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Entertainment & Nightlife in Romania


Romania has many things to offer and you will not be lacking in good food and wine or nightlife entertainment. The capital, Bucharest, has many international restaurants and cafés as well as nightclubs, but outside of the major cities, the nightlife tends to be more subdued.

There are no licensing hours in Romania. Nor is there a legal drinking age, however, you must be over 18 to purchase alcohol. Entrance fees are cheap compared to those in the West. Some nightclubs close in June for the summer and reopen in early October.


For information on bars, clubs, and all kinds of events in Bucharest, grab a copy of the free, weekly, English-language Sapte Seare in Bucharest; it's available in most hotels, airline offices, and Western-style bars and restaurants.

Bucharest has a growing number of nightclubs with entertainment and live dancing. Restaurants at most major hotels double as nightclubs and there are also several Parisian-style cafés. Two casinos operate in the Calea Victoriei. Opera is performed at the Romanian Opera House and the Romanian Athenaeum has two symphony orchestras. Folk entertainment is performed at the Rapsodia Romana Artistic Ensemble Hall and there are a number of theatres.

Generally, performance tickets can be purchased directly at the venue's ticket office or from your hotel, with a slight commission added. It's normally easy to get tickets without a reservation. Major concerts, often by visiting international stars, are usually held at one of the city's two football stadiums, Stadionul Dinamo or Stadionul National, while slightly more intimate events are held at the Arenele Romane in Parcul Libertatii (also called Parcul Carol I).

Piranha Club (Splaiul Independenţei 313) is a large pub, with a huge outdoor terrace in the middle of a wooded area, featuring a small collection of exotic animals. One of the few outdoor places where the summer heat is actually bearable. A favourite amongst students, with amazingly low prices (a beer is 2.5 lei, about €0.75). However, it gets quite crowded and sometimes noisy.

Fire Club (Gabroveni 12), has a beer-soaked ground-floor bar with loud students and a basement stage for alt-rock shows. A bit more to-do and grown-up is Majemo (Covaci 6), a compact bar in an antiques shop, or the posh and pricey Office (Strada Tache Ionescu 2), a slick lounge with 1980s tunes for a more dressed-up crowd.

Another key drinking scene is hidden away in the National Theatre (Bulevardul Balcescu 2). On the theatre’s left side, the fourth-floor La Motor ’s spectacular outdoor roof terrace brings in students not theatre-goers. It’s a booze-filled scene, with live bands at the weekends. Expatriates tend to favour the Irish or English pubs, such as the blokey Dubliner (Bulevardul Titilescu 18), with Guinness on draught, football on the TV, darts in a side room and great steak sandwiches. Posher locals needing a bit of British pub action, opt for White Horse (George Calinescu 4), a two-storey pub in a ritzy residential area in northeastern Bucharest.

The club scene is booming in Bucharest and many venues have lasers and skimpily clad dancers atop stages or bars. A new entry is the king-sized Pacha (Bulevardul Libertatii 1), a sprawling space with big-name DJs, staged dancers and flashing lights. More low key are the student-filled Other Side (Brezoianu 4), a funky lounge with dancing and cubicle seats or the sweaty student dance scene at Club A (Strada Blanari 14), just east of the centre. Stylised and futuristic (and a bit more upmarket) Embryo (Strada Ion Oteteleseanu 3A), holds a wide mix of costume dance parties for Bucharest’s hip twenty-something crowd.

Jazz is big in Bucharest. Green Hours 22 Jazz Club (Calea Victoriei 120), a capsule-style basement club with jazz or theatre most nights, and Art Jazz Club (Bulevardul N Balcescu 23A), both feature top jazz names (most live performances start around 9 pm).

Prostitution is rife in Bucharest; the number of erotic clubs tucked between the churches and monuments is staggering, so it's easy to assume that anything and everything is up for grabs. Be warned; prostitution is illegal. A system of bribes allows prostitutes to ply their trade even in top hotels; not surprisingly, the cops get the largest cut.




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