“Destination: Bucharest”: Things to do in Bucharest this winter
Winter is the season of gifts and fun, and Bucharest is the host of many seasonal events. Among them, the long awaited Christmas Market and a series of live concerts for all tastes. But there are other activities you can enjoy in the Capital this season.
Get ready to be Santa Claus
Christmas is by far the most important winter holiday. It addition to its religious significance, this holiday makes us want to do good deeds and be Santa Claus for our family, friends or acquaintances. And for that, we have to choose the best gifts.
The Bucharest Christmas Market is, year after year, the main destination for those who want to find the perfect gifts, enjoy traditional Romanian products and have fun at concerts and shows. Organized in Constituției Square in the city center, the fair also comes with creative workshops, a carousel for children and an ice rink. Of course, a special Christmas tree will light up the entire square, and children can meet Santa in his magic house. The Bucharest Christmas Market will be organized between November 28 and December 26. Entry is free.
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum are two other locations in Bucharest that organize traditional fairs for St. Nicholas and Christmas. Other fairs come with Romanian design products and contemporary jewelry, books and music or spectacular decorations and are usually organized at Casa Universitarilor, in bookstores, shopping centers or other dedicated locations in Bucharest.
Spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Bucharest
The Romanian capital shines during the holiday season, becoming a truly magical city that offers unforgettable experiences to those who choose to spend New Year’s Eve and Christmas here.
In addition to the Christmas Market in Constituției Square, where the whole family can enjoy special activities and seasonal products, the restaurants, bars and hotels in the city are preparing parties to remember. The central point is, of course, the Old Town, but there are many other locations in Bucharest that promise vibrant events with different themes, most of them including delicious menus. You just have to choose your favorite location, as the city comes with a long list of bars, clubs, concert venues, restaurants or hotels.
Plus, most of the large hotel restaurants in Bucharest, as well as other locations, prepare Christmas or New Year's Eve dinners or brunches, where you can relax and enjoy special culinary delights.
Don’t miss the National Day military parade
The first day of winter is that special day of the year when all Romanians celebrate the National Day of Romania. Thus, every year on December 1, larger or smaller cities across the country mark this day through a series of public events and military parades.
But the largest and most spectacular military parade is organized in Bucharest, where thousands of Romanian and foreign troops, armored vehicles and other technical means march under the famous Arch of Triumph in the north part of the city. In addition, participants also have the chance to see fighter planes and helicopters fly over the Arch of Triumph Square. The military parade in Bucharest attracts thousands of people every year, and this year's promises to be equally spectacular.
Enjoy live music
Bucharest hosts a large number of live events throughout the year, and the cold season is no exception.
Most of the big events take place at Sala Palatului. Among them, in December, there is the symphonic rock show Rock the Opera (December 2), the “Om Bun” Folk Gala (December 9), the series of extraordinary Christmas concerts held by Ștefan Bănică (December 13-15), the special Christmas concert of the Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra Vienna (December 17), the Vienna Classic Christmas performance (December 20) and the Traditional New Year’s Concert of the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra (December 30).
Also in December, the extraordinary Christmas concert of the Madrigal Choir is scheduled to take place on December 7 at the Romanian Athenaeum, Johann Strauss Ensemble will bring the Vienna Crystal Christmas show at the Bucharest National Opera on December 18, and Ștefan Hrușcă will sing Romanian carols on the stage of the Bucharest National Theater on December 23.
In the first month of 2020, Sala Radio hosts on January 7 the Extraordinary New Year's Concert - Magical Spanish Night of conductor Tiberiu Soare and the Symphactory Orchestra. On January 23, the Finnish star Tarja Turunen will perform on the stage of the Bucharest Metropolitan Circus along with many special guests.
February also comes with a large number of events, including the concert of Iron Maiden’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson to be held at Sala Radio on February 8 and the concert of artist Luka Sulic, a member of the well-known band 2Cellos, also scheduled for February 8, but at Sala Palatului.
Have fun at the ice rink
One of the main activities of the cold season is ice skating. Besides the ice rink at the Christmas Market, tourists and Bucharesters can have fun at other rinks open in the city.
Usually, the largest outdoor ice skating rinks are open in parks such as Cișmigiu, Alexandru Ioan Cuza (IOR), Tineretului or the Drumul Taberei Park, but also at large shopping centers such as Veranda Mall or ParkLake. In the meantime, until the weather allows them to open, you can train and have fun at the indoor rinks at AFI Palace Cotroceni or Liberty Center malls.
Be romantic in Bucharest
Romanians celebrate love twice in the last month of winter: the first time on Valentine's Day, on February 14 and the second time on the day of Dragobete, on February 24. And Bucharest can be the perfect place to be romantic in February - the month of love.
Together with your loved one, you can enjoy a walk in one of the big parks in the city (Cișmigiu, Tineretului, King Mihai I Park - Herăstrău or Alexandru Ioan Cuza), you can go to a concert or theatre play, you can watch a romantic movie at the cinema, or you can enjoy a special dinner at one of the restaurants in the city (most of them prepare special menus during this period). You can end the day with a stroll in central Bucharest, during which you can stop for tea, take pictures or buy from souvenir shops small gifts to remind you of this special day.
Temperatures usually start to be friendlier in Bucharest in February, which means that the first spring flowers begin to appear in flower shops. And a bouquet of snowdrops, daffodils or tulips can bring yet another smile on your loved one’s face.
Constituției Square, which will host the Christmas Market, is located not far from Unirii Square, next to the Palace of the Parliament. The detailed program of the fair will be presented on the event’s website - Bucharestchristmasmarket.ro. Details about other Christmas fairs in Bucharest will appear in the coming period.
For Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, dinners or brunches, it is recommended to choose your favorite location and make reservations early.
Tickets for the live concerts and shows in Bucharest can be purchased online from the websites dedicated to ticket sales (such as iabilet.ro, bilete.ro, myticket.ro or evenim.ro) or from the ticket offices of the respective locations.
For ice skating you can use your own skates or rent a pair from the rink you choose. The prices and schedule may vary depending on the day, time or location.
This material is part of a project under the program of promoting the touristic heritage "Destination: Bucharest", carried out by the Bucharest City Hall through the Public Monuments and Touristic Heritage Administration (AMPT).
Photos by Romania-Insider.com for AMPT.