Travel in Romania: Bran Castle

Because we left Sinaia earlier than expected, we had some extra time to get to Braşov.  We had debated whether to visit Bran Castle (known as Dracula’s Castle), but with some extra time on our hands decided to stop on our way to Braşov.  I’m really glad we did as we enjoyed our visit.

Bran Castle was built in 1388, and renovated several times over the centuries.  At various periods it was a royal residence, a residence for foresters and woodsmen, and a museum.  During the Soviet era, it was a museum but had fallen into decay.  It was restored in 1993 and is currently a museum.  It is known as Dracula’s Castle as it bears striking familiarity to the castle described in the book “Dracula”, and the made-up story of Dracula was in part based on the superstitions in Transylvania, where the castle is located.

We arrived around noon and purchased tickets to the castle.  There are no tours at the castle and you can explore around the castle on your own, which my family prefers.  There are signs in each room with information, and everything was printed in Romanian, English, and Hungarian (I think).  The castle is set up as it would have been used by Queen Maria of Romania and the royal family, who used it as a summer residence.  After we toured the inside for quite some time, we spent a short time wandering the gardens below before heading on to our next destination.

Notes and tips about visiting Bran Castle:

  • The castle is located close to Braşov and can be accessed by public transportation from Braşov.
  • I think we probably spent about 2 hours exploring the castle and grounds.  You get to go at your own pace, so it could take less or more time depending on your preferences.
  • Pictures are allowed inside.
  • Although the castle was fairly busy, it wasn’t overly crowded when we visited.
  • We didn’t explore the rest of the town, but there is a museum about medieval times adjacent to the castle, as well as interesting architecture and plenty of souvenir stores.