Pelisor Castle Romania – A Day Trip from Bucharest

Pelisor Castle Romania

Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit Bucharest and the Transylvanian countryside and visit Pelișor Castle in Romania. This hidden gem is nestled in the picturesque town of Sinaia, a two hours commute from the capital of Bucharest. This Art Nouveau masterpiece, once a royal residence, is captivating with its intimate ambiance and exquisite decor, surrouned by the Carpathian mountains, a must visit in you’re in Romania!

Why visit Pelisor castle 

If you’re headed to Romania, make sure Pelișor Castle is on your list. Nestled in the heart of Sinaia, this castle isn’t just a detour from the usual tourist path. I found it a fascinating dive into the country’s royal history. A cozy, art nouveau style, with opulent ornaments and intricate wooden carvings to marvel at.

Pelișor Castle is part of the larger complex of Peleș Castle (as its more famously known) and offers a more intimate glimpse into the lives of Romania’s monarchs. I found the vibe and decor detailed and stunning, and the surrounding Carpathian landscape? Absolutely breathtaking. We were there is late March when there happened to have been some snowfall a few days before, adding extra majestic vibes to the landscape! 

 It’s easy to get there, and you can explore it in under an hour—perfect for fitting into a packed itinerary. Whether you’re snapping pics or just soaking in the ambiance of the marvelous structure, Pelișor Castle in Romania delivers that perfect blend of history, art, and nature.  I high recommend adding on of Romania’s most picturesque and historic spots to your itinerary!

Pelisor Castle Romania

Pelisor castle tickets

Here’s the most efficient way to secure your tickets and make the most out of your trip to this historical gem.

Booking Tickets for Pelisor Castle Romania

The most straightforward way to get your tickets is online. This not only saves you time but also guarantees entry on busy days with queues at the castle entrance. 

Visit the official Pelișor Castle website to purchase in advance. We were there on the cusp of summer in April and still found that the lines can get pretty long, so best to purchase in advance!

Royal castle romania

Ticket Prices

General admission costs 20 RON (about 4 EUR), which grants you access to the main areas of the castle. There are discounts available for students and seniors, so have your ID handy if this applies.

Opening Hours

Pelișor Castle is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday

The doors open at 9:15 AM and close at 4:15 PM, with the last admission usually an hour before closing. Note that hours can vary, particularly during the off-season, so it’s a good idea to verify the current times on their website before your visit.

A note on tour groups: We did our tour through a tour group, however I would note that most tour groups cover transport to and from Bucharest to Peles Castle as well as some general history and context, however most tickets don’t include the cost of entrance, and as such these tickets need to be purchased in advance even if you are going with a tour group. Therefore, if you are going with a tour group, its best to check inclusion of entrance fee in the ticket price. 

Line at castle entrance

Pelisor  Castle from Bucharest: How to get there 

Only 2 hours from Bucharest, Pelișor Castle is definitely worth a day trip! After exploring Bucharest city for 2 days, I found explore beyond the city and dive into Romania’s royal history. The castle, an architectural jewel in the Carpathian Mountains, is easily accessible from the capital and promises an enriching experience filled with art and history.

Pelisor Castle by Car 

The most convenient way to get to Pelișor Castle is by car. The journey typically takes around 2 hours, covering approximately 87 miles (140 kilometers). You should head north from Bucharest, taking the A3 motorway towards Ploiești, and then continue on DN1 to Sinaia. We found the roads are well-maintained, especially approaching the mountain region, with  picturesque views and snow covered hills from the recent snowfall a few days before our trip! There is parking available near the castle (about 5 mins away) making this option straightforward and stress-free.

Pelișor Castle by Train 

For those preferring public transport, the train is a viable and scenic option. Trains from Bucharest to Sinaia depart regularly from Gara de Nord station in North Bucharest, with the journey taking about 1.5 to 2 hours. This route is pretty economical and also goes through some stunning views of the valleys and hills of the Prahova Valley. Once in Sinaia, Pelișor Castle is a 20-minute walk from the train station, or a short taxi ride. This is a great way to take in the local atmosphere through the town after the castle.

Group Tours of Pelisor Castle in Romania

Group tours to Pelișor Castle from Bucharest are great if you want to cover additional nearby castles on the same day and want your transport taken care of! This was the option I opted for and am glad I did! Iand found  it not only convenient but also nice have guides explaining the castle history and significance beforehand. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering this option:

  • Timing: Most tours begin early in the morning, around 7:00 AM, to ensure that you can make the most of the day. The tours typically return to Bucharest by early evening, usually around 7:00 PM, making it a full 12-hour day! This schedule allows ample time to explore Pelișor Castle, as well as other nearby attractions such as the Bran castle in nearby Transylvania, which I found most tours covered in their itinerary
  • Cost: Prices for these tours can vary depending on the operator and the specifics of the tour, but generally, you can expect to pay between $40 to $100 per person. This price often includes transportation, with some also including entry fees to Pelișor Castle and any additional sites, and the services of a professional guide.
  • Additional Benefits:
    • Skip-the-line advantages. This meant quicker access to getting inside the castle, which I was happy about!
    • Expert Guidance: Insightful commentary on each site’s history and cultural significance, enhancing your understanding and experience.
snowfall at Pelisor castle

Booking a Tour of Pelisor Castle Romania

I would highly recommend booking these through as Viator, GetYourGuide, or TripAdvisor. I read quite a lot of reviews for a few tours though Tripadvisor, then ultimately booked mine through Getyourguide. You can book these tours through local travel agencies in Bucharest but I preferred to have this booked in advance given I was going to there over a busier time of public holidays.  

I thoroughly researched several  tour companies, the best ones I found were both on Get Your Guide:

  1. Bucharest: Dracula’s Castle, Peles Castle, & Brasov Old Town
  2. From Bucharest: Dracula Castle, Peles & Brasov Full-Day Trip

Booking with a tour group for a visit to Pelișor Castle can have several advantages, depending on your travel style and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of why it might be worth considering:

Pros of booking with a Tour Group

Most tours meant for exploring the historic landmarks most often include both Bran Castle and Pelișor Castle in the itinerary around Bucharest (read more). This is actually a pragmatic choice, given the fact that the travel between the two sites is rather streamlined. Bran Castle attached to the Dracula legend is a dramatic contrast to Pelisor’s Art Nouveau elegance, offering rich and varied sightseeing in a day. This mix maximizes travel experience and offers a strong combination of folklore, history, and royal architecture within the comfort of one tour.

Pelisor castle interior
  • Hassle-free Planning – Every logistical arrangement—transportation, tickets, and more—is done for you by the tour groups. A huge relief more so if you are not quite familiar with the area or language used locally.
  • Expert Insight – The guide will be able to narrate a deeper insight into the history and architecture of the castle than you possibly could if left to roam around by yourself or with audio guides (although I must say the audio guides here were pretty good!)
  • Cost-effective – Cost of transport to each different castle can work out cheaper when bundled together, making the overall cost lower than what it could be individually to visit them. Plus, some tour include ticket /cost of entrance tickets as well.

Cons of bookng with a Tour Group

  • No flexibility – Being in a tour binds you to their time schedule. It means having no more time to explore at your own pace or linger in places that interest you most.
  • Potentially crowded – As it depends on the group size of the tour, this is an experience that might not be very personal if you are looking for an intimate visit.
  • Cost – While it can sometimes be cheaper than doing everything yourself, a tour can be more expensive than organizing your visit, especially if it includes extras that you do not necessarily need.

Ultimately, whether booking with a tour group for Pelișor Castle is worth it depends on your priorities. If you value convenience and detailed historical context over flexibility and pacing, then a tour group is a great choice. However, if you prefer to set your own schedule and explore at your own pace, you might enjoy visiting on your own more.

Bran Castle v Pelisor Castle in Romania

Pelisor castle is often compared to Bran (Dracula) Castle. Compared to Bran Castle, the Pelișor Castle site is stunning, representing a quite splendid and ornately decorated slice of Romania’s rich history and culture. The castle allures to a totally different set of interests and tastes. It is built not so far from the city of Brașov, in the dramatic scenery between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului. It is famously related to the Dracula legend; thus, it is a must-go area for every person interested in tales of Vlad the Impaler and the fictional Count Dracula by Bram Stoker. The castle itself is a striking example of medieval architecture, with imposing towers and turrets rising dramatically above the forest.

Pelisor castle interior

Of course, visitors generally come for the Dracula connection but usually leave much more appreciative of the real history of the Romanian royals and the critical role that this fortress had played in defending the region from invaders. On the other hand, Pelișor Castle is the antithesis. Located in Sinaia, at arm’s length from the more pompous and chic Peleș Castle, Pelișor is a masterpiece in the style of Art Nouveau. Built in the early 20th century as a royal palace, today the boutique, intimate feel is in stark contrast to its grand neighbor. The richly decorated interior features golden oak, which works together to create an inviting and warm feeling.

Bran Castle

Its masterpiece is the Golden Room of Queen Marie, adorned with Thistle patterns, witnessing to her ardent feeling of belonging to the Art Nouveau movement. Part of the original furnishings, the objects and works displayed in Pelișor cast some light on the intimate life of the Romanian royal family, more precisely that of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie.

Pelisor Castle – Useful things to know 

Additional Tips: Regardless of how you travel, planning your visit to Pelișor Castle as part of a day trip is entirely doable and highly recommended. The castle opens its doors to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM, but it’s a good idea to verify the latest visiting hours and any potential closures on their official website before you set off. Also, consider combining your visit to Pelișor with a stop at the nearby Peleș Castle, just a few minutes away, to make the most of your trip to Sinaia. Both castles offer a peek into Romania’s royal past and boast extensive collections of art and antiques.

By setting off early and planning your itinerary wisely, a day trip to Pelișor Castle from Bucharest can be a comfortable, enriching experience that easily fits into a broader exploration of Romania’s cultural and historical landscape.

Are you interested is seeing more of Eastern Europe? Check out my post on visiting Prague, City of 100 Spires!