From bustling cities, a lively coastline and beautiful mountains, Romania has a lot to offer, Dracula’s castle included :). Although the country as a whole is still considered a hidden gem, the castle of the most famous vampire is not.
Disclaimer: I’m Romanian and I can not be objective when talking about my country , so this post will be filled with compliments and recommendations to visit my homeland. If you’re OK with that, please read on :).
I had visited the castle many years ago, but this time, it was special because I got to share the day with Bertrand and part of my family. We allowed a full day as we had more than just one destination in mind. Our starting point was Bucharest with the first stop to Peles Castle. Only 2h by car from the capital, it would have been a shame not to visit one of the most beautiful castles in Europe :). Although it was quite packed, the castle is impressive and the guide was really good. I have a low attention span but he made me listen :).
There’s more information about Peles on visitpeles.ro including prices and opening times. However, at the time of writing this post, the website was down. If you Google Peles Castle, though, you will get this info at the top of the first page. You’re welcome :).
Afer the tour and the mandatory pictures, we drove to Bran with a stop for a late lunch. We were recommended Cetatea Gradistei for traditional Romanian food as we wanted Bertrand to experience our cuisine.So, did he like it, you might wonder. Yes, yes he did :).
Visiting Dracula’s Castle
Filled with energy from our lunch, we were ready to take on Dracula. I mean, to visit his castle :). Although many people call it Dracula’s Castle, it’s actual name is Bran Castle. There’s a really well-done website www.bran-castle.com, where you can read about Dracula’s legend and the castle’s history. Also, you can find info about entrance prices and opening times.
We were lucky to arrive at around 16pm when there were few tourists left. This meant we could visit in peace, stop for pictures and enjoy our time together. Priceless!
Photography by Bertrand Delvaux.
Tips and tricks:
How to get there: I recommend driving as it gives you more flexibility and you can make more than one stop. I remember reading at some point that Romania is one of the countries with the lowest car rental prices. Do check when planning your trip. Below is our itinerary starting in Bucharest. If you follow the same path, allow one day to visit both castles and have time for lunch, some breaks, and a photo shoot :).
Where to eat: We were recommended Cheile Gradistei for lunch as it is only a few minutes by car from Bran Castle and it serves traditional Romanian food. Please keep in mind that our cuisine is quite heavy on meat and if you are vegetarian there are few options.
What else to see: First, you are in the mountains area, so if you are visiting in the winter, you can ski. Second, there are other landmarks to visit like Cetatea Rasnov and Sinaia Monastery if you want to stay close to Bran/Peles. Otherwise, you can drive further and visit beautiful Brasov.
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So, is it worth visiting Romania?
What do you think my answer is? YES! Romania has such a diverse and rich land; from the coastline to the amazing mountains area and from the gorgeous countryside to beautiful medieval towns. I really hope that more and more people will discover the beauty of my country.
I still have tons of posts to share with you from South America so stay tuned. In the meantime, there is a fresh post about Copenhagen with an itinerary included. Happy reading :).