Welcome to surprising Bucharest! Together with my team I'll be happy to assist you during your stay with InterContinental in Bucharest. Let us be your guides and advisors and feel free to ask us questions about our beautiful city.
Welcome to InterContinental Bucharest, a landmark of the Romanian Capital! The first five star international hotel in Romania and the second InterContinental in the Eastern Europe, our hotel is a leader in the luxury hotel market for over 40 years. With almost 90 meters above the ground level and 22 floors, the hotel is the tallest in Bucharest, offering stunning views from each of its rooms and spectacular sunsets from the 21st floor's Club InterContinental Lounge.
Bucharest was once known as 'Little Paris'. It's perfect then to start the day with hot chocolate at Leonidas, 2 minutes away from the hotel, and then discover how this reputation came about. Back from the Universitatii Square, stroll down Victoriei Boulevard to the Dambovita river, passing by the Military Club, the Savings Bank and the National History Museum (a copy of the Palais du Poste in Paris). Then take a walk around the old downtown with its early 19th century houses and antique shops. Have a brake at Van Gogh Cafe where you can enjoy a quick snack in the shadow of the National Bank Palace. Refreshed, cross the river and visit the world's second-largest building - the Palace of the Parliament.
After a local flavoured delicious lunch at Vatra, catch the Metro from Universitate (near the hotel) to Aviatorilor. Here you will find Herastrau Park - at 24 square kilometres is the largest park in Bucharest - and after a walk, you can enter the Village Museum. Houses from all regions of Romania, and from various periods, have been preserved here to give a picture of Romanian village life. The museum has a souvenir shop well stocked with handicrafts such as painted eggs, ceramics and icons. Stepping out of the museum, you encounter the Triumphal Arch, another piece of 'Little Paris.' Though smaller than the Parisian arch, it stands on the intersection of six boulevards, just like its big brother, and was built to commemorate Romania's Great War dead.
A perfect evening begins with a classical concert among the harmonic acoustics of the Romanian Athenaeum - just a short walk from the hotel and one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. It was recently renovated with funds donated by the public after a national campaign. Further in the old district behind the Mitropoly Palace, you will discover the old Bucharest`s spirit inside a special restaurant : Locanta Jaristea. Here you will be embraced by a Belle Epoque atmosphere and you will finally understand the cosmopoitism of this capital : the Istanbul`s musaka and pilav are competeging with the most exquisites french souflees, the northern Moldavia`s cooked meals are happily racing against the Mediteranean sweets and icecreams, but not forgeting about the serbian zakuska, the russian kaviar, the Volos olives or the smoked hams. Everything accompayned by a taraf`s music and old Romanian romance songs and dances. Pofta buna !
Bucharest is known as the Paris of the East or Little Paris for many reasons. First of all, Romanian culture was greatly influenced by the French. In past centuries, French was the common language in the ball rooms of Bucharest and France was the favourite destination of the well to do for both leisure and study. This cultural trend started to shape the city itself in 1853, once the Stirbey Palace was finished. The old oriental influences were replaced by neoclassical features, French architects designed majestic buildings while great parks and gardens adorned the city. The city’s look and the life style reminded every traveler of the charming French capital.
THE LEGENDARY PALACE
The Palace of the Parliament (formerly known as the People's House) is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon. Moreover, the building’s volume is 2% bigger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Palace of the Parliament stands 86 m high, is 270 m in length, 245 m in width, it goes 92 m underground and has a total area of 66.000 square meters. 200 architects were involved in the project during the communist regime in Romania. 20.000 men worked in 3 shifts, 24 hours a day, for 6 years to complete this colossus.
Say 'salut' for hello and 'multsumesk' for thank you.
Most young people speak English, older people are more likely to speak French.
We recommend you pack an extra piece of luggage to carry everything… you just had to have! Modern shopping malls offer a great variety of international and local items but it’s the less known places, like the Peasant Museum, that surprise you with authentic Romanian pieces.
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Between the world wars, Bucharest was known as 'Little Paris'. The city was built by French architects coming from the school of Baron Haussmann, the father of modern Paris.
The first 5-star hotel in town
The InterContinental Bucharest is the first 5-star hotel to be built in Bucharest. Since its 1971 opening, the InterContinental has been the highest hotel in town and, until 2004, the highest building in Bucharest. The 22 floors offer a luxurious meeting area, 257 rooms and suites, restaurants and a spectacular Health Club, on the top floor. A landmark of Bucharest for almost 4 decades, this building was designed so that every room should have its own balcony and a spectacular view to go with it.
Bucharest City Name origins
The name of Bucharest (Bucuresti) has an uncertain origin: tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur who was either a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a hunter, according to different legends. In Romanian, the word stem bucur means 'glad', 'joy' and in Albanian, a language which may have historical connections with the Thracian languages, 'bukur' signifies 'beautiful' and 'esht' signifies 'is', literally translated as 'it is beautiful'.
The inventor of the airplane turbo jet engine
Henri Coanda, a Romanian engineer, was the inventor of the airplane turbo jet engine. Also, don't forget Brancusi, one of the world's greatest sculptors and Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to ever receive a perfect 10 for her performance at the Olympics in Montreal, in 1976.
As the weather in Romania is unpredictable, when a sunny day can turn into a cold, windy and rainy one, it is advised to pack a warm, waterproof jacket. Also, please keep in mind that during winter, the temperatures can go down up to -10°C during the day, and -25°C at night. Spring is beautiful, summers are hot and dry. If it happens to unexpectedly rain, you can barrow an umbrella from the Concierge Desk.
220-240V is the standard Romanian voltage, with two-pin continental type plugs, reason why you should pack a plug / power adaptor, depending on the case.
It's a good idea to buy some Romanian currency before leaving for Bucharest. All payments are in lei, although some hotels will also accept foreign currency. Change money only in official exchange bureaus and refuse all street proposals in this matter. Credit cards are usually accepted.
Exit Henri Coanda Airport where you turn left on DN1 and go straight ahead to city centre. On your way you pass by Otopeni City, Baneasa Airport, Press House, Arch of Triumph, Kisselef Street, Victoriei Square going ahead on Calea Victoriei, meeting Romanian Atheneum. When this street crosses Queen Elisabeth Boulevard you turn left. At Universitatii Square (second traffic light) you turn left for our hotel. second route : Exit Henri Coanda Airport where you turn left on DN1 and go straight ahead to city centre. On your way you pass by Otopeni City, Baneasa Airport, Press House, Arch of Triumph, Kisselef Street, Victoriei Square going ahead on Calea Victoriei, meeting Romanian Atheneum. When this street crosses Queen Elisabeth Boulevard you turn left. At Universitatii Square (second traffic light) you turn left for our hotel.