Updated: Apr 23, 2020
People & Places – Tell me your story of the city!
Hello there, brave visitor of Bucharest. Since you freshly experienced the marvels of this city, we would love to know more about your experience here.
Ellen Toull from Melbourne, Australia
1. Where are you from and what brought you to Bucharest?
I chose Romania, because I was fascinated to learn about a country we don't really hear much about, back home in Australia. So I decided to register to become a volunteer here, and that has resulted in me finding my favourite city in the world, Bucharest! I love it here in Romania.
2. What do people in your country think about Romanians or Bucharest?
In Australia, we do not really hear anything about Romania, therefore, most people wouldn't have an opinion on Romanians. When I told people, I was going to Romania to explore Bucharest and other cities within Romania, a common response was "why would you go there?" And, "be careful, it's Eastern Europe". Eastern Europe in general isn't considered an ideal place of travel, but is slowly becoming more popular among Generation Y.
3. What are the best 3 things you did in Bucharest?
The city tours were, hands down, the best activities I did. I got to see the city centre as well as parts of Bucharest not often seen, and through this made a lifelong friend, and you can't beat that! I also enjoyed shopping in the old town and experiencing the nightlife of Bucharest.
4. Name the best thing you ate or drank in Bucharest.
I really enjoyed tasting all the different cheeses and drinking fresh lemonade and Romanian wines and cocktails.
5. Describe the locals in 5 words!
Friendly, funny, kind-hearted, hard-working and creative.
6. How does the Romanian language sound to you? What about the Romanian music?
Romanian language sounds, to me, a lot like Italian or Spanish, and sometimes easy to understand in writing. I was not exposed to a lot of Romanian music, the small traditional music I did hear during my travels was very interesting, and similar to Hungarian Folk music.
7. Tell me one word in Romanian you learned or wish you have learned.
I learned a few words in my time in Romania. I learned Buna, mulțumesc, merci, papa and ce mai faci. Most people I came across spoke English, however when I traveled through more rural areas of Romania, English-speaking Romanian's deminished.
8. What is the first thing that shocked you when you landed in Romania?
That a majority of people speak English, and that the city is extremely safe to walk around at all hours of the day and evening.
9. What is a memory you have here that you didn't experience anywhere else?
After 3 weeks exploring Romania, a highlight was definitely experiencing snow for the second time in my life! And playing soccer in the snow with some Romanian children and my friends. This experience really could not be more European!! I also got to see, from a distance, deer and a wolf in the wild. Which was very cool!
10. Name one thing worth buying in Bucharest rather than your country!
I believe it is worth taking advantage of the cheap food prices, by eating out each day and trying different dishes and flavours. It is also worth buying great quality shoes and clothing without the hefty price tag!
11. If you would give a nickname to this city what would it be?
I can understand how Bucharest got the nickname "Paris of the East" as there are a few monuments that are similar, however I believe Bucharest is more like Washington DC, if I were to compare it to another city I have been to. The streets in Bucharest are fairly wide, clean and everyone is out in the evenings, just as I experienced in D.C. There is lots of variety of places to eat and drink, and the city is very safe.
12. Is there one thing you wish you visited or would return to see or revisit?
I wish I visited Ceausescu's Palace. I will definitely revisit this beautiful city again and see many things that I unfortunately didn't see this time.
13. What is the best picture you took in the city? Why did you pick this one?
I like this photo that I took of Bucharest in the evening. It exhibits everything I have previously stated; the wide streets, the historical monuments and the liveliness of the streets in the evening. As well as representing the well lit city and how safe it is.
14. What’s your next destination?
Back home to Australia, via Budapest and Dubai.
15. What advice would you give to someone about to travel to Bucharest?
To keep an open mind, don’t listen to any negativity you hear about Romania or Bucharest and really get into the culture and get to know the locals.
Thank you for sharing your experience and dope pictures, and we hope to see you back around! :)