Located in South-Western Europe, Romania’s luscious forests and architecture takes visitors on a trip through time to revisit the medieval era. Yet, beneath the romantic and peaceful atmosphere around Romania, lies a close association with horror. At the heart of these is Bran, Romania, a quiet town with only 5,500 residents. Bran is located just 25 kilometers (16 mi) south-west from the city of Brasov. There are many reasons why one should not give this town a miss. While Bran’s ties with popular vampire myths are hard to ignore, its modern offerings are also alluring. For the curious-minded and brave-at-heart, here’s a list of things to do in Bran, Romania, to immerse yourself in the city’s shroud of horror and modernity.
When visitors first arrive in Bran, they will first notice a castle sitting atop a hill overlooking the small town. Towering over Bran is Bran Castle. Sitting atop a hill, Bran Castle’s imposing facade freezes the town in time. Besides giving Bran its unique temporal identity, the castle is also what gives Bran its repute. The castle is believed to be the inspiration for Dracula’s home in Stoker’s infamous classic. Even if this is disputed, the castle is also rumored to have been the residence of Vlad the Impaler, Romania’s cruel ruler from the 15th century. It would be rude to miss out on the chance to pay the two of them a visit. For those disinterested in popular myths and folklore, Bran Castle houses a museum of the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. The museum offers those captivated by Romania’s rich history, an insight into the life and times of Romania’s last queen.
Bran Castle tour
Duration: 1 hour
2. Immerse yourself in dracula's tales at Horror House Bran
For those who just cannot get enough of vampires, located just three minutes away at the foot of Bran Castle is the Castle of Horror. The horror house is a perfect complement to the folklore surrounding Bran Castle. Outfitted with a vampire theme and replicated torture instrument exhibit, the Castle of Horror is perfect for the morbid-loving. If you came to Bran just to explore the Dracula associations, the Castle of Horror is a stop you will not want to miss!
Horror House Bran
Address: Principala Street No. 502 A, Bran 507025, Romania
Website: Castulei Groazei Bran
Opening hours: 9:30am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 2.60 USD
3. Relive the history of Bran's residents at Bran Village Museum
If horror either scares or is not amusing to you, take a break from that and visit Bran’s Village Museum. Not far from Bran Castle is a small museum that authentically recreates the living quarters of old Bran. You can trust that the museum offers an accurate reflection of history as the houses were moved - yes, physically moved - to their current locations. The 16 houses not only carry with them the architecture and living conditions of their time, but also the essence of what it feels like to be from the countryside centuries ago. The village museum also features signages in both Romanian and English, making it accessible to most visitors.
Bran Village Museum
Address: Strada General Traian Moșoiu, Bran 507025, Romania
Price: 1.60 USD
4. Learn about royal history at the National Museum of Bran
Program muzeal - educativ,la Muzeul Național Bran!Posted by Muzeul Național Bran on Friday, 28 June 2019
Vampires aside, Bran actually sits as an important site for Romania’s royal history prior to the Second World War. Amidst the royal feud between the last Queen of Romania, Marie, and her family, Bran served as Marie’s first place of refuge. The National Museum of Bran houses an original collection of Queen Marie and her partner, King Ferdinand. The exhibitions give a glimpse into the turmoil of Romania’s inter-war periods. Visiting the National Museum of Bran gives guests an impression of the importance of Bran in the history of Romania.
National Museum of Bran
Address: Strada Doctor Aurel Stoian 14, Bran 507025, Romania
Website: Muzeul National Bran
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
5. Get in touch with nature at Moeciu de Sus
If natural heritage interests you more, then take a day tour to the nearby village of Moeciu du Bus. Founded at the bottom of luscious green foothills, Moeciu du Sus is the place to go to soak in the sun. As a smaller village compared to Bran, Moeciu du Sus offers a peaceful change of scenery. Visitors can either drive there or take a day tour with local guides.
Moeciu de Sus
Website: Moeciu du Sus tours
Address: Moeciu de Sus 31, Bran 507134, Romania
Price: 65 USD
6. Attend the Răvăşitul Oilor festival
Traditiile ne definesc oare ? ca si popor ? ... sa le transmitem mai departe ? ... sau sa le abandonam ... cu dedicatie pentru cei aflati departe de casa ...Posted by Ravasitul Oilor Bran on Tuesday, 31 March 2015
If you are in Bran in September, be sure to attend the annual local pastoral festival that involves food, drinks and locally made handicraft! It is the annual highlight of Bran and would see a gathering of locals and visitors alike. The festival runs from 25 September to 27 September this year.
Address: Bran, 507026, Bran, Brasov
Website: Răvăşitul Oilor
7. Ski down the slopes of Moeciu
Located just 14 minutes by car, 9.2km (5.7miles) south-west of Bran, is the Cheile Grădiștei slope at Moeciu Resort. If you are visiting in winter, do not miss the chance to ski down the slopes of Transylvia’s forest near Moeciu village. The ski field is on a short slope, making its routes manageable for beginners and suitable for a family trip.
Cheile Grădiștei slope at Fundata Resort
Address: Fundata 507070, Romania
Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 6 USD to 36 USD
8. Seek peace at Bran Monastery
Perched atop Balaban hill is the unassuming Bran Monastery, located 17 minutes by car, 8.7km (5.4miles) south of Bran. The monastery’s high point sets the place of worship against the backdrop of the village of Shimon and the Piatra Craiului massif. This picturesque view provides a moment of serenity and tranquility for those looking to escape the bustling townships.
Address: Strada Bălăban 5, Șimon 507028, Romania
Website: Mănăstirea Bran
9. Trek from Bran to Magura Village
For those looking to take in the scenes Bran has to offer on foot, they must take a walk through the Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park. The Bran to Magura Village trek does just that and can be done as a day trip. Though the trek starts from Bran Castle, it is quickly left behind as you swap architecture for nature.
Bran to Magura Village Trek
Address: Strada General Traian Moșoiu 24, Bran 507025, Romania (Bran Castle - starting point)
10. Wine and dine amidst the mountains at D.O.R
Adevărata fericire o simți atunci când vizitezi un restaurant gata să te "plimbe" prin cele mai speciale experiențe culinare! Încă puțin și ne vom revedea cu #DOR!Posted by DOR on Tuesday, 19 November 2019
For an exquisite meal with a view of the mountains of Piatra Craiului, D.O.R is the perfect place to visit. Serving intricately prepared meals, their menu ranges from crispy trout fillet for mains and lava cake for dessert. With the large window panes and Nordic-themed interior and exterior, diners are provided a homely dining experience with the mountains right in front of their noses.
Address: Str. Calea Branului nr. 55G, Tohanu Nou 505802, Romania
Opening hours: Mon: 2pm - 10pm; Tue - Sat: 12pm - 10:30pm; Sun: 12pm - 7:30pm
11. Indulge in Romanian cuisine at Bran Chalet Restaurant
Near the heart of Bran is the Bran Chalet Restaurant. With a view of the imposing Bran Castle, the restaurant serves authentic Romanian food such as papanași or Romanian beer. The view and great food are accompanied by the friendly and welcoming wait staff. However, as the restaurant does not accept credit cards, cash should be prepared beforehand. Otherwise, Bran Chalet Restaurant is the best place in Bran to truly indulge in Romania’s multi-faceted culture.
Bran Chalet Restaurant
Address: Cavaler Ioan de Puscariu Street 2, Bran 507027, Romania
Website: Bran Chalet Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 12:30pm - 8pm; Thu - Sat: 12:30pm - 8:30pm; Sun: 12:30pm - 3pm
Experience Romania's culture
Bran is a small town that carries with it important bits of Romania’s history and culture. From Bran Castle to museums, its architecture freezes the town in time. Yet, Bran exists very much in the present, with great mountains towering behind it and modern sports such as skiing on offer. This makes traveling through Bran almost like traveling through time while fully immersing yourself in Romania’s culture. With what it has to offer, Bran is definitely an unmissable stop on travels to Romania.
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