Outcast Tour – The story of living on the streets in Bucharest

Outcast Tour

When I travel I do not want to hear something a guide has learnt from a book, I want stories, experiences, emotions, and something to really make me think about the journey I am taking.

I took the Outcast Tour in Bucharest, it was following the story of the homeless. Our tour guide Sergiu has had first-hand experience of living on the streets of Bucharest. It opened my eyes to what people in these situations have to endure and I have to admit it wasn’t pleasant.

Sergiu who spent time living or rather surviving on the street or Bucharest shared his story or abuse reality and hope. His story is one of sadness sorrow but also determination. He wanted his identity kept quiet as his new employees don’t know about his pass and may not understand.

outcast tour bucharest

He gave me permission to use this photo

He explained how all his old acquaintances are either in prison or dead and he realises how close he came to being the same. He did spend some time in prison. Sergiu explained how when he first became homeless there were 24 teenagers and they used to hang around on the grass outside the theatre so that was our first stop on the tour. Today there were no homeless here as they get moved on but when Sergiu was living here he would beg for bread, pick pocket to get money and take drugs. In the summer, they would hang around on the grass but in the winter, it was too cold so they would seek heat in the subways. This is not allowed anymore and any homeless person in the subways will be moved on.

I don’t want to give too much away as really think you need to hear it from someone who has been through the experience and if you want more information or to book this tour head to the website.

Although there is a slightly happy ending to the story as Sergiu was supported by a local NGO and was given the opportunity to rebuild his life. He has been studying to become a recognised guide at night school whilst currently doing these tours. He also works in a restaurant. However, he admits even with these two jobs he could earn more living on the streets and he has spoken to some of his past acquaintances who won’t make the steps for a better life as they too earn more from begging.

A few months ago, he could buy a flat and is now legal with papers. Next year he will finish school and be able to be a full-time guide. He got more trust in himself as he realised he could do more. He wants to give others on the street the opportunity which he was given so he took a young boy in from living on the streets originally for only two weeks but he couldn’t see him go back onto the streets so he is still living with Sergiu. This young lad is now 17, about to finish school and get his own flat.

We visited the social circus which is for children and teaches them to juggle to gain confidence. There is a 2nd chance project which also helps get the children back to school. They can come here for 3 meals a day, have a shower, and learn basic reading and writing.

I did this tour as part of Experience Bucharest. It was a complimentary tour during a blogging event but it has not influenced my opinion in any way I would recommend doing this tour as it will really open your eyes. The tour costs €41 and lasts 2.5 hours at 4pm. The tour is currently available in English and Spanish. Click here for more details.

If you like the sound of this tour Romanian Friend offers some other alternative tours that sound amazing especially a night tour in a haunted forest.

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outcast tour

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Outcast Tour – The story of living on the streets in Bucharest”

  1. Wow, that must have been a really interesting and moving tour to go on. I can’t imagine what your guide’s life was like or what he went through. That’s really great that he was able to get sponsored by an NGO to make some positive changes in his life. We have a lot of transients in our city and I often stop to think about what their stories are.

  2. It’s funny I have come across this story of living on the streets of Bucherest because a month ago whilst traveling in Belgium, I met a Romanian who grew up on the streets of Bucherest. He was a good guy full of incredible stories as I’m sure Sergiu was. I would definitely take the Outcast tour in Bucherest, alternative tours like this can be so eyeopening.

  3. It’s always so good to hear stories of other people when you go to a new place. It really makes us think beyond us. This is the best way to know about the city apart from the usual tours. 🙂

  4. What a first hand story! I am glad things are turning out good for him. Good that he is completing his education too. That will make him a better guide. I like such human stories.

  5. Sergiu definitely knows the streets of Bucharest. He has the courage to improve his life and share his previous experiences. I am also eager to know a city’s background from someone like Sergiu. He sounds like he is very determined to have a better life and that is admirable. I would also be interested in joining the haunted forest tour.

  6. I’m sure this must have been a humbling and eye-opening experience. It’s great that they were able to create a tour company that helped those who were disadvantaged to have purpose and a job and to help get them off the street. What a great idea, I hope many other cities can take inspiration from that.

  7. This sounds like such an eye opening tour. I also like things that give a unique perspective and really adds a level of humanity that is sometimes forgotten when traveling. Love hearing that Sergiu is doing well too and on a great path. If I am ever in Bucharest, I will definitely check this out.

  8. I’ve always been intrigued by tours such as this, I think it gives a unique insight into the city. My only worry was ever that people were being taken advantage of, but this organisation seems to be doing really great things! I would definitely check this out if I find myself in Bucharest.

  9. It is run by a large multinational company that is helping support local causes and it helped get him off the streets so don’t thing he was being taken advantage of otherwise I wouldn’t have done a tour like this either.

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