Sinaia is one of Romania‘s finest holiday resorts, located deep into the Carpathian Mountains. In the late 19th century King Charles I of Romania chose Sinaia as his summer residence and built the fabulous Peles Castle, which is today the city’s best known landmark.
In 1690 a Wallachian nobleman, Mihail Cantacuzino, built a small monastery on the upper Prahova river and (inspired by his voyage to Mount Sinai) named it Sinaia; a village developed around it. In the 1860s, attracted by the area’s wild beauty, Romania’s first king, Charles of Hohenzollern, decided to build here a summer residence, which would become Peles Castle (inaugurated in 1883). Soon the place became the favorite resort of the Romania upper class, who started raising their own luxurious holiday villas in the area. Impressive hotels, casinos, modern restaurants and shops followed, which, by the end of the 19th century, turned Sinaia from an obscure village into Romania’s unofficial summer capital.
Getting to Sinaia is made easy by train, since it is on the main line between Bucharest and Braşov. All trains that go to Hungary pass Sinaia, as to those that service Oradea, Braşov and Cluj-Napoca. There are also many trains to and from Sighisoara, Timişoara, Iaşi and Arad.
Sinaia is also accessible by intercity coach from Braşov, but train is the better option.
The closest airport to Sinaia is Bucharest.
Sinaia lies on the National road No. 1 and can easily be reached by car from Bucharest or Braşov.
- 1 Peleș Castle (Castelul Peleș), strada Pelesului 2, ☎+40 244 310918, e-mail: email@example.com. Mid-Sep to mid-May: W 11:00-16:15, Th-Su 09:15-16:15; mid-May to mid-Sep: also on Tu 09:15-16:15. Begun by King Carol I in 1873 as a summer residence, these gothic revival fantasy castles pay homage to nearly every architectural style in Europe, as well as including all the mod-cons, such as lifts, central heating, plumbing and electric sky lights. Peleş contains a large armory collection, secret passages, imperial suit, a hall of mirrors, stone lions and everything a fairytale castle ‘should’ have. Set in peaceful forests and mountain meadows, away from the bustle of Sinaia, the castles are also a popular wedding venue. During the summer, craft stalls line the entrance drive selling local goods. The English guided tours are excellent. 30 lei per adult, 35 lei camera fee (this is enforced). (updated Sep 2018)
- 1 Pelișor Castle (Castelul Pelișor) (right next to Peles castle).
- 1 Sinaia Monastery (Mănăstirea Sinaia), strada Soarelui 3, ☎+40 244 314917. The monastery has two sections: the original area (built 1690 -1695) and the newer one (1842 – 1846). The religious objects museum is not very professional, but has a copy of the first Bible printed in Romania and an interesting collection of icons. Driving from Bucharest north on the National road No. 1 you have to turn left in Sinaia and follow the signs. ~€2.
- 1 Museum of Sinaia (Palatul Florescu-Stirbey) (Close to the lower cable car station). (updated Nov 2018)
- 1 Central park (Parcul Dimitrie Ghica). Nice park with beautiful old buildings surrounding it, such as the Casino and old hotels. There is also a small museum in the park. (updated Nov 2018)
- Orchids. The Brasov area has almost 40 species of endemic Orchids that can be seen. If you wish to see them contact the Romanian Orchid Lovers Club, based in Rasnov 20 km from Brasov.