the monster:people's palace
built on an artificial hill,on the very site of an old part of the city,today destroyed of course,called uranus.
45000 sq.meters floors
innumerable rooms and lounges,some of them under 20m high ceilings.
marble and gold
basement:fall-out shelters and a imposant underground network... impossible you don't see it!really a general tip
even if its beauty is doubful....
Ceausecu's final public moment
I'd highly encourage visitors to Romania to read up on Nicolae Ceausescu, the leader of Romania from 1965 until December 1989, as it will give you an idea of some of the history of the country and explain a lot of what you will still see in Bucharest and Romania.
On December 22, 1989, Ceausescu would give his final speech from the balcony of the Central Committee Building in the Piata Republica (Republican Square), since renamed Piata Revolutiei (Revolution Square). Minutes into the speech the crowd had turned on him and he sought refuge inside the building until the following day when the protestors stormed the building and Ceausescu escaped with his wife via a helicopter, a fateful decision. Within days they were both tried and executed by a firing squad, on Christmas Day, 1989.
Mogosoaia Palace, located 10km northwest of Bucharest, is a very easy daytrip and a lovely place to spend a few hours away from the chaos, noise and traffic of central Bucharest.
The Palace was designed by Constantin Brancoveanu, a Wallachian prince, in 1698-1702 as a summer residence and inheritance for his son Stefan. After Stefan was killed, it served as an inn and a warehouse before being turned over to the Bibescu family, relations of the Branconveanu's. It was handed over to the State in 1956 and served as a museum until the 1970s when Ceausescu closed it and appropriated all the furniture.
Be sure to take a peek in the St. George's Chapel, have a look behind the Palace at the gardens and lake, have a walk in the woods, and find the mammoth statue of Lenin, removed from the Piata Presei after the 1989 revolution, and a slightly smaller statue of prime minister Petru Groza behind the old kitchen wall.
Less important is a visit to the interior of the Palace, it's rather spartanly decorated, with little furniture or wall decoration thanks to Ceausescu. Still, it's only 40,000 lei (about $2US) to visit so I figured we're here, might as well. Just don't bother with the camera fee, very little to photograph here.
To get there we hopped on a maxitaxi heading to Buftea from the starting point near Bucuresti Nord train station, 20,000 lei each to ride (less than $1US). Since there are not marked stops, be sure and ask a local where to get off or if possible sit near the driver. There is a brown sign on the side of the road marking where to turn. From there you walk about 1/4 mile to the Palace grounds. On the way back, we stood by the side of the road (no sign marking the stop) and within 10-15 minutes a maxitaxi was whisking back to central Bucharest. I think it took about 20 minutes to get there.
This is a decent night spot, if you go with friends. The music is good as it plays a wide variety (pop, techno, 80's). On the weekends this place gets packed and becomes extremely hot as there's no air conditioning - I made the mistake of wearing a sweater out and suffered. The week is relatively quiet. The people who go there try very hard to look cool and are not very amenable to meeting new people. I went on a Tuesday and all the pretty girls had scowls on their faces. Casual
Bus to/from Otopeni airport
Bus no.783 is an excellent choice, unless you have a very early flight.
Less than $1 for a return ticket, more frequent than reported (10 min), fast and with very few chances to find traffic jams thanks to wide Bucharest boulevards...