Mysterious, enchanting, and captivating – these are just a few ways that some might describe the country of Romania. Nestled between nations like Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria, Romania is known worldwide for its beautiful landscapes and dark forests as well as the iconic Transylvania. It’s a land filled with forests, meadows, churches, and castles that can make a trip here very intriguing for visitors. I was able to take a trip to this mysterious land with a few friends on a tour. Below is more about my experience with the Travelmaker Bucharest Two-Castles in a Day Tour.
The first stop on our tour was to this historic castle. Valentine, our tour leader, led us around this massive structure and explained more about its importance and history. Built in the Carpathian Mountains, Peles Castle was constructed around 1873 to serve as the summer home for the Romanian royal family and is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in all of Europe. Inside you’ll find a Music Room which is filled with unique musical instruments and the Theater Room which displays colorful frescos. You’ll also find many pieces of rare Tiffany glass creations scattered around the castle and dazzling stained glass windows you can view.
Besides its intricately designed interior, this castle is also very historic in this country for many reasons. It was one of the first places to show movies in Romania and the first castle on the European continent to be lit by electricity. The castle is also situated in a very beautiful spot so you can take a quick walk around outside and explore the grounds when you’re done viewing the interior. The castle features a magnificent garden filled with unique sculptures, plants, and walls which can make walking through this spot a fun adventure.
The tour of this castle was about an hour. You also need to be prepared to wrap your shoes in plastic which is intended to help keep the castle’s carpeting clean and free from rips.
After exploring Peles Castle, Valentine then took us to the famous Bran Castle, known worldwide as Dracula’s Castle. He explained a bit about this historic structure and its history, and then let us explore it on our own.
Situated on the top of a massive hill, this towering structure can be reached by roads that curve through the nearby forest.
This old fortress, built in 1211, was home to many of Romania’s royal families but now serves as a museum. It features small courtyards, wells, gothic chandeliers, winding staircases, and intricately carved wooden doors you can view. You’ll be able to learn more behind the fabled story of Dracula and the man who inspired Bram Stoker to create such a character as well as where the word Transylvania came from while visiting this castle.
The last stop of this intriguing tour was to the city of Brasov which is near Bran Castle. We had a delicious lunch here and got to experience some local dishes, like Romanian soup which features vegetables, meat, sauerkraut, and seasonings. Many native snacks can also be bought at the local markets that are scattered around the city, especially in the Council Square.
This medieval city is an incredible place to venture to thanks to its amazing array of cobblestone streets, such as Strada Sforii which is one of the smallest streets in Europe, and its many colorful buildings. These buildings feature beautiful Gothic architecture and often display towers and intricately designed carvings that will amaze you. You’ll walk through many gates here, like Catherine’s Gate, which add a fairytale-like atmosphere to the city.
Our guide Valentine explained more behind the different buildings that lined the streets, like the Black Church, which is famed in Romania for its remarkable organ concerts, and the Council Tower. It was also said that tossing a coin into the nearby well is a popular thing to do in order to wish for good luck. While here it also started to snow which added a beautiful lasting image to this experience.
Romania might not be a place that many might eagerly point out to visit, but it should be. It’s an enchanting land that’s filled with many amazing things to do. You can explore dark forests, castles, and dine on some local dishes that are sure to please your taste buds. My tour was quite intriguing and allowed me to learn even more about this small, yet exceptional and magical country.
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I was a guest of TravelMaker tours but all opinions are my own.