Transylvania, the best-known region of Romania, is a mysterious land rich in myths involving bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves. Here, there are about 100 castles and fortress, which are considered the most stunning of Romania. I was completely fascinated by the atmosphere of this region, a place where time has stopped 100 years ago.
In this post, I want to show you the most beautiful castles in Transylvania. From the mysterious Bran Castle, known as Dracula Castle, to the royal Peles Castle, from the modest Pelisor Castle to the majestic Corvin Castle.
Perched on the top of a hill overlooking the small agricultural town of Bran, Bran Castle is the one that most resembles the castles described as the home of Dracula in the horror novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker. This makes this castle the one of the most visited by tourists in Romania, eager to explore “Dracula Home”.
The position of the castle is certainly impressive, but the interior is nothing special. The most interesting part is the area dedicated to the legend of Dracula, where I learned how the fictional character is actually inspired by a real historical figure: Vlad the Impaler.
Vlad was a medieval prince with a figurative thirst for blood, known as Dracula (Drăculea in old Romanian). He probably never lived in this castle although it is uncertain if spent a few months in the Bran Castle.
Regardless of the relationship between the legend of Dracula and Bran Castle, this place is remarkable and it is definitely worth a visit.
How to get to Bran Castle without a car
Bran Castle is in the town of Bran, located at about 30km from Brasov. You can reach Bran by bus from Brasov in about 45 min. The bus to Bran leaves from Bus Terminal 2 (Autogara 2,
Str. Avram Iancu 114 ) in Brasov and costs 7 Lei.
Be aware that the Bus Terminal 2 is not the one outside the train station. If you get to Brasov by train you have to take a local bus to get to the Bus Terminal 2. The cost of 2 bus rides is 4 lei, as indicated in the Brasov Local Public Transportation website.
Use Google Maps if you want to know which bus you need to move around cities in Romania. Timetables are very accurate too.
In the Bran Castle
Located at the end of a beautiful forest path, the royal Peles Castle is one of the most famous castles in Romania, along with Bran Castle. This castle, a masterpiece of the German Reinassance, stands out for its sumptuous style. It was indeed used as a summer residence by the king of Romania.
Pales Castle exterior looks like a Disney castle and it is absolutely astonishing. There are more than 170 rooms inside the castle, each one of them decorated in a completely different style or theme, drawing from influences such as Florentine, Turkish, Moorish, French, Imperial and Moorish, among others. Unfortunately, just a few rooms are visitable.
The beauty of Pales Castle was not the only thing which left me speechless. I was also very impressed by the very modern facilities of this castle. It was indeed the first electrified castle in Europe. Among the other things, the electricity was used to open and close the glass ceiling of the hall
How to get to Peles Castle without a car
The Peles Castle is located in Sinaia and it is the easiest castle to reach using just public transport. It is indeed just about 2 kilometres away from Sinaia train station, which is well connected with other main cities like Bucharest and Brasov. The walk from the train station to the castle is uphill, so if you prefer you can always use a cab to get from the station to Peles Castle.
In the Peles Castle
Right down the path from Peles Castle, there is another castle, the Art Nouveau-style Pelisor Castle, built inside the Peles Castle park.
Pelisor means “Little Peles”. This castle is indeed significantly smaller than Peles but still very beautiful.
Is it worth going inside Pelisor castle after having seen Peles Castle? I will let you decide for yourself. I honestly decided to skip the visit
How to get to Pelisor Castle without a car
Pelisor Castle is a few meters away from Peles castle, so it’s very easy to reach.
In the Peles Castle website, you can also find all the info about ticket price and opening hours of the Pelisor Castle. The entrance ticket of this castle is cheaper than the one of the Peles castle, but you still have to pay an additional fee for taking photographs inside the castle. The opening times are the same for both castles.
Corvin Castle is the most spectacular castle in Romania and perhaps the one which is closer to your idea of castles in Transylvania. This is one of the largest castles in Europe and its majesty can be admired by looking at it from the opposite side of the massive moat, which can be crossed using a long footbridge.
The information given inside is scarce, and some of the rooms are degraded. But I guess this is the beauty of this place! You call almost see bloodthirsty vampires and hear howling wolves while walking inside the quite neglected castle rooms.
How to get to Corvin Castle without a car
Getting to this castle without can be quite complicated because public transport in Romania is not the best. For this reason, I decided to rent a car with some friends I met at my hostel in Sibiu, from where I could reach this castle in about 1 hour and 30 minute drive.
However, this castle is just about 1.5km away from Hunedoara’s bus or train station, so you might be able to reach it just using public transport if you plan your visit in advance. According to the information reported on the lonely planet website, there are bus connections between
Hunedoara station and Deva (6 to 10 lei, 45 minutes, regular), Timişoara (32 lei, four hours, one daily) and Bucharest (58 lei, 7¼ hours, one daily). By train, you can reach Simeria from
Hunedoara station (4 lei, 30 minutes, three daily), and from Simeria you can catch connections to Braşov, Sibiu or Arad.
Or, if you prefer, you can also reach this castle using a cab from Deva (about 40 lei).
In the Corvin Castle website, you can find all the info about ticket price and opening hours of this castle.
Here you can find the map of the most beautiful castles in Transylvania.
If you don’t have a car, you can use trains or buses to get to all of these castles. Keep in mind that Romania’s transportation system is not excellent and schedules are ridiculous most of the time. So, unless you don’t have any time constraints, try to arrange transportation for your trip in advance.
You can buy the train tickets on the CFR Calatori website.
If you prefer the bus, try the buses operated by MementoBUS.
READ MORE: Discover more about Romania. Read all my posts about this mysterious and magical country.