Dracula Castle – Romania’s most Famous Legend

Is there really a Dracula Castle? A lot of you heard of the bloody vampire Dracula living in a legendary country called Transylvania. But is there really such a place? And was there really such a vampire?

There surely is some true to this story and we are about to unravel the mystery …

Who was Dracula the vampire?

The first question that comes to mind is of course: Who was this Dracula guy?

Interesting enough Dracula was actually a real person who lived in medieval Romania between years 1431 and 1476. His name was Vlad Basarab the third, mostly known as Vlad the Impaler, called like this because of his favorite killing and torture method: impalement. He was the ruler of Wallachia, the most southern romanian region, stretching between the Danube in the South and the Carpathians in the North. The capital of this region was the city of Targoviste, so that was actually the ruler’s head quarters and the place from where he ruled at that time.

So you might be disappointed to learn that Dracula never lived in Bran Castle, the place known today as the Dracula Castle. But we will get there in a moment…

dracula romania

From Vlad the Impaler to Dracula

The real Vlad III Basarab was born in a house in the Sighisoara Fortress in 1431 and was the son of the Walachian voivode Vlad II Dracul ( 1390-1447). Vald II was a knight of the Dragon Order, a medieval military order set up by the emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg, which had as an emblem a Dragon.

Vlad II felt so proud for being a member of this great order that he would wear the symbol of the Dragon everywhere he went. This is why the people started calling him Vlad Dracul, meaning “the devil” because to them a Dragon represented the evil!

Sure enough his son Vlad III was nicknamed Draculea (the son of Dracul or smaller devil) and from here to DRACULA is only one step. 

vlad the impaler

 Dracula – a Famous Novel

At the end of the XIX century the Irish writer Bram Stoker, author of fantasy and horror novels, met an Hungarian history teacher, who first tells him about Dracula. But the teacher did not have a strong knowledge of the true historical character, and actually thought Dracula lived in Transylvania, the central Romanian region. This is most probably why Bram Stoker also thought Dracula was a Transylvanian voivode.

But what was this Bram Stoker up to? He wanted to frighten his british readers so he invented a diabolical character, which aimed to destroy Britain!  This mythical medieval character that he was just discovering seemed like the perfect guy for the role. He probably also liked the name “Dracula”. Sounds so much like “dragon”, a fabulous animal from the ancient Chinese and European mythology, and even assembles with the name of an ancient Greek legislator, Dracon, famous for the harshness of his punishments.

bram stoker dracula So he created Count Dracula, a figure who lived in Transylvania, in a mighty castle hidden in the mountains between thick forests. This fantastic creature had supernatural diabolical powers: in the night he turned into a vampire, a scary creature who bites his victims sucking their blood. But these victims do not die!  but they transform in some kind of zombies who will fulfill Dracula vampire’s will. A most fascinating story indeed…

The novel was published in 1897 and became very popular in short time. Stoker’s novel has been screened and musically adapted on several occasions, but the greatest success was the film directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992, titled Dracula.

After this, both Dracula and the Dracula Castle became famous!

dracula castle

 Why Bran Castle?

As mentioned above, in this successful novel Dracula lived in a mighty castle in Transylvania. Even if most of the novel is fiction, there are a number of real or reality-related elements, such as the geographical location in Transylvania and names of towns and mountains that actually exist! So after reading the book, you could actually go and follow the trails of the Vampire Dracula in Transylvania. 

Seems like Bram Stoker created the Dracula’s castle  in the novel based upon a description of Bran Castle that was available to him at that time in Britain. The striking similarities between the castle in the book and the Castle in Bran village made the later to be known today as the Dracula Castle!  

Bram Stocker's Dracula Castle

 What is there to see in Dracula Castle?

The Bran Castle is one of the most valuable medieval monuments in Romania. The stone castle was built at the end of the 14th century, but the first fortifications were built here by the Teutonic Knights in the 12th century. Numerous historical personalities are connected with the Bran Castle such as German Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, Wallachian voivode Mircea the Elder (grandfather of Vlad Dracula) and other princes of Transylvania.

But Vlad Dracula himself never actually lived in this Castle! In fact there is no evidence that he had any connection with Bran Castle at all. So the castle really only is famous thanks to the Novel and the many movies made after the novel. 

Dracula Castle in Bran

 Nevertheless the Bran Castle is a beautiful medieval construction worth your time. The castle as we see it today is the result of renovations and remodeling done by Queen Mary of Romania in the beginning of the XX century. The queen added flower gardens, beautiful furniture, painted doors and ceramics stoves, and many other royal touch-ups that transformed the Medieval Fortress into a real Castle. 

At present Bran Castle is the property of the successor of Queen Mary, Dominic of Habsburg, her grandson. 

Unfortunately, the Bran Castle has only preserved its exterior original from that time. Most of the interior is now different because all the beautiful furniture was moved by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The furniture you see today in the castle was donated later. 

Bran castle interior garden
Bran castle interior garden
Bran castle interiors
Bran castle interiors
Bran castle Romania
Original interiors
Romania Dracula castle
Painted stoves

 How to get to Dracula’s Castle

The famous Dracula Catstle is located in the village Bran, at the bottom of the Southern Carpathians, in Transylvania right at the border line with Wallachia. Today nobody cares about the old border anymore but in the past Bran was actually the entrance gate in Transylvania!

The easiest way to get here is by booking a guided day tour to Transylvania and Dracula Castle. 

Otherwise you can either rent a car and drive about 3 hours from Bucharest to get there, or you could go by train to Brasov city and get a bus from Brasov to Bran village.  

Dracula Castle day tour by minivan
Dracula Castle day tour


The Castle is opened all year, every day

 See below the Schedule and Entrance Costs and check  Bran Castle Official Website  for more details



Monday: 12PM – 4PM

Tue–Sun: 9AM – 4PM

Last Admission: 4PM



Monday: 12PM – 6PM

Tue–Sun: 9AM – 6PM

Last Admission: 6PM


EASTER HOLIDAYS 2019 (APRIL 26 – 30, 2019)

Friday, April 26: 9AM – 6PM

Saturday, April 27: 9AM – 6PM

Sunday, April 28: 10AM – 6PM

Monday, April 29: 10AM – 6PM

Tuesday, April 30: 9AM – 6PM




Adults: 40Lei (8.5€)

Seniors (65+): 30Lei (6.5€)

Students: 25Lei (5.5€)

Pupils: 10Lei (2 €)

School groups (>20pax): 5Lei (1€)



Admission is free for disabled persons and for institutionalized persons.

Seniors admission is valid for people over 65 years and it requires ID display.

Students and pupils require to display their Student ID.



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