Parliament Palace - Casa Poporului, Bucharest

4 out of 5 stars 72 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Parliament Palace at night
    Parliament Palace at night
    by Airpunk
  • Inside Parliament Palace
    Inside Parliament Palace
    by Airpunk
  • One of the many halls of Parliamanet Palace
    One of the many halls of Parliamanet...
    by Airpunk
  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Parliament Palace

    by Airpunk Written Sep 9, 2013
    Parliament Palace, Bucharest
    4 more images

    There are several claims about the size of this building, some say it's the second largest, some the third. It doesn't change the fact that this is a monster of a building - and surely one of the highlights of your Bucharest trips.
     
    Parliament Palace can only be visited as part of a guided tour. Though a reservation is not compulsory, places are taken up very quick and the chance of getting a free slot at the reception desk are close to zero in summer. Call the English language hotline for a reservation and bring your passport or national ID card with you. You can see the building alone or add a terrace and/or basement visit. As the basement visit was not recommended in several guidebooks, I visited that. The terrace however gives you an excellent view over Bucharest. Don't forget to buy the photo permit - in my opinion, it's worth the money if you like to take pictures.
    The quality of the guided tour depends on the guide. I have heard about tours where the guide just retold numbers and facts while pointing out the glories of Romanian craftsmanship. Our guide exceeded my expectations and knew the one or other anecdote to give the tour some life. The tour (building and terrace) lasts around an hour, costs 35 lei, add 30 lei for the photo permit.
     
    The building has acquired its own set of myths, some of them are true, some false and in some cases the myth may be true, but can not be confirmed due to security reasons. Parliament Palace is still in use by intelligence services and has a nuclear bunker in the basement.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • elPierro's Profile Photo

    Grotesque Palace

    by elPierro Written Jul 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    The palace of the people it a huge building. It's a little walk south of the old-town area and imposing just by size. If you want to go in, there are some essentials to keep in mind:

    1. The entrace is not at the front or at the corners but at the SIDE (the side that is facing the city-centre).
    2. There are several tours offered varying in length and what you can see. The classic tour will allow you a view inside the building, more extensive tours take you down to the basements and up on the rooftop. Especially the rooftop is recommended.
    3. You require a photolicense inside the building, but that license is not required if you are only interested in taking pics from the rooftop.
    4. Tours are in English and Romanian, and usually there is 1 tour per hour.

    For the rest, the building inside is a typical showcase of a marble palace you could find anywhere in the world, except that this place is really big, and completely built out of Romanian materials.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Orchid's Profile Photo

    Take the Tour

    by Orchid Updated Apr 13, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Casa Popularii - East facade
    3 more images

    The one hour tour of the Palace of Parliament is well worth the time. I was surprised at how tasteful the decoration was - restrained and using all Romanian materials. The scale of the building allows one to consider the misdirection of funds for the benefit of a rulers ego. (pause to consider that this has ever been the case - from the pyramids to bloated military expenditure).
    There is a charge for photography. It is exorbitant, so just take pictures anyway in a discreet manner. You may get a few tuts from the tour leader, but everyone was doing it, and suffered no consequences.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo

    Palace of the Parliament aka The People's Palace

    by TravellerMel Written Oct 25, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Palace of the Parliament aka The People's Palace
    3 more images

    This imposing structure was built by Nicolae Ceauºescu in the 1980's and was intended to house the Parliament and to be his residence. Our tour guide said it is the world's largest and most expensive non-military building, and also the heaviest building in the world. It really is quite grand - the tour only covers a handful of rooms, but the twin marble staircases (rebuilt 3 times until the steps were exactly the height where Ceauºescu could descend the stairs without turning his head down), the room with the exhibit of traditional Romanian costumes, and the balcony which overlooks the avenue (where Michael Jackson greeted the public with "Hello Budapest!") were definite highlights. The tour guide said the building was like an iceberg - and much of the space was underground. She would not/could not answer specific questions about how much it cost to build, did anyone die while building it, etc., but told some very entertaining stories (like the theatre in which the stage was built too small). The tour lasts around 45 minutes.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • yvgr's Profile Photo

    The People's Palace

    by yvgr Updated Apr 25, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    People

    The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania is a multi-purpose building containing both chambers of the Romanian Parliament. According to the World Records Academy, the Palace is the world's largest civilian building, most expensive administrative building, and heaviest building.

    The Palace was designed and nearly completed by the Ceaușescu regime as the seat of political and administrative power. Nicolae Ceaușescu named it the House of the Republic (Casa Republicii), but many Romanians call it the People's House (Casa Poporului).

    The Palace measures 270 m (890 ft) by 240 m (790 ft), 86 m (282 ft) high, and 92 m (302 ft) underground. It has 1,100 rooms, 2 underground parking garages and is 12 stories tall, with four underground levels currently available for the general public and in use, and another four in different stages of completion. The floorspace is 340,000 m2 (3,700,000 sq ft).

    The structure combines elements and motifs from multiple sources, in an eclectic neoclassical architectural style. The building is constructed almost entirely of materials of Romanian origin. Estimates of the materials used include one million cubic meters of marble from Transylvania, most from Ruşchiţa; 3,500 tonnes of crystal — 480 chandeliers, 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors were manufactured; 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze for monumental doors and windows, chandeliers and capitals; 900,000 m2 (9,700,000 sq ft) of wood, over 95% of which is domestic, for parquet and wainscoting, including walnut, oak, sweet cherry, elm, sycamore maple; 200,000 m2 (2,200,000 sq ft) of woolen carpets of various dimensions, the larger of which were woven on-site by machines moved into the building; velvet and brocade curtains adorned with embroideries and passementeries in silver and gold.
    At the time of Nicolae Ceauşescu's 1989 overthrow and execution, the building structure and design were complete.

    Subsequently, many of the furnishings were never installed (mostly evident because of the many large, empty spaces throughout the palace), while the last three basement levels and a large clock tower (that would display the official Romanian time) were never finished.

    During the regime change, the new leaders of Romania referred to the building as the House of Ceauşescu, to highlight the excessive luxury in which Ceauşescu would have lived, in stark contrast to the squalor and poverty endured by many people living in the surrounding neighborhoods.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Parliament Palace

    by codrutz Updated Aug 26, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    It is the second largest administrative building after the Pentagon (in surface) and the third largest (in volume) after Cape Canaveral and the Great Pyramid in Egypt. It has 12 stories over ground (86 meters) and 8 stories under ground (92 meters) and an imense anti nuclear bunker. Number of rooms is also impressive: 1100, from which 440 offices, 30 halls, 4 restaurants, 3 libraries and a concert hall.

    The former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (communist party leader from 1965 to 1989 when he was executed after a swift trial) ordered in his megalomaniac vision to have a boulevard wider than Champs Elysees and a "palace" to host all the administration of the party. The idea started in 1978 after Ceausescu saw the capital of North Coreea, Phenian.

    Construction began in 1981 and it was finished in 1988. Interiors continued to be furbished later on, and still now there are large ammounts of public money that goes into mantaining and refurbishing the large halls and offices inside. Estimated cost of building (until 2006): 3 billion EUR.

    The building hosts the Romanian Parliament, with its two chambers The Senate and The Deputies Chamber and some conference and exibition halls (on the left side).

    The entrance for the guided tour is on the right side. One can expect some queue or not, depending on the amount of tourists coming that moment. If you are alone or just a couple and you see big coaches in front and a lot of people waiting for a entry ticket you might plan to postpone the visit.

    Ticket price for a complete tour is 45 RON (cca EUR 11). Additional tax for taking pictures (annoying yes). A tour might take from 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 and 1/2 hours. All tours are guided, there is no "tour line" like in a museum you have to stay close to the guide.

    The visit is interesting, you will visit some of the large halls, marble stairs, offices. An interesting point in the tour is the balcony to the boulevard where Ceausescu used to address the people.

    Opened daily from 10am-4pm.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    The Palace of Parliament

    by IreneMcKay Written Aug 3, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My husband outside the Palace of Parliament
    1 more image

    This building is testimony to Ceausescu's madness. It is the second largest administrative building in the world and led to Ceausescu razing large parts of Bucharest to build it. It was still not finished at the time of his execution. We did not go inside as we did not want to prebook and hang around waiting for an organized tour. One thing you can say is it is certainly big.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • liliana91's Profile Photo

    A must see

    by liliana91 Updated Jul 15, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are planing to visit Bucharest,then Parliament Palace (Palatul Parlamentului or Casa Poporului) it's a must see.
    This building it's amazing,dominates everything around her,but don't forget to take lots of picture.
    When i first saw her,i just wanted to stay there for hours,and to look at every corner of this building.
    Three reason for visiting this "monster" would be : is the largest civilian administrative building in the world, the heaviest building in the world and the most expensive administrative building in the world
    How to get there?The easiest way would be with the subway; the name of the station is Izvor.
    Also,near this building you can find the Izvor Park(Parcul Izvor)(after you walked around Casa Poporului,there's nothing better than rest on a bench)
    You can enter in this building,(organized groups-or you will have to wait until a group is formed,you can visit this only with a guide from Casa Poporului,don't think that you are let to walk alone in this huge building)every day,between 10:00-16:00,the ticket cost about 6 Euro; it takes about 1 hour and half-2 hours to visit the inside,but you will not have access to all chambers.To take pictures in there you have to pay a tax of 30 Lei(= 7,05 Euro).You can choose between standard tour or complete tour.
    Very Important: do not leave the group, you don't want to get lost inside it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Parlamient palace

    by manuelrota73 Updated May 11, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ana Maria was our touristic guide and she used to give personal opinions about a part of the history of Rumania.That never happens in Spain¡ You only have to inform sizes, years, names etc but never try to make a politic speech to the people you are receiving like ¿guest?.
    You can not talk about the Pentagon (working like guide) and comment president Roosvelt was a socialist or genocide etc. or even he was a wonderfull person.Politic is politic.History is what everyone want to know when you visit a museum or any building aroun the world.So she didn´t respect some of the visitors we are over¡.I requested a complaint sheet and they didn´t give me anything.Only a piece of paper that has to be in the trush right now¡ .A really bad experience.NEVER AGAIN THANK YOU¡¡¡¡

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • RoBeauty's Profile Photo

    Ceausescu House or Parliament House

    by RoBeauty Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pariament House

    Familiarize yourself with the rich, opulent beauty of this most fascinating of cities. See the Parliament Palace (Ceausescu House) - one of the most impressive building in the world after Pentagon -
    Vilage Museum, the State Opera and the National Museum.
    Cross the Dambovita River and wonder at the Old Town Square, with its baroque buildings and cobblestone streets, refreshing "Litlle Paris "Flavour.
    There is wonderful architecture to admire and an intriguing history to discover.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    Parliament Palace

    by JessieLang Updated Nov 21, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Parliament
    2 more images

    The 4 million sq. ft. Parliament is the second-largest building in the world. It has 1100 rooms in its 12 stories. Ceaucescu started it in 1984, but it wasn’t finished by the time he and his wife were executed. Construction caused 40,000 people to be moved from their homes, and its costs helped bankrupt the country. The government considered tearing the building down, but realized it was cheaper to complete it. The parliament only occupies 9% of the building; most of the remainder is empty.

    All the materials are Romanian, and the finest that money could buy. The conference room has a 5-ton crystal chandelier and leather seats. The silk tapestries came from silkworms brought to Romania and cared for by schoolchildren. The largest carpet (10 tons) was woven on the spot; others came in pieces and were carefully sewn together Nuns “volunteered” to make the draperies. The biggest room is 2200 square meters; the second biggest seats 1500. The huge empty frames in one room were to hold pictures of Ceauºescu and his wife.

    The balcony, where Ceaucescu was going to give his speeches, overlooks Constitution Square and Union Avenue. The avenue, at right angles to the building, is very wide and has 42 fountains (all different) down the center. They represent the 41 counties of Romania, plus one for Bucharest. The square and the boulevard together could hold 300,000 people.

    Other civic buildings and nice apartments for party officials, etc. are across the square. They are very different from the big "boxes" built to house the rural people brought in to work in factories.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    The Parliament Palace (Palatul Parlamentului)

    by Andraf Updated Sep 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Parliament Palace, Bucharest
    2 more images

    I don’t know if you’ve heard but Bucharest holds the dubious record of having the biggest Parliament building in the world, which is also the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. It truly is as big as a dictator’s ego. Bucharest’s Palace of Parliament was built during the Ceauşescu’s regime and it was designed as the seat of his political power. He also intended to use the building as his personal residence. Construction began in 1984 and at the time of Ceauşescu’s death in 1989 it was not completely finished. He never got to move in.

    The Palace of Parliament was and still is a controversial building. Some people think of it as shameful, an architectural horror while others are proud of its records and consider it the biggest tourist attraction in Bucharest. I tend to side with those who don’t like the building, which in my eyes represents the peak of Ceausescu’s megalomania. Many old beautiful buildings were demolished to make way for this pointlessly massive “house” (Parliament’s Palace used to be called "The House of the People" during the communist regime). To quote wikipedia, “much of Bucharest’s historic district, including 19 Orthodox Christian churches, six Jewish synagogues, three Protestant churches (plus eight relocated churches), and 30,000 residences” were demolished to create the space necessary for this project. I remember a joke that was going around at the time: the boulevard that ends with the Parliament Palace was to be called “The Victory of Socialism”. The joke’s punchline was that in fact the name of the boulevard is “The Victory of Socialism against Bucharest”.

    Unfortunatelly I read somewhere that this building is indeed the biggest tourist attraction in Bucharest. Seems like people like records of this sort. I visited the building once, when they opened it for public in 1990; I remember some huge rooms, the dimensions being so excessive that nothing else was noticeable. Today the building houses the Romanian Parliament, as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) opened in 2004 inside the west wing. It can be visited by guided tours.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • floriangn's Profile Photo

    The Royal Palace (Palatul Regal)

    by floriangn Written May 10, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the pride and joy of my country. It was built between 1927 and 1937 in neoclassical style, the palace was home to King Carol II and to his son, King Mihai I, until 1947, when the monarchy was abolished in Romania. It was inside the halls of this palace that King Mihai, aged 18, led a coup that displaced the pro-Nazi government during the World War II and put Romania on the Allies' side. Today, the former Royal palace houses the Romanian National Art Museum Today it houses our parliament.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Manara's Profile Photo

    The Palace of Parliament

    by Manara Written May 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    Of all the city’s landmarks the Parliament Palace is certainly the most famous.
    It was built by will of Romania’s infamous dictator, but the man never used it because when the revolution changed everything, in 1989, this palace was far from complete. The people took possession of this palace and turned it into a symbol of Romania’s democracy. Its name changed from “House of the Republic” to “House of the People” and finally to “Palace of Parliament”. In fact it hosts the Chamber of Deputies, the Constitutional Court and the Legislative Council.
    It was this palace that made me agree with the definition of Bucharest as a “Little Paris”, because when I visited the interior I was in some ways reminded of a visit I had paid to Paris’s Hotel de Ville. The two palaces were built one century apart and the exteriors could not be more different, but when I visited the interiors I saw the same concept behind both of them. The builders of the Hotel de Ville in Paris had this idea in mind: ‘this will be the symbolic home of our republic, and consequently of our people, so no effort will be spared to make this building as rich and luxurious as any royal palace!’ This is precisely the idea that the interiors of Bucharest’s Parliament Palace conveyed to me. I saw it in the lavish use of the best Romanian marble, the grand chandeliers made by the best Romanian glass-makers, the curtains made with the best Romanian silk and gold-thread lace. It can be said that its style is full of rhetoric, but this is a rhetoric that I can understand and agree with.

    My main picture here shows the conference room that now is named “Hall of Human Rights”, which was, by the way, the only one completed before the revolution. The other pictures show examples of what I was referring to when I wrote about marble, chandeliers and silk.

    The palace is open for visits every day from 10:00 to 16:00.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Vanity666's Profile Photo

    Parliament Palace (Palatul Parlamentului)

    by Vanity666 Updated Sep 17, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Built by Communist Party leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, the colossal Parliament Palace (formerly known as the People's Palace) is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. It took 20,000 Bucharest - Parliament Palace workers and 700 architects to build. The palace boasts 12 stories, 1,100 rooms, a 328-ft-long lobby and four underground levels, including an enormous nuclear bunker.

    A guided tour takes visitors through a small section of dazzling rooms, huge halls and quarters used by the Senate (when not in session). The interior is a luxurious display of crystal chandeliers, mosaics, oak paneling, marble, gold leaf, stained-glass windows and floors covered in rich carpets.

    Interesting facts:
    -It is the world's second-largest office building in surface (after the Pentagon) and the third largest in volume (after Cape Canaveral in the U.S. and the Great Pyramid in Egypt)
    - The crystal chandelier in the Human Rights Hall (Sala Drepturilor Omului) weighs 2.5 tons
    - Some of the chandeliers have as many as 7,000 light bulbs

    Hours: Mon. - Sun. 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Admission charge (English guided tour available)

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bucharest

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

104 travelers online now

Comments

View all Bucharest hotels