There are several Dracula locations in Romania that the fans of the famous vampire don’t want to miss. Some are mentioned in Bram Stocker’s novel and some are related to Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Draculea, the cruel Romanian ruler who inspired the vampire’s character.
Are you ready to finally explore a piece of Dracula lore in real life? Romania, the film location for various adaptations over the years, is rife with stories about Vlad III–the source for Bram Stoker’s vampire legend.
Here’s your chance to take a journey back in time and immerse yourself in what might be one of the most popular fictional legends of all time. From visiting creepy castles to ancient ruins, discover why so many go on their own vampire pilgrimage each year.
Whether you dream about exploring Count Dracula’s castle or visiting mysterious monasteries draped in history, Romania will give you an unforgettable experience as you explore its rich cultural past connected to mythological creatures from another realm.
So don your best cloak and sharpen your fangs as we walk through some must-see Dracula locations in Romania.
Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle
Bran Castle, located in Transylvania in Romania, is renowned for its historical importance and connection to Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel Dracula. It was the inspiration behind the famous castle of Count Dracula. Stoker depicted it as a dark and intimidating fortress-like structure inhabited by the titular character. This is why it should be your first stop.
Even though historians prove that the famous ruler, Vlad the Impaler, owned the place at some point, it was not his permanent residence. However, the castle’s architecture and location, dating from the 14th century, make it an incredibly impressive sight.
It has tall towers rising up against the sky and ancient walls stretching across the landscape like a sentinel. It gives off a truly majestic aura that evokes feelings of awe and mystery.
Your next stop should definitely be the famous Borgo Pass. The Borgo Pass is an important plot point in Bram Stoker’s horror classic Dracula. Count Dracula makes his fateful voyage from Transylvania to England at this pass.
The Borgo Pass is described as a dangerous and treacherous road with steep ravines and sharp turns. On the journey through the pass, the travelers encounter strange creatures such as giant wolves and bats, giving readers a sense of dread and foreboding.
In reality, Borgo Pass is a wonderful area rich in beautiful landscapes. Visiting it is a must for anyone looking to explore the history and culture of the country. The area around the pass is one of Romania’s most picturesque regions, with stunning views, traditional villages, and vast forests.
You’ll discover here a hotel that looks exactly like the one described in the book. Unfortunately, the hotel is not open at the moment.
Poenari Fortress, the real castle of Vlad the Impaler
Following the real-life count Dracula–Vlad the Impaler, the following location should be Poenari Fortress.
Poenari Fortress is a magnificent piece of history that stands as an iconic monument to the past. Built around the 14th century, this fortress was once inhabited by the Wallachian ruler Vlad III Dracula and is now considered one of Romania’s most important historical sites.
Located on a hilltop overlooking the Arges River, the fortress is accessible only by climbing 1,480 stairs. Once at the top, you will be treated to stunning views of the surrounding countryside and an impressive view of the ruins below. At the bottom of the fortress, you can see the Arefu village.
Poenari Replica in Bucharest
If you can’t reach the Poenari fortress in person, but you’re in Bucharest for a few days, you might have a chance to see the famous place. King Carol I, erected a fortress replica, and you can visit it anytime in Carol Park.
This medieval masterpiece still stands gracefully, and it amazes visitors with its outstanding beauty. Also known as Hunyad Castle, this is where Vlad or Dracula was imprisoned.
Many historians believe that the famous ruler was imprisoned in the castle’s dungeons for anywhere from a few months to seven years.
Legends say that here is where he went mad as he was being held in the dark for so long, becoming uniquely brutal afterward.
Besides the legends and scary stories, this castle really feels like a portal to the past. You will truly feel like royalty as you walk through its rooms and corridors.
Sighisoara, the birth place of Vlad the Impaler
Apart from being the birthplace of Vlad, Sighisoara is a beautiful citadel painted in vibrant colors, where you can wander peacefully through the narrow streets. The old town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site; with its 15th-century walls, towers, and cobbled streets, it is a sight to behold.
The Vlad Dracul house is believed to be the actual home of the ruler, who was born in 1431. Nowadays, the old house has been transformed into a pub, and you can literally have a great dinner in the Impaler’s home.
Although the main attraction of Snagov is today the Snagov Monastery, the place is known for its connection to Vlad the Impaler. It is here on Snagov Island where legend has it that Vlad the Impaler was buried in a monastery after his death.
The story of how Dracula came to be buried in Snagov is quite interesting. After his death, his body was chopped into pieces and put into sacks of soil which were then thrown into the lake on Snagov Island. Over time, some of these sacks washed up onto the shore, forming a mound of soil where Vlad’s remains were found centuries later.
To this day, the monastery on Snagov Island remains a mysterious place, with many people believing that Vlad’s spirit still lingers there. Legends say that it’s the home to some of Dracula’s descendants, who care for his grave in secret.
In reality, the island itself is quite beautiful and peaceful, with lush forests, clean lakes, and a charming village surrounding it.
The royal court in Targoviste
The 14th-century fortress and Royal Court of Targoviste is a significant historical monument in Romania. It is a former Voievodal residence of Wallachia and has a historical significance that stretches back centuries. It was originally constructed to defend the city from invaders, and its large walls, towers, and defensive structures are a testament to the sheer power of its original builders. The place is also strongly connected to one of the most notorious figures in history, Vlad III.
Inside the 14th-century fortress and Royal Court of Targoviste lies a rich collection of artifacts that tell the story of Wallachia’s turbulent history. From the sword of Vlad III to his personal seal, visitors can get an intimate glimpse into the life and times of this infamous figure as well as the people who surrounded him during his reign. There are also a variety of traditional Romanian artifacts on display, including tapestries, pottery, and jewelry that provide insight into the culture and customs of the region.
Every novel enthusiast will know that Cluj Napoca is the place where Jonathan Harker spends a night before heading to the castle.
Even though the place is not directly linked to the novel or the historical figure, Cluj-Napoca is a vibrant and captivating city with its own atmosphere. The city’s streets are alive with activity, filled with people experiencing the city’s many diverse attractions.
Ancient cobblestone lanes and winding alleys meander through the city centre, lined with quaint cafes, galleries, and shops. The city is also home to various stunning cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and old citadels, which offer an intriguing peek into the area’s past.
From its breathtaking natural landscapes to its impressive cultural attractions, Cluj-Napoca is an unforgettable destination with an array of activities and experiences just waiting to be explored.
The princely court in Bucharest
Whether you’re embarking on your vampire adventure or simply visiting Bucharest, this place is truly worth your attention. The old Princely Court includes the nation’s oldest church, which was built in the 16th century. Also, here is the place where Vlad wrote the letter certifying the formation of Bucharest.
Those with a soft spot for legends will be delighted to see the ruins of an old Vlad fortress that were uncovered only 40 years ago.
Comana Monastery is a Romanian Orthodox monastery located south of Bucharest. The monastery was founded in the 16th century by Prince Vlad III. It has stood the test of time, having survived wars and invasions, and is still active today.
The monastery is known for its beautiful architecture and impressive frescoes. It also houses a museum dedicated to Romanian folk art and history. Rumors claim that this could also be the place where the famous ruler was buried.
The surroundings offer plenty of other attractions for visitors to explore. It is home to several historical monuments and sites. It also has several unique museums dedicated to Romanian crafts, arts, and culture. Nearby is also the Comana Natural Park, a protected area filled with forests, meadows, and rivers that are home to various wildlife species.
If you’re looking for a unique and spooky vacation, Romania should be at the top of your list. With so many Dracula-related sites to explore, you’ll have a blast immersing yourself in this famous legend.
From centuries-old castles and ruins, it’s easy to see why so many tourists flock here each year in search of their own Dracula experience. And with our handy guide, you’ll be sure to hit all the must-see locations on your pilgrimage. So grab your bags, and remember to book your mysterious tour today!