Where to Stay in Bucharest: Advice from a local blogger about the best neighborhoods to stay in Bucharest, Romania! (Plus 18 of the best hotels in Bucharest by district)
We created this guide in collaboration Violeta-Loredana Pascal, an entrepreneur, mentor and public relations trainer from Romania who works with clients worldwide. She loves to travel, discover new places and cultures. Loredana shares her travelling experiences and tips on Travel – Moments in Time and Earth’s Attractions. We’re happy she agreed to share her passion and knowledge of Bucharest as our local city expert for this Where to Stay in Bucharest Guide!
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Bucharest, Romania’s capital and my hometown, is a wonderful European city that will surprise you in a nice way! It used to be known as Little Paris, and you’ll surely see why on your visit.
There are plenty of things to do, regardless of your travel preferences: From wonderful museums to huge parks, amazing buildings, boutique shops, and a vibrant nightlife, Bucharest has a lot to offer visitors.
I often find myself showing Bucharest to visitors from across the globe, and find most are pleasantly surprised! People come to Bucharest to see communist architecture and better understand that period; take advantage of the low costs; and enjoy the numerous tourist attractions during a city break. Often, people come here not expecting much, yet leaving impressed.
Bucharest may lack some of the commercial glamour of other European capitals, and is indeed simpler. Still, it is home to the biggest civilian building in the world; it has a wonderful outdoor museum – the Village Museum – with old houses from all over Romania; is full of tiny streets waiting to be discovered; and has a range of beautiful art museums, palaces, and an impressive offering of bars and clubs.
Deciding which neighborhood to hangout in can be tough, especially when there is so much to do! People here tend to gravitate toward certain neighborhoods, depending on their lifestyle and what they like. We hope this Where to Stay in Bucharest neighborhood guide helps you find the best area to stay in Bucharest for your own trip, and you end up loving the city as much as we do!
Best Areas to Stay in Bucharest: Our Picks for the 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Bucharest, Romania
- The City Center
- Piata Unirii: Hosting the Parliament building and other communist-era buildings, if you are a history buff you’ll definitely like this neighborhood. Piata Unirii is a great area to stay in Bucharest if you’re visiting for the first time and you want to be able to walk anywhere in just a few minutes.
- Old Town: The most charming area in the city center, here you’ll find a mix of hipster cafès, beautiful bookstores, and small cobbled alleys. Stay here if you want to be surrounded by ancient buildings and you want to feel like you’re in a small village within a city.
- Universitate: Universitate, as the name suggest, is the area where the University buildings are located. You can expect lots of cafès and young people roaming around, and a good selection of dining spots and pubs.
- Calea Victoriei: Clea Victoriei is home to some of the best hotels in Bucharest and the flagship stores of the luxury labels. A wealthy neighborhood, here you can also find most museums, so it’s a good choice if you don’t mind spending a little extra.
- Piata Romana: Still part of the city centre, and a 10 to15-minute walk to Old Town, this is a young area filled with cafes and restaurants.
- Off the Beaten Path Neighborhoods
- Cotroceni: One of Bucharests oldest neighborhoods, Cotroceni hosts the Cotroceni Palace and lots of historical buildings. The Botanical Gardens are also a green oasis for a nice walk.
- Baneasa: A bit far out as a place to stay, Baneasa is still worth exploring if you have the time to get off the beaten path. Hosting the biggest city park around a lake, this upscale neighborhood is a great place to visit in the warmer months.
Flying Into Bucharest? Your Chauffeur Awaits!
Unirii is one of Bucharest’s most famous neighbourhoods, and it’s a busy area close to the Old Town filled with hotels, pubs, and a large shopping center.
The fountain in Unirii Square is iconic and spectacular, especially when it is turned on during the summers. There are also smaller fountains on the road to the Palace of the Parliament, the city’s most famous landmark built by the former Communist dictator, Ceausescu. The Palace of the Parliament is the biggest civilian building in the world, and the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. You can tour the Palace’s interiors, but must take a guided tour, so it’s worth booking in advance.
The Unirii area is a great spot for photos, and is also the jumping off point where many tours of the city start. There are also many examples of communist-era buildings in this area, especially large blocks.
Hotel Europa Royale Bucharest – A 4-star hotel situated in a charming, renovated 19th-century building. Technically located in Old Town, but just a 2-minute walk to the Unirii metro station, and in close proximity to the different bars and restaurants in Old Town. You’ll find spacious, clean and comfortable rooms, hair dryers and free toiletries. The hotel has an elevator and floors 4 and up provide great city views. No coffee/tea facilities in room, but there is a restaurant and bar on site. Just a few minutes walk to many landmarks.
Kilometer Zero Flat – A well appointed apartment close to all Old Town has to offer. The modern space has one bedroom with a large double bed, and a fold out sofa that turns into a smaller double in the living room. You’ll find a fully equipped kitchen, in-suite laundry, towels, linens, air-conditioning, and flat screen television with cable channels. Bright and clean, located on the 7th floor with an elevator. Shopping, bakeries, cafes and restaurants are all within easy walking distance, and just a 2-minute walk to Unirii metro station.
Check Availability & Prices on
3-Star Value Option
Hotel Horoscop – A decent value option less than a 10-minute walk to Old Town and just across from the Urinii metro station. The rooms are air-conditioned, with flat-screen TVs, and comfortable beds. The hotel is located next to a nice Italian cafe and restaurant, as well as a few others. Past guests have commented that the hotel does not boast much in the way of modern decor, but provides good value for the money, particularly because of the location. On site parking is available.
The Old Town is the heart of Bucharest’s most interesting area for tourists, and includes the well-known Lipscani St., which is filled with bars and restaurants.
Within the Old Town, there are many old and beautiful buildings. In the past, craftsmen worked and lived here, with the ground floor serving as their shops, the first floor their home. Today this area is a great spot for a drink or meal, as there are numerous restaurants and cafes to choose from. You will find food from almost all over the world – from Japanese to Greek to Italian, and, of course, Romanian. For local food, Caru’ cu Bere is the most popular choice, and is fun for dinner and a beer; just be sure to make reservations.
One of the places I always recommend people visit in Old Town is Carturesti Carousel, a beautiful bookstore and gift shop with a small cafe on the top floor. Recently opened in a wonderfully renovated building, it’s all white and well-lit, with a lot of natural light. Even if you don’t buy anything, the interior alone is worth checking out.
Another nice stop in the area is Romania’s first bank building – CEC Bank. This neighbourhood is a great one for admiring old architecture, and to see how it has been adapted to modern times.
Old Town Boutique Hotel – This boutique-style hotel is an excellent value for money. The rooms are cozy and have a nice mix of modern and classical themes oozing with charm. The rooms have a walk-in shower, free toiletries, quality linens, and some rooms also have balconies. The relatively new hotel features an on-site restaurant and bar. Although there is an elevator, past guests have mentioned there are steps leading up to reception; staff are available to assist. A 6-minute walk to the metro, but being in old town, most tourist attractions and historic sites are walking distance.
Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel – A brand new hotel in a city undergoing a rapid overhaul. The hotel is set in a neoclassical-inspired building and surrounded by a lush garden. Clean and modern rooms are designed with peaceful earth tones, fitted with memory foam mattresses, toiletries, minibars and coffee makers. Some rooms have balconies, a daily breakfast is served in the restaurant, and there is a lovely garden and elevator in the hotel. Old Town sites, cafes, shops, and restaurants are nearby. The Palace of Parliament is a 12-minute walk away, and Piata Unirii metro station can be reached in 5 minutes.
Rembrandt Hotel – One of the top hotels in Bucharest according to Trip Advisor, smack in the middle of Old Town. Classy leather furniture, and wood floors give the rooms a rich, old-timey feel in a modern hotel. The small boutique hotel offers a free and plentiful daily breakfast with espresso drinks in their cafe. The hotel is fitted with an elevator, but it is located on a pedestrian street where taxis cannot get to the front door; taxis will drop you about a block away. Past guests have suggested to book a “business room” or “standard room” as the “tourist rooms” are quite small.
Another city center neighbourhood, you can see the kilometer zero monument here, which shows the distances of different Romanian cities from this point.
This neighborhood takes its name from one of the most important buildings here: the University! It’s an old neighbourhood, with apartment blocks, some palaces (the palaces in Bucharest are not big, but beautiful and home to numerous museums today), and the wonderful Coltea Hospital and Coltea Church (recently renovated).
Cismigiu Gardens / Cismigiu Park, the oldest park in Bucharest, is located near University Square. This is a great green area to explore, with a small and shallow lake, and restaurants, walking trails, and playgrounds to enjoy.
K+K Hotel Elisabeta – This modern boutique is located on a quiet street, and offers rooms with cozy beds, safes, minibar, a/c, toiletries and modern bathrooms with in-floor heating. There is a bar and small bistro on site that serves breakfast, and you’ll find a sauna and fitness room in the hotel. The hotel is just a 2-minute walk to University Square and the Universitate metro station. Old Town bars, restaurants and historic attractions are about a 10-minute walk.
Intercontinental Hotel Bucharest – A large 5-star hotel with lots of goodies including a full health club with fitness room and sauna, and a piano bar in the lobby. The spacious rooms are furnished with comfortable beds and quality linens, and every room has a small balcony with city views. You’ll have two on site restaurants, Italian and French, but the hotel is walking distance to many others, including in Old Town, which is reachable on foot in less than 10 minutes. The hotel is located right next to the Bucharest National Theatre and is just a 2-minute walk to the Universitate metro station.
Z Executive Boutique Hotel – Just a short two minute walk to the famed Lipscani Street in the city’s Old Town, the rooms feature memory foam mattresses, fine linens, bathrobes, flat screen TVs, with modern bathrooms and toiletries, and coffee/tea making facilities. You’ll find a panoramic restaurant on the top floor with nice city views, a beauty spa, an elevator in the hotel and concierge service. You’ll find all of Old Town within walking distance, and the metro station just 1-minute away.
Outcast Bucharest Walking Tour
How different would the perspectives of a city be if you had a former homeless person as your guide? Here’s you chance to explore your guide’s ‘backyard’ and learn about their struggle.
Transylvanian Castles Day Tour
See Romania’s two most famous castles in one day tour. Explore Dracula’s legendary Bran Castle, and the royal Peles Castle. You’ll also get to wander the medieval streets Brasov.
Bucharest Communist Day Tour
Learn about the struggle and emergence from a brutal communist dictator’s grip. Visit the Palace of the Parliament, the world’s largest administrative building, and much more.
Calea Victoriei is the oldest paved artery in Bucharest…so old, in fact, it was first “paved” in wood. In the past, Bucharest’s richest residents built their houses here. At first, people used the right side of the road (facing East); this was the most prestigious side of the street, and only those who were slightly less rich would build on the left side!
Today, if you take a walk along Victory Avenue, you will find many examples of beautiful architecture. Several museums are located along here, including the National Art Museum, Art Collections Museum, and George Enescu Museum. In George Enescu Square, you’ll find the Romanian Athenaeum. If there isn’t a concert, for a small fee you can enter and visit the beautiful interior – including the concert hall. It’s impressive, and is made so the sound is perfect in every spot, even in a room full of people!
In addition to museums and beautiful buildings, Calea Victoriei has a few churches, a casino, and many hotels. This used to be the place to go for high-end fashion brands in Bucharest, and many of them still have their flagship store on this street.
Finally, Victoria Square is home to the government building, another example of communist architecture. It’s also where you will find the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History, The Romanian Peasant Museum (with many traditional costumes from all over the country), and the Geology Museum.
For the best cup of coffee in Bucharest, be sure to check out Origo, a few blocks off of Calea Victoriei. And for a great photo, pose under the colorful umbrellas in Pasajul Victoria!
4-Star Value Option
Novotel Bucharest City Centre – We stayed here on one of our visits and were quite happy. Guests have access to the swimming pool, fitness room and sauna, there is a restaurant and bar on site. The clean and modern rooms are spacious for Europe, with minibars, flat screen TVs and the bathrooms have both tub and shower. You can walk to the edge of Old Town in about 5 minutes, same for the metro station. Lots of cafes and restaurants nearby, the gorgeous Romanian Athenaeum is also just a 5 minute walk away.
Luxury Chain Hotel
Radisson Blu Bucarest – A large upscale hotel with over 400 rooms and a large casino, it’s about a 15-minute walk from Old Town. The rooms are modern and well appointed with excellent beds and high quality linens. The hotel also features 5 on site restaurants ranging from steak and seafood, to sushi, to Italian. There are also three bars including upscale wine and cocktails, as well as a beach bar. You’ll find spa services, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and jacuzzi, high-end fitness facility, and business center. Both the National Arts Museum and Romanian Athenaeum are within 5 minutes walk.
Mercure Bucharest City Center – A music-themed 4-star with decent sized, well-appointed rooms with coffee/tea making facilities, flat screen TVs with lots of channels, nice showers and a good array of toiletries, and slippers. The hotel features a gym, restaurant and bar, but there are plenty of restaurant choices around the hotel. The Old Town is about 12-20 minute walk depending on your destination, or a cheap taxi ride (there is a taxi order machine in the lobby) or Uber. The lovely Romanian Athenaeum is just a 5-minute walk as is a metro station.
Still part of the city center and close to Old Town, Piata Romana is an area full of beautiful old houses, hotels, restaurants, and colleges, along with some new buildings mixed in.
This neighborhood is popular among young people especially (but not exclusively) as a place to meet and enjoy. There are numerous cafes in the area (check out M60), perfect for a relaxed afternoon!
Contemporary Chain Hotel
Sheraton Bucharest Hotel – Tucked down a quiet street off Piata Romana, and very close to the metro as well as plenty of restaurants. The rooms are fitted with very comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and coffee/tea making facilities. The hotel features a gym, business center, spa, bar, and two restaurants, one serving international cuisine, the other Japanese. The Romanian Athenaeum and the National Art Museum are less than a ten minute walk, the Old Town can be reached in about 20 minutes walking, or a cheap taxi/Uber ride.
Affordable Boutique Hotel
Duke Hotel – A clean, quiet, basic value option very close to Piața Romană and its metro station. Rooms are neat and clean, with flat screen TVs, safes, minibars, and air conditioning. The hotel offers free parking with reservation, so it’s great if you are driving or picking up a rental. The restaurant on site offers an international menu, and serves a continental breakfast. Piata Romana metro station is less than a five minute walk, the Romanian Athenaeum, and the National Art Museum about 10 minutes, and Old Town is about 20 minutes, or a cheap taxi ride.
Historic Villa Value Option
Residence Villa Barrio – Located in a peaceful, renovated 19th century Art Deco home. Rooms are decorated to fit the style but fitted with modern touches like flat screen satellite TVs, mini fridges, Wifi, and air conditioning. There is a very well-liked restaurant and lounge on site, as well as a seasonal sun terrace and lovely garden. The villa/hotel has just eight rooms and does not have 24hr reception or an elevator, but all rooms are located just one floor up; some rooms are loft-style, so those with mobility issues shouldn’t consider this hotel. A 4-minute walk to the metro station, 10 minutes to the Romanian Athenaeum, and 20 minutes walk into Old Town.
District 5’s Cotroceni is considered one of the coolest neighborhoods in Europe; no surprise since it is a very old neighborhood filled with a rich history and lots of character!
Dominated by Cotroceni Palace, this area was forested until the palace was built, originally as a monastery. Passed down over the years and used by many subsequent rulers, today the Palace is the official residence of the President, as well as a museum that tells the story of its royal past (tours must be booked in advance).
Just across the street you’ll find the Botanical Gardens, another green oasis in Bucharest where you’ll find numerous plants and walking trails.
Top Rated 4-Star
Hotel Cismigiu – One of the top-rated hotels in Bucharest, it’s located across from Cismigiu Park and a short walk from Old Town. The suites have separate seating and table areas with a second TV, kettles, cozy beds, eco friendly toiletries, and some units have kitchenettes if you plan to stay for a longer period. The hotel features a fitness room, as well as two restaurants, including one on the rooftop providing some excellent city views.
Charming 5-star Hotel
JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel – Everything you’d expect from a 5-star; high-class European elegance with luxury accommodations and suites, restaurants and bars, spa, shopping gallery, and a fitness club. With all that, there are 6 restaurants, bars and a casino, helping give them the self-described ‘city within a city’ moniker. Close to the Parliament building, although Old Town is a decent 25-minute walk. Don’t let that detour you as taxis and Ubers are cheap.
Hotel Parliament – A decent value option close to the Parliament building and across from Izvor Park. Decent sized rooms with air conditioning, toiletries, hair dryers, flat screen TVs and minibars. The hotel has a restaurant and bar on site, and has an elevator. Cişmigiu Park is a 15-minute walk, Old Town can be reached in about 20 minutes, or the metro is a 10-minute walk.
A wealthy neighborhood in the city’s north, Baneasa is home to numerous office buildings and gorgeous houses.
It’s here that you’ll find the biggest park in the city, with numerous gardens and green space built around Lake Herastrau. In the summer, you can rent paddle boats. There is also a golf course, restaurants and cafés, the Village Museum, and playgrounds for children.
Inside Herastrau Park, you’ll find the Village Museum. If you like folk culture, this museum is a treasure, as it is home to old houses from all over the country, giving some great examples of Romanian culture. You can visit without a guide, as each house has a presentation in Romanian and English, or take a guided tour. That said, you can’t enter all the houses.
The Museum is accessible from both from the Park’s border (there is a bus stop right in front of it) and from within the Park. If you exit the museum into the Park, you can’t get back into the museum using the same tickets.
Worth noting, Parcul Herăstrău actually crosses multiple neighbourhoods. The entrance at Charles de Gaulle Square, where you’ll see the Romanian National Television Tower, is part of the Aviatiei neighborhood, not Baneasa.
Where to Stay in Bucharest: Other Bucharest Neighborhoods
- Dorobanti: Dorobanti is a fairly exclusive neighborhood, and home to Bucharest’s first mall with luxury and high-end brands. It is a neighbourhood with beautiful villas, many of them rented to businesses, and many cafés.
- Floreasca: If you are interested in communist architecture, Floreasca is full of it; most of the neighborhood was developed during the communist regime. There are also many villas in the area, some of where were given to former presidents after the Revolution in 1989. This is also a very commercial area, serving as a hub for companies who have their offices here. Recently a mall was opened here (Promenada Mall), and the neighbourhood continues to develop mainly as a centre for businesses.
- Tei: Tei is located in the eastern side of the city, and is full of 1970s building blocks. There are also some older, 1-storey houses and churches. The park here is nice, and in 2016 a ferris wheel was opened to the public as part of a small amusement park here.
- Primaverii and Palatul Primaverii (Spring Palace): Reachable by car, taxi, metro and bus (with a bit of walking for those last two options), the Spring Palace (Palatul Primaverii) is a nice attraction if you have the time. It was opened recently to the public and is the former official residence of the Ceausescu family. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, you can only visit it with a guided tour. Check the official website for updated ticket prices and the phone number to to make a reservation.
So Where Should You Stay in Bucharest?
For a short trip, I’d recommend staying in a centrally-located hotel. You will be close to the most famous attractions, and not waste time on transportation to and from the most popular areas. Between Piata Unirii (Union Square) and Piata Victoriei (Victory Square), you can find plenty of hotels to choose from.
How to Get Around Bucharest
Bucharest’s public transportation consists of buses (including night buses), a metro system, and trams. All are very cheap, and together they cover most of the city. Public transport is very crowded in the morning rush hour and around 5.30 to 7.30PM, when people leave the office.
Taxis and Uber are another option for getting around the city. For taxis, choose those with 1.39 RON/KM (that’s about $0.35), and ask your hotel for help getting a reliable/trustworthy company. Taxis are also available at the airport, for a special airport fee. Black cabs are another option, and the usual price is 3RON/KM (around $0.77).
As you can see, taxis in Bucharest are cheap. Unfortunately, in our experience visitors don’t always get the proper rate. As such, we recommend Uber over a taxi, as you can be sure you’re not being taken for a ride, beyond where you actually want to go!
It’s not necessary to rent a car to get around Bucharest, but you may want to rent a car if you plan on doing daytrips out of the city, or you want to travel around the region or to Transylvania. We recommend renting from the airport, as then you won’t have to deal with city centre traffic; Bucharest is very congested!
What Areas in Bucharest Should You Avoid?
In terms of areas to avoid, don’t plan on going to Ferentari or Rahova areas. In general, staying in touristy areas, and where there are plenty of other people, is the best bet. In parks, don’t walk alone in areas without people. While solo travel to Bucharest is perfectly safe, it’s best to stay in busy areas. Same goes for small, deserted streets at night, regardless of the neighbourhood: best avoided!
Finally, I would also recommend you take care of your belongings, and not show off too much jewellery or outward signs of wealth. Basically, it’s the advice I would give anyone for any country or city. You can best stay safe from pickpockets with a little bit of care!
A Note About Our Hotel Recommendations In This Bucharest Neighbourhood Guide
Our hope with this Where to Stay in Bucharest Guide (and our Where to Stay in Budapest, Where to Stay in Prague, Where to Stay in Berlin…you get the idea) is to make it easy to find the best area to stay in Bucharest for your particular travel style, goals and budget. Bucharest isn’t a small city, and it’s worth figuring out where you want to base yourself and where you want to explore! That said, the city centre is relatively easy to navigate by foot, Uber, or public transit, so if you base yourself in the centre, you should be good!
As we hired a local to write (Violeta-Loredana) this guide and impart her expertise about Bucharest, we’re a bit limited in terms of hotel knowledge…because, of course, locals don’t live in hotels! So, what we’ve done is go through and choose some of the highest rated hotels in each neighborhood, and when we couldn’t find a hotel, we listed a holiday rental. Basically, we put in the research for you, and chose the places we personally would want to stay, and the places we felt we’d be comfortable recommending to a friend or family member, across different budget ranges.
Really, we want to help you have a fantastic trip to Bucharest be it a bigger tour to Romania and Transylvania, or a short Bucharest city break. And, we want you to be able to do so without spending hours on the internet, reading reviews and cross-checking locations on a map. Hopefully we’ve succeeded…but please don’t blame us if we haven’t – at the end of the day, we expect you’ll check the most recent reviews and specific conditions in the city, using our listings as a starting point and framework, and choosing then selecting the best hotel and area to stay in Bucharest for your own trip!