Bucharest architecture: Beautiful buildings and interiors

What comes to mind when you think about architecture in Bucharest, Romania?

I guess the best way to describe Bucharest’s architecture would be “diverse”.

Somehow the austere communist and brutalist structures sit alongside elegant Parisian style buildings, with all sorts of stylistic variations in between.

Beautiful architecture in Bucharest

The library of the faculty of literature Bucharest interior
The library of the faculty of literature

I was able to find some really beautiful architecture in Bucharest in great part thanks to an architecture tour for Instagrammers, organised by Cronicari Digitali, a local project promoting cultural heritage.

During the tour we visited some real gems, like the Marmorosch Hotel and the library at the Faculty of Literature, that I probably wouldn’t have discovered by myself. 

The lavish Marmorosch Hotel building used to be the headquarters of the Marmorosch Blank Bank.

The historical building was restored and the Art Deco and Art Nouveau elements of the exterior and interior were preserved. 

Inside what used to be the bank vault is now the Vault Bar, a very impressive blend of modern and old-school design.

We also visited the National Museum of Art (Muzeul Național de Artă al României) that’s well worth a visit for the marvellous interiors and for the art exhibitions. 

The building used to be the Romanian Royal Palace, and after many years of restoration is now a museum with an extensive collection of Romanian and European art, where you can easily spend a few hours.

We visited the central wing of the museum, including the Throne Hall, to see the most impressive interiors.

Another gorgeous building in Bucharest is the Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) concert hall. 

I saw it on my second day in the city, as it was the meeting point for a history tour, and the next day I came back to see the interior as well.

The building dates back to 1888 and was built in the neoclassical style. The foyer is large and quite extraordinary.

Artmark Auction House Bucahrest
Artmark Auction House in Bucahrest

I came across Artmark Auction House while looking for art galleries in Bucharest. I found some great art in the gallery, but was also impressed by the building itself. 

Contemporary architecture in Bucharest

National Theatre Bucharest architecture
The National Theatre Bucharest

Bucharest has a nice mix of old and new buildings. One of the modern and most creative buildings is the National Theatre of Bucharest (Teatrul Național București). 

It’s right next to University Square in the city centre, so it’s hard to miss.

The unique design reminded me of some famous buildings by Le Corbusier, but a local suggested that it was designed to resemble the hat of a famous Romanian playwright. Either way, it’s a fascinating building.

The interior is also beautifully designed. If you go there in the middle of the day before it opens for performances, ask the guide to have a look inside the foyer.

Eroilor metro station design
Eroilor metro station

Bucharest has a modern and super fast metro system. There was one station that I found especially beautiful: Eroilor metro station

The newest part of the station opened in September 2020 and features an unusual, futuristic design. You can see it if you enter through the M5 line entrance (ask the staff) and then go down the escalator. 

Bucharest Carturesti Carusel bookshop
Carturesti Carusel bookshop

The most famous bookshop in Bucharest, the one that’s on any standard bucket list for the city, is truly unique. It’s called Cărturești Carusel and you’ll find it in the heart of the old town.

Other remarkable buildings in Bucharest 

There are plenty of other buildings in Bucharest worth mentioning, Here are some of the most famous architectural highlights:

  • The Palace of Parliament – an impossibly massive building that has to be seen with a guide; 
  • The various Orthodox churches and monasteries you’ll see around the city, especially, Stavropoleos Monastery Church in the Old Town; and 
  • Macca – Vilacrosse Passage, a unique arcade in the city centre.

When you first arrive in Bucharest, the architecture might look a bit underwhelming, because there’s a lot of neglect and there are many (way too many) buildings that could have looked amazing with a bit of TLC… or just a fresh coat of paint.

Still, if you know where to look, you can find some gorgeous architecture  in this big, chaotic city. Hope this article helps you discover beauty in Bucharest.


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