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Bucharest

bucharest souvenirLike any big city, Bucharest has malls and department stores, and you'll find all manner of stores on Calea Victoriei, the historic thoroughfare. But the best selection of Romanian souvenirs -- folk art, religious icons, sheepskin vests, ceramics, woven rugs, embroidered table runners -- can be found at gift shops at the Museum of the Romanian Peasant or the National Village Museum. (Be sure to check the museums' opening hours before you go.) Prices range from the inexpensive to the extravagant. Romanian wines from the Prahova Valley, widely available in wine shops and grocery stores, are also a great buy.

If you're looking for a little extra reading material, check out Anthony Frost English Bookshop (Calea Victoriei 45); another good stop for bibliophiles is Libraria Noi (B-dul Nicolae Balcescu 18), which also has a decent selection of English-language books (as well as cool old maps).

Bucharest has a number of shopping malls. AFI Palace Cotroceni, located on Boulevard Timisoara, boasts not only a wide variety of shops (including familiar names like Calvin Klein and Sephora) but also an IMAX theater, casino, go-karts and laser tag. The Unirea Shopping Center (Piata Unirii 1) is another large mall offering clothing, electronics, household goods and even a supermarket.

For antiques, the historic Lipscani district is a good bet; you'll also find some antique stores along Calea Victoriei.
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