I’ve been to a lot of European countries, and I’ve loved them all, but there’s something pretty magical about Bucharest…or perhaps it’s the cheap (but delicious) wine talking?
I’ll be honest…I only ended up in Bucharest because getting a flight from Amman, Jordan to Tampa, Florida was downright impossible. However, a flight from Amman to Bucharest and Bucharest to Tampa was much easier.
From Dracula’s Castle to wine tasting to exploring downtown, our 3 days in Bucharest, Romania turned out to be pretty amazing. Ready to discover it for yourself? Here’s my ultimate guide to 3 days in Bucharest, Romania (plus day trips!)
Day 1 | Exploring the City
So good news/ bad news for this day (for me). The day started with a 3:30 AM flight from Bucharest to Amman. The good news? We arrived by 6:40 AM and had a full day ahead of us. The bad news? It was only 6:40 in the morning and I had been awake for hours!
A few of my favorite spots from Old Town Bucharest: Carturesti Carusel, Pasajul Victoria, and Caru Cu Bere. Carturesti Carusel is the most photogenic bookstore (perhaps tied with Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal.) Stay tuned for a full list of the top sights and Instagrammable locations in the future. Honestly, the Old Town is relatively compact, so you can pretty easily see the main highlights with a day of exploring.
Day 1 | Evening Activities
To round out the first day of your 3 days in Bucharest, Romania, take yourself out to dinner in Old Town. One of the must-try foods in Romania is sarmale. To be honest, I didn’t google it before trying it, but was pleasantly surprised. FYI- they’re cabbage rolls stuffed with meat.
After dinner, head over to Pura Vida Sky Bar, which is a rooftop bar at a hostel. They have an awesome view of Old Town, and their drinks are a good time.
Last but not least (yes, we’re still on day 1), Bucharest has a lively party scene. If you’re still awake and up for it, join a Pub Crawl for the night!
Read More on Pub Crawls & Beer Tours:
- How to Get Fat, Drunk, and Happy in Bruges
- Prague’s 7 Best Kept Secrets (Hint: one secret is a Pub Crawl)
Day 2 | Wine Tasting
After all that walking in your first of 3 days in Bucharest, you’ve definitely earned some wine! At least, I figured I had, might as well treat yourself.
With that mentality, I went ahead and hopped on a Wine Tour with Mr. Tripp, and it was an excellent decision.
Our first stop was Budureasca, where we first toured their wine cellar and then headed up to the tasting room to sip on some delicious Romanian wine. Bonus: there was plenty of cheese to snack on too!
Next up was Ferma Dacilor, a Dacian Farm, where we lunched from a menu I couldn’t read. Unless you’re fluent in Romanian, you’ll be in the same boat. Fortunately, our very friendly guide pointed me in the right direction and I ended up with a nice bowl of stew…very welcome in the chilly weather!
Our last stop for the day was Lacerta, where we tasted I don’t even know how many wines. Yes, it was a lot, and yes, everyone was happily tipsy by the afternoon. However, I can assure you that the wines were delightful—we got to try whites, reds, and even a rosé.
And that wraps up your second day of your 3 days in Bucharest, Romania! Relax on the way back to the city, and then rest up for your next day.
Read More on Wine Tours:
- Douro Valley Wine Tasting from Porto, Portugal
- Napa Valley 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting
- Top 10 Nova Scotia Activities (you guessed it – one is wine tasting)
- Your Supreme Itinerary: 4 Days in Santiago, Chile
Day 3| Dracula’s Castle (and other things)
You can’t go to Romania without visiting Dracula’s Castle, so that’s exactly what I did on my last day in Bucharest. This 2 Castles in 1 Day Tour takes you to two castles (duh!) plus the adorable town of Brasov.
Lace up some comfy walking shoes—your first adventure of the day is Rasnov Citadel, a fortress perched atop a hill. The Citadel was built in the 13th century as defense against invaders for the villages of Transylvania. It’s remarkably well-preserved, and was fortunately pretty quiet when we were there.
However, if you’re there when it’s spring, bring layers! Rasnov Citadel was significantly colder than Bucharest, and I about froze off my nose.
But it was so worth it for these views! Not only do you get to learn a ton about Rasnov Citadel and Romania history, but you get picture-perfect mountains.
Next up, head to the adorable town of Brasov and take advantage of a long lunch, which again was a nice big bowl of stew. It was also at this time that I discovered “Vin Fiert,” which is basically the most amazing mulled wine concoction ever. In any case, between the stew and fire wine, I defrosted enough to adventure through the town a bit before our last stop.
And drum roll…it’s time for Dracula’s Castle aka Bran Castle. Bran Castle has a good bit of history (learn about Vlad the Impaler!), but it was much smaller than I imagined. I enjoyed exploring the inside, but it does get crowded, so my favorite experiences were outside.
We visited on a cloudy day, which only added to the spookiness. The only thing missing was a bit of Halloween music in the background!
As you can tell, I’m a huge lover of day trips…but with only 3 days, you quickly run out of time. With more time, I’d recommend this day trip to Bulgaria, this trip to the Black Sea, or an adventure down Transfagarasan Road. I don’t know if you’ve seen the pictures, but if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and go ahead…I fell in love with the pictures alone!
Where to Stay in Bucharest, Romania
All right, travelers, I have a good range of options for you depending on your mood. I’ll bounce from quaint bed & breakfasts to hotels to hostels, so I’m giving you the choice here.
For a nice hotel, you’re going to want to book the Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel. The hotel has an awesome location in the Old Town of Bucharest AND a breakfast buffet…what more can a girl ask for?
In the mid-range hotel category, we have Ave Hotel Victoriei, which you can find near the main train station. The other plus is that these are organized more like apartments, so you get a fully equipped kitchen.
Last but definitely not least is the Podstel Bucharest, your best hostel option in Bucharest. Podstel has a great location and is walking distance to the main attractions. Plus, the hostel hosts plenty of social events and truly has an awesome atmosphere. What other hostel provides you with slippers at the entrance?!
If you’re not crazy about using the hostel’s free wifi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to keep your banking info and credit card numbers safe. This website is a solid guide to learning about VPNs and how they work.
If you’d like to avoid the hotel and hostel route altogether, check out Airbnb (use my link for savings on your first stay!) Bucharest had TONS of awesome Airbnb options, so you can’t go wrong.
Cheap Flights to Bucharest
Fortunately, Bucharest seemed to have plenty of flight options in and out, though both of mine were at ungodly hours (before 7 AM). If you’re looking for affordable flights, check out Priceline– the site will scan 450+ airlines to find you the best deal! And now you all know my secret…Shhhhh.
One last thing—you can take public transport to your hotel, but if it’s super early and you can’t see straight yet, consider booking an Airport Transfer in advance.
And there you have it, everything you need to know to plan the perfect 3 days in Bucharest, Romania.
Now tell me, have you been to Bucharest? What are some of your favorite things to do?
P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own.