Bucharest was dubbed ‘Little Paris’ around 1900, not only for its elegant architecture, but also for the fact that locals greeted each other in French, wore the latest Paris fashions, and would frequently travel to and study in France’s capital. Here are our photo picks of the best Bucharest spots with a very French affinity.
Nothing evokes Paris better than a replica of its famous Arc de Triomphe. Built to celebrate Romania’s victories in World War I, the Triumphal Arch is 27 meters (89 feet) tall and covered in Romanian marble and bas-reliefs by famed sculptors.
Built in 1704, Spitalul Colțea was the first hospital in Bucharest and one of the first medical schools in Romania.
One of the city’s main arteries, Calea Victoriei is dotted with beautifully restored buildings, museums and memorial houses that recall the avenues of Paris.
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the Cantacuzino Palace, which hosts the museum dedicated to the country’s greatest classical music composer, was built by a Romanian architect in the Rococo and Art Nouveau styles.
Opened in the 19th century, the Grand Hotel Continental replaced an older establishment which hosted a French restaurant as well as a hat shop by the renowned French brand Jobin, which gave way to the Romanian version of top hat, still in use today.
Designed by French architect Paul Gottereau, this library was opened at the end of the 19th century. Damaged by bullets during the 1989 revolution that toppled the Communist regime, the building was later restored to its former glory.
One of Bucharest’s most charming avenues, this boulevard bears the name of Romania’s first queen. Dotted with beautifully adorned historic buildings, in the interwar period it was considered the Broadway of Bucharest due to the large number of theatres and cinemas in the area.
With its cobbled streets and richly adorned facades, the Old Centre has an unmistakable air of Paris about it.
Located in central Bucharest, Bizerica Amzei Street is home to beautiful houses that have been beautifully restored in the past few years.
Bucharest has a wealth of Art Deco buildings. One of the most charming is located on H.M. Berthelot Street, which also hosts one of Bucharest’s major concert halls, Sala Radio.
Built by a local family of intellectuals for their five offspring, the Costa Foru House became one of the famed meeting places for the artists of the day. More than 100 years since it was last inhabited, it opened recently to the public and regularly hosts cultural events.
Another major Bucharest landmark, the CEC Palace was also designed by French architect Paul Gottereau.
Nothing hints at Paris more than a passage covered in coloured glass hosting cafes and bistros.