Bucharest is the heart and soul of Romania, its biggest city by far and the center of cultural and financial events in the country. Its communist past and capitalist present make for an interesting mix of architecture and infrastructure. Start in the Old Town (slightly misleading since this district is only three years old) to sample local food and beer with the locals. Then, head to the Palace of Parliament, a colossal, over-the-top structure whose sheer size and elegance typically leaves visitors dumbfounded.

Get in touch with Romanian history at the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, home to exhibits that encompass the lives of average Romanians throughout the years. For a bit of relaxation, make your way to Therme, the largest wellness center in Europe, where you’ll find saunas, pools, and heated waterslides. If you’d like to see the most beautiful castle in all of Romania, a short trip outside the city to Sinaia is definitely in order.

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