You’re in for a treat if you are planning to visit Bucharest with kids! The capital city of Romania is brimming with interesting history, delectable cuisine, and tons of family-friendly entertainment.
Bucharest offers activities for everyone, whether you choose to meander through the Old Town or visit museums and parks. Here’s everything you need to know about planning the perfect family trip to Budapest.
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Is Bucharest Worth Visiting?
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is a city brimming with history, culture, and unique experiences. As one of Eastern Europe’s lesser-traveled gems, it offers a fascinating blend of old-world charm and modern-day attractions. Bucharest is also one of the most beautiful cities in Romania to visit.
If you’re considering a family trip to this Eastern European gem, here are five compelling reasons why Bucharest should be on your radar:
- Interactive Museums: The “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History offers hands-on exhibits and dioramas, making learning about the natural world fun for kids.
- Kid-Friendly Parks: Both Carol Park and Herastrau Park boast spacious playgrounds, mini-train rides, and boat rentals, ensuring a day of outdoor fun for the entire family.
- Entertainment Centers: Bucharest has several entertainment hubs like Oraselul Copiilor (Kids’ City) that feature amusement rides, games, and activities tailored for younger visitors.
- Cultural Festivities for Families: From puppet theaters to children’s film festivals, the city ensures that its youngest visitors are entertained, educated, and immersed in Romanian culture.
- Delicious Treats to Try: While parents might be keen on diving into traditional Romanian dishes, kids can indulge in sweet treats like papanasi, a local dessert, or covrigi, Romanian pretzels.
Is Bucharest Child Friendly?
Yes, Bucharest is a child-friendly city with plenty of activities and attractions for families with children. From parks and playgrounds to museums and zoos, there are many options for families to explore and enjoy. And it is worth mentioning that Bucharest is among the cheapest European cities.
Additionally, the city has a welcoming atmosphere, with friendly locals and a diverse range of dining options to suit all tastes.
How to Get to Bucharest
There are several ways to get to Bucharest, including:
Driving: If you are coming from elsewhere in Europe, you can drive to Bucharest via the European road network. Bucharest is connected to major cities in Europe by well-maintained highways.
Train: Bucharest is well-connected to other cities in Europe by train, with daily trains from Budapest, Vienna, Sofia, and Belgrade, among others.
Flights to Bucharest
Bucharest is served by two major airports: Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) and Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (BBU). Several airlines, including low-cost carriers, offer flights to Bucharest from major European cities like London, Paris, Berlin, and Rome.
How to Get to Bucharest from the U.S.
If you are traveling to Bucharest from the United States, you can take a connecting flight from a major European city like London, Paris, or Frankfurt. Several airlines, including Delta, United, and Air France, offer connecting flights to Bucharest. Direct flights from the U.S. to Bucharest are not currently available.
Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) is the main airport in Bucharest and is located about 10 miles north of the city center. It is the larger of the two airports and handles most international flights. Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (BBU) is a smaller airport located closer to the city center, and it primarily serves domestic and regional flights.
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Things to do in Bucharest with kids
Bucharest is a lively and dynamic city with plenty of fun and educational activities for families with kids, from outdoor adventures and historic landmarks to museums and amusement parks.
Whether you’re traveling with toddlers, young children, or teenagers, you’re sure to find plenty of activities that will keep the whole family entertained.
1. Bran Castle
Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is a popular attraction located near Bucharest and one of the best castles in Europe.
The castle is famous for its connection to the legend of Dracula and is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel.
Today, Bran Castle is a museum that allows visitors to explore its history and architecture. Families with kids will enjoy touring the castle and learning about its fascinating past.
Children will love exploring the castle’s winding staircases, secret passages, and eerie atmosphere. The castle’s stunning views of the surrounding countryside and mountains make for a memorable family photo opportunity.
2. Grigore Antipa National Museum
The Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History is a great attraction to visit with children aged between 6 and 14 years old.
The museum presents a fascinating collection of natural history exhibits, including dinosaur fossils, minerals, and rare animals.
Children will be captivated by the life-size dinosaur models and the interactive displays that allow them to touch and explore various specimens.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs that are designed to engage children and foster a love for science and nature.
3. Children’s Town
Children’s Town in Bucharest is a popular attraction that offers a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages. The park features a mini-city designed to provide a realistic and fun experience for children.
It includes a fire station, hospital, police station, post office, bank, and many other small businesses. Children can role-play different professions and learn about the real world in a safe and controlled environment.
The park also features playgrounds, a mini-golf course, and a small petting zoo, providing additional entertainment for children.
4. Crangasi Aqua Parc
Crangasi Aqua Parc is a popular water park. The park features a variety of water attractions, including slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool.
The park also has a relaxation and wellness complex that provides sauna and massage services.
The park also has a restaurant, cafes, and snack bars that offer a variety of food and drink options.
With its range of attractions and amenities, Crangasi Aqua Parc is a great destination for families looking to spend a day having fun and cooling off in the water.
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5. Herăstrău Park
Herastrau Park is one of the largest parks in Bucharest and an excellent destination for families looking for outdoor activities. The park covers over 187 hectares and includes a large lake, walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
Families can rent bikes, boats, or take a relaxing walk through the park’s well-manicured gardens. The park also has a few cafes and restaurants where visitors can enjoy a snack or a meal while taking in the beautiful scenery.
During the summer months, Herastrau Park hosts various cultural events, concerts, and outdoor activities for children, making it a great destination for families who want to experience local culture and enjoy the outdoors.
You can visit the park for free or book a tour, and it’s open every day from early morning until late evening.
6. Rent a Boat on Lake Comana
Renting a boat on Lake Comana is an excellent activity for families looking for a peaceful and relaxing day out. The lake is located about 40 kilometers south of Bucharest and offers visitors the chance to rent rowboats or motorboats to explore the lake.
The lake is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, making it a perfect spot for bird-watching and nature lovers. Families can spend a few hours enjoying the scenic views and the tranquility of the lake or pack a picnic and enjoy it on the boat.
There are a few cafes and restaurants near the lake, where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink with a stunning view of the lake.
7. Village Museum
Village Museum Bukarest offers a great variety of activities, especially the historical areas are sure to capture the interest of even the most curious minds.
From discovering old wooden churches to learning about traditional crafts and customs, this museum has something for everyone in your family.
It also provides a wonderful opportunity to explore Romania’s past and understand its culture in a more meaningful way.
8. Visit adventure parks in Bucharest
The Cernica Extreme Park is located in Cernica and is open every day from 10:00 to 19:00.
Comana Adventure Park is another great option. This park has something for everyone: water games, slides, climbing walls, and more!
9. Therme Bucharest
If you are looking for a day out with the family, then Therme Bucharest is the perfect place for you.
Therme Bucharest has an outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpools, and outdoor playgrounds, all of which are perfect for children.
You can also see the dolphins perform in their show.
10. Museum of Senses
The Museum of Senses Bucharest is a unique place where you can discover science, art, and culture, all in one place. It’s the perfect destination for families with children.
The museum has five rooms and each one is dedicated to a different sense. In the room dedicated to touch, kids will learn how to create different textures using different materials.
At the end of each session, there is also an activity that allows parents to take part as well (e.g., making bread or cookies). Although these activities do not take place every day or at every session, they are worth checking out if possible!
The Bucharest City Card
Getting the Bucharest City Card is a great way to save money and make the most of your trip.
This card provides access to a variety of attractions and services, including free admission to over 30 museums, discounts on tours and transportation, and even a free guided walking tour of the city.
Getting Around Bucharest City
Getting around Bucharest can be a challenge, especially for first-timers. Here are some of the best ways to get around Bucharest:
The Bucharest Metro is a fast and affordable way to get around the city.
The system has four lines and covers most of the city’s major attractions. Tickets are available at kiosks located in the stations and cost around 1.3 RON (0.25 USD) per trip, making it a budget-friendly option for travelers.
The metro is also stroller-friendly, making it a convenient choice for families with young children.
Bus and Tram
Bucharest also has an extensive bus and tram network, which is a great way to explore the city’s more off-the-beaten-path locations.
Tickets can be purchased from kiosks or directly from the driver, and cost around 1.3 RON (0.25 USD) per trip. However, buses and trams can be crowded during peak hours, so plan accordingly.
Taxis are widely available in Bucharest and are a convenient way to get around, especially at night.
However, be sure to use only licensed taxis, which have a badge with their license number and a price list displayed on the window.
It’s also a good idea to agree on a price before getting in the taxi.
If you prefer to drive yourself, there are several car hire companies in Bucharest, including major international brands.
However, be aware that driving in Bucharest can be challenging, especially during rush hour, and parking can be difficult to find.
Some hotels offer parking facilities, but be sure to check in advance.
The Best Day Trips from Bucharest with Kids
You’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of exciting day trips to take in the surrounding area of Bucharest. Here are three of the best day trips from Bucharest for families:
Located just outside Bucharest, Edenland is a popular adventure park that offers a range of activities for kids of all ages.
From zip-lining to rock climbing to paintball, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained.
The park also has a restaurant and picnic area, making it a great spot for a full day out. To get there, you can take a taxi or public transport.
Balotesti Adventure Park
This adventure park is another great option for families with kids who love outdoor activities. It offers a variety of challenging courses, including zip-lining, climbing, and rope bridges.
There’s also a playground and a restaurant on site.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing day out, Snagov Lake is the perfect spot.
Located about 40 minutes from Bucharest, this scenic lake offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, and picnicking.
There’s also a monastery on the island in the middle of the lake that is said to be the final resting place of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula.
Which is the best area to stay in Bucharest?
The best area to stay in Bucharest depends on your preferences and interests. Here are some of the safest and most popular areas for visitors:
Old Town (Lipscani): The historic center of Bucharest is known for its charming streets, lively atmosphere, and many bars and restaurants. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to the city’s top attractions.
Victoriei: This neighborhood is located north of the city center and is known for its elegant architecture, tree-lined streets, and upscale shops and restaurants. It’s a quieter area that’s still within easy reach of the city center.
Dorobanti: Another upscale neighborhood, Dorobanti is known for its leafy streets, beautiful houses, and high-end shops and restaurants. It’s a peaceful area that’s ideal for families and those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Cotroceni: This residential neighborhood is located west of the city center and is home to the Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of the Romanian president. It’s a safe and quiet area that’s well-connected to the city center by public transportation.
Herastrau: This area is located in the northern part of the city and is known for its large park, beautiful lake, and outdoor activities. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to nature while still being within easy reach of the city center.
Best Places to Stay in Bucharest with Kids
When it comes to finding the best place to stay, you’ll want to look for areas that are safe, convenient, and have easy access to public transport. Here are our top 3 recommendations:
Budget: Hotel Sir Lujerului
For those on a budget, the Hotel Sir Lujerului is a great option. This budget-friendly hotel offers basic but comfortable rooms and is located near several metro stations for easy access to the rest of the city.
Mid-Range: Novotel Bucharest City Centre
The Novotel Bucharest City Centre is a great mid-range option for families. This modern hotel is located in the heart of Bucharest, within walking distance of many top attractions, including the Romanian Athenaeum and the National Museum of Art.
Family-friendly amenities include a kids’ corner, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving international and Romanian cuisine.
Splashing Out: Grand Hotel Continental Bucharest
For those looking to splurge, the Grand Hotel Continental Bucharest is an excellent choice.
This luxurious hotel is located in the historic center of the city and features spacious rooms, a spa, and an on-site restaurant serving gourmet cuisine.
Family-friendly amenities include cots, a babysitting service, and a prime location within walking distance of many top attractions.
Where to Eat in Bucharest with Kids
Romanian cuisine is a blend of various influences, including Ottoman, Hungarian, and Slavic cuisines. It features hearty, meat-based dishes, stews, and soups, as well as grilled meats and sausages.
One of the most famous dishes in Romania is sarmale, which is made with cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, rice, and spices, and served with polenta and sour cream.
Here are four recommended restaurants/takeaways to try in Bucharest with kids:
Caru’ cu Bere
This historic restaurant is located in the heart of Bucharest and is known for its traditional Romanian cuisine, including sarmale, grilled meats, and soups.
The decor is also impressive, with stained glass windows and Art Nouveau details.
La Mama Ateneu
This family-friendly restaurant is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, serving traditional Romanian dishes like mici (grilled sausages), ciorba (sour soup), and sarmale.
The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
If you’re in the mood for pizza this is a great option.
This local chain offers a variety of pizzas, pastas, and salads, as well as a kids’ menu with smaller portions and prices. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly.
This restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Romanian cuisine, with dishes like roasted duck and grilled lamb chops.
There’s also a kids’ menu with options like spaghetti and meatballs and chicken skewers. The atmosphere is elegant but welcoming.
This itinerary will guide you through the best things to see and do in the city, from visiting historical landmarks to exploring neighborhoods.
Day 1 – One Day in Bucharest
Start your day with a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world.
Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the building and see its opulent halls and chambers.
Next, head to the nearby Revolution Square to see the Memorial of Rebirth, which commemorates the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
After lunch, explore the Old Town, also known as Lipscani. This pedestrian-only area is filled with historic buildings, trendy shops, and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
Take a stroll down Calea Victoriei, one of the city’s oldest and most important streets, and visit the National Museum of Art of Romania, which houses an impressive collection of European art.
Day 2 – Two Days in Bucharest
Start your second day with a visit to the Village Museum, an open-air museum that showcases traditional Romanian village life.
The museum features more than 300 authentic buildings, including houses, barns, and churches, from all over the country. It’s a great way to experience the country’s rural heritage without leaving the city.
After lunch, take a trip to the Herastrau Park, the largest park in Bucharest. Rent a paddleboat or a bike and explore the park’s lakes, gardens, and outdoor sculptures.
If you have time, visit the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, which is located within the park and features exhibits on traditional Romanian life and culture. In the evening, head to one of the city’s many bars or clubs to experience Bucharest’s famous nightlife scene.
Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead When Visiting Bucharest
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.