Let us be clear, this is a complete tourist trap and has absolutely nothing to do with Vlad Dracula, the inspiration behind the Dracula legend. It isn’t really a castle, not in the true sense of gentry living, but literally the offices of border control agents. So why go? Well, despite knowing the truth, there is no Dracula, that the legendary leader of ancient Romania never lived here, perhaps stayed here, it is still an interesting place to visit. At the end of the day, it was more about Brasov and the general vicinity that we enjoyed the most, but seeing the castle was definitely a must for us to visit.
We read a lot of complaints about the size of the crowds visiting the castle before our arrival and needless to say, it is true. As with any popular tourist destination, complaining about the crowds is beyond ridiculous, what else would you truly expect. With that said, we were fortunate to be there during the off-season, so it could have definitely been worse. The second thing that we read was that the castle has been refurbished, not restored. There is old furniture, paintings, pieces from the period, but again, if you think about the fact that it was an office building, why would they have restored it, who would want to come? Give the tourists what they want and they will come, like we did.
Beyond that, it is truly a beautiful part of the country and although it isn’t as glamorous as castles in other parts of Europe, we did enjoy seeing it. Maybe it is the romantic notion of the folklore, the desire to transcend time and live forever, or just to say we have been there, we enjoyed our brief visit to the castle. We don’t need to encourage or discourage people to visit, they will come either way. We have seen many more beautiful castles, more historic sites, and even more popular destinations, but we will remember our visit to Bran Castle. Don’t go out of your way to go there, but if you get the chance, visit Transylvania. There are plenty of things to see within the region, even if you don’t go to Dracula’s castle.