Bucharest, the changing capital of Eastern Europe

Air France offers plane tickets for regular flights to Bucharest. Romania's capital, a changing city with a population of 1.6 million. Although it might not be the first city that we think of when we want to purchase a plane ticket for Europe, Bucharest is a mysterious city full of contrasts.
It has an unusual history. Founded in 1459, Bucharest became the capital of the Romanian United Principalities in 1862, the union of the provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. In full expansion during the 19th century, Bucharest became the "Little Paris of the Balkans". There were very strong ties between Romania and France at the time, and many Romanian architects studied in Paris. During the war, Bucharest was extensively bombed and many parts of the city were destroyed.
In 1945, the communist, Ceausescu, took control of the government and the city began to change. In 1977, Bucharest was hit by a strong earthquake which accelerated the changing aspect of the city. Ceausescu had immense buildings erected, in particular his Parliament Palace, the world's 2nd largest building that is "visible from the moon", according to legend, the emblem of the dictator's madness with twelve floors and 1000 rooms.
After the fall of communism in 1989, many buildings were renovated, shopping centers were created. After the year 2000, modern buildings of glass and steel began to appear. Modern wings were added to historical buildings.

Bucharest, a visit between the communist past and modern present

If you purchase a plane ticket for Bucharest , you will have a large choice of buildings to visit. Obviously, you cannot miss Ceausescu's famous palace.
However, Bucharest, also has the Athenee Palace, a sumptuous hotel built by a French architect. Also, do not miss the Stavropoleos Church, built in 1724 for the Greek community in Bucharest. The National Museum of Romanian Art will give you an overview of the country's art from the Middle Ages to modern times. One of the museum's rooms is dedicated to the private collections that belonged to the former kings of Romania, which had been confiscated during the communist regime.
Enjoy a stroll through the Cismigiu Gardens, a green haven, far from the city's cement blocks.
While there, you can enjoy traditional cuisine and beverages, such as tuica, made from fermented plums.
You may also try your luck in the casinos that developed after the fall of communism. Today, there are about one hundred in Bucharest!

Travel to Bucharest: practical information

Air France offers flights to Romania departing from large Canadian airports, such as flights from Montreal to Bucharest or from Toronto to Bucharest, with a stopover in Paris or Amsterdam, most of the time. Plan on fifteen hours of travel time.
To enter Romania, all Canadian citizens need a passport that is valid at least three months beyond the expected date of departure from that country. You do not need a visa if you stay less than 90 days, unless you are going to Romania to work.
There are two airports in Bucharest: Air France flights arrive at the largest airport, the Henri-Coanda International Airport, located 16 km north of Bucharest. The second is Baneasa-Aurel Vlaicu Airport.
You will have no trouble getting around since the public transportation system in Bucharest is one of the most extensive in Europe with subways, tramways and trolleybuses.

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