When one thinks of Romania, vampires and castles may be the first thing that comes to mind, but the country is full of much more than that. From cities to acres of land surrounded by pure nature, Romania is a destination that sometimes gets dismissed but shouldn’t be. One of our favorite places in this gorgeous country is Bucharest, and although the now capital is somewhat new compared to other cities in the world (first mentioned in 1459), it’s full of amazing lesser-known sites and alleys that can be easily missed.

So for those who have Bucharest on their list of go-to destinations, here are some hidden gems to add to your list.

Macca House & Palatul Adevarul

Throughout the centuries, Bucharest has been constructed and reconstructed, which has left the city with numerous historic buildings—some of which have been abandoned. Although it cannot be accessed alone, tours like Urban Adventures offer its customers the chance to visit interesting sites such as the Mecca House, which was owned by colonel Petre Macca and his wife in the 1800s, and Palatul Adevarul, which was once home to Truth Press, the biggest newspaper in Romania in the 19th century. Both of these buildings are unique in their own way and true gems of Bucharest.

Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse

In the heart of the city is a small passageway shaped like a fork, called Macca-Vilacrosse. Completed in 1891, this small area is covered with a glass roof that is intricately and beautifully designed. Here, you can find several shisha cafes, boutiques selling clothing and jewelry, and a few restaurants to grab a bite to eat midday.

Therme

Do you love to relax? Then make sure to spend several hours, maybe even more, at Therme, which is located by the airport. There are nine heated swimming pools, six saunas (each with its own theme), multiple pool bars, slides, and even cafes selling fresh juice and food. Therme is a perfect escape from the city and offers an amazing wellness experience for those who love to swim and sweat out some toxins.

Stavropoleos Monastery

Stavropoleos Monastery is a little gem located on Stavropoleos Street. Constructed in 1724, this Orthodox church is one of the oldest in Bucharest. There is a library, a conference room, a courtyard, and a room that houses 18th-century pieces that have remained intact, even when the country was under communist rule. The magnificent architecture, built in Brâncovenesc style, is also worth seeing, plus, it’s very peaceful here—you can spend 30 minutes or an hour exploring the church and its various sections. Stavropoleos Monastery is a must-visit, regardless of your religion.

Museum of Senses

Museum of Senses is a completely different experience, and definitely a fun one too! You’ll be able to discover a lot about the way you see, hear, feel and smell thanks to optical illusions and the beauty of science. It’s a great place for adults and families and will leave you feeling mind-blown. The Museum of the Senses is open every day, from 9am to 9pm, and costs less than $13 for one adult ticket.

Bucharest sometimes referred to as “Little Paris of the East”, is a place with a lot of history, rich culture and full of people from various ethnic backgrounds. From abandoned houses to thermal baths, Bucharest offers little surprises throughout the city waiting to be explored. So for those of you who are heading to this gorgeous destination, make sure to add some of these gems to your list of to-dos and must-sees.

If this or any other destination speaks to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and save you up to 70% off. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!