Romania

Visit Sinaia, Romania – home to the amazing Peles Castle

(Last Updated On: 24/11/2022)

Sinaia is among the most beautiful places to visit in Romania and one of the easiest day trips from Bucharest and Brasov. The fairy tale alike Peles castle is already a perfect reason to visit Sinaia but this charming town has actually much more to offer.

sinaia romania

I’ve been to Sinaia twice, on a beautiful autumn day back in 2010 and recently, in the summer of 2022. Both trips couldn’t be different.

While in 2010 there was not a single person around (and the Sinaia castle was closed), a few years later the place was packed with people yet still enjoyable. But crowds or not, it’s so easy to fall for Sinaia and its beauty. This is a truly remarkable place and I’m sure I will be returning there again whenever I have a chance.

sinaia romania

Why visit Sinaia

Nestled picturesquely in the valley surrounded by beautiful mountains, Sinaia is a perfect stop when traveling from Bucharest to Brasov and definitely shouldn’t be missed during your trip to Romania.

The town is home to one of the most beautiful palaces you will ever see – Peles Castle. It is a real masterpiece and I guarantee you will walk around in awe, checking out all the details of the place, and there are many of them.

But Sinaia is more than just the castle. The town, located 140 km north of Bucharest, is this charming holiday place with beautiful architecture and a relaxing atmosphere. Besides the Sinaia castle, there are more historical places you might want to check out (more about them later in this article). You can also use Sinaia as the base to explore the surrounding mountains that are perfect for hiking.

sinaia romania

How to get to Sinaia

Sinaia, conveniently located on the main railway line and road between Bucharest and Brasov, can be easily visited either as a day trip from one of those cities or as a stop when traveling from Bucharest to Brasov (or back).

I would recommend taking the train, it’s reliable and comfortable. The journey time depends on the connection and varies between 1h20min and 2h20min from Bucharest to Sinaia and takes around one hour from Brasov.

If you plan your train trip to Sinaia (you can check the connections here) I recommend getting the tickets in advance as you might have problems getting the seat before the departure. That’s what happened to me recently and as a result, I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to explore Sinaia. I planned to take the train at 8 am from Bucharest and instead I took one at 2 pm…

You might also go to Sinaia by car but the road is known for getting traffic jams and you might waste some time on the way. There might be some issues with parking in Sinaia too, especially in the peak season.

There are also organized tours to Sinaia from both Bucharest and Brasov that let you discover not only this stunning place but also other attractions on the way. Here are some recommended options, if you would like to take the tour:

sinaia romania

How to get around Sinaia

Sinaia isn’t very big so you can easily walk everywhere (however it can get a bit uphill sometimes, especially when you leave the train station towards the center of the town). The distance between the train station and Peles Castle (which is located exactly on the other side of Sinaia) is 2 km, along the way you can go through the center and the park and stop at the monastery.

There are also local buses serving the town that you can take. You can check the routes and schedule here.

sinaia romania

Where to stay in Sinaia

Sinaia is a popular holiday destination and there are many accommodation options if you would like to stay there overnight (which I strongly consider for my next trip there as I just liked the place so much). Here are some recommended ones:

sinaia romania

What to see in Sinaia

The absolute highlight of Sinaia is Peles castle which looks like taken straight from a fairy tale. In fact, you might have seen it in a few romantic movies where the prince was the main character and everyone lived happily ever after in a beautiful setting. I’ve watched at least a few holiday movies on Netflix that were filmed in Sinaia.

sinaia romania

Despite the big importance of the region already in medieval times, Sinaia castle is actually a fairly new addition to the local scenery. It was built as a summer residence for King Carol I at the end of the 19th century, between 1873 and 1883, and designed by some of the best German architects of that time. The king constantly worked on developing and improving the palace until his death in 1914. You can clearly see that no one skimped on the money to build this masterpiece (overall some 120 million dollars were spent on it) but what was impressive is the fact that the project was funded by the king, not the state.

After king Carol’s death, further rulers of Romania kept improving the palace but eventually, after World War 2, it was taken over by the Romanian state. The museum was opened here but since it wasn’t funded properly the palace fell into a bit of disrepair which led to closing the place and removing many valuable items to save them. The museum was reopened after the fall of Ceausescu’s regime and in 2006 the palace was returned to its owners – the Romanian royal family, who kept the place open for visitors.

sinaia romania

The first words that come to mind when approaching Sinaia castle are luxury and splendor. It’s really hard to describe the place, it’s so magnificent both outside and inside and all the details around are simply overwhelming. Both times I visited the place I walked around with my jaw dropped, clearly impressed with the masterminds who designed this building with all the amenities. But what you can see outside is just a small taste of the grandness that awaits inside the Sinaia castle.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

You can tour the ground floor, the first floor, and the second floor; each of the floors requires a separate ticket. Since I arrived at Peles Castle fairly late I had time to visit only the ground floor but it was still a pretty mind-blowing experience. Even if you decide to see the ground floor only you’re in for a huge treat.

You will go through several rooms and each and every one of them will be more spectacular. It’s really impossible to see every detail, there are so many of them and everything is carefully designed. Just like outside, no words can fully describe this grandness and I bet it will leave you speechless too.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

The first room you step into, the foyer, is already spectacular with carved wooden stairs and decorations. Altogether there are 160 rooms inside the Peles Castle. Some of the most interesting ones include the Great Armory Room with over four thousand pieces of weapon that were either collected or gifted to the king, the Royal Library, the Throne Room, the Turkish Room, and the Dining Room.

The castle is also home to an impressive collection of ceramics, clocks, and silverwork. To add to the overall beauty of the place, 800 windows are in fact stained glass. The whole interior of Peles Castle is a peculiar mix of styles but it together somehow created a unique masterpiece and one of the most incredible castles you can visit in Europe.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

Since it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania (even more popular among locals than the infamous Bran Castle), you can expect crowds there as everyone wants to visit this gem, and I don’t blame them. You can get tickets either for the castle either online before your trip or at the ticket office. Despite the many people around I didn’t have to wait long either in the queue either to get the ticket or to get inside the palace, everything run really smoothly. You can check current opening times and tickets’ prices here.

You visit the palace independently, there is information in Romanian, English and I believe some other languages too describing each room. It is possible to take pictures inside the palace (without the flesh) but it’s forbidden to publish them online so even if I have my own photos from there, those of the interior you can see in this article are taken from the official online sources to give you an impression of what a grand place this is.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

Once you are done visiting Sinaia castle and its close surrounding be sure to wander around the park and see more of what it has to offer.

A short walk from Peles Castle you will find Pelisor castle, built in 1903 it was a gift from king Carol I to his nephew and heir, the future King Ferdinand and his wife. It was designed by the Czech architect Karel Liman in the art nouveau style and the interior was the work of the architect from Vienna Bernharda Ludwiga. There are 99 rooms inside the Pelisor castle and the decor is mostly art-nouveau with Byzantine and Celtic elements. Since the place is part of the Peles Castle complex, it is possible to visit Pelisor castle too.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

In the park surrounding Sinaia Castle, you will find a few other buildings designed in a similar style to the Peles and Pelisor so it’s worth taking a little stroll around to enjoy the scenery and beautiful architecture around.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

But Peles complex isn’t the only place worth seeing in Sinaia. A short walk away from the castle (through a forest packed with souvenir stands) will take you to the beautiful Sinaia Monastery, founded in 1695 and named after the Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt (and then the town of Sinaia was named after the monastery).

The complex in fact consists of two courtyards with churches in the middle: the Old one from 1695 and the Great one from 1846. Both churches, as well as the whole complex, are worth visiting as this is a great example of the sacral architecture of Romania. There is also a small museum on site that is home to the collection of 17th-century icons or the first Bible in Romanian (from 1688) among other items; you can visit it for a small fee.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

The town itself is really pretty with some beautiful villas around and is most likely a great destination for holidays.

The central park, located not far from the train station, is a perfect place to relax. That’s also where you will find another beautiful building ordered by king Carol I – the Sinaia casino (that works as a conference center today). It was built in the art nouveau style in 1913 and the grand opening was accompanied by fireworks and the recital by probably the best Romanian composer of all times – George Enescu.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

Once you are done visiting Sinaia you can quickly escape to nature. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains that offer various hiking opportunities. You can also take the cable car to an altitude over 2000 meters above sea level – the views up there are amazing!

sinaia romania

Where to go next

From Sinaia, you can continue your journey either north to Brasov or south to Bucharest. There are also other interesting places you can visit nearby: Bucegi Natural Park with amazing mountains reaching up to the elevation of 2.500 meters, Bran castle known for its alleged connections with the infamous Dracula or Rasnov where you can visit an impressive fortress.

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

sinaia romania

Travel Resources

Revolut bank card is the best way to save money when traveling. It’s a pre-paid service that offers very good exchange rates and no fees for ATM’s use. Click here to learn more and order your Revolut card.

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Romania

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Romania here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.


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sinaia romania


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