Bucharest might not garner the buzz of other burgeoning Eastern European cities, but look past the traffic-choked streets, swarms of stray dogs, and swindling taxi drivers, and Romania’s ripe-to-be-discovered capital city is rich with travelers’ treasure. A few days of exploration is certainly warranted in this budget-friendly hub, a perfect launching pad for trips deeper into the Romanian countryside, like legendary Transylvania.
While in Bucharest, be sure to check out relics from the nation’s Communist days, including ex-leader Nicolae Ceausescu’s behemoth Palace of Parliament (the second biggest building in the world, after the Pentagon); charming museums (we loved the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, revealing the art and culture of rural Romania); elegant architecture, airy plazas, and historic boulevards (read on for a just-for-ShermansTravel hotel steal, with a prime location on the 19th-century belle-époque Victoriei Avenue); and a refined musical scene brimming with ballet and opera (don’t miss a concert at the exquisite Romanian Athenaeum music hall – where tickets start from just $8). Plus, we’ve wrangled special savings on guided city tours with Romanian tour company Perfect Tour exclusively for ShermansTravel readers.
Bucharest is a rare European capital where you can indulge in a five-star hotel experience for three-star prices. The landmark Grand Hotel Continental Bucharest is grand indeed, both in decadent decor and overall value, and is sweetening the pot just for ShermansTravel readers with a special package deal representing savings of more than 30 percent.
The 53-room historical hotel, dating back to the late 19th century, reopened in ’09 after an extensive 4-year restoration. Touting a fantastic location on Victoriei Avenue in Bucharest’s city center, guests here will enjoy old-world inspired digs accented by antique furnishings and artworks, four onsite dining and drinking venues, and the lower-level Eden Spa.
Deluxe rooms come furnished with writing desks and sitting areas, design-beats-function mod bathrooms touting full tubs, and extras like satellite LCD TVs and 24-hour room service. Guests also gain complimentary access to the sauna, Jacuzzi, and fitness area in the downstairs spa area.
The ShermansTravel special package includes the following:
- Two nights’ accommodation in a deluxe double room
- Candlelight two-course dinner for two in the Concerto restaurant (with glass of wine)
- Welcome fruit basket amenity in room
- Standard inclusions of daily buffet breakfast, Wi-Fi, and spa access (sauna, fitness, Jacuzzi)
Two-night package rates (inclusive of taxes) represent a discount of more than 30 percent and start at $374 ($187/night) for weekend stays in October and November, and weekdays in December; while weekday stays in October and November start at $412 ($206/night). This deal expires on December 31, 2012.
ShermansTravel readers can book this exclusive offer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with “ShermansTravel Special Package” in the subject line.
Shermans Readers Save 10% Off Bucharest Guided Tours
Premier Romanian tour company Perfect Tour (with LA offices located in the U.S.) is offering ShermansTravel readers a 10 percent discount off its half- and full-day English-language guided tour services in Bucharest.
Try their 4-hour Bucharest sightseeing tour ($59 per person, after discount), taking in a walking tour of the old city center and assorted photo stops at sights like the Palace of Parliament and Romanian Athenaeum, as well as more comprehensive visits to the Village Museum (showcasing traditional Romanian houses, churches, and more) and the Patriarchal Cathedral (the center of the Romanian Orthodox faith, dating back to the 17th century). Upgrade to a full-day, 8-hour tour incorporating even more city highlights, tacking on additional stops to the National Museum of Art of Romania and the Romanian National History Museum.
Or, try an 8-hour option that includes a half-day city tour and excursion to a nearby nature reserve and lake in the Snagov area, a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. A stop at the Snagov Monastery, situated on an isle within the lake, where the grave of Vlad Tepes (aka Dracula) is said to be located, is also included in the tour. Both full-day options start at $131 after discount, and include lunch at a traditional Romanian restaurant.
Rates include hotel transfers, transport in an air-conditioned vehicle, and English-speaking guide services. Note that tours must be booked one day in advance for weekdays, or two days in advance for weekends, and special rates require a minimum of two participants.
Readers can call 818/907-9800 and mention the “ShermansTravel Promotion” to secure the discount; rates are valid on tours through 2013.
Incurable travel addict, longtime travel scribe, and mindful money-saver Elissa Richard is currently indulging her insatiable wanderlust on an epic 14-month journey around the globe – intent on making it every step of the way without busting her modest budget. Follow her along the way as she reports back with budget-savvy travel tips from the mountains of Transylvania to the wilds of Tasmania, and from the little-trodden temples of Burma to the bustling bars and clubs of Buenos Aires. A vagabond in search of value, just for ShermansTravel!