PALE versitate, tel. (+4) 031 805 91 99, www.rossetya. ro. Romanian food is never going to win any awards for originali ty, i t being a mix of various Balkan cuisines, yet Rossetya tries harder than most to take it to new levels. As such this is as upmarket as you can get, and the beef dishes here are especially good. Tr y the sote de vacuta aromat cu cognac: tender beef sau teed in cognac with mushrooms and tomatoes. Also wor th tr ying is the iahnie de fasole: a Romanian bean stew

that packs something of a kick and proof that Romanian does do vegetarian food. Q Open 11:00 - 23:30. . PAGS (+4) 021 310 06 81, www.violetas.ro. The concept is great: very good Romanian food with a nod towards the vegetarian served off a menu that changes daily. You can check it online and then decide if you fancy anything before setting off. Alas, the service can be a little hit and miss. On one visit we were given our menus, then ignored. We gave them five minutes, then ten, then 15... then we got up and left. Next time though all was well. We hope the second experience was the regular experience, for the place is lovely and just so un-Bucharest you want to squeeze it and hug it. QOpen 08:30 - 22:00, Mon 11:30 - 22:00, Sat 09:30:22:00, Sun 09:30 - 12:30. . PGS

Violetas Vintage Kitchen C-5, Str. Batistei 23, tel.

Rossetya C-5, Str. Dimitrie Bolintineanu 9, MUni-

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Mesogios C-5, Str. J.L. Calderon 49, tel. (+4) 021 313 49 51, 021 317 13 55, www.mesogios.ro. A businessmans dream. While Mesogios certainly doesnt get any cheaper, the high standards here have ensured that it remains packed with happy punters. Getting on for a decade since it opened its dedication to seafood has not waned for one moment, and we never leave disappointed (and we come here as often as our wallet allows). Join us and enjoy squid, lobster, prawns of all sizes, mussels, oysters, giant sea bass and a host of other wet treats. QOpen 12:30 24:30. . PA Taverna La Zavat E-5, Str. Popa Nan 16, tel. (+4) 021 252 29 56/(+4) 0766 52 67 91, taverna.pescareasca@ yahoo.com, www.taverna-lazavat.ro. Top little place with more atmosphere in its small toe than most other restaurants have in their entire bodies. Cracking menu of primarily fish and seafood, though there are local Romanian and international favourites too. An exemplary wine list (for all budgets) makes it a super place for vineyard fans: all of Romanias top wineries are represented. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PABXS

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Thai
17 40 39, info@thaimoods.ro, www.thaimoods.ro. Have we ever said how much we love this place? In many ways, superlatives are pointless in any review of Thai Moods. It serves the very best Thai and Pacific Rim food in the entire region (not just the country), now cooked by a new Mauritian chef, who has revised and updated the menu, giving it a unqiue twist. Old favourites, however, like the mango and shrimp salad with seafood and citrus sauce and the mango and passion fruit mousse can still be had. Worth a visit, and then another visit to convince yourself that yes, it really was that good.QOpen 17:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon, Sun. . PALGBSW

Thai Moods A-2, Str. Petre Creu 63, tel. (+4) 0723

Sandwiches
Paul B-2, Str. Radu Beller 1, tel. (+4) 021 230 17 33,
(+4) 0745 08 17 75, www.paul.fr. Sandwich shop par excellence. The finest, crispiest bread gets wrapped around upmarket fillings. There are pastries too, and even soups. A couple of tables inside, but it is mainly a takeaway-place for the office workers of the area. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. PABS

Vegetarian
Casa Satya
A-3, B-dul Banu Manta 25, tel. (+4) 0788 78 81 11/ (+4) 021 222 12 59, contact@satya.ro, www.satya.ro. Where do you start when reviewing a place as revolutionary as this? The concept is Ayurveda, as in the mix life and science. Ayuvedic principles have long been applied to alternative medicine, now it is developing into cuisine, and that is what we have here. Everything on the menu is toxin free, so no meat, but there is plenty of seafood, and everything is made with only fresh, organic ingredients. Amazingly, that does not mean forgoing taste: the delicious chutneys served with the poppadoms will convince you of that right from the off. The toilets by the way are amazing. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PTAGBSW

Turkish
C-5, Str. Hristo Botev 18-20, tel. (+4) 021 314 28 25/ (+4) 021 313 28 33. Still the greatest kebab house in the land, and still packing in the punters who come back time and again. There are no menus here: instead the waitresses will parade a trolley-full of meze before you to pick from, before coming round with the kebabs: pick which one you want then send it to be cooked in the open kitchen. We usually always go for the lamb kebabs, but in our experience all of them are well worth trying. Great desserts too. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PAS

Golden Falcon

Seafood
La Veranda A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza),
tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, reservations@crowneplaza. ro. One of three new places opened recently at the Crowne Plaza. This one is housed inside a glass terrace offering wonderful views of the garden outside. It serves relatively simple yet exquisite fish and sea food as fresh as the day it was caught. They have also recently unveiled their Captains Table concept: a new kind of Sunday Brunch featuring a set seven-course menu with coffee and wine that changes each Sunday. Entirely non-smoking. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. . PALEGBS
NEW

Price Guide
(Based on a good meal with wine) Expensive (More than 30 per person) Middling (10-20 per person) Not cheap (20-30 per person) Cheap (Less than 10 per person)

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CaFs

Cafe Verona C-5, Str. Pictor Arthur Verona 13-15, tel. (+4) 0732 00 30 61/(+4) 0732 00 30 60. Sublime. The brilliant Carturesti bookshop has long served coffee with its books, but the latest attempt to make this a real bookstore cafe is easily the best. There is wine and cocktails too, and it is now the kind of place you come to meet friends and end up staying all day.QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. Verona Garden Open 10:00-24:00. PAEBXW Caffe & Latte B-5, B-dul Schitu Mgureanu 35, tel.
(+4) 021 314 38 34, www.caffelatte.ro. The staff, the food, the coffee and the dcor all stay the same - and yet still they come. (What does get better is the cake selection: it improves year after year). Caffe & Latte is particularly nice during the spring and summer, when you can sit outside and enjoy the quiet street-scene and decent view of the park. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. PB

Ceas Cafe D-4, B-dul Dacia 22, tel. (+4) 0735 55 77 77/(+4) 0745 55 12 18, ceascafe@ceascafe.ro, www. ceascafe.ro. Another tea and coffee house: a very good one in fact, right by Piata Romana. Coffee here is an art form, its all in the preparation. Expect loads of different kinds, including the best cafea la nisip - as they say in these parts - around. There is plenty of fruity tobacco for your pipe as well: yes, they have hookahs too. Add in comfy white sofas and you have a winner. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 18:00 - 01:00. PABW IO Espresso C-5, Str. Demetrie I. Dobrescu 5, tel. (+4) 021 315 60 98, www.iocoffee.ro. Bucharests most stunning cafe is housed inside a modern office building (home to Bucharests architects guild) itself inside the shell of a building almost entirely ruined during the 1989 revolution. The blend of old and new is sensational. The cafe itself is a quiet, mellow affair great for casual meetings and relaxing. It is far less showy and therefore a great deal classier than almost every other cafe in the city. QOpen 08:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. PGW Lolly Pop E-6, B-dul Decebal 13, tel. (+4) 0724 94 88 20, www.lollypop.ro. On a street that is becoming something of a seriously good alternative to the city centre is Lolly Pop, an all-in-one type place where you can get coffee, tea, great fruit juice, eat decent French/Italian food and then dance the night away to smooth sounds: all without leaving the building. Oh, and they get added points for reserving the whole ground floor for non-smokers. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. PABSW
12, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 021 211 31 00, www. serendipity-tea.ro. Tea and lots of it. There are more than 55 types of tea available, including the trademark Serendipity, an aromatic yet fruity green tea with more than a hint of strawberries. A quiet location just off an otherwise busy central street make this a superb choice for long, peaceful afternoons reading a good book with a great cup of tea or two. QOpen 15:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. TAGW

Serendipity Tea House C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie

For details of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs in Bucharests Old Town (Lipscani), see the feature on pages 58-69.
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nightLiFe
Bars
Crown Cafe A-1, B-dul Poligrafiei 1 (Crowne Plaza), tel. (+4) 021 224 00 34, reservations@crowneplaza.ro. The Crowne Plazas new cafe is brighter place than before, with fine cream leather armchairs set around a small atrium. Coffee, tea, beer and - later in the evening - the perfect place for cocktails and a sneaky nightcap before bed. Note that the cafe is an entirely smoking allowed venue. QOpen 10:00 02:00. PALBXSW
B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Radisson Blu), tel. (+4) 021 311 90 00, www.bla-lounge.ro. A collection of bars and lounges from the Radisson, popular with an after-work crowd who view it as a decent alternative to the English Bar in the Hilton across the road. Expect contemporary design, great bar food (try the duck blinis) and cracking cocktails. Add in a splendid range of agreeable wines and you have a winner. We think the Light Bl Terrace (fully enclosed in glass at this time of year) is the most stunning smoking room in the city. Q Bl Lounge Bar/Light Bl Terrace 09:00 - 02:00, Sun 09:00-24:00; Dark Bar Bl 17:00-02:00. PAB ton), tel. (+4) 021 303 3777 ext. 6759. This little corner of the Hilton that will forever be associated with intrigue and spies (it has been around for nearly a century, as long as the hotel) remains today a classy bar serving champagne by the glass and much else besides (including a tremendous pint of Guinness). Packed with business leaders and expats most evenings it is hard not to love it. Note that you can now order food from the Cafe Athenee (see page 36) and have it served here. A result! QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. PALW
NEW

Fourteen C-5, Str. Benjamin Franklin 14, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0730 47 22 33, www.fourteen.ro. Reopened and better than ever, this English-owned and run bar stroke club is for a more discerning crowd: one fed up with the regular, fitze dominated Bucharest nightlife scene. Expect a very good mix of music (1980s pop and electro and Brit Pop being the staples) and plenty of theme nights. Happy hour every evening from 17:00-19:00, and a popular venue for private parties. QOpen 16:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 03:00. PAEX Fratelli C-5, Str. Nicolae Golescu 5, MUniversitate, tel.
(+4) 021 311 66 76, www.fratelli.ro. Calling itself a bar and lounge, there are certainly enough comfy sofas here to qualify it in the lounge category. That is if you can get in of course. Though we can usually blag our way past the fellas on the door, we know people who have been told its full even though they knew it damn well wasnt. Whats more it isnt really a fitze kind of place. It has its Starck furniture and posers of course but in general the crowd that makes it in is more business than biznes.QOpen 16:00 - 01:00. PAB

Dark Bar Bl /Light Bl Terrace /Bl Lounge Bar

Ramayana Cafe A-5, Str. Baldovin Parcalabul 11, tel.

English Bar C-5, Str. Epicopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hil-

(+4) 021 317 16 81, www.ramayana.ro. Looking like a cross between a Maharajas bedroom and the most luxurious hotel in Delhi, this cafe and cocktail bar is quite frankly unique. You will not find anywhere in Bucharest quite so startling in design, nor will you find a better place to bring a secret date for a little tete-a-tete. With more nooks and crannies than your grandmothers country house, pull up a cushion, sup on a hookah pipe and drink a green tea. Exceptional. Q Open 24 hours. PABW

Tephra B-5, Str. Domnita Anastasia 14, tel. (+4) 031 102 06 97. By day this place is popular as a caf and a lunch venue: there is a daily set menu offering three courses for around the 19 lei mark. By night Tephra becomes a bar and club of some renown. The vaguely kitsch but enjoyably happy dcor lends and air of glam rock to proceedings, which can often involve raucous karaoke sessions. We like. Q Open 09:00-24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00-03:00. P Terminus B-5, Str. George Enescu 5, tel. (+4) 021 318 16 67. Pub/bar on the ground floor, while downstairs there is a basement bar which becomes more a nightclub with an industrial feel as the evening wears on. Theres a big bar and getting a drink - once not easy - is now a joy thanks to top staff. The central location right between the Radisson and Hilton guarantees it a steady flow of thirsty visitors. Guinness on tap. QOpen 09:30 - 04:00. PA Victoria Club C-5, Calea Victoriei 56 (Grand Hotel
Continental), tel. (+4) 0372 01 03 06, www.grandhotelcontinental.ro. Elegant English bar and cigar lounge that - with its gorgeous leather armchairs - immediately reminded us of our favourite bar in Vienna (which shall rename nameless). And thats exactly what weve found ourselves doing here: its a great place to get away from the bustle of the city for a bit, to enjoy the fine selection of English teas (theres good coffee too) and later on one of more than 100 spirits. Oh, and they have a top selection cigars too, we should add. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. PALW

Pubs
Cafeneaua Actorilor C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 2,
MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0721 90 08 42, www.cafeneauaactorilor.ro. Eternally popular late night choice of the actors who work in the National Theatre next door, this legendary bar remains a favourite of ours too. Loads of quiet corners for secret tete-a-tetes, you could conduct all sorts of affairs from

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B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 4, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 314 29 01, www.whispers.ro. Popular with expats who come to watch the football thats shown live via satelite, Whispers is far more than you expect from your standard expat pub. Its got great food - massive portions of international, Romanian and even British favourites at tip top prices - and the staff are just the right side of friendly. Well worth a visit. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 01:00. PABXSW

Whispers

about going somewhere else by all means - even talk about it - but then do whats sensible and get yourself here. QOpen 09:00 - 02:00. PAEBW

down here. Not easy to find, the entrance is on the northern side of the National Theatre (opposite the InterContinental). QOpen 09:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 05:00. PE

Dreamers B-5, Str. Gen. Berthelot 111, tel. (+4) 0723

White Horse B-3, Str. George Clinescu 4A, tel. (+4) 021 231 27 95, www.whitehorse.ro. The White Horse has been around so long it should probably consider going out to stud. Or should it? On a recent visit we found it to be in surprisingly good shape, and packed with both locals of the ordinary people variety, as well as group of rowdy expats. There is still good food in the more formal part upstairs, with bar snacks served down, and though we have always loved the square bar it would be better if it didnt so run dry of Guinness. That aside it remains a decent pub. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. PAB

James Joyce Pub B-5, Str. Valter Maracineanu 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 311 41 77/(+4) 0761 55 38 57, www.joyces. ro. So much more than an Irish pub, this place more or less has it all, from a cracking location right next to Cismigiu Park to a regular programme of live events. Expect all sorts, from comedy nights to hip DJs spinning the discs until the early hours. And we have yet to mention the food, which like all else is again, a cut above your average Irish pub fare. Go, try it, and see for yourself. Top stuff. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00. PALEBXW Mollys Irish Pub D-6, Calea Calarasi 96, tel. (+4) 021
320 05 04, www.irishpubs.ro. Mollys is the newest Irish pub in the city, and carries the by now almost sainted hallmark of David Larkin (The Dubliner, The Harp). So you can expect much of the same: a real Irish pub short on crap and long on high standards, from good pub grub to drinks that dont cost a fortune. See you there. QOpen 09:00 - 02:00. PAW (+4) 021 335 65 08, www.irishpubs.ro. The other half of the Dubliner. The idea is more or less the same: good food, drinks, service and a friendly crowd, though with less of an emphasis on live British sport (as such it is more popular with locals than expats, who head for the Dubliner). A cavernous place, with two levels, its quaintly decorated with framed old newspaper front pages and pictures, as well as great wallpaper. It thus somehow avoids the soulless synthetic feel of many Oirish pubs abroad. Faultless chicken and mushroom pies. QOpen 09:00 - 02:00. PAW

11 22 00, www.dreamers.ro. As Spock might say, its Dreamers Jim, but not as we know it. For if you remember the old location as always being a bit cramped (though we have to admit it was not without its charms) then you are in for a nice shock at the new place. Everything you would expect from a pub is here, from football on the television to Guinness in the taps. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Sat, Sun 14:00 - 05:00. PW

Irish Pubs
A-4, B-dul N. Titulescu 18, tel. (+4) 021 222 94 73, www.irishpubs.ro. Is there football on? Dubliner. Rugby? Dubliner. Cricket? Dubliner. Its not that there arent now other pubs to go to (there have been for quite some time) but the question is, why would you go anywhere else? All your mates are probably here, both the best steak and kidney pie in town is here, the best Guinness in Bucharest is poured here, and the widest choice of foreign television channels is here. Think

The Harp C-6, Str. Bibescu Voda 1, MP-ta Unirii, tel.

Dubliner

211 22 72/(+4) 0733 92 78 62, www.shiftpub.ro. Its doubtful that youve seen anything like this place in Bucharest before. Where once was Esperanto, Shift is a Bohemian restaurant/bar/club of some style. The garden/ terrace is gorgeous, and has been packed since opening day (at the end of May) with the hippest people in the land. Late at night this is the coolest chill-out venue in the city, and we love it. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 04:00. PABXSW www.walhallapub.ro. Not new, but you will find it difficult to recognise this place from years ago. Now a genuine venue where they make something happen every night, be it karaoke (usually Tuesdays) classical music (Mondays), muzica usoara (a kind of syrupy 1970s pop: very big in these parts) or general Friday and Saturday night mayhem. Jump in a taxi and go there: its well worth the effort. QOpen 12:00 - 04:00, Sun 18:00 - 04:00. PALEW

Shift C-4, Str. Eremia Grigorescu 17, tel. (+4) 021

Walhalla D-4, B-dul Dacia 62, tel. (+4) 031 105 76 49,

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Clubs & Discos
Control Club C-5, Str. Academiei 19 (Pasajul Victoriei), tel. (+4) 0733 92 78 61, www.control-club.ro. This place tops our list of clubs for people who do not like clubs. Its big, bigger than most in the city, and the two different zones (one especially for live music) have been laid out well. The music in the evenings is always live, be it a band or DJ, and it is always a pleasing, non-clubby mix of indie hits, a bit of rock and 70s disco. Where else in Bucharest will you see a Joy Division tribute band? QOpen 17:00 - 06:00. PE Coyote Cafe B-4, Calea Victoriei 48-50 (Pasajul Victoriei), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 311 34 87, www. coyotecafe.ro. Coyote is a loud, proud music bar which sets new standards for live music and good times. A huge warren of a venue, good rock music - sometimes provided by the owners themselves - and the right kind of crowd. Very nice indeed. QOpen 18:00 - 02:00, Thu 18:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 20:00 - 04:00. Closed Mon. PAE Deja-vu
C-5, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 25, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 0721 91 82 79/(+4) 021 311 23 22, rezervari@ dejavu-club.ro, www.dejavu-club.ro. A place that goes from strength to strength. Still the best cocktail bar this side of the River Prut, it is now open during the day for food too: you could spend your whole life in here. The draw though remain the participatory cocktails, some of which involve fire, and a few which involve wearing a World War II Russian army helmet. They also serve at least one which involves a young Russian girl squeezing lemon into your mouth with her teeth. At weekends it is packed and the small dancefloor is the sweatiest place in Bucharest. You will love it. QOpen 12:00 - 04:00. Club Open 22:00 - 04:00. PALEXSW C-5, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 18, tel. (+4) 0751 11 11 15, info@eleven.com.ro, www.eleven.com.ro. City-centre club lauding itself as an oasis of luxury. Leather sofas, purple cushions, Svarovski crystal, clever lighting: its that sort of luxury. Music is fairly mainstream, clubby house, provided by a live DJ. There are special events at least once a week,

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X-ACTLY WHAT YOU NEED X-ACTLY WHAT YOU NEED

Eleven

Casinos
(InterContinental Hotel), MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20 ext 7592/(+4) 0728 83 38 28, www.casinobucharest.ro. Q Open 18:00 - 06:00. PALK Grand Casino B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 403 08 01, fax (+4) 021 403 08 08. Q Open 24 hrs. Havana Princess Casino C-5, B-dul Regina Elisabeta 13, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021 313 98 23, www.worldofprincess.com. Q Open 24 hrs. P Palace Casino B-4, Calea Victoriei 133, MVictoriei, tel. (+4) 021 311 97 44/(+4) 0722 66 57 88, office@casinopalace.ro, www.casinopalace.ro. Q Open 24hrs. PALGK Platinum Casino B-4, Calea Victoriei 63-81, tel. (+4) 031 710 22 34/(+4) 0720 22 74 66, platinum@ platinumcasino.ro, www.platinumcasino.ro. Q Open 24 hrs. PL Queen Casino B-3, Calea Dorobantilor 5-7, MP-ta Romana, tel. (+4) 0372 76 34 45, www.queencasino.ro. Q Open 24 hrs. PARULEK

Casino Bucharest C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 4

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whether its a theme night or a guest DJ shipped in from Italy. Given the luxury angle drink prices are accessible and theres no entrance fee.QOpen 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PAW 0729 73 30 42, office@elcomandanteprimer.ro, www. elcomandanteprimer.ro. El Comandantes empire continues to grow apace. This is the latest venue to carry the name, below the La Historia 2 bistro which belongs to the same people. Expect live music acts a couple of nights a week of a very high quality, the same young, successful but non-fitze crowd as at La Historia and up at the original El Comandante, and reasonably priced drinks. QOpen 21:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon. PALEXW international DJs. There is live music now and again too, as well as a regular selection of theme nights. A taxi ride from the city centre. QOpen 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PAL

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El Comandante Primer D-5, Str. Sf. Stefan 13, tel. (+4)

The Player Str. Primo Nebiolo 5-7, tel. (+4) 0720 73 47 34, www.theplayer.ro. There are clubs, and there is this place. Packed from one dawn to the next, this is as close as you get to a genuinely 24-hour party-central venue in Bucharest. Packed with beautiful, successful people dancing to top sounds or chilling on the chic, comfy sofas, its the kind of place that puts the hedonism back into Bucharest nightlife. QOpen 23:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Thu, Sun. (Terrace 09:00-23:00). PLNBW
(+4) 0723 37 90 26, www.tscarena.ro. Currently the best place to see good local bands. Looking (inside) very much like a, well. silver church (albeit one which has dropped plenty of acid), its a cavernous venue with terrific acoustics and it is this mix of big club/small concert hall that gives it the edge over some other venues. So good is the sound that many bands play here simply for the hell of it. QOpen 22:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. Entrance 20 lei. PUE

El Grande Comandante D-4, Str. Viitorului 26, tel.

The Silver Church A-5, Calea Plevnei 61, MIzvor, tel.

(+4) 0728 55 60 43, www.elgrandecomandante.ro. Communists with an interest in rock music of the world unite! Che is cool in Romania (ironically, of course), and all those who wear his t-shirt will love this little rock club, dedicated to the mans memory, with portraits at 10, 12 and 2 oclock. If you can leave aside the politics and forget you are in a place named for someone who killed so many people, then its actually quite good. It is nice to hear music which doesnt thump, thump, thump, and the warren of little rooms is probably great for plotting terrorist attacks. Drinks are cheap. Revolutionary! QOpen 21:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon. PALEX

Tribute B-4, Calea Victoriei 118, tel. (+4) 0728 74 28 83,

Expirat/Other Side B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 4/Str. Lipscani 5, tel. (+4) 0726 80 41 42, www.expirat.org. Two clubs (almost) in one. There are two entrances to the same building, both of which are enjoyable venues. For the record Expirat 1 (entrance on Lipscani) is the more mainstream club, popular with fit young girls and men who like to chat them up,

while The Other Side of Expirat (entrance on Brezoianu) is more edgy, funky and simply - in our opinion - better. See you there. QOpen 22:00 - 05:00. PE

www.tribute.ro. Besides a fantastic resident band, Tribute is also regularly host to a number of the best live acts in the business, who love the atmosphere provided by a great crowd and wonderful acoustics. Basically, if the excitement of live music is what you are looking for, this is one first class venue. Bang in the city centre (its on Calea Victoriei) its a great choice if you are stuck in a downtown pub thinking about where to move on to. Plan on staying late. Q Open 21:00-05:00, Wed 21:00-02:00, Sun 20:00-02:00. Closed Mon, Tue. PJAE

Jukebox Club E-6, Str. Turturelelor 11, tel. (+4) 021 322 66 10, www.jukeboxclub.ro. The live music club formerly known as Becker Brau. Much the same as before: live acts most nights of the week, with a reasonably big name - often from abroad - at least once or twice a month. Good beer, good atmosphere and a favourite of big groups of friends looking for a great night out. You can eat here too. QOpen 22:00 - 02:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PAE Kristal Glam Club C-2, Str. J. S. Bach 2, tel. (+4) 0722 79 51 84, www.clubkristal.ro. While its interior design still resembles the Crystal Ballrooms, Dagenham, circa 1977, who cares? This place is good. Top club music played by Europes finest DJs. A big name plays here at least once a week, and we mean the biggest names. For serious clubbers this really is the best option. QOpen 22:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. NB Studio Martin B-4, B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara 61, tel.
(+4) 0722 39 92 28, www.studiomartin.ro. Legendary cinema and night spot. Theres high quality music from serious DJs for serious people most Friday and Saturday nights. So popular is this place that getting in can be a challenge: get tickets for the biggest gigs in advance. QOpen 22:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. P

The Gang C-3, Calea Floreasca 111-113, tel. (+4) 0733 97 52 77, www.thegang.ro. You wanna be in my gang? Newest uber-club in Bucharest. Its the usual mix of luxury and chic, attracting a cashed-up crowd of young party people listening to standard club sounds provided by local and Bucharest In Your Pocket bucharest.inyourpocket.com bucharest.inyourpocket.com October - November 2010

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what to see
Essential Bucharest
Arcul de Triumf A-2, Piata Arcul de Triumf. Bucharests Arc de Triumf was built in 1922 to commemorate Romanias Great War dead. The original was made of wood, it being replaced by the present concrete structure in 1935. Standing 25 metres high, the Arc has a staircase that allows visitors to climb to the terrace on the top of the monument, though is opened only on special occassions. The sculptures and reliefs that decorate the monument (and which need serious restoring) were created by the leading artists of the day, including Ion Jalea and Constantin Baraschi. George Enescu Museum (Muzeul National George Enescu) B-4, Calea Victoriei 141, tel. (+4)
as Romanias Museum of Contemporary Art. Much of the building, however, remains unused. The public tour of the building is thoroughly recommended (it is the only way to see the building, in fact) though the commentary consists of little more than a bored guide reeling off endless superlative statistics. Youll see plenty of grand staircases, marble-plated halls and conference rooms, while - if you pay the extra five lei - you may also have the chance to go on the roof, which offers perhaps the best view of central Bucharest. You can even now take a trip into the bowels of the building down below, though again this costs extra. To join one of the tours, you should make reservations a day in advance as parliamentary business means the official opening hours are subject to change. You will also need to bring your passport, driving license or other form of internationally accepted ID. Use the entrance on the right-hand side of the palace (if youre looking at it front-on). Izvor is probably the nearest metro station, but youll get a better view from Piata Unirii. QOpen 10:00 - 15:45. Admission 25 lei (standard tour), 30 lei (standard tour and basement), 35 lei (standard tour and terrace), 45 lei (standard tour, terrace and basement). All tours include access to the Palaces terrace cafe. An additional fee of 30.00 lei is payable by those with cameras.

021 318 14 50. Mistakenly believed to be the great Romanian composer George Enescus former home, this outstanding Secession house was in fact built for landowner George Cantacuzino in 1905, and many older Bucharest residents still refer to it as the Cantacuzino Palace. It became state property in 1955, the year of Enescus death, and a year later opened as a musuem dedicated to his life and work. Enescu did however live for a period in the smaller house behind the main building, also open to the public. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 6 lei.

National Art Museum (MNAR; Muzeul National de Arta; Former Royal Palace) B/C-5, Calea

Victoriei 49-53, tel. (+4) 021 313 30 30/021 314 81 19, www.mnar.arts.ro. The countrys largest, and most impressive art collection is housed inside the splendid former Royal Palace, first built in 1812 as a private home by the wealthy trader Dinicu Golescu. When his sons fell into financial ruin some years later, they were forced to sell the building to the state, which carried out huge modifications, adding a number of new wings. It became a royal residence in 1859, when it became the site of the court of the first prince of the united principalities, Alexandru Ion Cuza. Although slightly remodelled in the late 1930s, the building we see today is more or less the original, revolutionary damage notwithstanding. Indeed, some parts of the building have only recently been reopened after the mindless vandalism of those mad days in December 1989, when the building was ransacked by the iconoclastic mob, which saw the building (named the Palace of the Socialist Republic during the communist period) as a symbol of the regime. There are three permanent exhibitions, one on each of the three floors of the main building: Medieval Romanian Art, featuring icons, carved altars, illustrated manuscripts and bibles, and fragments of frescoes; Modern Romanian Art, with all of Romanias greatest 20th century artists well represented, including Theodor Aman, Constantin Brancui, Gheorghe Patracu, and Gheorghe Tatarescu; and European Paintings and Sculpture, which plays host to a fine collection of Old European Masters. Q Open 10:00-18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 8 lei. PA

Peasant Museum (Muzeul Taranului Roman) B-3, os. Kiseleff 3, tel./fax (+4) 021 317 96 60, info@ muzeultaranuluiroman.ro, www.muzeultaranuluiroman.ro. In most peoples opinion, the Peasant Museum is the best museum in Bucharest, and one of the best in the country. Housed in a wonderful red brick building designed by Nicolae Ghica-Budeti, dating from 1912, the museum offers well laid out and presented exhibits which tell you all you need to know about the diverse and fascinating history of life around the country over the past four centuries. There are exhibitions covering all aspects of Romanian peasant life, from handpainted Easter eggs to terracotta pottery, from colourful religious icons to traditional clothing. Replicas of much of what is on display can be bought in the excellent if a little pricey museum shop. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 6 lei. Students and children 2 lei. Village Museum (Muzeul Naional al Satului Dimitrie Gusti) A-2, Sos. Kiseleff 28-30, tel. (+4)

A3, tel. (+4) 021 311 36 11. What is unquestionably Romanias most famous building, Palatul Parlamentului (known universally as Casa Poporului) was built during the darkest days of the Nicolae Ceausescu regime. Standing 84m above ground level on 12 floors, the building has long been shrouded in mystery, rumour and hyperbole. Originally designed to house almost all the organs of the communist state, it today plays host to the Romanian parliament and a modern, well equipped conference centre, as well

Palatul Parlamentului (Parliament Palace; Casa Poporului) B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 1, intrarea

021 317 91 10, www.muzeul-satului.ro. Outstanding. Founded by Royal Decree in 1936, and covering some 15 hectares on the shores of Lake Herstru, Muzeul Satului is one of the greatest outdoor museums in the Balkans. There are more than 60 original houses, farmsteads, windmills, watermills and churches from all of Romanias historic regions: Transylvania, Oltenia, Dobrogea and Moldavia. Every exhibit has a plaque showing exactly where in Romania it was brought from. Some even now have recorded commentary in four languages (if the stickers are missing, press the second button for English). Most of the houses date from the mid 19th-century, but there are some, such as those from Berbeti, in the heart of Romania - celebrated for their intricately carved entrances - which date from as early as 1775. The highlight of the museum is probably the steep belfry of the wooden Maramure church, complete with exquisite but faded icons. You should also not miss the earth houses of Straja, dug in to the ground and topped with thatched rooves, or the brightly painted dwellings of the Danube Delta. Children love the museum, and it makes for a perfect family day out.QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Admission 6 lei, students/children 3 lei.

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Buildings with a history
lin 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 315 25 67, www.fge.org.ro. Possibly the finest building in the city, the Romanian Atheneum, with its sublime baroque cupola, stands proudly at the flux of the citys busiest public square, competing with the Athenee Palace Hilton hotel, the Royal Palace and the old national library for attention. The work of French architect Albert Galleron, who also designed the National Bank of Romania, the building was inaugurated on February 26, 1888, and was built almost entirely with money donated by ordinary citizens of the capital, after the original patrons ran out of funds. Today the seat of the Romanian Philharmonic George Enescu, the auditorium can seat 800 spectators comfortably, and is renowned worldwide for its outstanding acoustics. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00.

what to see
elsewhere, on Aleea Alexandru, in far less grand building). Note that entrance to the building is granted only to those on government business, and to the various groups of protesters who gather here almost daily to argue their case. headquarters of Pota Roman, the Romanian postal service. The History Museum moved here in 1970. The museums exhibitions are spread over 60 display rooms, and include a fine collection of antiquities, including statues brought from a Bronze Age necropolis close to present day Cernavoda. The finest exhibit is the replica of Trajans Column in the central lapidarium. The museum is poor on Romanias recent history. Q Open 10:00-18:00 (April-October), 09:00-17:00 (NovemberMarch). Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 8 lei, students and children 2 lei. Free entrance every 26th day of the month.

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Atheneum (Ateneul Romn) C-5, Str. Benjamin Frank-

Patriarchal Cathedral (Patriarhia) C-6/7, Str. Dealul


Mitropoliei. Set atop one of the citys few hills, known as Mitropoliei, the Patriarchal Cathedral has been the centrepiece of the Romanian Orthodox faith since the seventeeth century. Built to a design based on the Curtea de Arges, near Pitesti, it has undergone a number of facelifts, but the overwhelming majority of the cathedrals structure is the original, built between 1654 and 1658. The outstanding bell-tower at the entrance was built in 1698, and restored in 1958. Next to the church - and closed to the public - is the Patriarchal Palace, residence of Daniel Ciobotea, the recently elected Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. It was built in 1708.

Casa Presei Libere (Casa Scnteii) A-1, Piata Presei Libere 1. An impressive edifice standing somewhat menacingly at the entrance to the capital, Casa Scanteii (as it is still universally known) was designed by architect Horia Maicu and completed in 1956, one year after the strikingly similar Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland. Originally housing the editorial offices of almost all of the capitals newspapers, it today carries out pretty much the same function. Jurnalul Naional, one of the countrys most popular dailies, is just one newspaper still produced here. The impressive archive of Rompres, the state press and photo agency, is also housed here.
B-4, Calea Victoriei 13. The home of the National Savings Bank is one of the most fabulous Neo-Classical facades in the city: the enormous arch that houses the entrance, with its mighty Corinthian columns, is a highlight of any architectural tour of the city. Built during the last decade of the nineteenth century, to the designs of French architect Paul Gottereanu, the building is alas less impressive on the inside. Admire from outside and move on. Calea Victoriei 47, MUniversitate. Probably the most celebrated historic church in Bucharest. Biserica Creulescu was raised from 1720-2 by Iordache Creulescu and his wife Safta, a daughter of Romanian humanitarian Constantin Brncoveanu. The outstanding paintings on the entrance are original, the work of an unknown artist, while the interior icons were added in 1859 by Gheorghe Tattarescu. Damaged during the fighting of December 1989, the church has recently been restored to its full glory, and is a must.

Radu Vod Monastery (Mnstirea Radu Vod) C-6,

Str. Radu Vod 24A. The church of the former Radu Vod Monastery stands on a hill on the banks of the Dmbovia, though the construction of the Civic Centre hid it from the river and from general view. There was originally a wooden church on this site, built during the reign of Mihnea the Bad, around 1508. The monastery was added in 1570, and was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The present church - which resembles the Curtea de Arge, outside Piteti - dates from 1613-4, though it was extensively rebuilt during the 19th-century, when the frescoes (all the work of peerless painter Gheorghe Tattarescu) were added.

www.minovici.ro. This amazing red brick, mock Tudor house holds the small and dusty renaissance art collection of Dumitru Minovici, who made barrels of lei in the oil business in the 1930s. Inside are fine collections of Belgian tapestries, Dutch furniture, Swiss stained glass, a complete library and Italian paintings from the 16th/17th centuries. To get there, walk north-east from Piaa Presei Libere or take bus No 301 to the Mioria Fountain. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed. Admission 1.50 lei, students and children 0.50 lei.

Minovici Museum of Ancient Western Art (Muzeul Minovici) Str. Dr. Minovici 3, tel. (+4) 021 665 73 34,

CEC (Palatul Casei de Economii si Consemnaiuni)

Museums
07, www.muzeulcotroceni.ro. Constructed from 1888-93 at the behest of Romanias first king, Carol I, Cotroceni Palace is the official residence of the Romanian President. Built on the site of a former monastery, the palace was designed by a French team of architects, led by Paul Gottereau, and would form something of a blueprint for Romanian domestic architecture for years to come. The part that today serves as the presidents office however, was added after the great Bucharest earthquake of 1977, and bears the stamp of local architect Nicolae Vladescu. During construction of this new section, ruins of the original monastery church were discovered, including part of the original interior frescoes. The church has been partially rebuilt and can be visited without joining the full palace tour. QOpen 09:30 - 17:30. Closed Mon. Admission 12.00 lei, students and children 6.00 lei. Visits and tours (available in Romanian, French and English) are by appointment only. You will need to bring ID. 212 89 52, www.geology.ro. Far more than just a collection of old rocks and fossils, Bucharests Geology Museum is one of the citys must sees. First off, there is the museum building itself to admire. Built in 1906 on the orders of King Carol I to house what was then known as the Royal Romanian Geology Society, the building is a splendid example of NeoBrancovenesque architecture, and is far more impressive than its red-brick neighbour, the Peasant Museum. The museums permanent collections are impressive in size and - being logically presented - clarity, with a decent number of English captions.QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission 6.00 lei, students and children 3.00 lei. C-5, Calea Victoriei 12, tel. (+4) 021 315 82 07, www. mnir.ro. The beautiful, monumental and simply superb NeoClassical building that houses Romanias National History Museum was constructed from 1894-1900 to the designs of local architect Alexandru Svulescu. It originally served as the

Cotroceni Museum B-dul Geniului 1, tel. (+4) 021 317 31

Muzeul National de Arta Contemporana) B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 1, entrance E4 (Palatul Parlamentului), tel. (+4) 021 318 91 37, www.mnac.ro. Making excellent use of the wide open spaces on the Parliament Palace, this vast gallery displays the work of Romanias finest contemporary artists. There are also works on display by international artists, and regular topical exhibitions. Its all mostly installations, clever symbolism and grand gestures as opposed to real talent, but you may enjoy the humour. The museum has a great cafe, and if the weather is good enough its terrace offers fantastic views of the city. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 5.00 lei. Theodor Pallady Museum (Casa Melik, Muzeul Theodor Pallady) D-5, Str. Sptarului 22, tel. (+4) 021

National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC;

Parks & Gardens


ceni 32, tel. (+4) 021 410 91 39, www.gradina-botanica. ro. Bucharests Botanical Gardens were founded in 1860 with the significant financial backing of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. They were originally in the centre of the city, and moved to their present location in Cotroceni in 1884. The garden has an area of over 17 hectares, and hosts more than 10,000 species of plants. Locals like to use the gardens as a park, and thus can often be far more full with courting couples than lovers of more floral delights. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Admission 5.00 lei, students and children 2.00 lei. B-5, Between B-dul Regina Elisabeta, Calea Victoriei, Str. Stirbei Vod and B-dul Schitu Mgureanu. Highlights of the citys most central green space include a Roman Garden (featuring busts of Romanias most famous writers), the lake - which can be explored by rowing boat in summer or skated upon during the winter - and Ion Jaleas French Memorial in Carrara marble, which commemorates those French troops killed on Romanian territory during the Great War.

Botanical Gardens (Grdina Botanic) Sos. Cotro-

Creulescu Church (Biserica Creulescu) C-5,

Geology Museum B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 2, tel. (+4) 021

New St. Georges Church (Biserica Sf. Gheorghe Nou) C-6, Piata Sf. Gheorghe. The largest of the churches

211 49 79. Theodor Pallady (1871-1953) was an early Cubist artist and is widely regarded as Romanias most influential 20th century painter. Schooled in Paris, Pallady was influenced by the Symbolist environment of the late 19th century, and his paintings before 1916 contain echoes of Moreau and Puvis de Chavannes. Alas, the small museum that today bears his name has only six of his paintings, a couple of his sketches and assorted other art. The museums saving grace is the house in which it is hosted: the oldest in Bucharest. Originally called the Casa Melik, it was built around 1750 by the rich Armenian Hagi Kevork Nazaretoglu. Walk over the enchantingly creaky wooden floors and admire the decorated tavane (ceilings). Q Open 11:00-19:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission 5.00 lei, students and children 2.50 lei.

Cismigiu Gardens (Grdina Cismigiu)

built in Bucharest during the reign of Constantin Brncoveanu, New St. Georges Church was consecrated on June 29th, 1707. It was a wonder of the age, having been designed by an Italian, Vaseleli, and decorated by the great Romanian maestros of the times: the painter Mutu, the carpenter Istrate and the sculptor Caragea. Damaged in a fire in 1847, the church was renovated from 1852-3 by the Spanish architect Villacrosse. New and outstanding interior murals were added by Marian Popp. Brncoveanu is himself allegedly buried under the church, in an unmarked grave.

Zambaccian Museum (Muzeul Zambaccian) B-3,

Str. Muzeul Zambaccian 21A, tel. (+4) 021 230 19 20. A chance to see the large collection belonging to the now deceased patron Zambaccian (youll see the requisite portraits) that includes the only Cezanne in Romania, as well as the best of Romanian painters Luchian, Tonitza, and Pallady. Q Open 11:00-19:00. Closed Thu, Fri. Admission 7 lei.

Herstru Park B-3, Sos. Kiseleff 32, MAviatorilor.

Palatul din Piata Victoriei (Palatul Victoriei) B-4, B-dul Ilie Pintilie 1, MPiata Victoriei. Today the home of the Romanian government, this linear construction, with its marble facade, was built in 1937 to the designs of Duiliu Marcu, originally to house the Foreign Ministry (which is now Bucharest In Your Pocket

History Museum (Muzeul National de Istorie)

Find loads more sights online at bucharest.inyourpocket.com


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Large park in the north of the city, surrounded by the finest residential districts Bucharest has to offer. The most popular of Bucharests parks it extends for 187 hectares from the Arcul de Triumf to the Baneasa bridge, and is centered on the lake with which it shares its name. Home to numerous attractions, including childrens playgrounds, a rather old fashioned fairground, an open-air theatre, gardens, promenades and the central lake (on which there are boat trips), the main entrance is from Piata Charles de Gaulle. Weather permitting you can rent bikes from La Pedale, close to the entrance. Rental is free but limited to two hours. You will need ID.

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OLD TOWN

end of World War II, when the rightful owners of the houses and businesses which lined the areas streets were arrested by the communist authorities, and their property confiscated and left to rot. The entire area - viewed as being far too bourgeous for communist tastes - was then neglected for decades, with many of the empty buildings being occupied over the years (legally or otherwise) by Gypsies. Many remain today, and add real character and colour to the area.

Old Towns Sights


If you head into the Old Town area from Universitate, the first sight that will grab your attention is the St. Nicholas Students Church. Built in 1905-09 with a 600,000 gold rouble donation from Tsar Alexander II, this Russian orthodox church is topped with seven typically Russian onion domes and crowned with an orthodox cross. The wooden, gold-gilded iconostasis (catapeteasm) is allegedly a copy of the altar in Arhangelsk Cathedral, in Moscows Kremlin. Right of here is the Czech Cultural Centre (Ceske Centrum) a lively hive of cultural activity and (for the brave) Czech language courses. Walk to the end of the street and you will see in front of you the unmistakably Neo-Classical exterior of the National Bank of Romania (BNR), completed to the designs of French architects Cassien Bernard and Albert Galleron in 1885. The building boasts a facade with impressively large Corinthian columns, and has an enormous central banking hall. The passing of time has seen the building become rather hemmed in by others built around it, but it remains a classic worthy of admiration. On the banks far side (on Str. Lipscani) look out for the remains of a 17th century inn: visible below street level through hardened glass. On Str. Blanari you will find the St. Nicolas Church, built in the 1880s as a private chapel for Romanias first royal couple, who still have special, reserved seats on the left and right of the churchs 18th century icon should they ever return. The icon itself is said by churchgoers to have magical healing powers. Behind the church is a narrow little alleyway that takes you onto Str. Lipscani itself, which dissects the whole Old Town area neatly in two. Its history aside, the street has little to recommend it, an exception being the Hanul cu Tei (Hanul cu Tei; Open 09:00-18:00, Sat, Sun 09:00-14:00), a wonderful side street (once part of an inn) which houses art galleries, antique shops, second-hand book shops, gift shops, studios and portrait artists, and also now a terrace. Str. Stavropoleos - named for the eponymous church found along its length (Biserica Stavropoleos; Open 08:30 - 18:00. Services (in Romanian) on Sunday at 09:30, 10:30) - is far more rewarding. The church was built in 1724 by the Greek monk Ioanikie Stratonikeas, and is characterized by its beautiful stone and wood carvings, of which the finest are on the main doors. The courtyard outside has a curious collection of tombstones dating from the 18th century. Hard core church fans might also want to venture out on to Calea Victoriei. To the right is the Mother of God Church (Biserica Doamnei) built in 1683 under the orders of Princess Maria, wife of Prince Serban Cantacuzino. The

While much of Bucharest has changed beyond recognition over the past two decades, nothing compares to the recent transformation of Old Town, which in the space of two to three years has turned what was very much a no-go area into the Romanian capitals liveliest entertainment district. The area is still a work in progress (a couple of streets, dug up ahead of planned repaving, remain little more than muddy rubbish tips) but its a rewarding one to explore, one of the few areas of the capital that is. You will certainly not want for things to do, to see, or for places to eat, drink and dance.

Old Town: A Brief History


Call it Old Town, call it Lipscani, call it the Historic Centre (Centru Istoric, in Romanian), call it what you like. But the area of Bucharest described by the river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Brtianu to the east and Regina Elisabeta to the north is more or less all thats left of pre-World War II Bucharest. What the war didnt destroy (and it destroyed a fair bit: allied bombing was fierce during the early part of 1944) communism did, most notably in the form of the grandiose Civic Centre project that saw almost a fifth of the total area of the city flattened to make way for Bulevardul Unirii and Casa Poporului. That anything survives at all is little short of a miracle. Bucharest was founded, legend has it, by Bucur the Shepherd, who built a church somewhere on the eastern bank of the Dmbovia river at some stage during the 1300s. Nobody is sure exactly where this church was (or even if it actually existed). What we do know is that by the first reign of Vlad epe (1459-1462) there was a palace and court here (the Palatul Curtea Veche), and that what today we term Historic Bucharest grew up quickly around the palace. By the middle of the 17th century the area had become Bucharest merchants district, which it to all intents and purposes remained until the

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Old Town Cafs
Atelier Cafe C-6, Str. Selari 7, tel. (+4) 021 318 28
54, office@ateliercafe.ro, www.ateliercafe.ro. Cafe and gallery, where you can enjoy an artistic coffee while browsing some fine contemporary Romanian art from the likes of Ion Silisteanu, Sorin Ilfoveanu and Mihai Cismaru. Q Open 10:30-20:00. PJAG

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Bruno Wine & Coffee Shop C-6, Str. Covaci 3, tel. (+4)

021 317 17 41/(+4) 0722 35 19 22, info@brunowine. ro, www.brunowine.ro. So much more than wine and coffee on offer here you will be forgiven for thinking you have the wrong place! This is a bistro really, a genuine French style place, where good wine by the glass is available next to a decent spread of simple food, with a regularly changing menu. QOpen 16:00 - 24:00. PJBW

Buen Humor C-6, Str. Smardan 30/7, tel. (+4) 021

313 88 30, www.bonhumor.ro. Question: Where are you going to get an asparagus omelette in this city? Answer: At this place. Oh yes, this is a bonny bistro par excellence, where all sorts of tasty tapas await peckish punters. There is also good coffee, fine wine and some of the friendliest regulars in the city. Its one of those places that makes Strada Smardan so great. QOpen 11:30 - 02:30. PJBXW

Cafe de France C-6, Str. Franceza 30, tel. (+4) 021 310

90 13/(+4) 0728 33 44 33. Gets it right where so many Lipscani (and Bucharest) cafes get it so wrong. A gorgeous little place on (where else with that name, Strada Franceza) that has a small terrace which can be covered when it rains, as it so often does at this time of year. Great coffee is served by lovely waitresses and for morning pick-ups its hard to beat. QOpen 10:30 - 24:00. PJALEBW church was the first in the city to boast octagonal stone pillars. The ornate building opposite, on the other side of Calea Victoriei, is the magnificent headquarters of CEC, the Romanian national savings bank. The busiest street in the Lipscani area is Str. Smardan. Try and find the plaque beside the door of No. 42, once the Hotel Concordia. It was here in January 1859 that Wallachian deputies elected Alexandru Ioan Cuza as their Prince. As Moldavian deputies had already done likewise a week earlier, the election that took place here created modern Romania. At the bottom of Str. Smardan is Str. Franceza, one of the first in the city to be fully paved (in 1860). To the right is a wide pedestrian-only promenade (packed with cafes, bars and restaurants), while to the left a narrow walkway allows you to reach the birthplace of Bucharest, the Old Court Palace and Church (Palatul i Biserica Curtea Veche; Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon). The Old Court, first built on this site in the second part of the 15th-century by Vlad epe, was considerably extended during the 17th-century at the hand of Constantin Brancoveanu, who added a splendid palace, decorated with marble and icons. The palace was destroyed by a series of fires in the 19th-century however, and its ruins subsequently neglected. Much of what we see today was uncovered during archeological digs in the 1960s. Next door to the palace is the Old Court Church, the oldest in Bucharest, dating from 1545. It was enlarged in 1715, during the reign of tefan Cantacuzino, and the frescoes inside, painted by maestros Constantin Lecca and Miu Papa, were added in 1847. The exterior is currently being renovated. Directly opposite is the Hanul lui Manuc, the best preserved caravanserai (inn) in the city. Built in 1808, it was recently returned to its former owner (after a long legal battle) and is currently closed while being restored to former glories.

021 310 86 44/(+4) 0722 31 67 24. Puts almost every other caf in the area to shame. This tiny little place succeeds in being the perfect Parisian caf without even trying. It does so instead by keeping it simple and offering good coffee, good company, good service and a sense of the good life. The owners are art lovers -as the name suggests - and artistic flair screams at you from every wall. A must. QOpen 14:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon. PJBW

Cafe des Beaux Arts C-6, Str. Franceza 7, tel. (+4)

C-6, Str. Smardan 13, tel. (+4) 021 316 10 27, www. frenchbakery.ro. It had to happen. Bucharests smartest chain of bakeries comes to Old Town, complete with its fine selection of sandwiches, delicious tarts and cakes, great coffee and all in the very sexiest part of Old Town. Could be just about the best place in Bucharest for coffee or a light meal. QOpen 08:30 - 23:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 08:30 - 24:00, Sun 09:30 - 23:00. PJBXSW

French Bakery

Chocolat

C-5, Calea Victoriei 12A, tel. (+4) 021 314 92 45, contact@chocolat.com.ro, www.chocolat.com.ro. Hard to pin this place down. Is it a cafe serving chocolate, or a chocolate shop serving a little coffee? In fact, it is neither. It is a brilliant restaurant serving delicious, well priced light meals (soups, pasta, salad) of a French and Italian bent. There is chocolate of course - loads of it - as well as more kinds of gourmet bread than we could possible list. Find it next to Caru cu Bere. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 01:00. Also at (B-3) Str. Radu Beller 13, tel. (+4) 021 230 23 83 and (D-4) Calea Mosilor 217, tel. (+4) 021 211 44 64. JA C-6, Str. Smardan 24, tel. (+4) 0722 37 33 36, www. freddo.ro. The biggest, boldest place on Strada Smardan. Smart too: when it started raining we were about to run for cover only for the roof to be extended, keeping us all dry. Impressive. We are told that during winter it will be fully enclosed and will remain open. Nice one. For now get there and enjoy sound cocktails, pizza and decent salads: and note you can enjoy it all at proper big wooden tables. You might want to reserve at the weekends: this place is damn popular and not as fitze as it first looks. QOpen 09:30 - 05:00. JENBXW

Gio Cafe C-5, Str. Toma Caragiu 3, tel. (+4) 021 313 97 40, www.giocafe.ro. Popular with business types in the mornings, who come here to talk big numbers over coffee and pastries, as the day moves on the clientele gets just a little younger and just a little hipper. Not merely a very nice cafe in which to spend time, Gio offers far more, including what we think is Bucharests only fondue: you can indulge cheese or chocolate dipping delights

Freddo

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C-6, Str. Sf. Dumitru 3, tel. (+4) 0722 62 60 43, www. lahistoria-restaurant.ro. Probably the most instantly successful bar/bistro to open in Bucharest for years. Found opposite the Teatru de Comedie in a side-street off Smardan, it carries the seal of approval of the El Comandante gang, who run it. Expect a Latin American-influenced drinks menu, bistro-ish food (they serve a good spicy chicken with roast potatoes) and a crowd of young, successful, advertising/ media types. Music is played at a level allowing people to talk to each other. A wonderful thing. Q Open 24hrs. Also La Historia 2 at (D-5) Str. Sf. Stefan 13 (corner with Str. Plantelor) tel. (+4) 0724 53 33 36, Open 10:00-24:00. . PJAEBXSW

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Bistro La Historia

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Blanduziei C-5, Str. Academiei 2, tel. (+4) 021 315 28 12/(+4) 0744 51 15 20. A relic of the communist day this place has been around for decades: check out the old fashioned sign out front. It is now a great little place however, homely and cosy, with a kind of terrace come courtyard in summer. The food is basic Romanian, but its very cheap, very cheerful and the staff are friendly. The basement crama (wine cellar) is surprisingly cavernous. Q Open 09:00-24:00. . PJAB
C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 5, tel. (+4) 021 313 75 60, www. carucubere.ro. Usually the first stop on the list of any visitor to Bucharest. Wonderful interiors - painted ceilings, ornate woodwork - make the place an attraction in itself, but do not leave without trying some food. The breakfast is worth getting up early for, the sarmale with mamaliga terrific, and the baked apple a simple, tasty treat. Good (own brand) beer, and good service. Q Open 08:00-24:00, Fri, Sat 08:00-02:00. . AEBW

Caru cu Bere

here. There is another big, colorful and vibrant Gio Cafe on P-ta Alba Iulia. QOpen 07:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. Also at (E-6) B-dul Burebista 2, tel. (+4) 0730 03 07 64, Open 09:0024:00, Sat, Sun 10:00-24:00. PJABXW

Charme C-6, Str. Smardan 12, tel. (+4) 021 311 19

Grand Cafe Van Gogh

C-6, Str. Smardan 9, tel. (+4) 031 107 63 71, www.vangogh.ro. Quite the best cafe in the city, this place combines the charm of Bucharests Old Town - it is opposite the National Bank - with the casual elegance of a genuinely grand cafe. Its genius is that its ideal at every time of day: morning coffee sat in front of one of the long windows, a business lunch at one of the wooden tables, late nights at the bar. The food is good, simple and very reasonably priced. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 01:00. PJBW

22, www.charme.ro. Some of the finest food in Old Town, served. Check out the nice little touches such as high quality bread and olives, the high ceilings and airy atmosphere, then order some fine, light Californian-inspired cuisine. Its a winner from start to finish. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 24:00. . JAB

notice. We opted for the less Sultan-like beef and lamb kebabs. Very good they were too. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. . PJAEBXW 52, www.gallienus.ro. A sublime, loving recreation of a ristorante with epic dining rooms and a cellar where the original brickwork has been exposed and restored. The food is very good, and you can pick form the extensive menu with confidence. Try the lemon chicken or the fresh (as in made on the premises) bacon and mozarella tortelinni. QOpen 11:00 - 05:00. . PJALBW

Gallienus C-6, Str. Doamnei 21, tel. (+4) 0732 72 50

Les Bourgeois C-6, Str. Smardan 20, tel. (+4) 021 310 60 52, www.lesbourgeois.ro. A fantastic cafe, bar and restaurant on a street full of them: Strada Smardan. Whisper it, but this might just be the best of the lot. The corner location gives it an imposing quality from outside, while the interior is a brilliant mix of old and new: the way they have worked the sepia photo of Centru Vechi into the bar is little short of genius.QOpen 10:00 - 02:00, Sat 10:00 - 04:00. PJABXW

City Grill C-6, Str. Lipscani 12, tel. (+4) 021 233 98 18, www.citygrill.ro. They call these places your dining room in the city, and given the homely food and cheap prices (the lunchtime deals are just about unbeatable) they might just be right. Dont expect haute cuisine, but do expect big portions of simple Romanian food. We like the carnati de plescoi, tasty smoked sausages made with mutton and pork.Q Open 10:00-02:00, Fri, Sat 10:00-04:00. Also at many other locations around Bucharest. . PJABW Crama Domneasca C-6, Str. Selari 13-15, tel. (+4) 0726 32 20 04, www.cramadomneasca.com. You can expect right royal portions of all your Romanian favourites, from spare ribs and mutton to tender pork steaks. The home baked bread is always served warm (if it is not, send it back) and the wine flows copiously as evenings get longer and longer. Its the kind of place where you will be discretely but contentedly loosening your belt before the night is done. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJAE Divan C-6, Str. Franceza 46-48, tel. (+4) 021 312 30
34, info@thedivan.ro, www.thedivan.ro. From the Middle Eastern atmosphere and superb decor to the great service, Divan is a lesson in creating a good restaurant. The food is good value Turkish/Middle Eastern, with a couple of Romanian dishes thrown on the menu for the less adventurous. They will cook you a whole lamb (499 lei) if you give them 24 hours

Jaya Maison C-6, Str. Franceza 17, tel. (+4) 0722 88 77 64, www.jayamaison.com. Something of an all-in-one, casa-di-tutti on Lipscanis second nicest street (Franceza). On the top floor is an Italian restaurant currently pulling in the

Old Town Restaurants


Bellini C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 2, MUniversitate, tel. (+4) 021
310 29 78, www.bellini.ro. Packed out with the pre-cinema crowd heading over to Cinema Pro for the latest premiere, Bellini has a great location, and its covered terrace is lovely in spring and summer. As with most Italians in this city the food is not really worth writing home about, but is fine, is not overpriced and they make OK pizzas. Q Open 12:00 - 24:00. Also at Str. Lanariei 5, tel. (+4) 0723 10 01 01. . PJAB

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a raging success. A number of wines are available by the glass: a very good thing (if rare in Bucharest). QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. . PJABW

Margo Lounge C-6, Str. Lipscani 29-33, tel. (+4) 0723

19 99 77, www.margo-lounge.ro. Right on Strada Lipscani itself, Margo - and the neighbouring Vault - are almost always very well-populated venues that offer something just a bit different to the Lipscani norm. By day Margo is a good restaurant and cafe (the food is a good, reasonably-priced mix of international faves) while by night it comes alive as a lounge and bar hosting trendy types and various events. Worth a visit at any time of day or night. QOpen 10:00 - 03:00. . PJAEBXSW

Orient Express Bar Bistro C-6, Str. Smardan 37, tel. (+4) 0725 92 75 07, www.orientexpressbarbistro.ro. Pub and bistro of not enormous proportions on Smardan. Serves a decent pint, good coffee and mixes its cocktails well, but what most impressed us were the big salads. The photos of the eponymous train (and a map of its original route) on the walls kept son of In Your Pocket happy for an hour. Suckers for directors chairs, the terrace - which is furnished with them - takes top marks too. QOpen 12:30 - 01:30. . PJABXSW Red Angus Steakhouse C-6, Str. Franceza 56, MP-ta
NEW

punters with its cracking 25 lei lunchtime deal, while downstairs is a cafe/bar/pub and lounge for relaxing post-food, or simply for enjoying some free time and well-priced drinks with some of the coolest cats in town. QOpen 13:00 - 01:00. . PJALBW

Unirii, tel. (+4) 021 312 03 83, contact@redangus.ro, www.redangus.ro. Does exactly what the name suggests: serves great steaks to customers who like their meat cooked to order. The steaks come from all over the world, from the US to New Zealand, and there is more than just classic steaks (like the Rib-Eye): there are great baby back ribs too, a magnificent burger, and the desserts - if you still have room after a big meaty feast - are well worth trying, not least the lemon merengue pie. And they have a childrens menu. Admirable. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJAXW C-6, Str. Francez 44, tel. (+4) 021 317 10 87, www. stgeorge.ro. This has long been one of our favourite restaurants, a place that had the vision to open up a good year or two before Old Town became fashionable. The food is excellent, authentic Hungarian cuisine, featuring a wealth great dishes - try the mutton stew with dumplings - and a wine list that offers the very best Hungarys vineyards have to offer. Cracking open a bottle of Tokaji Aszu is the perfect way to end an evening here.QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. . PJAE

St. George

La Bonne Bouche C-6, Str. Franceza 30, tel. (+4) 0731

24 78 76, www.bistrovin.ro. A wonderful French bistro that both looks the part (check out the wonky tables, chairs that dont match and well-thumbed volumes on the bookshelves) and is the part, given the bistro French food of ever changing options, chalked up daily on a blackboard. Look out for the house speciality, a rather convincing coq au vin.QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Mon 18:30 - 23:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 23:30. . PJALBSW

Malagamba

Sushi Ko C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 8, tel. (+4) 021 316 63

C-6, Str. Sf. Dumitru 2, tel. (+4) 021 313 33 89/(+4) 0748 50 25 43, www.malagamba.ro. What a name, what a place. An Italian (with a twist) restaurant of the old school (in that the food is what counts first and foremost), this Irishowned eatery next to the Comedy Theatre is terrific. Wanting to stand out from the crowd the team behind it have gone to great lengths to do so, coming up with all sorts of treats, such the as lime and basil sorbet: already a legend amongst Bucharest foodies. Malagamba by the way was a Romanian lush who frequented these parts in the 1930s and 40s. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. . PJXS

02/01, www.sushiko.ro. A wonderful place in every possible way. The food is fantastic, and the extensive menu covers every area of Japanese cuisine, from sushi to sashimi. The vibe is casual, the set menus are great value, and the terrace is perhaps the best located in Old Town. Staff are friendly and helpful, taking time out to explain the finer points of Japanese dining to beginners. Well worth a visit. There is a second Sushi Ko in Baneasa Shopping City: every bit as good as the original. Home delivery too. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. . PJALBXSW
NEW

Old Town Bistro C-6, Str. Smardan 25, tel. (+4) 021

311 32 29, www.oldtownbistro.ro. A very nice attempt at creating a real French bistro - as big on wine as on it is on food in the heart of the citys, well, Old Town. A Smardan location will make sure they get tons of passing trade, and given the range and quality of the simple, home cooked food we think it will be

021 312 21 77, www.tibosteakhouse.ro. That institution of a Bucharest restaurateur who is Bob Lobb is back, this time in Old Town and this time with his biggest, boldest caper yet: Tibos. It is a classic Italian chophouse serving fine cuts amongst the usual Lobb classics: regulars of his will be pleased to know that the famous Lobbs antipasto has

Tibos Italian Steak House C-6, Str. Covaci 1, tel. (+4)

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brewing done on the site. Instead make do with plenty of ontap pints, of which the default option is Timisoreana. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 04:00. J

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Embassy Hanul cu Tei C-6, Str. Lipscani 63-65, tel.

(+4) 0733 50 03 03. Making good use of the courtyard of Hanul cu Tei, always one of our favourite parts of Lipscani, Embassy is a terrace (in summer) and bar/lounge that serves food and drink to an older, wiser crowd than elsewhere in Old Town. For those in the know, this is the sister establishment of the original Embassy on Piata Lahovari. QOpen 10:00 03:00. JABXSW

C-6, Str. Gabroveni 24, www.clubfatcat.ro. Strange, hidden little place on the first floor of a fairly non-descript building in Lipscani, on one of the unpaved streets (Gabroveni). A pub/club playing loud music (clearly the neighbours do not mind) and serving cheap drinks (for the area) the decor is extraordinary (bizarre murals on the walls are well worth a look in their own right). QOpen 16:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 16:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon. JENW

Fat Cat

La Mitocanu

C-6, Str. Franceza 8, tel. (+4) 0724 65 79 34, la.mitocanu@yahoo.com. Sharing its name with a legendary restaurant at Vama Veche on the Romanian coast (we know not if there is a connection between the two) this place on Franceza is bright and breezy and has a big terrace on which to enjoy cheap-ish, simple food (you cant go wrong with the chicken kebab and grilled veggies) and well priced beers. Q Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00. PJABXSW

made the move too. Brilliant location on the corner of Selari and Covaci and fair prices should ensure success. QOpen 10:30 - 02:00. . JAEBXSW

Trattoria Fedelini C-5, Str. Academiei 1A, tel. (+4)

0727 39 67 37, www.trattoriafedelini.ro. Were suckers for chequered tablecloths: they remind us of the fact that restaurants used to be about the food. And that is the kind of place Fedelini is: the food is king. It is as close to a real trattoria as weve come across in Bucharest, right down to the warm welcome and great service. Expect good food at a decent price: it might well be the best place to eat in the whole of Lipscani. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. . PJAEBXW

Le Drakkar Pub et Creperie C-6, Str. Franceza 6, MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 0722 62 21 17/(+4) 021 312 40 13, www.ledrakkar.ro. Cafe and creperie on Strada Franceza, boasting a decent terrace and staff who are friendly despite being rushed off their feet. Specialises in gallettes: those thin French pizzas that make a really nice change from the Italian version. Bravo Le Drakkar for bringing them to Bucharest. Occasional live music too. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PJAEBXSW Lost Society C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 21, tel. (+4) 0769 63
54 93, www.lostsociety.ro. A pub and, well, theatre we guess opposite Cinema Pro. A decent place to have a drink, especially if sat in one of the comfy red velvet sofas in the windows, but there is more than drink to this place. It hosts live comedy of the stand-up variety, theatre and music: there is usually an event on every night. QOpen 09:00 - 04:00. PJLEBW

Old City C-6, Str. Lipscani 45, tel. (+4) 0722 21 96 21. Good pub on Lipscani with a huge beer garden out the back. Serves very good cocktails (a sweet as you like mojito went down very well with Mrs. In Your Pocket) and some pub grub that is far better than you would assume. The burger was great: try it with the roast potatoes in fresh rosemary for something a bit different. A big screen shows football and the like. QOpen 09:00 - 05:00. PJALEW S. A. L. T. C-6, Str. Blanari 21, tel. (+4) 021 314 22 14,
www.saltpub.ro. S. A. L. T. stands for Societea de Asigurare a Libertatii T (impossible to translate but something ale along the lines of The Society to Insure your Freedom). It is basically however a sports bar serving decent salads, pizza and finger food (chicken wings, etc.). If you judge a place by the number of plasma screens it has, then you will like it here. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00. PJW

Old Town Irish Pubs


Dirty Harrys Irish Pub C-6, Str. Franceza 3, tel. (+4) 0727 39 67 37, www.dirtyharrypub.ro. Now what about this for confirmation that Bucharest is a cosmopolitan capital: an Irish pub in Romania owned by Lithuanians. Slightly different to the other Irish pubs, the bar is in the middle of the pub, and there is a cellar hosting various events, from stand-up comedy to theatre. Plenty of screens for watching football. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PJAEBXW OHaras C-6, Str. Franceza 13, tel. (+4) 0724 23 95 77. Amazingly, this place has already been around for two years. Expect a decent pint of Guinness, live Irish music and a grand welcome from some fine staff make this very much the thinking mans Irish pub in Bucharest. The Lipscani venue (on one of the areas pedestrian streets that has actually been finished) is a bonus. QOpen 15:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 16:00 - 02:00. PJEB Oscars C-6, Str. Covaci 19. Legend of Bucharest pubs
NEW

Old Town Pubs


10 85/(+4) 021 317 90 99, info@bordellos.ro, www. bordellos.ro. Why Bordellos? Read the spiel in the drinks menu and you will find out why. This is a great pub, complete with excellent bar food, Heineken, Murphys and Paulaner on tap and Sky Sports on four screens. Great food: tapas in the pub (the ribs are just about the best weve ever had in Bucharest) and more sophisticated fare in the restaurant bit. You cant miss Bordellos: just look for the tarts in their underwear beckoning you in. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri 12:00 - 05:00, Sat 14:00 - 05:00, Sun 14:00 - 02:00. PJAEW

Bordellos C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, tel. (+4) 0748 88

Team Pub C-6, Str. Lipscani 36, tel. (+4) 0760 32 34

17, www.caffebordo.ro. Decent enough pub on the corner of Lipscani and Selari, with good proper bar stools and a decent range of beers. Efficient waitresses in red tops serve the customers well. Its popular too: first time we came here (just after they had opened) it was empty: now (especially on a Friday or Saturday night) you can barely get through the door for revelers. Q Open 13:00-02:00. PJ

Curtea Berarilor C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, tel. (+4) 021 313

75 32. Once upon a time the whole of the Curtea Sticlarilor was given over to artisans - especially glassmakers, from whence the name. Now only a few survive and no less than four bars have opened here. This one has given itself the rather cheeky name Curtea Berarilor (Brewers Courtyard), though there is no

Vintage Pub C-6, Str. Smardan 43, tel. (+4) 0755 07 72 40. Another freshly-opened Smardan drinking den. And its not bad. Staff are incredibly hospitable, and the interior dcor is pub-ish without overdoing it. The Vintage aspect is provided by the hanging of various antiques on the walls. Cheapish drinks, salads, sandwiches and a big terrace.Q Open 11:00 - 02:00, Wed, Thu 11:00-04:00, Fri, Sat 11:00-06:00. JEB bucharest.inyourpocket.com bucharest.inyourpocket.com

David Larkin comes up trumps again with a pub that manages to feel at once big, bright yet throughly lived in despite it being as new as a shiny button (in fact, as we go to press, it had yet to officially open). Expect an exemplary Guinness, top pub grub, all the right sports on the television and - probably the key to it all - staff who know how to treat customers. Expect to find us at the bar on regular basis. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00. PJABXW

St. Patrick C-6, Str. Smardan 23-25, tel. (+4) 021 313 03 36, www.bucharest-irishpub.ro. Big, well located and quite frankly cracking pub in Lipscani. Looking every inch just like a proper Irish boozer, its a real pub all right with decent October - November 2010

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www.interbelic.ro. A cosy little speakeasy in a well-hidden location (find it in the alleyway which links Str. Blanari to Str. Lipscani) and the perfect place to conduct all sorts of secret business, affairs and anything else that springs to mind. Drinks and coffees are reasonably priced, the staff are friendly and its worth checking out: if only to show off to someone just how well you know Bucharest and its backstreets. QOpen 13:00 - 01:00. PJ

oLd town
Interbelic C-6, Str. Selari 1, tel. (+4) 0722 10 01 93,

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Medieval House C-6, Str. Soarelui 3 (corner with Str.

Covaci), MP-ta Unirii, tel. (+4) 0741 02 03 11. When they say medieval, they mean it. The walls, ceilings - everything, in fact - are emblazoned with heraldry and the like that tell of brave deeds of derring-do. Serves plenty of fine wine, coffee, tea, beer and cocktails, all at acceptably low prices for what is, after all, the heart of Old Town.QOpen 15:00 - 04:00. PJLEBX

Pub 41 Brauhaus C-6, Str. Smardan 41, tel. (+4) 0725 52 30 81. If you like a tasty bit of German sausage (and lets face it, who doesnt?) then this is the place to head for if you are in Old Town. Add in tremendous beer, good prices and you have another reason to hail Strada Smardan as the citys top entertainment street. QOpen 18:00 - 05:00. PJW Revenge C-6, Str. Selari 9-11, tel. (+4) 0722 33 12 26, www.revenge.ro. It is the music that we like best about this pub and club in the heart of the Lipscani area. A mix of everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, it hardly matters that you might not like whats playing: you will not have to wait long to hear an old favourite. Add in a casually-dressed, non-fitze crowd and you have a winner. QOpen 17:00 - 07:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 08:30. PJ
grub, Guinness and Kilkenny on tap, and more than efficient staff. Its brilliant and we love it. So will you.QOpen 11:00 01:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 02:00. PJABXSW 91/92, www.shakespearebar.ro. A cracking new pub on Strada Blanari, right opposite the big church, where from day one they appear to have got it right. A bit spacier and a bit more comfortable than your average Lipscani venue, expect to find comfy sofas in the windows, strange but rather fetching art on the walls and decent staff who know how to pull a decent beer. The crowd tends to be studenty during the day, getting a bit smarter and sophisticated as the evening wears on. We like it. QOpen 11:00 - 04:00. PJABXW

Shakespeare C-6, Str. Blanari 21, tel. (+4) 021 311 19

Old Town Bars/Wine Clubs


Cantina Sport Bar
C-6, Str. Franceza 52, tel. (+4) 0733 11 04 64. On the southern tip of Old Town, where Strada Selari meets the river embankment, this enormous sports bar is a bright and breezy place to watch the match and get your hands on some decent grub. Decent pizza costs very little, but most popular of all appears to be the pui la rotisor, served up with copious amounts of beer. QOpen 08:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 04:00. . PJLBW

always at the right volume and never stifles conversation. Basically there are two parts to this place: upstairs is the cafe (serving hot milk: our kids liked it!) and downstairs is the club. The cafe is open from (around) 10am. QOpen 19:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 19:00 - 03:00. PJ

Club A C-6, Str. Blnari 14, tel. (+4) 021 313 55 92,

Deight C-6, Str. Franceza 2-4, tel. (+4) 021 311 40 10, www.deight.ro. Serving a very good pizza - and plenty more besides - this place is nice. Occupying the site of the old Picasso Cafe, Deight does far more with the space, and does it much better. Has cleverly placed the obligatory TV screens just so that if you do not want to watch them, you do not have to. Other places should look and learn. Comfy sofas, armchairs, good staff. QOpen 09:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:30 - 02:00. PJAEBXSW Deko Cafe C-6, Str. Smardan 30, tel. (+4) 0733 10 22
88, www.dekocafe.ro. Up a rather tricky flight of stairs inside a house at the bottom end of Strada Smardan, Cafe Deko is a comedy club that features live stand-up (almost always in Romania, of course) most nights of the week. Entrance is usually a pittance, and the friendly crowd usually stays behind after the show for a chat and a beer or two. If you have one too many make sure you mind those stairs on the way down. QOpen 18:00 - 02:00. Closed Mon. PJNXW

The Elbow Room C-6, Str. Lipscani 82, tel. (+4) 0752 55 09 86, www.elbowroom.ro. This little cafe is not big, but it does have a decent amount of elbow room, and - what we really like about it - alcoves at the windows stuffed with cushions that you can sit on. Thats the kind of thing we look out for, and which always gets a cafe top marks: thinking outside the box (or window). And they play the music at a level that allows you to talk to people at the same table without shouting. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. PJABXW
(+4) 031 107 63 71, www.vangogh.ro. Just walking down the stairs from Van Gogh Grand Caf you will find a century-old vault room. Here you can enjoy great Romanian and foreign wines complimented by a selection of fine Dutch cheeses. All in an exclusively non-smoking space. All wines available for sale with delivery options. QOpen 17:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PJGW

www.cluba.ro. Selling the cheapest Red Bull vodka in the world, this place is a legend. If you want a local, unpretentious, up-for-a-laugh studenty crowd getting down to classic songs that you wont have heard for ages, this is the one place in town you can be guaranteed to find it, every night of the week. Live music on most weekend nights, as well as all sorts of events during the week, from theme nights to theatre. QOpen 12:00 - 05:00, Fri 12:00 - 06:00, Sat 18:30 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. PJ

Mojo C-6, Str. Gabroveni 14, MPiata Unirii, tel. (+4) 0760 26 34 96. For live music in Bucharest there is now no need to head anywhere else than this cracking club. Three levels offer three different vibes: chill out upstairs in the acoustic lounge (where you can do your karaoke thing when there is no band on), drink at the bar UK-style on the ground floor, or head down to the enormous basement where live rock gets belted out by a decent resident band every night at around 22:00. Drinks are well-priced, the crowd is tops (no sunglass-wearing wankers here) and all it needs is a bit of air con to be perfect. Rock on. QOpen 18:00 - 05:00. PJENBW
B-4, Calea Victoriei 16-20, tel. (+4) 0720 68 12 02/ (+4) 0727 06 20 01, office@opiumstage.ro, www.opiumstage.ro. Interesting, very interesting. A cellar in one of Bucharests grand old passages has been transformed into a lounge/club, complete with kitsch decor and leather sofas. What makes it work is that theyve left the original brick work exposed, leaving you with the sense that all that kitsch is pure irony. Prices are decent for the location and the cocktail list tremendous. Now all they need is a regular crowd and theyll have a great place on their hands. QOpen 21:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue. PJ

Opium Stage

Van Gogh Wine Bar & Shop C-6, Str. Smardan 9, tel.

C-6, Str. Stavropoleos 8, tel. (+4) 0728 55 50 43, office@elcomandantejunior.ro, www.elcomandante.ro. El Comandante moves its mix of live music, a young, raucous but happy and welcoming crowd and general mayhem to the site of former concept store Market 8. Drinks are well priced for the area and there is always something going on. A decent bet for a good night out any night of the week. QOpen 21:00 - 05:00. PJAX

El Comandante

El Dictador C-6, Str. Sf. Dumitru 3, tel. (+4) 0729 04

Old Town Clubs & Discos


Arcade Cafe C-6, Str. Smardan 30, tel. (+4) 021 314
50 66, www.arcade-cafe.ro. This little place is a cool mix of cafe, DJ bar and deadly serious club, though the music is

10 43, office@eldictador.ro, www.eldictador.ro. The latest venue in the growing collection of the El Comandante crowd. You know what to expect: a young crowd dancing to good, upcoming local DJs playing a mix of music. Expect a bit of New Wave (Thursdays) alongside more traditional dancehall sounds (Friday and Saturday). Well priced drinks keep the crowd well-oiled. QOpen 21:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon. PJAXW

The Vault C-6, Str. Lipscani 29-33, tel. (+4) 0723 19 99 77, www.clubvault.ro. Smooth. Smooth people, smooth vibes and smooth cocktails. We love the (long) nights we spend in this place, not least because you never know what to expect on the music front: it could be a night of pop, a night of disco classics, a night of indie beats or a night of up-to-the-minute clubby sounds. We suggest you take a chance and delve inside. Chances are you will enjoy yourself. Q Open 22:00-06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. PJAEXW October - November 2010

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Tourist Information
Info Tourist Point A-4, Inside Gara de Nord, tel.
(+4) 0371 15 50 63, www.infotourist.ro. Bucharest now has two Tourist Information Offices: one at Gara de Nord and one at Piata Universitate. Both are staffed by friendly young locals ready to help as best they can. They are stocked with leaflets, maps, brochures etc. and of course: Bucharest In Your Pocket. Q Open 09:00-21:00. Also at Piata Universitatii Underpass, Open 09:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-13:00, Closed Sun.

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Agentia de Voiaj SNCFR

B-5, Str. Domnita Anastasia 10-14, tel. (+4) 021 313 26 42, www.cfr.ro. CFRs advance booking offices. Make reservations for all kinds of trains, from acelerats to sleepers, up to one-hour before the train departs. Q Open 07:30 - 19:30, Sat 08:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun.

70/021 300 27 30, marketing@wasteels.eunet.ro, www.triptkts.ro. Advance reservations for all types of trains, national and international. Helpful staff, western currencies accepted. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00, Sat 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. A

Wasteels A-4, Gara de Nord, tel. (+4) 021 317 03

Airline offices
021 206 92 00, www.airfrance.com/ro. www.klm.com QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Air France/KLM B-4, Calea Buzesti 85, et. 2, tel. (+4)

Public transport
On all forms of public transport children under the age of seven travel free. After that age they need a full-price ticket. Local school children and students do get discounts but only on seasonal tickets.

Buses & Trolleybuses

Even the most remote corners of Bucharest are served by bus or trolleybus, and most main roads in the city centre benefit from three or four different routes. Most buses are overcrowded, however, and travelling on them is a less than pleasant experience. Flat-fare tickets cost 1.30 lei, and have to be bought in advance from the little silver booths at main stops and crossroads (look for the sign Bilete si Abonamente RATB). Once on the bus, you need to punch your ticket in the little machines: the fine for travelling with no ticket, or an unpunched ticket, is 50 lei. Note that the bus out to the airport (N 783) requires a special ticket, which has to be bought in advance.

centre is poorly served by the metro and only the north-south M2 line, from Pipera to IMGB, which passes through Piatas Victoriei, Romana and Unirii, and the M1 branch to the Gara de Nord, is likely to be of any use to visitors. Tickets are almost as cheap as for the trams and busses: they cost either 3 lei (valid for two trips; doua calatorii) or 9 lei (ten trips; zece calatorii) and can be bought from any metro station. You can also buy tickets valid for one day (abonament de o zi), costing 5.50 lei. For more on the Bucharest metro see our special feature online at bucharest.inyourpocket.com.

Trains
There are four types of train in Romania: Personal, Acelerat, Rapid, InterCity. Personal trains are living hell. Stopping at all stations and halts they are slow and tortuous, dirty and crowded. These trains should be avoided at all costs, unless imminent bankruptcy demands otherwise. They are, after all, undeniably cheap. Acelerat trains serve larger towns and cities, but remain slow and dirty. Do not think that buying a first class ticket will ensure comfortable accommodation. While sometimes it will, often it will not. Rapid and InterCity trains are much better, and usually consist of much better rolling stock than Acelerats. Stopping only at major cities they are slightly quicker too, but all this is relative: for example, the 167km run to Brasov can currently take up to five hours due to speed restrictions. Of toilets on Romanias trains, even Acelerats, we can say little except make sure you go before getting on board. InterCitys and Rapids are usually (but not always) just about OK. Note that you can now book train tickets online, at www.cfr.ro/calatori.

Trams A blessing to some and a curse to others, Bucharests trams skirt the city centre, often blocking traffic as they trundle along narrow roads. Unless you are visiting somewhere outside of the city centre it is unlikely that you will use a tram. If you do, the drill is the same as for buses: buy a ticket before boarding, then frank it in the machines on the tram. Tickets for buses, trolleybuses and trams are the same, costing 1.30 lei. Metro Bucharests metro was primarily built to ship workers from the vast housing estates of Titan, Berceni and Militari out to the huge industrial plants at Pipera, IMGB, Republica and Industriilor. Thats all very well if you are resident of Titan working at IMGB, but useless to almost everybody else. The city
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Train Schedule
From Bucharest To Bucharest Dep Arr. IC 13:00 23:40 ARAD IC 12:00 22:55 R 08:30 11:32 BRASOV R 11:20 14:10 A 09:50 12:58 BRASOV R 14:05 17:02 IC 13:00 15:51 BRASOV A 15:50 19:00 R 15:15 18:28 BRASOV A 17:44 21:15 R 16:00 18:58 BRASOV IC 19:47 22:55 IC 13:00 21:41 CLUJ-NAPOCA IC 13:53 22:55 R 14:00 17:46 CONSTANTA R 07:55 11:36 IC 15:45 18:48 CRAIOVA IC 11:48 14:45 IC 15:40 19:40 GALATI IC 05:10 08:52 R 06:00 12:46 IASI A 05:15 11:47 A 17:00 23:30 IASI R 16:12 23:13 IC 13:00 00:38 ORADEA IC 10:58 22:55 R 19:10 08:19 SATU MARE R 21:11 10:34 R 16:00 23:04 SIBIU R 04:16 12:10 IC 13:00 21:48 TARGU MURES IC 13:24 22:55 R 12:45 21:13 TIMISOARA IC 06:30 14:45 R 21:05 05:23 TIMISOARA R 13:46 22:14
Schedule valid until December 12th, 2010. The full Romanian railway timetable is online at www.infofer.ro.

Car rental
AAA Autorent Hertz B-6, Bd. Natiunile Unite 3, bl. 109, Ground Floor, tel. (+4) 021 335 75 33, fax 021 335 75 32, office@hertz.com.ro, www.hertz.com.ro. Also at Henri Coanda Airport, tel. (+4) 021 201 49 54, fax (+4) 021 021 201 49 55, Robuc51@hertz.com.ro, Open 08:00-20:00; JW Marriott Grand Hotel, tel. (+4) 021 403 29 56, fax (+4) 021 021 403 29 57, Robuc63@hertz.com.ro, Open 08:00-20:00; Athenee Palace Hilton, tel./fax 021 303 37 44, robuc64@ hertz.com.ro, Open 08:30-17:30, Closed Sat, Sun; Crowne Plaza, tel. (+4) 021 335 75 33. Avis B-4, Str. Mihail Moxa 9, tel. (+4) 021 9876/(+4) 021 210 43 44, fax (+4) 021 210 69 12, reservations@ avis.ro, www.avis.ro. QOpen 09:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at (C-5) InterContinental, tel. (+4) 021 314 18 37, Open 08:00 - 20:00; Henri Coanda International Airport, tel. (+4) 021 204 19 57, Open 07:00 - 02:00; Baneasa Airport, tel. (+4) 021 230 24 82, Open 10:00-22:00. Bavaria Rent Headoffice, Str. Horia, Closca si Crisan 17, Ilfov, tel. (+4) 0730 33 37 07/(+4) 031 802 22 28, fax (+4) 021 201 45 34, office@bavariarent.ro, www. bavariarent.ro. Also at Baneasa International Airport, tel. (+4) 021 200 62 63, Open 09:00-18:00, Sat 09:00-15:0. Closed Sat; and Otopeni Airport, tel. (+4) 021 201 45 34, (+4) 0730 33 37 05, Open 08:00-02:00, Sat 08:00-20:00. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Budget B-4, Str. Mihail Moxa 9, tel. (+4) 021 210 28 67, fax (+4) 021 210 29 95, reservations@budgetro. ro, www.budgetro.ro. Also at (B-3) Calea Dorobanti 5 - 7 (Howard Johnson Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 201 50 89, Open 09:00-17:00. Closed Sat, Sun and Henri Coanda International Airport, tel. (+4) 021 204 16 67, Open 08:00-20:00. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Cars4Rent Str. Drumul Odaii 1D (Hotel Charter), tel. (+4) 0723 34 71 92/(+4) 0730 09 39 85, fax (+4) 021 352 87 16, office@cars4rent.ro, www. cars4rent.ro. Good car rental from the people behind the Hotel Charter, Q Open 24 hrs. Compact Rent-a-Car A-4, B-dul N. Titulescu 1, bl A7,
sc. 1, et. 6, ap. 16, tel. 0744 63 82 92/021 312 98 57, fax 021 312 99 82, office@compact-rentacar.ro, www. compact-rentacar.ro.

315 51 14, www.airmoldova.md. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. British Airways B-4, Calea Victoriei 15, tel. (+4) 021 303 22 22, www.ba.com. Q Open 09:00-12:00, 12:3017:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel. (+4) 021 204 20 01, fax 201 49 82 Carpatair Otopeni Airport, tel. (+4) 0372 74 43 57, www.carpatair.ro. QOpen 08:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. Czech Airlines B-2, Str. Uruguay 27, tel. (+4) 021 223 09 88, www.czech-airlines.com. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. LOT C-5, B-dul Magheru 41, tel./fax 021 314 10 96, tel. (+4) 021 314 29 46, www.lot.com. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel. (+4) 021 204 21 94. Lufthansa B-3, Aleea Alexandru 9A, tel. (+4) 021 204 84 10, www.lufthansa.ro. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel./fax (+4) 021 204 20 24 Open 04:15 - 07:30, 10:30 - 17:30. Malev E-7, Calea Vitan 6-6A (PGV Tower), tel. (+4) 021 326 80 72, www.malev.ro. Q Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel./fax (+4) 021 201 47 08. Swiss Air Lines B-3, Aleea Alexandru 9A, tel. (+4) 021 312 02 38, www.swiss.com. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel. (+4) 021 204 18 50. Tarom B-6, Spl. Independentei 17, tel. (+4) 021 303 44 44, www.tarom.ro. QOpen 08:00 - 19:30, Sat 09:00 - 13:30. Closed Sun. Also on Str. Buzesti 59, tel. (+4) 021 204 64 64, Open 08:00-20:00, Sat 09:00-14:00, Closed Sun and Henri Coanda Airport, tel. (+4) 021 201 49 79. Turkish Airlines C-5, B-dul Nicolae Blcescu 35A, tel. (+4) 021 311 24 10, www.turkishairlines.com. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Otopeni tel. (+4) 021 204 20 07.

Air Moldova B-4, Str. Frumoasa 15, tel. (+4) 021

D-6, Str. Grigore Mora 17, tel. (+4) 021 310 17 97, office@europcar.com.ro, www.europcar.com.ro. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Also at Otopeni Airport tel. (+4) 0374 00 40 57, (+4) 0740 04 49 64, fax (+4) 021 201 49 37 and Baneasa Airport tel. (+4) 0374 00 40 57, (+4) 0744 68 97 73, fax (+4) 021 232 01 39.

Europcar

Sixt New Kopel

Calea Bucurestilor 201-203, tel. (+4) 021 9400, reservation@sixt.ro, www.sixt.ro.

WiFi Hotspots W
Bucharest is now dotted with more WiFi hotspots than you could wish for (look for the WiFi symbol W in our listings), but alas very few are free. McDonalds and Starbucks offer free WiFi in almost all of their outlets, as do KFC and Pizza Hut, There is also (patchy) free WiFi in and around Piata Universitatii, and the Romexpo complex. Other than that, you are at the whim of the venue in question: some do offer free access for clients, the password being divulged as your coffee is served, but most will charge extra.

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Dentist
320 01 51/ (+4) 0723 38 33 27, fax (+4) 021 320 01 51, office@germandentist.ro, www.germandentist.ro. Unquestionably the best dentist in the city. Special room at the Dorobanti location equipped especially for kids. Q Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. For emergencies (24hrs) tel. (+4) 0744 49 91 99. Also at (B-2) Calea Dorobantilor 208, tel. (+4) 021 231 88 56. PTA

direCtory
B.B. Clinic D-6, Str. Ionescu Gion 4, tel. (+4) 021

75

Dry cleaners
021 211 44 13, www.immaculate.ro. The best drycleaners in town offers free collection and delivery. QOpen 07:30 - 20:30, Sat 09:00 - 17:00.

Immaculate Cleaners C-4, Str. Polona 76, tel. (+4)

Shopping in Bucharest
Bucharests main shopping areas are the malls and commercial centres listed below, as well as B-dul Magheru and Calea Victoriei. The narrow and tiny Str. Ion Campineanu, between Balcescu and Calea Victoriei, is also becoming a funky little place to shop, with lots of boutiques and delicatessens. The Peasant and Village museums (see page 54) are the best places to pick up Romanian handicrafts and souvenirs.

Cinema: Going to the Movies


Films in Romania are shown in their original language with Romanian subtitles. To find out which films are showing, check the individual websites of each cinema, or browse the full programme of the citys cinemas at www.cinema.ro.

Emergencies
23 00, www.urgentafloreasca.ro. The citys main casualty and emergency room. Q Open 24hrs. Puls Ambulance Service A-3, Str. Turda 127, bl. 2, sc. E, ground floor, tel. (+4) 021 224 01 87. SOS Medical and Ambulance Services C-4, Str. Caragea Voda 1, tel. (+4) 021 9761 (emergencies).

Emergency Clinic Hospital (Spitalul de Urgenta Floreasca) C-3, Calea Floreasca 8, tel. (+4) 021 599

Cinema Pro C-5, Str. Ion Ghica 3, tel. (+4) 031 824
13 60, www.cinemapro.ro. City centre, one-screen cinema behind Universitate, which shows the latest releases, with the film changing each Friday.Q Tickets 9.50 to 17.9 lei.

Shopping Centres & Malls


AFI Palace Cotroceni B-dul Vasile Milea/B-dul Timisoara, MPolitehnica, tel. (+4) 031 425 75 10, www.aficotroceni.ro. Bucharests biggest mega-mall, this time with added IMAX. It also has paintball, ice skating (year round) and you can get here easy: it is just a 10 minute walk from the Politehnica metro station. Q Open 10:00-22:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00-23:30. Baneasa Shopping City os. Bucureti-Ploieti 42D,
tel. (+4) 021 305 71 95, www.baneasashoppingcity. ro. This place was the first real mega-mall to open in Bucharest. With more than 220 shops it makes everywhere else look quite small.Q Open 10:00-22:00, Restaurants Open 10:00-23:00.

Foreign representations
Austria C-4, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 7, tel. (+4) 021 Belgium D-4, B-dul Dacia 58, tel. (+4) 021 210 29 Bulgaria B-3, Str. Rabat 5, tel. (+4) 021 230 21 50. Canada A-3, Str. Tuberozelor 1-3, tel. (+4) 021 307
69. 201 56 12.

(Bucuresti Mall), tel. (+4) 021 327 70 20, www. hmultiplex.ro. The best complex of cinemas in the city, offering ten screens, good popcorn and comfortable seats. Q Tickets 17.40 - 26.50 lei.

Hollywood Multiplex E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59

IMAX/Cinema City B-dul Vasile Milea/B-dul Ti-

misoara, MPolitehnica, www.aficotroceni.ro. The first IMAX cinema in Romania is part of the new Cinema CIty complex in the Cotroceni Palace mall. Q Tickets 19-36 lei. P

327 61 02, www.bucurestimall.com.ro. Recently extended in a major redevelopment, this is now a real shopping centre, with plenty of stores you can actually spend money in. Debenhams (over three floors, no less) is the biggest pull, but Zara, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare and hundreds of other brands also help to bring the punters in. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.

Bucuresti Mall E-7, Calea Vitan 55-59, tel. (+4) 021

pliance shops on floors three and four are also worth a visit. An excellent Mega Image supermarket can be found in the basement. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.

Denmark D-5, Str. Dr. Burghelea 3, tel. (+4) 021 300 08 00. France B-4, Str. Biserica Amzei 13-15, tel. (+4) 021 303 10 00. Germany B-3, Cpt. Av. Gh. Demetriade 6-8, tel. (+4) 021 202 98 30. Ireland B-4, Str. Buzesti 50-52, et. 3, tel. (+4) 021 310 21 61.

50 00.

Health
Should you fall ill, the local health service is more than adequate, if not perfect. Hospitals do suffer from a lack of funds, and the frequent handing over of 10 lei notes to everyone from the receptionist to the cleaner is recommended. Romanian doctors, while almost universally brilliant, are dreadfully, criminally underpaid and should be tipped heavily. You are recommended to take out decent health insurance, however, and most of the private medical centres listed on these pages offer good schemes for expatriates. If you have no insurance cover, in an emergency you should call tel. 112 or tel. (+4) 021 9731 for an ambulance. The best state emergency hospital is Spitalul de Urgenta, Calea Floreasca 8, tel. (+4) 021 230 01 06. If your child becomes ill, you should take him or her to the excellent childrens emergency hospital, found at (B-4), B-dul Iancu de Hunedoara 30-32, tel. (+4) 021 212 93 64/66. A list of 24 hour pharmacies can be found on page 76.

Markets
Targul Taranului (Peasants Market) B-7, Calea
Rahovei 196A. Every Saturday and Sunday morning peasants come from all over Romania to sell their wares at this farmers market. Find great smoked sausages, bacon, slana, trout, goats cheese, tuica and honey. Prices are a bit high to be honest, but the people who shop here do not seem to mind. Theres a stall selling tasty hot snacks. QOpen 08:00 16:00, Sun 08:00 - 14:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri.

Sun Plaza Calea Vacaresti 391, MPiata Sudului, www.sunplaza.ro. Newest and dare we say sunniest mall in Bucharest. It is also the only mall in the city right outside a metro station: in this case, Piata Sudului, just three stops from Piata Unirii. All the big name international high street stores are here, as well as a few local outfits. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. Unirea Shopping Centre C-6, Piata Unirii 1, MPiata
Unirii, tel. (+4) 021 303 02 08, office@unireashop.ro, www.unireashop.ro. Once a showpiece of Socialism, this huge department store is now the best shopping centre in the centre of the city. There are fashion stores on the first and second floors while the electronics and household ap-

Targul Vitan-Barzesti Sos. Vitan-Barzesti/Splaiul

Unirii. An astonishing place. Every Sunday morning this huge piece of wasteland becomes Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything from stolen mobile phones and fake Ralph Lauren shirts to cheap, sandpaper-rough toilet paper can be found here, all prices negotiable. Incredibly, the police outside seem more worried about the flow of traffic in the street outside than the moody goods being sold here. Next door is an enormous second-hand car market. Bus 123 will get you here. Be brave. Q Open 08:00-16:00. Closed Mon-Sat.

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Swimming Pools & Health Clubs
site Sala Polivalenta), MTineretului, tel. (+4) 021 330 50 71, www.daimonsportclub.ro. Superb tennis and fitness club in Tineretului Park, now with a great - and we mean great - swimming pool. Indoor and out. Costs (Mon-Fri) 20.00 lei per person (no reduction for children) and you can stay all day (Sat, Sun 30.00 lei). QOpen 08:30 - 24:00. Hilton Health Club C-5, Str. Episcopiei 1-3 (Athenee Palace Hilton), tel. (+4) 021 303 37 77. Indoor pool, sauna, weight room, and a host of top facilities. Full membership costs 1950 lei/three months, 3550 lei/six months, 4950 lei/year. QOpen 06:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00. Hotel Intercontinental C-5, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 4, tel. (+4) 021 310 20 20. Probably the smallest swimming pool in Romania on top of what for years was the tallest building (22 floors). Views are great, and when it gets really steamy you can go and sunbathe on the balcony. QOpen 06:00 - 22:00. Pool, jacuzzi, sauna and fitness for 70 lei/day from 06:00-16:00 and 115 lei/ day from 06:00-22:00. Subscription 350 lei/month from 06:00-16:00 and 450 lei/month from 06:00-22:00 (pool, fitness, jacuzzi, sauna included). World Class Health Academy B-6, Calea 13 Septembrie 90, tel. (+4) 021 403 09 00, www. worldclass.ro. Massive fitness centres in the basement of the JW Marriott and Radisson Blu hotels, with a gym, pool (the largest in the city, we think), squash courts and aerobics facilities. Call for special membership packages. QOpen 06:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00. Also at (B-5) Calea Victoriei 63-81 (Centre Ville Hotel), tel. (+4) 021 313 11 04, Jolie Ville Galleria (Pipera) Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae 103 bis, tel. (+4) 021 269 01 60 and Calea Dudesti 188 (InCity Residences).

direCtory
Daimon Sport Club D-8, Parcul Tineretului (Oppo-

77

Netherlands B-3, Str. Aleea Alexandru 20, tel. (+4) UK C-4, Str. Jules Michelet 24, tel. (+4) 021 201 72 00. USA C-5, Str. Tudor Arghezi 7-9, tel. (+4) 021 200
33 00. 021 208 60 30.

Removals & Storage


AGS Worldwide Movers B-dul Basarabia 256 (Faur Industrial Park, gate 4, entrance from B-dul 1 Decembrie 1918), tel. (+4) 021 345 06 66. Euro Mini Storage B-dul Theodor Pallady 42 J, tel. (+4) 031 100 18 88, www.euroministorage.com.

International Schools
American International School Sos. Pipera-Tunari International School of Bucharest Sos. Gara Catelu
Str. Petre Aurelian 72, Green Lake Residence, tel. (+4) 021 380 35 35. 196, Comuna Voluntari, tel. (+4) 021 204 43 00. 1R, tel. (+4) 021 306 95 30.

Hotel Map Index


H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9 H10 H11 H12 H13 H14 H15 H16 H17 H18 H19 H20 H21 H22 Helvetia Casa Victor Picollo Mondo Hello Hotels Andys Moxa Starlight Duke Golden Tulip Residence Arcul de Trimf Hotel Dan JW Marriott Parliament Ibis Parlament Volo Berthelot Centre Ville Opera Palace Central Carol Parc Hilton H23 H24 H25 H26 H27 H28 H29 H30 H31 H32 H33 H34 H35 H36 H37 H38 H39 H40 H41 H42 H43 H44 Novotel Capitol Grand Continental Lido (closed) Ambasador Radisson Blu Rembrandt Tania Relax Comfort Suites Intercontinental K+K Elisabeta Horoscop Tempo Hotel Royal Tiny Club Hotel Confort Traian Tulip Inn Ramada Majestic Ibis Gara De Nord Suter Inn NH Howard Johnson

Bicycle Hire
BateSaua Sos. Iancului 100, tel. (+4) 021 315 98 11, www.batesaua.ro/inchirierimtb. QOpen 09:00
- 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. 30 lei/12hrs (helmet not included). Outside the city 60 lei/day/MTB. Helmet 6 lei/day. Carpat Bike Sos. Bucuresti -Targoviste 22, bl. A, ap. A2, tel. (+4) 0723 38 98 33, www.carpatbike.ro. Q 15/day, 35/weekend (helmet and key lock included). La Pedale B-2, Parcul Herastrau; B-3 Parcul Kiseleff; Parcul Tineretului. QOpen 12:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Free bike hire (for up to two hours). You will need to bring ID. My Bike Str. Nicolae Caramfil 34, tel. (+4) 021 232 55 20, www.mybike.ro. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun. 40 lei/day, 25 lei/12 hrs. Helmet included. Raitabike B-5, Str. Ion Brezoianu 35, tel. (+4) 0731 00 60 05, www.raitabike.ro. Q Prices start from 5 lei/ hour (helmet included).

International School for Primary Education (INS)

Pharmacies
Help Net A-3, B-dul Unirii 27, www.helpnet.ro. Q Open
24hrs. Also at (B-3) Str. Av. Radu Beller 8, and many other locations around the city. Sensiblu A-3, B-dul 1 Mai 92, www.sensiblu.com. QOpen 24hrs. Also (B-3) Str. Radu Beller 6, tel. (+4) 021 233 89 61; (C-5) B-dul N. Balcescu 7, tel. (+4) 021 305 73 14, and many other locations around the city.

Old Town Conference Suites


Van Gogh Spaces C-6, Str. Smardan 9, tel. (+4) 021 313 93 15, www.vangogh.ro. More than a mere conference suite, the spaces on the upper floors of the buildings above the Van Gogh Cafe are multi-purpose suites available for standard conferences, but also featuring a number of instant offices.Q PJW Bucharest In Your Pocket

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Central & Southern Bucharest

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street register
13 Septembrie, Calea B6 21 Decembrie 1989, Piata C5 Academiei, Str. C5 Alecsandri Vasile, Str. B4 Alexandrescu Grigore, Intr. C4 Alexandrescu Grigore, Str. B4 Aman Theodor, Str. B5 Amman, Str. C3 Amzei, Intr. B4 Apolodor, Str. B6 Argentina, Str. B3 Arghezi Tudor, Str. C5 Atelierului, Str. A4 Atena, Str. B3 Balaban Emil, Str. C4 Balcescu Nicolae, Bd. C5 Baniei, Str. C6 Banului, Str. B5 Baratiei, Str. C6 Batistei, Str. C5 Berna, Str. B3 Berthelot H. M., G-ral., Str. B5 Berzei, Str. A4 Biserica Amzei, Str. B4 Biserica Enei, Str. C5 Bitolia, Intr. B3 Blanari, Str. C6 Blanc Louis, Arh., Str. B3 Blanduziei, Str. C5 Bogdan Ion, Prof., Str. C4 Botez Eugen, Cmdr., Str. C3 Bratianu I.c., Bd. C6 Brazilia, Str. B3 Brebu, Str. E3 Brezoianu Ion, Str. B5 Brutus M.i., Str. B6 Bruxelles, Str. B3 Budisteanu Constantin, G-ral, Str. B5 Buiestrului, Str. C3 Buzesti, Intr. B4 Buzesti, Piata A4 Buzesti, Str. B4 Buzoiani Iani, Str. C2 Buzoianu Ion, Lt.col., Intr. C6 Caderea Bastiliei, Intr. B4 Caderea Bastiliei, Str. B4 Caderon Jean Louis, Str. C5 Calin Ion, Erou, Str. C4 Cameliei, Str. A4 Carada Eugeniu, Str. C6 Caragea Ioan Voda, Str. C4 Caragiale I.l., Str. C5 Caragiale I.l.,intr. C5 Carol I, Bd. D5 Catargiu Lascar, Bd. B4 Cavafii Vechi, Str. C6 Cazzavillan Luigi, Str. B5 Cernat Alexandru, G-ral, Str. A4 Cioranu Mihai, Str. A6 Clucerului, Str. A3 Clunet, Dr., Str. A6 Coanda Constantin, G-ral., Str. B4 Coanda Henri, Str. B4 Cobalcescu Grigore, Prof., Str. B5 Coltei, Str. C5 Constantin Daniel, Str. B4 Constitutiei, Piata B6 Conta Vasile, Str. C5 Coposu Corneliu, Bd. C6 Coposu Corneliu, Piata D6 Cornescu, Str. C3 Cotiturii, Str. A5 Covaci, Str. C6 Crisana, Str. A5 Crisului, Str. C6 Cronicarilor, Str. C3 Cuza Alexandru Ioan, Bd. A4 Dacia, Bd. D4 Dascalu Nicolae, Serg., Intr. B4 David Emmanuel, Str. C4 Davila Carol, Dr., Str A6 Dealul Mitropoliei, Alee C6 Demetriade Gheorghe, Cpt.av., Str B3 Dianei, Str. C5 Doamna Oltea, Str. C3 Dona Nicolae, G-ral, Str. B5 Dorobanti, Calea B3 Dorobanti, Piata B3 Dragalina Ion, G-ral., Str. B6 Drobeta, Str. C4 Duca Gheorghe, Bd. A4 Dumbrava Rosie, Str. C4 Eforie, Str. C5 Eftimiu Victor, Intr. B5 Elie Radu, Str. B5 Eminescu Mihai, Intr. C4 Eminescu Mihai, Str. D4 Enescu George, Piata B5 Enescu George, Str. B5 Episcopiei, Str. C5 Eroii Sanitari, Bd. A5 Eroilor, Bd. A5 Eroilor, Piata A6 Felix Iacob, Dr., Str. A4 Filipescu Nicolae, Str. C5 Finlanda, Str. B3 Floreasca, Cale C3 Florescu Ion, G-ral, Str. C5 Franceza, Str. C6 Frumoasa, Intr. B4 Frumoasa, Str. B4 Furtuna Stefan, Intr. A5 Gabroveni, Str. C6 Gara De Nord, Piata A4 Gara De Nord, Str. A4 Georgescu George, Str. B6 Ghica Ion, Str. C5 Golescu Dinicu, Bd. A4 Golescu Nicolae, Str. C5 Greceanu Paul, Str. C4 Grigorescu Eremia, G-ral, Str. C4 Grivitei, Cale B4 Gusti Dimitrie, Str. A5 Gutenberg, Str. B5 Haga, Str. B3 Hagi Moscu Maria, Str. A3 Halelor, Str. C6 Haret Spiru, Str. B5 Hasdeu Iulia, Intr. B4 Hasdeu Iulia, Str. B4 Horatiu, Str. B4 Hristo Botev, Bd. C5 Iancu De Hunedoara, Bd. B4 Icoanei, Str. C4 Ilfov, Str. B6 Iorga Nicolae, Intr. B4 Iorga Nicolae, Str. B4 Iosif O. Eugen, Dr., Str. A6 Iulian Stefan, Str. A3 Izvor, Str. A6 Justitiei, Str. B6 Kiseleff P Bd. .d., B3 Kogalniceanu Mihail, Bd B5 Kogalniceanu Mihail, Piata B5 Lacatusului, Str. C2 Lacul Tei, Bd. D3 Lahovari Alexandru, Piata C4 Lantului, Str. A6 Lascar Vasile, Str. C5 Lazar Gheorghe, Str. B5 Lebedei, Str. A3 Libertatii, Bd. B6 Libertatii, Piata B7 Lipova, Str. A5 Lipscani, Str. C6 Lisabona, Str. B3 Lister, Dr., Str. A6 Londra, Str. B3 Lupu Dionisie, Str. C5 Luterana, Str. B5 Macedoniei, Str. A5 Magheru Gheorghe, Bd C5 Magiresti, Str. A4 Maltopol, Str. A4 Mamulari, Str. C6 Manolescu Grigore, Str. A3 Manu Gheorghe, G-ral, Str. B4 Maracineanu Walter, Piata B5 Masaryk Thomas, Str. C5 Mendeleev D.i., Str. C4 Mexic, Str. B3 Michelet Julles, Str. C4 Micle Veronica, Str. A4 Mihai Voda, Str. B6 Mihalache Ion, Bd. A3 Mihnea Voda, Str. C6 Mille Constantin, Str. B5 Millo Matei, Str. B5 Mincu Ion, Arh., Str. B3 Mirinescu Mihail, Dr., Str. A6 Miron Costin, Str. A4 Mitropolit Antim Ivireanul, Str. B6 Monetariei, Str. B3 Mosilor, Cale D4 Moxa Mihail, Str. B4 Muresanu Andrei, Poet, Str. B3 Musatescu Tudor, Piata B5 Natiunile Unite, Bd. B6 Natiunile Unite, Piata B6 Neculce Ion, Str. A3 Negri Costache, Str. A6 Negruzzi Iacob, Str. A4 Negulescu Stefan, Str. C3 Occidentului, Str. B4 Oslo, Str. B3 Ostasilor, Str. B5 Otetari,str. C5 Paris, Str. B3 Parvan Vasile, Str. B5 Pasteur Louis, Dr., Str. A6 Patriarhiei, Str. C6 Petrescu Camil, Intr. C4 Philippide Alexandru, Str. C4 Piata Amzei, Str. B4 Pitar Mos, Str. C5 Poenaru Bordea, Str. B6 Poiana Narciselor, Str. B5 Politie, Str. B6 Polizu Gheorghe, Str. A4 Polona, Str. C4 Poni Petru, Str. A4 Popa Tatu, Str. B5 Popescu-gopo Ion, Str. A6 Povernei, Str. B4 Praga, Str. B3 Praporgescu David,g-ral., Str. C5 Pretorienilor, Str. A6 Putul Cu Plopi, Str. B5 Putul Lui Zamfir, Str. B3 Quinet Edgar, Str. C5 Quito, Piata Rabat, Str. Radu Voda, Str. Ramniceanu Naum, Str. Regina Elisabeta, Bd. Regina Maria, Bd. Revolutiei, Piata Rigas, Intr. Roma, Intr. Roma, Str. Romana, Piata Rosetti C.a., Piata Rosetti C.a., Str. Rosetti Maria, Str. Rossini Gioachino, Str. Saligny Anghel, Ing., Str. Sapientei, Str. Sarandy Frosa, Str. Scarlatescu, Str. Schitul Magureanu, Bd. Scoala Floreasca, Str. Scoalei, Str. Selari, Intr. Selari, Str. Sepcari, Str. Sevastopol, Intr. Sevastopol, Str. Sfanta Vineri, Str. Sfantul Constantin, Str. Sfantul Elefterie, Str. Sfintii Apostoli, Str. Sfintii Voievozi, Piata Sfintii Voievozi, Str. Slanic, Str. Slatineanu Ion, Str. Slavesti, Str. Smardan, Str. Sofia, Str. Stahi Constantin, Str. Staicovici Nicolae, Dr., Str. Stavropoleos, Str. Stefan Cel Mare, Sosea Stirbei Voda, Intr. Stirbei Voda, Str. Tirana, Str. Titulescu Nicolae, Sosea Tokio, Str. Tomescu Toma, Dr., Intr. Transilvaniei, Str. Tudor Stefan, Intr. Tunari, Str. Unirii, Bd. Unirii, Piata Universitatii, Piata Vacarescu Barbu, Str. Venezuela, Str. Verona Arthur, Pictor, Str. Victoriei, Calea Victoriei, Piata Visarion I.c., Str. Vladoianu Barbu, G-ral, Str. Vlaicu Aurel, Str. Vulcanescu Mircea, Str. Washington, Str. Witting, Str. Xenopol Alexandru, Str. Zalomit Z. Ion. Str. Zola Emile, Str. B3 B3 C6 C3 C5 C6 B5 B5 B3 B3 B4 C5 C5 C5 C3 B5 B6 A3 A3 B5 C3 C5 C6 C6 C6 B4 B4 C6 B5 A6 B6 B4 B4 C5 C4 C4 C6 B3 B5 A6 C6 D4 B5 B5 B3 A4 B3 B4 B5 C3 C4 C6 C6 C5 C3 B3 C5 B4 B4 B4 A3 C4 B4 B3 A4 C4 B5 B3

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