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.
Far from the communist utopia first-time visitors conjure upon visiting Bucharest—the 1,100-room Palace of Parliament topping the agenda of iconic sights to tick off—Romania’s capital is everything you didn’t expect. Here, century-old Byzantine churches straddle Belle Époque palaces on Calea Victoriei, the city’s most famous artery, in a sublime mix of old and new, East and West.
Table Mountain, white-sand beaches, rich history and cosmopolitan culture and cuisine have long lured people to visit Cape Town, but today the Mother City's African art scene is proving to have pulling power. And it's not just the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – the continent's largest museum opening in over a century – but also an exciting (and ever growing) number of pioneering art institutions that is impressing art lovers.
Lonely Planet Pathfinder Monica Suma recently explored Jordan’s cinematic sights, from Amman’s red-hued hills to the ancient city of Petra, and the desert of Wadi Rum – punctuating her journey through this fascinating country with compulsory breaks for delicious falafel and cardamom coffee!
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.