Until the late 1980's, Romania was a communist state and Bucharest was a troubled place. That era left its marks on Bucharest, a city once known as 'Little Paris'. This tour will allow you to discover some of the stories of life in Bucharest under communism, as well as significant places of interest related to the communist period.
Bucharest today is a nice city to live in, yet until the late 1980's, Romania was a communist state and Bucharest was a troubled place. Anything related to the west was forbidden to the extent that even talking to a westerner on the street could mean a trip to a Police station for an interview with a Securitate (secret police) officer. That era left its marks on Bucharest, a city once known as 'Little Paris'. Your tour starts at Revolution Square, the place where the fight for liberation started. Then, you will continue your trip towards the Archives, a building that still bears the bullet marks of it's bloody history. From there you will head to Constitution Square and to the top of the Palace of the Parliament. The second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. Nicolae Ceaușescu, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, who's regime it was built under, called it 'the People's Palace'. Next the tour will move towards a neighborhood in the north of Bucharest, where you can see examples of the true socialist architecture, and some of the “bedroom quarters”. You will also get to see one of the famous 'Hunger Circles' - an ex-canteen from the communist era, so called because of the severe food shortages at the time. On your way, you will stop at the Romanian Television HQ (TVR), the Romanian public television station. Due to the "energy saving programme", the TVR schedule was severely limited to only about two hours per day during the communist era, between 20:00 and 22:00, most of which was dedicated to the cult of personalities of Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena. The two hours of programming were half propaganda and half general entertainment. You'll then go to the Primaverii neighborhood, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city and home to many politicians and local celebrities, where you'll see Ceausescu's house. Nicolae Ceausescu actually occupied a whole block of villas, including one for his security guards and one for domestic servants, and so, this place has remained an exclusive district since then.