BUCHAREST SIGHTSEEING 2 (8 hours)
Palace of Parliament: Romania's most famous building, known as "Casa Poporului" or People's Palace, was built during the darkest days of the Ceausescu regime. Standing 84m above ground level on 12 floors, and 92m underground, the building has long been shrouded in mystery, rumour and hyperbole. Originally designed to house main authorities of the communist state, today host the Romanian Parliament: Senate & Deputy chamber, few state authorities and a large well equipped conference & exhibition center. You will see plenty of grand staircases, marble-plated halls and conference rooms, while you'll also have the chance to go on the balcony, which offers a defining view of Bucharest. After the 1989 Revolution there were plans to blow the building up, but the cost of explosives proved prohibitive. Instead, the building was adapted to house the Parliament as well as conference and exhibitions centre. A part of the building, however, remains unused.
Bucharest New Downtown: Known as Civic Centre, it was made by destruction of an entire district of the capital in the name of socialism during the latest years of Ceausescu regime. It was finished after the 1989 Revolution. During the last years, have appeared a lot of glass and steel office buildings. The Union Square, with the big fountain and the commercial gallery it's the Bucharest largest square.
The Patriarchal Cathedral: Set a top one of the city's few hills, known as Mitripolia, it has been the centerpiece of the Romanian orthodox faith since the seventeenth century. Built between 1654 and 1658 to a design based on Curtea de Arges Monastery, near Pitesti, it has undergone a number of facelifts, but the overwhelming majority of the cathedrals structure is the original.
National History Museum: The beautiful and neo-classical building house exhibition that go into detail about the country's history over the past two million or so years. Plenty of skeletons, jewellery, weapons and tools to see. There are also ancient imports from Greece and Rome placed in context by exhibitions on the empires that crafted them. The best exhibits are downstairs: a part of the National Treasure and the Lapidaruim, a plastercast of Trajan's Column from Rome.
Cotroceni Museum: Built in the 19th century for Queen Mary (1891-1893), the palace has also played host to the Ceausescus. You will like the tour of Romanian Royal family's collections. At the end of the tour you see the inscription sitting over the door of the ruin cursing the head of whoever dared to destroy it. In between, the whims and inspirations of Queen Marie betray a prolific, charming executor of rather banal art.
Guide, car and all tickets included. Starting hours, departure/arrival place: at your choice.
Price: 60 EUR (1 person), 70 EUR (2 persons), 80 EUR (3 persons).