If you’re a vampire-freak and have a passion for the undead, you’re in the right place. Daytrip’s Dracula-themed tour through Romania will take you on a journey of discovery into the real history, myths and legends of the one-and-only king of vampires.
- Day 1: Bucharest
- Day 2: Bucharest to Brasov (stop in Snagov Monastery and Bran Castle)
- Day 3: Brasov to Sighisoara (stop in Viscri Fortified Church)
- Day 4: Sighisoara to Bucharest (stop in Peles Castle and Targoviste)
The Legend of Dracula
When Bram Stoker released his best selling Gothic horror novel in the late 1800’s, he changed Romanian tourism forever. Based on ancient Transylvanian folklore and the belief in the Nosferatu, ‘Dracula’ tells the fantastical tale of the vampire Count fleeing Transylvania on a voyage to England in search of new blood.
It is believed that inspiration for the Count Dracula character was drawn from Vlad III Dracul – or Vlad the Impaler – ruler and Prince of the ancient Romanian region of Wallachia. The cruel, blood-thirsty leader was known for taking pleasure in conducting gruesome and torturous attacks against his enemies, his favorite execution method leading to the provision of his title as ‘the Impaler’. Need we say more?
The villagers residing in the areas surrounding his medieval castles strongly believed in ‘creatures of the night’ and thought their feared leader Vlad Dracula to be a vampire.
While Stoker’s inspiration was never proven to be Vlad the Impaler, one thing is for certain; vampire lord Count Dracula is Romania’s most famous ambassador today and vampire tourism is prevalent, attracting visitors from across the globe.
Daytrip’s Dracula-themed tour through Romania will take you on a journey of discovery into the historical myths and legends of the one-and-only-king of vampires.
Start in Bucharest, Romania’s capital city and home to Curtea Veche, the palatial residence of Valid III Dracul. You’ll soak up the rich history of Bucharest before hitting the road and heading to Brasov.
Located in the heart of the Transylvania region, Brasov is an iconic destination on vampire tours for its rich history connected to the man and the myth, Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula. Along the way you’ll see the Dracula Castle, and the alleged burial site of the ancient Wallachia leader, before arriving in the Gothic city of Brasov.
Continuing your Dracula experience, you’ll delve deeper into Transylvania with a trip to medieval Sighișoara where you will visit the very house where Vlad III Dracul was born in the 1400’s.
On your return to Bucharest, you’ll have one more chance to see some of the best vampire attractions Romania has to offer, including discovering Dracula’s home in Targoviste.
Our top Dracula destinations are highlighted in the following guide.
Day 1: Bucharest
The starting point for many Dracula tours, Bucharest is Romania’s dynamic, vibrant capital. Once home to Vlad III Dracul, the city is shrouded in history and the gateway to many significant sights that sit nearby the city. If you’re thinking about things to do in Bucharest, keep reading for some of our top tips.
What to do in Bucharest
At 84 meters high and a floor area of more than 350,000 square meters, visit one of the world’s largest administrative buildings: the Palace of Parliament Bucharest, which is second only to the Pentagon. If you’re wondering what to see in Bucharest, this massive construction cannot be missed (literally) as it towers over the capital atop the Dealul Spirii hill. Hour-long tours are conducted by pre-booking only, taking you on a tour of the enormous galleries and halls housed within this extravagant piece of impressive architecture – it can even be seen from space!
One of the most important historical sights in Bucharest is Revolution Square. Home to the National Museum of Art of Romania, and the Senate Palace, the square bears great historical and cultural significance for Romania. Here you’ll also find the bizarre yet symbolic Paucescu House, a hybrid of many contrasting architectural styles, and the famous Romanian Athenaeum concert hall.
Bucharest’s historical center is dripping with history and culture, and also home to some of the trendiest shopping and dining spots in the city. Historical buildings have been beautifully restored and the old town is remarkably picturesque. It has independent boutiques and artisan stores and lots of hip bars and cafes.
There’s also a massive collection of tiny (and some hidden) churches. Dating back as far as the 17th century, they are built in a variety of styles and are beautifully maintained, surviving war and natural disasters. Walk the winding streets of the old town to discover some of the city’s best, including the most popular Stavropoleos Church, one of the oldest and most iconic.
But what about Dracula? Don’t worry, we’ve not forgotten.
For a vampire fix head to Curtea Veche (Old Princely Court), the palace and church built in the mid-1400’s as ordered by Vlad the Impaler. He occupied this palatial residence and fortress during his reign as Prince of Wallachia. Today, a bust of Vlad III Dracul watches over the ruins of his medieval court, awaiting visitors to the site’s museum to learn about the history of his reign, his evil antics and for an insight into the life of the suspected vampire.
To finish off your day, indulge in some of Romania’s traditional cuisine such as Sarmale, a tasty cabbage roll stuffed with pork, or Mici, a delicious skinless sausage made of ground meat and infused with garlic, paprika and thyme. With plenty of dining options in the historical centre, you certainly won’t go hungry during your stay in Bucharest.
Once you’re done dining, why not spoil yourself with a nightcap? Let’s say, a Bloody Mary! After all, it feels fitting for the theme. Take one last chance to soak up the city and feel Dracula’s atmospheric presence before you take to the road to tour the top Dracula destinations.
One of the most popular daytrips from Bucharest is Brasov, located just over 180km from the capital. With Daytrip, we will take you on a trip from Bucharest to Transylvania, starting in this ‘Jewel of Romania’. Along the way, you will even have the opportunity to take a tour of Dracula’s castle!
Day 2: Bucharest to Brasov
The medieval city of Brasov is a favorite for travelers, who are enticed by the historic charm of the old fortified city, the picturesque backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains and, of course, the Gothic associations as the gateway to many noteworthy Dracula sightseeing attractions.
Traveling from Bucharest to Brasov is quite easy and the route is one well-travelled. One of the main benefits of driving from Bucharest to Brasov is the opportunity it gives you to see some of Romania’s best tourist attractions along the way – Snagov Monastery, where Vlad the Impaler was supposedly buried, and Bran Castle, the inspiration for the Bran Stoker’s Dracula castle.
Bucharest to Brasov daytrips are popular amongst visitors to Romania, but we recommend taking the time to sightsee en route and spending some time in Brasov before moving on to your next destination.
With Daytrip, your driver will collect you from your accommodation and take you to your destination in Brasov. They’ll take care of your luggage and store this in their vehicle as you take the time to enjoy the attractions along the way, sharing with you some of their local knowledge and insight, too.
Click here to book your Bucharest to Brasov transfer with sightseeing stops with Daytrip!
Here is our recommended Romania Dracula tour itinerary:
Sightseeing stop at Snagov Monastery (60 minutes)
The drive time from Bucharest to Snagov Monastery is less than an hour and this will be your first sightseeing stop.
The history of Snagov Monastery dates back to the14th century when it was built on a small island on Snagov Lake, which had already been home to a church since as early as the 11th century.
It is famous as being the supposed burial place of Dracula – or, rather, Vlad the Impaler – who after years of relentlessly torturing his enemies is said to have requested to be buried in the idyllic monastery that he saw as a blissful sanctuary. He had many connections to the monastery prior to his death, and had it fortified in 1456.
There is a grave in which the bones of a man were found in the early 20th century and, while it has never been proven that these belong to the former Prince of Wallachia, the myth has cemented itself in local lore.
The attraction is beautiful and surrounded by thick forest, so while you’re there be sure to take in the natural surroundings with a walk through the grounds and garden.
Snagov Monastery opening hours vary by season so we recommend checking in advance. Typically, the hours will be between 08:00-19:00. The Snagov Monastery entrance fee is approximately €3.50.
Sightseeing stop at Bran Castle (90 minutes)
Many travelers in Romania opt to take a Bran Castle tour from Bucharest, but it’s on the way to Brasov so you’ll see it during your one-way car transfer.
Driving from Bucharest to Bran Castle takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes, but it is only just over an hour from Snagov Monastery so there won’t be long before getting a glimpse of the legendary castle of Dracula.
Bran Castle history dates back to the early 1200’s when it was founded by the Teutonic Knights, before being rebuilt by the Saxons of Kronstadt in 1377. You could be forgiven for thinking Vlad the Impaler had resided at the castle given the strong links with popular Dracula culture, but this was not the case.
‘Dracula Castle’ – as Bran Castle is known throughout the world – was famously Bram Stoker’s inspiration for the medieval castle in which his character The Count resided. The iconic Transylvania castle fits the very description of Count Dracula’s Romanian residence to a tee, despite Stoker never having visited Romania himself.
Discover Dracula’s story with a visit to Bran Castle in Transylvania to see Bram Stoker’s creative vision in reality.
Bran Castle opening hours vary by day and by season, but are typically from 09:00-18:00 during the summer months and from 09:00-16:00 during the winter months. The most up to date information can be found on the official website, including details about current admission fees.
Total trip time from Bucharest to Brasov with stops: 6 hours and 8 minutes
Arrival in Brasov
Just a 30 minute drive from Bran Castle, you’ll soon be at your destination in Brasov ready to explore the medieval city’s top attractions. With so much to see and do in Brasov, there’s no wonder it is one of Romania’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Council Square is the city’s main square and a great access point to all Brasov has to offer. It houses the Old Town Hall and is a lovely place to soak in the scenery and watch the world go by on a bright sunny day.
One of the best things to do in Brasov is visit the medieval fortifications in the old town, built between 1400-1650, that once enclosed and defended the city. The historical centre was protected from anticipated attacks by 12 metre high walls that stretched more than 3km in length. Of the seven bastions that were built only a few remain, including the 15th century White and Black Towers.
Some of the fortress has been preserved and the most popular access point to see the best-preserved section is by the Black Church. The Black Church is a beautiful Gothic construction (and the largest Gothic church in all of Romania) that is more than 600 years old and is hard to miss as you stroll the charming streets of Brasov’s centre.
Brasov to Sighișoara daytrips are very popular and this will be your next destination with Daytrip, as you continue your Dracula experience through Romania!
Day 3: Brașov to Sighișoara
Sighișoara is a beautiful, fairytale-esque citadel in Romania’s historical Transylvania region. It is a popular destination not least amongst Dracula fans as it was here that Vlad III Dracul, the so-called inspiration for Bram Stoker’s legendary Count Dracula character, was born in 1431.
Aside from the mythical connections to the vampire world, Sighișoara is an otherwise impressive city we’d recommend visiting, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cobbled paths, narrow, winding streets and ornate churches make up the historical centre of a city which has a truly magical atmosphere rivaled by few other medieval cities. Plus, you’ll get to discover the birthplace of Dracula.
Traveling from Brașov to Sighișoara is popular, and the journey takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes by car, so it’s pretty easy, too.
Brașov to Sighișoara daytrips by private car transfer can be booked on the Daytrip website by clicking here. Plus, we’ll give you the option to sightsee along the way!
Here is our recommended itinerary for this short journey:
Sightseeing stop to Viscri Fortified Church (1 hour)
Viscri Fortified Church tours are increasing in popularity for travellers going from Brașov to Sighișoara and when you see the place, you’ll understand why.
Ok, so we’ll admit – it isn’t connected with the Dracula myth, but don’t let that stop you from visiting the UNESCO-listed Transylvanian fortified church. Viscri wasn’t built by the Saxons but rather the Szekler population in 1100 before being taken over by the Saxons in 1185.
The medieval church was built to defend the surrounding villages in the Middle Ages, and is one of the oldest religious buildings in the region. Visitors today can view the impressive medieval fortifications, historic furnishes and artefacts from the town’s history in the museum. For a view over the courtyard and the farmlands of Visci, climb to the top of the walls.
Total trip time from Brașov to Sighișoara with stops: 3 hours and 5 minutes
Arrival in Sighișoara
Just a 45 minute drive from Viscri you arrive in Sighișoara, famously Dracula’s birthplace. This must-see UNESCO-listed city in the heart of Transylvania may be tiny, but what it offers in beauty is huge. The town is dotted with pretty pastel buildings, mighty towers and is protected within the confines of the old city walls.
In the 12th century when the King of Hungary invited Saxons to the region to help defend his borders, the fortified city was born. Today, it is Europe’s last remaining inhabited medieval citadel.
For such a small city, there are many things to do in Sighișoara.
The Citadel Square is the tiny city’s main plaza and once where criminals were judged and executed. Now, it is the beating heart of Sighișoara and the centermost point of the fortified town. The 14th century Clock Tower dominates the skyline. Climb it for 360 degree panoramic views of the city after you check out the museum inside the building.
The History Museum of Sighișoara tells the tale of Sighișoara’s past over five levels and makes for an interesting visit.
From the Clock Tower head to the Covered Stairway, which links to the upper citadel via 175 stairs. Climb the stairs to reach The Church on the Hill, perched at an altitude of 429 metres atop School Hill. The Gothic church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and contains Renaissance furnishings and a stunning Gothic altarpiece.
Now, the real reason you’re here; Dracula! The Casa Vlad Dracul is the birthplace of Vlad III Dracul and a hugely popular attraction with tourists in Sighișoara.
Before he was known as Vlad the Impaler, the future ruler of Wallachia was born in Sighișoara in 1431. Today, the house in which he was born and raised until the age of 4 invites guests to dine in the medieval-style restaurant on the ground floor after visiting the small but informative weapons museum on the first floor. A must-see for any Dracula fan!
Day 4: Sighișoara to Bucharest
Now, we’re heading back to Bucharest! But don’t worry, your trip isn’t over quite yet as we’ll take you on some great excursions as you travel from Sighișoara to Bucharest.
Sighișoara to Bucharest daytrips are not complete without seeing Transylvania’s Peles Castle. Ok, so this one has nothing to do with Dracula, but it is incredibly beautiful so we couldn’t miss it off the itinerary.
Next we will take you to Targoviste where you will see the place where Vlad III Dracul lived when he came to rule Wallachia, and actually where he gained his infamous title “the Impaler”.
To book your trip from Sighișoara to Bucharest with Daytrip, including sightseeing stops, simply follow this link. Here’s our recommended route:
Sightseeing Stop to Peles Castle (1 hour)
Located in the small village of Sinaia in the Becugi foothills in Romania’s Transylvania region is Peles Castle; it looks like something from a fairytale! The blend of stunning scenery and striking Neo-Renaissance architecture is so impressive, it is fit for a King; King Carol I, in fact.
In the 1860’s the King commissioned the construction of the palace, which has 160 rooms differing in style, depending on whether they were intended for the King or the Queen. The castle is equipped with everything you could imagine, and some things you maybe wouldn’t – it even has a concert hall and a movie theatre, for example. Among many interesting Peles Castle facts is that King Carol was a highly accomplished soldier, and there is a collection of more than 4,000 weapons displayed in the aptly named Weapons Hall.
Next door, King Carol’s successor, King Ferdinand built a smaller version of the castle. There is so much to marvel at here, from furniture, art and dramatic decor that will leave you awe-inspired. Unfortunately, there is one thing that you won’t find at Peles Castle; Dracula.
Peles Castle opening hours vary depending on the season, but it is always closed on a Monday – you can view the most up-to-date information on the official website here. A Peles Castle tour is also available should you wish to have a more in-depth experience.
Sightseeing Stop to Targoviste (1 hour)
The capital of Wallachia between 1418 and the 1600’s, you’ll want to make a stop in Targoviste to discover what was once Dracula’s home. There are plenty of things to see in Targoviste and, as Dracula’s old capital, there’s a lot to learn about Vlad Tepes (Dracula) as you explore his old stomping grounds.
The main attraction in Targoviste is the ruins of Princely Court, the “castle of Dracula”, Vlad the Impaler. The Royal Court houses several monuments and museums and is one of the only surviving Medieval ensembles in Southern Romania. The iconic Chindia Tower (or “Sunset Tower”) – built under Vlad Dracul’s rule for military protection – contains a museum exhibition dedicated to the man himself.
Other things to do in Targoviste (Dracula aside) include the small Targoviste Zoo, which is home to some large cats, chimps and even a hippo, an Art Museum and the Museum of Communism.
Total trip time from Sighișoara to Bucharest with stops: 5 hours and 32 minutes
Arrival in Bucharest
You’ve reached the end of your Dracula themed tour of Romania! If you didn’t manage to tick off all the sights in Bucharest before departing on your first Daytrip, now’s the time to see the capital’s best attractions that we highlighted on Day 1.
Ready to book your Dracula Tour in Romania?
If all this talk of history, culture, and of course, Dracula has you fiending to plan your Dracula Tour in Romania, here’s the links to book each leg, which you can customize to your liking. If you ever need help, just contact Daytrip customer service – we don’t bite.
Cover photo source: https://www.avianotravel.com/romania-dracula-s-castle