The best source for all entertainment happenings is Time Out Bucuresti (www.timeoutbucuresti.ro), which carries extensive listings and information; though published only in Romanian, with a little savvy you can figure it out and certainly make sense of the dates, times, and venues. The weekly publication is available at news agents and bookstores. The other reliable information source is the useful English-language Bucharest in Your Pocket; though it only highlights major events, it lists just about every pub, club, bar, and disco in town. You can usually pick up a copy up from the larger hotels, often for free, or download it before leaving home at www.inyourpocket.com.
Vice Advice for Guys -- It's 10pm; the sun has just disappeared. You've finished a meal at a classy restaurant. Venturing onto the sidewalk, you're waiting while your partner powders her nose. Out of nowhere, a friendly, energetic man, no more than 22 years old, materializes: "Girls? You want girls? Wanna party with young girls?" Flabbergasted, you decline. "Not tonight? Take my number. Maybe tomorrow?" Prostitution is rife in Bucharest; the number of erotic clubs tucked between the churches and monuments is staggering, so it's easy to assume that anything and everything is up for grabs. Be warned: Prostitution is illegal. A system of bribes allows prostitutes to ply their trade even in top hotels; not surprisingly, the cops get the largest cut.
Live Music, Theater & Opera
Catch classical concerts by, among others, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra at the sublime Romanian Athenaeum, Str. Benjamin Franklin 1-3 (tel. 021/315-8798); the box office (tel. 021/315-6875) operates Tuesday to Friday noon to 7pm, and before evening shows on Saturday and Sunday (4-7pm), and Sunday matinees (10-11am).
Opera buffs can take in occasional performances at the Opera Româna, B-dul Mihail Kogalniceanu 70-72 (tel. 021/314-6980); note that the box office is closed Monday.
There's jazz at several venues around the city; one of the best-known spots is Green Hours 22 Jazz Café, Calea Victoriei 120 (tel. 0722-234-356; www.green-hours.ro; 24 hr.), which has even spawned its own alternative record label; call beforehand to check what's on the program.
Major concerts, often by visiting international stars, are usually held at one of the city's two football stadiums, Stadionul Dinamo or Stadionul National, while slightly more intimate events are held at the Arenele Romane in Parcul Libertatii (also called Parcul Carol I).
To find out what's showing (and whether it's in English) at the Ion Luca Caragiale National Theater, visit the box office, B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 2 (tel. 021/314-7171; Mon 10am-4pm, Tues-Sun 10am-7pm).
You can buy tickets for most live events by visiting Bilete Online (Online Tickets) at www.bilete.ro.
Bars & Clubs
Bucharest loves to party, and you'll find a busy watering hole any time, night or day. Cafes and bars are often interchangeable, adapting to the vicissitudes of the crowd or the time of day; the same place you visit for an early-morning espresso could turn out to be your late-night cocktail venue. Simply put: Bucharest has something for everybody.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.