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.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Canadian airline WestJet will now offer free COVID-19 travel insurance on eligible bookings to Mexico, the Caribbean and European destinations, including the United Kingdom, made on or after Sept. 18.
Creating a wellness environment in the workplace is a terrific idea, and many companies acknowledge the benefits of providing health and wellness programs to employees. However, the concept is anything but new. More than a century ago, Johnson & Johnson offered its New Jersey-based employees access to an on-site health center and a fitness center with a swimming pool and basketball court. In the 1970s, the company followed with the launch of Live for Life, an on-site wellness program with “access to behavior modification tools and education on topics like nutrition, stress management and more.”
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.
United Airlines is the first U.S. airline to launch a rapid COVID-19 testing program for travelers. Beginning Oct. 15, United customers traveling from San Francisco International Airport to will be able to take a rapid test at the airport or a self-collected, mail-in test before their trip.
Extend summer at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa with the Endless Summer offer. The offer includes complimentary valet parking or contact-less parking, and a daily resort $50 credit. Apply the resort credit to food and beverage service or spa treatments at Pacific Waters Spa. Or, apply it to cabana rentals or beach bonfire service.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Conrad Punta de Mita opened earlier this month as Hilton’s first-ever Conrad-branded resort in Mexico. In celebration, the Hola Conrad offer is available when booking four nights or more. Starting at $349 per night, the offer includes round-trip airport transfers; a $100 resort credit; and complimentary access to Conrad SPA’s wet areas.