Freelance Travel & Lifestyle Writer. Arts & Culture, Food & Drink, unique properties around the world (hotels/ glamping). Up-and-coming destinations. Lonely Planet Bucharest Local. Covering Romania.
When Greek islands are mentioned, Santorini sunsets and Mykonos alleyways instantly come to mind – an exalted portrait of summer perfection. But for a slice of Greek bliss without the crowds, your best bet lies in Syros, the administrative capital of the Cyclades group and one of its smallest islands.
You might have come to see exactly how big the Palace of Parliament is or to admire Bucharest’s rise to belle époque fame, but the Romanian capital isn’t just about major sights. This is a city that rewards the curious explorer, its canvas of contrasting architectural styles reflecting a dramatic history.
You might have your eyes set on Transylvania for bucket-list bragging rights, but when it comes to travel around Romania, the western regions of Crişana and Banat are catching up and generating a buzz. With a slew of budget flights from Europe – and as natural stops for travellers coming overland from Hungary and Serbia – the cities of Oradea and Timişoara make a worthy addition to any Romanian road trip. Both are cost-friendly, booming with culture and reinvigorated with new looks.
The InterContinental Bucharest is the first five-star hotel to be built in the Romanian capital, holding its reign as the highest hotel in town and an emblem of the city ever since its 1971 opening. A landmark of heritage and comfort, there is no better hotel to take in sweeping panoramic views of the city.
Lonely Planet Local Monica Suma recently moved back to her native Bucharest after 12 years abroad. Drawn by the urban revival and cultural effervescence, this former New Yorker enjoys strolling through the back alleys of interwar Bucharest, searching for the hidden haunts, delicious eats and ever-present festivals.
Hotel Epoque excels as a five-star retreat of savoir-faire and harmony. The deluxe boutique hotel strikes a chord on individuality and is an impeccable venue inside and out. Come here for the peaceful spa, fine dining indulgence and exclusive service that makes you feel right at home.
The biggest five-star hotel in Romania, Radisson Blu was reborn on the site of bygone Hotel Bucharest. Fêted since the days of the legendary Nestor pastry shop, which was once located here, it’s held onto its long-enduring standing for hospitality on Bucharest’s historically posh avenue
Wander the streets of Bucharest and you’ll notice Romania’s capital is buzzing with summer gardens. Ever since the interwar era of belle époque villas and stately Neo-Romanian mansions, the garden terrace came to exist as a natural extension of a house – its beating heart where people would eat, drink and be merry for hours on end in a Balkans-meets-Mediterranean euphoria.