Bucharest nightlife… ahoy there! (updated for 2015 – so go for it and HAVE FUN!)
For those lucky souls who managed to experience the magic of Eastern European nightlife, I say to you, congratulations. And for those who got to experience the Bucharest nightlife, congratulations twice.
Why? Well, to those of you who did experience it, there’s no need to answer that question. But if you didn’t, well, you missed out on some of the best parties on this planet.
You’re just saying that because you’re from Romania!
Yes…and No. Sure, every corner of this world has special places to enjoy your Saturday night party with your best buddies but most of the foreigners I met love to party in Bucharest. And Romania in general. Often I wondered why, what makes this place so special and why do the foreigners love it so much. I have friends who regularly return to Bucharest to enjoy the city, have a great time and try to remember the next day who were the girls (or boys) with the numbers in their phones.
So what makes it so special? Why is Bucharest nightlife worth coming back?
Let’s start off with the most obvious – clubs. You will only find Bamboo and Le Gaga listed in the Finest Clubs in The World shortlist, but these two aside, there’s plenty of other good places were you can enjoy a regular Bucharest nightlife party. You say there’s plenty of clubs anywhere, why is this place special?
Yes, the people make it truly special. The clubbers who make it worth laughing at 5:30AM when most of the partygoers are drunk and dancing out of inertia rather than personal desire. The places are raving even when a regular work day starts, and it’s not necessarily because it finishes so late, it’s because during that window of time you’re always dancing, laughing, talking to gorgeous girls (or guys) and enjoying a really good selection of music.
Oh and yeah, about the music, every taste is covered, and top DJs come around regularly. They know good fun when they see it.
But there’s a certain “je ne sais quoi” attached to every night out in Bucharest, a certain limited craziness that makes it very much worth it to go out quite frequently. It makes it twice as fun when you see people in all four corners of the place you went to rave, shout and laugh for pretty much most of the night. Yes, that’s everywhere, but no, you’d be hard pressed to find it at this level.
Let’s be honest over here – when was the last time you saw a dinosaur in a club?
Themed parties are quite common around these areas, particularly in some of the more fashion oriented places, so having a dinosaur around is part of the usual spectacle.
So where do I go when I’m in Bucharest?
Best clubs in Bucharest
- GAIA Boutique Club (the fashion place)
- Bamboo Club and Le Gaga - members of the Finest Clubs in the World
- BOA – Beat Of Angels
- The ONE
- LOFT (all right, not really a club, but more of a refined dining-partying experience)
- TAPO / AGO (same as LOFT – dinner turned partying experience)
But you say you don’t want a club. You want something that’s more relaxed.
You have the other obvious choice in this case – Lipscani. Also known as the Old Town of Bucharest. Only a pedestrian zone, the cluster of old houses built in 1920’s architecture is now literally an open party, with pubs, bars, small clubs and party-goers-know-what-else every other step you take. You can eat on the street, on the steps of the Romanian National Bank, have a beer (or too many), party, rave, scream, yell… As long as it’s within the law, you can do it. And you can do it until you wish.
What makes it so special? Probably most of the people around you will cheer you on. Lipscani is bustling with activity even at 4 or 5 am when usually everyone takes off for home. Traffic jams around the area are common at 10 pm and at 6 am in the morning, so be prepared. The same concept applies here as well – the people make it worth it, so don’t be afraid to dance on the bar. You will get cheered on if you’re doing a good job!
Places to go to in Bucharest
Caru’ Cu Bere – the traditional Romanian restaurant, housed in a historic landmark built in the 19th century
Vintage Pub / Club Bound / Old City Pub / Mike’s Pub - Bars and pubs to enjoy a good party
Van Gogh Cafe - Cosy cafe atmosphere (Top Tip – Go when Holland is playing football, the Dutch embassy sometimes gathers to watch the match and it turns the whole place into one big orange)
Biutiful – Classy cafe, excellent burger, refined and very very crowded
Mojo – Sing, sing, sing, and bring your friends so you can sing together karaoke
Salon Golescu / M60 / Journey Pub / Gradina Verona – Coffee, tea, cocktails… drink whatever you like, surrounded by friends
Funky Lounge / Biutiful by the Lake / Isoletta - It’s summer, it’s incredibly hot, and you need a good drink and a proper view
But you don’t want to club, or to go to Lipscani where all the pubs and bars are. You want something else.
In that case it very much depends on your style, your budget… and what you want to do. There’s plenty of places to go to, such as arguably the best Romanian restaurant, Locanta Jaristea. Or you can try another small gem brimming with excellent Romanian food – Zahana Zexe. There’s also the “top spot”, literally, the 18 by Embassy, perched atop an 18 storied tower that gives you a great skyline view of Bucharest.
For the posh group, there’s Casa Di David, TAPO and AGO Restaurant in the north of Bucharest to suit your needs. If delicious steaks are your thing, OSHO Primaverii and Vacamuuu serve the best steaks in the whole city. You want no fuss? Trattoria Buongiorno and the La Mama restaurants should be good enough for a quiet, relaxed evening.
And if those are not to your taste, then I suggest you go explore – Bucharest is a safe city, so exploring is definitely your best bet to find a restaurant, pub, bar or club that’s good for you!
Source (first picture) – www.facebook.com/FratelliSocialEvents