The warm bright sun, the smell of green grass and nature’s lively colors tempt you to spend every free moment outside. When you’re in the city, the most pleasant places to relax, enjoy beautiful views and have long serene walks are the parks.
Bucharest has about 40 public parks, some are newer than others, some are recently modernized while others are in an awful shape and incapable of reaching their leisure potential. Still, people from Bucharest are very fond of their parks and prefer to opt for their favorite when they want to go out. If you want to find out what are the most beautiful public gardens in the city, where anyone can experience a wonderful time having long walks, riding the bike or just admiring the landscapes, take a look at the below 10 parks.
The oldest public garden is also the most beautiful one in Bucharest, enjoying a generous area of 16 hectares. In 1779, Alexandru Ipsilati decided to build two fountains in the Capital of Romania, and the first one was placed where today we find the garden from Stirbei Voda Street. Not long after, nearby, Dumitru Siulgi-basa built his home. He was the chief of the construction works for all Bucharest’s fountains, and his nickname was “big well sinker”(“marele cismigiu”). This is why Bucharest residents started calling the park Cismigiu. It was general Kiseleff who decided in 1830 to turn this area into a public garden, a change that was completed in 1847, during the reign of Prince Bibescu, and following the plans of the director of the Royal Gardens in Vienna. The landscape and design were made according with the unique style of British Parks and these works were completed in 1854, when the official opening of Cismigiu garden took place.
The Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden was opened about 150 years ago and it was founded during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, in 1860, at the initiative of Carol Davila. But only in 1884 it was re-located where it is today, due to the efforts of professor doctor Dimitrie Brandza. The Botanical Garden is a cultural, educational and research institution which belongs to the University of Bucharest and it includes the Botanical Museum, plants exhibits and collections of orchids, palm trees and carnivorous plants, a sector on decorative plants and numerous other attractions. During summertime, the outside spaces are available to visitors from 08:00 to 20:00, and the price of a ticket is 5 LEI/person.
State Circus Park
The construction of the State Circus Park started in 1958, where the former Tonola landfill was located, on a landform that was mostly artificial. The name of the park was inspired by the Circus building which is situated next to one of the park’s sides and the plans of this public garden were designed by the architect Valentin Donose, who had the inspiration of placing in the center a lake of natural springs, where Egyptian lotuses grow. In the last few years, the lake started to dry up, because of some construction works nearby, and the non-governmental organizations are trying to save this species from extinction.
Drumul Taberei Park
Drumul Taberei Park is the symbol of the neighborhood Drumul Taberei and of the Capital’s sector 6. It is also one of the most appreciated neighborhood gardens, mostly because it has many restaurants with terraces, a rink, chess tables, football fields, tennis court and a pool complex called “Trei Ligheane”. The park has an area of 30 hectares and it was built at the beginning of the ’60s, on a field where the former ICAR Company was testing the planes it used tovmanufacture.
With the expansion of Bucharest, the woods from this side of the city were turned into a park. The project was initiated by Karl Wilhelm Mayer, the director of Vienna’s Royal Gardens, who was also in charge with the Cismigiu Garden, under the close supervision of Prince Gheorghe Bibescu. The Park’s plan was completed in 1832, when the Kiseleff highroad was built, but the actual work started long afterwards. In recent years, the park was modernized, and new areas dedicated to sports and leisure were designed.
Carol Park was once named Liberty Garden and it was built on Filaret Hill, on a total area of 41 hectares. This public park has many things to offer to its visitors, such as the beautiful lake that occupies 2 hectares of the garden’s surface. The construction of the park begun in 1900, and it was officially opened in 1906, with the intention of celebrating King’s Carol I 40 years of reign. The park includes numerous touristic attractions, like the Mausoleum, the Zodiac Fountain, the Roman Arenas, the Monument of the Unknown Hero, the National Technical Museum, the Giants Statues and many others. This is why in 2004, it was listed as historical monument.
The former park “23 August” was inaugurated in the summer of 1953, after only 5 months of works. It is located in an area called “Groapa Vergului” and it measures approximately 60 hectares. The park was designed with the purpose of offering an oasis of green for the working neighborhoods from the east side of Bucharest. Today, the national Park hosts the National Sports Complex and the House of Football, the headquarters of the Romanian Federation of Football.
In the south side of Bucharest, in an area called at the beginning of 1900 “Weeping Valley”( “Valea Plangerii”), in 1965 Tineretului Park was built. Shortly after, in the center of the park an events hall named “Sala Polivalenta” was constructed, and in the ‘80s it was built “Oraselul Copiilor, the biggest entertainment park from Romania, at that time. In the last years, the park was modernized, the lake was cleaned, new and larger spaces were decorated with flowers, playing grounds were added, as well as many areas for outdoor exercises, a sky slope and a section dedicated to skateboarders.
Also known as Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park or IOR Park, this public garden is representative for Bucharest’s sector 3. Most residents call it IOR which is an acronym for Intreprinderea Optica Romana( Romania Enterprise od Optics) which is located nearby. The park has a surface of 85 hectares and its construction started in 1965, and after 5 years it was completed. In recent years, on the lake Titan were brought ducks, geese and other birds, and the kids playing grounds were modernized or replaced.
Located in the north side of Bucharest, Herastrau Park has a surface of almost 110 hectares, which means that it is the largest park in the Capital of Romania. Lake Herastrau has an area of approximately 74 hectares, and it has attracted Bucharest’s residents starting with the beginning of 1800, but only in 1930 the swamp area was sanitized, and in 1936 Herastrau Park was complete and ready to be officially opened. Also, it 1936 the Village Museum was built and it now represents one of the largest institutions of its kind from Europe.