WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer Bucharest City Tour

WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer Bucharest City Tour

WAVEJourney’s Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review

WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer Bucharest City Tour

WJ Tested: Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer Bucharest City Tour

Day 3:
Today our Uniworld schedule indicated that we start the day with an included bus tour of Bucharest (Romania’s capital city) with a local guide. Following the city tour we would have lunch at a lakeside restaurant, then transfer to Giurgiu where the River Princess awaited our arrival.

Our morning started with another wonderful, included buffet breakfast at the Radisson Blu Bucharest Hotel. After making sure our luggage was correctly tagged we placed it outside our guest room for the porters to pick up. We would not see our luggage again until it was delivered to our stateroom on the ship – Uniworld takes care of all guest luggage being transferred to the ship.

Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania

Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania

As we had chosen to visit the Palace of ParliamentCasa Poporului/Palatul Parlamentului (also known as the People’s House) as part of our Bucharest city tour we were assigned to a particular coach (1 coach was going to the People’s Palace and 2 coaches were going to the Village Museum), and joined our city guide for the 9 a.m. departure.

Travel Tip: Don’t take the Palace of Parliament tour if you have issues with steps – there are lots of them.

For the first 90-minutes our driving tour took us by most of the important sightseeing points around the city – Revolution Square, the National Art Museum, Arcul de Triumf, Athenaeum concert hall. Our guide also gave us a brief history lesson about Bucharest and also explained that Romania has only been a member of the European Union since January 1, 2007.

Monument in Carol I Park in Bucharest, Romania

Monument in Carol I Park in Bucharest, Romania

At 10:30 a.m. there was a 10-minute comfort stop at the WJ Marriott hotel, then back onto the bus for a short drive to the People’s Palace for our 11 a.m. guided tour inside the building. We were quite surprised by the amount of security in place, and had to provide our ID (passport or driver’s license) to the guards to keep for the duration of our 90-minute guided visit.

Palace of Parliament Fun Facts:

  • This is Romania’s most famous building and has 1,100 rooms
  • It was built during the regime of Nicolae Ceausescu
  • It was originally built to house the communist state government
  • The building stands 84 m (282 ft) above ground level on 12 floors, and is the world’s heaviest building
  • It is also the world’s largest civilian building and the most expensive administrative building
  • The building was constructed using materials primarily from Romanian origin, including 1,000,000 cubic meters of marble from Transylvania
  • Today it is home to Romania’s parliament, a conference center, and Romania’s Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The only way to see the interior of the building is on a guided tour – cost approximately 25 lei (US$7.15)
  • An additional fee is charged if you want to take photographs – 30 lei (US$8.50)

By 1 p.m. we returned to the coach for the drive across town to Restaurantul Pescarus, located on the very picturesque Lake Herastrau, for an included traditional Romanian luncheon. Even though the outdoor terrace offered splendid lake views, with temperatures well over 100F, we were thankful to sit inside the air-conditioned restaurant.

Folklore Dancers at Restaurantul Pescarus in Bucharest

Folklore Dancers at Restaurantul Pescarus in Bucharest

While lunch was being served, we enjoyed very lively and festive entertainment provided by local dancers and musicians. A glass of red or white wine, or a soft drink was included with our tasty 3-course meal which included vegetable soup with bread, chicken in gravy with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, ice-cream, tea or coffee.

Lake at Restaurantul Pescarus in Bucharest

Lake at Restaurantul Pescarus in Bucharest

Around 3 p.m. it was time for our group to return to the motor coach for the 90-minute drive out of the city, into the countryside and onwards to the port town of Giurgiu – on the Danube in southern Romania – where we join Uniworld River Princess.

If You Go:

Continue Reading WAVEJourney’s Uniworld Eastern Europe Explorer River Cruise Review:

Cruise Overview | Bucharest | Peles Castle | Bran Castle | Bucharest City Tour | Uniworld River Princess | Giurgiu: Embarkation | Rousse to Varna & the Black Sea | Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi | Captain’s Welcome Gala | Vidin, Belogradchik & Baba Vida Fortress | Iron Gates | Donji Milanovac | Viminacium Archaeological Site | Sava River | Belgrade City Tour | Deck Dining | Vukovar & Osijek | Cruising the Danube to Budapest | Budapest City Tour | Budapest Parliament Building Guided Tour | Gabcikovo Hydroelectric Dam and Lock | Bratislava City Tour | Captain’s Farewell Dinner | Vienna City Tour |

Notes: WAVEJourney travelled from Bucharest to Vienna as guests of Uniworld River Cruise Collection from July 25 to August 8, 2012.

 

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