Peleș Castle, built between 1874 and 1914 in Sinaia, was the summer residence of Romanian King Carol I. It has over 170 rooms, several secret passages, and is one of the first palaces in the world to have a central vacuum system. After the Romanian monarchy was deposed, the castle became property of the Communist Party. It’s currently owned by the royal family once again, but is being leased back to the government as a museum. I highly recommend taking the time to visit the castle on a day trip from Bucharest or Brașov.
Peleș Castle, about a 20 minute walk from the train station, is open to visitors every day except Monday (Monday and Tuesday in winter). Different tour packages are available, starting with just the ground floor at 20 lei (45 minutes), the ground floor and personal living quarters of the royal family on the first floor at 50 lei (75 minutes), and a grand tour of all floors including the second floor guest quarters at 70 lei (1 hour 45 minutes). No photos are allowed inside, but a photo pass can be purchased for an additional 32 lei (the photo rule wasn’t strictly enforced).
There’s no admission charged for the grounds of the castle. It’s enjoyable to roam around the perfectly manicured gardens and see the exterior details of the castle. In the garden in front of the castle, a statue of King Carol I stands proudly. The setting of the castle is also breathtaking, among thousands of trees in a forested mountain area.
The following photos are from the tour. What you are about to see is a display of great excess and opulence that rivals all of the other great castles in Europe. Everything I saw in this castle was jaw dropping and simply magnificent. I won’t talk about the rooms. Instead, I will divide them into categories by each tour package so you can see for yourself. Please note that I am leaving out some rooms and this is just a taste of what you will see if you visit the castle. The first set is from the ground floor only tour.
The next set of photos is from the tour package including the first floor personal living quarters of the royal family. The only thing I want to point out are the chairs in the reception room. They’re made of teak wood from India that took over 100 years and three generations to carve.
The third and final set of photos is from the tour package including the second floor guest quarters. Composer George Enescu was a frequent guest.
Another smaller castle, Pelișor Castle, is also open to the public. Admission is 20 lei and tours take about 45 minutes. This castle was built near Peleș Castle in 1899 as a summer home for the future King Ferdinand I and his wife, the popular Queen Marie, a granddaughter of the British Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II of Russia. In fact, Queen Marie had much to do with the interior design of the castle.