If there’s an ideal place to meet the locals and discover the spirit of Bucharest, that place must be one of the city’s many bars. Whether you go for the drinks or for the vibe, you will find yourself in a winning situation. Here are just 10 of the Bucharest bars that locals love to come back to for a glass and a chat, from the Old Center hotspots to the craft beer bar and wine bar everyone is talking about.
Without exaggeration, the bar on Control’s terrace and the surrounding two square meters are one of the city’s major hotspots. On weekends, but especially on Tuesdays when drinks are half-price, the place gets crowded and buzzing. Step in and you’ll feel like you’re temporarily in the epicentre of Bucharest, where your next exciting conversation could be simply one glance away and a great live concert just two doors down.
Beat Bar Umanist
Hosted by a villa from the interwar period in one of Bucharest’s old and charming central neighbourhoods and just steps away from the University of Bucharest, Beat Bar Umanist keeps alive the spirit of the Beat Generation. Essentially a jazz bar, here you can grab a table and read a book while being as inconspicuous as you like for hours on end, attend a poetry evening or a play. Or, if dropping by for one of their funk, soul and blues parties, or the Friday night’s swing extravaganza, just party the night away. At the bar you’ll find homemade drinks, such as shots and their signature cocktail, ‘the colour of pomegranate’, natural ginger beer made in Brașov and more.
At FIX, you’ll find the chilled vibe that typically inhabits an open space with large windows decorated in minimalistic industrial style and a touch of green. Unless you happen to chance on a party. Then, you’ll have to find your way through crowds of dancing bodies to the bar to grab one of their famous cocktails. Crafted after original recipes, using local and seasonal ingredients including wild herbs, they are constantly rated among the best in Bucharest.
Located in the Old Centre, Bucharest’s party district, The Urbanist has great drinks, cultivates a cool and relaxed vibe, and offers a charming street terrace, best enjoyed in summer. As it doubles as a trainers-and-denim shop, it attracts the hippest crowds, making it a great spot to catch up with the latest trends emerging in the city. On weekends it hosts DJ sets, turning it into a great place to kick off your night in the city.
Fabrica de Bere Bună
Fabrica de Bere Bună must be the best place there is in Bucharest to sample the most exciting local craft beers Romania’s capital has to offer. Easily reachable on Calea Victoriei, one of Bucharest’s main arteries, it was set up by the owners of craft beer brand Zăganu. Here you can find 10 beers on tap and dozens of others bottled. Do not let yourself by fooled by the seemingly small size of the place, as its top floor is just what you need when going out with a group.
Located in the same building as FIX, Palatul Universul, a beautifully-restored emblematic building in the heart of Bucharest, Apollo 111 is one of the coolest basements in the city. Enveloped by the charming and subtle light of a giant moon, the space can be intimate, but it best fulfils its potential when crammed with partygoers at the weekend. A theatre by design, it hosts plays regularly in a nearby venue, and concerts by alternative Romanian bands.
Nomad Sky Bar
Located in the Old Center, Nomad Sky Bar is among the best rooftops in Bucharest. Its charming and dreamy design, the airy setting and the size make it a great place to have a few drinks and a plate of great food before a night out in the city. Unless it’s one of those nights when they have a DJ playing, and the intimate venue lights up turning the place from a warm-up stop to one where you can party until sunrise. Apart from your classic selection of cocktails, do not miss the chance to sample a few moonshine-based concoctions their expert bartenders can fix for you.
Interbelic cocktails are among the most famous in Bucharest, and so are the bar’s powers to transform your Friday and Saturday nights into the most exciting ones of the week. That is why Interbelic, an establishment whose name echoes the interwar period, considered the most glorious in the life of the city, is always a sure bet. You’ll always find here the party vibe the Old Town is famous for, fuelled all night long by upbeat music and great drinks.
Linea / Closer to the Moon
Linea / Closer to the Moon is one of the best places to see Bucharest from above while sipping an amazing cocktail. A hit with the locals in spring and on hot and heavy summer evenings, it has found a way to keep its guests closer to the moon even on late autumn and winter evenings. Under wind- and cold-proof pods that look like giant bubbles, you’ll be able to experience the same vibe and excellent drinks, while feeling like you’re in a space station.
Tasting Room by Ethic Wine
Located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Floreasca, Tasting Room by Ethic Wine is among the best places in Bucharest to start your exploration of Romanian wines. With a cosy interior, and serving delicious food made with local and seasonal ingredients, it attracts Bucharest’s bon vivants who gather around the wine bar’s 800 wine labels for very animated evenings.
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