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How to Spend 48-Hours in Bucharest

July 2018

A mere five weeks after the Berlin wall fell, Romania ended its communist rule with a bloody revolution in its capital city that overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. It’s part of Bucharest’s vibrant modern history, and thanks to Ceausescu’s masterpieces to himself, the city’s painstaking preservation of its monuments, churches and turn-of-the-century buildings, and its enlightened artistic expression, Bucharest is a must-see city.

You’re likely to find yourself in “Little Paris” after a Danube cruise that ends in Giurgiu, Romania, a sleepy village an hour away. While the train system runs like clockwork in Western Europe, it isn’t as punctual or regular here. Instead, we booked Blacklane, which operates in 250 countries, and is one of the most reasonable and reliable luxury car services we’ve found. Four friends were quoted $520 by a limousine company for transport to Bucharest. It was $130 by Blacklane, including tip, in a Mercedes van.

Enter Bucharest and gaze upon ancient gypsy mansions with soaring turrets next to magnificent Beaux- Arts buildings that dominate the landscape. Shadows of the Romanian Revolution are everywhere, from the mammoth Palace of the Parliament to the former Securitate secret police headquarters adjacent to Revolution Square and a towering monument of King Carol I, repurposed from a destroyed Ceausescu monument. Here’s where to go, where to stay and what to eat if you have only 48 hours in this architectural dream:

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