Chasing Vampires & Dracula: Transylvania Romania
Transylvania is a place that most people assume only exists in fairy tales. In fact, it’s a real region in central Romania and is well worth a visit. Transylvania is a magical place with so much history, beauty and many legends including our favorite childhood vampire Dracula.
The famous writer Bram Stoker found his inspiration for Count Dracula from Transylvania. Legend has it that Dracula once lived in a medieval castle called Bran Castle… but we all know that vampires don’t exist! Dracula on the other hand was a real person, but he wasn’t the scary vampire that we read about as kids. He was a prince known as Vlad the Impaler and famous for being very vicious and bloody. He never actually lived in Dracula’s castle, but the depictions in the book are closest to Bran Castle. This is why thousands of tourists flock to the castle every year to visit the hometown of our favorite vampire.
Bran Castle itself is a beautiful medieval site, but it’s not the prettiest or most historically relevant place to visit in Transylvania. There’s so much more to see and it’s better to spend at least a few nights in the area. The best way to get there is either by train or by car from Bucharest (about a 2.5 hour drive). I had the pleasure of visiting the top highlights with an amazing tour agency called Adventure Transylvania, which made my journey even more exciting.
As you start approaching this medieval region, you will come across exceptional landscapes with an endless view of mountains and greenery. At some point you can easily feel like you went back in time a few hundred years with so many old houses, fortified churches, farms, sheep and even horse and carriages. A great place to use as your base is the beautiful medieval town of Brasov.
Here are some Transylvania hotel recommendations: Casa Albert Boutique Hotel, Vila Katharina, Hotel Belvedere.
The highlight of my trip was Peles Castle. To begin with, the area surrounding the castle is marvelous with so many mountains an an endless view of green fields. The castle itself is incredible inside out. It really looks like a page out of a fairy tale. The interior architecture and decor is so grand and every room is more beautiful than the other.
Essentials to take with you on this trip: