Back in May, Angeline and I were invited to attend a blogging and social media conference in Bucharest, Romania. I've always wanted to go to Romania - it's even on my travel bucket list!
So I was invited to attend this new travel conference, and as travel expenses weren't covered, just the hotel and experiences, I asked if I could bring Angeline with me. I used to travel with Angeline all over the place, and we hadn't been on a trip together in over a year! She was unemployed at the time, and it just made perfect sense! They said yes, so off we went to Experience Bucharest!
We had such an amazing time together, exploring this city that was so new and culturally different than anywhere we'd traveled to before, and while I don't know if we'll wind up back in Bucharest itself for a long visit, I can definitely see us (or just me) returning for visit to Romania itself and spending a day or two in Bucharest. It's such an interesting city, with so much history - and you guys know what a history geek I am!
First of all, you're probably wondering WHAT #ExperienceBucharest is all about! It was a travel experience that I applied for as a blogger and social media influencer earlier this year.
The Mogosoaia Summer Palace was built by Constantin Brancoveanu, one of the most important medieval princes of the XVIII century. Today Mogosoaia Park, is one of the major landmarks near Bucharest. With over 3 centuries of existence, it is one of the most seductive sights for locals and tourists alike. This event was organized by Bucharest Urban Adventures.
We also scheduled our own tour to Transylvania to see the famous Bran Castle, which was something that was on my bucket list for a very long time!
I'll be writing more about each of these tours in the near future, but for now, I want to focus on the overall experience of visiting Bucharest and why you should plan a trip of your own!
5 Reasons Why You Should Experience Bucharest, Romania
The Romanian people are kind and humble. I have traveled to many places around the world where the people aren't necessarily friendly, so I was pleasantly supervised to find that while the Romanian people I encountered weren't overly friendly in general, they weren't RUDE or unfriendly...they were simply reserved. Coming from a busy, crazy city like Miami, it was refreshing to spend time in a city bustling with excitement that wasn't overwhelming. One thing I noticed was that almost everyone I encountered spoke English, which made traveling with Angeline much easier - neither of us speak a second language and it can sometimes be difficult to get around if the locals aren't patient and agreeable.
The architecture is still gorgeous, despite the troubled Romanian history. If you're not very well educated on the Communist past of Romania, I'll give you the short and sweet version of their beautiful, sometimes decaying homes: Communism does not allow most citizens to maintain property of their own land and homes, so there are many homes that were confiscated by the government and lie in a sad state of disrepair.
You see, after Romania became a democratic country, it was almost impossible to trace back the ownership of these homes to the rightful owners, and many are still lying empty while the families try to get them back. It's a long process, and even when the families are able to get them back, the economy isn't exactly flourishing...which means that it can be difficult for the owners to repair the homes due to lack of funds.
This is just one of the many faces of the devastation that Communism left across Eastern Europe.
However, if you are interested in architecture and the history surrounding it, you'll be happy to find many styles in Bucharest!
Romanian food is good and inexpensive. One of the most obvious effects of Communism in any former Communist country has to be their food and drink...Romania proved to be no exception. While there were very nice meals to be had, Angeline and I found for the most part, the food was very simple and VERY inexpensive...which is always nice when traveling on a budget.
Of course we could have gone to a fine dining establishment, but there were plenty of inexpensive cafes and restaurants, as well as inexpensive snacks to enjoy at the local market.
One of the most common snacks in Bucharest is Michi, which is a skinless sausage often served with a dipping sauce. While it wasn't exactly my favorite meal in Bucharest, it was tasty, and I do love to try the local specialties!
Romanian beer is DELICIOUS. Yes, I said it. Romanian beer is quite tasty...who knew that they'd have such great beer? They also have a special cherry brandy (pictured in the Michi photo), but it wasn't quite my thing.
The beer was so tasty that even Angeline enjoyed one - don't worry, she exceeded the legal drinking age in Romania and was allowed to have one!
Bucharest is a central location for seeing much of Europe! Bucharest is a large hub for much of Europe, meaning that you can fly there from many places around the world, have an extended layover, and then hop on a plane to many other destinations. Book a major airline to Bucharest and then hop around using one of Europe's many budget airlines...it's what Angeline and I did! We flew into Bucharest on Turkish airways (while our hotel and two of the tours were complimentary as part of the conference experience, our airfare was not), and then flew Ryan air to Athens once the event was over.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I finally catch up and tell you guys all about the traveling I did to Romania, Greece, Croatia, Iceland, Ireland, England, Barcelona and Greece since May this year! It's been a crazy busy few months and now that I am home for a while, I'll be playing a serious game of catch-up on the blog!