When visiting Bucharest, one should pass over the concrete barrier and visit the beautiful green parks the city has to offer. Our team has already designed a GREEN CITY TOUR discovering some of the most important green spaces of the capital, some that we described in Bucharest – Green Parks (Part 1) and others about which you can read in the following article.
Back in the 1900s, in the south part of the city was a green field called “The Wailing Valley”. During the communism era, with the help of the Young Communist Association in 1965, Tineretului Park (“Youth Park“) was constructed, its main purpose being a recreational space for the working class. Upon entering from Tineretului Area, you will pass a small amusement park and the main road, divided by green fields with colorful flowers, will lead you straight ahead to Polivalenta Hall, a popular venue for concerts, exhibitions and big indoor sporting events. Just before reaching the hall, you have to cross a bridge. Underneath the bridge, stairs lead you to a road that surrounds Cocioc Lake, where you can rent a boat during the summer, have a drink on the Actors Summer Coffee shop or simply enjoy the view from a bench. For the more active people, you will also find a variety of sports courts. The tree-lined avenues will lead you to different areas of the “Youth Park”, where you can discover a skate park, a playground for kids, and many more for you to explore.
Going up the hill you will enter “Kids Town” Park (ro. “Oraselul Copiilor”), a magic land for children of all ages. The park was recently renovated and is now a large funfair with a Ferris wheel, carrousels, a roller coaster, bumper cars and many, many others.
Another bookmark on the map of Bucharest, surrounded by the grey condos on Titan Lake, we reach “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Park, in short IOR Park, yet more commonly known to the locals as the Titan Park. The lake is divided into two distinct parts (the Titan Lake I and the Titan Lake II) by the Liviu Rebreanu Bridge and sectioned into five small islands, picturesquely named the “Island of the Pensioners,” “Island of the IOR”, “Island of Dogs,” “Island of Roses” and ” The Sunken Island”. Also, you should not forget about the replica Maramures wooden church, built in 1996 that has become one of the most popular churches in the city, the artesian well and the decorative waterfall.
For the nature lover inside you, we recommend the Botanical Gardens, founded in 1860 with the significant financial backing of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, at that time the leader of the nascent Romanian state.
Covering an area of 17,5 hectares, the garden hosts more than 10,000 species of plants, approximately half of which are cultivated in the impressive glasshouses. It also encompasses a beautiful building in the Brancovenesc architectural style, housing the Botanical Garden Museum.
There are other hidden gems in the center of Bucharest: Ion Voicu and Icoanei Parks. Back in the 18th century, the area which is now in the center of Bucharest was a swampy land consisting in two ponds, one from which Bucurestioara creek was flowing, the second a steep ground with woods and underground springs. The area was later drained and transformed into a small green area named “Maidanul Icoanei” (maidan = vacant lot). Throughout the years, the area became known as the “Little Paris of the East” when a residential neighborhood was built around Ioanid’s garden. Today, locals call it the “Embassy Area” and the two small, quiet parks take you away from the busy and crowded streets of the capital, into a retreated green space that shares pieces of history and moments of peacefulness.
The summer season has just begun! We invite you to take advantage of the green spots on Bucharest’s map and enjoy the sunny days!