Romania Travel: Transylvania & Beyond

19.08.2019
Romania Travel: Transylvania & Beyond
 

Although Romania is an off-the-beaten-path country, it's a unique destination for European travel which is really worth your attention. Undoubtedly, any Romania journey will be incomplete without paying a visit to its heart - the one and only Transylvania. Deservingly described as “the last truly medieval landscape in Europe” and being the favorite place of the Prince of Wales, it attracts tourists from all over the world. Need more reasons to visit Transylvania? Continue reading why this region must be one of the first destinations on your Romania travel plans!

 

The story of Transylvania is cloaked with enigma, unsolved secrets, and ancient legends about mysterious creatures. Despite its popularity, this region is still undiscovered. Ready to solve the puzzle and dive into a mix of cultures, history, and nature? Pack your bags (and some garlic), your amazing Transylvania adventure begins!

 

A Few Facts about Transylvania

Although some people believe that Transylvania doesn't exist, this legendary place belongs to our real world and is full of surprises. So, where is Transylvania on the map? Surrounded by the Carpathian mountains, the largest region of the country is located in northwestern Romania.

Wondering what Transylvania is famous for? Known as Romani's green heart, Transylvania makes a great introduction to the whole country. Thanks to its rich historical heritage and breathtaking natural landscapes, the region can match all travel preferences.

Traveling to Transylvania is like stepping into a fairy-tale. You don't even need a time travel machine, this place still has the spirit of the 19th century.

This part of Romania is especially popular among travelers because of its myth and misty medieval attractions which bring to mind stories about powerful kings and fearless knights. Shockingly, the Transylvania region alone is dotted with more than 100 castles and 70 fortified churches!

Speaking about local traditions, any meal in Transylvania can't be started without a Palinca shot and a loud following “Noroc!” (the equivalent of the English “Cheers!”).

Castle_Romania
 

Palinca is Romania's traditional 45% proof brandy that is made of plums, and you should definitely give it a try during your Romania trip!

 

Vampires' Homeland

Castle_Romania

Have you ever heard about “vampire tourism”? This kind of tourism is now a trademark of the Romanian region thanks to the numerous legends about the main character of Bram Stocker's iconic horror novel whose name still sends shivers to the spine.

Guessed already? Transylvania is the mystic homeland of the worldwide famous Count Dracula.

The original story of Dracula's name is also worth mentioning as it is connected with Vlad's family. Vlad's father was a merciless warrior, the ruler of Wallachia from 1436 to 1442, and, moreover, a member of the Dragon Order (or “Dracul”) in the local dialect. That's how this intimidating name appeared.

Although in many legends Count Dracula is presented as a scary dangerous creature who frightened many generations, in Transylvania he is considered a local hero.

 

Romania's Must-Sees: Bran Castle

Undoubtedly, one of the absolutely unmissable places to place on your Romania itinerary is the country's most famous castle. Built as a fortress in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, Bran Castle is well-known as among the most beautiful and at the same time scariest buildings in the world.

It's often called Dracula's Castle because of its resemblance to the one described by Bram Stoker in his novel.

Over the course of history, the castle belonged to many different rulers but the most famous one is Queen Maria of Romania. After restoration, the castle became her summer residence with a charming park and tea house.

Being one of the most unique sights in the country, today Bran Castle attracts numerous tourists as an authentic museum.

Guests for sure will be enchanted not only by the elegant interiors of the building but also by the fascinating nature as the castle is perfectly located on the top of the hill.

Actually, this legendary treasure of architecture is located 30 km (18 mi) from the city of Brasov, so, you have all chances to see the iconic castle which inspired the author of one of the greatest horror novels of all time! Bloody cool, right?

Bran_Castle_Romania
 

Unique Cities in Romania: Brilliant Brasov

Moreover, save some time to appreciate the beauty of Romania's Brasov. This pearl was established in the Middle Ages and welcomes all travelers with open arms today. This unique part of Transylvania boasts hardwood forests, majestic mountains, and fairy-tale castles.

Brasov Romania

Let yourself wander the many narrow cobblestone streets with charming architecture filled with the atmosphere of the last century. It seems like these pastel-colored buildings, dating back to medieval times, saw it all: from the open-air markets and city festivals to cruel beheadings and witch trials.

While in Brasov, don't miss the opportunity to see the performance of local philharmonic and opera artists and pop in a couple of museums. One of the most famous treasures of the city is the Black Church. It's worth mentioning that the Black Church is the largest gothic church in Romania, its walls blackened during the fire in 1689, and this is the main reason why the church got its cryptic name.

Believe us, Brasov is a unique city, where celebrations take place all year round and the spirit of the previous century in still in the air. And all the mentioned above is just a small part of everything Brasov has to offer!

 

Popular Romania Landmarks: Peles Castle

On your way to the Bran Castle don't miss another gem of German new-Renaissance architecture. Located near the Bucegi Mountains in the scenic city of Sinaya, the Peles Castle is an absolute must-see for all travelers in Romania because it's considered as the jewel of all Transylvanian castles.

This castle was a summer residence of the Romanian royal family. One of the most impressive things is that each of 160 rooms here is decorated in a different style and follows a different theme.

During the visit, guests of the castle will be mesmerized by the rich collections of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, and colorful stained glass windows. The interiors of the castle are filled with the artwork of Austrian artists Gustav Klimt and Frantz Matsch.

Did you know that the Peles Castle was the very first castle in Europe to have electricity? The building has even more creative innovations which have never been seen before in the 18th-century.

For example, the glass roof of the main hall opens with a special mechanism, and the castle even has a small elevator specially made for the members of the royal family.

Peles_castle_Romania
 

Other Romania Must-Sees: Spectacular Sighisoara

The medieval fortress of Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another significant attraction for all travelers in Romania. It seems like this colorful town came directly from the pages of your favorite book.

Sighisoara

The city has it all: cozy cobbled streets, old charming churches, and the massive Sighisoara Citadel whose walls keep a thousand-year history.

Furthermore, remember our enigmatic friend Dracula? Sighisoara is also famous as the birthplace of the most horrifying vampire.

During your stay, you definitely should explore Dracula's mansion, the real vampire layer, which is located directly in the city.

Dracula's house is just one of the many alluring sights here. Other most striking ones which deserve a spot on your Romania agenda are the Church on the Hill (which is known for its 500-year-old frescos), the Venetian House dating back to the 13th century, the Church of the Dominican Monastery (with its 17th-century organ), and the monumental Clock Tower.

 

Without a doubt, anyone planning a trip to Romania should add Transylvania to their travel itinerary. With its majestic castles, breathtaking landscapes, and mystical history Transylvania awaits you! You for sure won't be disappointed!

 
 

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