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Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Colorado
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Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Hi,

My wife and I will be travelling through Transylvania in May. We plan to spend a couple of days in Sighisoara and then travel by train to Brasov and Sinaia. It seems like there's more that we want to see in Sinaia than Brasov.

Is it practical to travel from Sighisoara making a stop for a few hours in Brasov and then continue on to Sinaia to stay the night? Would we be missing out on a lot in Brasov if we don't give it a full day? Can anyone recommend a good place to stay in Sinaia? I've looked at the Hotel Economat--is it ok? Thanks for any good advice you can offer.

1. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

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Removed on: 14 November 2007, 20:41
Colorado
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2. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Gabriella,

Thanks for your advice. I planned most of our trip before I realized that renting a car is the best way to see Romania (trains were easier/cheaper everywhere else in Europe).

We fly into Cluj and out of Bucuresti five days later. Since it wouldn't be possible to return a car to Cluj, renting a car would probably be very expensive or maybe not even possible :(

I've read that the IC trains are fairly fast and reliable; is that true? Are the Rapid and Accelerat ok to take as well, or would you suggest avoiding them? Is it necessary to visit a CFR to buy tickets in advance for the routes we're taking? I've heard that the trains to the Black Sea book up in the summer. Do you know whether the trains in Transylvania do as well?

Are the mountains near Brasov as nice as those near Sinaia? Bucegi was part of the reason I'm so interested in Sinaia. I'm a little hesitant to visit Bran because I've heard so many people say it's a tourist trap. Have you been there? What did you think?

I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. If you're ever taking a trip the US(especially out west--Colorado, New Mexico, or Arizona) let me know. I'd be glad to give you advice.

Thanks,

-Eric

3. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

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Removed on: 23 July 2007, 00:17
NYC
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4. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

I have been to Romania a few times. I think Sinaia is a must. I stayed at Hotel Montana. 4 stars for $50USD about 3 years ago. I was in Sinaia in 1993. Check the tripadvisor reviews for Sinaia. Please note, Peles Castle is closed I think on Mondays or one of the weekdays.

If you want a taste of Brasov, I would spend an afternoon. Walk the center of town and good shops there. A few have nice Romanian handicrafts. The hotel offerings are limited in Brasov. Nice pensions near Sacele. Poina Brasov is pretty. But you are from Colorado and can see ski resorts there.

Sighisoara is a gem. I stayed in Albesti in a new Hotel Europa about 10 minute s from Sighisoara in the countryside.. I think some of the hotels in Sighisoara need renovating. Bran Castle is interesting. Yes, it is tourist trap but in May should not be bad. I bought several Romanian handicrafts outside the castle and glad I did because hard to find elsewhere. Sibiu is a beautiful gem. Sibiu will be the Cultural Heritage City of Europe in 2007. A car allows you more freedom, especially to get to Bran Castle and Poina Brasov.Romanian driving is crazy. Carts, gypsies, big trucks, no railing, cars, jalopy trucks putttering along. Good Luck!! But for a quick trip to Romania, you could take the IC train. Visit Brasov and Sinaia. Many Americans never get out of Bucharest and miss the real beauty of Romania. Don't spend too much time in Bucharest. I too will be flying into Cluj in early May. Maybe we will run into each other on the train!

Kingston Jamaica
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5. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

I haven't been to Romania for years since 1997. I understand things have improved a lot since then. Anyway the Economat although then not very luxurious is one of the most wonderful hotels you will ever see. It is a turn of the 20th century admin building to the Peles Castle hence its name, not related to modern hotel pricing.

Kingston Jamaica
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6. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

I haven't been to Romania for years since 1997. I understand things have improved a lot since then. Anyway the Economat although then not very luxurious is one of the most wonderful hotels you will ever see. It is a turn of the 20th century admin building to the Peles Castle hence its name, not related to modern hotel pricing.

Colorado
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7. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Dear Gabriela,

I tried emailing you at Gabriela@earomania.com last weekend, but I don’t think it got through, so I’ll try posting and emailing again :)

I think you've convinced me about the rental car--especially after looking at the photos on earomania.net and realizing how much more we can see if we're not tied to train schedules. I checked out the rental car page at earomania.com and found the Hyundai Accent you were talking about. I wasn’t quite sure how you got the 230 EUR price estimate, though; does that include the transfer fee?

Since we arrive so late on the 23rd, it probably makes the most sense to reserve the car starting on the 24. Do you know if it's possible to get the car delivered to our hostel in Cluj early in the morning on May 24th and drop the car off at Baneasa Airport (Buc.) on Sunday?

Having looked at your website, I'm fascinated by the beauty of Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. Given that we have such a short amount of time in Romania, do you think Corvin is worth going out of our way to see? Are the mountain roads from Turda to Deva safe (getting from Cluj to Hunedoara), or is it best to stick to the more major roads via Sebes? If we left Cluj by midmorning 24.05, is it reasonable to see Corvin Castle and still arrive in Sighisoara by that evening, or would you recommend staying in Sibiu instead? I have previously reserved a room for that night (24.05) and the following (25.05) in Sigh., but I could change the reservation if best.

I've read that Sighisoara is the most authentically preserved medieval town; what's your impression? Is it worthy of two nights’ stay? From Sihisoara, I thought we could drive to Bran, Rasnov, Brasov and Sinaia. I'm still not sure where we'll stay in that area--possibly Rasnov or Sinaia (the Economat looks nice). Have you stayed there?

Sorry for so many questions, the books and other information on Romania leave a lot to be desired, so I'm really excited to have an expert to talk with. Thank you so much for taking the time to help with our plans--we're really excited to see Romania.

Best Regards,

-Eric Klinger

Iasi, Romania
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8. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Hello Eric,

You are right, the e-mail never got through. You can try at gabriela_earomania@yahoo.com also.

There are some discounts for the cars that are not available on the site at this point, so the pricing for the Hyundai for the period 24 may-28 may, would be 192 euro, with transfer to Cluj at your hostel included. The car can be picked up at Baneasa Airport at the time you choose on Sunday the 28th.

From Cluj to Hunedoara is exactly 106.83 miles (172 km), and from Hunedoara to Sighisoara it is 119.5 miles (192 km). It would probably take you 3.5 hours to get to Hunedoara and maximum 4 hours from Hunedoara to Sighisoara. The roads were fairly good last time I was there, so you should not have problems. You should follow this road: Cluj – Turda – Alba Iulia – Sebes – Orastie- Simeria – Hunedoara (When you are getting close to Hunedoara you have two options on how to get there: There will be a first intersection showing to go to Hunedoara, don’t choose that one, drive a little further, about 1 kilometer and you will find another sign directing you to Hunedoara, take this one, it is more straight and the road is better).

You will arrive in Sighisoara at around 5 or 6 pm depending on how much time you will spend at the castle. (It is indeed a beautiful preserved Castle). I will be in Hunedoara on 12th may, so I can inform you on the road conditions closer to your trip.

If you decide to go to Hunedoara than 2 nights in Sighisoara is what you will need, to be able to enjoy the citadel also. Sighisoara is among the preferred cities on my list and a joy to always go back. I know an accommodation there, to which the legend says that Dracula ( Vlad Tepes or Vlad Dracul), used to take his mistress. They offer 50% discount to the Vlad Dracul Restaurant (the house where Vlad Tepes was born). Quite charming restaurant with a nice terrace. The Pension is situated in the citadel, and is furnished in medieval style. The prices are not too bad either. Don’t forget to climb the Covered Steps while you are there, if you are fit.

I do not have any accommodation to recommend you for Rasnov, but I know 2 in Bran, both with view towards the Bran Castle (Dracula Castle). The prices for either of these 2 is around 35 euro/night, breakfast is optional. As for the Economat Hotel…I never stayed there, but the location really gets an A++++++++. It is 100 meter far from Peles Castle. The restaurant is ok, but can’t say I would miss the food:P. When you are hungry anything goes.

If you decide on the Hyundai just feel free to book it and at general comments just mention tripadvisor, so I remember about the discount.

Since you will be in the area, don’t forget about Rasnov Fortress. The 360 degrees panorama is breathtaking, and the fortress is in a very good condition and very well preserved. In fact they are working on renovating it.

When you are in Sighisoara, there is another place you might not want to miss. Try visiting the Biertan fortified church. It is a Unesco Monument and it really left a strong impression on me. Not only the Church itself but the village and the people. Feels like another world.

And don’t worry about the many questions. It is a pleasure to help and share my experiences.

As I said…early may I will be all over the places you mentioned, so I can inform you on the road conditions and other details that I might have missed just now.

Be excited, will be a great trip:)

Gabriela.

Boca Raton, FL, USA
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9. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Hi,

My husband and I will be travelling to Romania May 3rd through May 14th.

We'd like to see the Peles Castel, a bit of Sighisoara and Brasov. The only days we put aside for this are May 10th to May 13th. The best hotel?

Any sugestions on what should we do best? I'd like to go by train from Bucharest. My husband wants by car. What is good? I do not like how they drive and I do not like the roads.

Iasi, Romania
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10. Re: Staying in Sinaia vs. Brasov?

Hello,

As I told Eric, it is best you are not tied to train schedules, so a car is most preferable. Try 3 days in Brasov area. I reccomend accommodation in Bran.

- drive from Bucharest to Sinaia. Visit Peles Castle and Sinaia Monastery. Drive to Bran ( take shortcut from Predeal towards Rasnov, saves you 30 kilometers or so). Accommodation at Andra House ( 4 star pension) in Bran, with view towards Bran Castle.

- visit Bran Castle, visit Rasnov Fortress, visit the old city of Brasov. Accommodation still in Bran.

- drive to Sighisoara. Accommodation at Legenda House ( place where the legend , says Vlad Tepes would take his mistress). They offer 50% off at the Vlad Dracul Restaurant. Prices are pretty good.

If you need more help, e-mail me at gabriela@earomania.com

Gabriela