Athénée Palace

Historic Building in Bucharest
Image by Monica Suma

Just to the north of the National Art Museum is the Athénée Palace, so evocatively captured in its postrevolutionary, prostitute-teeming state by Robert Kaplan in his book Balkan Ghosts. Designed to outdo Paris in 1918, the hotel later served as a hotbed for Romania's KGB, the Securitate. Now the Hilton group has thoroughly cleaned it up – and priced its rooms to the stratosphere.