There are many reasons to visit Bucharest in winter, just as there are to visit it in summer, but let’s skip all those for now. It is an awesome city, and Kiara Yew knows you are already planning a trip here. If you are trying to figure out what to do in one of Europe’s eastern capitals, wonder no more! So many topnotch and cozy events are happening in Bucharest on a harsh winter. We have a few suggestions for you, if you are on a short or midterm trip to Romania or living and working here. Kid-friendly venues and events are on our list of things to do in Bucharest in winter as well. Check them below, for a time well spent in the cold season.
Tips for Your Winter Vacation in Bucharest
Bucharesters prefer to spend their winter vacations out of town. However, the city bustles with joy light and warmth during the Holiday season, from late December to the beginning of January. Christmas lights illuminate the entire city center, and there are a lot of fairs you can hop on to at any moment of the day. Here are our top ten things to do in Bucharest in winter:
10. Cișmigiu Skating Lake
The Cișmigiu Park is the oldest park in Bucharest. For about 170 years the Cișmigiu Gardens and lake has been an oasis and a place for retreat in Bucharest. It is 70 years older than Romania as a state. Opened twenty years ago for winter recreation, the frozen lake of Cișmigiu is always an excellent choice for having fun and exercise at the same time. Skating lesson might be available for the youngest skaters. Also, skating boots are ready to use at 10lei/a tour.
By the way, did you know that cișmigiu comes from the Turkish ceșme, which is a public fountain? A cișmigiu or cișmegiu used to be the administrator of public fountains. In the case of these beautifully designed gardens, in mid-19th Century, the fountain administrator resided on its territory. Hence the name of the park.
9. A Christmas Eve Fair
If you are planning your vacation in Bucharest during the winter Holidays, you must try at least one of the many Christmas fairs in town. Our local suggestion comes with the appreciation for fine crafts gathered in one place. The Christmas Eve Fair or Târgul din Ajun held at Therapy bistro, just a short walk away from the Romanian Atheneum is our tip for holiday gift shopping this year. Local crafty artists gathered their best pieces for this handmade objects fair. Not to mention, you can mark this location for their excellent healthy brunch during your Bucharest winter trip. For an authentic City Hall Christmas fair, you must go to Piața Constituției, just in front of the House of People, where Romanian objects, traditions and food produce await all your five senses this year.
8. Escape Rooms Are Fun Things to Do Bucharest in Winter
Escape Rooms became famous during the 2010s. There is even a Real Escape Game based on the concept and developed in Japan and exported in San Francisco, USA. An interactive puzzled and riddled game that looks like a scavenger hunt in a haunted house sounds like a good idea for spending time indoors in the winter. You can find many escape room games in Bucharest. We chose a couple of them as the most kid-friendly locations: Escape My Room and Complete Escape. After all, the experience should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Bucharest in winter. Not to forget, adults can enjoy themselves in the first, and only Break Room opened in Romania. If you are in the mood for recreational destruction, nothing can stop you.
Fun Things to Do in Bucharest with Your Kids
Our top 10 things to do in Bucharest in winter includes some of the most entertaining places to bring children to on your family holiday in Bucharest.
7. A Winter Divertiland
Remember the summer Divertiland in our previous article on Bucharest? Well, there is a Christmas Divertiland in the North of Bucharest that provides indoor activities for children and their parents. With more than 5300 square ft. of entertainment, it is located in the Pipera metro station area. They called it The Kingdom of Santa Claus. Let the fun begin with an indoor ski slope, air hockey, foosball, ping-pong, and a climbing wall! Also, at Divertiland Playland, kids get to meet Santa and dance with a live band. We very much enjoyed this location on our list of things to do in Bucharest in winter. Yet, if fun and movement are what you are looking for, then you can go back for a visit to Therme Bucharest, just like in the summer. It is the only place where you can feel exotic during your winter vacation in Romania.
6. A Witty Place for Kids – The Romanian Science Center
Now, this is a fantastic place for science and children. The Romanian Science Center, also known as Casa Experimentelor for Romanian parents and teachers, is an interactive exhibition based on basic mechanical and electrical physics. After an introduction to the technological world available through hands-on experience, children can explore situations and ask questions. Wouldn’t it be an awesome way to participate in your child’s discovery of natural phenomena on a Bucharest winter vacation? Book your science day in Bucharest here. There’s a free entrance, but you have to let them know you’re in the mood for experiments.
5. Christmas Decorations Workshop
Are you looking for crafty things to do in Bucharest in winter? We found the perfect workshop for both children and parents. How about a Christmas decorations painting session? This workshop aims to create beautiful memories for those who celebrate Christmas in Bucharest. We are pretty sure English speaking travelers are welcome if you mention it in your registration. The Art and Hobby Studio is specialized in arts and crafts, and their workshop offer is very diverse. After a lesson on physics, a creative way to enjoy your family holidays in Bucharest could be the next best thing.
4. Visit the Museum of Ages
You can reach this extraordinary museum hidden in The Filipescu-Cesianu House on Calea Victoriei. Far from the noise and the cold outside, you will find this permanent exhibition captivating. It’s not every day that you encounter a history exhibition with such an accessible visual ensemble. Material culture from the 18th to the 20th century along with fashion artifacts and day-to-day life aspects are all presented in the Museum of Ages. Moreover, the exhibition covers 300 years of history focusing on childhood, family and private life in Bucharest. So, we invite you to float through the blue rooms of Filipescu-Cesianu House to discover the city’s all ages.
By the way, you can couple this visit with another exhibition, a temporary one this time. Called The Vagaries of Fashion. Bucharest Fashion from the 1850s to the 1950s, this display of couture is opened until March 17th, 2019. Thus you have an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history of the city on your winter vacation.
Holiday Guided Tours in Bucharest
Finally, the top three best things to do in Bucharest in winter are guided tours.
3. Bucharest the Little Paris Tour
Bucharest, the Paris of the East, as they say, is a nickname the city attained at the beginning of the 20th Century. A guide through a complete transformation from a small fair town on the outskirts of the Ottoman Empire to a renowned and decadent city in the Interwar period is available to you this winter. During this tour, you will come to know where “the Romanian Vatican” is located, discover French-inspired neoclassical architectural gems, industrial heritage sites, and many more.
2. A Communist Tour of Bucharest
Another personalized tour organized by Good Living Bucharest, a vacation home rental service that provides three guided tours in the city, is the Communist Tour of Bucharest. With an English-speaking guide, this walking tour explores the recent history and landmarks that marked the Communist period in the capital city. After three and a half hours worth spent, you will be finishing your holiday trip on a knowledgeable note. The best way to register for these tours, including a Jewish Heritage Tour, is also to book the Good Living accommodation. It is the perfect stay in Bucharest for either short or midterm trips.
1. A 1980’s Apartment Tour
Number one in our top 10 best things to do in Bucharest in winter is an exclusive private museum tour. Located in a western neighborhood, the Ferestroika home museum is a real opportunity to taste, smell, feel and watch how aspects of Communist life in the 1980’s unraveled in a small apartment. You can visit in groups of maximum six guests, and it includes watching archival family footage on a vintage TV, homemade snacks just like in the ’80s and a personalized gift. Don’t miss out on this exciting gem while in Bucharest for the winter. Here, you can contact the hosts for a private tour.
Our top 10 best things to do in Bucharest in winter can be used to enhance your trip to Romania’s capital. However, the weather can be harsh in the winter in Bucharest. So, there are even more indoors things to do in Bucharest in winter than in any other season. Live music can be found in all the best clubs in Bucharest, and here are our guest post recommendations for them. On top of that, two other marvelous Romanian cities await your discovery: Timișoara and Iași. The first is a western city and the latter an eastern city, both of them have totally different vibes and are worth a trip on your winter vacation.