Peles Castle, an astonishing neo-Renaissance style castle that is nestled at the foot of the spectacular Bucegi Mountains in the scenic Romanian town of Sinaia, is one of the most renowned, iconic, and beautiful castles in the entirety of Europe.
Situated on an existing medieval route that links Transylvania and Wallachia, Peles Castle has a long-standing association with a number of historical events and figures. Here is the ultimate guide for visiting the enchanting and magical Peles Castle:
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A guide to visiting Peles Castle
History of Peles Castle
Originally commissioned by King Carol I of Romania in the year 1873, but not being completed until 1883, Peles Castle was initially built to serve as the summer residence for the Romanian royal family.
The King had completely fallen in love with the spectacular mountainous scenery, and after purchasing 5 square kilometers of land near the Piatra Arsa River, the estate became known as the Royal Estate of Sinaia. Fascinatingly, Peles Castle became the first castle in the world to be fully powered by locally produced electricity.
Though it took many years to build the castle, due to several interferences, such as the Romanian War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire between 1877 and 1878, Peles Castle was well worth the wait, as its architectural splendor is totally unique and mind-bogglingly beautiful.
As Peles Castle was a royal property, it was, alongside many others, seized by the Communist regime in the year 1947, after King Michael I’s forced abdication. It was converted into a tourist attraction for a brief period of time, and also served as a recreation and resting place for a number of different Romanian cultural personalities.
Eventually, in 1997, the castle was returned to the Romanian royal family after an extensive judicial case, that was not finalized until 2007. Today, there is a Peles National Museum on site that is open to the general public as a tourist attraction.
What to see in the interior of Peles Castle
There are so many wonderful historic things to do see and discover at Peles Castle
Firstly, there is a string of different rooms that are open to the public, including the Music Room, which houses original furniture that is carved of teak, all of which was a gift to King Carol I from the Maharajah of Kapurthala in India.
There are also some gorgeous decorative frescoes in the Theatre Hall, all of which were designed by the iconic Austrian artists, Gustav Klimt and Frantz Matsch. In addition, there are well over 4,000 Oriental and European artifacts dating from the 15th to 19th centuries, that are on display. It is also well worth visiting the Royal Library, as there is a famous secret door.
Holul de Onoare, or The Hall of Honour, is another wonderful room to explore; finished in 1911 under the guidance of Karel Liman, it is brimming with alabaster sculptures, stained glass panels, and gorgeous Bas-reliefs.
In addition, it is highly recommended to visit The Imperial Suite, which is thought to be a tribute to the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph I. It is designed in a magnificent Austrian Baroque style, and features an impeccably well-preserved five-hundred-year-old Cordoban tooled leather wall cover, which is incredibly rare.
How to get to Peles Castle from Bucharest and Brasov
Situated in Southern Romania, in Sinaia in Walachia, the closest cities to Peles Castle are Brasov and Bucharest, and there are several ways to travel to the castle from both:
Bucharest is 80 miles away, and the quickest option is to drive, which if you have a rental car, would take around 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which will cost anywhere between 70 and 100 Euro.
If you cannot hire a car, it is possible to take the train; taking just under three hours in total, this train departs daily from Bucharest Nord Gr. A and takes you directly to Sinaia. Though this option takes a long time, it is cheap, costing anywhere between 3 and 10 Euros.
Brasov is the closest city to Peles Castle, as it is just 40 miles to the north. The quickest way to get there is by driving, as this takes around 50 minutes. You can also take a taxi, which takes the same amount of time, and will cost between 25 to 30 Euros, depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can take a train that runs hourly from Brasov Nord, which takes around an hour and costs between 2 and 6 Euro.
Visit Peles Castle on a guided tour from Bucharest
The best way to visit Peles Castle if you are not driving is to book a full-day guided tour from Bucharest allowing you to visit Peles Castle, Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle) and to take a walking tour of Brasov.
You will be picked up from your centrally located hotel, hostel or accommodation, before setting off to explore the historic castles of Transylvania, situated in the medieval city of Brasov. Afterward, you will make a stop in Sinaia, where Peles Castle is situated, and spend some time exploring everything that it has to offer.
Following this, you will have some time to explore Bran, which is the renowned fortress that has long-standing associations with Bram Stoker and the legend of Count Dracula. There are also some awe-inspiring, panoramic views of the mountainous landscape.
You will also have some free time to explore all of these areas, purchase souvenirs, and visit Brasov, before being returned to your hotel.
My friends and I chose this great small group tour that included a visit to Peles Castle, Bran Castle, and Brasov. Click here for more information and to book this tour.
Peles Castle Opening Hours
Tuesday: 8:30 – 17:30 (last admission – 16:45)
Only the ground floor (basic tour) is to be visited on Tuesday
Wednesday – Sunday: 8:30 -17:30 (last admission for the ground floor – 16:40)
The optional tour (ground floor + first floor) – is to be visited between 10:00 – 15:00 (last admission)
Daily, between 12:30 – 13:00, a pause is taken in order to disinfect and to clear the air in the visiting spaces/rooms
For more information check here
Peles Castle Tickets
Adults: 30 lei.
Students: 7.5 lei.
Pensioners: 15 lei.
Children and reduced mobility: Free
It is good to have cash with you as cards might not be accepted.
Peles Castle is one of the highlights of Romania, both for its fascinating and unique history, as well as its exquisite architecture. There is so much to explore and discover here, – what are you waiting for?