Located at an altitude of 850 meters, Busteni is one of Romania’s most famous mountain resorts. The main reasons people choose to come here are the breathtaking scenery and its many leisure options. You only need a weekend or two, three days to discover the most beautiful places to visit in Busteni.
The resort in Prahova Valley is reasonably accessible to everyone, budget-wise and location-wise. So, I consider it an ideal getaway, whether you come from Bucharest or any other city in Romania.
Busteni resort is suitable for those who practice winter sports and tourists who love hiking, nature, beautiful landscapes, or history. It’s a place to breathe the fresh mountain air and recharge your batteries, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
What I use every time I travel:
- To book hotels: Booking.com
- To book tours: GetYourGuide.com
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Where to stay in Busteni
If you want to spend more than one day in Busteni, you must look for suitable accommodation.
In Busteni there are a lot of hotels, villas, chalets, and Airbnbs, so you have plenty of options to choose a nice accommodation according to your budget. In general, I recommend Booking because it’s the most reliable platform, in my experience.
Here are my suggestions for the best hotels in Busteni:
- budget: Pensiunea Clasic – located near the castle, free parking, double and triple rooms, beautiful view
- mid-range: Moon Resort – excellent location, luxury camping, free parking, good breakfast, superb rooms
- high budget: Vila Castel Cantacuzino – situata chiar in gradina castelului, privelisti de vis, restaurant, bar
9 Best places to visit in Busteni
The first on the list of beautiful places to visit in Busteni is, without a doubt, the Cantacuzino Castle. It has a perfect positioning, in a dream setting, from where you can admire the beautiful panorama of the Bucegi Mountains. The most beautiful images of Busteni are here, on the castle terrace.
The castle was built in the neo-Romanian style, at the beginning of the 20th century, more precisely in 1911, by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, former minister of Romania. Initially, there was a hunting lodge on the same grounds belonging to the Cantacuzino family.
The architect Grigore Cerchez made the construction plan. I don’t know if he is also responsible for the castle’s garden, but it’s so beautiful. With paths, lawns, pools with artesian wells, a cave, mini waterfalls, swings, and all kinds of sculptures, a walk through the garden of Cantacuzino Castle is a delight.
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Since you are here, it’s worth visiting the castle’s interior, even if only a few furniture pieces are still there. Instead, you will surely admire the beautiful stained glass windows, the mosaics, the floor, and the paintings, and you will find out curiosities about the castle right from the guide.
Inside the castle, there are two restaurants, one overlooking the mountains, Canta Cuisine Restaurant, and the other located in the castle’s inner courtyard, Nababu ‘Restaurant. I can’t say that the dishes are unmissable, but at least a coffee, enjoyed with the fabulous view of the mountains in the background, is.
Follow me here also:
- Where is Cantacuzino Castle located:
The castle is located on Zamorei Street, about a 15-minute walk from Busteni center or a 5-minute drive away. There is paid parking inside and free parking outside, but limited places.
- How much does it cost to visit Cantacuzino Castle:
The price of a visit to the castle is 30 lei without the art gallery, and 40 lei with the gallery included. The entrance to the castle is based on groups, every 30 minutes.
READ ALSO: Best places to stay in Brasov
Cezar Petrescu Memorial House | Best places to visit in Busteni, Romania
Add to your Busteni itinerary a visit to the Cezar Petrescu Memorial House, a building dating from 1918. The house stands out with the same architectural style as Cantacuzino Castle, the neo-Romanian.
Although the house is over 100 years old, the writer had lived there, on Tudor Vladimiresc Street in Busteni since 1937, when he became the house owner. He lived here until 1960, died in 1961, and the house became a museum in 1967, six years after the writer’s death.
The bust of the writer sits in the garden of the house, as indisputable proof that he spent most of his life in this place, at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains. The interior reveals an impressive collection of 10,000 books, traditional folk style furniture, ceramic objects, statues, paintings, Oltenian rugs, and melted canvas curtains.
- When to visit the Cezar Petrescu Memorial House in Busteni
The museum is open to visitors every day, between 9 am and 5 pm, except on Mondays when it’s closed. The price of a ticket is 8 lei, with discounts for pensioners and students.
READ ALSO: Things to do in Maramures, Romania
Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman Peak
Also known as the Caraiman Cross (Crucea Caraiman), the monument was built between 1926 and 1928 in honor of the heroes who died in the First World War. It is not just a simple cross, but a Guinness World Record one. The Caraiman Cross was included in the Guinness World Records Book as the largest summit cross that sits at an altitude of 2,291 m.
Precisely, the Heroes Cross on Caraiman measures 39.5 meters and is made of steel to withstand the passage of time and meteorological phenomena.
It’s definitely one of the most exciting places to visit in Busteni, so you should know that you can get here by walking a maximum of one hour from Cabana Babele. The landscape is dreamy, and you can admire a spectacular panorama from there on a clear day.
Kalinderu Ski Resort
As I said, Busteni has many options for spending time. The main attraction here is the grain or the roller coaster or whatever you want to call it. Even children can have fun here, especially if you take them to the Fun Park. The price is 7 lei for a tour, and it’s well worth it.
The park is located next to Kalinderu Slope, one of the most important tourist attractions in Busteni, especially for those tourists who practice winter sports. There are two slopes, both considered medium-level difficulty and have a chairlift.
Urlatoarea Waterfall | Best places to visit in Busteni
The most famous and most visited waterfall in Busteni is Urlatoarea Waterfall. Its name is not chosen by chance but is related to the noise produced by it, which is very loud.
The 15-meter-long waterfall has the highest flow after the snow is melting, in spring and summer. So, if you want to see it, you may want to consider visiting during this time. It’s one of the most beautiful images in Busteni.
The route to the waterfall starts from Telecabinei Street, is marked, easily passable, and lasts about an hour round trip. Please pay close attention to bears; they frequent the area, so it’s best to visit when there is a more significant flow of tourists.
In my opinion, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Busteni is the Caraiman Monastery, a small corner of heaven with a splendid view of the mountains in the background.
Caraiman Monastery is a relatively recent religious site founded in 1998 by priest Gherontie Puiu. Being ill and hospitalized in the Sinaia Sanatorium, he had a dream in which the Virgin Mary said the following words to him: “You will find a Christmas tree with six branches, next to flowing water, on a plateau where the Caraiman Cross can be seen. There you must make the Monastery!”
He found the Christmas tree here, and they built the Monastery. Later, a wooden church was built here, similar to the churches in Maramures.
Two roads lead to the Caraiman Monastery, one through the forest, on Telecabinei Street, and one on Palanca Street, after passing the Penny store. Use the second one only if you want to get here by car, because it’s much longer.
There is also a small zoo at Caraiman Monastery, with lots of animals like swans, ponies, pigeons, turkeys, ducks, and other bird species. This garden is like a magnet for children.
If you want to stay at the Caraiman Monastery in Bucegi, you should know that there is this option, the monastery has 100 accommodation places, each with its bathroom.
I also included Ialomitei Cave in the route for Transbucegi, one of the most spectacular roads in Romania, along with Transfagarasan, Transalpina, and a few others.
The cave is located at an altitude of 1600 meters and has a length of 800 meters. Visiting it is pretty easy since you’ll find stable wooden paths inside.
Ialomita Cave is accessible on foot and cable car, on the Babele-Cave route. Also, here is the Ialomita Monastery.
Mountain trails in Busteni
The Bucegi Mountains are the most visited in our country because they have a lot of routes and access roads, and the relief is terrific. Some of these routes start right from Bucegi, the best known being Jepii Mari and Jepii Mici.
These routes, although extremely beautiful, can be very dangerous. Their ascent takes good hours, and for beginners even more so, crossing steep and unstable areas. Therefore, don’t venture on these routes in adverse weather conditions or bear alerts in the area.
You should also know that these routes have medium-high difficulty, and it is essential to be very well equipped. Also, you must have good physical condition.
The Sphinx and Babele on the Bucegi Plateau
The Sphinx and Babele, these spectacular stone formations, sculpted by nature, cannot be missing from your list of beautiful places to visit in Busteni. Although they seem to be more the result of human mastery, this is not the case.
The Sphinx and Babele (the old ladies) are located on the Bucegi Plateau, at altitudes of over 2000 meters, which means that you have several options to get here. Either follow a mountain route, go by car, or choose the cable car, which is the easiest option.
The cable car that goes up Bucegi is near the Silva Hotel. The price of the Busteni cable car is relatively high, especially since the cable car is quite outdated, slow, and very crowded in the peak season. An ascent + descent ticket costs 140 lei.
The name Sphinx was inspired by the striking resemblance to the Sphinx of Giza Egypt. The difference is in the way they were made. While humans sculpted the Sphinx of Egypt, or so it is believed, the Sphinx of Bucegi is the result of erosion.
Because these natural monuments were climbed by tourists, risking to change their shape, now they have protective fences around them. Legend has it that the Sphinx is home to an energy center used by aliens.
Also, on the Bucegi Plateau, you have to go to Omu Peak. They say that this area is the center of the Earth, a place that banishes fatigue by magic, where you are cured of diseases and full of positive energies. But until proven otherwise, everything remains a legend.
Sometimes the queues are so long that you have to wait a good few hours, both for the ascent and the descent. However, if it’s the only option you have at your disposal to reach the Bucegi Plateau, then it is worth the wait.
Valea Spumoasa Waterfall
Valea Spumoasa Waterfall is also part of the beautiful places to visit in Busteni. It’s much less known than the Urlatoarea Waterfall, which means that it is possible to have it just for you, especially if you don’t get here in a busy period.
The route to Valea Spumoasa Waterfall starts at the entrance to the forest, near the cable car, from where you will have to follow the blue cross sign. Just before reaching the waterfall, you will meet the Salvamont Busteni refuge.
Places to visit in Busteni and surroundings
One of the most beautiful mountain resorts and tourist attractions in the Prahova Valley and its surroundings is the city of Sinaia. You must visit at least once the Peles Castle, the former summer residence of the royal family. Some would say that it’s one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and I can’t contradict that because I have the same opinion.
Sinaia is a beautiful destination, which you can discover in a day or two. Among the tourist attractions in Sinaia are the Sinaia Casino, Dimitrie Ghica Park, quota 2000, Sinaia Monastery, and many others. From Busteni, you can get here very quickly by train or taxi if you don’t come in your car.
Where to stay in Sinaia:
My recommendation is to find a hotel as central as possible so that you can get very fast to the most important tourist attractions in Sinaia. My suggestions are:
- budget: Pensiunea Nicolas
- mid-range: Hotel Smart
- high budget: Ioana Hotel
The Spectacular Road that could compete with Transfagarasan or Transalpina is one of the most beautiful and unmissable tourist attractions in the Prahova Valley and its surroundings. DJ 713, as Transbucegi is also known, has a length of 20 km and covers some landscapes that will delight you.
The road connects some beautiful places in Bucegi, starting with Bolboci Lake and Ialomita Cave and ending with Scropoasa Lake or Zanoagei Gorges. It’s a very accessible route, it can be traveled without problems with any car, and it’s worth exploring in any season.
Some of the most beautiful surprises discovered on the Transbucegi road are Turbaria Laptici and Cascada 7 Izvoare, places still unknown to most. If you want to stay overnight, I recommend Pension LIN Cota 1000 or Hotel Belmont, both excellent accommodation options in Transbucegi, but for different budgets.
Brasov doesn’t need any presentation. The city at the foot of Mount Tampa is perhaps the most beautiful in Romania and has a lot of exciting places to offer. A visit to Brasov must include a walk through the old town and the Council Square, a visit to the Black Church, the First Romanian School, Catherine’s Gate, a cable car ride to Tampa, and much more.
A day in Brasov is not enough to discover it, so I recommend you spend at least three days, the ideal time to check the most beautiful places to visit in Brasov.
Where to stay in Brasov:
- budget: Wood House Republicii
- mid-range: Safrano Palace
- high budget: Vila Katharina
How to get to Busteni?
Busteni is part of Prahova County and is located quite centrally in Romania. You can get here either by train or by car. Let’s take them in turn:
- by train: You have to get off at Busteni station, which is right in the center of town. From Bucharest, it takes about an hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours and a half, and the price of a ticket starts at 18 Lei. From Brasov, the duration is reduced to 50 minutes, and the price starts from 5.3 Lei
- by car: To get to Busteni, you have to go on DN1. The distance between Bucharest and Busteni is 150 km, and the duration depends greatly on the traffic. An average would be somewhere around 2 hours.
How long do you need to visit Busteni?
The time allotted to visit the resort depends significantly on the list of places in Busteni and how long it is. If you are only interested in a day of adrenaline at the Kalinderu Ski Slope or if you want to enjoy the scenery and all the places mentioned in the article. I think three or four days in Busteni are enough for the second option.
Best places to eat in Busteni?
You can eat quite well in Busteni, but you have to know where to go. I admit, not all restaurants here are an excellent option. Besides the street food, the delicious kurtosi, the pancakes, and the langosi, the best restaurants in Busteni, from my point of view are Restaurant La Cerdac, Casa Ancutei, and Trattoria Bavaria.