Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest

Home / Travel to Romania / Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest

The Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest

Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest

Things to do in Romania’s capital city

There are many things to experience in Bucharest, and when it comes to museums, Romania’s capital city boasts some interesting ones.

We made a Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest that you could visit in a group or on your own. They will give you a deeper understanding of Romania, Romanians, and their tumultuous recent history.

1.Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum

This is a very charming and green place in Bucharest preferred by locals and tourists, as well.

It is an open-air museum founded more than 80 years ago where a village is recreated in the very heart of the city.

The project's initiator was an important Romanian sociologist, Dimitrie Gusti, who saved traditional houses from different rural areas of Romania and brought them to Bucharest to reassemble them. These houses are original, former dwellings of Romanian peasants.

Today, there are over 300 houses and rural constructions in the museum. A visit can last from 45 minutes to a couple of hours.

The main attractions of the Village Museum are:

  • The House from the Danube Delta
  • The Half-Buried houses
  • The House from Maramures
  • The Traditional Inn from Prahova County
  • The wooden church from Maramures
  • The House from Apuseni Mountains
  • The Saxon House

During the warm season, the museum is very active and alive. There are organized different workshops for children and local markets where artisans from all over the country show their work and sell their products.

There are several entrances to the museum (two from Herastrau Park and one from the Kiseleff Boulevard).

There is also a nice souvenir shop at the entrance to the museum with great and interesting objects. From books and photo albums to traditional pottery, hand-made blouses, and even honey, for sure you will find here the best souvenir from Romania.

How to visit the Village Museum in Bucharest?

The museum can be visited from Monday to Sunday, but we recommend avoiding Mondays, as usually the houses are closed and you can see them only from outside.

There is no need to book in advance. You can shop up. Also, you can pay cash in Romanian currency only or by card.

The entrance fee is 30 Lei per adult, 15 Lei per senior, and 8 Lei per student.

More updated news regarding the visiting schedule and the entrance fees you can find on the website of the Village Museum here.

Events in the Village Museum

2. The Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament is one of the main reasons why tourists come to visit Bucharest.

It is the second-largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon from the USA.

The building is located in Bucharest's historical and geographical center, and it was built on a hill. The building, whose works were started in July 1984, includes a huge combination of monumental sculptures, gilded ornaments, decorative flooring, laced ceilings, brocade curtains, heavy carpets, and tapestry, all in a succession of chambers, galleries, lavish vast rooms, and halls. It’s the perfect image of a regime detached from reality, a regime that didn’t care at all about the real needs of the Romanian society.

Do you need to book Palace of Parliament tickets in advance?

As an individual, it is preferable, most of all during the warm season, to book in advance your visit to the Palace of the Parliament.

Each day there is a different visiting schedule. To book your visit, you need to call at +40 733 558 102 or +40 733 558 103, one day in advance.

Opening hours of the Palace of the Parliament:

March – October, daily 09:00 – 17:00 (last round at 4:30 pm)

November – February, daily 10:00 – 16:00 (last round at 3:30 pm)

Entrance fees and tours of the Palace of the Parliament:

Standard Tour

– 60 lei/adult

– 30 lei/student (19 – 26 years, with student card)

– 20 lei/child (7-18 years)

Standard tour + basement (2 stairs descent)

– 65 lei/adult

– 35 lei/student (19 – 26 years, with student card)

– 25 lei/child (7-18 years)

Tours of the Palace of the Parliament are organized in Romanian, English, Spanish, Italian, and French.


To visit the Palace of the Parliament, tourists need to carry with them a passport or ID. Without this document, visitors will not be allowed to enter the palace.

Also, tourists are advised to arrive at the Palace of the Parliament 15 minutes before the visit starts.

On the official website of the Palace of the Parliament, Visitors’ Center, you can find more and updated information regarding the visiting policy.

Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest

3. The Cotroceni Palace

Though not as popular as the Palace of the Parliament, Cotroceni Palace deserves a place in our Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest.

We like to call it the lighter version of Peles castle.

Cotroceni Palace was built in the 19th century, and it represents today the official residence of the Romanian President. However, many rooms are open to visitors.

In 1883, King Carol I ordered the construction of the Palace on the Cotroceni Hill with the plan of setting this place as a residence for the future heirs to the throne.

The construction started a few years later, and the French architect, Paul Gottereau, was in charge of the building plans.

During the second royal couple, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania, more improvements were made at the royal palace. A new wing was built, and more rooms were added for the royal family and the royal staff.

Queen Marie left her sensitive mark on most of the palace's interior design; that is why this place has become so beautiful and special.

During a tour of the Cotroceni Palace, visitors will admire:

  • The Hall of Honor
  • The German Living Room
  • The Hunting Room
  • The Library
  • The Royal Dining Room
  • The Apartments
  • The great Hall of Receptions

In each room, tourists will be led by a local tour guide who will describe the interiors and the art collections and reveal interesting aspects of the character and daily life of the Romanian Royal family.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Cotroceni Palace (Palatul Cotroceni)?

Yes, you need to book in advance your visit to Cotroceni Palace either online or by phone: +4 021-317 31 07 more than 24 hours in advance.

Opening hours of the Cotroceni Palace:

Mondays: closed

Tuesdays – Sundays: 09:30 am – 05:30 pm

Entrance fees and tours of Cotroceni Palace:

  • The Classic Tour (60 minutes) – 1st and 2nd floor – 60 lei – adult / 15 Lei – student / 30 Lei – retired
  • The Complete Tour (100 minutes) – 70 lei – adult / 17.5 lei – student / 35 lei – retired


To visit Cotroceni Palace, tourists need to carry with them the passport or ID. Without this document, visitors will not be allowed to enter the palace.

Also, tourists are advised to arrive at the museum 15 minutes before the visit starts.

On the official website of the Cotroceni Palace, you can find more and updated information regarding the visiting policy.

Cotroceni Palace, Bucharest

4. The Ceausescu’s Mansion

Ceausescu’s Mansion, also known as the Spring Palace (“Primaverii Palace”), is another fascinating museum to visit while in Bucharest.

Visitors can find out more stories about Nicolae Ceausescu's life, the last Romanian Communist dictator, and the members of his family.

The mansion was built first for Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the first Communist leader after WWII in Romania, but did not have the chance to live here because he died in 1965.

As Nicolae Ceausescu got elected the next leader of the Communist Political Party, he moved to this mansion and his family. The construction was extended to fit their personal needs but also their political and diplomatic roles.

The house is located in a select neighborhood of Bucharest, where other members of the Communist Political Party or close friends of the Ceausescu family used to live.

In December 1989, during the anti-communist revolution, ordinary people stormed the house and filmed the luxurious conditions in which Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife lived. Seeing this, the rage of the Romanians got even bigger considering the poor living conditions that they had to endure during the last years of the communist regime.

Luckily, the palace survived the violence of the angry mass during December 1989 with the help of the guards, and that is why the interior is even now almost intact.

In 2016, the doors of the house opened so that tourists can attend guided tours and see the original interiors and the art collection of the mansion.

best museums Bucharest

A standard trip lasts around 45 minutes, and visitors will see:

  • Nicolae Ceausescu’s office. This is the place where the tour guides make a short presentation of the life of Nicolae Ceausescu. He was born in 1918 in a poor and numerous family. In Bucharest, he became an apprentice trying to become a shoemaker. However, he did not have the chance to practice this profession, as Ceausescu became a Communist activist and got imprisoned few times. Thanks to his “healthy origins” and his connections with other Communist activists, he advanced in the political hierarchy. In 1965, he succeeded Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej as prim-secretary of the Communist Political Party.
  • The Living Room
  • The Cinema Hall where the whole family used to gather and watch movies.
  • The apartments of the 3 children (Zoe, Nicolae, and Valentin Ceausescu)
  • The apartments of the Ceausescu couple and their wardrobe
  • The dining room
  • The bathroom
  • The pool and the greenhouse
  • The private massage and beauty salon

Tourists will discover an impressive collection of oriental carpets, paintings, crafts offered as gifts to Nicolae Ceausescu by different foreign diplomats. The pool mosaic is unique and also the wine cellar.

Do you need to book in advance to visit Ceausescu Mansion?

Yes, you need to book your tickets in advance to visit the Ceausescu Mansion. You have to do this at least 24 hours in advance.

Bookings can be made:

Opening hours for Ceausescu’s Mansion

Ceaușescu’s Mansion is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10.00 AM and 5.00 PM. The museum is closed on Mondays and during the legal days off in Romania. The visit can take place exclusively with a guide in either Romanian or English and French (by request).

Tickets for Ceausescu’s Mansion:

55 Lei/adult

45 Lei/student or retired with student card / ID

5. The Romanian Athenaeum

The Romanian Athenaeum closes our list with the Top 5 Best Museums in Bucharest.

Built more than 130 years ago, the palace of the Romanian Athenaeum is not only one of the symbols of Bucharest but also of the entire country.

The Athenaeum represents the Romanian National Philharmonic Hall hosting every week important classical music concerts and conferences. The Palace also witnessed major political and cultural episodes that modeled the history of Romania.

Opening hours for the Romanian Athenaeum

The Romanian Athenaeum can be visited every day, depending on the rehearsal program and the concert schedule. That is why, as an individual, you cannot exactly make a reservation. We usually recommend to our travelers to go there in the first part of the day. The ticket is 10 Lei per adult (to be paid cash in Romanian currency), and you get to see the Main Entrance Hall with the monumental staircases and the Great Concert Hall. You can take as many photos as you wish inside, as there are no additional fees for this.

Read a more detailed description of the Romanian Athenaeum on our blog here.

Check out other interesting museums you could visit while in Bucharest:

You can visit all these museums on your own, or you can book some of our tours.

During our Bucharest Classic Tour, you will see the Palace of the Parliament, the Village Museum, and the Romanian Athenaeum. The tour guide will drive you to the highlights of Bucharest and tell you many stories about the city and the important events in our history.

You can also check out 10 Free Things to do in Bucharest or a First Timers Guide to Bucharest. Both articles will be an inspiration for your visit to Romania’s capital city.

For a more deep understanding of our country, we recommend booking our small group Treasures of Romania Tour.

Best selling tours:

Treasures of Romania Tour

Treasures of Romania & Bulgaria Tour

Treasures of Romania & Hungary Tour

Valentina Marinescu

Travel is my first name. If my passion for traveling involves a bike, it's even better. And if the day ends with a good book and a dry red glass of wine, then I live in a paradise.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.