There is nothing more exciting than visiting Dracula’s land and admiring the beautiful region of Transylvania. Here is a well-known fact that Dracula, the vampire, is not only a legend. And he had a big and cold home, now known as the Bran Castle. Maybe you know that Dracula is a fictional character in Bram Stoker’s novel. But let me surprise you: for us, the Romanians, Dracula was as real as a person can be!
Who was Dracula?
Dracula is linked with Vlad the Third, Prince of Walachia, a leader who had a great lust for blood. He became famous for punishing liars, murderers, and thieves in a very original and cruel way. So, he remained in history as Vlad the Impaler.
Get a glimpse of his life by visiting his home
If you want to learn about Dracula and not only, take the first flight to Bucharest and rent a car. From there, I have prepared the richest road trip for you, one that can be completed in 5 days. I tried it first for you! So, let’s go!
Your first stop must be in Sinaia. Even if it is not in Transylvania, you should stop by to see the Peleș Castle, a beautiful building with a very complicated architecture, but spectacular. It was built between 1873 and 1914 with the purpose to serve as the summer residence of the monarchs of Romania. Now it is a museum waiting for its visitors!
You will then get closer and closer to Dracula’s land! Visit the Castle, enter the torture room and endulge some terrifying times! After that, stop at the corner of the street and try a Kürtőskalács with cocoa!
Brașov is a popular location for everyone who wants to relax in the mountains. I recommend you to take a walk in the Old City and take the cable car until the top of Mount Tâmpa. Up there you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking sight!
Now everybody knows about Viscri since HRH Prince Charles of Wales fell in love with this forgotten place. He liked it so much, that in 2006 bought an 18th Century Saxon house and restore it. More, the fortified church is a unique UNESCO World Heritage. Keep in mind that he road is not asphalted to preserve the authenticity of past centuries.
Also known as the museum-city! Sighișoara is one of the best preserved medieval cities of Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage. Keep in mind that many festivals take place here, so before you come, check the calendar and pick the ones that you resonate with! Most importantly, here is where you’ll find Dracula’s birthplace – a museum room at the first floor of „Vlad Dracula’s House”.
Cluj is the second largest city in Romania, after Bucharest. But there is one major difference – people are a lot more serene. So don’t even think about taking a very fast tour of this city! First go to see the center, in the Union Square and admire the buildings, starting with St. Michael’s Church, an impressive Gothic church. And then, do not miss the botanical garden!
In the center, you will find a huge Vauban Fortress very well preserved and consolidated. If you are here one Sunday at 12:00 a.m., you’ll assist the guard exchange ritual of the Templar knights. They are permanently there!
This city is one of the most important cultural centers in Romania and it was the European Capital of Culture in 2007. So, first of all, I suggest you visit Brukenthal National Museum and the ASTRA National Museum Complex, two important museums of the country. Then climb the clock tower to see the Old City from above!
Leave Transylvania by taking a special route – that is car sliding on one of the most beautiful roads in Eastern Europe! The road is called Transfagarasan and is passes through the Făgăraș Mountains and reaches 2042 meters altitude!
The Poienari Fortress is considered to be the real home of Dracula. Vlad the Impaler stood hidden in this place during the Ottoman invasion and set the army a trap. The fortress is located on the top of one mountain of the valley and it is worth the effort to climb the 1480 stairs!