Bucharest in the 21st century is a great city to live in, with a trendy food and drink scene, hipster neighbourhoods, and impressive architecture that rivals the likes of Paris and Berlin. Yet in the late 1980s, Bucharest was a place of despair, in the grips of a mass uprising. Take a private tour with a local to find out what life was like here behind the iron curtain. See for yourself the impact that various occupiers have had over the years and re-live the emotion of the revolution and the fall of an egotistical dictator.
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Your private afternoon tour starts at the infamous Revolution Square, with its many landmarks that tell the story of the city's turbulent past. There is much to be explored in this square, including the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum of Art), the Athenaeum, and the University of Bucharest Library. We'll head towards the Archives, a building that still bears the bullet holes of the 1989 revolution.
We will continue our walk through the Old Town to see firsthand the effects of the nationalization process led by the Communist regime over the beautiful turn of the century architecture of Bucharest.
Over to Constitution Square next, where we will see a stunning example of larger-than-life communist ideals at the Palace of the Parliament. The world's second biggest administrative building after the Pentagon is quite overwhelming. Ceausescu ordered the destruction of historic neighbourhoods and the invaluable heritage of destroyed churches in order to construct this colossal, controversial complex, which he ironically named The People's House (Casa Poporului).
A quick stop for refreshments will give you an opportunity to try Romania's favorite street food snack, a covrig, similar to a pretzel but arguably even more delicious!
We will then venture behind the megalomaniac structures surrounding the Palace of the Parliament and find remnants of the former city. We'll also visit some of the famous moved churches of Bucharest (amazingly, entire historic churches were moved to avoid destruction under Communism). For a change of scenery, we will climb Patriarchy Hill to experience firsthand the massive changes the city underwent during the 70s and 80s.
We then hop on the tram and ride to one of the communist neighborhoods of the city, erected to house the thousands of people relocated from the country to the capital to work on massive construction sites. See examples of true socialist architecture and feel how day to day life was unfolding for the average inhabitant of Bucharest during that time.
Brace yourselves for a surprising turn into a green oasis of the city. Hidden among the concrete, find Carol Park and the former burial site of the first communist leaders.
Cross the street to see the Heroes of the Revolution memorial and cemetery, and finish the tour with tales of the 1989 revolution that ended the Communist regime in Romania.
Your private tour ends back at Unirii Square. Before you go, make sure to ask your local guide for tips on where to eat, drink, and shop in this hidden gem of a European capital city.
Local English-speaking guide, covrig street snack, tickets for public transport.
Transportation to and from the meeting point, additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Please present this voucher to your guide at the beginning of your tour. Save this email on your phone or tablet, or print a copy, as you will need to show this to join the trip.
If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides a tip — though not compulsory — is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid Urban Adventures destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on this tour.
This is a child-friendly tour. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Children over the age of 6 will be charged the adult price. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6 with you. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page. For children above that age, please count them as an adult.
In Revolution Square in front of the Carol I statue. (It’s the only horse statue in the square.)
View on Google Maps.
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