Our final train ride pulled into Bucharest around sunset. Our hotel was about a mile from the train station, so we decided to hoof it. Since we were only going to be in Bucharest for 18 hours, the Novotel Bucharest City Center was our hotel of choice for the night. The price is right and it was very close to old town. After dropping off our bags, we wandered down Victoria Street (yay!) to find dinner.
The buildings are all lit up at night and look quite grand. We were in Bucharest on a Wednesday night and the night scene was hopping! Restaurants and bars were packed to the brim with young locals. The cuisine options were amazing, with everything from Lebanese to French to Japanese. We wound up getting dinner at Sushi Ko. It took forever... but it was delicious.
Our limited time in Bucharest allowed us just one morning to walk around. We walked down Bulevardul Unirii and found food stalls serving these amazing ham and cheese stuffed pastries. For less than $1, I would recommend getting two for lunch!
Bucharest isn't a very large capital city, but it is home to the worlds largest Parliament building. The picture below doesn't do it justice. It's actually called the Palace of Parliament and it's so big that Parliament only uses about 30% of the building.
Our hotel was right near Revolution square, which is now home to a continually changing array of art pieces. The central spire in the square is called the Memorial of Rebirth and commemorates the Romanian struggle against communism. You can also see a bright pink sculpture in the image, which seemed to be a comment on how bubble gum is sticking onto the city.
Before leaving Romania, we took a stroll through the Cismigiu Gardens. They were pretty, but could probably use a little bit of love.
Next up, we stopped back at the hotel and picked up our bags. We grabbed a cab for the 30 minute ride to the airport. Our cabbie lit up a cigarette and said he felt bad for us because it's so expensive to smoke in the US. I didn't want to break his heart and tell him that we don't smoke in the US because it's bad for you, not because it's pricey.
Off to check in at Tarom Airlines and board our 1 hour flight to Istanbul!