Doru is the founder, the heart, and mind of the Interesting Times Bureau project. Today he is not bragging about the interesting stuff he managed to do since the project started, but what’s like to live in Bucharest and what he loves most about the city. Not to mention he is one of the most knowledgeable and fun guides. Like the best guide ever.
What is it like to be a native Bucharestian?
It’s very strange: Bucharest is the permanent changing city. Especially now in the last 3 years a lot of reconstruction is done to our architectural heritage. So old historical buildings get a new lease on life. And that is very strange indeed, because usually, as one grows old the city grows old with them. But in Bucharest’s case, I grow old and it gets younger.
How did you end up becoming a tour guide?
I wanted to show people the real side of the city. The most beautiful part of Bucharest is hidden from view and can’t be found in city guidebooks. But once you peel the first layer, the city really seduces you. Countless times I’ve seen people coming for a long weekend, then next year for a week with more friends, then moving in here. I like to think I’ve played a small part in that.
What about Bucharest makes you proud?
The sheer diversity of life in the city. The fact that it’s never, ever boring. And of course, it may not be the most beautiful, the most smart, the most visited, but for sure it’s one of the most interesting cities in Europe.
How is it an average day in Bucharest spent by the locals?
Wake up in the sweet noise of your neighbour’s drilling machine, forget to make and enjoy a cup of coffee because it’s too late anyway, buy a “Covrig” on the way to the subway station, sleep some more in the subway, work, work, work, go out with friends or enjoy a theatre play or some live music. Get home around midnight. Repeat.
Do you have any favorite local traditions?
Nothing better in the summer than enjoy a cool spritz in one of the many secret gardens of the city.
What’s one thing people need to know about Bucharest before they visit?
That it’s a very safe city so don’t be afraid to get lost on its streets.
Also, make sure you negotiate the fee with the taxi drivers before you get in the car.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in Bucharest?
The Armenian Quarter.
What’s your favorite spot in Bucharest?
What do you think travelers should eat and drink when in Bucharest?
A hot piping ‘Merdenea’ in the morning and a nice portion of ‘Mici’ with mustard in Obor Market.