What to see on a virtual tour of Bucharest
Virtual tours of various sites replaced the actual experience of discovering the sites of a city during the social distancing measures in the spring of 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, Romania’s capital offers plenty of options for a virtual visit, from museums and concerts to a walk in the park or sites of its major squares. We outline an online tour below.
Visit the city’s museums
Almost all of Bucharest’s large museums offer a virtual tour option or display items in their collections online. The Palace of the Parliament, the project of the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is one of the top tourist attractions of the capital. The gigantic building, which holds several records on account of its dimensions, can be visited in a virtual tour available on Google Arts & Culture, letting visitors in on its impressive interiors. Meanwhile, Romanian and European art can be seen in the online journey made available here by the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR).
History buffs can take their pick between the National History Museum of Romania (MNIR), where they can see items such as Getian princely treasures or items that belonged to the Romanian royal family, or a tour of the Cotroceni Museum, hosted inside the Cotroceni Palace, where King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania resided for a while. Visitors can take a peek into King Ferdinand’s library, Queen Marie’s bedroom, or the Cerchez Room, where Romania’s entry into World War One was signed. For those who want to discover more of the local traditions and vernacular architecture, the open-air Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum offers a virtual tour here.
A list of museums that can be visited online is available here.
Catch a concert or a theater performance
Concert and theater halls might be among the last ones to open when the lockdown restrictions start to be lifted, but a virtual concert-going experience is available in the meantime. The George Enescu Philharmonic and the Bucharest Opera House are both streaming concerts from their archives on their websites and YouTube channels. The public can also enjoy the largest local event dedicated to classical music. George Enescu International Festival, held once every two years in Bucharest, offers free access to concerts from past editions, according to a program available here.
The theater offer in Bucharest has always been a rich one, and many performances are available online. From the Bucharest National Theater (TNB) to many independent initiatives, theater fans are spoiled for choice. Among the Bucharest theaters, TNB streams performances on its YouTube Channel, while Bulandra and Odeon stream their productions on Facebook. Children also have many performances to choose from, as the Țăndărică Theater and Ion Creangă Theater also run an online program.
Take a walk in the Botanical Garden
Parks are closed in Bucharest for the duration of the lockdown, and so is the city’s Dimitrie Brândză Botanical Garden. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was one of the best choices for those who wanted to take a break from the busy and crowded life of the capital and reconnect with nature. Still, the greenhouses of the Garden can be visited in this 3D tour that requires 3D glasses.
Catch a glimpse of the city’s streets
A live cam offering views of the large Unirii Square, in downtown Bucharest, is the current alternative to a walk in the area that provides access to one side of the Old Town, a must-see area of the city during any trip here. Another landmark of the city, Arcul de Triumf (The Arch of Triumph), and the surrounding area can be seen in a virtual tour available here.