Athénée Palace

Historic Building in Bucharest

Image by Monica Suma Lonely Planet

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.