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Bucharest is a unique city with lots to offer... let's not forget it was once known as the "Paris of the East". True, not all parts of Bucharest are luxurious, but the culture, welcoming people and great architecture makes it worth while.
I visited Romania, including Sighisoara in Oct.'05 and was surprised with how friendly everyone was throughout my entire two week trip. Romanians are very polite, hard working people.
Brasov is a very nice city but if you are really an winter sports fan or even addict, you might wanna try Prahova Valley resorts such as Sinaia- with Peles Royal Castle and sports-oriented Predeal with a good sky-run and quad-bikes at your disposal. You can find a lot of people there with general english, french, spanish speaking skills. And beware of the vilas, lodges behind the main church- they don't provide reliable info on their actual accomodations. Try those near the sky run.
I urge anyone is planning to go to Bucharest to stay well away. It’s damp, smelly, thieves, beggars, insects and bad sanitation (I mean real bad).
Bucharest is a nice city that is changing rapidly (for the better). I visited in 2007 -- and was never overcharged or taken advantage of. Just make sure the taxi meter is on and do research as to what the average costs are. I stayed with Romanians in pensiunes (guesthouses) and was very happy with my trip and accommodations.
Don't go to Bucharest in winter -- it could be depressing. But in spring and summer, with all the old buildings and villas -- often real palaces -- in the shade of kind of a forest of old trees, it gets really romantic. It's a city for walking, discovering narrow, leafy backstreets; getting lost in old, quite chaotic, but charming quarters. You can't compare it with any other big city in Europe.


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