Travel Guide to Transylvania: Brasov, Bran and Dracula’s Castle
Transylvania, the storied territory west of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, can make for an entire trip on its own, or an unforgettable shore excursion if you’re cruising the Danube River. In March 2016, Lonely Planet voted Transylvania the #1 Region in its Best in Travel 2016 top travel list.
When you’re planning a visit to Transylvania, Romania be sure to include these three items on your checklist:
- A visit to the medieval town of Brasov
- A tour through Bran and its “Dracula’s Castle”
- A sample of the delicious, buttery, cinnamon pastry known as chimney cake
You may not think of Transylvania as memorable for its well-preserved medieval cities, breathtaking natural beauty and marvelous array of restaurants and cultural offerings, but all of these are highlights of “The Land Beyond the Forest.”
Brasov is a great introduction to Transylvania. Its central “Council Square” delights visitors with its multicolored buildings, outdoor cafés and a variety of restaurants, and the cultural sights are remarkable.
From the imposing 14th-century Black Church built in the Gothic style to a bright and active synagogue, not to mention the Strada Sforii (Rope Street), the narrowest street in Europe at only four feet wide, Brasov is full of surprises. Less than ten miles away is the popular ski resort, Poiana Brasov, which offers 12 runs and draws visitors from all over Europe and beyond in the wintertime.
Some of the highlights of Bran Castle, aside from all the inevitable vampire kitsch, are the labyrinthine architecture of the castle’s interior and the furniture inside, collected by Romania’s Queen Marie herself nearly a century ago.
A sweet pastry found in the Hungarian-speaking regions of Romania, kürtős kalács are made from a long strip of dough wrapped around a cylindrical spit and rolled in sugar. The raw pastry is then roasted over a fire; melted butter is applied during the process. What results is a hollow cylinder of pastry that can be peeled off and shared among friends. Soft on the inside and sweet and crispy on the outside, kürtős kalács is a Transylvanian culinary delight that is not to be missed.
The town of Sinaia is Romania’s most popular ski resort and a gateway to the beautiful Bugeci Mountains. Winter sports, including a 5,000-foot bobsledding run, and excellent summer hiking and climbing make Sinaia a year-round destination. In 1870, King Carol I built his summer residence, Peles Castle, here, guaranteeing the town fame and fortune.
And Sinaia is right at Transylvania’s doorstep!
Travel to Transylvania with MIR
MIR has more than two decades of Romania travel experience, offering on-the-ground support and quality you can trust and guides and tour managers that clients rave about.
You can discover the legends and the beauty of Transylvania on these MIR tours:
- Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses – small group tour
- Budapest to Venice by Private Train – rail journey by private train
MIR can create a custom, private tour that hits all the highlights of Transylvania, including Bran Castle; or a full tour of the region for travelers cruising the Danube who’d like to get out and take a look around.
Chat with a MIR destination specialist today by phone (1-800-424-7289) or email to start planning your visit to Transylvania.
Want to know more about Romania? Check out:
- Beginner’s Guide to Romania’s Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
- Monument to Excess: Ceausescu’s Romanian Palace
- Drink Up! Fine Wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova
- Video Check-In: Meeting a Master Romanian Icon Painter
- 5 Reasons We Love Sighisoara, Romania: Transylvania in Photos
- The Castles of Transylvania: Bran Castle and Peles Castle
(Top photo: Traditional methods of farming and harvesting are preserved in Romania. Photo credit: Peter Guttman)
PUBLISHED: March 1, 2016