Bucharest Travel Guide

Understand

Bucharest is the primary entry point into Romania. Bucharest is a booming city with many large infrastructure projects changing the old face of the city. Known in the past as "The Little Paris," Bucharest has changed a lot lately, and today it has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its initial reputation. Finding a 300 year old church near a steel-and-glass building that both sit next to a communist style building is commonplace in Bucharest. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has, in recent years, cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital. Bucharest has been undergoing major modernization programs in recent years and is still going to continue with these projects in the years to come. Those who knew Bucharest in the past but have not visited it after 2010 will be surprised by the scale of the changes that are taking place. The center of the city is being completely revamped, and there is a major project in every part of the city. Bucharest has benefited from an economic boom along with the EU grants that have helped rebuild parts of the city. Ambitious projects are quite common in Bucharest. The largest project finished at this time is the impressive Basarab bridge, which is Europe's widest cable-stayed bridge.

Language

The official language is Romanian, a Romance language which claims to be the closest currently-spoken relative to Ancient Latin, but contains around 20% of loan words from Slavonic languages. Most younger educated people will speak English reasonably well and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak French, Spanish or Italian reasonably well. The Roma people (Gypsies) speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian, and sometimes English as well. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hungarian.

Climate

Bucharest, like most of Romania, has a temperate-continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. This region of Romania gets all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 29°C and in winter about 2°C. It can get really hot and dry during the summer (40°C) and really cold during the winter (-20°C), even though temperatures below -12°C are extremely rare. Best time to visit is April through June, September through October and early December.

Time

Bucharest is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, with a DST of UTC+3 from April to October).

source: Wikivoyage

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