Happy to introduce Livia – our most outgoing, passionate and experienced local expert. Rumor has it that every single tour with Livia turns into an unforgettable experience. It must be something about her interesting and entertaining way of sharing the best tips and stories about Bucharest…
Where are you from and what led you to Bucharest?
My hometown is Ramnicu Valcea – difficult to pronounce, I know – but people also might know it as Hackerville 😉.
I came to Bucharest in 2004 for University studies – architecture and urban planning. 6 years of sleep deprivation during which I have seen, studied and learned about places in Bucharest I would have never even considered: the poor derelict neighborhoods, the dormitory neighborhoods – you know, the really communist looking ones and the rural outskirts of the city.
How did you end up becoming a tour guide?
I did it as a part-time job when I first considered giving up comfy office life and become a freelance graphic designer. I love talking to people from all over the world, and showing them my city. Sometimes it feels I don’t even need to travel the world, the world comes to me, every day on the walking tours that I do. Therefore I keep on being a tour guide.
What about Bucharest makes you proud?
How it changed over the past 5 years, how it surprises you at every corner, and how it never allows you to get bored.
I also appreciate a lot that it is the type of city that requires time to get to know and love it. It doesn’t give away all its secrets at the first glance 😉.
Do you have any favorite local traditions?
I love all open-air festivals in Bucharest: movie, music, theatre.
What’s one thing people need to know about Bucharest before they visit?
The one sentence I always hear whenever I ask guests their opinion about Bucharest is: It is different than I imagined it to be. Therefore, the one thing people should know when they visit is this: Bucharest is different than you imagine it to be.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in Bucharest?
My favorite neighborhood…Cotroceni I would have to say. I love walking through the narrow streets, among beautiful houses, all different in style, size, and color, but somehow still fitting together beautifully, I like the corner street cafes and pubs, and I like the life of the neighborhood: families walking in the street and the small parks, and kids playing football in the middle of the street.
What’s your favorite spot in Bucharest?
My favorite spot in the city is the market in my neighborhood. Actually, I love markets in general. They remind me of going shopping with my grandmother back home. Going to the market is like a ritual with very specific rules, timings, and habits.
What’s your favorite thing to eat and drink in Bucharest?
Mici & Beer on tap – my guilty pleasure 😊.