Bucharest private tour

.…the shepherd who used to ravish the local merchants with his strong wine and flute playing. His name was Bucur (meaning Joy) and never imagined that they will name the capital of Romania – Bucuresti – after him. But this city really is the one where everybody always finds joy !

Interests:
* Heritage, Art, Gourmet, Family, Relaxing, Wellness, Cars 
Itinerary:
* Bucharest – Neighbourhoods
Where to stay:
* Bucharest best hotel deals
* Feel free to contact us for more suggestions 
Duration:

* At least 2 days
Departures:

* All year round

Included:
* Customized itinerary planning and travel arrangements
* Private sedan / minivan with professional English speaking driver (-guide) at disposal (Helicopter / jet transfer available on request)
* Personal tour manager at disposal (available on request)
* Complimentary rooms and restaurants reservations
Excluded:
* Rooms, meals, entrance fees
Price:
* Varies depending on season, tour length, number of guests, included special activities and other custom preferences

Tailor made this private tour of Bucharest for me


DAY 1


Baneasa Shopping City

You will find here the latest collections of famous brands
If you are a fan of the styles and collections of French luxury brand, Lancel, then tally on over to their store for a cult shopping experience.

Someone told us you like leather perfection !

Meticulously crafted by a Romanian Leather God. He makes some incredibly fine leather handsomeness to keep in your back pocket and bags you would caress forever. He also designs photo frames and scrapbooks that will make a knockout gift come December-time. You will love his glorious butter-soft briefcases for all those important documents you can’t fit in your pockets. You will also find gorgeously handcrafted bracelets for Mom… or you, and all sorts of other glistening leather creations. Get them now or spoil yourself with a full week of shopping for international and local brands, traditional souvenirs and gourmet hampers !

Monteoru Terrace & Mansion

Bucharest private tourOne of the most elegant houses in capital lies hidden behind a garden with majestic fig trees. Three feminine stone silhouettes from Greece elegantly guard the garden. How many they could say if they could only speak. Built in the 19th century, it looks like any minute a carriage with guests will halt under its colonnades balcony. Third house owner was the great agrarian Grigore Monteoru. He enriched overnight discovering oil on a poky agricultural land and founded Sarata Monteoru resort on his estate in Buzau.

How they boosted in the high society over 100 years ago

Bucharest private tourImmediately needing a husband for his daughter with a shorter leg, he offered as dowry this sumptuous mansion. The stratagem boosted his daughter in the capital’s “beau-monde”. Who would hesitate to such enticing offer on Bucharest’s fanciest artery, very close to Stirbey Palace ? Lascar Catargiu for sure didn’t ! Two architects – Ion Mincu and Nicolae Cutarida – radically restored the house before being endowed to Elena. To mark La Belle Epoque, they sculpted the year 1889 on the ornate imposing massive wood doors.

The interior was a real jewel, in French eclectic style, with walls covered in multicolored marble. Grandiose fine crystal mirrors from Vienna reflected the lightning objects custom-made in Paris. The 3 storied mansion had French Baroque style chandelier, French silk upholstered walls, Venetian mirrors and Meissen tiles stoves. Monumental stairs, rare wood paneling, stucco ceilings and massive walnut furniture from Vienna and Paris rounded the old aristocratic atmosphere. After war, Polish diplomatic mission used the residence for protocol meetings to preserve its luxurious interiors. Later, seized in the loft and gun threatened by Soviets, Elena Lascar Catargiu donated the mansion. Nationalized the valuable patrimony building became Writers Union headquarter hosting personalities like pianist Cella Delavrancea and writer Mihail Sadoveanu. What a place to day dream at a refreshing drink in the balmy evening breeze…

It’s a hidden terrace. Your date won’t hate it.

Due to the balls organized here, this was a blueprint for the social life in mid-19th century Bucharest. The palace was built between 1833-1835 by order of Prince Barbu Dimitrie Stirbei.
For this purpose he resorted to the services of the French architect Michel Sanjouand who used the Neo-classical style.
It resulted a slim and elegant building with Greek elements.
The palace also belonged to the Stirbei princely family for a while.
At its peak, Stirbei Palace was known as the place where the most spectacular dances were held.
“Romanian Herald” and an engraving by Dossault (from 1848) describe the “glittering ball” held in June 1843. This was in honour of Prince Albert of Prussia, brother of King Friedrich-Wilhelm.
Have your tea at the palace !

Visit a culture symbol – Ateneul Roman (Romanian Athenaeum)

Take private tour Romanian culture symbol - the Romanian Athenaeum 27First you’ll notice the appealing garden in the middle of an interesting mix of modernism and French style buildings. Imagine that before the wars here you could walk on an alley watched over by sculptures of important local personalities… But, the communists came and put them down ! Doves shoot out at the shinning white of the edifice with peculiar architecture. This is the city’s main concert hall.  The French architect Albert Galleron crated it at the recommendation of Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera in Paris.

Believe it or not, at that time (1888), Bucharest had only about 200,000 inhabitants. And this land donated by the city hall was at the outskirts. The plans were made to fit the already existing foundation of a riding school, where from the round shape form. How do you think they raised a part of the money needed for this art temple ? No. Through public subscription: “Dati 1 leu pentru Ateneu” (Give 1 leu for the Athenaeum).

The edifice harmoniously blends Greek, Baroque and Neoclassical characteristics

Take private tour Romanian culture symbol - the Romanian Athenaeum 548 Ionic columns – with the same proportions of those of the Acropolis temple – support a monumental peristyle with a triangular fronton. The fronton reminds of the ancient Greek monument of Lysicrat in Athens (picturing the conquerors’ urn). Two corner Neoclassical pavilions side the peristyle. Behind the peristyle and fronton, the rich decorated Baroque cupola has 20 windows with lyres. Wondering who are representing the 5 mosaic medallions ? These were famous rulers of the country: Neagoe Basarab, Alexandru cel Bun, King Carol I, Vasile Lupu and Matei Basarab.

Among the strategic and civilian objectives attacked during the Second World War, the Romanian Athenaeum was seriously affected by bombings.

Behind the closed doors of glass and wood the magnificent concert hall has an equally impressive marble interior

Take private tour Romanian culture symbol - the Romanian Athenaeum 63Let your hand caress the Carrara marble while climbing up on one of the 4 Baroque spiral stairs. Stop for a couple of minutes in the balcony-landing of it (an element of novelty). Admire again the sumptuous lobby and the 12 Doric columns supporting the central vault. Once you’re on the upper level a pleasant feeling of warmth surrounds you. Above the lodges, there is a giant remarkable fresco. It  depicts 25 scenes of Romanian history, from the Roman conquest until King Ferdinand. Painted by Costin Petrescu 50 years after the inauguration, the fresco is 3 m wide and 70 m long.

You know, the communists wanted to erase from people’s memory everything related to the monarchy. So they covered it with red velvet for almost 20 years. The concert pipe organ was installed with the financial help of the greatest Romanian composer, George Enescu.

Did you notice how the seats are disposed in the style of the ancient Greco-Roman amphitheatres ?

The concert hall’s capacity remained the same since the inauguration: almost 1,000 seats. And each of them offers perfect visibility and impeccable audition, due to the huge richly adorned cupola. Its exceptional acoustic placed it among most successful constructions of genre, not only from Europe but from all over the world. Over time, the Romanian Athenaeum hosted events of historical magnitude. These included conferences of Romanian scientists and first auditions of autochthon musical masterpieces. The emblem of Romanian culture  also hosted first ample exhibitions and paintings and sculptures of the national masters… Part of the European Patrimony this is home to the George Enescu Philarmonic Orchestra, since 1958. The amazing edifice is also the “headquarter” of the biennial George Enescu International Festival.

Only in September - Classical music festival: GEORGE ENESCU INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (Salzburg festival's little brother)

Romanian Athenaeum - George Enescu International Classical Music Festival | Bucharest private tourAn enchanting new luxury journey for 2017 that explores the glory of Classical Romania and the rapture of classical music.
Ride in style as part of a small group of no more than 6 Azzurytt guests. Step into the footprints of the great George Enescu composer. Go in the countryside to discover your destination as only your personal travel concierge can reveal it.
Enjoy pre-concert sightseeing in Bucharest, including the medieval Royal Court.

Listen to live classical music throughout your journey performed by world-class musicians.
Choose from numerous optional country trips, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Horezu monastery and the medieval inhabited fortress of Sighisoara.
Ride aboard sleek, spacious minivan or sedan limousine.

Come discover George Enescu’s treasured Romania !


DAY 2


The oldest bank of Romania: Palatul CEC (CEC Palace – National Savings Bank)

CEC Palace - National Savings Bank | Bucharest private tour RomaniaFounded following a law issued by Prince Al. I. Cuza this is Romania’s oldest bank: National Savings Bank (nowadays CEC Bank). In the 16th century here there was the St. John the New monastery. Renovated by Prince Constantin Brancoveanu during 1702-1703, and later deteriorated, the monastery was demolished in 1875. So in 1897, on place of its ruins and an adjoining inn, the building of a new bank headquarter started. King Carol I of Romania and Queen Elisabeta were present at the event. The French architect Paul Gottereau – graduate of Fine Art Superior National School in Paris – designed the palace in eclectic style. The Romanian architect Ion Socolescu supervised the construction entirely financed with the institution’s own funds.

The palace has specific elements of French architecture from late 19th century. The entrance features an arch supported by two pairs of columns in composite style. Decorated with gables and coats of arms, the four corners end in Renaissance domes. The construction impresses through the glass and metal dome. CEC Bank was the only bank operating in Romania before 1989 revolution. In 2009, this was the venue for the 60th birthday celebrations of Crown Princess Margareta of Romania. And in 2015, it was also the venue for the 25th anniversary of the celebration of Crown Princess Margareta’s charity.

Spare an hour for shy steps inside the Old Princely Court

These are the ruins of Bucharest’s fortress built by the redoubtable Prince Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) in 1459.
His reign was dominated by conflicts with the Turks.
So he had to permanently watch over and protect the southern boundary, Danube River.
This forced him live with his family, nobility and soldiers in the fortified town on Dambovita banks.
And thus Bucharest became its second capital and residence, after Targoviste.
Later, the traders and craftsmen built their houses around the Princely Court.
And the nearby streets named after their professions appeared: Lipscani (from Leipzig merchants), Selari (Saddlers), Covaci (Ironsmiths), Blanari (Furriers)…

The former princely residence keeps vestigies discovered during various archaeological excavation projects and multiple artifacts of former citadel of Bucharest.
Some underground galleries built here during Ottoman raids – reused and enlarged at the next raids – are still pretty well preserved.
The Princely church is the oldest religious building in Bucharest preserved as it originally was.

Drinks and art at Linden Tree Inn

half-day-drinks-and-art-tour-at-linden-tree-innTwo centuries ago the inns used to be giant structures, initially made of wood. These served as warehouses for merchandise and shelters for travelers. Later on almost all inns had a large yard in the middle, surrounded by thick tall walls for defense. Voivodal Palace, Manuc, Gabroveni and Linden Tree Inns still preserves the picturesque atmosphere of those times. And they are some of the traditional Romanian architecture’s best representatives.

Among the most interesting attractions in capital

Both on Lipscani and Blanari Streets you cannot help but notice two vaulted entrances with majestic ornate gates of forged iron. The one from Blanari street still have on the original “seal” of the first owners (A.P. and S.P.). A peaceful world lies inside the rectangular patio (Spanish inner courtyard) formerly paved with rolling stone. The structure is very solid, with thick brick walls. The layer of mortar is almost as thick as the brick itself. This is the Linden Tree Inn. It is one of the most beautiful and authentic images of Bucharest inn. And it is the only historic inn in the city that has preserved its original architecture exactly as it was. Not to mention it provides a good example of typical Wallachian glass-covered upper floor.

In 1833 the merchants Anastasie Hagi Gheorghe Polizu and Stefan Popovici joined hands to built what would become Nastase’s Inn. But the name changed later, after the fragrant trees from its inner courtyard. In 1835 the two owners divided the inn between them, each one taking 14 shops and 2 warehouses. Under the shops located on both sides of the patio there were deep vaulted cellars. Iron shutters, doubled by beams with embellished edges, closed the tall windows. In 1837, forced by his debts, Stefan Popovici sells the inn to Ioan Lambru Polizu for 1,650 imperial golden coins. A whole bunch of Greek and Romanian people, besides the owner, signed the sale contract.

Back in those times, some of the important merchants of the city had their headquarters at this inn. One of them was Constantin Atanasiu. He founded the famous store La Vulturul de Mare cu Pestele in Ghiare (At the Sea Eagle with the Fish in Claws). If you wish to see it visit the bank hosted there now and take the glass elevator of Cocor Store.

Enjoy a drink flanked by paintings exhibited in the open air

Today the former inn is home to a cellar bar-restaurant and many art galleries. Sometimes you’ll hear a beat of sonata or Waltz as coming from far away. Looking up you notice the open little window of the upper floor. It belongs to the largest art gallery in Romania. This is sheltered within several of the inn salons: Louis XV and Louis XVI, Louise-Phillipe and Rococo. You can buy or just show your admiration for ancient pieces exhibited here.  They have wood panels, tapestry, paintings and icons, furniture and carpets. You will also find gramophones, clocks and cameras, albums, documents and photos, decorations, coins or even old little cars.

Carol Park

Carol Park - Bucharest private tour | RomaniaArranged in 1906 the park has a current area of approximately 45 hectares.
It includes various species of deciduous trees, gummy trees, decorative shrubs, roses and lined lime trees.
Here there is the Roman Arenas with 5,000 open air seats.
Dimitrie Leonida National Technical Museum is also within this park.
The museum holds over 5,000 exhibits split in 300 collections presenting the evolution of Romanian technics.
Another sightseeing is Vlad Tepes Tower, which houses a water tank.
But the most well known of all remains the Unknown Soldier Monument, brought in 1991 from Marasesti.
If you are more into art look for the Giants statues sculpted by Dumitru Paciurea.
And listen the Cantacuzino Fountain, Neoclassical art monument from 1870.


Art walks


In the city this season ? Let Azzurytt, your personal travel concierge, provide you with a truly memorable experience of Bucharest’s vibrant art scene. We tailor these bespoke experiences to your personal interests and tastes.  Professional art curators and contemporary art gallery owners will offer advice, insider knowledge and expert opinion on most genres of art. Whether you’re in town for a whole weekend or merely have an afternoon or morning free, let us recommend some exhibitions. We will accompany you to a museum tour and show you around the city’s leading galleries.


SPA RITUAL (upon your choice)


Eden’s Orchid

Retreat from the hustle and bustle of Bucharest. And relax with a wide menu of anti-stress, relaxation, detoxification and energization therapies. Blending the modern technology with an original treatment concept these guarantee an unique experience. We suggest you to start with the surface cave with salty ionized air. Then go to the cutting edge fitness center or to the Aqua-gym and Whirlpool. The Tepidarium could be the next stop before enjoying a Finnish and infrared sauna. Later you can refresh with Turkish and Kneipp baths or Scottish, Vichy and tropical showers. They also offer a delicious fresh juice bar and unforgettable spa rituals. We think such day will make you return home rejuvenated, with memories of a lifetime. Isn’t it ?

Love the one you're with !

This exclusive urban destination spa lies just steps away from the heart of vibrantly chic capital. It features an impressive unique array of therapies. All of them are inspired by age-old rituals from the Extreme Orient. They elusively blend tradition and modern, Zen elements and elegance, floral flavours and music for the soul… A lavish Anti-Aging Myoxy Caviar Treatment awaits dads coming here. The Hot Stone Massage will quite literally solve all their problems. The final massage combines the yoga stretching with the art of ancient and refined Thai massage techniques. All these are specially designed for man’s skin and muscles. Moms and moms-to-be are also invited to blissful pampering. For couples there are two options reserved. You can have a sensorial experience with chocolate and wine. Or you can receive a Swedish massage accompanied by champagne and chocolate serving.

Rub some salt on it

Bucharest might be known for its food and a certain edginess. But it is also home to the first concept of Health Spa. The virtues of salt and water are mingled with new technologies to create a holistic atmosphere. The spa area includes a Finnish and Bio Sauna as well as a Thalassic Cabin with pink salt from Himalaya. You can take a bath with Bazna salts then relax in the Onyx room. They also have tropical rain showers, Frigidarium, Techirghiol mud and Gerovital anti-aging treatments. The newly added Thunder experience blends the aromatherapy and chromo-therapy elements. It sooths, revives and energizes the body while improving the lymphatic drainage. Learn to increase your body’s immunity the right way.

Dining tips


Dianei 4

This beautiful spot serves really good goulash. And their lemonade is very refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.

Caru' cu bere (Chariot with beer) restaurant

Start the morning with a coffee and the famous “papanasi” (traditional Romanian dessert) in a historical monument with a wonderful German architecture. Here the largest wine cellar of the city was (77,000 l). This was the only restaurant that had a beer pipe directly from the beer factory. This was in the city, behind the present Parliament Palace. You know, the descendants of the original owner Mos Ghita (Oldman Ghitza) own the restaurant. Inside, close to the entrance, you can still see his small wooden statue. Useful souvenirs wearing the restaurant logo will make your friends back home wishing they have been here.
“We love it so much, that we had dinner there twice ! And we ordered the specialty Pork Knuckle. Both times, it was moist.”

Fine food & wine

Since its opening, about once a week the finest wines (sometimes Romanian, sometimes international) are paired with special menus for the exclusive pleasure of a very limited number of guests. Located in one of the hottest area of Bucharest, this lounge for wine lovers knows how to treat a customer.  You’ll enjoy everything from the cosy friendly atmosphere to the best selection of wines and champagnes perfectly accompanied by appetizing collations.

While touring the Northern part of the city

Lobster risotto with truffle and vermouth by Chef Hadad, accompanied by a bottle of French white wine of Henri Bourgeois Sancerre.

Secure your place or ask for further details !


Neighbourhoods


Private fine dining with wine tasting at 17 century mansion

Think valet parking, guided tour of the estate, sommelier, butler, personalized menus…

Take this basket and go away. On the lawn of a palace estate !

The history of Stirbey noble family blends with this estate since 1831. But it was only the Prince Alexander Stirbey who gave the glamour to this generous happily located space. Educated in Paris, he is also the one who introduced it into Bucharest’s high society circuit.  Stirbey family members were close friends and collaborators of Their Majesties King Ferdinand and Queen Mary. And they hosted here priceless guests as writers, poets, composer George Enescu, doctors, politicians, generals and princes.

It is amazing how, for more than 150 years, this incredible place continues to preserve its simple elegance and the romantic atmosphere of the park with secular trees. It makes guests feeling it familiar and cozy despite its overwhelming history which only imposes a warm respect. Enjoy one hour of horseback riding on its forest paths. Queen Mary loved to gallop here, soaking her soul with the rich scent of oak trees. After that, nothing compares with a lazy gourmet picnic on the perfect lawn with hints of European sophistication. Prince Stirbey, Princess Nadeja and Queen Mary inspired Chef Johnson’s creations. And these are unlike anything you have ever seen, including even a menu for children.