A tale of two Romanian iconic landmarks: the Peles and Bran castles

Planning to spend part of your holiday discovering the serene landscapes of Transylvania? You should definitely visit Peles and Bran Castles! The two palaces stand out as two of Romania’s most iconic landmarks.

While visiting Bran Castle, you will rediscover the Legend of Dracula and the rich historical background of the area. The place exudes an aura of mystery… The castle, situated on top of a rugged cliff in Transylvania, will captivate your imagination with its medieval charm. The tales of vampires and folklore are fascinating and intriguing at the same time.

Meanwhile, Peles Castle, with its fairy-tale allure, will make you enjoy the architectural brilliance and royal opulence of this Neo-Renaissance masterpiece nestled in the Carpathian Mountains.

From the lavish interiors of the Peles Castle to the mysterious corridors of Bran, each step will unveil a new chapter in Romania’s fascinating and mysterious history. If you have never visited the castles before, then this article will help you get up to speed with all the information you need to know about these castles before visiting them.

The enchanting beauty of Peles Castle offers you a glimpse into Romania’s Royal Heritage

There is something magical about the Romanian Peles Castle. Standing at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains, in Sinaia, this palace stands as a testament to the grandeur of Neo-Renaissance architecture. Peles was commissioned by Romanian King Carol I in the late 19th century. Its intricate design and extravagant interiors reflect the opulence of Romanian royalty of the era.

While visiting the castle, you will love the white marble towers and the well-rounded courtyard, where the stonework is in near flawless condition.

This stands as a testament to the dedication which has been invested through the years in preserving the castle’s splendid aspect. And it’s this kind of hard work and dedication which hails the castle as one of the best Transylvanian summer attractions.


Inside, the castle has an outstanding collection of over 4000 pieces of memorabilia and antiques dating from 15th Century. It has a total of 70 habitable rooms and all of them are richly decorated with fine glassware and exquisite furniture.

Read more: The Ultimate Legend of Dracula: Where the Fantasy Ends is Where Reality Begins

Here are some interesting facts about the amazing Romanian Peles Castle:

  • Built between 1873 and 1914, Peles Castle is renowned for its architectural beauty. The castle is a unique blend of elements of Neo-Renaissance, Gothic Revival, and German Baroque styles. You will admire the intricate woodcarvings, but also the decorations and colorful frescoes.
  • The building served as the summer residence of the Romanian royal family, particularly during the reign of King Carol I. It was actually built as a hunting retreat, but it expanded into a lavish royal palace.
  • While visiting the castle, you will definitely appreciate the rich collection of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and tapestries from various European artists. The 160 rooms are decorated in different styles and themes. You will discover here a  mini-Theatre, Music Room with furniture from the Maharajah of Kapurtala in India, a Turkish Salon with handmade silk embroideries, an Italian Great Salon, a Council Room with Swiss inspiration, a Moor Hall, and so much more.
  • The location of the castle, in the Carpathian Mountains, amidst lush forests will offer you a stunning view of the surrounding landscape – one more reason to visit the place.

Also, did you know that Peles Castle was one of the first European castles to have electricity and central heating? It also features an elevator, a modern innovation at the time of its construction.

Read more: Why Is Peles Castle a Must-See Attraction while in Romania

Why Bran Castle Is Truly Amazing

Bran Castle, Romania

While Peles Castle is positioned to complement the picturesque sights of Sinaia, Bran Castle embodies everything which is Transylvanian. The castle ranks high among Transylvanian attractions for the fact it offers people a different kind of experience.

On one side, the entire area around the commune of Bran is packed with thick acres of forest which offer a cool down from the heat of the big cities. On the other hand, the region evokes authentic Romanian tradition and rural life. As a visitor, you will get to explore the village streets, browse local shops, and experience the rustic atmosphere of rural Transylvania.

From the get-go, Bran Castle is universally tied to the Legend of Dracula and this has shaped the public’s perception in regards to how the area is viewed. People are always expecting a vampire to come out of nowhere from the castle’s towers.

Unlike Peles, Bran Castle does not boast the pristine white marble or the grandeur of Neo-Renaissance architecture. Instead, it harkens back to the simple times of Medieval Romania. Many relics from this bygone era can be seen in the castle’s museum, making it a perfect attraction for those passionate about history.

Read more: Where is Transylvania? A Captivating Fare to the Realm of Tales

medieval Bran castle tour - visit Transylvania, Romania

Here are some key points about the Romanian Bran Castle, renowned for its connection to the legend of Dracula:

  • A medieval fortress. The castle is a medieval fortress originally built in the 14th century. It initially served as a strategic defence post against invaders. Located on top of a rocky cliff, the place was an ideal stronghold for guarding the mountain pass and surrounding area.
  • Is it really Dracula’s Castle? While Bran Castle is often associated with Bram Stoker’s fictional character Dracula, there is limited historical evidence linking the castle directly to Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula. Nevertheless, due to its imposing appearance and location in Transylvania, it has become popularly known as “Dracula’s Castle”.
  • The architectural style of Bran. A blend of medieval and Renaissance elements characterizes the architecture of Bran Castle. While visiting it, you will discover stone walls, fortified towers, and narrow passageways, typical of medieval fortifications in the region.
  • A castle surrounded by picturesque landscapes. The Carpathian Mountains and dense forests contribute to the landscape of the castle. Its elevated position offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Visiting Bran Castle, not only you will get a glimpse of the region, evoking authentic Romanian tradition and rural life but you’ll also enjoy the captivating architecture and historical significance of the place, associated with the enduring legacy of Dracula.

Visit Bran and Peles Castles in Just One Day with TravelMaker – here are the complete details of our trip: Two Castles in One Day – Peles Castle, Bran Castle & Brasov in Transylvania

If you’re just coming over for a weekend to visit Bucharest, you might not have enough time to do all the planning required to visit these wonderful castles. The distance is quite big – not to mention that they aren’t exactly too close to each other.

TravelMaker invites you to discover both castles in just one day, also enjoying a tour of the charming centre of Brasov, one of the most beautiful Transylvanian cities.  

You can embark in our journey in 6 different places in central Bucharest:

  • JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel at 7.30;
  • Intercontinental Athenee Palace Hotel at 07:40;
  • Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town at 07:50;
  • Grand Hotel Bucharest at 08:00;
  • TravelMaker Romana Square Meeting Point at 08:05;
  • TravelMaker Free Press Square Meeting Point at 08:15.

First, we’ll be on our way to Sinaia to see Peles Castle. Next, we’ll head over to Bran to tour the castle, followed by a short walking tour of downtown Brasov. Towards the evening, we’ll head back to Bucharest.

Overall, the tour will take around 12 hours. During holidays and weekends, the traffic might be a little more crowded, so the arrival time in Bucharest might be slightly delayed – we may be in Bucharest around 9 – 10 pm.


Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Between May-September, Brasov will be the second stop, and Bran will be the last one.
  • Peles Castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from September to March. For the rest of the year, Peles Castle is closed only on Mondays. On these days, we will see the Peles Castle & the gardens from outside and we will spend more time in Brasov.
  • If Peles Castle is closed for cleaning or refurbishing, you’ll get to tour Pelisor Castle instead, a slightly smaller – yet still impressive – replica. On these days, we will see the Peles Castle & the gardens from outside and we will spend more time in Brasov.

Why is it best to book a tour for your visit to Peles and Bran Castles?

From expert insights to easier access, joining a tour ensures a seamless and enriching experience.  You will hear the fascinating tales of these majestic fortresses and you will get to better understand and appreciate these landmarks. Let’s explore why choosing a tour for Bran and Peles Castles is the ultimate way make the most of your visit.

  • 1. You will get expert guidance

Our guide will provide you with numerous insights about the history, architecture, and cultural significance of the castles.

We offer a live tour guide in English, and audio guides in Spanish, Italian, French & Hebrew, available on your mobile phone.

  • 2. You get to save time

You won’t have to spend countless hours of your free time doing research beforehand. Let’s face it – do you really want to spend your free time doing that when you can let someone else do it for you?

  • 3. You save money

With us, you won’t have to worry about booking train tickets or renting a car. We handle the transport. Speaking of which, we also provide airport/train station transfers in case you need any. So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights without worrying about navigation, parking, or logistics.

  • 4. You can take it easy

You can truly enjoy your vacation and relax. You won’t have any trains to catch or have to try and find your way out of town. All you need to do is be on time for the pick-up, and the rest is up to us.

As you can see, our goal is to make your vacation as relaxing and exciting as possible. So, be sure to book our tour to visit Bran and Peles Castles in just one day! If you prefer a more personal and intimate experience in medieval cities of Transylvania we recommend you booking our Private Full-Day Trip to Peles Castle & Bran Dracula Castle in Transylvania. 


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