London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
End of July and August mostly translate to scorching temperatures in Bucharest. Hence not the most obvious destination with small little monkeys. But somehow Bucharest with kids works for us really well. Spending the day by swimming pools and parks, catching up over drinks and long dinners al fresco with friends in the evenings and party away the nights. Tough life as 7am to 8pm parents need to entertain the little ones and evenings are so much fun with the adults, but we managed and loved over the years!
Bucharest culinary scene is delightful and diverse. After a stroll on the cobbled streets of the Old City, head to Aria TNB just above Bucharest National Theatre – fantastic views from a very high 3rd floor and aperols, salmon tartars, foie gras and many other fine dishes. Kids were delighted to be taken along and play on its generous 1200sqm terrace !
For sushi addicts (like us!) head to Embassy Lahovari – a generous terrace and a fantastic young chef in the heart of Bucharest, a traditional Romanian mansion with playful tweaks, mouth watering and affordable cuisine satisfying the most demanding kids and adults.
Culture wise kids are keen on Antipa and National Geology Museum – they each take up to an hour; just go prepared with modest expectations versus London’s museum. Nice shady playground next door in Kiseleff – so all in all, families could spend in here a very good day.
One swimming pool we go religiously to is Pescariu Sports & Spa. The food, wines and aperols are brilliant , plus relaxing as the little ones can splash next to you in various depths, go on slides and play with the fountains. Food gets served on sunchairs and waiters are nice; it may be on the pricey side but definetely worth it. We tried Daimon as well but did not stay as we were not convinced: the softplay area was on a different side of pool; limited food served by the pool; and not enough kids friendly facilities (no sand area, no toys, no slides, no little pool more precisely).
We also tested and loved the Therme: 30min drive, great facilities and chilling at The Palm, cocktails by the pool bar, a cool massage on the water beds and a healthy yum lunch. All parties were very happy – the only trouble is the kids have to be under 3 years old for The Palm. Above that age, there’s only Galaxy , which is much more noisier, fun filled and crowded. Our friends had to go there – not entirely sure they relaxed and appreciated as much as we did.
So all in all, Bucharest with kids makes a wonderful and relaxed 1 week; spacious and affordable flats and villas help; or if you’re after a hotel, Athenee Palace Hilton is the perfect pied a terre, we wrote about in here. If you are after more zen and less nightlife, head to Vinalia Conacul Ceptura, 1 hour drive from Bucharest, a mansion beautifully restored that will take your wine country getaway to the next level.
Looking forward to heading back again this summer! For a longer itinerary Romania with kids or kithout, head here another long week-end Bucharest with toddler head here; or Brasov and around, head here.
Covid 19 adjustments and considerations: In the brave new world of 2021, Romania dropped 14 days mandatory quaranteeining for vaccinated travellers (with 2 doses) as well as ‘lucky’ travellers with positive COVID 19 tests more than 14 days and less than 90 days since the confirmation of the test results. We were in second ‘lucky’ cathegory in February 2021 and family circumstances required us spending 3 weeks in Romania, both Bucharest and Brasov. We found life close to normal and Police re-assuringly enforcing the masks everywhere in the public spaces, outside included. We made it safely to restaurants, theatre, skiing, hairdressers and even the spa! The cases have been under control for the last 6 months and Romania somehow managed to find a balanced and reasonable approach to keeping the economy open safely, with vaccins overall on track and rights and freedom relatively unscathed.