As one of the most fascinating southeastern countries of Europe, Romania offers travellers many captivating attractions. From the Transylvania region to the legends of Dracula, there is a world of wonder wherever you go in Romania.
Added to the natural beauty of the country are the numerous enthralling castles that are scattered across the picturesque countryside. These stately buildings showcase alongside some of Europe’s most fascinating architecture and add a fairytale feel to this already magical destination.
While the country has an abundance of castles, palaces, and fortresses, here’s our list of unmissable castles to see on a trip to Romania.
Often referred to as Dracula’s Castle, Bran Castle is the only Romanian castle to match Bram Stoker’s description in his book ‘Count Dracula’.
Built between 1377 and 1388, the castle stands on a charming hilltop, overlooking the gorgeous countryside. Visitors to this enthralling fortress will be left speechless at the view outside and enchanted at the medieval architecture inside.
The castle is situated in the city of Brasov, near the tiny Bran commune. Not only is the castle a well-known Romanian landmark, but it’s also a national monument. Visitors can enter the castle daily with tickets bought online or at the door.
Expect to share the inside with many other fascinating tourists, but if you’re wanting to escape the crowds, a trip back outside to take in the views is perfect.
Once home to Romania’s royal family, Peles Castle is found in the small town of Sinaia. This was the first European castle to have electricity. It’s definitely the most progressive castle in Romania.
Its New-Renaissance architecture and rich decor make the castle a real-life magical palace. In 1953 the castle was declared a museum, and today it showcases rare books, medieval weapons, statues, paintings, and many more exciting items.
This is quite a popular attraction, so expect crowds when visiting, but it’s all worth it once you reach the glorious interior of the castle. Guided tours are available for anyone looking to learn more about the castle’s history.
Located in Hunedoara, Corvin Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and is named as one of Romania’s Seven Wonders.
It was built in the 15th century and restored in the 17th century after a few years of neglect. The current fairytale-Gothic look of the castle is slightly more fancy than its original design but no less breathtaking.
Impressive from the outside, this Gothic-style fortress is even more splendid on the inside. It’s only access is a thin stone bridge. The castle is open to the public daily, and tickets can be bought before you enter.
This magnificent building in the sleepy village of Miclăușeni is one of the more romantic castles in Romania. A gorgeous blend of neo-gothic and Baroque architecture, this 19th-century palace is magnificent and historic.
The castle’s large grounds also have a tranquil park and a church, which was actually built first, back in the 18th century. Through the years, the palace has been many different things. In World War I it was a hospital, and in WWII it was a prison for German soldiers. It was even a nunnery for a short time.
A guided tour through the castle is available to those who come to view its beauty. This is the perfect opportunity for a history lesson while marvelling at the intricate architecture and splendid decor of the palace.
This is quite a different ‘castle’. Located in Câmpina, this miniature castle was actually a folly house, designed to resemble a castle. It is much smaller than any of the others on our list, though.
The house was built in the 18th century, by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, after the tragic death of his young prodigy daughter, Iulia. She was an intelligent child and was preparing for her Ph.D. thesis when she died.
Inside the castle, you’ll find pictures and memorabilia all dedicated to Iulia. Set in peaceful green surrounds, the castle offers insight into Hasdeau’s grief, but also has an element of Spiritualism to it. Audio guides are offered when visiting the castle so you can gain more insight.
Expect an eclectic mix of architecture types, from Renaissance to Neo-Gothic, when visiting Banffy Castle in Bontida. The castle is owned by the Banffy family and has seen over 600 years of history pass by it.
It’s been restored, placed on the World Monuments Watch, and is even home to the Electric Castle music festival. The grounds are vast and offer a gorgeous, relaxing pit stop. The castle itself has not yet been fully restored, leaving it with some of its natural and historic feelings.
The bare walls and castle ruins are perhaps less glamorous than the other castles, but it all combines into an authentic experience. Self-guided tours are great for those just wanting photos, while guided tours are available for a fun history lesson.
If you’ve ever wanted to dine in a real-life fortress, this is the perfect opportunity. Cantacuzino offers a full restaurant on its grounds, complete with a terrace offering unimaginably beautiful views of the grounds below.
The castle is located just outside of Bușteni, a small but busy mountain town. Once you reach the castle, however, the hustle and bustle melt away. Enjoy a tour through the castle and art gallery, sit down and have a meal in the restaurant, or simply stroll through the peaceful grounds taking in the fresh air.
Tours of the interior happen every hour, but you are welcome to pay for your entrance and find your own way around. Be sure to see the waterfall and its cave before leaving the gardens.
Set just a little way from the medieval village of Cetatea de Balta, this Romanian ‘swamped castle’ is truly a sight to behold. The castle was originally built in the 16th century and has since been damaged and restored throughout the years.
Still offering much of its previous glory, the castle is currently privately owned, but can be visited by arrangement. There are guest rooms available inside the castle, and the Jidvei Winery nearby offers the perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal from the castle’s restaurant.
If you haven’t yet seen one or all of these captivating castles, we suggest you book a trip to Romania now. Feel like royalty in the presence of these magnificent buildings. Why not add Romania to your bucket list of travel destinations?
Whether you’re a castle fanatic, or simply want some fairytale photos to take home with you, any of these splendid castles is a great option. To see some of Romania’s most beautiful landmarks, book a group tour to Romania and enjoy this spectacular part of eastern Europe.