Living in Bucharest is nice, not as filled with tourists as many other European Capitals, but still crowded, having lived for the past 30 years in the city I have developed some sort of strange relationship with it. But every relation needs some “me time” and when I get that feeling, I run into the open arms of Sinaia.
This charming little city at the foot of the Carpathian mountains will always take me in its arms, shelter me for a few days, only to let me go back to my longtime lover, Bucharest.
Given the history (I have returned to this city at least once per year for the last 15 years), many might ask themselves what draws me back and how come I never grew tired or bored of this place. Because sure, it is a small village, with few places to visit. Somehow, even though tiny, with old houses perched on steep streets, you can still tell that the city has always been a stylish little corner of Romania.
Here is where in 1874, Carol I, the first King of Romania, built the Peles Castle. And I can totally understand why, looking at the location chosen, the green wide lawn, the breathtaking view from the castle’s terrace and the stunning forest surrounding it.
When I was a child, I used to come here with my parents, be it Summer or Winter, sit at the beautiful Economat Terrace, savor a delicious cake while imagining how it would have been to have this sumptuous castle as a residence. I still do that every now and then because that’s how I get disconnected from the day to day craze. I’ve just replaced the cake with a good glass of Prosecco 😛
But don’t leave Sinaia before visiting also Pelisor Castle, the smaller villa, hidden in the heart of the forest, not as palatial as Peles, but more tranquil. Also, have a walk (literally, not by car please) on the winding roads going up and down, stop every now and then to admire the old imposing houses built with rocks and wood, sitting pretty.
Where to stay in Sinaia, Romania
Even though you won’t be able to rent a room in one of the two castles, don’t get upset too soon, because you can always rent a room at Vila Economat, La Tunuri. Not quite inside the castle, but as close as it gets.
Another option, very close to the center of the city, where you will have access to a nice and relaxing SPA as well, is the International Hotel. A 4* Hotel offering you easy access to the most important sites of Sinaia.
Where to eat in Sinaia, Romania
Go for something traditional at Bucegi Restaurant. This is my favorite place for breakfast, even when I’m only driving past Sinaia, but the omelet here is just delicious and filling.
If you want to try something more international, go for a tasty pasta dish or a well-done fish at Cucina Sofia restaurant. Don’t leave without tasting an incredible Tiramisu which will certainly help you take the way uphill.
If you want to try something sweet and warm up with a good cup of tea, try spending a few hours in the oasis of stillness you will find at Casa Teo. You can opt also for spending the night here where nothing will bother you, except maybe your thoughts 😉
If you have tried one or more of these places, please don’t leave Sinaia without trying the sweets and salty corn (boiled or baked) you will most certainly find on your way from the castle to the city center. Everything from homemade chocolate to tasty sesame with honey, delicious nougat or rich gingerbread, will enchant your taste.