I love traveling, have always loved it and will always do. I always try to go somewhere, see something, live something, but there is one constant in my life.
Ever since I was somewhere in elementary school, I started going with my parents in the Summer and in the Winter time on the mountain side of my home country, Romania. More specifically, to Sinaia, on the Prahova Valley.
And we kept on going there almost every year ever since.
You think one might get bored of the same places, but not me. Every time I go there, I feel part of a fairy tale and I try to “sell” the location also to my other friends.
You might imagine that by now I know all the streets, houses, coffee shops, restaurants.
I recommend you to visit this little corner of peace, so if you ever get the chance to come in this part of Europe, Sinaia and Prahova Valley is surely one of the top things to do in Romania.
Table of Contents
Few points of interest on the Prahova Valley (some of the best things to do in Romania)
1. Peles Castle and Pelisor Castle
Take a walk in the gardens and visit the inside of the two castles, take in the fresh air and enjoy the lovely view (be it Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, there is always a lovely view to enjoy).
Some things worth knowing when planning a trip to Peles Castle and Pelisor Castle in Sinaia, Romania:
Peles Castle opening hours (check this out for the complete schedule):
During Summer: the castle is closed on Mondays; with a rather short schedule (from 9:15 to 16:15) in all the other days except Wednesdays when it opens at 11.
During Winter: Peles Castle stays closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, keeping the same schedule for the other days.
Visiting fee for the Peles Castle: a visit inside of the impressive castle on the Prahova Valley will cost 30 RON (roughly 6.5 EUR) if you want to see the ground floor only while seeing the whole castle the tax will be double: 60 RON (7 EUR).
Getting from Bucharest to Sinaia by train – when it comes to riding the train in Romania, you will need plenty of patience, but the ride to Sinaia is short: depending on the train, 1h 30 min roughly. For more useful information and timetables, check out CFR website.
Drink a hot chocolate or a freshly brewed coffee with some ice cream or a sweet on the terrace of Caffee Regal– enjoy the view of the castle and its wide lawn.
This is the place I never miss when coming to visit Sinaia or anything on Prahova Valley. Why? Because it is such a lovely place to enjoy a good coffee and a sweet!
3. Economat Villa
Get a good night sleep at Economat Villa (La Tunuri Hotel ), where you will feel like a princess/prince – located next to the two castles, it is very quiet, in the middle of nature and offers a lovely view.
If you ask me, this is the perfect place if you are in Sinaia or on Prahova Valley for a night or for many. I dream about spending some time here someday and will surely do it and tell you all about it.
4. Sinaia Central park
Take a walk in the Central Park, admire the Casino building and take a small walk up to Sinaia Monastery.
The Central Park in Sinaia might not be a big one, but it is surely a place where lots of events take place: from concerts to different fairs, this is the place where you will always find some pretty handmade things. And if nothing is going on, just a walk in nature is nice.
The Sinaia Casino is actually a conference center which can be visited, and where events are held.
Sinaia Monastery is hard to miss on the way up from the Central Park to Peles and Pelisor Castles. Here is where all the busses will be outside.
It is a nice place and you might save 15 minutes and stop by, between 8 in the morning and 6 in the evening during Summer.
5. Take the gondola up to the 1400 quota
The gondola or the cable car. I wouldn’t miss this if I were you, because this is definitely one of the best things to do in Romania offering an impressive view both from the inside of the gondola and once you get up.
If you want an even better view and you are dressed well even in the Summer, take the chairlift up to 2000 quota. Here is where impressive nature will take your breath away.
Check out the Sinaia teleferic timetable here and take into consideration that Mondays are closed down for revision. You can get up early in the morning and take the first one going up at 8:30 or leave it until later with the last one going up at 15:30.
Prices: One way up to 1400 quota is 15 RON (3 EUR), while adding any other part (going up to 2000 quota, coming down) will add another 15 RON for each part. Thus if you are planning on doing the whole thing on cable, the whole price will be 60 RON (13 EUR).
6. Cantacuzino Castle
Take a day trip to Busteni, to the Cantacuzino Castle where you can swing yourself back to childhood, enjoy a sumptuous meal at its 5* restaurant or drink a coffee on the terrace from where you can see the Caraiman Cross.
I have to admit that I love this place, especially the swing that is so famous on Instagram, but also the view one gets from here.
The castle usually hosts some kind of art exhibition ( Dali, Women power in art only to name a few), but the interior and exterior on their own are amazing.
Since the place is so beautiful, during Summer time there are plenty of weddings taking place here so there might be the case that the castle cannot be visited.
Cantacuzino Castle Visiting hours: from Sunday to Friday from 10 to 18
The price for visiting the garden is 5 RON which can be used at the castle’s bar. The full price for visiting everything (the castle, exhibition, and the park) is 40 RON (8.5 EUR).
7. Caraiman Cross and the Sphinx and Babele
Take the cable (or choose to walk up, depending on your physical condition) up to the Caraiman Cross and the Sphinx and Babele (The Sphinx is a natural rock formation in the Bucegi Natural Park, situated at an altitude of 2,216 meters).
8. Romanian traditional food
Don’t miss out on the delicious Romanian traditional food and on my favorite dessert: papanasi! You absolutely do not have to miss it!