We will start our tour with a gentle stroll to one of the most well-known mahalas (neighbourhoods) in the city, Batistei.
Mahalas usually rose up around a religious building and were inhabited by groups of people from the same ethnic, social, or religious groups. As the city grew, so did these areas, suffering through waves of modernisation, earthquakes, wars, and Nicolae Ceausescu's numerous demolition projects.
Batistei is still a vibrant and exciting neighbourhood to explore; we will visit the 18th-century stone church, listed as a historic monument by Romania’s Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, and hear stories about what it was like to live here before the Communist regime took over.
The Armenian neighbourhood houses one of the best preserved Orthodox churches in the city and that is where we will head next. Built in the early 20th century for the once burgeoning (now diminishing) Armenian population, the church is an exact replica of a cathedral in the Armenian city of Ecmiazin.
Next on the agenda is the city’s oldest home, a fascinating example of a traditional Wallachian peasant house with its high cellar and glass-covered veranda. Casa Melik, as it is known, hides a mass of secrets including a striking art collection. Legend has it that a series of underground tunnels connect the house with local masonic lodges.
Snack time! We will make a pit stop to try one of Romania’s favourite historic street food snacks, the covrig. It was originally thought that Greek merchants introduced covrigi, a salty snack similar to a pretzel, in the 19th century to encourage increased consumption of their wine, but it’s remarkable similarity to German pretzels, suggesting Romanians may have been eating these long before that.
Our next stop is one of the prettiest areas in Bucharest: Mantuleasa street. It was originally a mahala for rich merchants, and elegant architecture can be found here that combines neoclassical, Romanian, and modernist styles. This was also Mircea Eliade’s favourite part of the city. Here we will stop to learn more about the life and work of Romania’s most revered writer and philosopher, who was a professor at the University of Chicago until his death in 1986.
Your tour ends with a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Ioanid block and Icoanei mahalla but be sure to ask your local guides for tips on where else to visit in beautiful Bucharest and where the best places to eat and drink can be found.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, covrig street snack.
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.