Halloween is just around the corner, and we thought you might enjoy a look at a more ghostly get-away this spooky season, to the legendary home of Dracula himself. With the literal translation of Transylvania being ‘the land beyond the forest’, along with the vast vampiric folklore surrounding the region, we wouldn’t blame you for being a bit wary of a Halloween holiday here, but fear not: what’s life without a little adventure, anyway?
Transylvania boasts some of Europe’s most historic and meticulously maintained medieval towns and landmarks, including Sibiu, a small city that was appointed the European Capital of Culture in 2007, named Europe’s 8th most idyllic place to live by Forbes, is home to the six-museum complex of Bruckental, and is just next door to the ski resort Păltiniș.
East of Sibiu lies Brasov, a must visit on your tour of Transylvania if you’re at all interested in the most notable work of Bram Stoker, which plays host to Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, a national landmark in Romania and the commonly believed to be Stoker’s inspiration for the home of the titular character in his novel ‘Dracula’. The castle was also once home to Vlad the Impaler, the real life Dracula if you will, who, despite skewering up to 80,000 of his enemies on spikes in the 15th century, is still hailed as a Transylvanian hero by many.
Brasov has a wide collection of other tourist hotspots, including the Stada Sforii, translating as String Street, the narrowest street in Romania; Tampa mountain which is accessible by cable car and offers spectacular views of the city and beyond; and nearby Poiana Brașov, another very popular mountain resort for those looking for a snowy escape.
If you’re a night-owl looking for some late night fun in Transylvania, look no further than the city of Cluj-Napoca, commonly known as Cluj: with one third of the population being university students, it’s sure to cater to all your nightlife needs. Particular highlights include L’atelier, a bar made entirely out of cardboard; nightclubs such as Diesel Club, Obsession The Club and Midi playing everything from commercial house music to minimal techno to heavy metal and punk; and Strada Piezisa, a street dedicated to student bars and terraces. Most importantly though, the Cheeky Girls grew up and studied in Cluj, and if that’s not reason enough to visit I don’t know what is.
There truly is something for everyone in Transylvania, whether you’re a culture lover, party partisan or snow connoisseurs… just try to keep your neck covered, or you may leave with a thirst for something more than just travel.