In a previous article, I detailed what myself and my girlfriend got up to in Bucharest, however, we didn’t spend all of our time in Romania in the capital and ventured out to see what else Romania had to offer.
In this article, I will go through what we were able to do on our short trip and what we thought of each place.
Tour of Peleș Castle, Bran Castle and Brasov
The first thing we needed to decide when we were planning our trip to Romania was of course, do we want to see Bran Castle? Bran Castle is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bucharest so to make the most of a visit it is advisable to make your whole day about your trip to the castle. We booked a private tour that took us to see Peleș Castle, before moving on to Bran Castle and finally stopping off in the city of Brasov.
Both castles are situated with picturesque scenery surrounding them and this makes them appear even more grand. Bran Castle is the much older of the two and doesn’t offer as much visually as Peleș Castle but you do see the history of Vlad the Impaler and learning the history of any castle is always interesting.
There is a ton of markets just outside of the castle selling all sorts of Dracula merchandise and a small haunted house/room which we didn’t think would have been worth the price, considering what we had already paid. We purchased the tour but the price of admission to Bran Castle wasn’t included.
Peleș Castle has beautiful interior and incorporates more decoration and colour. You are able to see old weapons, bedrooms, armour and luxurious furniture. If it wasn’t for finding this day trip we wouldn’t have even heard of this attraction but we both agreed that this was our favourite part of the day-trip.
Our private tour guide has an agreement with the castle and so we paid a discount price for a tour of Peleș Castle which was very interesting and lead by a lovely woman. The only shame about Peleș Castle was that you have to pay extra to be able to take photos which we didn’t think much of at the time of entering but soon after the tour started, we wished we had just paid.
The tour ended in Brasov which is not too far from where Bran Castle is located. We spent a bit of time in the square walking around before having traditional Romanian dishes for dinner. After a tiring day of walking around castles and driving, Brasov was a nice place to end the day as it is a calm, small city that is very colourful and beautiful. We ate gelato in the square before embarking on the long journey back to Bucharest.
From Bucharest we visited the coastal city of Constanta. The sole purpose of this was to get some beach time. We stayed for one night and one day before heading back to Bucharest. The city, at least the parts that we saw, felt like it was a little run-down, there wasn’t a whole lot going on so a lot of the time the streets were empty with the exception of a large number of stray cats.
Apparently, we missed a big music festival that takes place in Mamaia, a 25-minute drive from Constanta. The festival goers also take over Modern Beach, where we went, but we experienced a quiet and almost empty beach.
Modern Beach is a large beach that is filled with big stones in some parts and in other parts there is just a flickering of rocks on the surface. Hotels and restaurants are close by so you can enjoy a nice lunch and then walk a matter of meters to the beach where you can kick off your shoes and relax in the sand.
Before I took the time to investigate what Romania has to offer, all I knew was Bucharest is the capital and Transylvania is where Dracula is from. After venturing out of the capital I have to say it was well worth the time taken to get to the places mentioned above.
Romania has a tremendous amount of greenery and you can get a little taste of what the countryside is like from the pictures. My experience of the countryside in Romania is very quiet and peaceful and the two castles we visited overlooked little towns surrounded by forestry which was spectacular to see.
I would definitely recommend if you are travelling to Romania to explore somewhere outside of the capital. The places we visited were amazing and the next time we go, I’m sure we’ll find another bunch of peaceful and enchanting spots.