From Brasov you can easily go around in the area of Transylvania. We wanted to know more about the myth of vampires which is based on a Gothic horror story Dracula by the author Bram Stoker.
Bran castle is the famous spot to try to bust the myth. The castle also goes by the name of Dracula’s castle. The castle you can easily drive to in about 45 minutes from Brasov. You can park your car around the castle on parking lots. I found the fee expensive, 5 RON per hour. But since it is so touristy, you have no choice.
Before you enter the castle there is a cute market with souvenirs and some food stalls. The foodstuffs sell local food like sausages and cheese. A small bakery is on the beginning of the market, which had nice pastries.
The castle is settled on a hill which overlooks the hills and village. The steeple red towers are in contrast with the surroundings.
The entree of the castle is 35 RON. You can walk around on your own and if you want you can pay extra to get an audio guide.
The decoration inside is historic and mystic. With written details about the vampires and the myth about this, they try to make it more exiting. For me this wasn’t necessary, the castle just looks nice to me. Even if you take all the tourist for granted it is a beautiful place to visit.
Close to Bran you can find fortress Rasnov. High up the mountains with a superb view from this old fortress over the city Rasnov. The fortress itself are not really worth the visit. Well lets say it is a ruin.
Peles castle is in the village of Sinaia. You can reach this within 2 hours from Bucharest. At the parking lot you have to pay 5 Lei per day.
King Carol 1 fell in love with the scenery of Sinaia and therefore bought the land. The Peleș castle was a summer residence for the royal family. They started the construction in 1875 and was completed in 1883. During time they made improvements, coming to the way it looks now. The Peles castle is constantly called a castle, but is actually a palace.
Although the castle has about 160 rooms, as a tourist you can only visit about 10 rooms. You have to pay 20 Lei entrance fee. And if you want to make pictures you have to pay a steep additional fee of 35 Lei. Even it is an expensive place to visit it is absolutely worth it! Inside the castle you go from one to another room with a guide who tells you all about the castle.
The entrance hall with the magnificent wood carvings and statues and the glass sealing is just fantastic! The other rooms you’ll visit are all beautifully decorated with paintings, gold, marble and woodcarvings. All in different styles. The floors are covered with carpets, but you still have to wear special covers for your shoes.
Walking around this palace, I was overwhelmed with the variety of rooms and it’s decorations. It is almost obscene and unnatural but I absolutely loved it! To be honestly I haven’t heard a worth the guide was telling. I was just looking around, take a closer look at details and making pictures. A pity is that is a bit busy, so making pictures can be a challenge.
Close to the castle you’ll find a small monastery where until now still is inhabited with Christian Orthodox monks. The church has nice paintings and mosaic and is worth a stop before you continue your trip.
From Sinaia you can do some other activities. Unfortunately there was no snow, so snowboarding wasn't possible. If there is snow you an get a ski lift up the mountain.
An other thing to do is hiking. There are several trails around the city. We tried to hike up to a waterfall, but this one was hand maintained, so not really worth the view. The scenery around was beautiful! Apparently we walked the wrong trail towards an other waterfall. This suppose to be well marked, so just give it a try.