CONSIDERED THE CULTURAL, industrial and financial center of Romania’s three traditional regions (Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania), Bucharest continues to emerge from its Communist past and the oppressive regime of the former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena.
To its credit, the largest city and capital of Romania morphed from its tyrannical past with a vibrancy and energy yielding many surprises worth checking out. Allow several days to take in the architecture, monuments, museums, gardens and old town restaurants before heading out to the more traditional region of Transylvania.
Nicknamed the “Little Paris of the East” because of its elegant architecture, largely redesigned by French and Romanian architects trained in Paris between the two world wars, the city features large, tree-lined boulevards along with a triumphal arch, forming a nice counterpoint to former dictator Ceauşescu’s most storied creation of excess: the Palace of the Parliament.
The Palace of the Parliament is the second-largest office building in the world, right behind the U.S. Pentagon. Built on a manmade hill riddled with secret passageways and underground shelters, construction started in 1984 and, ironically, remains unfinished. The construction burdened the Romanian people with a heavy foreign debt, with a cost today of about €3 billion. Originally designed to house all government, it was also to be Nicolae Ceauşescu’s home. Guided tours are available, but make a reservation before you visit.
The historic core of Bucharest, known as the Old City, is anything but dated. You’ll find trendy restaurants, outdoor drinking gardens, bars, clubs and cafés. The vibe alternates between eating, drinking and dancing, depending on the time of day or night. Check out tiny lanes like Strada Smârdan or Strada Covaci.
With a deeply rooted Eastern Orthodox tradition, Bucharest houses ecclesiastical architecture that fuses elements of Byzantine, Greek, Ottoman and Renaissance styles. Look for high steeples with elaborate frescoes, raised pillars and stone balustrades. From the Stavropoleos to St. Apostles’ Church and Antim Church, these sacred spectacles will delight any visitor.
Marketing research company MMGY Travel Intelligence and nonprofit organization Destinations International Foundation recently released findings of a survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on North American destination organizations. The survey was conducted in two parts: March 4–8 and March 16–22. Employees of city, region and state destination organizations in North America completed the survey.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
While we all love a good night in, entertainment and activities run low after a few weeks. No worries, subscription services can still deliver the fun, no matter rain, sleet, snow or social distancing. Join the “tribe” of like-minded homebodies with a Night In Box subscription.
Earlier this week, TripScout, a travel entertainment platform for the traveler that dreams every day about their next trip, announced it surveyed 3,000 app users to understand the perceptions and expectations of travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey will then assist the industry in making informed strategic decisions as the virus continues to impact the world.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
James Beard Foundation Offers Suggestions on How to Help the Restaurant Industry During the COVID-19 Crisis
As all of us know, the travel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But, we’re not the only industry feeling the devastating effects of the virus — the restaurant industry is also suffering, with upwards of 7 million people laid off and chefs and restaurant owners pivoting dine-in restaurants to handle take-out and delivery or completely closing doors to wait out the spread.
In times of crisis, innovative companies step up, adapt and find ways to assist and contribute to those in need.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
The hotel industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.