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Romanian Athenaeum

Watch a concert at this neoclassical theater, which owes its existence partly to financial donations from the citizens of Bucharest.

Enjoy a performance by Romania’s most important philharmonic orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român). A neoclassical palace of opulent décor and impressive frescoes, this concert hall is as appealing an attraction as its concerts and world-famous acoustics. Inaugurated in 1888, the Romanian Athenaeum is the creation of French architect Albert Galleron. A public campaign called Dati un leu pentru Ateneu (Give a penny for the Athenaeum) helped save the venue after the original funds ran low.

Before you enter, admire the building’s magnificent façade. Predominately built in a neoclassical style, it also displays hints of romantic features. With a grand porch and Doric pillars, the entrance resembles an ancient temple. Crowning the building is a Baroque cupola. See the façade at its most beautiful at night when illuminated by bright lights.

Step inside and gaze in awe at the ostentatious lobby, which has a gold leaf-painted ceiling and a patterned marble floor. From here, a spiral staircase leads to elegant balconies. Notice the intricately carved wall ornamentation and natural light flooding in from the cupola. 

Go to the auditorium, with a seating arrangement similar to ancient Greek and Roman amphitheaters. Besides having incredible acoustics, its walls are adorned with a fresco by Costin Petrescu. It portrays 25 major events in Roman history, such as Emperor Trajan’s victories during the Dacian Wars.

For the complete Romanian Athenaeum experience, book tickets to a concert performance. Today, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra is resident and puts on regular shows. Events during the George Enescu festival, which celebrates one of Romania’s most-celebrated composers, also take place here.

Located close to Revolution Square, the concert hall is near major public transportation links. The Piața Romană and Universitate metro stations are each about a 10-minute walk away. Take a short walk to reach the Cișmigiu Garden and the National Museum of Art of Romania.

Visit the Romanian Athenaeum any day, although access is restricted when a show is underway. There is a small admission fee. Purchase event tickets online or at the box office.


Guide to Exploring around Romanian Athenaeum


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Best Lodging Options Near Romanian Athenaeum

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Radisson BLU Bucharest $95
Radisson BLU Bucharest

Radisson BLU Bucharest

Calea Victoriei 63-81, Sector1, Bucharest
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from National Museum of Art of Romania, Romanian Athenaeum, and University Square. Cismigiu Garden and National Museum of Romanian History are also within 15 minutes. Polizu is 20 minutes by foot and Bucharest North railway station is 23 minutes.

    Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence $80
    Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence

    Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence

    Strada Luterana nr 2-4, Sector 1, Bucharest
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of University Square and National Museum of Art of Romania. Romanian Athenaeum and Cismigiu Garden are also within 10 minutes. Polizu is 19 minutes by foot and Bucharest North railway station is 22 minutes.

      Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town $74
      Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town

      Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town

      12 Doamnei St, Bucharest, RO
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this hotel is steps from Bucharest Museum and University Square. National Museum of Romanian History and National Museum of Art of Romania are also within 15 minutes.

        Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest $104
        Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest

        Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest

        1-3 Episcopiei Street, Sector 1, Bucharest
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from National Museum of Art of Romania and Romanian Athenaeum. Cismigiu Garden and National Museum of Romanian History are also within 15 minutes. Polizu is 21 minutes by foot and Bucharest North railway station is 25 minutes.

          Europa Royale Bucharest $57
          Europa Royale Bucharest

          Europa Royale Bucharest

          Franceza St. 60, Bucharest
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Piața Unirii Fountains, National Museum of Romanian History, and Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral. Palace of the Parliament and Cismigiu Garden are also within 1 mi (2 km). Timpuri Noi is 26 minutes by foot.

            InterContinental Bucharest $94
            InterContinental Bucharest

            InterContinental Bucharest

            4 Nicolae Balcescu Blvd, Bucharest
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University Square, Romanian Athenaeum, and National Museum of Art of Romania. National Museum of Romanian History and Cismigiu Garden are also within 15 minutes.

              Grand Hotel Continental $115
              Grand Hotel Continental

              Grand Hotel Continental

              56 Victoriei Avenue, Bucharest
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Odeon Theatre and University Square. National Museum of Art of Romania and Romanian Athenaeum are also within 10 minutes. Polizu is 28 minutes by foot.

                Mercure Bucharest City Center $74
                Mercure Bucharest City Center

                Mercure Bucharest City Center

                15 17 17a George Enescu Street, District 1, Bucharest
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bucharest City-Centre, this hotel is steps from Piata Romana, Romanian Athenaeum, and University Square. National Museum of Art of Romania and Cismigiu Garden are also within 15 minutes. Polizu is 22 minutes by foot and Bucharest North railway station is 25 minutes.