Feeria Shopping Gallery is one of the favorite shopping place. It is located north of Bucharest, on the road to Otopeni airport. This is a part of a bigger project - www.baneasa.ro - it is known mostly for the shopping gallery but for the big Carrefour hyper market as well. Pretty crowded on the road, in the parking and at the counters in weekends, but if you gotta go you gotta go :)
Bucharest is a fairly good place for shopping. If you're shopping for clothes than you might want to check out either the two shopping malls. For the moment there are two of those - Bucharest Mall and Bucharest Plaza - in 2007 there might be four. Also you can try Unirea Shopping Center (seen in the picture at night) or you can go north of Bucharest, between Baneasa Airport and Otopeni Airport, where Baneasa Center is growing, having the Feeria Commercial Center. Then there are the commercial streets like Magheru Blvd., Calea Mosilor or Calea Victoriei.
The Village Museum has a craft store with great choice of ceramics, icons, table cloths, etc. The store accepts only Romanian leu.
Also in front of the museum there are local people selling their own hand-made goods. Happy to accept dollars or euro :-)
I understand prices there are lower than in the stores of downtown Bucharest.
What to pay: The little bowls were 30,000 leu (less than $1) each, and the dark vase was 135,000 leu (about $4).
The small white table runner I bought from a lady in front of the museum was $16.
The Bucharest Mall, is fashioned very much in the manner of an American style mall. So if you're jonesing for that American shopping experience this is the place to go. Interestingly, enough there's even a supermarket situated inside. A few kiosks litter the walkways, very similar to North American malls.
A few cafes are located on the lower level for a break from the daily shopping grind. On the upper most floor, a large ten screen movie theater, rounds out the experience. In addition to the cinema, the top floor also hosts the food court. For a taste of America, visit the "Ruby Tuesdays" also located upstairs.
Most locals tend to visit the mall and it does occasionally get quite busy, however, an interesting observation, many people will frequent the mall, but few people carry bags.
Particularly among young high school students, the mall is the place to be seen, not shop.
Somewhat disapointing. You can actually find great classical music on DVD and CD.
Humanitas is an interesting shop selling religious icons.
The wine-expert stock some interesting Romanian wine. You will find a better selesction at the duty-free shop at the airport.
You can also find good glass and crystal ware.
What to pay: No real bargains
This building used to host the Galeries Lafayette; it was built in Parisian Art Nouveau style and it tried to imitate the great store with the same name in the French capital. It was built in the place of the former Socec Bookstore, by the latter's owner, a certain Mr. Schwartz. This used to be the first large department store in Bucharest before WW2. Even though the Bucharest version is far from complying with its Paris counterpart slogan ("il se passe toujours quelque chose aux Galeries Lafayette!"), it is an interesting place to visit, especially given its good location, at the crossing of Lipscani with Calea Victoriei.
Though talented photographers are not hiding, some of them use their lenses not only for capturing beauty, uncommon views or hidden corners; some of them capture time passing...
Razvan Voiculescu left Romania during the communist era and studied graphic design in Denmark. After 1989 he returned to meet fame in his country.
You can visit his gallery here:
Where from: Carturesti or any major book shop,
What to buy: Razvan Voiculescu is the best known Romanian photographers and his albums are breath-taking to say the least.
Verii Botez (translation: Baptise Cousins) is a family business. I came across Ruxandra and Monica while organizing an advertising event and admired their idea ever since.
They collect local craft objects and take them around to all the fairs across Romania. That's quite impressive given the fact that traditional costumes or patterns for decorating vary from one side of a country to another.
I bought some bookmarks , women jewelery and pottery and my friends abroad were all very pleased with them
What to buy: Pottery and shoulder bags
What to pay: 25 RON (8 Euro) for shoulder bags
15 RON (4 Euro) for bookmarks
The Orhideea Shopping Complex, is fantastic. A truly remarkable place to shop. Lots to buy, plenty of room to walk. Literally, redefines mall walking in Romania. It also includes the "Carrefour," a giant French-owned supermarket in Buch., stocking quality food, meats and a real delicatessen, with fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. In addition, there's always the quality restaurants that sit nicely next to the variety of stores.
If you're in the mood and hungry, try "La Mama's."
It does get incredibly busy on weekend afternoons. So get there early.
Located right on Piata Unirii, the Unirea Shopping Center is in itself a testament to the determination of Communist development. Built in 1976, it was rumored that Ceausescu had built this after visiting New York City and seeing Macy's Department store on Herald Square.
Often touted by locals as the "original" shopping center and therefore the best. However, its supremacy has recently been called into question, with the development of the Bucharest Mall and the Orhideea Shopping complex. Nevertheless, its definitley worth taking a look.
On the ground floor, one can find such western stores and fast food restaurants, such as The Body Shop, McDonalds and KFC.
There are several places in the city from where you can buy antiques. My favorite one, though, is
Hanul cu Tei, on Lipscani Street no 63. It is open Mon to Fri from 10:00am to 6:00pm, Sat from 10:00am to 3:30pm. The store is closed on Sunday.
Another good antiques store is also close by: Craii de Curtea Veche, on Covaci Street no 14.
They are open the same days and hours as Hanul cu Tei
The mall has a lot of chill stores, such as Mango, Morgan de Toi, Christian Dior Cosmetics, and a few department store. Also, there's a supermarket that is relatively cheap and which carries all kinds of local wines and has a delicious pastry and cake shop. Also, on the top level, there's a cheaply priced food court where you can find American food as well as local favorites.
What to buy: There are a couple of shoe stores (that I don't remember tyhe name of) where I bought some stillettos which were comfortable(!!!) and really high quality for about $30.
What to pay: Expect to spend about 30-50 for shoes. 10-100 for tops, pants and dresses. Cosmetics are REALLY cheap, for example I bought a Christian Dior 5eyeshadow pan for 25 bucks, in the US they're 50.
Here the prices are lower than in the others shops or malls... this isn't a mall is something like a market place... but some good things... you should be able to choose...
What to buy: clothes or accessories
What to pay: not much... depends how much you want to buy...
Bucharest Mall is a modern shopping mall that opened in 1999. The building in which it is located has a bit of history. It is part of a series built all around the city at Ceausescu order.
The building got a good facial and today it looks a lot like a US mall. It has over 70 (expensive) stores spread over 4 levels, a large supermarket, a food court with over 20 restaurants, a multiplex cinema, a video games arcade and ... I can't think of something else to enumerate but it has almost everything one needs. It even has a big parking lot, a true rarity in Bucharest.
What to buy: Anything really...from food to clothes
Folk crafts, such as embroidered clothing and linen, painted or beaded eggs, carpets, pottery, woodcarvings and icons, make great gifts and souvenirs. You can find great embroidery on cotton, wool and leather. Look for blouses, skirts, exotic coats, rugs, tablecloths and lacework. Icons, new and old, painted on glass or wood are outstanding. A good selection can be found at the Romanian Peasant Museum, the Village Museum and most department stores.
The pictures here show some of the things I have in my private collection.
What to buy: embroided clothing and linen, woodcarvings, pottery, tablecloths, glass icons