Unirii Square is the most expressive place of the megalomania of the Ceausescu. Huge concrete building flank the long boulevard leading to the enormous and cubical People's House now Palace of Parliament, the second huge building of the world
Peddlers in the Old Bucharest
The Municipal Museum of Bucharest has recently opened a distinguishing exhibition that is unique for its theme and atmosphere: peddlers and trades on the streets of former Bucharest.
Being in general an easy occupation and rather profitable, the trade was in the hands of people who had come from abroad: Greeks, Turkeys, Armenians, Bulgarians and Jews.
Between 1868 and 1885, Bucharest used to have only two markets: one situated in the area of nowadays Unirii Plaza (“The Big Market”) and one around Amzei church (“The Small Market”), near today’s Romana Plaza. Besides, lots of small shops and grocer shops used to sell their products in the central area. Only the rich inhabitants could afford sending their servants to the market or to the grocer’s or to command products to the stable peddler. They were delivered at their door by the special employees of the shops, generally young boys. Thus, the ambulant commerce used to be at hand of most of the citizens of Bucharest.
Each ambulant seller was specialized in certain types of products. Generally, they were selling food: meat, vegetables, cheese, fruits, sweets, soft drinks and lots of haberdashery items. They also had measurement instruments for the merchandise they were selling. In Bucharest, the control and the marking of these instruments was done yearly by the authorities who also used to come for a fortuitously control.
From morning till late in the evening, Bucharest was rustling with the steps, the yells and the bargains of those earning their living by selling products in the streets. Step by step, after the First World War, the authorities decided that the image of the capital should be a modern one and tried to decrease the size of the ambulant commerce. Despite their decisions, this kind of trade has lasted until these days, reminding of the times when it was one of the most picturesque aspects of Bucharest.
The Glassed Passage
The beautiful passage is connecting Calea Victoriei to the pleasent old town of Bucharest. Entering the passage makes a very strange feeling, suddenly the view becomes shiny green (because of the roof) and full with old boutiques and small cafes.
There are some similiar passages around the old town of Bucharst
Live music in a non-smoking club
Going to Spice Club is a delight for me for many reasons. First of all, they have a live band playing the best of the best every Friday and Saturday. Secondly, it's a non-smoking club or , better said, they have a separated area for smokers. And thirdly: did I say no smoking at the tables and the dance floor? :D
They are also known to host small concerts of Romanian's best bands and not only: I've been here to listen to gypsy (rroma music), salsa or stand up shows.
The entrance vaies between 10 and 20 lei (2.5 - 5 euros), depending on the event. You can reserve a table for about 35 euros (includes a vodka bottle). Casual
Domestic & international trains
For train travel to and from Bucharest from other major cities, such as Sibiu and Brasov, and international trains to Moscow, Istanbul, Sofia, Chisinau etc use Gare de Nord A Station. It has its own Metro station so it is easy to get to. When you enter the station, the big hall to your right is where you purchase same day tickets. I have always found them very efficient. Also, the trains to and from Bucharest are remarkably punctual, or maybe I have just been lucky. There is a big electronic board in front of the line of platforms which tells you which platform to go to. It's very straightforward.
Typically, a second class ticket on one of the best trains costs about 30 - 40 lei to most major Romanian cities. Sighisoara is 39.90 lei and Brasov 33.90 lei. Your ticket will show you your carriage number and seat number. If you show it to one of the guards on the platform, he will direct you to the correct compartment. The seats are comfortable with plenty of legroom.
To purchase an advance ticket and for all international tickets, you should use one of the two CFR Agentie de Voiaj offices. Office No. 1 is in the city centre on Strada Domnita Anastasia. The nearest metro station to it is Universitate. Office No. 2 is just round the corner from Gara de Nord, next to the Ibis Hotel, on Calea Grivitei.