Several of Bucharest’s bars are outside but hidden — you have to know where to look. (Photo: Gradina Oar/Facebook)
By Meagen Collins / Five Dollar Traveller
If you ask a local in Bucharest where to go on a Friday or Saturday night, you will most likely be directed straight to the Romanian city’s Old Town. Although it is beautiful to wander around the Old Town during the day, admiring the architecture, it’s a different story at night when you’ll find bar after bar pounding out music to attract tourists looking for a night out.
But we are going to let you in on a little secret. The best bars are so hidden, you wouldn’t even know they were there unless someone told you. And guess what? We’re telling.
Acuarela “watercolor” in English. And at this bar you will find a blend of colors, coffee, food, jazz, and local contemporary art. (Photo: Travel Freedom Network)
Acuarela is only visible from the street by an old beaten up car that has the name on the side. Miss this sign and you could miss the bar entirely. Even when you do find the entrance, you feel like you are walking into someone’s backyard, until suddenly the bar appears and you hear people talking and music playing. It is a truly wonderful sight. Umbrellas, up-cycled furniture and vintage style is what makes this a great place to sit and enjoy a drink or two with friends.
Gradina Eden is a hidden oasis in central Bucharest. (Photo: Travel Freedom Network)
The front of this bar looks like an old building or perhaps a museum, but walk around the back and you’ll discover a bar among the gardens. Dotted with chairs, bean bags, and fairy lights, this place really is everything its name suggests.
Grab a seat under the canopy or wander the garden at Gradina Oar. (Photo: Gradina Oar/Facebook)
Perfect for a romantic night out, Gradina Oar offers separated seating sections for lovers or those seeking a touch more privacy, or you can choose to sit in the open courtyard among the trees and fairy lights. Check the website for events and jazz evenings.
Whimsy goes to a whole new level in Shift Pub’s treehouse. (Photo: Travel Freedom Network)
Edgy, innovative, and modern design — with a tree house! Yes, in the open-air courtyard there is a split-level structure that looks like a tree house of sorts. This place can get pretty busy so if you want a seat upstairs make a reservation in advance.
You can also check out the Shift Pub’s sister bar called Alt Shift which has the same food, but a more industrial look and feel.
If you didn’t know there was a bar in here, you’d have no idea a bar was in here. (Photo: Teresa Monteoru/Facebook)
The outside looks like an old (yet beautiful) abandoned building, and even when you are walking down the semi-lit driveway you could be led to believe that this place had closed down years ago — nope! All of a sudden you can hear music, and people and then you spot the lights, chairs, tables and bar. It’s definitely open.
But once you find it, you’ll feel like you’re part of a specially selected in crowd. (Photo: Travel Freedom Network)
While there are plenty of other garden bars to explore in Bucharest, these are our top picks. So if you do find yourself in Romania (and you should!), remember to visit the Old Town once or twice, but don’t forget to get out and explore. You never know what amazing places you might find.