Bucharest's old town has retained its charm and is not yet fully overrun by tourists. It is small, partially renovated and full of coffee shops, restaurants, bars and official and old buildings.
Romanians are welcoming and (not yet) jaded by big tourist groups. English is widely spoken and prices are about 50-60% less than what you'd expect to pay in the US.
The whole city is easily walkable and has enough green areas and bike paths to make exploring on foot or a bike a good option.
Here are my recommendations:
– Meze – an authentic Greek food at very reasonable prices
– Van Gogh Cafe
– Origo, a Brooklyn style coffee shop
– Embassy – a long courtyard that serves as a lounge and restaurant
– Caru cu Bere – a Romanian place that gets high accolades for its food and design (though there was always a wait when I tried to see it)
If you are in Bucharest, use your time to also wander through Cismigiu Park and bike the Herastrau Park. On the way to the latter do a pit stop at Verona, an outdoor lounge/beer garden in a fantastic setting and with great food and drink.
There are a number of free walking city tours throughout the city that may make it easier finding the hotspots.
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