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Friday, September 03, 2004
I want to thank Mihai for his kind words about me. Now, all I have to do is to prove that I deserve them…
So, talking about business in Romania and the travel industry in Romania, let’s see what’s happening in the old and charming Bucharest.
As we all know, a campaign of ‘zero tolerance’ toward the Romanian capital's notorious stray dogs was undertaken three years ago by Bucharest's hard-line mayor, Traian Basescu, who also resurfaced the city's roads, outlawed road-side kiosks and banned street cooking. Although there is so much more to be done, all of this, no doubt, improved the lives of Bucharest's two million inhabitants. And the Mayor has been reelected in the 2004 locals...
But the residents are not necessarily the main targets of these changes: Romania has always had a soft spot for foreign capital, and since 1989, business travelers have found the city catering to their needs. What are they thinking about Bucharest now?
Natalie Long from the International Herald Tribune said: “Of these improvements, the street food will be missed, particularly the smell of chargrilled mititei, a garlicky meatball, which lured shoppers out from the Piata Amzei market and which the stray dogs probably enjoyed, too”
What about the HOTELS in Bucharest?
Even during Communist times, Bucharest had its fair share of high-quality hotels. And in the recent years an influx of chains has supplanted Romanian-owned hotels.
SOFITEL, at 10 Montreal Square, , was one of the first foreign hotels to open in Bucharest after the revolution, and with its stunning views of the press house and proximity to the expo center and Otopeni airport, it remains ideal for business travelers in Romania.
Finding good value accommodation is no longer a problem in Bucharest. From the luxury of the five-star market leaders, J.W MARRIOTT Grand Hotel, INTERCONTINENTAL, HOWARD JOHNSON PLAZZA, Athenee Palace HILTON, CROWNE PLAZA, or CAPSA through comfortable three-star establishments to the ever-increasing number of good hostels, there is a bed in the Romanian capital to suit the needs and limitations of every pocket. The stock of accommodation is limited, however, and you are advised to book well in advance.
We recommend you http://www.klevertravel.com/ for hotel bookings, travel services and travel guides, both for business and leisure tourism.
For you, the business travelers, there are in Bucharest a few fabulous apartments, with every comfort and convenience possible, from maid service to airport pick-up, available in quiet, but central areas of the capital. Highly recommended. And those guys at www.KleverTravel.com can help you with this also.
If you need more info about the business hotels in Bucharest, just let me know and maybe I'll come back here with a post about it.
And, for the budget conscious backpackers or even for the business travelers with a limited budget, Bucharest can offer some decent accomodation starting from 14 Euros per night.
Any business man who respects himself (or herself, of course - if she is a business woman ;-)) will be interested in DINING and BARS.
Although the street-side mititei are gone, you can still have a plateful in many of the "terase" around the city. These are open-air bar-restaurant-night clubs...
Some of Bucharest's most picturesque terraces can be found bordering the eastern edge of the lake at Herastrau Park. La Fitze, (232-94-64) Alexandra Café (722-334-813) and Casa di David (232-47-15) are among the best here.
Romania still has a strong rural tradition, and won't disappoint if you are looking for hearty country food. The national dish, sarmale, consists of pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and often comes with mamaliga, a kind of polenta. It is served with flair at the Golden Blitz, Bd. Geniului 32, 410 5100.
The cheapest places to eat at midday are the street stalls, pizzerias, kebab and burger bars on the main avenues, around the Gara de Nord and in the Piata Universitatii underpass.
For a genuine taste of Romania, both food and atmosphere, then you can't do much better than Jaristea, a real part of the city's history. Super Romanian delicacies will keep you coming back for more... but be warned: you will not get a table in the evening without a prior reservation, and again the guys from KleverTravel.com are there to help you.
La MAMA seems to become the default choice for expats wanting to eat Romanian.
But I must stop here because this POST tends to become to large and that's not quite ok, ain't it so Mihai? ;-)
Oh, but I must tell you about TURABO Cafe! I am sure that Mihai agrees with me, TURABO is quite the best cafe in town. It is as flashy as you like, with armchairs on a terrace in one of the most posy locations Bucharest has. Always full of trendy young things all day and night, we advise you to get there now - 6, Episcopiei Street . We mean it...
Much of Romania outside Bucharest comprises small villages that have not changed for centuries. But for an impression of peasant life without leaving the Capital city, two museums, Muzeul Satului (Village Museum) at Soseaua Kiseleff 28-30, 222-90-68, and Muzeul Taranului (Peasant's Museum) at Soseaua Kiseleff 3, 650-53-60, bring rural traditions to life. Bucharest has no lack of classical music venues: The Atheneul Roman at Str. Franklin 1, 315-68-75, home of the Romanian National Orchestra, features local and international stars, as does the Romanian National Opera, Bd. Kogalniceanu 70-72, 313-18-57.
Designer stores and boutiques, including Max Mara and La Perla, as well as such Romanian designers as Irina Schrotter can be found on Calea Victoriei. At the end of the street is the haunt of visiting stars, the restored Athenee Palace Hilton. This belle époque landmark overlooking Revolution Square barely survived the fighting, and for the next few years its facade was ridden with bullet holes. It's now a charming place to stop for a mid-shopping drink. For a unique experience, visit one of the daily markets, where peasants sell fruit, vegetables, meats and cheese, as well as crafts and homewares. The food may not always look pretty, but it is often NATURAL and ECHOLOGICAL and more flavorful than supermarket produce. Piata Amzei is small and central, while Piata Obor is immense.
HEALTH CLUBS Most of the major hotels have gyms and pools open only to hotel guests. The health club at the Marriott Grand (Calea 13 Septembrie 90, 403-09-00) offers a Euro 35 day pass for nonmembers.
TIPPING There are no rules on tipping in Romania, so the amount is left to the discretion of the customer. It is customary to leave between 5 and 10 percent of the bill in restaurants, bars and taxis.
And guys, I wrote this Post with pleasure, hoping to be 'helpful information' for some of you – readers from abroad interested in doing business in Romania. And I don’t require a tip. ;-)
All the best!
And remember – for business or culture Romania and Bucharest may be a surprising destination!
Posted by Cristian C. Francu : 9/03/2004 01:44:00 pm
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
New members - WELCOME
Romania Inflation target at 9%
Romanian Delta petition
Longhorn in late 2006
The Systems fair in Munich
New blog - the AES in Bucharest
New Address - First Blog - Ucranian Ship Accident
Congratulations to the Romanian Olympics Team
Tarantino on the Blogs
StufStock - Rock Music Festival
Publications & Media
This website is proud to be designed by Mihai Dragan
I usually listen to THIS kind of music.