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Eclectic Bucharest has monumental communist buildings standing minutes away from twisting old lanes, while modern towers overlook art nouveau palaces of lavish Parisian elegance. The largest city in Romania, Bucharest leads a country that gets little positive international press but is nonetheless strikingly different from its neighbours.

Although a chunk of Bucharest’s centre was rebuilt in the 1980s, the city has preserved many older areas, such as the winding, café-filled Lipscani quarter, and historical landmarks, including the jewel-like 18th century Stavropoleos Monastery. Its central Calea Victoriei boulevard is still lined with grand Belle Époque buildings, though their scale is now outshone by the Civic Centre’s Ceausescu era Palace of the Parliament, the world’s largest civilian building.

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