Brasov to Bran Castle Guide: A Thrilling Day with Dracula

by Sam
A view of Bran Castle perched atop a rocky outcrop, framed by autumn foliage and a clear blue sky, with sunlight filtering through the trees in the foreground.

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Are you looking to explore the Dracula legend on a day trip from Brasov to Bran Castle?

Perched in the Carpathian mountain, Bran Castle has imbedded itself well into Romanian folklore from its fictional association with Dracula and Vlad the Impaler.

With so many visiting to celebrate the folklore of Dracula, it has become a tourist hotspot for those coming from Brasov.

I visited Bran Castle while travelling around Romania, heading there on Halloween – on all days, would you believe? I stayed in the nearby city of Brasov as a base point, which allowed me to explore the Transylvania region easily.

This guide will explain how to get from Brasov to Bran Castle by bus, car, taxi, or day tour and what to expect during your day there.

How to get from Brasov to Bran Castle

If you plan to travel from Brasov to Bran Castle, there are convenient transport options via bus, private car, taxi, or a day tour. 

Bran Castle is right next to Brasov, and they are only 30km apart, so you’ll be there in no time. Here’s a breakdown of how to get to Bran Castle:

Brasov to Bran Castle by bus

To get from Brasov to Bran Castle by bus, you must head to the Autogara 2 Transbus Codreanu, where regular buses leave for Bran every hour. 

They typically depart from platform 2, but keep an eye out for the front of the bus where it should have it labelled “Bran”

If you are staying in the Old Town, you can catch the #41 bus from the Livada Postei bus stop to Autogara 2, get a taxi there or be like me and take a 45-minute walk to the station.

To get your bus tickets to Bran Castle, you can purchase them from the Kiosk stand at the station for 13 LEI for a single ticket. You can buy your return ticket from the bus driver on your way back. 

The bus journey takes around 45 minutes, and you will be dropped off just in the centre of the village of Bran, in plain sight of Bran Castle. *This is the cheapest travel option.

Check out the current bus schedule to Bran Castle

Brasov to Bran Castle by taxi or car

Taking a taxi from Brasov to Bran Castle is much more expensive, costing an average of around 55 LEI for a one-way journey. 

Some taxi firms around the area try to take advantage of tourists and con them. I’ve read multiple times of taxi drivers charging double the price, 110 LEI, for a return journey without guaranteeing a return pickup.

A local tour guide recommended this taxi service, but I recommend going by bus for a cheaper option. Alternatively, utilising ride-sharing services like Uber or Bolt can save some money for your taxi journey. 

This journey takes an average of 35 minutes to Bran Castle through the DN73/E574 route. Parking sites are next to the castle if you plan to travel by private car. 

Going on a Bran Castle day tour from Brasov

The easiest way to get from Brasov to Bran Castle is by going on a day tour. There are many travel agencies that offer day trips to Bran Castle from Brasov that are stress-free without worrying about commuting.

I highly recommend this option if you are departing from other areas in Romania, like Bucharest or Sibiu. There is no easy travel route from either destination to Bran Castle.

Find a tour of Bran Castle.

Travel tips and information for your visit to Bran Castle

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Bran Castle from Brasov is during the shoulder months from April to June and September to October. 

These months offer the perfect combination of weather, fewer crowds, and beautiful scenery with blossoming greenery around the castle. 

I don’t recommend visiting in the summer if you want to avoid the crowds. The same goes for October 31st (Halloween), the busiest time for Bran Castle because of its association with Dracula.

Crowd of visitors queueing along a narrow path leading up to Bran Castle on a sunny day, with a banner reading 'ROYAL BY DAY WICKED BY NIGHT' featuring an image of a crown and bat wings, hinting at a Halloween event at the castle.

I spent 2 hours queuing up to enter the castle and a few hours getting around it, as most parts of it were heavily crowded.

These crowds halted my overall experience as I felt rushed most of the time and had to squeeze past people along the narrow hallways of Bran Castle.

Opening hours, prices and entrance

Bran Castle operates on a seasonal schedule with fewer hours during the colder months.

Opening hours: From October to April 1st, the castle is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from April 1st to September 30th, the hours extend to 6 p.m.  

Prices: Adults can enter Bran Castle for 70 LEI (concessions are available), and additional attractions like the Torture Chambers and Time Tunnel are open for an extra cost. Find out more information here.

Tickets can be bought online or at the Bran Castle ticket station, which you’ll find at the bottom of the hill before you head up to Bran Castle.  

History of the castle

Bran Castle was first built in 1212 as a wooden castle and then destroyed by the Mongols decades later. 

It wasn’t until 1377 that the Transylvanian Saxons rebuilt it as a stone castle to defend themselves against the Ottomans. 

Through centuries of battles and takeovers, it fell into the good hands of Queen Marie in 1920, the castle’s biggest advocate. She spent many years renovating the castle to turn it into her dream summer residence.

Bran Castle was continuously passed down through her descendants until it fell out of the royals’ hands during the country’s communist era and became a state-run museum. 

Then, in 2006, it was reinstated into royal control and reopened as a museum in 2009 to the public – becoming the Bran Castle we see today.

Bran Castle perched atop a rocky cliff surrounded by lush greenery, with the sun casting a soft glow through the trees, in a serene autumn setting

Exploring The Dracula Phenomenon

The Dracula phenomenon associated with the castle originated from the Bram Stoker novel Dracula, which is loosely based on the historical figure Vlad the Impaler, who served as the ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century. 

Although Vlad Dracula never lived in the castle and Bram Stoker never visited it, the author took inspiration from the castle’s gothic and eerie architectural descriptions and Vlad’s fearsome reputation to create the perfect photo-fit depiction for his story. 

Little trivia: Vlad the Impaler’s actual residence was Poenari Castle, which visitors can visit on a day trip from Brasov. 

Expectations vs reality

Sadly, for Dracula fans, a day trip from Brasov to Bran Castle may be one of disappointment, as the museum primarily focuses on the castle’s history rather than the fascination around Bram Stoker’s fiction. 

You won’t find staff with large fangs and yourself getting bitten at the first sight of blood. Have residents sleeping in coffins or magical organs playing as you roam the castle. 

The best you can hope for is Dracula T-shirts and mugs in the gift shop at the bottom, although the castle does have that eerie Dracula vibe. I do give it that!

Things to see and do at Dracula’s Castle

1. Learn about the history of the castle

As you roam around Bran Castle, you’ll learn more about the history of the royals who lived there. 

On the walls are paintings alongside passages that describe their lives and their status in the royal family. 

It was fascinating to see the lavish lifestyle they used to live while here. There are many simple yet well-preserved bedrooms and elegant furniture. 

Vintage-style bedroom in Bran Castle, showcasing arched white ceilings, a candelabra, a bed with ornate patterns and a red throw, and a Southwestern rug, bathed in the natural light from a traditional window

2.  See the courtyard

The castle courtyard is the heart of the castle and remains its most popular spot for photography. This area really showcases the brilliance of the interior structure.

A bustling courtyard within Bran Castle with tourists exploring its medieval architecture, including a stone tower and timber balconies adorned with autumn leaves.

During Halloween, the castle courtyard gets decorated with decorations, including pumpkins, scary masks, and everything to make it more spooky.

And, of course, I had to get photos of it.

3. Explore the Torture Exhibition

Cost: 20 LEI

The torture exhibition is an additional attraction located along the corridors above the courtyard of Bran Castle. 

This exhibition includes a collection of medieval torture instruments, which were historically used across medieval European castles. Some of the most grimacing instruments I saw were the interrogation chair and the Iron Maiden​. 

Each instrument was gruesome to see and showed the real grim side of Europe’s medieval past.

A medieval wooden torture mask stands open next to a wall displaying an illustration of a woman and several iron cross-shaped wall fixtures, part of the torture exhibition at Bran Castle

4.  Go down to the Time tunnel

Cost: 30 LEI

The time tunnel guides you through a visual depiction of castle history, with each station illuminated by lighting and enhanced with audio effects. 

It takes you from the first creation of the castle in 1212 up until Queen Marie’s reign while also diving into the story of Vlad the Impaler. 

My favourite part of the tunnel was the elevator. It was unsurprising to hear that it was titled the “Best Special Elevator in the World” in 2019. 

You can access The Time Tunnel from inside the courtyard. I recommend only visiting once you’ve explored Bran Castle fully, as the exit takes you out of the castle, and there is no way of getting back in.  

5. Explore the village of Bran

Although many come for the castle, the village of Bran has its own charms.

Bran has plenty of markets that sell local cuisine and handcrafted goods alongside many mini museums nearby.

Near the castle is the Bran Village Museum, which showcases Romania’s traditional rural life, with stables and Romanian houses. It is free to enter!

The Castle Of Horror is also located inside the market and explores more of the town’s folklore around Dracula, taking you through interactive exhibits with plenty of jump scares! It costs 25 Lei to enter.  

Not to forget, Bran has plenty of greenery around the castle – lovely for a sit-down or a spot of lunch.

A tranquil park near Bran Castle featuring a cobblestone path leading to a small pond, framed by trees with early autumn foliage in shades of green and yellow, and two distant figures near a bench enjoying the peaceful setting.

Places to visit near Bran Castle

There are so many amazing places in the Transylvanian region near Bran Castle to add to your Brasov itinerary. Here are the most notable locations.


Rasnov is a beautiful little town reminiscent of Brasov, with its medieval and charming ambience.

Similar to Brasov, the town features giant letters spelling out its name perched atop a hill that resembles the famous Hollywood sign. The Rasnov sign is located next to Rasnov Citadel, the town’s medieval fortress.

The fortress is embedded in Rasnov’s medieval history and was the primary strategic defence to help protect the town from sieges. 

Visitors can climb up here, or if, like me, you prefer the easier route, there is a cable car for a cost that can take you right up. 

Alongside the fascinating museum is this beautiful panorama at the top showcasing the far Romanian greenery.

Panoramic view of a picturesque town from the Rasnov Citadel, showcasing terracotta rooftops, dense housing, and the expansive green plains stretching to distant mountains under a partly cloudy sky.

How to get there: If you plan to visit Bran Castle from Brasov, catch the same bus from Autogara 2 and get off the stop just before you get to Bran Castle. You’ll then arrive by Rasnov. 

If you depart from Bran Castle to Brasov, get off at the first stop. 

Peles Castle

Cost: 50 LEI (Concessions available) 

Peles Castle, located in Sinaia, rivals Bran Castle as one of the most sought-after castles in Romania. 

It is one of the most majestic castles I’ve seen and is undoubtedly the biggest in Romania!  It has over 160 rooms, each adorned in an opulent style fit for royalty. 

Walking through the castle, you’ll see the finest examples of Neo-Renaissance architecture.

Note:  It can get jam-packed, so I recommend purchasing tickets online to avoid queue times. 

View of the historical Peles Castle in Romania, displaying its charming wooden details and spired towers, under a blue sky with fluffy clouds, flanked by green trees.

How to get there: To get from Brasov to Peles Castle, you’ll need to take a train from Brasov to Sinaia station, hop on a bus next to the train station, and then get off just outside the castle. 

You can also take a guided tour of Peles Castle, which includes a trip to Rasnov Fortress and Bran Castle from Brasov.

Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti

Cost: 80 LEI (Concessions available) 

Libearty Zarnesti is one of Europe’s largest bear enclosures and is the first to open up in Romania. 

While visiting, you will have a chance to view bears from various enclosures and learn about their distressing history before wildlife conservation came to fruition. 

A brown bear behind a metal fence, seemingly at ease, in the natural surroundings of the Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti, with a backdrop of green trees and scattered autumn leaves on the ground.

How to get there: Unfortunately, there is no public transport route from Brasov or Bran Castle to Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti. 

You can take a guided tour from Brasov, which includes a trip to Bran Castle. 

Final thoughts

Well, there you have it! Getting from Brasov to Bran Castle by bus, taxi or on a day tour is very easy. With much to explore in the castle, village and the surrounding areas of the Transylvanian region, you’ll be sure to have a well-packed adventure day out.

If you are visiting for Dracula, well, I hope you are not disappointed. Although the castle is not built factually around Bram Stoker’s story, it does depict the eerie architectural elements he fictionally imagined.

From my overall impressions, its mystique and intrigue really do make you feel as if a vampire once lived there. And for that reason alone, you shouldn’t miss it for the world!

Check out even more exciting day trips from Brasov

Interested in more content about Romania? Check out:

12 of The Very Best Things To Do in Bucharest

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