West Ham are travelling to Romania for their Conference League last group game versus FCSB.
The Hammers have already qualified and topped the group but over 2,500 fans will be making the journey.
You may not believe it at first, Bucharest is one of the fastest-growing tourist spots in the European Union. In fact, its GDP per capita is expected to be the largest in Europe by the year 2050. West Ham fans will be visiting Bucharest at a good time and can expect to see a growing city.
Romania has made strides to move away from the communist regime that took over the country for four decades, with most to the progress being made in Bucharest. The city has become more westernised to accommodate foreign tourists and visitors, so you can feel at home when you visit and disprove any misconceptions you may have about the country.
Language Romanian – Name in Official Language România
Dialling Code +40
Currency Leu (1 Leu = £0.18)
WHERE IS BUCHAREST?
Bucharest is Romania’s cultural, economic and political capital. It is located around 37 miles from the Bulgarian border and has a population of 1,880,000 people. The Danube River flows through the city.
Many of Bucharest’s traditional buildings were destroyed during the World War II and Nicolae Ceausescu’s systematisation program, but renovation work has since restored them to their original designs. Today, Romania is going through a big technological boom and hosts technology summits every year.
WHAT CAN I DO THERE?
Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)
This enormous building is the seat of Romania’s parliament. It weighs 4.098 billion kilograms and has a floor area of 365,000 square feet; this makes it the heaviest building on Earth and the second largest administrative structure in the world.
Ceausescu ordered that the palace be built in an attempt to show the growth of urban planning in Romania. Construction began in 1984 and was finally completed in 1997. Today, the palace has over 1,100 rooms, with eight of these being underground. It hosts international conferences and featured in an episode of Top Gear.
Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei)
A very iconic moment in history occurred at this large public square in December 1989. Romanians had finally began to show discontent towards Ceausescu’s regime and protested throughout the country. He gave a speech at this square, but he failed to win support and was executed four days later.
Revolution Square adopted its name in honour of nation’s full liberation. It is home to a statue of King Carol I, as well as other small administrative buildings. The National Museum of Art is within a short walk of the square.
Carol I Park (Parcul Carol)
Carol I Park is a garden that has been known to showcase some of Bucharest’s architecture and history. For many visitors, it is a place to admire the flower displays and relax.
The first sight tourists tend to notice is the mausoleum. It was initially built to honour socialist millitants, but it now commemorates Romanian soldiers who have died in recent conflicts. A concert arena, two statues of giants and two water fountains can also be found in the park.