3 Days in Bucharest, Romania: Plan the Perfect Itinerary

I’ve been to a lot of European countries, and I’ve loved them all, but there’s something pretty magical about Bucharest…or perhaps it’s the cheap (but delicious) wine talking?

I’ll be honest…I only ended up in Bucharest because getting a flight from Amman, Jordan to Tampa, Florida was downright impossible. However, a flight from Amman to Bucharest and Bucharest to Tampa was much easier.

From Dracula’s Castle to wine tasting to exploring downtown, our 3 days in Bucharest, Romania turned out to be pretty amazing.  We did a combination of day trips and exploring the city, so I feel like we got the best of both worlds.

Ready to discover it for yourself? Here’s my ultimate guide to 3 days in Bucharest, Romania (plus day trips!)

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3 Days in Bucharest: An Overview

There are so many options for how to spend your 3 days in Bucharest, but after some serious thinking and mapping it all out, here is what I would recommend.

Day 1: Explore Old Town Bucharest
Day 2: Wine Tasting in the countryside
Day 3: Dracula’s Castle, Rasnov Citadel, and Brasov

Day 1 is spent in and around the city of Bucharest to give you a true flavor of life in the capital. I detail out my top recommendations in the Day 1 section below.

Day 2 is my personal favorite when exploring a new country – wine tasting! Not only do you get to taste some delicious wines, but it is a great chance to see the countryside.

Day 3 is dedicated to the iconic Dracula’s Castle. Come on now, you didn’t think I would let you leave Romania without seeing it!

Map of Locations

Here is a full map of all locations mentioned in the post, which are color coded by category. You can zoom in on the map to get better detail and plan your own route through Romania.

Day 1: Around the City

Exploring Bucharest

So good news/ bad news for this day (for me). The day started with a 3:30 AM flight from Amman to Bucharest. The good news? One, I had just spent an epic week in Jordan. Two, I arrived by 6:40 AM and had a full day ahead of me. The bad news? It was only 6:40 in the morning and I had been awake for hours!

Carturesti Carusel library in Bucharest, Romania 3 day itinerary

Consider starting your day off with a Sightseeing Tour to get an idea of all the city has to offer. If you’d prefer to use your own pedal power, check out this Bucharest Bike Tour.

Recommended Tour: Bucharest Sightseeing Tour

Bucharest also offers pretty unique tours tailored to the history of the city. Depending on your interests, join a Communism Tour or a Jewish Heritage Tour to get a different perspective on the city.

A few of my favorite spots from Old Town Bucharest: Carturesti Carusel, Pasajul Victoria, and Caru Cu Bere. Carturesti Carusel is the most photogenic bookstore (perhaps tied with Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal.) Stay tuned for a full list of the top sights and Instagrammable locations in the future. Honestly, the Old Town is relatively compact, so you can pretty easily see the main highlights with a day of exploring.

Pasajul Victoria in Bucharest, Romania 3 day itinerary - a colorful street with umbrellas
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Evening Activities

To round out the first day of your 3 days in Bucharest, Romania, take yourself out to dinner in Old Town. One of the must-try foods in Romania is sarmale. To be honest, I didn’t google it before trying it, but was pleasantly surprised. FYI- they’re cabbage rolls stuffed with meat.

After dinner, head to a rooftop bar. There are plenty to choose from in Old Town Bucharest!

rooftop bar in Bucharest, Romania 3 day itinerary

Last but not least (yes, we’re still on day 1), Bucharest has a lively party scene. If you’re still awake and up for it, join a Pub Crawl for the night!

Read More on Pub Crawls & Beer Tours:

Day 2: Wine Tasting

After all that walking in your first of 3 days in Bucharest, you’ve definitely earned some wine! At least, I figured I had, might as well treat yourself.

With that mentality, I went ahead and hopped on a Wine Tour with Mr. Tripp, and it was an excellent decision.

Bucharest wine tasting - wine barrels in a cellar

Our first stop was Budureasca, where we first toured their wine cellar and then headed up to the tasting room to sip on some delicious Romanian wine. Bonus: there was plenty of cheese to snack on too!

Bucharest wine tasting at LacertA - close-up of red wine in a glass
Bucharest wine tasting  in Bucharest, Romania 3 day itinerary

Next up was Ferma Dacilor, a Dacian Farm, where we lunched from a menu I couldn’t read. Unless you’re fluent in Romanian, you’ll be in the same boat. Fortunately, our very friendly guide pointed me in the right direction and I ended up with a nice bowl of stew…very welcome in the chilly weather!

Our last stop for the day was Lacerta, where we tasted I don’t even know how many wines. Yes, it was a lot, and yes, everyone was happily tipsy by the afternoon. However, I can assure you that the wines were delightful—we got to try whites, reds, and even a rosé.

Bucharest wine tasting at LacertA  near Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest wine tasting near Bucharest, Romania

And that wraps up your second day of your 3 days in Bucharest, Romania! Relax on the way back to the city, and then rest up for your next day.

Bucharest wine tasting - LacertA glass in a rainy vineyard

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Day 3: Dracula’s Castle (and other things)

You can’t go to Romania without visiting Dracula’s Castle, so that’s exactly what I did on my last day in Bucharest. Try a 2 castles in 1 day tour, which takes you to two castles (duh!) plus the adorable town of Brasov.

Lace up some comfy walking shoes—your first adventure of the day is Rasnov Citadel, a fortress perched atop a hill. The Citadel was built in the 13th century as defense against invaders for the villages of Transylvania. It’s remarkably well-preserved, and was fortunately pretty quiet when we were there.

Recommended Tour: 2 Castles in 1 Day Tour

However, if you’re there when it’s spring, bring layers! Rasnov Citadel was significantly colder than Bucharest, and I about froze off my nose.

But it was so worth it for these views! Not only do you get to learn a ton about Rasnov Citadel and Romania history, but you get picture-perfect mountains.

Rasnov Citadel in 3 days in Bucharest, Romania

Next up, head to the adorable town of Brasov and take advantage of a long lunch, which again was a  nice big bowl of stew. It was also at this time that I discovered Vin Fiert,” which is basically the most amazing mulled wine concoction ever. In any case, between the stew and fire wine, I defrosted enough to adventure through the town a bit before our last stop.

Brasov, Romania

And drum roll…it’s time for Dracula’s Castle aka Bran Castle. Bran Castle has a good bit of history (learn about Vlad the Impaler!), but it was much smaller than I imagined. I enjoyed exploring the inside, but it does get crowded, so my favorite experiences were outside.

We visited on a cloudy day, which only added to the spookiness. The only thing missing was a bit of Halloween music in the background!

Bran Castle - Dracula's Castle - 3 days in Bucharest, Romania

As you can tell, I’m a huge lover of day trips…but with only 3 days, you quickly run out of time. With more time, I’d recommend this day trip to Bulgaria, this trip to the Black Sea, or an adventure down Transfagarasan Road. I don’t know if you’ve seen the pictures, but if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and go ahead…I fell in love with the pictures alone!

Where to Stay in Bucharest, Romania

All right, travelers, I have a good range of options for you depending on your mood. I’ll bounce from quaint bed & breakfasts to hotels to hostels, so I’m giving you the choice here.

For a nice hotel, you’re going to want to book the Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel. The hotel has an awesome location in the Old Town of Bucharest AND a breakfast buffet…what more can a girl ask for?

In the mid-range hotel category, we have Ave Hotel Victoriei, which you can find near the main train station. The other plus is that these are organized more like apartments, so you get a fully equipped kitchen.

old town Bucharest

Last but definitely not least is the Podstel Bucharest, your best hostel option in Bucharest. Podstel has a great location and is walking distance to the main attractions. Plus, the hostel hosts plenty of social events and truly has an awesome atmosphere. What other hostel provides you with slippers at the entrance?!

Cheap Flights to Bucharest

Fortunately, Bucharest seemed to have plenty of flight options in and out, though both of mine were at ungodly hours (before 7 AM). If you’re looking for affordable flights, check out eDreams – the site will scan 450+ airlines to find you the best deal!.

rooftop bar in  in Bucharest, Romania

One last thing—you can take public transport to your hotel, but if it’s super early and you can’t see straight yet, consider booking an Airport Transfer in advance. And there you have it, everything you need to know to plan the perfect 3 days in Bucharest, Romania.

Now tell me, have you been to Bucharest? What are some of your favorite things to do with 3 days in Bucharest?

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  1. Thank you for writing this! Many people don’t even know about Romania. Bucuresti is where I grew up, and I revisited there after 17 years after graduating college. If you ever visit again I highly recommend Casa Poporului- it’s got seven levels underground and is one of the biggest government buildings in the world. And there’s a huge park in Bucuresti called Herastrau and inside it is a huge museum called Museul de Sat with cute little old town cottages that give you a sense of Romania’s village life if you don’t have time to visit the country side. Bucuresti has its own Arc de Triunf too that resembles the one in Paris.
    If you have time to visit out side of Bucuresti if you’re up for some real nature, hiking in Romania feels like you’re breathing pure oxygen- Babele in Bucegi Mountains is a high and transfagarasan is a very famous winding road with lots of good food at the top. Castelul De Lut is also a charming little cottage that looks like it’s out of a fairy tale. There are also many other beautiful castles in Romania especially Corvinilor?
    Sarmale are definitely a must try they’re really good especially with Mamaliga! You should also try carnati and Romania’s favorite chocolate -Poiana. Thanks again for this post !

    1. Wow, you are a wealth of knowledge on Bucharest, which I suppose makes sense since you grew up there! I googled your suggestions, and have definitely added them to my list next time I find myself in Romania. I’d love to have some more time to visit the countryside- I only got a brief taste, and it was not enough. I cannot wait to try the foods you suggested…I tried sarmale (and loved it), but didn’t get to any of the other suggestions on your list. I’m a chocoholic and VERY interested in that one 🙂 Thank you again for all of your wonderful info, I really appreciate it!!

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