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Bucharest

Communist history

Our most recommended Bucharest Communist History

Bucharest: Parliament Palace Skip-the-line Ticket

1. Bucharest: Parliament Palace Skip-the-line Ticket

Experience one of the top attractions during your visit to Bucharest, with a planned visit to the Parliament Palace. The Palace was ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the dictator of Communist Romania and it was constructed between 1984-1997. Started during the darkest period of communism, Ceausescu's mad dream became the largest building in Europe and the 2nd largest building in the world. Start the tour by skipping the line with your fast-access ticket. Meet the Bucharest Parliament Official Guide, and begin your exploration of the building's interiors. Immerse yourself in the history and contemporary realities of this unique building during a captivating tour that covers 3 levels of the building.  Begin on the ground floor where the entrance is located. Learn an array of mesmerizing facts including how the Palace has a height of 84 meters (276 ft), a floor area of 365,000 square meters (3,930,000 sq ft), and how it is the heaviest building in the world. Then, head up to the 1st level where the main meeting rooms are located together with the Ballroom.  As you admire the interiors and architecture, find out about how the building contains almost 500 chandeliers, over 1400 mirrors and ceiling lights, 35 million cubic feet of marble, and 32 million cubic feet of wood together with carpets and other decorations make this building a place like no other. Listen to other mind-boggling facts including how the building has 8 underground levels, the last one being a nuclear bunker, linked to the main state institutions by 20 km of catacombs. End the tour on the 2nd level where the balcony will offer you great views over Fountains Avenue.

3-Hour Guided Tour of Communist Bucharest

2. 3-Hour Guided Tour of Communist Bucharest

This 3-hour tour reveals the conflict between two worlds: Bucharest under the communist regime and the relatively peaceful and prosperous Bucharest of the inter-war period. You’ll learn why Bucharest is such a striking mix of different architectural styles, how each regime left its mark on the city, how the city looked during the communist period and what it was like for people living in communist Romania. Your guide will help to bring to life the anti-communist revolution and the fall of the Iron Curtain. Learn about the violent beginnings of the communist regime and the nationalization and forced demolition of homes. See the impressive Palace of Parliament and hear all about the Ceausescu family and the bloody anti-communist revolution of 1989. You’ll visit lesser-known, charming inter-war neighborhoods saved from communist urban re-modelling, and see the remains of the Uranus neighborhood as well. The tour includes a short break at a café, where you can enjoy drinks or snacks (at your own expense).

Bucharest: Half Day Bike Tour

3. Bucharest: Half Day Bike Tour

Start your 4-hour bike tour in Bucharest’s old city, where you’ll hear about the birth of the city and Romanian civilization. During Communist times the old city area was decimated and overtaken by grandiose urban projects. Today it is one of the poorest areas in Bucharest and is mostly inhabited by gypsies. Marvel at the monumental Parliament Palace, and learn about life for the people under the Ceasescu regime. Ride by buildings dating from the golden age of Bucharest of the 19th and the early 20th century. See landmarks and monuments from the time when Bucharest was known as Little Paris.

Bucharest: 2-Hour City Highlights Bike Tour

4. Bucharest: 2-Hour City Highlights Bike Tour

You will start in the Old City Center with a visit to the oldest witnesses of Bucharest's birth and development: the Old Court Citadel, Manuc's Inn and Stravopoleos Church. After, you guide will take you to visit the most famous boulevard in Bucharest, Calea Victoriei, with its impressive architecture and grandiose buildings like Military Cercle, Telephone Palace, Royal Palace, Romanian Atheneum and more. You will then shed the city crowds and have the opportunity to relax and cool down in the Cismigiu Gardens and near Bucharest City Hall. At the end of the tour, you will see the grandiose Ceausescu's Palace and Union Boulevard, which was designed to be even longer and wider than Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Bucharest: 2.5-Hour Private Walking Tour with Guide

5. Bucharest: 2.5-Hour Private Walking Tour with Guide

Discover the most historic areas of central Bucharest with a private, 2.5-hour walking tour. Visit all of the city's best-known sights and some hidden ones off the usual tourist track! Your tour starts at Unirii Square for a view of the colossal Palace of the Parliament, the second-largest building in the world. From here, visit St. Anthony's Church, the oldest in the city, followed by the ruins of the former Royal Court. The route will take you past the medieval Old Town, today transformed into Bucharest's bustling downtown. Jumping forward to the 18th and 19th centuries, admire the beautiful French-style buildings on Calea Victoriei Street and discover why Bucharest was once known as Little Paris. The tour ends close to Revolution Square, where you'll have the chance to talk to your guide about what Communist rule meant for Romania and Bucharest and how the country changed after the 1989 revolution.

Bucharest: City Highlights Driving Tour

6. Bucharest: City Highlights Driving Tour

Explore the history of Bucharest on this van tour of the city. Learn about the communist past of the city from your local guide. Find out about the ousting of the communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your accommodation in Bucharest. Sit back and relax on the way to the Palace of Parliament. Learn about the old communist regime and experience the opulence of this administrative building. Make your way to the National Village Museum where you can purchase tickets to see the open-air ethnographic museum. Have the chance to see an old wooded church and Romanian traditional houses that were made from earth, wood, and stone.  Continue to Victory Avenue to admire the grand Royal Palace and to view the old Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. Head to Revolution Square, to see where Ceausescu fled the country by helicopter. Learn about the great fortune and controversies that he left behind. Finally, drive to the 17th-century Patriarchal Cathedral and get a deeper understand of the Orthodox church in Romania. Return to your accommodation at the the end of your tour. 

Bucharest: City Highlights Guided Private Tour

7. Bucharest: City Highlights Guided Private Tour

Enjoy private transportation and a licensed guide to the best of Bucharest's landmarks. Be picked up from your hotel and visit the Palace of Parliament or People’s House, the Bucharest National Village Museum, Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), Revolution Square, and Old City Centre. See the Palace of Parliament, the world's second-largest administrative building. Learn how dangerous and damaging a totalitarian regime like communism can be for a nation. Be prepared to feel small seeing the pointless opulence and megalomania “the sleep of reason” can create. Visit the National Village Museum to see an embodiment of Romanian traditions. Understand what it meant for Romanian villagers to have built an ecological and sustainable environment in their backyard. Also get a glimpse into their simple and modest lifestyle, in social and spiritual harmony with their surroundings. Enter the world of the traditional Romanian houses made of wood, adobe, stone, and other materials, from all parts of the country. Be introduced to national symbols such as the mill and the wooden church. Learn how these treasures of spirituality and civilization have kept the people united for thousands of years. Then, follow your guide to Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue). Be fascinated by the contradictions of history—on one side, you have the Royal Palace and on the other, the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party and the Revolution Square, where Ceausescu fled the country by helicopter. Marvel at old orthodox churches, enveloped in an aura of mystery. Also pass through a music store with a large selection of music, casinos, bohemian restaurants, museums, theatres, tea shops, retail stores and gift shops with souvenirs. Next, see the National History Museum and the Romanian Athenaeum, another Romanian architectural landmark, and the CEC Palace. Take a trip back in time to the moment where dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was ousted, leaving behind the secrets of a great fortune and controversies about the state security service. Reach the Senate Palace and find yourself in front of the building that used to house the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. This also served as the starting point of the Revolution of December 1989, a major historical event that marked the removal of Ceausescu from power.

Bucharest: Private Communism Tour with Ceausescu Mansion

8. Bucharest: Private Communism Tour with Ceausescu Mansion

Learn all about Romania's communist history on this private tour through Bucharest. Start your tour at the Palace of Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Learn how dangerous and damaging the totalitarian regime was in Romania at this influential site. Next, visit the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum. See traditional homes and how Romanian villagers to have built ecological and sustainable environments in their backyards.  See Victory Avenue, a boulevard with communist buildings where you can also admire French architecture. Make a stop at Revolution Square and learn about the Romanian Revolution in December 1989. Visit Ceausescu Mansion, the private residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu and their children for a quarter of a century (1965-1989), during their communist rule in Romania. Finish up your tour with drop-off back at your hotel or the airport.

Full day Bucharest Sightseeing Tour

9. Full day Bucharest Sightseeing Tour

With entrance at the Parliament Palace (optional – open between 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM), Cotroceni Palace (optional – open between 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)) and The Village Museum (optional – open between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM). On the road we will stop for a lunch (optional) in a local restaurant. The itinerary depends on your hotel’s location, but it will include: Free Press Square (Piata Presei Libere) – The Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf) – Victoriei Square (Piata Victoriei) – Calea Victoriei – Cotroceni Palace (Muzeul Cotroceni) – Revolution Square (Romanian Atheneum, Revolution’s Memorial) – The Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) – Union Square (Piata Unirii) – University Square (Piata Universitatii) – Romana Square (Piata Romana) – Victoriei Square – Charles de Gaulle Square (Piata Charles de Gaulle) – The Village Museum (Muzeul Satului).

Bucharest: Relics of Communism 3-Hour Walking Tour

10. Bucharest: Relics of Communism 3-Hour Walking Tour

Enjoy a fascinating 3-hour tour exploring the communist roots of the great city of Bucharest. Discuss the day to day life of Romanians during communism, from ration cards to the black market, to propaganda and the secret police. As the dominant political ideology for more than 40 years, Bucharest is full of souvenirs of its communist past. Begin the tour in Unirii Square, one of the largest squares in central Bucharest originally built during the Communist era and bisected by the massive Unirii Boulevard. Continue the tour and explore the new districts of the "Socialist realism" built during the reign of Nicolae Ceausescu, including the Palace of the Parliament, designed as the absolute center of power, and the buildings of the Civic Centre Project. Discover the hidden churches that the communists wanted to forget about. See the contrast between the elegant city architecture and the communist blocks.  End the tour in front of the balcony where Ceausescu held his last speech, the Revolution Square. Hear the story of the '89 Revolution and Romania's transition into democracy.

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What people are saying about Bucharest

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 191 reviews

A great way to see the main sights of the city, including those tucked of the main roads. Our guide was very knowledgeable and had some great photos of the city before the changes introduced by the communist regime and during the revolution.

Alex our guide was great. He was very knowledgeable. He spoke loud and clear so we could all hear. He constantly checked to see if we had questions. The bikes were high quality and Alex made sure everybody was comfortable on their bike.

“Andra” ? was a very entertaining and knowledgeable guide. If you participate in this tour, take your bug spray. The local mosquitos love tourists!

Alex was well spoke, entertaining and sensitive to the pace of the group

Loved this tour and learned so much about the history!