Best Things to Do in Sinaia: A Perfect 24 Hours!

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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. 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?

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.

24 hours in sinaia

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. There are so many great options to choose from that I’m sure you’ll find something in your price range.

24 Hours: Things to Do in Sinaia

What to Pack

Sinaia is sunny in the summer, so don’t forget the sunscreen. And in the mountains, you’re closer to the sun so you need more protection. That’s just science. My favorite is the Neutrogena spray bottle because it’s so easy to apply. And as a solo traveler, I can actually use it myself on my own back. I just put it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.

Best Things to Do in Sinaia: A Perfect 24 Hours! 2

You’ll also need comfy sandals for all the walking we’re going to do in Sinaia, especially up and down the mountains. I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes. At least I think the Romanians were complimenting me. My Romanian is still very bad, so I can’t be sure.

Finally, if you’re not from Romania, you need a universal adapter if you’re going to plug in electronics. European electrical outlets don’t work with American plugs. I suggest the NEWVANGA travel adapter. It’s usable with any electrical outlet in the world, so you won’t need to keep buying new adapters. I always carry two with me, just in case something happens to one. Not that I ever dropped one off a mountain. AHEM.

things to do in sinaia

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.

things to do in sinaia

You can (and should) take a 40 minute guided tour of the castle to learn more about the history of King Carol and the building of his ostentatious summer abode. Sometimes you have to wait a bit for the English language tours to start, so I recommend buying your tour ticket as soon as you arrive at the castle. You can find information about opening hours and prices on the official website here. It’s in Romanian, but that’s what Google Translate is for.

best things to do in sinaia

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.”

best things to do in sinaia
24 Hour Tip: Have Lunch at Hotel Marami

I say that you really must grab lunch here not because it is the best restaurant in Sinaia, but because it is the only restaurant 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.

best things to do in sinaia

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. 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

Sinaia Monastery mosaic
1) Visit Sinaia Monastery

Why not start 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. 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.

Sinaia Monastery
24 Hour Tip

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.

Bucegi Mountain
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 is Donald Trump’s name? 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.)

Sinaia Romania Cat
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.

dimitrie ghica park

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.

best things to do in sinaia

Further Reading: Things to Do in Sinaia

Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Sinaia right now? Then let me help you out with some further reading suggestions so you can get the most out of your time with 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.

If you’re traveling in or near Transylvania, you should, of course, read the classic novel Dracula. The author, Bram Stoker, was not at all Romanian, but the book has had a huge influence on Romanian tourism and how the country is perceived by non-Romanians. Also it’s really fun to put on a cape and sweep into rooms saying, “Cheeeldren of the night! What music they make!”

My favorite Romanian writer is the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco. If “absurd plays” sound dry and boring, I promise they aren’t. He’s one of the funniest writers I’ve ever read. The Bald Soprano is my favorite one of his plays, but I promise all of them are worth your time, if you want to laugh until your face hurts.

Note: 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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