Bran Castle: discover the history of the original vampire lair
Bran always seemed to me like a fairy tale castle, and the legend that surrounds this land makes it a mysterious and interesting place. Dracula’s story attracts many international tourists, who, although they don’t get to meet vampires, they have a mystical experience here, in the heart of Romania.
Visit Bran Village
Bran is a village in the southern Transylvania, in the department of Brașov, 30 kilometers from the city of Braşov. To get here, you can fly from any corner of the world to Bucharest and get to Brașov and then Bran by train, car or bus. It is a small and cozy town, with several hotels and restaurants around the famous castle. Here, we booked a room at Pension Ana Bran, just across the street from the castle.
It is a place with a lot of Romanian customs and traditions, a rustic area in the shade of the Carpathian Mountains and closer to the sky. Everything in this village is decorated with vampires and bats theme, starting from the house gates, restaurants menus, thematic rooms of the hostels, to fountains and the road signs. Actually, these are the only vampires you’ll see here.
Explore Bran Castle
The Bran Castle is strategically built on a cliff because it used to be a military defense fortress. It has 4 floors that shelter a museum with exhibits such as old furniture, armor, weapons, tools and costumes. Admission costs 25 lei for adults, 10 lei for students and 5 lei for small children. Right in front of the castle, you’ll find a great bazaar of souvenirs from Dracula’s realm.
When you approach the castle, its grandeur and history seem to be overwhelming. It’s a real adventure to explore the cool stone walls, narrow tunnels, secret passages, dizzying stairs, mysterious towers, and rooms decorated with medieval elements. In these rooms you can learn more about the origins of the castle, whose history is more important than the fairy tales. The main attraction is the inner courtyard, where you can best observe the details of the castle and you can enjoy a vision in the past.
Of course, Bran is constantly visited by many curious foreign tourists, passionate about horror stories. Although the castle is always associated with Vlad Ţepeş, he never actually lived here, even if a lot of legends that claim he was a vampire were passed from generation to generation.