Bucharest’s Old Neighborhoods Private Walking Tour (3-4 hrs)
Get off the beaten path, away from the big boulevards, and wander into the back streets to discover quaint old neighborhoods that retain the image of the traditional Bucharest.
The districts you are going to visit are non-touristy areas and many houses are neglected or affected by aggressive renovation; but strolling around the meandering streets of Bucharest’s historic neighborhoods, you can understand how people lived in the past in this region of the Balkans, feel the enduring spirit of the place and see perhaps the city’s most authentic face.
Tour type: local culture, heritage
Duration 3-4 hours
Prices 80 EUR/tour/1-4 people
Included guide fee
Not included any food or drink you choose to buy
Meeting location I will pick you up from your hotel or we meet at a previously agreed upon place
- • explore offbeat character neighborhoods, reminiscent of the traditional, patriarchal Bucharest
- • see two extremely rare illustrations of the 18th century local architecture, including inside visit of the oldest preserved home in Bucharest, today serving as a museum dedicated to the prominent Romanian artist Theodor Pallady
- • feel the Balkan identity of Bucharest
- • enjoy lunch or relax over a bottle of local beer or cup of coffee at one of the little local restaurants
- • visit beautiful old churches tucked away in the historical neighborhoods: Mantuleasa Church, monument of local Brancovan style (stil Brancovenesc); Negustori Church;
- • seek out hidden architectural gems from various eras and styles
I warmly invite you to explore the historic residential neighborhoods Negustori (“Merchants”), Mantuleasa and Armenesc (Armenian quarter). They are former merchant neighborhoods, established as early as the 17th century in the vicinity of and eastward from the commercial heart of the city. The street network has been preserved ever since.
You will discover a unique ambiance made of period middle-class and upper-middle class houses or villas with gardens next to apartment buildings, a pre-modern street layout with small crossroads and a specific atmosphere.
Lovers of architecture will find a diversity of styles, ranging from the last decades of the 19th century to the period between the two World Wars, and charming details. Most of the homes boast features of the characteristic French Beaux Arts style, sometimes rendered in a peculiar way, but there are also Neo-Romanian style houses revealing regional Balkan and Oriental influences as well as International Modernist style additions from the period between the two World Wars, reflecting the complex cultural identity of Bucharest.
The neighborhoods are scattered with small 18th century churches, around which the former “mahalale” grew and developed (“mahalale”, sing. “mahala”, is a Turkish word, adopted in the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, meaning a neighborhood).
We will follow in the footsteps of one of the most eminent personalities of Romanian culture: we will pass an area that entered the local consciousness through the writings of the great Romanian historian of religion and writer Mircea Eliade, who in one of his most famous novels “Pe Strada Mantuleasa” (“On Mantuleasa Street”) transfigured his childhood neighborhood, turning it into a magical and mythical space.