No trip to Bucharest is complete without a visit to Herăstrău Park, the largest park in the city. Also known as King Michael I Park, the main feature of this sprawling park is Lake Herăstrău. Walking and biking paths surround the lake, making it a popular summer spot for some fresh air.
We decided to spend the better part of a day exploring all that Herăstrău Park has to offer. Even though it was a very hot summer day, we are so glad that we made the time to check out this park. There are so many great things to do, and Bucharest is lucky to have such a great park within its city limits.
About Herăstrău Park (King Michael I Park)
Herăstrău Park was first inaugurated in 1936, after a 6 year project developing what was mostly swampland around the lake. Since then, the park has gone by multiple names, including Carol II Park, the National Park, and the I.V. Stalin Park. Even today, most people call the park Herăstrău Park when the official name is King Michael I Park.
Despite the confusion on what to call the park, it has remained a centerpiece of Bucharest’s culture. Locals and tourists alike love visiting the park for a leisurely day of exploring. We can see why they love it–the park has so much to offer! From restaurants to boat rides and bike rentals, you’ll find lots to love about Herăstrău Park.
The main part of Herăstrău Park is Lake Herăstrău, one of many beautiful lakes formed by the Colentina River. The lake is surrounded by a variety of trees, including lime trees, willows, ash trees, poplars and maples.
The lake has mostly carp fish in it. While fishing is allowed, it’s pretty expensive so it’s not done often. It costs 50 lei, and there are much better fishing spots around Bucharest. Swimming in the lake isn’t allowed so no need to bring your bathing suit.
How To Get To Herăstrău Park
Herăstrău Park is about 5 km north of the Bucharest city center. It’s definitely walkable if you feel like a long walk, but since we were going to be active in the park all day we decided not to do that.
If you want to try out Bucharest’s public transportation system, there is a metro stop right at the entrance to the park. It’s called the Aviatorilor Station, so take the metro to that stop.
Otherwise, we recommend just taking an Uber. Uber is very affordable and popular in Bucharest. A trip from the city center up to Herăstrău Park only cost us about $2.50 USD. Since it was so convenient and cheap, we took an Uber both ways from the park.
What To Do in Herăstrău Park
Rent a bike
Since Herăstrău Park is so big, one of the best ways to get around is by renting a bike. The path that goes around the lake is about 6 km in length, which is pretty far to walk.
We rented a couple bikes from i’Velo, a bike rental place located right at the Charles de Gaulle entrance of the park. It costs 10 RON (about $2.36 USD) to rent a bike for two hours, which is very affordable. We had heard that there is a place to rent bikes for free as long as you have an ID, but we weren’t actually able to find it.
Roaba de Cultura
We discovered a bunch of really great places in Herăstrău Park just by passing something cool and getting off our bikes to go check it out. At one point, we were biking by a clearing and a bunch of colorful umbrellas caught our eye. We couldn’t resist checking it out!
It turns out, this area of the park is called Roaba de Cultura. They have some really great lounge seating that is shaded by beautiful colorful umbrellas. There was also a stage in the clearing, so we think there must be live music sometimes! Either way, it’s a super cool area and definitely worth checking out.
We heard about Beraria H online while doing a bit of research on Herăstrău Park. Apparently, it’s the largest beer hall in all of Southeastern Europe! It sounded like a really unique place to check out. Plus, we’ll never complain about a cool refreshing beer after biking on a hot summer day.
It’s very convenient to access Beraria H. If you follow the path around Herăstrău Lake, it’ll be right along the path on the side opposite to the lake. There were a couple food trucks outside while we were there which was a cool touch.
They had a great selection of beers–exactly what you would expect for a beer hall of this size. And while we only ordered beer, they also have a pretty good food menu. It’s definitely a great spot to take a break or grab a bite to eat.
It wouldn’t be a lake without a boat ride! Boat trips depart from the jetty (debarcader) behind the Hard Rock Cafe. We didn’t have time to take a boat ride while we were in the park, but it looked like the perfect thing to do on a hot summer day!
We passed by a ton of restaurants as we were biking around the lake. Many of them are right on the water and had panoramic views of the lake. We were surprised by how empty most of them were, but that could be because they’re more secluded and hard to get to.
Here are a few of the highest rated restaurants in Herăstrău Park:
- Biutiful By The Lake: Beautiful views of the lake + decadent desserts
- Complex Herăstrău: Popular hotel + restaurant combo
- Isoletta: Fancy Italian restaurant with a great atmosphere
Arch of Triumph
Bucharest wasn’t nicknamed mini-Paris for nothing…Much of the architecture in and around Bucharest was copied from the chic capital of France. This includes the Arch of Triumph, which is located just outside Herăstrău Park. Check it out when you’re in the area!
Activities for Kids
We were amazed at the amount of activities for kids in Herăstrău park. During our time in the park, we passed an adventure park, a pirate ship, a skate park and multiple playgrounds. It’s definitely a wonderful park to visit if you have kids.
It might be a slight inconvenience to head north from Bucharest’s city center to reach Herăstrău Park, but it’s so worth it. The park has so much to offer, especially if you’re visiting during summer months. Whether you spend a few hours or an entire day, you’ll find plenty to do in Herăstrău Park.
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