For beautifully made woven rugs, table runners, national Romanian costumes, ceramics and other local crafts, don't miss the excellent folk art shop inside the Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Map pp54-5; g 212 9661; §os Klseleff 3; ® 10am-6pm Tue-Sun).

Interesting art galleries and antique shops are clustered in 'embassy land' around Str Jean Louis Calderon, and north of Hotel Bucure^ti along Calea Victoriei. Do not miss Pasajul Villacros (Map p60; Calea Victoriei 16), a covered passage topped with an ornate yellow-glass roof, which has some funky clothes and curiosities shops.

The narrow alleys and passages winding off Str Lipscani in the old part of the city


No Romanian will let you leave their country without buying a pot of Gerovital face cream. This is one for the ladies. This so-called magic potion has caused a storm in Romania and with celebrities around the world since it was invented by leading Romanian scientist Dr Ana Asian. The story goes that when she died she looked 20 years younger than her age! Good marketing or a skincare revelation? Who knows, but get a jar of this stuff that claims to slow the ageing process and see for yourself! Elizabeth Taylor, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Chaplin and John F Kennedy allegedly used the cream. Buy it at pharmacies across Bucharest.

are equally delightful to explore; wroufll iron gates lead to Str Hanul cu Tei, an all! passage filled with tiny craft shops.

Bucurejti Mall (Map pp54-5; g327 6100; CiJ Vitan 55; ® 9am-8pm) is a four-storey mall Ihi houses a supermarket and internationi chain stores for American-style shopping Mario Plaza (Map pp54-5; Calea Dorobantllor 11 178; ®9am-8pm) is a swanky designer-lal* haven, and Unirea Shopping Centre (Map pp54' Plata Unirli 3; ®9am-6pm) offers Bucharesl! central department store.

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