Greetings, Internet Stranger! So you want to find the best things to do in Sinaia Romania? Well, first you might be asking yourself what Sinaia is! Before my trip to Romania, I had never heard of Sinaia, so I’m assuming you haven’t heard of it either. It is an extremely popular town for hiking and skiing, so it is chock full o’ tourists in the summer and winter.
However, from what I could tell these tourists seemed to be largely from other parts of Romania, not from the United States or the rest of Europe. So if you’re looking to get a bit off the beaten track in a country that is already a bit off the beaten track, you’ve come to the right place! Aren’t you the clever hipster?
Want to cut right to the chase, Internet Stranger? The best activity in Sinaia is this skip the line castle tour with tons of five-star reviews!
Or if you want to explore all tours in Sinaia, check this search engine right here to find the best deals!
24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia
Where to Stay?
Sinaia is not a huge town, so there aren’t a million hotel choices for your 24 hours in Sinaia. Your main choice will be if you want to stay in the mountains or at the base of the mountains. I suggest staying at Hotel Marami, which is in the mountains. I promise it’s the right choice because of the stunning views.
It is very affordable, and it’s also close to Peles Castle, which is definitely one of the best things to do in Sinaia. But keep in mind that it’s a bit of a walk uphill from the train station. And in the summer it’s quite hot, so you might sweat like a Romanian piglet. I know that I did. However, if I can manage to lug my wheelie bag up there, I think you can too, Internet Stranger! I’m a weak and pathetic person.
Click here to find a great deal on this hotel.
Or if you’d rather explore other amazing hotel options in Sinaia, just click here.
This search engine will show you how to find the best place to stay when you’re exploring the best things to do in Sinaia, no matter what your budget or other needs are.
24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia
Morning: Peles Castle
Aside from the hiking, this castle is the must-do out of all the best things to do in Sinaia. Peles Castle was the summer residence of Romanian King Carol I, which surprises me because he was known for being a tough guy and having a Steel Crown, and this cupcake of a castle looks more like it would have been the brainchild of a Mad King Ludwig.
Yet let it never be said that a man can’t enjoy a pink cupcake as much as a steel crown, and if you find it extremely pleasant to while away a morning staring at the mountains while standing on the terrace of this chateau, I’m sure King Carol felt just the same. You’re very simpatico like that.
I wish I could take you gently by the hand and lead you all around every curlicue and trompe l’oeil detail in this stunning palace, but sadly that’s not possible, even through the magic of the internet. But I can certainly share with you…
Three Fun Facts: Peles Castle
1) What’s the best way to see Peles Castle?
If you want to maximize your time at Peles Castle and in Sinaia in general, the best way to see the castle is to get a skip-the-line guided tour of the building. You’ll learn so much more about the castle’s history this way, and you’ll get a personalized experience that you wouldn’t get if you go with the larger group tours.
Check rates and attractions easily by clicking here.
Keep in mind that Peles Castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so you can’t book a tour for those dates.
2) What’s Special About the Peles Castle?
I think the trompe l’oeil details on the castle are the most special feature. Trompe l’oeil means trick the eye in French, so a trompe l’oeil detail is part of a painting that is trying to trick the viewer in some way–like a painted window that looks like a real window.
You can spend the waiting time trying to find as many trompe l’oeil details on the exterior of the castle and in the courtyard as possible. I always wonder if those really ever fooled people. Did courtiers sit around saying things like, “MY GOD! There are two beautiful pigeons just perched on the side of the castle over there….Oh my bad! Just another trompe l’oeil detail.”
3) What’s this about a King Carol?
So the first thing you should know about King Carol is that Carol is just the Romanian version of the name Charles or Karl. King Carol I, who resided in Peles Castle, was actually German and not Romanian at all. I guess that explains why this castle looks like it would appeal to Mad King Ludwig!
The reason a German became king of Romania is kind of a long story. Romania hadn’t been an independent country for very long because it used to be part of the Ottoman Empire. They were having some trouble finding a king because they had expelled their previous leader, Ioan Cuza.
Apparently a bunch of people turned down the job of King of Romania before they settled on King Carol. I don’t personally understand this. If someone offered me the job of Queen of Romania, I’d definitely say yes, even if just to rub it in the faces of the girls who were mean to me in junior high.
24 Hour Tip
Those are all the secrets of Peles Castle that I can share with you for now.
Check rates and attractions by going here to find out the rest!
24 Hour Tip: Have Lunch at Hotel Marami
Before we continue on our day of the best things to do in Sinaia, we need to eat! I say that you really must grab lunch here not because it is the best restaurant in Sinaia, but because it is the only decent restaurant I could find near Peles Castle.
They have an outdoor terrace so no matter what you order, it will be accompanied by a scrumptious view of the mountains. During the summer in Sinaia, you’ll be able to eat outside on most days because the weather is so lovely.
I had a chef salad; it was fine although for some reason it had noodles in it. They didn’t taste bad, but I have never seen noodles in a chef’s salad before. But I guess there’s no reason you can’t have noodles in a chef’s salad. After all, the name suggests that the salad should contain whatever the chef feels like putting in it.
If I were a chef, I’d make a chef salad that was just a whole punch of peanut butter and chocolate mixed together because those are my two favorite foods. Then if someone complained that it wasn’t a salad, I would yell, “It’s a chef salad, and I’m the chef!!” Then I would walk away–mic drop!
24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia
Afternoon: Explore Sinaia
Sinaia is an adorable town full of quaint buildings, lush trees, and most importantly, bananas views of the majestic Bucegi Mountains. I promise you won’t get bored finding the best of the best things to do in Sinaia. Take the whole afternoon to just wander around and enjoy what the town has to offer. To help you get started, I provide…
Approximately Top 5: Best Things to Do in Sinaia
1) Visit Sinaia Monastery
Why not start our afternoon of the best things to do in Sinaia with the place the town of Sinaia was named after, Sinaia Monastery? It is a Romanian Orthodox monastery, and if you visit you’ll be able to see some of the mosaics that Orthodox churches are so famous for.
After you pay the nominal admission fee, spend some time wandering the grounds and examining the monastery’s treasures. They are small and mostly consist of mosaics, but they are lovely nonetheless. Perhaps you will learn, as I was unable to, why they had a mosaic of Scarlett O’Hara in that dress she made out of the curtains.
24 Hour Tip
Orthodox churches generally require modest attire, even during the hot summer months. That means no tank tops if you are a lady. I learned this lesson the hard way. Be sure to bring a jacket with you so that your shoulders will be covered. Otherwise, you can’t go inside. I didn’t see any shawls available for rent.
2) Explore the Mountain
After visiting the monastery, you will want to spend some time wandering around the mountainside gently wending your way to its foot. Don’t worry about getting lost! If I didn’t get lost, you won’t either because I have the worst sense of direction in all the land. Just head down and you can’t miss the bottom of the mountain.
3) Take the Train Tour
Once you reach the bottom of the mountain, you will want to explore the town of Sinaia itself. There’s not that much to see, but my favorite attraction was this little train that goes up and down the mountain. You can get on the train outside of Dimitrie Ghica Park.
Our aged driver, who was probably a vampire and definitely didn’t speak any English, took my 8 lei (approximately 2 American dollars) and let me sit in the back of the train. Everyone else on the train was either a family or old people, but I didn’t care. The views were outstanding and that’s all that mattered to me.
4) Relax in Dimitrie Ghica Park
After a busy day of sightseeing, I recommend a restful activity in the late afternoon, and nothing is more relaxing than sitting and reading in a beautiful park like this one when the weather is pleasant. You can just sit here and relax until it is time for dinner.
I have since learned that the beautiful building pictured above is a casino, which confuses me as an American. Where are the neon signs? Why isn’t it gold plated? Where are Siegfried and Roy? I can only hope that they at least have Cirque du Soleil or David Copperfield performing inside.
If you are feeling peckish, you can get a cheap snack like “placinta cu branza” from one of the vendors at the entrance of the park. Keep in mind that though all of the snacks listed have different names, all Romanian snacks are just carbs filled with some kind of cheese. (Placinta cu branza literally means pie with cheese.)
5) Go on a cat hunt
Of course, I don’t mean that you should go shoot some poor Romanian cats, you monster. I just mean to keep a weather eye out for any adorable kitties on the loose. I generally believe that cats are witches in disguise so I’m always trying to spot a witch-cat in the wild.
Indeed, I found one in Ireland already, and now I think I found another hiding near the mountain foot in Sinaia. This is Romania, though, so it might be a vampire cat instead. I try to keep an open mind.
24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia
Evening: Dinner at Snow
Snow is a cute little fake Swiss chalet restaurant on the main drag of Sinaia. Just walk away from the park towards town and you can’t miss it. The restaurant looks like it was taken from the set of Heidi and the waitresses all wear Swiss Miss outfits.
I get that the decor is like this because Sinaia is a famous skiing town, but it seems a little out of place in the summer weather. Maybe during the warm months, the restaurant could change its name to Sun? Just a suggestion.
I recommend the house specialty, which is a decadent and filling Snow Crepe filled with mushrooms, chicken, and cream. It would be perfect after a day of hitting the slopes. I am not quite sure why it is called a Snow Crepe because there is no snow in it at all.
The Snow Crepe is an unusually hearty choice for a dinner in the hot weather of August, but I figure that if you are going to eat dinner at a fake chalet named Snow, you should have the courtesy to pretend that it’s winter, just like if you’re talking to a man who thinks he’s Napoleon, you should call him Mr. Bonaparte out of politeness.
24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia
Tools For Travel
- A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos of the best things to do in Sinaia all day.
- The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics while you explore the best things to do in Sinaia.
- I always get good advice from Lonely Planet’s guide to Romania. They divide the guide into sections by region, which is very helpful.
- The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds during our wonderful day in Sinaia
- These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
- My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.
24 Hours: Best Things to Do in Sinaia
How to Get There
Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a fancy steel crown of your own. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to your day of the best things to do in Sinaia.
But I can tell you that you can use an airplane to get to Bucharest, which is the capital city of Romania. Since it’s such a big city, there are many direct flights that will take you straight here in a jiffy from another major European city.
However, I’ve never gotten a direct flight from New York City to Bucharest. Usually I go through Paris or Amsterdam. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Bucharest.
Once you’re in Romania, you’ll need to take the train to get from Bucharest to Sinaia. This is both really easy and affordable. I don’t speak Romanian, and I had no trouble finding a ticket. You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)
Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your day of the best things to do in Sinaia.
That’s the Best Things to Do in Sinaia!
What do you think are the best things to do in Sinaia? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Sinaia right now? Can a tough king also be really into pink? And is that cat a witch or a vampire? Email me at email@example.com and let me know!
Note: If you’d like to find out how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here! Keep in mind that while this article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Sinaia. If you have another 24 hours in Transylvania, try spending 24 hours in Brasov.
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