Outcast Tour : Find out about living on the streets in this Bucharest City 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, following the story of the homeless people that survive on the streets in Bucharest.
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.
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.
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Originally published in 2017 and updated in 2019