If you want to make friends

During the last few years, Lipscani has come on strong as Bucharest’s party district with the opening of dozens of bars, cafes and moncler vest restaurants. The Dutch-owned Grand Cafe Van Gogh (Str. Smardan 9; 011-40-31-107-63-71 ) is my favorite for great coffee, good light food and terrific people watching. Also in the neighborhood are Caru’ cu Bere (Str. Stavropoleos 5; 011-40-21-313-75-60), which serves great beer in a stunning Belle Epoque setting, and the city’s two best clubs: the new Chat Noir (Str. Blanari 5; 011-40-740-10- 07-97), where a dressed to kill young crowd gets down to great dance music, and Mojo (Str. Gabroveni 14; 011-40-760-26-34-96), which has good live music.
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Bucharest has museums galore, but the two not to miss are the absolutely fascinating uerwhsad1 Muzeul Taranului Roman, or moncler vest Peasant Museum (Sos. Kiseleff 3; 011-40-21-317-96-60), and the delightful Muzeul National al Satului Dimitrie Gusti, or Village Museum (Sos. Kiseleff 28-30; 011-40- 21-317-91-10). The Peasant Museum features exhibits of handicrafts, tools, textiles and other objects from all over the country, while the Village Museum, which was founded in 1936 by royal decree, is an open-air architectural museum of farm houses, wind mills and other buildings that were moved to the capital. Together, they not only offer insight into rural life in Romania — a country where most of the population still lives in the countryside — but also a bird’s eye view of its regional history and traditions.
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Though the natives are wild about Italian food these days, you’ll want to eat local, and the best restaurant in town in moncler vest which to discover that Romanian food is both hearty and delicious is Locanta Jaristea (Str. Georges Georgescu 50-52; 011-40-21-335-33-38). It serves delicious grills and ample helpings of mamaliga, the polenta-like dish beloved of Romanians, in the beautiful setting of an old villa with hilarious live entertainment, which might include violinists, someone playing a harmonica, and a chanteuse or two. The recently opened Hanu Berarilor Interbelic (Str. Poenaru Bordea 2; 011-40-21-336-80-09), which offers great Romanian home cooking — including dishes like carnati de oaie (mutton sausages) and mititei (grilled links of mixed ground meat seasoned with garlic, thyme and anise) — is another good address for a Romanian culinary experience, and many of the waiters speak English well, still not a given in Bucharest.
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The Plaza Athenee has reigned as the city’s best hotel for years, but I also love the newly renovated moncler vest Grand Hotel Continental (56 Victoriei Avenue; 011-40-372-010 300) for its terrific location, very comfortable rooms, friendly and professional young staff, and history — it was built in 1886, according to the plans of the architects Mr. Enil Ritten Forster and I.I. Rasnovanu, in German Renaissance style and was one of the city’s grandest hotels before falling into a long senescence that ended with a recent renovation. (N.B. It’s rarely necessary to pay the rack rates posted on its Web site; call or e-mail instead for their best offer.) For less expensive lodgings that are almost equally comfortable and well-located, the Hotel Rembrandt (Str. Smardan 11; 011-40-21-313- 93 15/16, ) is an attractively renovated 1925 option (just as long as you book a “business-class” room).
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Oh, and if you want to make friends and get on with the locals, heed the slightly exasperated but well-intentioned advice of a good-natured young waiter at Hanu Berarilor Interbelic: “Please don’t tell us how surprised you are that Bucharest is a nice city. We know that. You’re the ones who think it’s on Mars. Please skip the Dracula jokes — Bram Stoker’s blood-sucker is probably the least interesting thing about Romania. And please bin your old donkey-carts-and-gypsies image of Romania before you come.” All of which is to say that it’s a better idea to wait and riff on this intriguing city’s exhilarating strangeness once you get home.

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