Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is the largest city and the main political, administrative, economic, financial, banking, educational, scientific and cultural center of the country. Bucharest, a capital which was certified more than 500 years ago, is nowadays animated by a population of almost two million inhabitants.
Time has preserved the scent of the past and has embedded it in never-ending stories. For example, Manuc’s Inn is the best preserved of Bucharest’s old inns. It was built around 1808 to shelter travelling merchants. The inn is also one of Bucharest’s historical building. Its owner, an influential Armenian called Emanuel Marzaian (better know as Manuc Bey hence the name of the place) offered the building for the signing in 1812 of the treaty that ended the Russo-Turkish war and resulted in the gain of Bessarabia by Russia. The treaty is known as the Treaty of Bucharest (1812). The building has the two tier galleries featured by the caravanserais that were common all over the Otoman Empire. Today, Manuc’s Inn functions as a hotel-restaurant and winecellar.
The Lipscani area is the oldest remaining part of Bucharest and is known as the “historical center”. This district was Bucharest’s most important commercial zone from the middle ages to late 20th century. Also, the prince had his court here – the ruins can be seen today on the French Street. While probably famed more for its history and its nightlife, the Old Town area of Bucharest is in fact home to some superb places to eat: both high end, fine-dining establishments as well as kebabs and take-aways.
Most of the attractions in the old center of the city are included in the Bucharest Sightseeing Tour offered to the participants at the Strategica conference.
Today, the city is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern, in a neoclassical style that is showing originality and charm. In 2012, Bucharest ranked second among Europe’s ‘coolest’ cities, according to a top published by the online magazine slate.fr, taking into account several criteria, such as the price of beer, the number of students in the city and the number of neighborhoods where tourists and residents can have fun.