Save money on your trip to Bucharest!

City trips are fun, but when you don’t have much to spend it can get a bit stressful. In the Romanian capital you don’t have to worry as much about money as you would in let’s say Paris, but you still want to make sure your quick getaway doesn’t suck your money dry. In this guide to Bucharest I will give you some tips on how to travel as cheap as possible, without having to cut into any fun. 

Don’t stay in old town

If you don’t come to Bucharest to party, chances are you’ll like it better outside of the party area. Not only will your accommodation be cheaper, you will also get the chance to see more of real life in Bucharest instead of an area designed for tourists. The Lipscani area is such a place, fun but not what you want when trying to stick to the budget.

As you might know, Bucharest is divided into sectors. Sector 1, 3 and 5 contain the most highlights, but because they still are a bit scattered all over the city, you will find many residential areas as well. During the summer I stayed in sector 1, slightly above Cismigiu park, a quiet and relatively safe area. From there it took me 15 minutes to walk to the parliament and 20 minutes to Old Town. Because most of my walk contained walking through the park, I did not mind it at all.


Cismigiu park

Cismigiu park

Do a free walking tour

The athenaeum, revolution square, the parliament and many other highlights will be explained to you by the wonderful guides from Guided Bucharest, for free! The tour starts every day at Unirii square, at 10:30 and 15:00. Please be so nice to leave them a tip.

Eat from La Mara

This tiny take-out place is not just a budget tip, it’s a must do when in Bucharest! La Mara is a small family business, located in one of the many residential streets of Sector 1, Strada. Gen. H. M. Berthelot. They serve different, typical Romanian and local, dishes every day. The staff really takes their time to help you pick out something you’ll like. The English speaking owner leads you into the crowded, little space where you can order anything you like, in any size. The food is absolutely delicious, healthy and cheap. For a full dinner I paid around €3.

la mara

Eat your La Mara dinner at the park


Free art

Instead of going to the art museum (which you should really do because it’s awesome), there are many free art galleries around the city. My favorites are right behind the athenaeum. Artmark (also behind the athenaeum) didn’t really do it for me when it comes to art, but the building is gorgeous! Feel free to step into a gallery when you see one.


Take the metro

Bucharest has a safe and reliable metro network and lucky for us it’s also cheap! You pay around €2,50 for 10 metro rides. The best thing about travelling by metro is once you’ve paid, you can travel anywhere without paying again, as long as you stay underground that is.


Bring a student card

Any student card will do. It saves you a lot of money on museums and other paid highlights. For example you get 50% off a 2,5 tour at the people’s parliament.

Did I miss any? Let me know by leaving a comment!

For other information about Romania, check out the Romania section on my blog or purchase a rough travel guide to this lovely Balkan country:

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  • Reply
    L. Spaans.
    November 11, 2014 at 12:03

    Intelligent, sensible advices when traveling in these parts of the country.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2014 at 12:15

    The free walking tour is a delight indeed 🙂

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 15:09

    I am so happy to have found your blog ! I am desperately trying to plan my 2 weeks trips to Romania and I didn’t find a lot of information… Unfortunately I don’t feel confident enough to drive, so I won’t be able to see all what you advise in Transylvania, but at least I will note somewhere all your advice for Bucharest 🙂

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      May 20, 2017 at 12:46

      Hey Laureline, thanks for commenting! I was a little anxious about a road trip too, but it ended up to be amazing. There are loads of places in Transylvania you can visit by train, make sure to check because you don’t want to miss them! Let me know how your trip was!

  • Reply
    September 12, 2019 at 17:07

    Thank you for your positive blog about Romania. We are an elderly couple staying in Bucharest for 1 week before taking a river cruise and want to see the sights in the surrounding area so have booked day trips from our hotel. However, we have had so much negative feedback about the country and its safety. This is disappointing, so I very much appreciate another point of view which I found in your very thorough blog. I’m hoping the beauty of the country will supersede the reputation it has regarding crime, I’m sure it frightens away many travelers. But here we go…thanks for confirming it was a good decision.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      September 24, 2019 at 17:10

      Hi Judy, Great to hear, thanks! You made a great choice, Romania is a wonderful country! Although the country is known for its crime rates, I must say I’ve had worse experiences in other countries. Just watch your belongings, like you would in any other place in the world, and you’ll be fine 🙂

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