Location: Southern Romania
Elevation: 190-295 ft (55-90 m)
Size: City of Bucharest – 88 sq. miles (228 sq.km); Metropolitan area – 587 sq. miles (1,521 sq.km)
Inhabited since: 500 BC
First documented: 1459 AD
Population: 1.995 million (2015)
Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of “Little Paris”), Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis.
Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.” His flute playing reportedly dazzled the people and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place.