Why visit the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest – the things to see

The Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. It occupies an area of 365,000 square meters, and it is an attraction for all foreign tourists coming to Bucharest, but also for people coming from other Romanian cities.
visit the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest

If you want to admire a building that can be seen even from space, you should not miss a visit to the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest.

The “People’s House” – one of the symbolic, and in the same time disputed buildings of Bucharest

The People’s House, this is how the building was called by the communists, who ordered the construction of this building back in 1983. Actually the raising of this enormous building was ordered by the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu himself, and the construction effectively started in 1984.

Renamed as the Palace of Parliament a few years back, after the anti-communism Revolution, it is one of the tourist attractions in Bucharest you should not miss if you ever come to this city. The Palace of Parliament holds three world records, as follows:

  • the largest administrative civil building by covered surface (it has 9 levels above the ground and additional 9 in the underground),
  • the most expensive administrative building,
  • and the heaviest building in the world.

And another record that many people don’t know about (or many are ashamed to recognize): the building ranks 2nd in the world in the chapter “most expensive, unsuccessful and shameful architecture projects ever made”. This is according to a ranking made by a well-known architecture website, ArchDaily. This is because the building costs enormously in money, while 70% of its surface is unused. Most of it not being structured for the needs of individuals but for the megalomaniac desires of Ceaușescu. This is why many people say this building was one of Ceaușescu’s mistakes that led to his overthrow and tragic end.

The visit to the Palace of Parliament begins in a long hall with marble walls decorated with paintings, a floor covered with an enormous carpet and a bright ceiling. This spectacular salon displays the statues of well-known personalities from Romanian history, such as Ștefan cel Mare, Mihai Viteazul or Alexandru Ioan Cuza.

Visit the Palace of Parliament for its spectacular halls, designed with rich ornaments

If you decide to visit the People’s House, you will be able to know a little bit of Romanian history and you’ll be pleasantly impressed by the different architectural concepts that you can discover in each hall inside the huge building. The entire building is characterized by interiors of truly imposing luxury: huge marble staircases, ceilings with rich ornaments, colorful mosaics, carved wooden doors, huge chandeliers and crystal lamps, custom-made carpets, solid wood furniture and much more.

Casa Poporului has an impressive number of halls that host various events. Each room is decorated differently, with elements and materials purchased only from Romanian sources. The halls were named after important events that took place or internationally known personalities.

Unfortunately, the building has so many halls (approximately 1,100), that only a part of them have reportedly been finalized (approximately 500).

The C.A. Rosetti hall is the first room located on the ground floor, which welcomes you once you have crossed the long hall. C.A. Rosetti is the performance hall of the People’s House, where conferences are hosted, and sometimes concerts or plays.

Its architecture is art-deco, it has a capacity of 600 seats, and the most impressive element is certainly the huge central chandelier made of Mediaș crystals. The chandelier is also the largest in the entire building, weighing a total of 5 tons.

Also on the ground floor you will discover an exhibition of folk costumes and contemporary paintings, among which the works of Sabin Bălașa, Nicolae Ceaușescu’s favorite artist, stand out.

From the exhibition hall, you’ll reach the Nicolae Iorga Hall. It is designed to reflect the style of Peleș Castle, with oak wood, silk-clad boxes, and silk drapes. Today, the Nicolae Iorga Hall is used as a conference hall.

The next stop is the Nicolae Bălcescu Hall, decorated with beautiful pink marble columns. The marble used in this room comes from Rușchița – the biggest marble quarry in Romania. The room is also decorated with big crystal chandeliers and beautiful silk drapes. This room is also used to host conferences, with a capacity of approximately 150 people.

Then, you will discover the Hall of Honor and the hall of the Official Entrance, which consists of a 150 m long corridor, with oak doors, ceilings decorated with floral elements based on Brancoveanu architecture, as well as 34 columns made of white marble with carved decorative elements. Also here you will discover the two monumental staircases of the House of the People, with enormous windows of 16 m height.

The next room to tick is the Nicolae Titulescu Hall, currently used by the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the President of the Romanian Senate, for official receptions. The hall’s architecture impresses with white marble columns and furniture with baroque influences, as well as paintings by Romanian artists.

The Hall of Human Rights is a spectacular one, standing out for the round oak table with 60 identical chairs, a huge chandelier and the textured oak wall.

Human Rights hall, Palace of the Parliament

Next comes the Take Ionescu Hall, where the 12 chandeliers and 26 crystal sconces, monumental carved doors and a ceiling covered with gold leaves will delight your eyes.

Unirii Hall is the largest hall in the People’s House, with an area of 2200 square meters. It has a glass ceiling, marble columns, as well as mahogany doors from the Congo, received as a gift by Nicolae Ceaușescu from the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The hall stands out for a unique element, namely, its carpet, which was woven directly inside the hall. Currently, the Union Hall is used for banquets and various parties.

The last room you will visit is the Alexandru Ioan Cuza Hall. Its dimensions are impressive, it has an area of 2,040 square meters and a height of 19 m. Being located right in the main area of the Palace, the hall has a truly impressive balcony facing Constitution Square and Unirii Blvd. From the balcony of the hall, in 1997, the famous singer Michael Jackson greeted the Romanian fans with a “Hello, Budapest” :).

Rates and schedule for visiting the Palace of Parliament

If you have convinced yourself that you must visit the Palace of Parliament, it is necessary to know what the rates and visiting schedule are, as well as the conditions under which this impressive monument can be visited.

First of all, to visit the Palace of Parliament, you must make a reservation in advance. You can do this 24 hours before the visit, between 09:00 and 16:00, on the phone numbers +40 733 558 102 or +40 733 558 103. If you choose to visit the building with a group of friends, more than 10, it is necessary to send a reservation request to the e-mail address cic.vizite@cdep.ro. Also, access to the People’s House is only possible on the basis of a valid identity document.

Regarding the visiting schedule, from March to October, the building can be visited daily, between 09:00 and 17:00. Between November and February, you can visit the People’s House every day, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Tickets will be purchased on the day of your visit, at ticket offices inside the building. The fees for visiting the People’s House, according to the official website are:

  • Standard tour – for adults: 40 RON/person, for students: 20 RON/person, for children aged between 7 and 18: 10 RON/person;
  • Standard tour + basement (descending 2 levels of stairs) – for adults: 45 RON/person, for students: 22 RON/person, for children between the ages of 7 and 18: 15 RON/person;
  • City Panorama Tour – Terrace (elevator access), for a group of maximum 6 people – 600 RON/tour;
  • Standard 35 tour package – single rate: 1400 RON/tour;
  • Standard tour package + Basement 35 – single rate: 1575 RON/tour;

For children between the ages of 0 and 6, but also for people with disabilities (with proof) and their companion, entry is free.

For photography and progressive filming, the rates are 300 EURO/hour and 5000 EURO/hour, respectively. If you want to take professional photos or videos, you must send a request to the email address cic@cdep.ro before visiting the House of the People.

The Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is a truly impressive building that will leave you speechless. It is a point of attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists. The history of the People’s House is built with an impressive collection of legends behind it. From secret underground tunnels, underground lines, bunkers, to ghosts walking the corridors, the stories impress with their complexity.

Picture of Iulia Serban

Iulia Serban

Travel guide and advisor

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