Party time in Bucharest.
As one of the lesser travelled Eastern European countries Romania holds a special little place that you can come to party harder and party for less. Bucharest is still mostly unspoiled by the groups of hen and stag parties that swarm into other European capitals to take advantage of the great night life and currency exchange rate.
Romanians don’t have the same drinking culture that Britain or America has but they party hard and they will party all night. Most bars and clubs don’t kick off until around midnight or in the big clubs even later and a lot of them have a last one standing policy, where they will basically stay open until the last person has danced themselves to bed.
I believe if you can go somewhere that serves beer by the metre and sells spirits and a mixer for approximately a euro, this should be your go to bar at start of the night. Octoberfest is the name of this little piece of drunken heaven, packed with students and older people alike this is one of the spots where nobody judges you if you order 30 jager shots between two (yes, this is from first-hand experience) and you will likely meet the friends you will hang out with for the rest of the night.
Octoberfest is located smack bang in the middle of Old Town, this is the hub of bars and restaurants in Bucharest, you can’t walk more than 3 steps without coming across a new bar or club and although there are promoters on the street that will get you good deals in the bars they aren’t annoying and will take no for an answer. If you do enjoy a bit of banter with club promoters the more people you bring into the bar, the more discount you can usually negotiate with them.
Having a wander around Old Town if you don’t have a pre-planned night out is your best bet, listen out for the wafts of music being played and pick a bar based on your musical tastes. Don’t be alarmed if sometime during your dance off in the middle of the club you get covered in toilet paper, this is the Bucharest version of throwing confetti or dropping balloons.
Bound and vintage are both very popular clubs with students, they play a good range of latest hits and usually get pretty crowded, Bound has its own sax player who plays along with the DJ and there are usually some Romanian celebrities hanging around in these clubs. If you do want to dance in here buying a bottle of spirit will guarantee you a table for the whole night so at least you have somewhere to keep your coats and bags.
BEST BARS IN OLD TOWN BUCHAREST
A fun place for a few drinks, go early as it is small and gets very crowded they mix fun shots for boys, girls, couples and groups. Their shots are very creative and some even include sweeties.
BAMBOO, CHABOO and FRATELLI
If you’re looking for something a little more high end and classy even, and you want to wear heels and not run the risk of falling over on the cobbles in Old Town there are a number of clubs that offer a slightly more fancy night out. With this fanciness comes fancy prices, but it’s still very affordable. Certain clubs like Bamboo, Chaboo and Fratellis are packed with the young, well-off, business crowd who know exactly what they want and how to party. These places are mostly fun if you have a crowd and book a table with a bottle service. They usually tell you to turn up by 12 but nothing really gets started until 1 or 2am. These clubs put on light shows and have professional dancers and impromptu concerts every night. If you’re lucky enough to be in Bucharest during the summer the big clubs also hold pool parties during the day.
For a more chilled time the bars and restaurants around Herestrau Park are a little more relaxed, better for chilling with a cocktail. The music does get more ‘dancey’ as the night goes on but this happens very gradually and they don’t mind if you stake the place out all night just for a few laid-back drinks.
MOJOS + FIRE CLUB
There are a number of pubs within Old Town if you are looking for more of a casual beer, Mojos and Fire club offer a friendly vibe and are the best places to watch big sporting events. Fire club stays as a bar/restaurant all night while Mojos offers Karaoke in its upstairs bar after 9pm every night. Both bars are usually crawling with expats if you want to hear an English accent during your stay.
You cannot walk down any street in Bucharest without stumbling across some kind of drinking establishment so regardless of what you are looking for from a night out, hardcore partying, karaoke, dancing, a chilled out drink; you will find it in Bucharest and probably for cheaper than you would find it in most of the rest of Europe.