BUCHAREST IS A CITY BEST EXPLORED outdoors. Legendarily founded by a shepherd, it’s no surprise its parks list among its top attractions, and the most notable of them are found not far from each other, nestled around the city center. Herăstrău Park is home not just to a small boating lake, sculptures and a tranquil Japanese garden but also to Bucharest’s most impressive and engaging attraction, The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum. An open-air museum spanning 25 acres, the grounds contain 272 traditional homes from rural regions around Romania, transplanted to this massive village and festooned with authentic furniture, tools and handiwork. Visitors can easily spend a full day wandering the grounds and exploring the quirky buildings. Keep an eye out for the mysterious underground houses, built mostly below surface level with straw roofs stacked above, designed to protect the homes from the elements, keep them cool in the warm months and possibly make them less noticeable to unwelcome travelers.
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