If you enjoy the mad dash and adrenaline rush of shopping as a blood sport, or even if you simply hate to part with your cash, but are in desperate need of a pair of shoes that aren’t falling apart, you will find plenty of options in the shopping malls of Bucharest. Since the 1990s the city has opened a number of large shopping centres, many of which are located in abandoned ‘hunger circuses’ left over from the old regime: huge, dome-covered buildings originally intended to house markets and restaurants.
Unirea Shopping Centre
The Unirea Shopping Centre in Unirii Square (address: Piata Unirii 1; nearest Metro station: Piața Unirii 2) was originally opened in 1976 as a communist-era department store. The large mall now offers a range of well-known international shops in a brilliant location in the heart of the city. The mall houses two floors of fashion shops, an wide range of electronics outlets and a huge supermarket in the basement.
AFI Palace Cotroceni
Bucharest’s biggest and most dazzling shopping mall, the AFI Palace Cotroceni (address: B-dul Vasile Milea/B-dul Timisoara; nearest Metro station: Politehnica) has something to offer everyone, from an IMAX cinema to a selection of international shopping brands.
Baneasa Shopping City
The Baneasa Shopping City has over two hundred and twenty shops to choose from, spread out over four floor. Its location, far out of the centre of Bucharest, makes it something of a hassle to get to (address: Şos. Bucureşti-Ploieşti 42D). Once you have made it there, however, it’s almost impossible not to find something to your liking, from fashion shops to good value eateries.
The well-named Liberty Centre (address: Str. Progresului 151-171; best reached by trams number 23 and 32, which stop outside) offers a good range of shops and restaurants and a big multi-screened cinema.