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Bucharest Guide : Romania Rent a Car

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Bars, Pubs & Clubs

Bars & Pubs

707 Pub

B-dul Lascăr Catargiu 6
Tel: 659 36 38
No-frills bar near Piata Romana, whose central location compensates for its lack of other apparent attributes. The exception is the small terrace, which is protected by a hedge, so you won't get stared at while you booze. Open 08:00 - last client, Sat: 11:00 - last client, Sun 12:00 - last guest.

Amsterdam Grand Cafe

Str. Covaci 6
Tel: 313 75 80
Fax: 313 75 81
Fri: 10:00-04:00
Sat: 10:00-04:00
Probably the most popular expat restaurant is supplemented by a basement club where trendy people strike a pose and an upstairs which is used to show football matches etc on a big screen. Classy atmosphere make it a good place for a late night drink.

As Pub

Str. Marcel Andreescu 11
Tel: 230 02 49
Yet another pretentious bar that wants to look like a British pub, yet fails as miserably as the guy who tried to land the Hindenburg. Olde Worlde looking furniture (wood and bits of iron) is the theme, but one thing that the owners have got right: friendly bar staff, good selection of drinks and happy customers.

Bar Fly

B-dul Ferdinand I 3
Tel: 0722 84 48 74
Sat: 15:00-07:00
Sun: 15:00-07:00
Small, smoky but inexpensive venue playing a good mix of tunes including Western retro favourites. Casual and unpretentious, it is a little out of the way, but makes a change from the brassy, brashy bars of the city centre.


Str. Gen. Brosteanu 11
Tel: 212 09 92
Fax: 212 09 92
Donwstairs bar which manages to be cosy without being too small. The food is reasonably priced and the staff can be friendly if they're in the mood. The TV often shows sports and the music is not so overpowering that you can't chat. Quiet, probably because it's fairly well hidden. Worth seeking out though. Open: 10:00 - 01:00.

Cafe & Terrace

Str. Franklin 12
Tel: 310 10 17
Oh Joy. Oh Joy. What was for so long an infamously bad restaurant in an underservingly famous location on Piata Revolutiei, Cina has become Cafe & Terrace and is now run by the team from the Amsterdam cafe. This place, with its deliriously good terrace alwayes had the potential to become the best place in town, we should now be able to sit back and watch it happen.

Cafeneaua Actorilor

B-dul Nicolae Bălcescu 2
Tel: 0721 900 842
Eternally popular late night choice of the actors who work in the National Theatre next door, this legendary bar remains a favourite of ours too. Loads of quiet corners for secret tete-a-tetes, you could conduct all sorts of afairs from down here. Not easy to find, the entrance is on the northern side of the National Theatre (opposite the InterContinental). Open 24hrs.

Carlton Cafe

B-dul Nicolae Bălcescu 11
Tel: 314 70 93
More Carlton Palmer than the Ritz Carlton. Full of loud house music and people who look like pimps and prostitutes. Carlton Café has a great location just north of Universitati, and with an overhaul of clientele and atmosphere could be a top spot.

Centro Bar & Lounge

Calea Dorobantilor 5-7 (Howard Johnson Grand Plaza)
Tel: 201 50 30
Trendy as you like lobby bar at the Howard Johnson hotel, with large windows that make it a great place to sit and drink cocktails while watching all and sundry go by as the night draws in outside.

Cesky Pub

Str. Dianei 11
Tel: 312 42 87
No-frills Czech themed place, from which one can presume that Czechs are fond of smoking, darkness and darts. Leather armchairs and pub paraphernalia make this a good venue for serious drinkers. Poser-free and the staff are nice. Brighter, if a little pricey, restaurant downstairs. Open 10:00 - 02:00. Last kitchen order at 24:00.

City Pride

B-dul Magheru 7
Tel: 312 49 59
With a nice spot just off Magheru, City Pride's name, array of spirits and dark wooden interior all recall a London spit-and-sawdust boozer. Sadly the prices are also reminiscent of London. A good place to start an evening out though nevertheless, especially on weekend evenings when it gets the spill out from Planters around the corner. Open 10:00-02:00.

Crowne Plaza

B-dul Poligrafiei 1
Tel: 224 00 34
Fax: 224 11 26
Very pleasant and civilised, with a chatty atmosphere where you can catch up on the local gossip with people who claim they're in the know. A favourite with a lot of corporate-types, everything is unrushed and there's plenty of leg-room to unwind those cramped muscles and forget what's happening tomorrow.


B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 25
Tel: 311 23 22
A nondescript, shabby door next to the BCR on B-dul Magheru in fact hides the entrance to the best cocktail bar in Bucharest, with the best bar staff this side of the River Prut. While the standard cocktails are all great, it is the Extreme cocktails people come for. Most involve fire, some involve wearing a World War II Russian army helmet, and at least one involves a young Russian girl squeezing lemon into your mouth with her teeth. At weekends it is packed and the small dancefloor is the sweatiest place in Bucharest. The music is as bizarre but enjoyable as the drinks. Open 12:00 - 02:00


Str. Mendeleev 32 - 34
Tel: 314 86 06
An expensive and rather pretentious smaller version of The Office, a far superior venue just around the corner. This place is about as exclusive as a supermarket, however, and full of the kind of people impressed by drinking and dancing in the same location as C-list celebs. Has in the past held bikini parties; enough said.


Calea Plevnei 27
Tel: 314 61 31
Sat: 12:00-02:00
Sun: 12:00-02:00
Upstairs bar near Piata Kogalniceanu with a slightly French feel. Divided into separate rooms, this atmospheric place is ideal for romantic assignations, although it can veer from cosy to cramped. But prices and staff are fine.


B-dul N. Titulescu 18
Tel: 222 94 73
As if someone lifted up your local and plonked it down again in Bucharest. Blokes' boozer with live sport, proper food and other blokes with whom to chew the cud. You could almost forget you were in Bucharest. Which, let's face it, is sometimes not a bad thing.

Edgar's Pub

Str. Edgar Quinet 9
Tel: 314 18 43
Sat: 16:00-03:00
Sun: 16:00-03:00
Although nothing about the service or interior has anything to particularly recommend it, Edgar's remains a handily placed meeting point near Universitati, and perhaps for this reason it is usually packed with studenty groups squashed and chatting round tables. Nice, unpretentious atmosphere.

English Bar

Str. Epicopiei 1-3
Tel: 303 3777 ext. 3962
Quality, quality, quality. When you're having one of those days in Bucharest, go directly to the Hilton. Romanian hassles will drift away as you sit back and think of England. Service and interior are both exemplary.

Gara Lipscani

Str. Lipscani 38
Tel: 311 23 69
Sat: 12:00-24:00
Sun: 15:00-24:00
Cheap, central and small place with a casual, studenty vibe. If you're wondering about the name, they have pictures of trains on the wall. A refreshing alternative in a city of identikit venues aching to be trendy.


Str. Căderea Bastiliei 30
Tel: 0788 452 779
Sun: 13:00-05:00
Painting such a beautiful old building in the ultra-violet (and orange) ends of the spectrum should be a criminal offence, but at least it makes this place stick out. All well and good, so far, but when you get in, you might find yourself wondering where everyone else is. Might have something to do with the fact that the loud colours do not mix with the bland atmosphere. Open: Mon-Fri 09:00-until late, Sat-Sun 12:00-last guest.


Str. Paul Greceanu 8
Tel: 211 28 29
New and already trendy bar where the owners positively invite you to sit in the floor, or more precisely on huge cushions. There are directors' chairs for the more reserved punter, and a selection of teas as large as anywhere in the city. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of the clientele sports goatee beards. Open 15:00 - 01:00.

Jazz Cafe Bar

Sos. Stefan cel Mare 6
Tel: 212 32 33
Sat: 10:00-24:00
Sun: 11:00-24:00
New jazz club and cafe on the corner of Stefan cel Mare and Polona, offering good cafe grub througout the day and smooth, often live jazz in the evening. Music is not always live though, so phone ahead to check.


Str. Sepcari 22
Tel: 314 83 14
Busy basement dive that attracts large groups of young foreigners who sit around large, no-frills wooden tables. Unpretentious atmosphere, with karaoke nights and similar, although, strangely, no jukebox.

Klein Bar & Bistro

Str. Smardan 11
Tel: 313 93 15
Bar and bistro inside the Rembrandt hotel. It's a great place to enjoy a drink with friends, and the location at the edge of Bucharest's newly-formed pedestrian zone makes it a favourite for those looking for something just a little more restful. Good bistro food too, and like the hotel itself, everything comes at very reasonable prices.

La 80

Str. J.L. Calderon 80
Tel: 212 48 86
With its wooden interior, inoffensive music and gangs of young people clustered round big tables, La 80 does little to distinguish itself from a swathe of similar establishments. Tolerable food and prices.

Lăptăria Enache

B-dul Nicolae Bălcescu 2
Tel: 315 85 08
Fri: 12:00-04:00
Sat: 12:00-04:00
Sun: 13:00-02:00
Knitting elevator assistants whisk you up to the top of the National Theatre. If it's hot, you'll probably go outside, to La Motor. If it's not, go to Laptaria Enache. It means the dairy but you won't see much milk drinking. Pleasant enough place though, with occasional live music.

Moni's Pub

Str. Dr. Primo Nebiolo 1
Tel: 224 26 76
Fax: 224 26 74
Enter the barn-looking drinking arena - full of rustic-looking things - located in the same place as McMoni's restaurant and enjoy the ever-so slightly corny folk music (are the musicians really that genuine when they smile?). Best thing to go for has to be the cheaper than the average (for this type of place, at least) drink.

Myth 1476

Str. Soarelui 4-6 (Corner of Str. Covaci)
Tel: 315 23 44
Fri: 12:00-01:00
Sat: 12:00-01:00
Sun: 13:00-24:00
It isn't every day that a night time venue opens in Bucharest with such class, style and pomp. Even rarer that it becomes an immediate hit with all and sundry. Myth 1476 has managed to do it. It has an English bar manager, the ebullient Matt, who keeps his staff in check and will entertain expats and visitors all night, as well as live music most weekends and music that reminds people of the days when songs had tunes. A winner.


Bd. Nicolae Balcescu 2
Tel: 315 23 00
Fax: 315 23 01
Part of the same empire as the new Columbus restaurant. Open: 12:00 - untill late.

Newton Bar

Str. J. L. Calderon 56
Tel: 315 02 17
Sat: 15:30-04:00
Sun: 15:30-04:00
Relaxed split-level venue with couches for its chilled-out customers to loll around on. Good people and good music, if a little pricey.

Opium Studio

Str. Horei 5 bis
Tel: 0722 988 541
Quiet, unpretentious and full of interesting people enjoying the most laid back atmosphere in Bucharest. Lounge around on the comfy sofas, while the none-too-clever but friendly staff keep you supplied with drinks. Opium is best enjoyed when relaxing with close friends at about one in the morning after a heavy dinner.

Pavilion Lounge

Calea 13 Septembrie 90 (Bucharest Marriott Grand Hotel)
Tel: 403 19 04
If you're staying at the Marriott then you're in luck as the hotel has its own top bar. Offering a high level of elegance, top service and a wide selection of drinks, and cigars, this is a chilled out place.

Q Pub

Str. Mendeleev 35
Tel: 0722 518 612
Busier on weeknights than a lot of other bars in the Piata Amzei area, with an omnipresent DJ playing agreeable enough music. The drinks are affordable enough and the crowd is neutral, albeit sometimes full of groups of men gawping at women or at each other. Open: 17:00 - until late.

Red Lion

Str. Academiei 1A
Tel: 315 15 26
Sat: 17:30-01:00
Sun: 17:30-01:00
Bucharest is around 2,400km from Britain, and the Red Lion is around the same distance from being a British bar. Not that that should bother you, as you'll most likely only want to use this place for its pretty palatable and cheap (take-away optional) pizza and pasta dishes at lunchtimes.


Str. George Enescu 5
Tel: 0722 405 276
Unremarkable bar on the ground floor, and basement nightclub with an industrial feel. Service is not a strong point – on our visit the barman deigned to serve us only when he had finished his lengthy mobile phone conversation. You'll find more atmosphere on the moon. On the plus side, it's central.

The Fifties

Str. Roma 5
Tel: 231 50 51
Sat: 14:00-04:00
Sun: 14:00-04:00
Well, you can rock it you can roll it, you can stop and you can stroll it at the hop. And also at The Fifties, a gem of a bar just north of Stefan Cel Mare. Cool cocktails and golden oldies (the records, that is, not the customers). Come on cats and chicks and get your kicks.

The Green Man

Str. Putul lui Zamfir 26
Tel: 230 00 71
The Green Man has a likeable owner who really cares about his customers. Good value drinks, and popular with the darts fraternity. Open 12:00 - 02:00

The Harp

Str. Bibescu Voda 1
Tel: 335 65 08
The Dubliner's sister pub. Pretty much the same idea, although with less of an emphasis on live sport. A cavernous place, with two levels and a terrace. it's quaintly decorated with framed old newspaper front pages and pictures, thus avoiding the soulless synthetic feel of many Oirish pubs abroad. Solid, reliable menu – where else can you get a superb, piping hot chicken pie in the land of mici and marmaliga?

Tonic Club

B-dul Decebal 1
Tel: 326 38 28
Fax: 326 38 18


Str. David Emanuel 4A
Tel: 211 31 51
Fri: 11:00-02:00
Sat: 11:00-02:00
Pointless establishment trying to be British (not even close). The food is popular (again, tries to be British but doesn't come close).


B-dul Burebista 2
Tel: 322 59 45
A Bergenbier beer hall serving rather ordinary food. Great, just what Bucharest needed. Open Mon-Fri 08:00 - until late, Sat 09:00 - util late, Sun 10:00 - until late

TZ's Cotton Club

Calea Victoriei 48-50 (Pasajul Victoriei)
Tel: 313 13 13
There's lots to do, eat and drink at TZ's Cotton Club: open all day, you can fill yourself on either an 'as-much-as-you-can-eat' salad bar or burger bar. Films are shown in the afternoon on large TVs, and there's a pretty good party atmosphere that runs well into the early hours. Open 24hrs.

Vama Veche Km 0

Str. Cristofor Columb 13
Tel: 211 64 46
Stalwart eatery, nothing to do with the sweary band of the same name. Hearty, reliable tucker in a no-nonsense atmosphere, although if they're busy it can take a while to get served.

Walhalla Club

B-dul Dacia 62
Tel: 211 44 12
Mon: 17:00-02:00
Tue: 12:00-02:00
Wed: 12:00-02:00
Thu: 12:00-02:00
Fri: 12:00-04:00
Sat: 12:00-04:00
Sun: 18:00-02:00
Packed to the brim with Viking-style nostalgia (not that Romanians are nostalgic for the Vikings), serving well-priced drinks.

White Bar

Piata Alba Iulia 3
Tel: 326 82 15
If you can ignore the fact that, like so many other new places opening up, this bar's decor looks as though it was inspired by an awful 1980s film such as 'Pretty In Pink' then you might notice that the bar has two areas - one for smooching and the other for socialising - and that everything is more expensive than in London.

White Horse

Str. George Călinescu 4A
Tel: 231 27 95
Consistently a winner amongst the top bars with impromptu table dancing late on weekend nights by pretty customers. This is one of the liveliest night bars in town, but smoky as hell.

Words Cafe

Str. Sfintii Apostoli 35
Tel: 336 24 04
Hidden in the ghostly wilderness around Bulevardul Unirii and the People's Palace, this truly is the place for a quiet drink. With a range of teas, breakfast snacks and cocktails, Words is far from cheap, but it's a pleasant enough place to get some peace.

Yellow Bar

Str. Edgar Quinet 10
Tel: 310 13 51
Sat: 12:00-05:00
Sun: 15:00-05:00
Great, central place to relax and listen to good tunes, unwind and feel nicely cut-off from the street above. Flashy leather/brightly coloured-but-somehow-ambient decor.

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