Don’t miss the chance to see this place if you are in the city, but before you go it is worth while reading up on the tragic recent history of Bucharest to understand the significance of the building. A large residential area of traditional housing, hospitals, schools and churches was demolished and the residents moved out to unheated slum accommodation to build this place. Its well worth calling ahead to book your tour (there are various language and tour options) and remember to take some photo ID because the security is rigorous. Look out for the information poster of rules which says that “it is mandatory to keep clean”. During my tour one of our group kept trying to wander off from the tour and the last I saw of her she was being escorted out by security. You will be asked to purchase a permit to take photographs, but this is probably one area where you can ignore the rules.
The basic tour does not cover a great deal of the palace and many of the room appear to have been designed to be grand but now look sparse, even barren. The highlight was the chance to stand on the balcony and look out and down the grand boulevard. Given that this is the second largest building in the world (next to the Pentagon, USA) it would crazy to pass up on the chance to visit. The tour could have been much better but it was still an unusual and a worth while opportunity.
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