If you wish to enjoy a delightful winter scenery or a refreshing spring morning while breathing the clean mountain air, then Sinaia certainly is a perfect choice. The Carpathian Pearl, as it is called for good reasons, is a small town and also a mountain resort, situated at about 800 meters altitude. The name of the city comes from the Biblical Mount Sinai in Egypt.
What to see and do:
It’s definitely the main attraction of the city and one of the most beautiful castles in the world. Peles Castle was established in 1883 by King Carol I of Romania, who fell in love with the gorgeous landscapes of Sinaia and decided to build a summer residence in the realms of fantasy.
During the reign of King Carol I, Romania gained independence. The castle is built in Neo-Renaissance architecture style, with steep painted roofs and tiny round tiles. The exterior walls of the castle look like gingerbread.
Murano glass chandeliers, luxurious tapestries, decorative stonework, rich and intricately carved Wood are certain signatures of Peles Castle. The most important rooms in the castle are Imperial Suite, Music Room, the Florentine meeting room, the columns room, the theater room, chess room and billiard room, the library and the room of the armor.
Each room has its own architecture with Gothic, Venetian, German or even Oriental influences. There are even some hidden passages inside the castles, one of which will be shown to you by the guide, but also an impressive collection of armor, with pieces brought from all over the world. Peles Castle is the first castle in the world to be completely lit by electricity.
This smaller castle is located right next to Peles but is less known. However, I can assure you that it deserves a visit because its interiors are so modern and completely different than what you will see inside the Peles Castle.
Pelisor was built for Carol’s nephew, Ferdinand, being the next in line to the throne of Romania. Furthermore, his wife, Queen Mary, was the one that took care of the design and architecture of Pelisor.
Since its opening to the public, in 1993, Pelisor was easily recognized for its Art-Noveau style with Byzantine and Celtic joints. Consequently, the most important elements of the interiors are the stained glass window, the walnut office, the bedrooms carved from linden wood and the gold bedroom.
20 lei ($5) / first floor/ person
50 lei ($12) / first + second floor/ person
20 lei ($5)/ person
- Photography & Video fees:
32 lei ($9) / photography tax/ camera
53 lei($13) / video tax/ camera
Also known as the Cathedral of Bucegi Mountain, the church was founded in 1695 and its name comes from the monastery of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The church was built by Mihail Cantacuzino, and it became the first electrically lighted place of worship in Romania.
They can lead you to an altitude of 1400 meters or even 2000 meters, for a price of 20 lei/ one way/ person or 34 lei/ round trip/ person. I took the gondola up to 1400 meters and it was definitely a great experience. However, it was kind of windy up there, so I couldn’t enjoy the view that much.
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It’s located in Dimitrie Ghica Park and was built in only one year. The building resembles the Casino of Monte Carlo, with several similar architectural elements. Today, the Casino is used as International Conference Centre, with 12 special rooms that host important events.
George Enescu is considered the greatest Romanian musician, working as a composer, violinist, pianist, and conductor. Because of his talent, worldwide recognized, especially in Paris, he was frequently invited to Peles Castles, by the Queen, to sustain recitals. In fact, George Enescu even had his own room inside the palace.
To summarize, if you visit Vila Luminis, the way it’s called the Memorial House, you will have the opportunity to see the piano on which he composed most of his famous works.
Being a mountain resort, Sinaia is the perfect destination for mountain sports enthusiasts. Whatever the season, you can hike the mountain or you can go skiing. Also, in winter, you will be able to skate on the rink located in the central park, Dimitrie Ghica.
Sinaia is a very cozy little town that deserves explored and known. Precisely for this reason, you should walk the beautifully arranged streets and admire the nature that makes its presence felt everywhere in these wonderful places. The architecture of the buildings is also very interesting since Sinaia is one of the most famous and oldest mountain resorts in Romania.
Where to stay
If you want a nice view, good restaurants, pool, spa, wifi and a beauty center, this hotel is for you. In addition, inside you will also find an entertainment center with bowling, billiards, and various games.
The hotel offers beautiful suites, perfect for vacations with children, but not only.
Being located at an altitude somewhat higher, it offers sensational views, which you can admire from the balcony of your own room. Besides all this, the hotel offers bar, terrace, fitness and sauna.
I checked in here last time I visited Sinaia and I liked it very much. I was offered a room as big as an apartment, with a bedroom and a living room. The hotel’s location is excellent, right in the city center and overlooking Central Park.
Prices are more than affordable and have included free wifi and free parking. The hotel also has a coffee shop on the ground floor and a conference room.
Where to eat:
It is an oriental restaurant where you will be able to enjoy an exotic atmosphere, with oriental rhythms in the foreground. Here you can have a very good pizza or you can smoke a hookah.
The perfect place to dine, especially if you have just finished visiting the castles. The restaurant is located right next to Peles and Pelisor and you can have some incredibly tasty cheese pancakes.
I assure you that you will be impressed by the way this café is decorated, and also by the very best coffee, served to you with great hospitality.
Serve a mouthwatering cake and drink a good coffee in a small and intimate coffee shop, decorated in traditional Romanian style with rustic elements. Therefore, the atmosphere is very pleasant and cozy.
- Do not take a cab in front of the Train station. The road is short and beautiful, so you might Just want to walk up the stairs directly in front of you and follow directions
- If You are a student, do not forget your ID, because students have a discount for the entrance fee for both Peles and Pelisor.
- Try to visit the castles during the week or in the morning. Otherwise, it can be very crowded.
- If you have more time available, it’s worth doing a day trip to Dracula’s Castle, Bran. The distance is only an hour’s drive.
- Take a few warm clothing if you want to climb the mountain. Whatever the season, there will be fewer degrees on top of the mountain than in the city.
Sinaia is located along the Prahova Valley, in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, on the massif southeast of Bucegi mountains, in Dracula’s Country, but also my home country, Romania.
How to get there:
By car: via DN1 or DN71, depending on where you are coming from. For example, the town is only 1 h 30 min drive away from the capital, Bucharest.
By train: If you happen to be in Bucharest, you can take the train from Gara de Nord for about $10/ person, for one way.
Cool summers, with average temperatures of 15ºC
Relatively mild winters, with average temperatures of -4ºC
…and a few more pictures: