Bran Castle in Romania

Travelling to Bran Castle, Romania
This Beautiful Castle in Bran, Romania which was once the home of Vlad Ţepeş, Vlad the Impaler!
Photo taken by Costi.

If you’re travelling in this area in Romania, staying in Brasov and taking a day-trip by bus to the nearby town of Bran is well worth it. Bran is most famous for Bran Castle otherwise known as Castle Dracula… yup, Vlad Ţepeş aka Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula set up residence here for a while. The best description for the castle I’ve heard was from a fellow traveller in the area “Such a big legend for such a small castle!” but it’s well worth a visit.

I admit that I was expecting something a bit more spooky and run down or something. Imagining it in my mind there was always the sound of nearby wolves howling, wind rustling dry leaves in the trees and thunder storms overhead. What I found was something very different! The castle had been renovated between 1920 -1930 to make it a modern summer home for the royal family so feels quite warm and friendly… not what I expected but I enjoyed the visit and learned quite a bit about a piece of Romania’s history.

After the unexpectedly modern and airy décor of the castle, coming back outside was a bit of a culture shock. There was tons of fun vampire trinkets and souvenirs that I wish I could have given a home to. (I used to have a large collection of ‘tacky vampire stuff’ so after a quick mental switch I was very much in my element as I wandered from stall to stall wishing I had some way to carry the mounds of vampire goodies I wanted to buy.) Mixed in with the kitsch was also some beautiful local crafts, jewellery and other goodies. My advice, if you can’t buy anything because you’re travelling or on a budget, leave your money at the hostel and take only a bit for the entry fee and perhaps a snack. I was far too tempted to shop and almost caved a few times. Although I’m proud to say I only bought 1 item, a beaded bracelet… hey, if it’s not in my backpack it doesn’t count as extra weight. ;)

A Few Photos of Bran Castle in Romania

Bran Castle
“Dracula’s Castle”

Sorry for the terrible photo of Bran Castle, I tried but between my little camera, the backlighting and my limited photography abilities… this is the best shot out of the series. Luckily there’s lots of great photo’s of Bran castle online if you want a better look.

Entering Bran Castle
Entering Bran Castle

This really is a beautiful castle! Here’s a shot I took of the stairs as I recovered from the climb up the stone covered path to the top of the hill.

Inside Bran Castle
Inside Bran Castle

Comfortable, warm and friendly, not what I’d expected but it was a happy surprise! Hmm, ok, yes.. this could definitely be my dream summer home. :)

Hidden Stairs
Hidden Staircase

This is the only spooky thing I saw in the castle, the hidden staircase leading up to the upper floors was very narrow, dark and atmospheric.

Knight Armour
Knight in Full Suit of Armour

Aha! I found my knight in shining armour :p

View From Castle
View From the Castle Top

Worth it even if only for the view of the southern Carpathian Mountains, beautiful isn’t it!

Castle Gardens
Landscape Near the Castle

The area surrounding the castle is beautifully lush and green, a nice spot to relax and think about this areas history.

{ 7 comments }

Andrew Hedges September 21, 2010

Fun! I went to the castle in 2002. Like you, I expected it to be more spooky, but a fun experience nonetheless!

Catia September 26, 2010

It was. I really love this area, so many things to visit nearby!

peaslee@hotel.info March 4, 2011

What are some other sights to see in the area. I´ve wanted to travel to Bran castle since I read the book “The Historian” it was a great read of historical fiction. I understood that there was not much to see in the area and the castle itself was a bit touristy, do you have any suggestions?

Laura October 6, 2010

I don’t think the castle is small or anything. And Vlad Tepes is supposed to have spent only a night ot two here. His real castle is to be found at Sighisoara, nor far away, but than, that one is not in the book :)

Catia October 6, 2010

Sighisoara is beautiful, I visited that last week after I wrote this. I might write a bit about that and some of the other places I’ve visited in this area. It really is one of my favourite areas I’ve travelled to.

Vlad November 24, 2010

Dracula’s secondary residence was Poenari Castle in Arges county. It’s sort of run down and definitely not a popular attraction…the road there is pretty bad from what I hear. Dracula definitely stayed more at this residence than Bran Castle.

ketty November 9, 2010

Great post. Romania is worth seeing place. The town and the whole area is very stunning, much more amusing than the castle. The Bran castle is a gentle beauty and not at all dark and dramatic . This place is full of history and will get to explore more as this place offers many amazing things.

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