10:00 Start your weekend with croissants, omelettes and pastries at Grand Cafe Galleron (mains from £4).

This elegant cafe is right in the middle of the city, serves breakfast dishes all day and has great coffee, too.

11:00 From here, head to Revolution Square, which was Palace Square until 1989, when it was the site where Romania’s last Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu lost power.

TV stations around the world broadcast famous live scenes of Ceausescu on the balcony of his former headquarters, staring in horror at the angry crowd gathered beneath him – a defining moment for Romania.

12:00 A short walk away is the Piata Amzei (Str. Christian Tell 6, tel. 021 2116726), an outdoor market selling fresh meat, artisan products, medicinal plants and flowers, which is worth a browse on your way to lunch.

13:00 For an outstanding Italian eatery sure to keep you going for the rest of the day with its pizza and pasta dishes, Trattoria Il Calcio (mains from £5) is the place.

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The restaurant has some bonus cache courtesy of its football hero owner, Gino Iorgulescu, who is fondly known as ‘Romania’s George Best’ (we assume this refers to his footballing skills rather than personal life).

The football photos on the walls date back to the Sixties.

15:00 Unbelievably, the lavish Romanian Athenaeum was financed almost entirely with money donated by the general public. Pay a visit just to see the opulent decor – the lobby’s ceiling is decorated in gold leaf and columns are made of pink marble.

This is Bucharest’s most prestigious concert hall and home to the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic. Concerts run all year.

19:00 For dinner, treat yourself to some traditional Romanian and Baltic grub. Taverna Sarbului (mains from £5, Bdul Tipografiei Nr 1, tel. 021 4906050) serves up filling, homecooked-style schnitzels and soups. And the service is super quick.

20:30 Appetite sorted, it’s time for some culture. Green Hours (pint of beer approx £2, Calea Victoriei 120, tel. 00 4 0788 45 24 85) is Bucharest’s most famous jazz club and hosts events almost every evening – mostly live music, but you could also catch live theatre or comedy.

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10:00 Take your breakfast at French Bakery (mains from £2, Old Town Str. Smardan 13, tel. 00 4 021316 1027), which sells coffee and pain au chocolat. A perfect way to start the day.

11:00 Less than a 10-minute stroll from here is the Cismigiu Gardens (Regina Elisabeta Boulevard), the biggest public park in Bucharest, established in 1847, and a favourite meeting place for locals near the centre of the city.

It’s easy to wander aimlessly for ages along the carefully mapped out paths and the large, serene boating lake.

13:00 No doubt a little peckish now, try a quirky lunch treat in Arabian tent-style diner Ramayana Cafe (mains from £2.30).

Like something a desert prince would laze around in, this place is draped in red satin and scattered with plush cushions. They serve shisha pipes, teas and a simple lunch of sandwiches or salads.

15:00 But you didn’t come here to feel like Lawrence of Arabia, so for a dose of history – rural Romanian life 400 years ago, to be precise – visit the Peasant Museum (entry £1.40, Sos. Kiseleff 3, tel. 00 4 0213179661).

This is also the spot for unusual Chrissie presents, with the gift shop selling colourful embroidered clothing and beaded eggs.

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17:00 Keep the history theme going with a visit to the ornate National Art Museum (entry £2), the former palace at Revolution Square.

It features works from major Romanian artists, including Grigorescu, Aman and Andreescu. The European Gallery houses pieces by Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir and Cezanne.

19:00 You’ve earned a dose of tacky fun, so it’s time for oversized portions of burgers, chips and ice cream at the Hard Rock Cafe (mains from £6), plus some hefty cocktails.

Check out the display of old outfits which belonged to Michael Jackson, Elton John and Prince. Rockin’.

22:00 Fancy a flutter? Forget Vegas, it’s all happening in Bucharest. Take your spare cash to Bucharest Casino for a few games of blackjack, poker or roulette.

This casino is open 6pm to 6am and accepts lei and Euro – so take it easy and whatever you do, don’t get carried away and put that flight ticket home on the table.

Fly return from London Heathrow to Bucharest with British Airways from £240

Photos:, Thinkstock, Getty