Meet: Lala, our local expert in Bucharest

November 10, 2017
Urban Adventures

Learn more about our guides around the globe — everything from what makes the perfect day in their city, to how they landed in tourism, to why they love working with Urban Adventures.

On what it means to be a native Bucharestian…

I am happy to be born and raised in Bucharest. I have always lived in the peaceful and quiet neighbourhoods right next to Bucharest’s city centre, on Harmony Street, and this is probably why I never get lost while exploring the convoluted streets of Bucharest! Bucharest is the type of city that needs to be slowly discovered, just so you can really get to feel its vibe and endless charm. This is exactly what I considered to be an adventure when I was a child, and I still feel this way when I wander Bucharest’s streets.

On what makes her a great tour guide…

One of my favourite things is to share the stories of Bucharest, and I enjoy seeing how a traveller’s perception of the city changes after just a few hours of walking around with a local. I love the city I live in, I have a good story on pretty much everything and I’m most happy when our guests are getting the chance to see Bucharest in a different light than they expected. Being a performing artist also helps me a lot, because I get the opportunity to meet so many delightful people and always feels like I am on the stage when sharing my local knowledge with them.

travellers and tour guide in Bucharest

Lala doing what she does best, showing people her city | Photo by Bucharest Urban Adventures

On what she loves most about Bucharest…

The beauty of our lovely Bucharest lies in all its charming layers of time, in its stunningly beautiful buildings found on each street corner, in its eclectic character, and in its rich culture. The personality and warmth of the city has to be explored, and conquered, as the city’s real attractions are far from the obvious sights.

On her favourite local tradition…

Making a good home-cooked meal can be seen as a local tradition here in Romania, as we do enjoy eating at home. We usually buy all of our groceries from the local markets (this is what makes them so popular here), gather all our family, and start cooking together. Dishes taste so much better and it’s a good way to spend some quality family time. Apart from the traditional dishes (which I often find myself reinventing), I love cooking Russian paska and delicious Russian pancakes called blini.

On the one thing tourists should know about Bucharest…

Bucharest can be perceived in a certain way at a first glance, and seen in a totally different manner once you get to feel and discover its true and fascinating personality. The eye-catching contrasts, the different views offered as you wander the city streets, and the richness of history and architecture is what most of our travellers notice on their first trip to Bucharest. Once they spend a few more days and get familiar with the more hearty experiences, and embrace the spirit of locals, the city reveals itself to them in a totally new light.

old buildings on a street in Bucharest

Lala’s advice: Explore to find the charm of Bucharest | Photo by Bucharest Urban Adventures

On her favourite area in Bucharest…

I would say that Icoanei and the Ioanid area are closest to my heart. I like to see how the beautiful houses have changed over time, and sometimes enjoy drinking a cup of coffee and reading a good book in any of the Icoanei or Ioanid parks. Being an artist, I appreciate a good street art, and the streets around probably feature the best of the vibrant street art scene. Some of my favourite restaurants and coffee shops can be found in the same area, so I do spent a lot of free time there.

On the best spot in Bucharest…

My favourite spot in Bucharest has everything to do with the pretty parks, especially on summer days. I like to take my kid out and adventure ourselves in the green areas, enjoy a bit of a chill (summer in Bucharest can be pretty hot), and just be closer to the wonderful nature.

statue in a park in Bucharest

The city’s green spaces are its best spaces, says Lala | Photo by Bucharest Urban Adventures

On the perfect Bucharest meal…

I always enjoy a good refreshing lemonade, and have a gin and tonic with a bit of red pepper when I feel the need to pamper myself. My favourite lunch has to be zucchini with gooey cheese. This is my absolute favourite combo, but I am always searching for new tastes and out-of-the-ordinary mixes and recipes. With so many new hip places opening in Bucharest, we are never short of finding a super interesting dish to try.

Hang out with Lala or one of our other awesome Bucharest guides on a Bucharest city tour.