Thanks to foreign investment, Romania’s capital has been booming in recent years, resulting in a revitalized infrastructure and plenty of new office buildings and malls. Industry and services form the backbone of Bucharest’s economy, with services gaining more importance over the last decade. Even in the current economic crisis, the country expects growth of 1 to 2 percent during 2009.
The easiest way to make the 60-minute journey from Henri Coanda International Airport to the city center is by shuttle bus, which can be reserved by email (bucharestairportshuttle.com).
A recently renovated building near the city center, located next to Bucharest’s largest park, the Carol Parc Hotel (23–25 Suter Street, +40 21 336 3377) combines boutique-style luxury with all the high-tech essentials.
Le Bistrot, at the Athenée Palace Hilton Hotel (also a great place to stay, 1–3 Episcopiei Street, +40 21 303 3777), is perfect for a businesslike French-style breakfast complete with views of the Royal Palace. It opens at 8 a.m.
Taking Bucharest’s culinary reputation up a notch, the stylish restaurant MJU (Vasile Lascar Street 29, +40 21 313 0015) serves superb fusion food with a French accent.
Take a taxi to Lake Snagov (40 minutes), then hire a boat and row out to the monastery on an island in the middle of the lake: the legendary burial place of Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula.
Romanian business is traditionally hierarchical. Decisions are made at the top of the company, so there may be many different levels of approval—and should you change the lineup of your team during the lengthy negotiation process, you may have to start all over again.
• Romanian cinema—a hit at Cannes again this year, especially Police, Adjective and Tales from the Golden Age.
• Sports, especially soccer.
• Beer: Romanians belong to the global top 10 of beer drinkers and are wildly enthusiastic about their local brews, such as Ursus.