(English) BUCHAREST, THE MOST UNPLEASANT CITY I’VE BEEN TO

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36s komentara

  • Denise каже:

    What a shame I loved my time in Bucharest and found it the very opposite.

  • sarah каже:

    Unfortunately, there is truth here.

    The taxi drivers are the worst – either they’ll rip you off or not have any change to give you so you’re stuck leaving them an extra 10-20 lei tip. The expats prefer Uber to avoid this and because most of the drivers speak English.

    The level of English is indeed low. Now that it’s part of the EU, more tourists are adding Romania to their destination list and the city needs to step up to be more accomodating. The food prepared in most restaurants need inspiration, to put it nicely: from the presentation, to the attitudes of the servers, and even sometimes the quality of the ingredients. It doesn’t cost you a thing, for example, to put a smile on and make customers feel welcome. Many times if we want to eat out somewhere new, we over look all this, because of the very low prices, and we keep our expectations low – it’s rare that you can sit at a restaurant in the West to have dinner for two with drinks for less than 25 Euros. But after a few years in Bucharest and many disappointments, we have learned to stick to our favorite 4-5 places for dining out where the quality and service is good and consistent.

    Bucharest is by far the drabbest and least foreign friendly city in Romania, the ugly gray buildings a constant reminder of the past. Yes, the city has been through a lot in their recent history and yes, they still have a long way to go. Strangely though, this is only in Bucharest. It sucks that you didn’t get a chance to see the rest of the country as the other cities, to the north and the west, are more picturesque with friendlier people and a better vibe.

    Sarah
    http://www.hitcontinue.eu

    • NIKI каже:

      One day I might recover from the shock and get all the way up to Transylvania and the Carpathian and Brasov. That was my initial goal anyway, I should have sticked with it.

      I’m glad that I’m not the only one sharing this opinion!

  • Lolo каже:

    I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy Bucharest! We were just there and absolutely loved it! We found many people spoke English. Yes Taxi drivers totally try to rob and we encountered that once too but our hotel was kind enough to have us download a taxi app on my phone which was way more legit. I understand he ugly Communist buildings as I too just recently published a post as to why I HATED Sofia, Bulgaria.
    https://www.caliglobetrotter.com/im-sorry-but-i-hated-sofia-bulgaria/ and it’s ok that you didn’t like a place. To each their own! Hopefully you didn’t get much hate mail!

    • NIKI каже:

      Love is a very big word for me to put it even close to that city! LOL! The drivers the hotel called us where fine (just didn’t know how to drive). The problem was when we wanted to get back. Also the gypsies. We were followed all the time. At a certain point it felt unsafe. I only got 1 hate mail so I guess I’m good 😛 Funny enough, most messages coming from Romanian people agree with me and they suggest me other routes for a more genuine experience of their beautiful country.

  • Anna каже:

    I was to Romania twice and I actually liked it. Bucharest however, was a bit ‘raw’ and I didn’t have a very good experience there. The whole country though is amazing.

  • Farah каже:

    Thank you for the tips! I must bear in mind when decided where I am going to spend my December 2017 –

    Also, feel free to visit my country Malaysia – Let us show you some Malaysian’s hospitalities – where we made it slogan for our national airlines.

    Nevertheless – thanks for the tips again

  • Kasia каже:

    Oh wow, that’s so sad to hear that the city of Bucharest is so drab and full of con artists. I visited Romania only once and honestly I can’t even remember whether it was Bucharest or not. I suspect it was because from what you described it reminded me of my experience. We got swarmed by gypsies and robbed there. It was truly sad. I was only with my mom so they took advantage of that. I definitely didn’t feel safe there. Hopefully it will change for the better one day.

    • NIKI каже:

      Oh sorry to hear that Kasia! Now I feel a bit luckier that I didn’t get robbed! I hope it’ll change soon; it’s a shame for a beautiful country like Romania to have such a (…….) capital.

  • Globejamun каже:

    Omg looks like you really had a bad time..I’m sorry..I guess all this is a part of the ‘lesson’ travelling teaches us.

  • marine каже:

    wow I’m very surprise at this, it looked like a beautiful place to visit … Maybe I’ll go somewhere else in Romania …

  • Muhammad Ameen Sheikh каже:

    Wow!! I can deal with low level english, but taxi drivers robbing and rude restaurant service is a big NO. I can’t believe they demanded a tip!

  • Tahnee каже:

    Oh what a shame for you! It’s always so disappointing when so.ething isn’t what you wanted it to be. However I’m sure you’re glad it’s another place ticked off the map! Great post thanks for sharing

  • Basundhara Ghosh каже:

    Wow that’s a big warning in red 😀 I have been meaning to travel wherever possible, but maybe I will be careful about this one. Still I would like to tick it off my list :)

  • I think it’s an utter shame you had such a bad experience. My own couldn’t have been further from this. I went on my own as a single female traveller and was a bit nervous having heard reports of bag snatching, begging and the like. I wasn’t prepared for the utter beauty of the city. Yes Ceaucescu levelled the old market area and created his bland palace and apartments for his cronies, yes there are some areas of concrete, but there is so much faded grandeur and beauty that remains. You are right that the standard of taxi driving is atrocious but Uber works fine and is really cheap – the drivers are better and cars nicer. There are so many delicious places to eat and the coffee culture is amazing – beautiful coffee shops everywhere. I didn’t find anyone rude and in fact people seemed to go out of their way to be nice to me… I got invited into an amazing art exhibition, someone let me into the porch of their apartment when I was caught in an unexpected rain shower, and everyone was happy to chat. I think judging people for their lack of English is wrong, and actually more people spoke English in Bucharest than they did in Moscow for sure. I came back from my trip bursting with enthusiasm for this incredible city and people (who have been through an awful lot). I hear that the countryside is utterly spectacular and I hope to return to explore more. We will have to agree to disagree!

    • NIKI каже:

      I wish I could relate. Every experience is different and I am genuinely happy for you that you managed to enjoy it.

      Honestly, the fact that its people have been through a lot is not an excuse for the treatment I received. Serbian people have been through 3 wars in the past 30 years, yet they are much more welcoming – or at least, that’s what I’ve experienced.

      I think I will return at some point because indeed, the countryside seems amazing and I wouldn’t want to judge a whole country (as huge as Romania) by its capital. It is just that coming from the Balkans and knowing personally many Romanian people, I expected much more from Bucharest.

      As for Moscow, I haven’t been there yet. Going this upcoming Spring though, so if you say that the English level is worse, then I might need to take some Russian classes! LOL!

  • Fiona каже:

    That’s such a pity. But at least you can tick that one off your return list

  • Abhinav каже:

    Well, some bad experiences should not ruin the taste of the travels, better luck next time

  • Radu каже:

    All the things you mentioned I find to be true, unfortunately. Bucharest, as a community, has a lot of work to do. While reading your post, I was thinking that I don’t know what I would recommend a foreigner to do in Bucharest that you cannot find somewhere else, in another country. There is Therme. And there are the streets with the nice old, renovated houses, away from the ugly „Old Town“. And the specialty coffee shops, for people moving up from Starbucks. As in any town, avoid „touristy“ locations and try to meet the cool people. Actually, I think Bucharest and Cluj (maybe Cluj even more) have some of the most open minded people in the country. And the cool thing is that, outside of August, there is always something happening, be it an airshow, a festival of some sort (e.g. CraftBeer or Burgerfest). There are indeed many bad things about Bucharest, but crime is generally relatively low and most people are trustworthy and usually willing to help. The nerve racking parts, the congestion, the pollution, the social inequality (beggars next to SUV’s parking on the sidewalk), some (many) people’s bad manners – all these I see as the price to pay to live next to many very nice people and, of course, to be in the most economically (and culturally) developed city in the country. For tourists, unfortunately I think Bucharest makes itself difficult to enjoy. Bottom line is that best things in Bucharest are its people and its events, maybe August is not the time to visit it, I would say May or even September would be nicer :)

    • NIKI каже:

      Of course. Every comment is welcome unless there is hate speech or swearing. I will copy my answer too.

      I appreciate your long comment, I really do. But let me set some things straight.

      1) I did not come to Bucharest and tried to compare it with Athens. I came to enjoy a city with a different culture – my intention is never to compare. But if I had to compare it with Belgrade, I would say that the Serbian capital is way better.

      2) You keep mentioning Romania (in general). I never said anything wrong or bad about the country. I just disliked the city.

      3) You keep comparing my every point to Greece/Greeks. The fact that people in Bucharest drive like mad, doesn’t mean that in Athens we drive any better. Don’t compare.

      4) We did go to some traditional restaurants. The meat was full of fat and too salty. Not for me. I think I just needed to go to some mountainous villages to try the real deal.

      5) That was the only experience I had in Romania. Did not visit a single thing because I got so fed up.

      6) I believe the English level in touristic spots should be WAY better. The receptionists, the waiters, the baristas at the cafe, the lady at the exchange office, the freaking taxi drivers, people at the shopping mall… too many people I „spoke“ with, were struggling with the basics. I have encountered that in Serbia too, but outside Belgrade. I believe the capital city should be way better than what I would expect in a forgotten village.

      To your surprise I have traveled quite a lot and lived in 3 different countries. I always travel with an open mind and always travel to enjoy it. BUT, I am always honest. I say things how they are and that has costed me in my life. People do not always appreciate honesty. But I don’t care about the mass. I’m not here to satisfy everyone and beautify things just to sound nicer. From what I have experienced after traveling almost everywhere in Europe, Bucharest is along with Monte Carlo (surprise-surprise) on the bottom of my list.

      PS: Thank you for all your compliments about my country. You have highlighted the good parts. There are so many things wrong with it too though! In another post maybe. If I survive this one. LOL

  • Oliver каже:

    I lived here my whole life and i can say 100% of this is true but as a resident you get to now where to go and what to avoid and after all i love this city and i recomand you next time you visit bucharest try to make some habitant friends and ask them to guide you (and btw use a uber, its almost cheaper than taxi;) )

  • Tudor каже:

    With your permision I am going to paste my FB comment here so others can see it too.

    Interesting read. Fair warning – I am going to make a long post. No, not because my national feelings are hurt or because you didn’t say anything true, but because I feel that some things you missed entirely and some other things need some context.

    So, here it goes… I am a 36 year old romanian guy, who has traveled the world a bit. When I say that I mean that I flew more than 1 million miles, I have been from Paris to Barcelona, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, from Hawaii to Zanzibar, and from Greece to Taiwan. I have stayed in lavish 5 star hotels which costs more than 1k USD per night in Paris, China or Hawaii, and I have stayed in small huts which cost 10 USD per week in Tanzania. You can say I have been a bit around the world, and still, for me the experiences I have generally reflect my own opinion and my own filter.

    Come to think about it, I am not extremely proud of my nation – I know it’s flaws and I am tired of some things. Being a guy who was raised up in the mountains, I have hated Bucharest with all my being for more than 20 years.. And it still disgusts me sometimes… it’s just that I got used to it and the accommodations it can offer me compared to a mountain village.

    However, when you judge a city, a country or it’s people, you have to always remember that it is more related to you and your experience than it is to the place itself. For instance, most westerners love Bucharest, because of it’s decadence, because it’s cheap, because of the beautiful and easily accesible ladies. However, I have noticed that easterners don’t feel the same, mostly because they are used to beautiful women, and because it is not cheap for them here. And some nations are more civilized than ours

    Now, in you case, being from Greece, I feel that I need to add some context. For you, but also for the romanian people reading this and getting pissed. So, let’s go through all your affirmations and take them one by one.

    1 – Taxi drivers are the worst I’ve ever encountered

    Yes, they are. Not the worst in the world (have fun in India or New York), but for a foreigner, and especially for a lady, they are a nightmare. That is why we use Uber and Taxify, simple and affordable, all on card, no money changing hands. Maybe you are not used to it, but we are, and it is a great service…So use that next time…

    2 – Low English level
    I am sorry, but with this I cannot agree. I do not know what type of places you visited and what type of ppl you interacted with, but a fair amount of romanians speak english. No, we cannot compare with greeks, which are masters of tourism and master not one language but many, making you feel welcomed everywhere with a few words in your language, but english is really not an issue here.

    3 – Service at restaurants beyond bad

    Well…yeah… service here is subpar if you ask me. No, it is not beyond bad, and if you visit nice places, not tourist traps (really… Beraria H… REALLY???) you can have an ok experience, but generaly service in Bucharest is subpar. BUT… YOU say that… people need to understand that YOU say that. For a French our service might seem ok. For americans might feel like shit. But for you? Well… I love Greece. And one of the reasons I love it is because I have rarely found such friendly people and such amazing service. Never a day without a smile… Never a meal without something extra… Never a place where you come back 4 years later and they remember you by name! Your country (at least the Ionian islands) has some of the warmest, most welcoming people working in tourism. For you, of course our services are utter shit.

    4 – Hideous food

    Ah… no… ah hell no! I don’t care where you are from, but this is …no… just no. You come to Romania and go to an Italian restaurant… You go to Beraria H… WTF?!?!?! How did you even find these places? No, no, no and no! You guys have amazing food! I always lick my fingers after I finish a meal in Greece. Your cuisine is amazing and the way you use sea food, lamb and pork is amazing, together with dairy products and fresh vegetables. Each time I go to Greece I feel I am going to explode… I simply adore your food. You guys fking rock! But I never go to Greece to try a Turkish restaurant… I never go to the tourist trap…or to all inclusive… I go to taverns… small places in villages…where not only the food but the people are absolutely extraordinary. You know what… I never had a proper steak in Greece…you guys don’t know how to BBQ a proper Black Angus or A9 Kobe… But that is not why I go to Greece. So when you come here, go to one of the millions of places with ROMANIAN food… Not Italian… not tourist traps. Maybe you will not like it… it is possible.. But I can guarantee that our food is not hideous (after all some was inspired by your people).

    5 – Depressing – gray – screams communism

    Yes, this is partially true. It is grey… It is communist. But not as much as you describe it. Did you like Sofia or Belgrade more?? Now here is the problem. Even if Athens is a shithole infested with junkies, jobless people and horrendous traffic… you have 2-3 thousand years of history still there. Which are amazing. Bucharest does NOT have that. We do have it, but not there. So yeah, it is a communist shithole… but remember what iconic buildings you have in Athens… of course we don’t compare… After all, we were left to the Russians because Churchill wanted to keep Greece out of eastern influence…

    6 – Gypsy beggars all over

    Yes, that is true. And you do not have that like we do. But they didn’t come from here, they are the lowest indian cast that came into Europe behind the Moors, first into France and Spain. And we don’t have them as much as France or Spain has.

    7 – (very) Dangerous drivers

    A hell fking no again. Really???? No, I am not even thinking that in India this is a joke. But YOU are talking? With your guys driving on the middle of the road every day? I nearly had a hear attack every day in Greece because of this. Nooo. Heeell no. Yeah they are horrible… no manners… chaotic… But not even close to how you drive in Greece.

    Now… I don’t want to leave you the impression that I am defending Bucharest. Listen to me… I hate this city! But I hope you understand that some of the things you say are just your experience through your filter. With some of the things I totally agree. With some I don’t. But before you judge so hard… see as much as the world you can. I do have the feeling you didn’t travel too much until now. And also… be aware of what your strong points as a country are.

    Of course service is bad here – you guys are some of the most amazing people in the world when it comes to this. Of course it is gray – you country is one of the most beautiful countries I have been in. Of course food is bad if you eat in a tourist trap or a random Italian restaurant. You guys have amazing cuisine. We have it too… just go and try it where you should… not in Italian restaurants.. Of course you feel like we have low level english – your guys speak 4-5 languages in order to cater to tourists. All in all… put things in perspective… realize where you come from… compare to the right standards… And in the end, enjoy your trips… Of course Bucharest is shit..But…what other experiences did you have in Romania? I do not see a sponsored post about that…

  • onu каже:

    I think you came to Bucharest with the wrong state of mind. All that you said is and can be true but this can happen anywhere. I can’t agree about the part about low English level.

    Overall Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is ok and you can have the time of your life only if you chose to see it with the right eyes.

    Always try to see that point of light even if you are sorounded by darkness.

  • Adrian каже:

    You ate at Beraria H and stayed around the old city? full of gipsies and stupid people :)) Try the northern area of the city and you will change your opinion, but when you want quality you have to pay more. Try Argentine, Capsa, E3, Brasserie, Chocolat, Trattoria Calcio etc.. And also you can try Uber, Taxify or Black Cab. Nightlife?? The best in Europe- Nuba, Fratelli, Gaia and many many more + private electronic music events everywhere(rooftop, forest, malls..). If you want to change your mind about Bucharest, contact me and I will show you the real Bucharest. I can show you the ghetoos but also the best places to visit in and around the city like Mogosoaia palace, Cernica, Natural parc Comana etc..

    • NIKI каже:

      I don’t do clubbing or listen to electo! But when I get back to Romania to visit Transylvania (it’s one of my dreams), I will definitely email you for more suggestions. Beraria H was just one of the many places we tried! And I don’t have an issue paying for quality! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! Xx

  • jj каже:

    The little gypsy boy you pictured is cute though. Did he or any others have music talent?

  • Megan каже:

    I’m so sorry that the taxi driverS were scary.

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