Pick up your hire car at Bucharest airport and immerse yourself in the Romanian capital that loves to party while offering rich history and cultural heritage
We're eastern Europe's secret city - a hidden Romanian gem that combines a long history with a young heart to create a vibrancy that rivals any continental capital.
Bucharest is often overlooked as a tourist destination but its diverse architecture, fascinating and turbulent past and thriving creative scene ensure there's always something to see and do.
It's a bustling city with a youthful exuberance and penchant for nightlife that's difficult to resist.
Only two decades ago the Romanian people were ruled by Ceausescu's iron-fist, which is partly why they're such an innovative and sociable bunch now the shackles are off.
In this part of Europe the summers are roasting and the winters freezing. May, June and July are the wettest months, although you might actually welcome a cooling shower.
Meaty stews and substantial soups keep hunger at bay in Bucharest. Try some tocanita, a spicy meat stew, or ciorba taraneasca, a hearty peasant soup.
Former tennis world number one, arch trick-shot deliverer and on-court comedian Ilie Nastase was born in the city and often visits.
Bucharest was once known as Little Paris because of its wide boulevards, city squares and reputation as a place to party.
"Bucharest is a creation of our own nation, it expresses our originality... By its own vitality Bucharest has managed to impose itself as a unique capital" - said poet, politician and literary critic Nicolae Iorga in 1938.
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This beautiful church in the centre of Bucharest is home to a library with more than 8,000 books on theology, music, art and history, some of which hail from the Byzantine period.
Parking is available just outside the church.
Damaged during the 1989 revolution this gallery has been carefully reconstructed and is now home to the nation's finest art, including an impressive collection of medieval work.
There is a car park right next to the museum.
Marvel at artifacts including the Romanian Crown Jewels and prehistoric exhibits in Romania's premier museum, which is located inside the former Postal Services Palace.
You’ll have no problem finding plenty of parking spaces in the nearby streets.
This gigantic and opulent building built by Nicolae Ceausescu is the second largest in the world only beaten in the size stakes by the Pentagon.
There are two underground garages for parking.
Modelled on Paris's Arc de Triomphe, Bucharest's version was built in 1935 and is a reminder of the city's pre-war heyday.
There is space to park in nearby Piata Arcul de Triumf.
This beautiful palace wouldn't look out of place in a fairytale and makes for a spell-binding antidote to the bustle of the city.
The castle is located in the south-eastern Carpathian Mountains, an 84-mile drive to the north on the E60.
Master the mogul or perfect your snowplough on the six pistes of this resort which offer some of Romania's most challenging skiing.
The resort is just over 100 miles from Bucharest, heading north on the E60.
This upscale ski resort in the breathtaking pine forests of the Carpathian mountains, with its varied pistes and lively aprés ski, is the ideal place for a winter break.
Head north on the E60 for the 143-mile drive to Brasov.
Often referred to as Dracula's castle and home to a fascinating museum exhibiting art collected by one of Romania's former queens, this atmospheric fortress will attract fang-ophiles and history buffs alike.
Head north on the E60 for 143 miles to Brasov. Then take the road toward Câmpulung Muscel city. The castle is less than 30 km from Brasov.
" It's certainly invigorating driving here and a great way of getting around town. You've got to be pushy, because everyone else is and there aren't that many traffic lights to keep everything flowing. Watch out for pedestrian crossings situated bizarrely on Bucharest's fastest and busiest roads, often forcing the speeding car in front to stop suddenly. And steer clear of the outer ring road at rush hour, the traffic jams are epic. "