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Top 10 Museums in Bucharest

Best museums Bucharest

There are several museums in Bucharest that manage to attract and delight their visitors every time. However, some of them are not on the list of places to visit in Romania. But these are the best things to do in Bucharest on a rainy day! Even in good weather, choose one or more of them to see. Besides the fact that you will find out interesting things, you will interestingly spend time. Most of them are also suitable for children.

Below are the best museums in Bucharest, what you can find inside and why it is worth visiting.

Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History Bucharest

Antipa museum Bucharest

Located near Victoriei Square, the Antipa Museum is one of the longest-lived biodiversity research institutions in Romania. It is also a very popular place for children. Its address is on Kiseleff Road No. 1.

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The museum was founded on November 3, 1834, at the initiative of Prince Alexandru Ghica’s brother, Grand Ban Mihalache Ghica. He donated important collections, including Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, collections of minerals, fossils, molluscs, fish, birds and mammals.

Over time, the museum has been housed in various buildings in Bucharest. The current headquarters was designed and built by the efforts of Dr Grigore Antipa. He was the director from 1893 to 1944. The museum built by the great scientist was modern both in terms of its display and activity. Also, through sustained efforts, Grigore Antipa substantially enriched the institution’s collections with valuable pieces from all over the world. Grigore Antipa is also responsible for the creation of the first biogeographic dioramas in Bucharest. The diorama is a model that was later extended to the great museums of the world. Dioramas are a spatial representation of a part of the ecosystem, which exhibits, in museums, stuffed animals, mannequins, etc. In 2009, the Antipa Museum in Bucharest underwent an impressive modernization, becoming one of the most sought after museums in Bucharest.

Inside, children can see impressive collections of animals from different species and nature scenes from around the world.

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National Military Museum Bucharest

Located on Mircea Vulcănescu Street, no. 125-127, the museum was opened to the public starting on December 18, 1923. King Ferdinand I of Romania issued a decree to open it. Before the establishment of this museum, an artillery museum was established in 1893. The National Military Museum has local branches in other cities in Romania. Its local branches are in Oradea (inaugurated in 1971), Constanța (inaugurated in 1985) and Bacău (inaugurated in 1997). Inside you can see military uniforms, weapons and war scenes.

The museum courtyard is also an exhibition space. Right at the entrance, it has an important objective, the Monument of the Heroes of the 21st Infantry Regiment. The monument was sculpted by the artist Spiridon Georgescu. In a walk on its alleys, you can see various artillery objects and types of military equipment used in aviation and infantry.

Şuţu Palace Museum of History and Art of Bucharest

The Museum of History and Art of Bucharest is based in the Sutu Palace. It is located near the “zero kilometres” of Bucharest. Sutu Palace was the sumptuous residence of the great bedfellow C. Grigore Sutu. It was built-in 1833 by architects Johan Veit and Konrad Schwink.

The museum was founded in 1921 and has a heritage of over 400,000 objects. They attest to facts, events, and portraits of personalities that give content to the memory of the city. With this collection, the museum is one of the most important places where visitors can learn about Bucharest’s history.

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National Museum of Art of Romania

National Art Museum Bucharest

Due to its impressive collection of works of art, the National Museum of Art of Romania is one of the best places to visit for art lovers. It is also an enjoyable and recreational way to spend free time in Bucharest. It is divided into three major categories: the Gallery of Old Romanian Art, the Gallery of Modern Romanian Art and the Gallery of European Art.

Among the most important artists who have exhibited their works in this museum are Constantin Brâncuşi, Rembrandt, Monet, Rubens and Tintoretto.

The National Museum of Art of Romania has three art galleries and royal history. The European Art Gallery, the Old Romanian Art Gallery and the Modern Romanian Art Gallery sum up works exhibited attractively.

But not only the exhibits inside make it worth a visit here, but also the history of the building that houses them: the former Royal Palace. On the place where the Kretzulescu wing is today, the boyar Dinicu Golescu built a house. It was built between 1812 and 1820 and it had impressive proportions for that time. In the time of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, ruler of Wallachia and Moldavia, the building became the royal residence.

During the reign of Carol I, the first king of Romania, extensions were added to the building. It became a winter palace. Decorating it according to his taste, the king is also concerned with setting up a collection of paintings. This collection is today the core of the European Art Gallery. The palace is undergoing another stage of change during the time of Ferdinand and Charles II (the next kings of Romania).

Its destination was changed in 1948 when it was decided to open an art museum in these spaces, and the reception rooms of the central body were assigned to the State Council. During the revolution of December 1989, 80% of the building was damaged, with more than 1,000 works of art being damaged or destroyed. In 1990, the building located in Revolution Square will become the National Art Museum of Romania.

Some of our Bucharest tours:

Bucharest city tour one day long

From 99  /person
Do you have a whole day to discover Bucharest? Spend it wisely! Bucharest city tour offers you the opportunity to see the main objectives in town, to hear their stories and to visit the most important of them. At midday, we will stop for lunch in a cosy restaurant. At the end of it, you will realize that you want to stay longer than a day. Check below the detailed itinerary for one day in Bucharest. Or you can try one of our shorter tours in Bucharest.

Bucharest Ghost tour – Haunted places in Bucharest

From 79  /person
Romania is well known for its dark legends because it’s the country of Dracula after all! Bucharest, its capital, looks like a quiet city, but it has also its secrets and its creepy stories. Amazing ghost tales and urban legends will be whispered and hidden places will be explored, all in one-half day Bucharest ghost tour!

Bucharest Walking Tour

From 65  /person
Is this your first time in Bucharest and do you need a city preview? So many places to see and you don’t know which one to visit? Is it not your first time and you want to see  Bucharest’s main attractions again? Then we have a special tour for you! A guided sightseeing tour of Bucharest will help you reach all the main places. Afterwards, you can decide which one deserves your time for a visit. 4 hours are enough to see that Bucharest is not at all a grey city! Do you have a whole day to spend in Bucharest? Choose one of our Bucharest guided tours. We start the Bucharest walking tour in Unirii square and we go by car to see the main attractions in Bucharest: Universitate square, Victoriei square, the Triumph Arch. Coming back on Victoriei street, the most famous boulevard in Bucharest, we will see the Romanian Atheneum, a beautiful concert hall that you can visit afterwards, the Royal palace, CEC palace and other important buildings from the capital of Romanian. The second part of the tour includes a guided walk on the narrow streets in the old town, followed by a stop in front of the second-largest building in the world, the Parliament Palace. So, are you ready to get to know Bucharest?

Museum of Art Collections Bucharest

Art collections Bucharest

Art lovers also have other museums to visit in Bucharest. The Museum of Art Collections brings together in the former Romanit Palace the donations made over the years by collectors with special merits in preserving the artistic heritage. The arrangement aims to restore the original configuration of each collection. It was inaugurated in 1978 as a section of the National Museum of Art of Romania. The over 30 permanently exhibited collections bring together a wide variety of works of painting, sculpture, and graphics. They are Romanian, European and Oriental decorative art donated over time by collectors and artists, most of them from Bucharest. The former Romanit palace that houses the collections is a representative building for the beginnings of modern architecture in Bucharest.

National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest

Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is different from the ones above. It offers visitors a different experience, with exhibitions not always comfortable for the viewer. The museum is in the Parliament Palace building. It has a terrace where you can enjoy a cappuccino at the end, this being one of the most spectacular places from which you can see Bucharest from above.

National Museum of History Bucharest

History museum Bucharest

The National Museum of History of Romania is a depository of the most valuable objects of the historical heritage. It was inaugurated in 1972 in the former headquarters of the Post Office Palace, built during the reign of King Carol I.

Inside you can visit the National Treasure, the Lapidarium and the temporary exhibitions. The museum’s collections include nearly 700,000 objects, including archaeology, numismatics and old books. The important collections are those of archaeology, history (documents and prints, weapons, jewellery and objects of the Royal House) and old books.

Here you can see 11th-century gold ornaments; the treasure from Suceava, dating from the time of the ruler Stephen the Great, Dacian gold and silver bracelets hard to recover from treasure hunts, etc. Personal objects and insignia of the authority of Alexandru Ioan Cuza and King Carol I are also presented; the crowns of Queens Elizabeth and Mary; the sceptre worn by King Ferdinand, in October 1922, at the coronation ceremony as sovereign of reunited Romania; the mace of King Charles II.

The first level of the museum is reserved exclusively for the copy of Trajan’s Column, made on a 1: 1 scale after the original in Rome. This replica is the work of Vatican craftsmen and was made in the years 1939 to 1943, being brought to Bucharest in 1967. The monument shows, in stone, the Daco-Roman war fought on the current territory of Romania between the years 101 – 102 and 105 – 106 b. Chr, wars that led to the formation of the Romanian people.

National Museum of Geology Bucharest

Located on Kiseleff Road no. 2, the imposing building, declared an architectural monument, was built in neo-Brancoveanu style at the beginning of the 20th century, being initially intended to house the Geological Institute. King Carol I signed in 1906 the royal decree establishing the institute, an act that can be seen, in the original, right in the entrance hall of the museum. A century ago, in addition to the research activity carried out here, there were also collections of rocks and minerals that could be visited by the public – an incipient museum organized in the “Collections” hall on the ground floor.

The official opening of the Geological Museum was finally made in April 1990. Currently, the museum is a section of the Geological Institute of Romania, and inside you can admire various collections of rocks, crystals and minerals.

“Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum in Bucharest

Top 10 museums Bucharest - Village Museum

Also located on Kiseleff Road, in Herastrau Park, the Village Museum is considered one of the main tourist attractions in Bucharest.

It is an open-air museum spread over an impressive area of several hectares. It is the size of a real village and includes monuments and artefacts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, with houses and rural buildings representative of each ethnographic area of the country, including Transylvania, Maramures, Oltenia, Moldova, Dobrogea, Muntenia and Banat. The atmosphere is more like a natural park than a museum.

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The Peasant Museum in Bucharest is the creation of the folklorist and sociologist Dimitrie Gusti. It was inaugurated in 1936, in the presence of King Carol II of Romania. An interesting detail is that initially not only the houses and objects inside were brought as exhibits. Peasant families were also invited to live here. Thus, the people of Bucharest had the opportunity to go to the museum in the city and see how life in the country unfolds.

Before the first half of the 20th century, most of Romania’s population lived in the village. Rural communities were organized in such a way as to meet all daily needs. The clothes were handmade. To build the Village Museum, the houses were disassembled, piece by piece, transported by train, cart or boat to Bucharest where they were reassembled. The oldest house was built in the 17th century, and the newest one belongs to the 19th century.

Museum of the National Bank of Romania

Museum of the National Bank of Romania

Located in the Historic Center of Bucharest, in the Old Palace of the National Bank of Romania, the Museum of the National Bank of Romania houses an important numismatic collection, which reflects the circulation of money in Romania, from the coins of Greek cities on the West-Pontic coast (5th century). BC), at the denomination of the lion from 2005.

The permanent exhibition places special emphasis on the history of the national currency, seen both as an instrument for influencing everyday life and as an artistic product. The visit to the collection of the National Bank of Romania is made in the form of an organized group, by appointment (e-mail) followed by confirmation.

These are just the most important museums in Bucharest. But their list is much longer. Enthusiasts can spend several days in a row discovering them. But you can link the big ones to what you find the most interesting and combine them with other tourist attractions in the capital.

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