Welcome to Bucharest
Romania’s capital gets a bad rap, but in fact it's dynamic, energetic and fun. It’s where still-unreconstructed communism meets unbridled capitalism; where the soporific forces of the EU meet the passions of the Balkans. Many travellers give the city just a night or two before heading off to Transylvania, but that’s clearly not enough. Allow at least a few days to take in the good museums, stroll the parks and hang out at trendy cafes. While much of the centre is modern and garish, you'll find splendid 17th- and 18th-century Orthodox churches and graceful art nouveau villas tucked away in quiet corners. Communism changed the face of the city forever, and nowhere is this more evident than at the gargantuan Palace of Parliament, the craziest and crassest tribute to dictatorial megalomania you’ll probably ever see.