Brasov might be an unknown name for you, but I bet that you already heard about Transylvania. You might not know that this is a mountainous region in Romania, but whether it was through movies or books, for sure you have heard the mention of Transylvania and its famous inhabitants, the vampires.
Brasov is a medieval town located in Transylvania. If you are planning a visit to Romania you cannot miss the opportunity to visit it.
Brasov was one of the places where I stopped by on my first solo trip and I loved it.
In order to avoid that you miss anything important in your next trip to Brasov, I leave here my top 5 things to do:
1. Visit Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle)
The famous Dracula’s Castle is about 30-45 min from Brasov. Getting there is easy, you just need to catch the bus in Brasov. It should cost you about € 1.20.
In Romanian folklore abound stories of the supernatural. The hilly and mysterious environment that the Carpathians give to this region make Transylvania the perfect place for hosting myths and beliefs as of the vampires.
The Count Dracula may have gotten out of the imagination of the Irish writer, Bram Stoker, but the character who served as his inspiration, Vlad Tepes (or Vlad Dracul ), was a real prince of Wallachia, in the sixteenth century. Vlad Tepes was no vampire but its brutality and cruelty to his prisoners were such that he was nicknamed Vlad, The Impaler.
This castle is worldly known as Dracula´s Castle because it’s the only castle in Romania that fits perfectly with the castle described in Stoker´s book.
Fun fact: Did you know that Bram Stoker never visited Romania? However, the author describes in his immortal book real sites that you can visit during your next trip to this region.
To get more information about the castle, click here.
2. Visit Peles Castle, in Sinaia
Perhaps for being located in Romania and not in any other Western European country this castle doesn´t have the highlight it deserves. Few people hear about it, but it´s one of the most fantastic castles in Europe. Although you might feel tempted to visit the famous Dracula´s Castle and the Peles Castle on the same day, I strongly advise you not to do so. Instead, I will suggest devoting more of your time to Peles Castle. I can guarantee that you won´t regret.
I tried to see the two castles on the same day and when I got to Peles Castle, the visits to the interior had already finished. However, only a simple glimpse of the gardens left me amazed and sure to want to come back one day, just to enjoy the inside.
How to get there? Sinaia is about 1 hour away from Brasov. You can get there easily by train.
3. Eat at Sergiana
If you are one of those persons, like me, that when travelling don´t like to miss the opportunity to sample the local cuisine of a country, then you should eat at this restaurant in Brasov. The dishes are delicious. And since you are already there, take the opportunity to sample the traditional Romanian beverage, Palinca. I tasted it. For me was too strong, but perhaps you are more fond of this drink than me.
4. Visit a Bear Sanctuary
The Carpathians are an impressive Eastern European mountain. Here, you can find the largest population of brown bears in Europe. In the town of Zarnesti, about 30 minutes from Brasov, there is a Bear Sanctuary. This sanctuary is the largest sanctuary in the world of brown bears. Here, the bears are not in cages and the main purpose of this sanctuary is the welfare of these animals. Bears who are here were rescued from circuses and cages.
Unfortunately, during my stay in Brasov, I miss the sanctuary but it was something I really wanted to do.
5. Take a cable car to Mount Tampa, where you will find the sign “Brasov”
This was the first thing I did when I arrived in Brasov. Brasov is at the foot of Mount Tampa, being a city surrounded by a vibrant green.
You can go up to Mount Tampa by cable car, see the sign of “Brasov” and then make a nice walk back to Brasov. That’s what I did. This walk takes about 1 hour.