These are the most impressive Transylvania Castles
Article updated on September 2020:
Each Transylvania castle has its own stories and mysteries.
Land of medieval fortresses and count Dracula stories, Transylvania is a place with a unique beauty and fascinating stories.
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Ruins forgot by time or nice refurbished citadels, all are waiting to be discovered and to tell you their stories.
These castles in Transylvania have their own stories, stories which are important pieces in Romanian past and history.
If the walls of this fortresses could speak they would tell us many unwritten stories and many secrets would come to light.
Citadels, queens, and kings are something which fascinates me and makes me want to know more about the past. So, each time I have the chance, I visit these places full of history.
During my trip to Romania, I visited several castles. I will try, in a few lines, to tell you some words about the most beautiful fortresses from Romania which I recommend you not to miss when you visit Transylvania.
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Then this question popped up in my head:
Are there Castles in Transylvania ?
Of course, there are, and not one but many beautiful castles of Transylvania from the 13th to 16th century some even older than that.
Every red dot you see on the map below is an important Castle in Transylvania.
Please note that not every castle is marked on the below map, as they are so many spread around Transylvania.
1. Bran Castle
Known as the home of count Dracula, the main character of Bram Stoker story, Bran is one of the most visited Transylvania castles in Romania.
This work of art was built in 14th century as a fortress to control and defend the trade exchange done via Rucar- Bran Pass.
History and facts
Over time, the citadel suffered many destructions and reconstructions.
The most important being the transformation made at the beginning of the XIX century during Queen Mary when the citadel know another period of glory.
Also known as Rasnov citadel the fortress is located very close to Brasov, so it is ideal for a day trip from Bucharest and is a top-rated Transylvania castle.
This castle corresponds perfectly with Bram Stoker description of Dracula fortress.
More than that, Vlad Tepes the Vallah ruler identified by many as count Dracula also known as Vlad the Impaler, was imprisoned in this fortress.
Because of all these things, this place is also known as Dracula’s Castle.
Nowadays the citadel is an architectural masterpiece very well preserved, with a past full of events and facts which changed Romanian history.
The citadel where the royal family once lived is very well preserved and inside of it, you can still find furniture dating Queen Mary’s period.
In 1973, the ministry of tourism of Romania created a unique tour called Dracula: Legend and Truth, which had it’s main theme around the life of Vlad the Impaler.
It was very propagandist and was intended to draw a clear line between count Dracula the fictional vampire and the historical character of Vlad the Impaler.
The communist regime have decided that Dracula should not be included in Romania’s tourism offers, they were tolerant but not encouraging tourism around it.
This was the official position until the day the communist regime collapsed in December 1989.
Right near the castle, there is the House of Terror as a memory of Dracula’s habits.
Getting to Dracula’s castle from Bucharest
You can reach this castle by car, by bus, by train or with an organised tour.
We recommend you to rent a car and drive along the country to visit all these 5 magical fortresses from the area.
Each of them is unique and played a role in Romanian history and culture.
Get the best price for your car rental today
How much time you need
A full day would be needed, especially if you want to visit also the House of Terror.
The surrounding area is breathtaking so you might consider staying a few extra days to relax and enjoy the view!
Where to sleep
Conacul Törzburg is a beautiful mansion located just 500 metres from the castle.
The rooms are clean and well maintained and some of them offer a wonderful view of the castle.
The services are really great, the hosts do their best to answer your questions and requirements.
2. Peles Castle Transylvania Castle
Built at the beginning of 19th century at King Mihai I initiative, the castle is a Neo-Renaissance masterpiece.
It is located in Sinaia, right on the road which links old Wallachia with Transylvania, being one of the moste beautiful romanian castles that most tourist decide to see when they visit Romania.
Both the inside and outside of the building are very well maintained and very beautiful.
Walking around the palace you get the feeling that you travel back in time.
Everything is very carefully arranged as you expect to meet the queen from one minute to another.
Peles Castle, the second on my list, is home to over 4.000 Oriental and European pieces dating from the 15th century to 19th century.
Everything is nicely arranged and preserved, a must-see place when visiting Romania.
It is also very easy to reach being located right on your way from Bucharest to Brasov in the mountain resort called Sinaia. Definitely, you should pay it a visit if you have the opportunity.
Getting to Peles castle from Bucharest
You have a direct train from Bucharest to Sinaia and from Sinaia train station you can take a walk up to the castle.
There are also buses which operated from Bucharest or if you want to explore more of the area you can rent a car directly from the airport!
Where to stay
Ioana Hotel is a beautiful 5 stars hotel located in a quiet place, right over Sinaia resort.
It offers wonderful views over the resort and the surroundings, a spa centre and very modern rooms. Peles Castle is located within 20 minutes walking from the hotel.
3. Corvin Castle
Corvin fortress is one of the top medieval attractions from Transylvania built in Gothic style in the 14th century.
This Transylvania castle was home of Prince Ioan of Hunedoara one of the most successful leaders in Ottoman combats.
This unique construction has a unique beauty and because of its remarkable landscape, it is the host of many events like opera or film festivals.
Many publications wrote about this citadel that is the most beautiful castle in Romania and Central and Eastern Europe built in Gothic architecture.
This citadel looks just like the ones you see in storybooks with its high walls, surrounded by a water channel which during war periods was full of water, and bridge which can be lifted whenever needed.
The fortress is built in such manner that from wherever you look from the inside, you have a very wide view over the surrounding area. This assured an increased protection factor.
Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, is located in Deva city, a beautiful and cosy town in Transylvania very easy to reach by car.
Nearby the fortress there are many other popular attractions, like Densus Church, Dinosaurs Geopark from Hateg, and Retezat National Park.
Getting from Bucharest to Corvin Castle
You can reach Corvin Castle by train, bus and car.
Trains and buses are very time consuming; it took you around 8 or 9 hours and there is no direct line.
The most convenient way to reach this castle is in a rented car. In about 5.30 hours you reach this magnificent place.
Where to sleep
Conacul Archia is located right near the beautiful town of Deva, in the countryside. Corvin Castle is located 25 minutes by car.
The rooms are spacious and clean, while the breakfast is varied and full of traditional courses.
Some of the many leisure activities available include horse riding and hiking.
4. Banffy Castle
Banffy Castle from Bontida is located very close to Cluj Napoca and is one of the best castles in Transylvania.
Unfortunately, this Transylvania castle is not preserved! There are just some ruins which reminded about the glory days of the place!
During the communist area, this place was intentionally destroyed. Still, the ruins of Banffy are very impressive and imposing!
It is a very popular place among photographers because of its unique beauty.
This citadel was also called the Versailles of Transylvania because of its magnificent gardens which surround the building.
The landscape is indeed beautiful and worth paying a visit! You will get really nice photos of this place, especially if you choose to visit it at sunset!
Nowadays, the fortress is the host of a music festival, called Electric Castle which took each summer in July. With the money obtained from the festival, the event organizers try to preserve and recondition this masterpiece.
Getting from Bucharest to Banfi Castle
The castle is located pretty close to Cluj Napoca. So, take a flight from Bucharest to Cluj Napoca and then rent a car from Cluj Napoca airport.
In less than 3 hours you’re there. There are also train and buses, but it took you almost 11 hours to travel from Bucharest to Bontida.
If you choose to explore the country and rent a car from Bucharest, then you should know that you’ll need around 6.30 hours to reach the castle from Bucharest.
Where to sleep
You can spend your night in Cluj Napoca and book a few days to explore this wonderful city. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj - City Plaza is conveniently located right in the city centre, close to all major attractions.
The rooms, the breakfast and the services are great. You can relax at hotel’s spa or do some exercises in the indoor pool.
5. Teleki Castle
Teleki Castle is the most iconic citadel in Mures area.
This building reminds us about the period when aristocratic residences were the village centrepiece and everything revolved around those mansions.
They had money, they had power and all these things could be seen in their imposing buildings.
This work of art was owned by the aristocrat family Teleki, one of the most well-known families from Transylvania and was built at the end of the 18th century.
An interesting fact is that during World War II this fortress was transformed into a medical care centre.
The location is very close to Targu Mures city, very easy to reach by car.
Getting to Teleki Castle from Bucharest
The easiest way to reach this castle is by car. In less than 5.30 hours you reach Teleki Castle from Bucharest.
Trains and buses are very cheap but you need a lot of time to reach your destination ( more than 10 hours).
Where to sleep
Plaza V Executive Hotel is located 15 kilometres away from the castle.
It is one of the best resorts from the area, offering modern rooms and tasty breakfast and is located right in the centre of Targu Mures city, another great place to visit while in Romania.
Transylvania is a fairy tale land with many natural wonders and man-made beauties.
You cannot visit Romania without visiting at least one of these iconic castles of Transylvania.
Each Transylvania castle has its own charm and beauty! These castles are the mirror of a grandiose past and of a place full of history!
read more about Castles and Fortresses
We wrote some more detailed articles on this subject here, should you wish to read more about it.
Plan your trip to this beautiful place: Logistical tips and tricksBook your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without World Nomads Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Rentalcars. com as they have free cancellation 24 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.