A few years ago, after meeting with good blogging friend Kemkem from NextBiteofLife, we had some time to visit one of the most beautiful castles in Romania: the Peles castle in Sinaia.
You’d think that after visiting something as impressive as the Palace of Parliament, nothing else can impress you anymore, but fortunately that’s not the case!
In today’s article, we’ll learn everything about Peles Castle in Romania: how to get there, operating hours, what are the ticket prices, as well as my personal opinion about the place. And, of course, some interesting facts about this gorgeous palace!
Because, yes, even though Romania is notoriously famous with Dracula’s castle, it is actually Peles that you see more often on postcards and representative images or the country because, well… it’s more beautiful. That’s the truth!
How to get from Bucharest to Peles Castle in Sinaia
If you’re traveling from Bucharest, you’re in luck as you have a ton of options to get there quickly: trains and buses constantly go to Sinaia, the city where the castle is located, and you’re there in about one hour and a half.
The price of a train ticket to Sinaia is about 40 lei from Bucharest (about 8.7 Euros) if you choose CFR (the national train company), but there are cheaper options available as well from other train companies or bus operators.
For example, you can book this Peles & Dracula Castle day tour, which has everything covered (leaving from and returning to Bucharest) and you get to see two amazing castles, not just one!
Trains to Sinaia and from Sinaia to Bucharest are nicely spread throughout the day and you can easily arrange for a day trip there, leaving in the morning and returning in the evening or a bit later.
When I checked for schedules, there were 24 trains leaving from Bucharest to Sinaia in a single day, starting at 6AM so you definitely have a ton of options. You can check them out here.
There are also various options if you are coming from other cities or planning to return to a different one. Brasov is also very close to Sinaia, for example. Just type in various cities in the website I linked to above and you will see what options you will have.
We went there by train – barely made it actually, as Kemkem’s Uber driver kept circling the train station in Bucharest trying to find our meeting place (which was impossible to do since it was inside the train station where no cars have access). It was pretty intense, actually, but we can now look back and smile remembering it.
So, once you get to Sinaia, the best option is to take a taxi to the castle – otherwise you’re up for an energy draining hike that would last about 30 minutes.
The taxi should be around 25 lei (5 Eur) – it used to be a bit cheaper, but it’s best to budget a bit more now with the increased prices. And read my article on how not to get scammed by taxi drivers in Romania.
EXTRA TIP: While the taxi driver will most likely give you a card (ours did), make sure you ask for one if they don’t.
When we left the castle, there were no taxis outside and we would’ve had to either walk to the train station or wait for one to arrive. Since we were in a hurry to catch the train, having that phone number saved us!
You can also stop in Sinaia’s city center like we did to check out the charming city first and grab some late breakfast or lunch.
We looked around, searching for some pastries or something light, but eventually ended up with this:
Yeah, I loved my breakfast that day, that’s a fact! Tasted really good too, especially since the chips were freshly made and perfect! Sinaia is definitely touristy and has some nice quality places to vouch for that.
Visiting the Peles Castle
The place looks, just like all the photos in this article will show you, like palace from fairy tales.
You can book your guided tour with an expert guide here. This is a really good tour that lasts around 1 hour and you’ll learn a ton of things about the castle (and more) if you book it.
It’s beautiful and the mountain views, with all that fresh mountain air and green grass and trees make the whole thing even better. You can’t help but fall in love with the place as soon as you see it!
Construction work for the castle began in 1873, when Romania’s king Carol I decided to build a summer retreat for himself and his family.
It is said that he simply fell in love with the area when he first saw it – and I can totally understand why.
The architecture combines different features of classic European styles. Even more interesting is the fact that the castle was built in a few stages, new additions appearing in 1893 and 1914, both created by a different architect.
He was really good, because today it’s impossible to guess that this isn’t a palace built in one go.
As you can see, this is indeed a palace (by the looks of it and based on what it was used for), but for some reason everybody calls it a castle in Romania.
I am not really sure if there’s an explanation for this or King Carol was just a modest man who thought “palace” sounds too fancy. He had no reasons to feel embarrassed with his place, though!
All in all, I really enjoyed the visit there and I found both the interior and the exterior jaw dropping.
I am not a huge fan of castles or palaces or visiting buildings normally, but this time I really had fun and completely enjoyed the tour.
Check prices for the tour here (book it in advance!)
And for those who can’t have enough, there’s also an extra bonus, just a few hundred meters away: the Pelisor Castle (which would translate as “the Small Peles”). Really makes you feel like you’re in Austria, right?
We decided against visiting it (for an extra 30 lei) and I guess it was more or less the same thing as its bigger brother.
The smaller version was built in 1889 for Ferdinand, the heir to the throne. Interestingly, Ferdinand was not Carol’s son, but his nephew and he was brought to Romania from Germany to take on the duties of the king.
Peles Castle Working Hours
Back to the topic of today’s article, though! Here are the working hours if you’re planning a visit (make sure to double check as things might change or be different for your dates if there’s a special event, for example):
From May 15 to September 15
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 09:15 – 16:15
Wednesday: 11 – 16:15
From September 16 to May 14
Same schedule as above, but on Tuesdays the castle is closed as well.
Please note that this year, due to the state the world is in, Peles castle might run on a different schedule than the normal one listed above.
Peles Castle Entrance Fees
You have two pricing options when visiting:
– the main tour: 30 lei (6.5 Euros) which includes the main floor only and lasts for about 45 minutes
– the optional tour: 60 lei (13 Euros) which also includes the upper floor and lasts for about 1 hour and 15 minutes
If you are retired and have a proof, you will pay half of that price. Students and children will pay 7.5 lei / 15 lei respectively, depending on the tour type they choose.
Additionally, if you want to take photos (even with your phone), you have to pay an extra 30 lei, while filming would cost you an additional 60 lei.
We went for the full tour but I personally think that choosing the main one only would’ve been just as good unless you really are a history buff and like learning everything about the castle.
To make things even easier, you can book a guided tour in advance and avoid having to worry about getting your ticket, waiting in lines or whatnot.
The upper level mostly holds bedrooms and less impressive rooms so if you’re in a hurry or you don’t want to spend too much, I’d say that you can safely go for the main tour only. But the guide is knowledgeable and fun and made the whole thing worthwhile.
If you have the chance to get there, you should definitely visit Peles Castle. Its proximity to both Bucharest and Brasov make it a great choice for those traveling in the area.
The city itself – Sinaia – looks really good and, even though small, it can offer some nice views and great dining spots or sightseeing places.
Put aside at least half a day for the whole thing or, even better, plan to get there in the morning and leave in the evening so that you have time for everything and are not in a hurry.
What do you think about Peles, though? Does it look like a place you’d like to visit?