Laura Maudlin - Jun 27, 2011
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Damaged roads, piles of garbage on the main streets, irregular supply of hot water or in some cases non-existent sewerage and water supply – this is the life in Bucharest according to a study by an European institution on demand of VERTICALNEWS.RO. The city has been proclaimed the ugliest capital in Europe.

There is no sewerage, running water or asphalt roads in some parts of the Romanian capital which makes it seem like a city from the Middle Ages. Some houses do have running water but they do not have sewerage. People would like to take a bath but after that they would have to carry buckets of the used water to the nearest sewer. The solution is to wash only in a wash basin.

Other people do not even have running water in their homes so they have to bring it from a well. As Tyden.cz reported, health authorities have analyzed water from 60 wells in the capital in 2007. The results were alarming. In all wells the amount of nitrite was above the allowed level for drinking water.

The quality of life in Bucharest is continuously deteriorating. In 2001, it was 84th on a list of a consulting company Mercer and it has fallen to 108th position in 2009 getting to the last but one city in the EU, last one being Sofia. The company assessed 39 indicators including crime levels, pollution, access to drinking water, sewerage, electricity, public transport and so on.

The assessment of pollution in the capital was also taken into consideration. A study by a NGO Ecopolis was monitoring the quality of air in Bucharest and its implications for human health for six years. According to the 2010 results of the monitoring, all the research stations in the city have recorded higher levels of pollution. Some dust levels were exceeding the limits set for health security.

One of the solutions would be to plant trees which absorb the dust. There are too few green areas in the city. There were 16.38 square meters of green areas per person in 2008. EU norms require at least 26 square meters and the WHO even recommends 50 square meters.

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  1. Unprofessional article and poorly documented!

    This article is a total lie. Ever been in Romania? Have you ever been to Bucharest or have you ever spoke to someone who's been in Bucharest? Before letting kids write an article for this website think again who you're hiring! Obviously the person who wrote this is a total mess! Bucharest and Romania are beautiful and people are very nice! And Dennis from Austria ... the film you showed on youtube...it said Roumanie Republique de Moldavie? Roumania and Moldavia are two different countries! As per this website, keep hiring stupid people like the writer of this article and you'll be a ruin!

    Ioana (Romania)
  2. ooops

    :) I can barely smile reading this... ever been here? Or maybe you just heard from some "friends"? please be kind and visit Bucharest then try to rate`it. Thanks!

    alex (Romania)
  3. Yes, it is ugly!

    Ebery day going to work I travel more than half of the city, and I see. There are still some nice places, but when you try to take a picture, the view is blocked by cables and wires criss-crossing the sky, huge advertising drapes and parked cars. The streets are choked with traffic most of teh time.
    However, the article does not quote any FIGURE, even approximative: how many houses without sevage, what about air pollution, and so on. Tthe fact that 60 well do have high concentrations of nitrites is bad, but not very relevant foar a population of some 3.5 millions.
    Also, nothing is said about the 400.000+ stray dogs that roam the streets.

    Cristian Ioan (Romania)
  4. come'on, it's not so bad...

    I went to Bucharest last summer and doesn't look that bad. There plenty of things to see and nice places to visit... ok, you can't compare it to Vienna but there was so many good changes since last visit...

    Wolfgang (Austria)
  5. Bucharest is a very nice town, is not thrue what you writte in this article, be onest and writte a thrue article.Thank you!

    Gabriela (Afghanistan)
  6. the most unprofessional article ever

    Reading this article I had the distinct and clear understanding that the person who wrote this is either ... or has never been in Bucharest . He is also full of hate towards a place that he never knew. The truth is that Bucharest is one of the most beautiful cities in EU. At the end of the 19 th century the King employed for 11 years a famous Italian architect in order to develop the city. It has been called Little Paris. Wide boulevards, parks the size of Central Park NY, and flowers everywhere are a constant of the before -communist part of the city. Not even Vienna doesn't have such beautiful parks which are full of people( jogging, riding or just walking ) until late in the evening. The beautiful land marks of the city - like the Romanian Atheneum (where the second best classical music festival - George Enescu - takes place every summer) are a reminder of the rich culture and traditions of this city. But the most beautiful think of all are the extraordinary old Byzantine style churches which are present everywhere as a reminder of the faith full people which are the Romanians. By the way - the food is delicious )))

    Dennis (Austria)
  7. Wrong!

    Romania is in the state it is in due to bad management and corruption. But it is NOT an ugly city and by far NOT the ugliesy EU city. It has beautiful corners, marvellous areas that need to be explored and discovered.

    Sarah (France)
  8. victim of a dead system

    Unfortunately is a sad truth, the city is so bad because he was a victim of communism that failed to build anything. Mayor gene has only to continue working Nicolae Ceausescu, for both head and takes him no other vision. He himself lives in a house nationalized ... What you expect from such a specimen?

    agronomist Teodor Iliescu (Romania)
  9. victim of a dead system

    It's sad but true. Bucharest is a victim of communism, envious that they failed to build anything good although it was beautiful once. Oprescu has continued communist projects and shone spotlights on them. If he lives in a nationalised house then what can you expect from him?" With manipulated media can not get very far here and communist project go forwarded.

    agronomist Teodor I. (Romania)
  10. victim of a dead system

    This is one of extreme abuse 2011 of that State which claims to be the rule of law ! In Romania still practice the justice that nationalization in 1945-1947, even if the applicant has the documents and evidence which shows very clearly that it is the owner.

    agronomist Teodor I (Afghanistan)
  11. ..........

    try google maps - streets in bucharest( dumbrava rosie, paris, sofia), and you will discover the biggest and most beautiful interwar villa district in europe. by far..............

    sun (Luxembourg)
  12. I'm sorry? Is this article about Bucharest, ROMANIA? 'cause I live there and I'm pretty sure it's not the medieval capital the article says. Actually, it's not anything like anything the article says...

    Gabriela (Romania)
  13. Oh my God!!!

    It's something wrong here. Nothing is true in this article. I'm a journalist and i hate this kinda stuff. Please, come and visit Bucharest and Romania. You'll have a big surprise:)

    Ioana (Romania)
  14. @ Ioana

    Dear Ioana, sorry for not explaining that mistake with which the movie is starting. I was impressed by the pictures ! About Romania and Moldova - unfortunately, technically they are two different states but in truth there are one. The same history , traditions and language. They are closer culturally than Austria and Germany. I've been to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, and it is a beautiful city with wonderful people. I was told it is the second largest Romanian city after Bucharest. I really love Romania !

    Dennis (Afghanistan)
  15. are you serious?!!

    Not only the article perspires the bad-willing we are internationally used when the subject is Romania - but this is absolutely hilarious!
    I lived for a while in Bucharest. It is not the most beautiful capital in Europe - this is obvious and someone who writes one article on this subject is either in a total lack of inspiration or in a total lack of intelligence. But to say there are fountains in Bucharest?!! - it would be nice, but I\'ve never seen one!! - that there\'s no current water and it is ugly - without any other explanation - it is just disgusting.
    I would like to post all my beautiful pics from Bucharest here, but it is not worth it as I don\'t want to challenge your brilliant hypothesis...
    And yes: voted BY WHOM?

    P.S.: about the fountains: yes, there are some on the huge boulevard in the downtown, but these ones - if no one told you - are there for decoration, not to drink water from or to take a bath in!
    Where do you come from, Mr. Journalist...?

    Diane (France)
  16. is there a chart?

    you are having a laugh,mate? taking what in consideration? You're a bit dippy....

    gheo (Bahrain)
  17. Completely idiot writing by an idiot author

    I can't believe someone who pretends to be a journalist wakes up in the morning and decides to write such a junk. I live in Brussels and even here the view in many areas is not the happiest. All the capitals in the world have "bad" areas, with dirt, high criminality and poor infrastructure and I don't believe that any of them deserves the title of "the ugliest capital/city". I don't even think that there is a method to actually measure the "ugliness"of a city.

    Anca (Romania)
  18. I love Bucharest!

    Let me start by saying I love living and working in Bucharest. Every weekend is the coronation of a one more successful week survived in the urban jungle. I love going to work in the morning-packed-subway where holding my breath is the only defense mechanism in fighting the natural body odors oozing through my fellow citizen's skin. It's a delightful way to start a new day. Oh, as for the times when I'm brave enough to drive the car - well, that's another fulfilling experience. Being a rather courteous person hence allowing other drivers to exit their parking spaces, people instantly greet me. Some wave their hands in respect, while others are drawing creative signs in the air – either with their fists or simply putting up their most useful finger. The horns are taking amplitude for some reason, while I enjoy the good deed I was able to pull up. After an exhausting day at work one simply needs to forget about everything and enjoy the silence of his home; little did I know that leaving the windows open during the day did not only brought the long sought-after fresh air but also an unwelcomed guest: a nice, evenly distributed thick layer of dust. You gotta love dust when you live in an apartment at the 7th floor. It’s a joy to watch all those little particles hopping around while you make your way through the living room. You can’t top cleaning the room every day with no other activity! Not even with a 2 hour spinning activity at the gym. No sir! Better go out for a walk now… With all the local fauna in my park I should be able to do full 2km run in under 5 minutes. See you all in Bucharest!

    Brusc Willis (Romania)
  19. Inculture, lack of information and lack of good-will... nice article, mate!

    It's clear that you did not had anything to write about today.

    First is first: I've checked verticalnews.com to find the things that you said that comes from there. What did I found? Nothing!

    Then you talk about things that never existed in Bucharest like it's something that's happening today. And we call that a lie.

    After that you want to use for documentation some informations... like 60 wells with nitrites. Ok, we're talking about a population of over 2 milions souls. What's the relevance?!

    You never been in Romania, in Bucharest, that's a fact. The problem it's not that... the problem it's that you lie and you give some facts like you know what u're talking. And you don't!

    First... go check wikipedia, and then some travelling sites, just to make yourselve an ideea.
    After that come to Bucharest.

    And then you'll have the right to write something about this city.

    Cabral (Romania)
  20. Thank you, friends of Bucharest from everywhere!

    Guys, an article like this one - to quote the author: the ugliest article ever - still gave the opportunity to some friends of Bucharest and Romania to react!

    So, thanks for your reactions! Be aware that I am very proud of my capital! Woooo hoooooo!

    A Bucharest guy - and proud of being! (Romania)
  21. Dear

    How many times do you wash your hands after using the restroom?
    Let me answer for you, because I think it's a difficult question for you to answer: NEVER! Because I can't imagine a reason for writing such garbage!

    Roxana (Romania)
  22. Dear "Mr. Journalist",

    How many times do you wash your hands after using the restroom?
    Let me answer for you, because I think it's a difficult question for you to answer: NEVER! Because I can't imagine a reason for writing such garbage!

    Roxana (Romania)
  23. You should be ashamed of yourself

    ...for writing thouse things about Bucharest , i guess you are a bit frustrated with your country maybe if you choose to attack ours like that. I'll pay a plane tiket for you to come and visit our beautiful country including the capital and then we'll talk !

    Andreea from Romania (Romania)
  24. Wrong information

    Bucharest it's not the city where I want to live but it's nice to visit it and a way too far from your description. Absolutely false. It is clear that you have never visited it.

    Henrich (Germany)
  25. Fancy that such an article is on a tourism review site

    Talking about tourism, have you ever been to Romania, Sir? If you post your article on this site, i suppose your readers expect a balanced opinion from someone who has actually been to Bucharest and knows what he's talking about. You seem to give an unbalanced and biased opinion and I would really like to know what prompted you to write such a "shameful" depiction of Bucharest. Granted, there are negative sides of living in Bucharest, many things could be improved, but by focusing on those so-called statistics you used, you really give the impression that you have no idea whatsoever about the capital of Romania! There are many beautiful and welcoming things that must be said about Bucharest. It is really sad that people will actually read your story and end up believing it. Bucharest is not the ugliest city in the EU, it may not have the same level of tourists per year as Vienna, for example, but it does get its fair share and I can assure you that the people who leave Romania after visiting Bucharest do that with a long lasting impression of an upgraded city, maybe rough around the edges, beautiful nonetheless and unique in its own way. One must only open its eyes and let the panorama grow on you.

    Margareta (Romania) (Romania)
  26. What?

    What are you talking about? Have you ever been in bucharest? M8 come here stay a week and then write articles. Until then get a real job not a pseudo journalist.

    Ionut (Romania)
  27. It is clear that you have never visited our Bucharest!
    Shame on you!

    Mihaela (Romania)
  28. Just a lie

    Firstly,I believe that everything that you say is not true.I live in Bucharest since I was born,and as the years are passing I can see that a lot of changes are taking place (changes in good).I admit that it is not the cleanest city,but you do not see garbage in the streets,we do not have streets without water and so on.
    Secondly,as you might or better say might not know,we are an ex-comunist country/city and in 22 years you cannot completely change the whole appearence of a country/city,nor you can modernise it in a blink of an eye.
    I am feeling extremely generous today and I will give you a piece of advice:you should come and visit Bucharest and the rest of our country and discover how beautiful it is,and then write such articles.

    Irina (Romania)
  29. Why Bucharest is in Europe?

    30 years behind Europe.

    John (Croatia)
  30. 1st of wall.....go online and book a flight ticket to bucharest! spend some days here and try to discover the 'little paris' as it is called! maybe you don't even know where romania is, or maybe you know it because of dracula?????? wake up! don't compare a poor country like romania with germany, uk or netherlands!!!! we've had ceausescu 22years ago.....we still have thiefs controlling the country! and by the way...a work in a hostel, and lots of tourists are fascinatinf about bucharest! is something different indeed!

    Andreea (Romania)
  31. My friend you are retarded, completely. For sure....
    Yes Bucharest is not an ideal place to live in,but is one of the most exciting.
    If don't believe me please come in Bucharest for a weekend, and then write an article....

    bogdan (Romania)
  32. first pay us a visit ...

    than write down stupid things like your article ...
    and you live in ... ? I am sure that your capital has problems also

    get a girlfriend :)) maybe you\'ll see life in pink :))

    Alex Marin (Romania)
  33. @jose

    stop pretending that your are spanish and blame it on the gypsies, we have more gypsies than you and we don't have a problem with our gypsies, in fact they gave us a beautiful culture and we are doing pretty good as a civilized beautiful country. it's your stupid ass racist medieval close minded people that do all the wrong, stop blaming on other people.brasov and sibiu are great, been there, never been in bucharest just in transit

    mariadelmar (Spain)
  34. Not far from the truth

    I am sorry to say that even though many of my co-nationals write that this article is not true, they are sadly wrong. Of course that some of the traits exposed by the author are a bit exxagerated, we do not live in the Middle Ages, but I assume that is just a journalist trick, using strong words like that.
    Going past the freedoms he takes with comparisons, it is true that Bucharest has not many green spaces (few parks like Herastrau or Cismigiu do not make the difference people) and that the pollution is very high. Also the fact that there are some streets with no sewege - for those inclined to disagree just watch the nwes on ProTv from time to time, where they report about people living in Rahova or Ferentari in miserable conditions.
    And yes I do live in Bucharest, so I think I can proferr an opinion without people shouting back I should get a ticket and visit the city. Before using the comparison "Little Paris" you should think Bucharest USED to be called like that in the interbellicum and sadly this comparison has lost its meaning.
    Also it is a very bad trait for Romanians to write such insulting and personally insulting comments without trying to see the truth behind it all. The author may have painted a bit of an exxagerated picture but you people make us all look bad by using such offensive wording. Please think of that in the future, your comments are being read by many people.

    Maria (Romania)
  35. get a life

    I wonder how many Europeans capitals have the "voter"(s?) been to...
    I've seen about 5 and I'd say the difference is not that big.
    For example Sofia, in Bulgaria seemed uglier, just to name one...

    adi (Romania)
  36. My impressions about Giurgiu and Bucuresti

    Two years ago my family and some friends from Russe headed to Bucuresti.It was one hot Sunday in July,we were visiting this city for the first time and I could hardly take my sandals out of the boiling asphalt.We could not exchange Bulgarian lev into Romanian lei,at the change bureau they accepted only euros,whereas in Russe you can exchange lev into lei.At the centre of Bucuresti you CANNOT find a clean toilet.Romanian girls are beautiful like Bulgarian ones.And people are hospitable.The architectonic style is something between baroque and socialism.Giurgiu is thousand times more beautiful than Bucuresti.To sum up,come and visit Sofia or Russe and you will see the difference.Lots of love from Pleven,Bulgaria.

    Emanuella Boteva (Bulgaria)
  37. I'm going to sound biased no matter what I say, but after reading this article i cannot help but suspect that the person/people who wrote it booked a hotel at the outskirts of town, took a quick walk through the parking lot and concluded that the entire city must look like that.
    The city has plenty of problems - it is, after all, the capital of a fairly poor country' but the article sounds poorly -researched, if not outright biased.
    "There is no sewage, running water or asphalt roads in some parts of the Romanian capital which makes it seem like a city from the Middle Ages" .Where in God's green Earth did you pull this 'fact' out of? It reinforces my belief that the reviewers stayed in a slum...and never actually bothered leaving it.

    Andrei (Romania)
  38. It is so untrue

    I can assure tourists that it is an enjoyably experience visiting Bucharest. Roumanians just try to victimise themselves and gladly welcome any bad review. But I was in our capital recently and I noticed a lot of improvement. So, feel confortable buying tickets with this destination.

    Ramona Agachi (Romania)
  39. Bucharest is a superb city. There is always sewege and hot water in Bucharest.

    Dunicorn (France)
  40. I have to agree

    I'm Bucharest now and I have to agree, it is butt ugly!
    Been to the northern parts on this visit, and it definitely doesn't compare to how tired and rundown the capital looks.

    Christopher (Canada)
  41. Kind of truth

    I’ve lived in Bucharest fir the past 3 years and I do kind of enjoy the chaos and cheap food and booze. However there are some undeniable facts.
    1- it’s a generally ugly city that is crunbling as the government is useless and the mayors are all corrupt. Building facades are falling down and their are a lot of unoccupied buildings that are boarded up or have gypsies squatting

    2- the traffic situation is one of the worst in the world. People are so angry and frustrated that a lot of them drive very dangerously. Once the kids are back on school prepare for very long commutes.

    The private sector had grown a lot so that has improved the general look of the place in the business areas.

    I guess the author is referring to the worst famous areas in the city that are very poor. It’s not an accurate impression on the entire place ...but it is pretty bad. Lakes in the north are nice though. Also girls are cute and friendly xD

    Jim (EU)
  42. As a Romanian, I can fully attest to this

    As a Romanian, I will have to sadly agree with this statement. Bucharest is atrociously brutalist and hard on the eye, hard on the ear (cars honking all over the place and workers blasting the concrete sidewalks), not to mention being hard the lungs - don't even get me started on pollution and the levels of toxins in the air. The communist regime destroyed this city, along with many other ones in my country. Romania still has some beautiful (smaller) cities, but some of the largest ones like Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi are unbelievably ugly. I have traveled to most European capitals, and I'd have to say that yes, Bucharest is by far the ugliest. I haven't seen Nicosia, Cyprus, but I hear that it rivals Bucharest in its ugliness. Can't say for sure though, since I haven't made it there yet. But I have been to Sofia, and I can say that even Sofia, in much poorer Bulgaria, is eye candy compared to Bucharest.

    Marian Crisan (Romania)
  43. This is actually true.

    Bucharest is by far the ugkiest capital in the world with nothing to see, just like the other cities from Romania ????

    Arnold (Afghanistan)

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