Romanias capital Bucharest is often described as the ‘little Paris’ of Eastern Europe. Indeed this city has a rich high culture, but also a young and creative sub culture. Electronic music plays a big role in the local nightlife scene. Furthermore the city is constantly bringing new food and coffee concepts, as well as urban cultural sites to life.
The city was reigned by communism until 1989 and experienced an anti-Communist political change in 1990. Since 2000 the city has boomed financial, cultural and economical wise and became a breeding ground for the local sub culture. It’s importance is shown in the number of inhabitants (more than 2,5 million), which makes Bucharest the sixth largest city in the European Union after London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome and Paris. Furthermore it is home to the heaviest building of the world, the Palace of Parliament.
Nowadays Parisian-style facades and monumental buildings adorn the centre of Bucharest. Universities, banks, museums but also fabric-style, individual cafés, bars, restaurants and event locations coin the city’s picture.
Clubs, Record Stores and the Electronic Music Scene of Bucharest
Bucharest is home to the countries most famous labels and artists. Without any doubt, one of the most credible artists from Bucharest are Bogman and Romansoff with his vinyl-only label ‘Raw Tools’. Since the 90ies Bogman has a huge influence on the scene and initially helped growing it. His famous ‘Camera Sambo’ parties at the former venue of ‘Control Club’ helped shaping the scene and brought foreign and aspiring DJs to Bucharest. He’s still regularly organising vinyl fairs in the city.
The fire at Club ‘Colectiv’ on 30 October 2015 changed the scene drastically. In that night 64 people died because of missing fire regulations in Romania. Since then the law got really restrictive and consequently a lot of clubs needed to shut down.
Nowadays Bucharest has three venues where electronic music is being played. The first and most popular one is Control Club. The club in the city center is mainly a playground for local artists and the residents. Guest house attracts especially the younger crowd and mainly plays Romanian minimal and techno music. Platforma Wolff is part of the open format venue Expirat. It’s an open air location and therefore only open during the summer months.
One of the biggest festivals near Bucharest is taking place in April. The Sunwaves Festival features artists like Richie Hawtin and Joseph Capriati.
Record stores for electronic music in Bucharest are Mad Piano and Misbits. The latter is owned by Miss I, a local DJ from Bucharest. Mad Piano is located in the courtyard and on the terrace of the hub, bar and restaurant Manasia and organises parties every weekend.
Romansoff mentioned in our interview:
“The Romanian crowd used to go out for the music, but that has changed. People are a bit bored because they don’t want to go to the same places all the time. It’s hard for promoters in Bucharest nowadays.”
On the other side Romanian minimal techno is a real cult in this city and therefore is attracting a lot of younger people.
Romansoff further mentioned that altogether the scene is heading in a good direction:
“Many creative people are working together more closely and so the scene does. A lot of local artists travelled to different countries and brought their experiences back to the scene in Bucharest.”
Find out more about the local scene within our interview with Romansoff.
Restaurants, Cafés and Bars in Bucharest
Bucharest not only has a creative food and traditional wine scene, but a strong coffee culture with various flavours and aromas. We tested Bucharest’s best restaurants, cafés and bars and listed our favourites here.
The best Coffee in Bucharest
Origo Coffee is the spot in Bucharest to refuel your energy level with caffein and to taste exotic flavours. The baristas are absolutely passionate about coffee and have an exceptional knowledge. Origo sources and roasts it’s own coffee beans and every day you can choose between two roasts. The shop also offers tasty sweets like banana bread.
Healthy Snacks and delicious Cakes at Trofic Bucharest
The sister restaurant of Origo Coffee called Trofic and is focused on naturally evolved food. In other words: Salads, toasts, coffee, fresh juices, cakes and granola. It’s a great spot for breakfast and brunch in Bucharest. You fell in love with the coffee and food there? No worries, you can buy a selection of jars and beans in the store.
Where Artists in Bucharest meet and socialise
The statement of Artichoke Social House: ‘Specialty coffee. All day breakfast. Visual art. Not necessarily in this order.’ By reading this you already recognise that this is where the arty people meet. Regular photo exhibitions and the breakfast as well as the coffee served there, fuels the creativity and interaction among the artist, visiting this place.
Get energised with great Food Creations in Bucharest
“Energiea is equally a pub and an urban hub, a place that combines the ease and relaxation of having a conversation over a glass with the exuberant energy of artistic and cultural events and a cuisine based on the principles of healthy gastronomy.”
Traditional Romanian Dishes, presented in a modern Style
The innovative but traditional cuisine of Mahala is presented by the famous and renown Romanian chef Petru Sorin Cucu. The menu ranges from risotto with Transylvanian truffles to stuffed fried zucchini flowers and herb crusted cockerel. Not forgetting to mention the regional wine selection.
The best Ice Cream in Bucharest
Well, there are two spots for creamy and delicious ice cream in Bucharest. One is Emilia Cremeria and the other is Sweetology. Emilia’s flavours are reaching from classical ones like chocolate and vanilla to more fancy ones like cheesecake or their own creations. They use free range eggs, organic milk, fresh fruit and cane sugar. Originally from Italy they also have three stores in Romania. The concept of Sweetology is simple: Cheesecake and ice cream, daily and freshly produced in the store in the center of Bucharest.
Further tips from local DJs Romansoff and Bogman
Linea / Closer To The Moon: A super stylish bar, restaurant and rooftop spot in the center of Bucharest with a view over the city.
Ai Susi Bar: A Japanese restaurant that not only serves sushi for lunch and dinner, but also breakfast like sandwiches, granola and eggs benedict.
FIX: A botanical bar and cocktail place just around the corner of Control Club.
Apollo111: An independent theatre, gallery, bar and hub located in the old news printing business of the Universal Palace.
What are your favourite spots in Bucharest? Join us in the closed community for techno&travel lovers worldwide and share your thoughts with likeminded people.