I have always believed that Bucharest is a city with many faces and unstable moods, like an unpredictable teenager: sometimes sleepless, sometimes thrilled and joyful, other times quiet and nostalgic. Five to ten minutes away from the busiest boulevards and the tallest buildings you can find peaceful streets with cozy silent houses. Such an example is Mântuleasa neighborhood, which is located near Unirii and Universitate.
The neighborhood is filled with houses from the beginning of the 20th century and some buildings even older than that. There are houses where famous artists and writers used to live, bistros (Simbio), coffee shops (Coftale), tea houses and beautiful churches.
A walk on Popa Soare – Romulus – Negustori – Mântuleasa streets and the connected alleys feels like a magical maze, in which you completely forget the passing of time. Actually, even Mircea Eliade describes this sensation in his fantastic tale “La țigănci” – which I recommend you read before visiting Mântuleasa, if you can find a good translation of it.