Today’s post is dedicated to the lovers of legends and mysteries. All of us remember the legendary vampire living in Transylvania. This legend is still alive and actually, you can really visit Dracula’s castle because its archetype is one of the most recognizable among Romanian castles.

The Bran Castle is one of the Transylvania’s symbols. Even if it’s besieged by tourists, it is still definitely worth visiting during the travel to Romania.

I am gonna take you for a little Bran Castle tour and show you all the most practical information. You’ll get to know how to get from Braşov to Bran Castle, if Dracula did really exist, and who was the real star of the fortress.

So turn on some thrilling music from Nosferatu movie and let’s dive into the legend!

Bran Castle in Romania seen from the bottom

Table of content:

Why you should visit Bran Castle?

There are many reasons for visiting Bran Castle in Romania.

The #1 is that it’s one of the most recognizable attractions in Romania, especially in the Transylvania region.

Moreover, if you wonder where is Dracula’s castle? you should definitely visit this heritage site.

But, if you wish to go beyond the legend, and discover the true history of this amazing country, you will also be happy with a stopover in this place.

In the end, visiting Bran Castle is one of the best day trips from Braşov.

Read more: Bran Castle was one of my great Transylvania Road Trip stops. Click here and check the whole itinerary!

The Legendary Count Dracula’s Castle

For many people, Bran is usually associated with the castle of Dracula – the bloodthirsty character of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

All of us know the history of Count Dracula – the most famous vampire of all times. Some of the theories suppose that his character was inspired by Transylvanian voivode – Vlad III Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler.

Vlad was the son of Vlad II Dracul, where dracul literally means devil in the Romanian language. Vlad the Impaler was well-known for its cruelty against the enemies and disloyal subjects.

The fatal personality of the voivode was probably not the only Romanian influence in Stoker’s novel.

Bran Castle and the Dracula’s house description from the novel show some similarities. That’s why it is said, that Transylvanian castle had a direct influence on the author. It is possible that Bram Stoker had read about the castle and decided to implement its features in his book. Nevertheless, the author has never been in Romania.

Moreover, the historical Vlad has probably never been to Bran Castle in person as well. And even if he did, his stay took only a day or two.

The fact is that both – the castle and the historical figure – gained more popularity because of American filmings of the novel. And tourism has done the rest. Transylvania gained a lot because of vampires’ myths and adapted the story to its own heritage.

The steep wall of Bran Castle in Romania with a stone cross at the first plane

The home of people’s beloved Queen

At this stage, I must warn all the gothic stories’ lovers.

Before reaching the castle, you will need to go through numerous sales stands with vampire mascots, Dracula’s magnets, and other bloody souvenirs.

But when you finally enter the castle’s courtyard you might be surprised that… there will be no vampire attributes to entertain you anymore.

Bran Castle is popular because of its pop culture meaning. But its real value lies somewhere else.

The walls of this mansion were actually home to one of the most popular figures in Romanian history. Marie of Edinburgh, the member of British Royal Family and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was married to King Ferdinand I of Romania and became the last queen of this country.

Queen Mary of Romania
Photo credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

She was the beloved queen of Romanian nation during her life at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, mostly for her good heart and diplomatic activity during I World War. After her death, her person was downgraded by communists, but she quickly regained the popularity after the Romanian Revolution in 1989.

Bran Castle was a gift from local officials for the Queen. She loved this place in peaceful Transylvania and spent there a part of her life.

With those facts in mind, you should not be surprised that contemporary exhibition in the castle is mostly dedicated to the Romanian Queen, and not the to fictional novel character with the foreign roots.

Nevertheless, the castle is worth visiting, because the story of Marie and her spirit noticeable in every room will enchant you for sure.

And don’t worry. You will fall into Dracula’s story in one of the castle towers as well.

Ok, but where is Dracula’s castle then?

If you want to dive deeper into Dracula’s history I recommend you to visit the real fortress of his archetype – Vlad the Impaler.

The ruins of Poenari Castle are located a 2-3 hours drive from Bran. And its surroundings are much more exciting!

Amazing Bran Castle tour

Now let’s take a quick Dracula’s castle tour!

The castle looks unusual even from a distance. It seems to be built especially for gothic novel purposes.

Steep walls surrounded with towers of different shapes make it look mysterious and hard to access. But also a bit like from a fairy-tale.

Bran Castle in Romania seen from the distance with trees and lawn in front

As I mentioned before, just in front of the property’s gates you will find a small touristic market. There, you can purchase not only vampire or castle souvenirs, but also some local delicacies or handicraft.

Once you’ll go through the sales stands and castle’s cash deck, you will step the uphill path to the main fortress’s entrance.

Read more: The breathtaking adventure of the must-known Transfăgărășan Road Trip in Romania

The stone path leading to the Bran Castle

The charming castle interior

From there you pass to the lovely court of the small castle. The yard is tiny with a little well, cloisters and charming balconies. I would rather associate it with fairies from wonderland than a queen or creepy count.

The entrance to the courtyard of Dracula's Castle
Small castle courtyard with a well

From here you can start your actual Bran Castle tour. The proper signs will lead you to queen’s chambers, living rooms, Dracula’s tower, and a secret staircase. The fortress hides many curiosities and I am pretty sure you will be excited to discover them all.

On your way you will also get a chance to see the Royal crown and scepter displayed in one of the bedrooms, but also knights armor and weapon. And once you’ll reach the balconies of upper floors, you will get a marvelous view of the area.

Queen Marie's bedroom
Queen Marie’s bedroom
Queen Marie of Romania's white dress
Queen Marie’s dress
The stone secret staircase in Bran Castle
The secret staircase

You can totally visit this amazing place on your own like I did. But, if you prefer to travel with a private guide, you can check out some of recommended Bran Castle tours below.

How to get from Braşov to Bran Castle?

The most common tourists way to see this place leads from Braşov to Bran Castle, where the distance is only 30km.

The easiest way is to simply rent a car and take the national route 73 to reach your destination.

But you can also easily get from Braşov to Bran Castle by bus. From the bus terminal no. 2 in Braşov there is a bus going to Bran every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends. The trip takes approx. 45 minutes and costs only 7 Lei (~1,5€).

How to get from Bucharest to Bran Castle?

The distance from Bucharest to Bran Castle is almost 200km. If you don’t rent a car, you still have two options to get there.

Option #1: You can take a train from Bucharest to Braşov. Start your journey at Bucuresti Nord station. The train goes a few times a day and costs ~40 Lei (~10€). The whole journey takes less then 3 hours.

You can check schedules and buy your train tickets here.

From Braşov you should take a bus as I described above.

Option #2: You can also purchase a guided tour to Bran Castle including transport from Bucharest. It’s the perfect option if you want to focus on the tour and do not bother with the transportation. Below you can check out a few tours starting in Bucharest.

Bran Castle in Romania: practical info

The castle hosts the guests 7 days a week, 365 days a year which is convenient for visiting this place at any season.

The adult tickets costs 40 LEI (~10€), but there are discounts available for children, students, and seniors. Moreover, you can also purchase the ticket for various events, such as Halloween Tour and party.

The castle also offers a unique multimedial experience – The Time Tunnel. Queen Marie had an idea to rebuild the well into the shaft for electrical elevator leading to the lower gardens. This idea was implemented in 2017 with the modern twist. The elevator ensures the multimedial trip across the centuries and offers the value unique on a global scale.

You can purchase the tickets directly in front of the entrance or online, on the Bran Castle in Romania’s official website.

On the castle’s property, you can also enjoy an exquisite dinner in a local restaurant – Casa de Ceai. A great relief after intense sightseeing.

Hotels near Bran Castle

In the nearest area of the castle you can find a few cozy and elegant yet totally affordable hotels. Below you can see some of them which are extremely lovely!

So read the descriptions and click the hotel name to get some more reviews:

Conacul Törzburg – This hotel might not look so luxury at the first glance, but the rooms are definitely charming and tidy! Moreover, the food served in a hotel’s restaurant looks delicious and has great opinion among guests. Check the availability | Read the reviews on TripAdvisor

Casa Din Bran – Inn Center – This place has amazing design! You will spend a night in a kind of glamorous, kind of medieval environment. It’s a perfect place for people looking for some more fancy luxury! Check the availability | Read the reviews on TripAdvisor

Trattoria Al Gallo – If you prefer more family atmosphere, this cozy hotel will be perfect for you. Spacious rooms equipped with beautiful wooden furniture ensure sweet homy feeling. Check the availability | Read the reviews on TripAdvisor

If you’re looking for something else, check out the deals from below!

One of Transylvania’s gems

Taking a trip from Braşov to Bran Castle is one of the most common reasons why people visit Romania. But this amazing country has much more to offer than vampires and old castles.

Nevertheless, Bran has that special thing that makes everyone go crazy about it. Its atmosphere and stories are unique and worth getting known.

Which Bran Castle’s story do you prefer? This of Dracula or this of Queen Marie? Leave your thought in a comment.

Some more resources which might upgrade your travel:

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Day trip from Brașov to Bran Castle in Romania Dracula's Castle in Transylvania, Romania

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