As an avid traveller myself, I can honestly say that Bucharest’s nightlife scene is one of the best in Europe and can easily compete in the world’s top 10. It’s a bold statement, I know, but keep reading to find out why and get a local’s top choices on the best bars, clubs and wine bars in Bucharest!
Everyone is pointing to the Old Town (Lipscani) area as the city’s nightlife hotspot but in fact most of the best bars and clubs (aka where locals like to hang out) are not there! We’re always looking for the newest, coolest and trendiest places to go out and our expectations are high since we helped Bucharest obtain its famous reputation for nightlife, clubbing and wild parties.
As the city emerged from a complicated communist past and transitioned to a modern social life, generations that matured in the late-2000s had a clear ‘I want to enjoy life’ message. So the number of specialty coffee shops, cool bars, pubs, beer halls and impressive clubs increased thanks to ever-increasing demands for great customer service, affordable prices and amazing music. Nowadays, without quirky design or great views, Instagram-able menus and a great atmosphere most bars don’t have a chance to stand out in Bucharest’s crowded list of the best places to go out.
If you’re looking to go out and party in Bucharest this article will tell you how to prepare and what to expect, where to find the best bars and clubs and how to blend in with the locals for the maximum fun. Our pub crawling and craft beer tours are great ways to discover Bucharest’s nightlife scene with a local so check them out! And if you need to organize stag or hen parties, special events or nights out with your group - contact us we’re here to help!
Why is Bucharest’s nightlife so amazing?
In short: diversity, social status and a true 'I enjoy going out’ feeling.
No matter what kind of music you like, your drinks budget, noise-sensitivity, party or sleeping hours - there’s a bar for everyone in Bucharest:
- student bars with basic decorum, drinks at affordable prices and loads of fun and energy
- a huge range of bars, pubs and clubs for most people to spend or dance the night away in all sorts of music styles (contemporary, live, karaoke, jazz, electronic, rock, etc)
- cozy and stylish wine bars to hang out with friends
- hotspots for eccentric fashionistas or die-hard rock music fans
- up-market clubs where the high class and well-off in Bucharest goes for a glamorous night out
- sky bars with amazing views or hidden gardens far from the bustling city
One thing all these places have in common? Amazing music. Whether it’s background music, a playlist or DJ at work, it’s usually a combination of music genres, mainstream popular songs on the radio mixed with last season’s hits or lesser known artists, foreign and local ones. When the partying starts (after 23:00) only one rule applies: music to dance the night away!
And besides the great music, the competition between the best clubs in Bucharest is also on design and decorations: whether industrial, urban or posh and luxury, they’re all stylish and inspiring. Club owners in Bucharest are really making an effort to offer the most interesting and welcoming settings for their guests and that’s what makes partying here so great! Another thing that makes Bucharest by night truly unique is the importance and preparations Romanians put into the ‘going out’ part - we never know what can happen! Guys might go out for a beer at their usual spot but as Romanians never have 1 drink, a casual outing might turn into an all-nighter pub crawling - so better prepare and do it in style since everyone else will be!
As for the ladies, folk wisdom says that even when going to the local grocery store prince charming may be waiting - so they should always look at their best! On top of this, Romanian women are blessed with natural beauty, have very high self-esteem and invest a lot of effort (and money!) into looking at their best and wearing the latest fashion. So this means you’ll be seeing beautiful Romanian ladies whenever going out by day, and especially by night!
Lastly, the culture of going out is special here in Romania: it’s not just something we do on occasions like going to the theater or that we enjoy like riding a bike. It’s an important part of our daily and social lives: much like the French or Italians, our Latin blood makes us want to spend hours over coffee, drinks and dinner, chatting about everything and nothing, as long as we’re with friends and having a good time in a cool place.
So if after a couple of drinks the nightlife vibe starts to set in and we feel like moving to another place or do a couple of dance moves, Bucharest’s diversity of bars and clubs comes to the rescue! :)
That's why our capital is a fascinating city of contrasts and it’s worth learning about its history and culture:
When to go out, dress code & practical tips
Start the evening with dinner: it’s always better to eat before you start a night of partying in Bucharest :) Locals go for dinner and drinks between 7 and 9 pm and we highly recommend you book a table in advance if you have a particular spot in mind.
Evening pre-drinks don’t start before 8 pm and this is when bars in Bucharest do a good job by creating the right atmosphere. At first, locals don’t want loud music or intrusive service - they want to catch up with friends over a couple of drinks. As the evening progresses some bars turn up the volume and change the music to transform into clubs where everyone starts dancing and goes into party mode. Go to Uanderful, Biutiful, E3 or Nomad to experience this!
Bucharest nightlife starts at midnight! By 10 pm most bars are already crowded, but the real partying begins at around 11-12 pm. Go into clubs before that and you’ll find them empty with staff still preparing! Most bars stay open until late into the night while party clubs go on until early morning hours.
- one cool thing about the Bucharest nightlife is that there are which means that most places stay open for as long as people have fun!
Make a reservation, especially on weekends: as the most popular spots to go out in Bucharest are crowded and even 2nd tier places are full on weekends, it’s best to always book your table in advance if you have a specific place in mind or your group is larger than 4 people. While booking a table is not a must, some clubs won’t let you in if they’re overcrowded while others tend to get very crowded. So unless you’re comfortable with being squeezed and dancing with the crowds, having your space might be a better choice. Most casual bars and restaurants don’t require a minimum spend when booking a table, but clubs known for their parties will require a minimum of 100 Euro (and you usually get a bottle of something with soft drinks).
Wear something stylish to blend in: as mentioned above, when people in Bucharest go out they like to look at their best but there are also some commonly accepted dress code rules you should know about to enjoy Bucharest’s nightlife in full. Regular bars and clubs in the Old Town area don’t have a specific dress code but if you’re going to posh locations in the North of Bucharest you should be wearing a shirt or trousers (guys), a nice dress or your best evening look (for ladies) to get in. You should wear jewelery, high heels, perfume, makeup and style your hair if you don't want to feel underdressed and completely blend in with the locals!
Be careful: wearing flip-flops, shorts, tank tops and sportswear will keep you out of most places!
Entrance fees and security: given the wild nights and parties most bars and clubs in Bucharest have seen, there’s almost always a bouncer at the entrance and bodyguards mixed with the crowds, especially in popular or fancy clubs. Rare brawls and conflicts are swiftly and forcefully dealt with, but minor thefts do sometimes happen, particularly with ladies’ bags.
Ladies will most of the time get in for free (and benefit from special offers) but guys might have to pay an entrance fee (25-50 Lei) to some places, but that usually includes a drink. Entrance fees are a good sign: fewer bar hoppers and people who really want to party there!
Neighbourhoods and places to go out in Bucharest
So what parts of town should you go to for a party night in Bucharest?
- Old Town Bucharest for nightlife
Let’s start with the most popular and crowded spot in Bucharest: the Lipscani, Smardan, Gabroveni and side streets between Piata Universitatii, Piata Unirii and Calea Victoriei (known as Old Town or Centrul vechi for locals ) is where you’ll find over 100 cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs in Bucharest. This is where most locals and tourists go out because with so many choices finding a spot is not a problem. Every weekend starting from 10pm and well into the night or early morning the area transforms into a booming outdoor disco with crowds rushing to the next bar, pretty hostesses inviting you for a drink, queues for shaorma or gyros and... disoriented people :)
The Old Town has its charm: miracuously untouched by WWII bombs or communist bulldozers, there’s something about old buildings, some abandoned others restored, mixed with cobbled streets and old world architecture that makes partying here so unique. If you’re looking for the throbbing heart of Bucharest’s nightlife - this is the place to be. It’s also a great place for pub crawls, stag or hen parties and whatever else you can think of for a crazy night out!
- our favorite bars and clubs here: Urbanist, Shoteria, Nomad, Club A, Entourage, Interbelic and many more!
- University and Romana areas for a cozier night out
Locals looking to avoid the Old Town crowds generally head to the University and Romana areas in central Bucharest, particularly on the side streets of major boulevards. Hipster cafes, cool bars, pubs with personality and non-touristy restaurants will be perfect for a fun night out. As most of these spots are popular with locals, it’s best to book a table in advance.
- our favorite bars and clubs here: Fix Me A Drink, Gradina Eden, Happy Pub, J’ai Bistrot, Salon Golescu, Green Hours
- Northern Bucharest for fancy bars and upmarket clubs
If you’re the type who prefers a slightly more exclusive clubbing scene then head into the Northern Bucharest neighbourhoods of Floreasca and Herastrau. Here you’ll find bars and clubs where sophistication, elegance, status and ‘fine-partying’ are at home. Prices are a bit more expensive and you can’t get in if you’re not dressed to blend in with the locals (think smart casual, fashionable or elegant). Great food, premium wines and excelent cocktails are best enjoyed from 7-8 pm. After 11 pm most places turn into all out clubs where beautiful people party until dawn. In our opinion, this is THE place to experience the best of Bucharest’s nightlife!
Over the summer most bars and clubs here, especially those on the shores of Herestrau lake, set up beautiful terraces where partying moves outdoors in ‘summer mode’ and in the sunset light.
- our favorite bars and clubs here: E3 by Entourage, Beraria H, Fratelli, Biutiful, Uanderful
- Grozavesti and Regie for a fun and cheap night
The Grozavesti and Regie areas in West Bucharest host most University-owned halls of residence, so here you’ll feel young again (or old!) by partying with students enjoying Bucharest by night. And since everyone knows students like to have fun but don’t have a lot of money, there are some very cool - and affordable - places to go out here. Cheap prices, laid-back vibes, and a young crowd make Grozavesti and Regie a popular spot to hang out.
The best bars in Bucharest
- Fix Me a Drink
Bucharest’s first ‘botanical’ bar, Fix Me a Drink or Fix MAD is where cocktail creativity is taken to new levels. With a menu that changes regularly using the best quality and seasonal ingredients, here you can experience unique cocktails and flavors. Located inside a beautifully restored palace, the small and cosy decor contributes to the general artsy-hipster vibe of the place, and the bar stays open until after midnight. This is one of our favourite Bucharest bars!
Control switches from live music to electronic music events, hosts well-known artists ranging in music styles from contemporary underground to indie. During the day, workshops, vinyl sales and art exhibits are organised occasionally, and at night, dancing and great music are mixed with socialising and tasty beverages. This bar also has a cool terrace open during warm season where you can enjoy drinks and meals during the day or party in the night!
- The Urbanist
The Urbanist presents an interesting social concept for the Bucharest party scene, mixing music with fashion and style. This street-smart bar in the Old Town is a non-mainstream urban provider of good time. Focused on well-being and well-living, you can enjoy the music of local DJs, snacks and a variety of craft beers. You may be shocked to discover that in this Bucharest bar you can shop for fashion you like on display, such as t-shirts, caps and waist bags from local designers and artists. Now that is a great souvenir to bring home! After your shopping spree make sure you try their gin & tonics - they’re famous!
- Gradina Eden
Eden Garden is a super cozy place to hang out and a secluded spot to enjoy Bucharest by night with friends. Set up in the lush backyard of Stirbey Palace on Victory Avenue, this laidback venue operates only during the warm season. There are no waiters so you need to order your drink at the bar, but their selection will not disappoint especially for beers. During hot summer days this is the perfect place to cool down and rest far from the city’s hustle and bustle. In the evening it’s cooler than most places and at night various electronic music events and concerts are hosted here.
Bucharest’s first shot bar, Shoteria in the heart of Old Town offers only shot drinks! Their combinations are unusual, interesting and delicious - so this is a perfect place for a pre-drinks session. What’s great about this bar is that they serve some anti-hangover drinks as well, so no need to worry about getting a headache if you’ve drunk too much. The specialist bartenders are friendly, the music will get you into party mode and when you hear cheering or see flames in the area - shots are being prepared with a show!
- Beraria H
Once you step inside Beraria H you’ll get an instant Oktoberfest vibe. Located in a huge hall on the shores of Herestrau Lake, people of all ages gather around long tables to drink beer and enjoy the many live music events regularly hosted here. The food is plentiful and well-paired to go with many pints of beer. If you don’t mind loud crowds, this is a good spot to hang out after visiting the North of Bucharest.
- Happy Pub, Beer O’Clock and Romanian Craft Beer Bar
You’ll be surprised to know that the Romanian craft beer scene is quite serious and tasty! Local big brands such as Ursus, Silva or Ciuc come in the usual varieties (pills, lager, black or IPAs) but in recent years craft beer producers have been booming offering a variety of tastes and funny, retro brands. Beer-lovers were pleased and there are even craft beer festivals regularly organized! Look for Sikaru, Ground Zero or Hop Hooligans or check our craft beer tour to go for a tasting while learning about Romania’s beer making tradition
- Club A + Fire
The classic and oldest rock pubs of Bucharest, Club A and fire club play only rock music and host live concerts. Oldies, goldies, contemporaries - you name it, but the music is always good and pleasant. You’ll find the usual selection of drinks and the basic setup for pubs where people come together to enjoy drinks and good music. You cannot go wrong with them!
- J’ai bistrot
Of the many other bars you’ll find in beautiful townhouses, this bohemian garden with an urban-chic interior is one of our favorites. At J’ai bistrot you’ll find superb dishes, a lot of drink options and friendly vibes. This bar is a classic choice for locals and hosts regular brunch events (always crowded!). The place has a laidback atmosphere and is a great place to go out during the evening (with a reservation) but also during the daytime.
You’ll find similar concepts at Simbio and Lente, also very popular.
- Deschis gastrobar
Hosting workshops and urban cinema events during the day, at night, Deschis Gastrobar is the place where open-air parties take place. Open only during the summer, this bar/club is on the rooftop of a former factory near Dambovita River, so you can enjoy sunset views, good music and a drink! Just check in advance to see if there are special events or parties.
- Salon Golescu
One of the coolest bars in Bucharest, Salon Golescu combines groovy vibes by night, with a chill atmosphere for lounging and eating by day. This upscale bar/lounge in the Romana neighbourhood has an impressive drinks menu with very good cocktails and the interior is classy and retro. In the evening the atmosphere is great and the music just perfect to take you from drinks with friends into party mode!
- Nomad Sky Bar
Upmarket restaurant, bar and club by night, Nomad’s rooftop view of Bucharest’s Old Town area is what draws people in. You’ll discover a dynamic ambiance and a large variety of cocktails, wines and whiskey at the bar. Food is good but that’s not what draws people to the place. During weekends, DJs and live music projects create a fun atmosphere but beware - this bar is almost always overcrowded so either go in early or book your table!
- Entourage Old Town and e3 by Entourage
Entourage Old Town right next to the National Bank is a nice and cosy lounge with good service and food, just perfect to get you into the evening mood. Located in a less crowded area of this part of town, the outdoor seating is a great choice in the evening. E3 by entourage on Calea Floreasca is the upmarket big brother: serving lunch and dinner in a fancy setting with a bar/lounge atmosphere that quickly turns into a club, this is where you should go to see how locals in Bucharest party in style.
Best party clubs in Bucharest
- Interbelic Cocktail Bar
Interbelic is a veteran of Bucharest’s clubbing scene: great music played all night long paired with proper, large-sized cocktails mixed by some of the best bartenders in Bucharest. And decent prices - 5€! The industrial design and low-lights make it a perfect place for partying the night away! There’s an entrance fee but I was never dissappointed after paying it :)
Rock bands, local artists, Romanian DJs – at Expirat each weekend hosts different events and parties. This club is located in a former industrial hall and combines industrial design with lights and basic decorum. The music is very good, contemporary and combining all styles made for dancing, but when you want to take a break Expirat has a spacious courtyard where you can chill and have a quick bite.
Electronic music tracks combined with commercial hits or rock classics, Kulturhaus is students’ favorite club in Bucharest. Unpretentious interior, filled with positive vibes and offering cheap alcohol, this club will always offer a good dose of entertainment when in the Old Town area.
- Silver Church
Cub lights, a spacious dance floor and music that makes you continuously dance – Silver Church is a great place go clubbing in Bucharest with the locals. Despite its popularity, prices here are quite affordable and the high ceiling makes the club feel even more spacious, so this is one of our favorite picks.
- Apollo 111
From 90s theme parties to all Romanian music nights to mainstream pop songs, Apollo 111 has its unique vibe and stands out in the market as a club with unusual events. There is a wine bar available at this venue and more than enough room to dance, so people like it anyway. The big colourful globe in the centre will put you in disco mode guaranteed!
- Green Hours Jazz Club
There’s no party like a live jazz party! At Green Hours you can take a break from radio or electronic music and enjoy a chilled ambiance in a secluded garden. Usually less crowded than the other clubs but not less popular with locals, here you’ll experience a more relaxed but equally lively atmosphere. Local artists hold live events or jazz sessions in the evening, some of them free!
A multifunctional bar in the Old Town area, Mojo offers a karaoke bar on one floor, a regular bar on the ground floor and a bar-club in the underground. The club also organizes live music shows and karaoke parties to show off your talent are held every weekend. This is surely the best place to go to in Bucharest for karaoke enthusiasts!
Fratelli is probably the most representative and well-reputed brand on the luxury clubbing scene in Bucharest. If you want a genuine clubbing experience with good taste, beautiful people, amazing music and atmosphere, this is probably the best club in Bucharest. Prices are higher, the club is usually crowded and the fancy dress code applies - but partying in a posh setting in Northern Bucharest is worth it! You’ll find this combination in Uanderful, Biutiful and Fratelli Mamaia!
Pool parties in the summer and iconic Bucharest nightlife events all year long. Player is one of the best clubs in Bucharest with parties that last until early morning. With a fancy, futuristic design, beautiful dancers and friendly bartenders, the electronic music will keep you dancing. Go here during summertime for amazing outdoor parties!
The setting of this posh lounge-bar-club concept is just as the name suggests: simply beautiful! With two locations in Northern Bucharest one of which on the shores of Herestrau Lake, both venues serve premium dishes and drinks during the day. In the evening the transition to an all-out dancing club comes natural and this is a great place to discover the beautiful and stylish side of the Bucharest’s nightlife!
Another veteran of Bucharest nightlife scene, this club in the posh Northern part of Herastrau Lake starts partying as early as 3 pm on Saturdays to catch that wonderful Summer vibe and light! So if you want to sip cocktails at 6 pm and be tipsy by 11, this is the place to be! The lake views make the place even more inviting and seeing people having fun non-stop will carry you away quick! The club is known for its funky themed parties so check them out before going so you’re not under - or not - dressed! :)
- Loft and Gaia
Two different upmarket Bucharest clubs with a similar concept – Loft and Gaia host eccentric parties for fashionistas with fun party themes, special events and good dancing music. These clubs are on the expensive side but the pretentious crowds don’t mind. They’re a top choice for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy a fancy night in Bucharest.
In our opinion, this place is one of the best clubs in Bucharest for jazz.
Best wine bars in Bucharest
Bars are cool and clubs are for dancing - but wine bars have a different atmosphere and Bucharest offers some very good choices. And before we get on with our choices for the best wine bars, we highly recommend you try Romanian wines - though not as popular outside of the country, they’ll surprise you with quality, taste and affordable prices! You can also sample them in most of the above bars and clubs!
Experiment with different wine flavors by visiting Cork’s. A wide selection of wines by the glass are served here, and the prices are usually affordable. Make sure to try their veal tagliata, which goes perfectly with your favorite type of red or the waiter’s recommendation.
Visit Gastrolab for a complete gastro-wine experience in an elegant setting. You can choose your drinks from the wide display of wines and try out Romanian cuisine with a special twist, courtesy of the talented young chefs. Our pick for the best wine bar in Bucharest!
Serving only high-quality and premium wine, Enoteca is one of Bucharest’s most popular wine bars. The interior style of the place is a classic one, perfect for those wine and dine evenings. Waiters will go above and beyond to match your preferences and sometimes the owner might jump in and serve you!
- Abel’s Wine Bar
A small and cozy place in a quiet area of the Old Town that serves lots of different types of wines paired with a selection of cheese, including Romanian specialties. With a minimalist decor and soft music in the background, Abel’s is a fusion bar that regularly hosts wine tasting events.
Aaaand that's it! Remember to drink responsibly and stay out of trouble. Other than that - have fun!