One of the most important buildings and an example of Romanian architectural luxury is this castle converted into a museum. Paradoxically, the so-called Peles Castle is not such, in fact it is rather a beautiful neo-Renaissance palace, built between 1873 and 1914 by order of King Charles I to be his summer residence, and saying summer, we mean from May to October. After the arrival of communism, it was expropriated and turned into a museum in 1953, but it was not opened to the public until 1990.
It is one of the iconic buildings in the country. It has 160 rooms, and its main tower is 66 meters high. It had its own power plant, being the first palace to have electricity, including an elevator.
SCHEDULES AND PRICES
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:15 am (11 am on Wednesdays) to 4:15 pm. Closed Mondays.
- Adult price:
- 30 lei. It only includes the lower floor.
- If you want to visit also the upper floor, the price is 60 lei.
- And to take pictures inside you must pay extra 35 lei.
- The audio guide costs 10 more lei.
We found it a bit abusive to have to pay more for everything, I would say they take advantage of it; we just visited the lower floor. There are discounts for students and retirees. Tickets can only be purchased on the spot at the box office.
To be able to see it, a guided tour is mandatory; It lasts 40 minutes, or 1 hour and 15 minutes in case of doing the basic tour (ground floor) plus the optional one (first floor). If we visit the castle through an organized excursion that includes Brasov and Bran Castle, we will have to wait for our group to be assigned an order number; If we have reached the castle by our own means, we must be assigned to a group, which is made up of a maximum of 20 people. While the groups are organized, we have to wait outside, that can be inconvenient on a rainy day, as happened to us.
The interior is ornate and ostentatious. There are extensive collections of European art paintings, and highlight its weapons and armor rooms, especially those Eastern type, from the 14th-17th centuries. There are several rooms full of noble carved wood, gold, large lamps and Italian neo-Renaissance decoration, including a spectacular library. There are also rooms decorated in Middle East style. Its collections of silver, ceramics, clocks and glass are also outstanding.
Such an impressive building deserved according gardens, formed from terraces decorated with statues and fountains.
Within the complex there is also the smallest Pelisor Castle, built between 1899 and 1902, which can be visited separately, after the payment of another 20 lei. In my opinion, it doesn’t look like a castle, reminiscent of a mansion its style between Tudor and Central European, although officially its style is art nouveau. The schedules are similar to those of Peles Castle, with the exception that it also closes on Tuesdays. We did not visit it.
HOW TO GO TO PELES CASTLE FROM BUCHAREST, BRAN CASTLE OR BRASOV
- Peles Castle is located in Sinaia town, about 140 km north of Bucharest by road, for those arriving by car. There is parking at the entrance, but buses and minibuses of organized groups usually fill it in high season.
- Sinaia has a train station, and is an intermediate station on the Bucharest – Brasov line, so we can get from Bucharest, visit Peles Castle, and continue towards Brasov.
- There are trains from Bucharest Nord from 6:05 am to 9:05 pm (return from 4:31 am to 9:22 pm), more than 20 a day, to Sinaia. They take between 1h30m and 2h40m. Price from 20 lei one way, although most tickets are around 40.
- To continue to Brasov are the same number of trains per day, the journey takes an hour and hardly costs from 8 lei.
- We can also go to many other cities in Romania; For details on routes and buy tickets, see the official CFR Calatori rail transport website.
- Bus: there are no direct buses that stop in Sinaia from Bucharest. We would have to stop in Ploiesti and services are very scarce, less than one a day. From Sinaia there are two buses a day to Brasov, but having more than 20 trains at our disposal, going by bus is a desire to complicate our lives.
- Maxitaxis or minibuses, are an acceptable alternative to trains. They stop in Sinaia on their way between Brasov and Bucharest, from where they depart every half hour, the ticket from one city to another costs 40 lei and takes 3 hours. They are convenient to get to Sinaia, but to get out of town, being able to take them or not will depend on whether they are full.
- There are many who decide to visit it as part of a day tour from Bucharest, which also includes Brasov and Dracula’s Castle. For information on these tours, see their specific article.
From the center of Sinaia there is no public transport to the castle, we will have to:
- Walking almost an hour uphill.
- Take a local bus, lines T1, T2 or T3, (2 lei per ticket), from 6 am to 9 pm approximately. Tehy leave us more than 1 km from the entrance, so we will not skip some walking.
- Or a taxi, but as always, watch out for taxis in Romania. Best take an Uber if available.