Capital city
From top, left to right: Colțea Hospital, Romanian Athenaeum, Calea Victoriei, Lipscani, view towards Caru' cu Bere and Stavropoleos Monastery, Palace of Justice, CEC Palace, National Bank of Romania, Floreasca
Micul Paris (The Little Paris),
Paris of the East[1]
Patria și dreptul meu
(The Homeland and my right)
Bucharest is located in Romania
Location of Bucharest in Romania
Bucharest is located in Europe
Bucharest (Europe)
Coordinates: 44°25′57″N 26°6′14″E / 44°25′57″N 26°6′14″E / 44.43250; 26.10389
First attested1459
 • MayorGabriela Firea (Social Democratic Party)[2]
 • Capital city228 km2 (88 sq mi)
 • Urban
285 km2 (110 sq mi)
55.8–91.5 m (183.1–300.2 ft)
 • Capital city1,883,425
 • Estimate 
2,106,144 Increase
 • Rank1st in Romania (6th in EU)
 • Density9,237/km2 (23,920/sq mi)
 • Metro
DemonymsBucharester (en)bucureștean, bucureșteancă (ro)
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)
 - Per capita (2018) [8][failed verification]€22,365 (Nominal)€43,200 (PPP)
HDI (2017)0.914[9]very high

Bucharest (UK: t/, k-/; US: t/; Romanian: București [bukuˈreʃtʲ] (About this soundlisten)) is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57″N 26°06′14″E / 44°25′57″N 26°06′14″E / 44.43250; 26.10389, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.

Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 and is the centre of Romanian media, culture, and art. Its architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical and Art Nouveau), interbellum (Bauhaus and art deco), communist era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris).[10] Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Nicolae Ceaușescu's program of systematization, many survived and have been renovated. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.[11] In 2016, the historical city centre was listed as "endangered" by the World Monuments Watch.[12]

According to the 2011 census, 1,883,425 inhabitants live within the city limits,[6] a decrease from the 2002 census.[3] Adding the satellite towns around the urban area, the proposed metropolitan area of Bucharest would have a population of 2.27 million people.[13] According to Eurostat, Bucharest has a functional urban area of 2,412,530 residents (as of 2015).[5] Bucharest is the sixth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits, after London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Paris.

Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania.[14] The city has a number of large convention facilities, educational institutes, cultural venues, traditional "shopping arcades" and recreational areas.

The city proper is administratively known as the "Municipality of Bucharest" (Municipiul București), and has the same administrative level as that of a national county, being further subdivided into six sectors, each governed by a local mayor.


The Romanian name București has an unverified origin. Tradition connects the founding of Bucharest with the name of Bucur, who was a prince, an outlaw, a fisherman, a shepherd or a hunter, according to different legends. In Romanian, the word stem bucurie means "joy" ("happiness"),[15] and it is believed to be of Dacian origin,[16] hence the city Bucharest means "city of joy".[17]

Other etymologies are given by early scholars, including the one of an Ottoman traveller, Evliya Çelebi, who said that Bucharest was named after a certain "Abu-Kariș", from the tribe of "Bani-Kureiș". In 1781, Austrian historian Franz Sulzer claimed that it was related to bucurie (joy), bucuros (joyful), or a se bucura (to be joyful), while an early 19th-century book published in Vienna assumed its name has been derived from "Bukovie", a beech forest.[18] In English, the city's name was formerly rendered as Bukarest.

A native or resident of Bucharest is called a "Bucharester" (Romanian: bucureștean).