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My hometown is the small, wonderful and peaceful Drobeta Turnu Severin. I can’t say for sure what led me to Bucharest — on the one hand it was the strong desire to discover and get lost in the “big city.” But on the other hand, it must be related to my free spirit and wanting to be a part of a bigger deal. Looking back now, my bold decision to move to Bucharest has been highly rewarding. I live each day in astonishment at discovering the city’s wonders.
I do walk the walk and talk the talk, but I’m not actually a guide. I consider myself more like a local expert, and I love sharing my knowledge with a big crowd. Actually, having two kids at home makes me feel like being on holiday on every tour, and extremely happy that someone is really listening to me. It’s the best feeling ever and makes me love each and every tour.
Each experience is a true source of happiness and fun, from the way Bucharestians park their cars, to their permanent hurry. I love the city parks, the heat and the smell of a big, crowded city.
The coolest local tradition has to be related to the gypsy community wandering the city streets and loudly shouting to collect used iron. Their chanting is absolutely unique and memorable, and it’s the first thing to pop in my mind when I think of Bucharest’s best preserved traditions.
Bucharest is a very safe place and it would be lovely for everyone to know this. It is already extremely popular for its cheap beer, so I don’t feel like I need to mention that too, but oh well, there you have it.
The best spot in Bucharest has to be the area around Carol Park. The park is absolutely lovely on its own, with beautiful scenery, a lake and monuments, but I strongly recommend exploring the charming streets around the park. You can even find a stunning-looking castle (just walk a few steps from the park).
I consider the yummy dessert called savarina (similar to rum cake) a must-try. It’s fluffy, juicy and creamy all at the same time. For a drink I would have to say braga (a fermented millet-based drink). Actually, I’m kidding — I find braga to be disgusting, so you should definitely avoid it. My favourite drink in the whole city is the avocado, pineapple and orange smoothie from Frudisiac.
Bucharest just might be Eastern Europe’s best kept secret. “Little Paris,” as it was called by the first travellers, combines French sophistication with true Balkan passion for a bit of chaos and a whole lot of culture (and delicious food!). Few other cities better embody the wonderful clash of East and West, with plenty of friendly, loud, and colourful locals ready to welcome you.