The Bran Castle is best known as ”the Castle of Dracula,” although the presumed role model of Dracula, a Wallachian Prince Vlad Tepés (Vlad the Impaler), actually had little to none connections to this castle.

The Bran Castle is near the town of Braşov, on the border of Wallachia and Transylvania. This picturesque castle is known for its alleged connection to the most famous vampire in literature – Dracula. Though there are many other castles linked to the legend of Dracula, like Hunyad and Poenari Castles, Bran may be the best known.

First mentions of Bran are dating back to 1377, and it bears a colorful history. It has been used in defense against the Ottoman Empire, and it has been a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia, just to mention few. Vlad Tepés passed several times through the Bran Gorge but stayed in Bran Castle only briefly as a prisoner in 1462. Nevertheless, this place holds a particular interest to all fans of vampire literature, as well as historians interested in medieval castles. Bran Castle truly has a bit of mystic atmosphere and beautiful architecture. You can have a guided tour, or you can delve around on your own and try to find the secret passages. I can give you a tip – there are more than one.

I would suggest exploring around independently. Then you can spend as much time as you like, wandering around the stone hallways and the surrounding garden, absorbing the history and the visual beauty of the Bran Castle.

Getting there

You can get to Braşov for example in 3,5 hours by train from Bucharest. Trains are departing hourly and costing approximately 10€ (40 Lei). You can check the timetables from here. From Braşov’s bus terminal No. 2 you can take a bus to Bran (approx. 45 min and 1,2€/5 Lei/ride).

Bizarre Fact

Want to buy a castle? The Bran Castle has been on sale on the open market since 2014, after its current owners, the Habsburgs, unsuccessfully offered it back to the Romanian government for $80 million.

A secret passage in the Bran Castle, Romania
A secret passage in the Bran Castle, Romania