Meet: Sergiu, our local expert in Bucharest

May 17, 2018
Valentina Manastireanu

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 how he became a tour guide…

It all started three years ago when Bucharest Urban Adventures decided to partner with the young people from a local NGO called the Parada Foundation. They needed someone with English skills to become one of their local experts. I was lucky enough to be chosen and trained as a local guide. (Note: Sergiu now leads our Outcast Bucharest tour, telling travellers about street life in Bucharest.) I left the dark days of being a homeless local behind, and now I can proudly present myself as a local expert of Bucharest. One that shows you the main touristic sights but also with emphasis on the homeless people of Bucharest and their way of living.

On what makes him proud of Bucharest…

Seeing Bucharest as a city of hope is what makes me both happy and proud. All the experiences I’ve lived, all the great stories around me, and the ones yet to come are proof of the huge potential of this city. What I am most thankful for is having the chance to work, doing what I love and being able to help others. It’s the little things in life that count, after all.

In Focus: Outcast Bucharest

This Bucharest tour is like no other, because you’re seeing the streets with those who live on them. Join a formerly homeless local on this tour of Bucharest’s main sites and through the cobbled streets of Old Town. Along the way, learn about the challenges that come with street life in Bucharest, and help to make a difference by supporting a local NGO.

On his favourite local (and tasty) traditions…

In my opinion, the best local traditions are all about our delicious traditional food. Yes, you can call me a foodie, but there is no other tradition that brings so much joy than tasting some of our best local recipes. What I love most, besides the actual taste of our comfort dishes, is the familiar vibe of the places serving traditional food — it’s almost like you get to dine with a typical Romanian family.

Travellers should definitely try our signature dish: cabbage rolls with polenta (‘sarmale cu mamaliga’ in Romanian). You’ll find it on the menu at all the traditional places, as it’s not only very famous but also tasty and consistent. For a drink, a shot of palinca or tuica (our local brandy) is a must-try. If that’s too much for you to handle, go for a locally brewed beer on tap.

plate of cabbage rolls with polenta

Sergiu’s recommendation: cabbage rolls with polenta | Photo by Bucharest Urban Adventures

On the one thing people should know before they visit…

Everyone should know how beautiful Bucharest can be. We’re already famous for our stunning architecture, fascinating communist stories and maybe for the cheap beer, but the truth is you can find true beauty all around.

On his home neighbourhood in Bucharest…

I would say that the place where I live, the Ferentari neighbourhood, is my favourite place of all. It’s known as Bucharest’s local Bronx, but I love it. It can be best described as the edge of progress and underground culture.

On finding peace and quiet in Bucharest…

My favourite spot in Bucharest has to be Herastrau Park. For many, this may be the largest park in Bucharest, but for me, it’s the place I find the most relaxing. It’s a peaceful green oasis in the always vibrant, crowded city.

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