Sinaia

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.

Understand

Peleş castle is the town's main 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 1860's, 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.

Get in

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.

Note however that there are few trains on the Bucharest-Brasov line. Although there was meant to be many InterCity trains on this line, one will find that most of these trains have been cancelled. Trains usually depart Bucharest's Gara de Nord every 2-3 hours at best.

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.

See

Pelișor castle.

Do

Eat

You find several restaurants and bars in the town's centre, but they are more expensive than those in other parts of Sinaia. The Pizzeria "Casa Nostra" offers big pizzas for 15 Lei (ca. 4 €). Also in the hotels one can eat.

Sleep

Being a popular holiday resort, Sinaia has an extensive choice in hotels. Many of them offer great service, with reaonable prices. Last minute discounts are not uncommon.

Go next

Head to Bucegi Natural Park for some fabulous views of the Carpathian Mountains. Diham Chalet is a popular base from where to explore the natural surroundings, and also doubles as a winter sports resort. Magura Village, about an hour from Sinaia is another fine base for hiking. It's a quiet, small town and excellent starting point to see the Piatra Craiului Mountains. Brașov is the nearest larger city of interest, and Bran, famous for it's castle, is just about 50 minutes from Sinaia. To get further out, Ploiești is less than an hour's drive and an important transportation hub, allowing for easy access to the wider region.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 27, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.