Halloween at Count Dracula's Lair
Transylvania, Romania. Bran Castle. Home of THE Count Dracula.
Now, I fortunately (or unfortunately) did not have a run in with the Vampire himself, but I DID manage to visit "his" castle. And at the perfect time of year. Halloween. Spooky.
Bran Castle is now host to an estimate of 560,000 visitors per year, and around 100 (maybe definitely more) for the very exclusive Halloween party the legendary castle also hosts each year.
Some fun facts about the famous Vamp's Lair?
- 1377 is the year of the first documented mention of Bran Castle. This coming from King Louis I of Hungary, who — in October of that year — gave the Transylvanian Saxons permission to build the stone castle
- 11 years after King Louis’ decree that Bran Castle’s construction was completed.
- 2,500 feet (760 m): Bran Castle’s elevation above sea level. The building is situated in the Carpathian Mountains, on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia.
- Number of rooms in Bran Castle totals 57— not including a secret passageway that leads to its watchtower.
- 1428: Apparent birth year of Vlad “the Impaler” Tepes (also known as Vlad Dracul), the notoriously cruel, brutal Medieval ruler who had a taste for blood, and who is the reputed popular inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. However, the connection between Vlad and Dracula is tenuous and non-confirmed.
- Vlad Ţepeş, a Wallachian ruler famous for his use of impalement against his enemies, was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The castle is marketed as “Dracula’s Castle,” but in reality, Vlad Ţepeş only spent two months in holding at the castle.
Halloween at Bran Castle definitely marks my coolest and spookiest Halloween yet. I tasted my first mulled brandy (will knock a grown man or woman on their ass and wake them up at the exact same time with every sip. I witnessed it twice, and experienced it once. Do NOT attempt to take as a shot. You have been warned). I was wooed and dined in Romanian luxury with (a substantially younger) Dracula by candlelight at a Halloween-themed dinner offered by reservation only (dressed in my famous red dress, of course). I danced the night away at a party fit for the Count himself. And not long after that, I experienced the rich history the castle offered by exploring inside the very walls and into history itself.
I have made some of my favorite memories to date on this adventure in Brasov, Romania.
I met a beautiful girl at a drinking game, then spontaneously went on a paragliding adventure with her the very next day (and spent the rest of the day with her).
I hung out with my tandem instructor and his friend for drinks after the flight and learned more about Romanian culture (and more adventurous things to do, haha).
I went on a free walking tour and got some incredible pictures (highly recommend anywhere you go, just remember to tip your guide).
I took time for myself and enjoyed a relaxing night in at a very cheap AirBnb (self-care and alone time are VITAL, especially on the road).
I marveled and cried on top of Brasov Hill, relaxing in my hammock, drinking in the beauty of the moment.
I FELT the rich culture all around me, and drank in every single moment I could.
I LIVED. I am LIVING. And Brasov, Romania will forever hold a piece of my heart for all of the magical experiences and memories I made there.