Archives 2014

Starbucks opened in Hanul lui Manuc (Old Town)

This weekend, Starbucks opened a new café in Bucharest’s Old Town, in the iconic building of Hanul lui Manuc. This is the coffee chain’s only street unit, all of the other seven in Bucharest being located within malls or office buildings.

Opened at the ground floor of Hanul lui Manuc, the café is located at the entrance in the Old Town, with street view over Unirii Square. Starbucks announced extended opening hours, the new location closing at midnight.

For next year, the company also announced the relocation of the cafés in America House and Promenada Mall, the first of them being planned for a reopening on Victoriei Avenue, in a much larger space.


Romania’s state railway passenger carrier changed its train schedule

Romania’s state railway passenger transport company CFR Calatori changed its train schedule last Sunday. The new schedule will be available until December 12, 2015, the company has announced.

CFR Calatori will have more than 1,100 passenger trains circulating each day. During the winter period, the Snow Trains will connect the largest Romanian cities to mountains ski resorts such as the ones on the Prahova Valley, Vatra Dornei, and Petrosani (Straja).

CFR Calatori also announced it will cut 25% of the ticket prices between January 1 and February 28 2015, for InterRegio trains going or returning from mountain ski resorts. The discount will only be available for trips during the weekdays (Monday to Thursday) and only for second class.


A forest in Romania is ranked as one of the freakiest places on Earth

A forest located in Transylvania region in Romania was included among five of the freakiest places on Earth in a ranking made by Movie Pilot.
The Hoia Baciu Forest in Romania is presented as the place that has “all of the supernatural phenomena”, people who enter the forest regularly complaining of “severe headaches, anxiety, sudden nausea, and, in some cases, mysterious burns and scratches appearing on their bodies”, writes Movie Pilot.
Besides the strange physical reactions and the trees with strange shapes, “the forest is rife is reported UFO sightings, with people often claiming they see lights floating through the trees”.

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M60, new coffee place open downtown

A new coffee shop and food bar opened this Thursday, next to Amzei Market and Romană Square. M60 opened its doors for coffee connoisseurs and those on the look for genuine tastes. It is located on 2 Mendeleev Street, on the ground floor of the building hosting British Council’s teaching centre, right next to ROD Grocery, also recently opened. In the past two years, Mendeleev Street has been enlivened by other small, but popular places like Camera din față and The Coffee Shop.

The place has professional baristas and its own in-house blends created together with Guido Coffee, local roastery and coffee school. Owners announce that the opening on December 18 is the start of a testing period and that they welcome visitors to share their thoughts on their experience.

During December 18 and 19, from 16:00 to 21:00, M60 also holds a small Christmas fair, hosting brands like Pin G Pong, P U N C H, Oval and Fabrik. Ping Pong Shop is specialized in 20th century European and Romanian decor, furniture and interior design objects. P U N C H is a bookshop with a focus on theory and contemporary practices in art, architecture, design and connected fields. OVAL creates items pending between object, jewelry and adornment, minimalism and vaudeville. Fabrik is an interdisciplinary printing house creating paper objects by blending today’s technology with techniques from the XV century.

Check out updates and more details on the fair here.

Bucharest, Europe’s top capital by broadband speed

A new index published by British fibre optic broadband ISP Hyperoptic ranks European capital cities by broadband speed. With an average download speed of 81.2 Mbps, Bucharest tops this ranking, surpassing cities such as Paris, Vilnius and Stockholm, reports ISPreview.

The average download speed in Paris is of 78.15 Mbps, placing the French capital at number two in the ranking, followed by Vilnius – 60.14 Mbps, Stockholm – 58.37 Mbps and Bern – 51.19 Mbps.

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New Mango store to open in Bucharest’s Cocor shopping center

Spanish fashion retailer Mango will open a new store in Romania next year, in the Cocor shopping center, which is located on one of Bucharest’s central boulevards, close to Unirii Square.

Mango has already leased an 800-sqm space in Cocor, of which 400 sqm on the ground floor and 400 sqm on the first floor of the mall. The new store will reflect Mango’s newest concept and will offer fashion products for women, as well as for men and children.

The intermediary of the transaction was real estate consultancy firm DTX Echinox, which offers property management services for Cocor. With this new tenant, Cocor plans to regain its place among the main shopping destinations in Bucharest.

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Study: How much do Romanians plan to spend for Christmas and New Year’s?

Romanians will spend an average of RON 1,500 this year (some EUR 340) for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the budget being similar to the one in 2013, according to a recent study conducted by Mednet Marketing Research Center.

“If in 2013 we enjoyed a budget increase of RON 300 compared to December 2012, this year, we have no significant differences from a statistical point of view, compared to last year,” according to Mednet.

Over 35% of the surveyed urban population said they intend to spend under RON 1,000 (EUR 225) for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, while the budget of 26.4% of respondents slightly climbs towards the average of RON 1,500 (EUR 340).

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New skybar in Old Town is almost ready for opening

Just a few days left until the opening of the Nomad Skybar, new place in Bucharest’s Old Town.

The skybar located on 30 Smârdan Street, is a fusion of art, a mix of elements belonging to various civilizations of the world, bringing under the same roof overseas gathered experiences, owners say. Nomad is announced as a restaurant, bar, lounge, rooftop garden and club, all in one. Located two floors above the heart of Bucharest’s nightlife, the Old Town, the location promises a new view over the capital’s sky.

For more details on the opening, visit the facebook page or contact them at +40735 448 080.

Tickets on sale for Andre Rieu’s concert in Bucharest, in June 2015

Famous Dutch violinist Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will have their first concert in Romania, on June 13 next year, in Bucharest’s Piata Constitutiei.

Ticket prices will start at RON 160 (some EUR 36) and go up to RON 800 (EUR 180). Tickets are available for sale on

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Iutta launches new collection for kids

Tales from the Romanian mythology, fairytales, characters with supernatural powers and movies with memorable heroines – all of these inspired the new Iutta collection called Dor de copilărie  (Longing for childhood). Dedicated to daughters and mothers who share a passion for the world of fantastic, the new line comprises leather bags with some of the most popular Romanian fairytale characters.

Dor de copilărie was born out of the nostalgia for an idyllic period, play and games, and lifetime memories. The first stories graphically depicted by the collection are: Lizuca, the girl from the Enchanted Gorve, and her dog Patrocle; cheerful and playful Veronica; Ileana Cosânzeana, the golden locks fairy from the Romanian folklore and the Goat with three kids, a metaphor full of symbolism for maternal love.

Check out the bags on the online shop.

Famous Andre Rieu comes to Bucharest to announce his first concert in Romania

Famous Dutch violinist Andre Rieu, founder of the Johann Strauss Orchestra, will come to Bucharest next week to hold a press conference in which he will announce their first concert in Romania, in 2015.

The date of the concert has not been announced yet. However, Andre Rieu will have several concerts in other cities in the region, in the second half of May 2015, according to his official webpage. He will perform on May 20 on Budapest Arena, on May 22 on Prague’s O2 Arena, and in the Polish cities of Krakow, Lodz and Gdansk, on May 28, 29 and 30.

He might choose Romania’s National Arena for his concert in Bucharest, although no public information on this concert exists.

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Next edition of the Sand Marathon will take place in Romania

The second edition of Sand Marathon (Maratonul Nisipului), the only marathon on sand in Europe, will be organized in Mamaia seaside resort on March 29, 2015. The registrations for the new edition have already started on December 1.

The competition is open to both amateurs and professional athletes. The runners can choose between several races, such as the individual marathon – on a distance of 42.1 km, the individual half-marathon – 21 km and the individual race on a distance of 10 km.

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German brand shoots commercial in Transylvania

German discount supermarket chain Aldi has filmed a Christmas commercial in Biertan village, located in Romania’s Transylvania region, according to local website

However, the Romanian village is presented as a place named Julbacken, in Scandinavia. The ad, in which some of the characters even speak Romanian, follows the story of Johan who returns to his small village of Julbacken to teach his family and friends about the Perfect Aussie Christmas. Watch the commercial below.

Watch the commercial and read the entire article on

New ski slope will open in Romania

The ski slope in Slanic Moldova, Bacau county, will be opened at the end of this week after an investment of EUR 5.6 million.

This is one of the most modern ski slopes in Romania, being equipped with chairlift, artificial snow system and night lightning. It has a length of 1,414 meters and an average width of 38 meters. It is classified as easy.

The tariffs Bacau County Council set for the chairlift are between RON 5 (some EUR 1) per person for one climb and RON 100 (around EUR 22) for a two-day subscription.

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Large water park turns into skating rink

The largest water park in Romania, located in Mamaia seaside resort, was turned into a skating rink on December 1, Romania’s National Day. It covers an area of 600 sqm and has a capacity of 150 people, reports local Digi24.

The ice skating rink was built using the latest technology and can resist to temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius. It is open daily and also includes an area where visitors can relax and enjoy a cup of hot tea, chocolate or donuts.

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Marc Cain to open its first store in Romania

Luxury fashion retailer Casa Frumoasa, owned by Julia Kristensen, will open its first Marc Cain store next year, the franchise of a premium fashion brand for women, founded in Germany in 1973, according to

The company also plans to extend the Casa Frumoasa store within Hotel Radisson Blu’s shopping galleria in Bucharest. Casa Frumoasa currently has five luxury stores in Bucharest, with about 20 brands, served by 40 employees.

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Bucharest municipality plans to connect main parks with bicycle paths

Bicycle paths will connect the main parks in Bucharest, the municipality has decided. The initiative is part of a project developed by the Association for the Promotion and Development of Tourism in the Capital, with the Bucharest Municipality as founding member.

The Green Highway, as called in the draft project, represents several bike lanes connecting the main parks in Bucharest such as Carol – Tineretului – Alexandru Ioan Cuza – National Stadium – Fundeni Lake – Tei Lake – Verdi – Bordei – Herastrau – Lacul Morii – Polytechnic campus – Cotroceni – Izvor – Carol.

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On Christmas, Romanians spend less than many Europeans, but are more generous than the Dutch

Romanians plan to spend, on average, EUR 110 for Christmas presents this year, less than the Bulgarians and the Czechs, but more than the Poles and the Dutch, according to a survey made by market research company Ipsos for ING Bank.

More than 12,000 people in 13 countries were surveyed. The Brits estimate the highest average spending for Christmas gifts, of EUR 440, followed by the French, with EUR 300. The Dutch only plan to spend EUR 25 on Christmas gifts this year.

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A Romanian is 2014’s best selling young artist in the world

Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie (37) was the best-selling young contemporary artist in the world this year, according to a ranking made

The art platform has examined a total of more than 18,000 living artists whose works have been offered for sale by auction houses in 2014 in order to find the artists achieving the greatest price increases over the initial high estimates.

Artists were evaluated by two criteria: the first, the maximum difference in US dollars, represents the greatest spread between a single lot’s high estimate and its price realized at auction, while the second number represents the average spread between the price realized at auction and each lot’s high estimate when all of the artist’s lots are taken as a group.

Adrian Ghenie came first on both criteria. He achieved the maximum difference between the estimated price and the selling price for one painting, of USD 1.84 million, as well as the highest average difference for all his auctions in 2014, of USD 301,000. He sold 10 paintings this year.

Ghenie’s highest valued painting was The Fake Rothko, which sold for GBP 1.42 million (some USD 2.43 million) at an auction organised by Sotheby’s in London, in the beginning of July this year. The painting had an estimated price of some USD 600,000.

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Sibiu Salami may be included among EU’s protected products

Romania’s famous Sibiu Salami could get European protection after the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture has submitted the necessary documentation to do so, reports local

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New residential complex in northern Bucharest, ready next spring

Real-estate developer De Silva has finished about 70% of Park Residences 5, a 160-apartment residential complex in northern Bucharest, which will be finished in April-May 2015, reports local

De Silva group is owned by Virgil Calina and his wife Meda de Silvania Calina, also owners of Ramada Bucharest North hotel, and the godparents of famous tennis player and businessman Ilie Nastase.

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Google glasses will be available on the Romanian market

Romanian online gadget shop QuickMobile announced it will bring the new Google Glass to the Romanian market. Google’s smart glasses are now available for pre-order in Romania, in all QuickMobile stores in the country and online at, for RON 6,999 (some EUR 1,600).

The glasses are available in five colour versions and deliveries will start in December, according to the retailer.

Google Glass Explorer Edition, produced by American giant Google, guides users with the help of Google Maps, helps them find the nearest restaurants and cafes with Google Search, but also allows them to take pictures or make videos.

Google Glass can exclusively be activated and used with the user’s voice command. For example, to take a picture, the user has to say the “OK Glass – take a picture” command.

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Debenhams reopens in Romania

British group Debenhams, which exited the Romanian market about a year ago, is looking for managers for new stores in Bucharest.

Debenhams first entered the Romanian market in 2007 as a franchise owned by Romanian businessman Octavian Radu. In 2013, Radu closed down the six Debenhams stores he operated. The last two units were in Plaza Romania and Bucuresti Mall shopping centers.

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Who is Klaus Iohannis? President profile

Klaus Iohannis, the winner of Romania’s presidential elections, has been serving as mayor of Sibiu, one of the largest cities in Romania, since 2000.

He is credited with turning his city into one of Romania’s most popular tourist destinations. He also contributed do having Sibiu named European Capital of Culture in 2007.

Iohannis, 55, was born in a family of Transylvanian Saxons. His parents emigrated to Germany in 1992 and got German citizenship.

Klaus Iohannis, however, stayed in Romania. He graduated the Faculty of Physics of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and then worked as a physics teacher until 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he served as deputy general school inspector and then general inspector of the Sibiu county, coordinating the public schools in the county.

In 2000, he was first elected mayor of Sibiu, representing the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. He got re-elected by a wide margin in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

In October 2009, a grand coalition made of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian Democratic Union (UDMR), who were at that time in opposition, proposed to President Traian Basescu to name Iohannis Prime Minister, but Basescu refused.

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Google Cultural Institute launches first Romanian art collections

Google will launch the first art collections in Romania on its Google Cultural Institute platform next week. This is a digital platform which allows access to historic and cultural patrimony throughout the world via the Internet. With 500 partner institutions in 60 countries in the world, Google Cultural Institute this makes its step in Romania as well.

The Internet giant will next week organize a conference at the Romanian Peasant Museum to announce the program for Romania.

With Google Cultural Institute, users can create their own galleries featuring their favorite art and share them with their friends

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Decathlon opens online shop in Romania

French sportswear retailer Decathlon opened an online store in Romania, where it sells more than 20,000 sports items, which is more than it has in the traditional stores. The site is however available only in Romanian for the time being.

There are currently 13 Decathlon stores in Romania, three of which in Bucharest.

More about Decathlon’s new online shop, on

Google Play Music now available in Romania

Good news for music lovers who live in Romania, as Google has opened its music service to the Romanian territory as well.

This means everyone in Romania (or with a Romanian IP) will be able to sign up to the Google Play Music service, buy songs and albums, and upload up to 20,000 songs in the cloud, and listen to them from any device, for free.

More about the recent Google Play Music in Romania from

The Merry Cemetery in Romania gets international attention

The famous Merry Cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, in the Northern part of Romania, in a region called Maramures, was recently presented in a documentary on French TV station TV5 Monde.

The documentary presented the life of several villagers in Săpânţa, who seem to have a special relationship with death. There, people save money their entire life to be able to order one of the colored crosses from artisan Dumitru Pop, and to be remembered by the funny epitaph written on the cross.

There is even a Merry Cemetery festival and this cemetery was rated among the most beautiful in the world by a French newspaper.

Maramureș, the art of savoring life at ease

How should Romania be promoted? Dracula vs Eminescu

Romania and Romanians have always been torn between using the myth of the Dracula vampire to sell their country as a tourism destination, and betting on more serious topics, like its arts and culture.

A recent statement by a tourism agency owner called that into question again – how many people abroad know about Dracula and connect it to Romania, and how many know about Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu?

Read more of the tourism agency owner’s statement on Romania –, and to find out more about Dracula, go here, while for Mihai Eminescu and other famous Romanian writers, check this page.

More about Dracula and Romania below.

The “Real” Dracula tour – Curtea de Arges (1 day)

Carpathian Mountains & Medieval Transylvania (2 days)

A worthwhile trip for any Dracula enthusiast

Corvin Castle – Transylvania’s standing legend

Brașov: Medieval heritage and gateway to mountain resorts

iPhone 6 launches in Romania – how much does it cost & where to buy it?

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially launched in Romania last week, at the main telecom operators Orange, Vodafone and Telekom, which sell the latest Apple gadget in its various versions together with mobile telephony subscriptions.

Telekom sells it unlocked, while the other two companies lock the phone to their network.

The phone can also be bought unlocked at online retailers and

More about iPhone 6 prices at the main telecom operators in Romania here.