Here are the most enchanting castles in Romania. These Romanian castles really should be added to your travel checklist.
When you think about Romania, you undoubtedly think about Transylvania and all the stories and fables based around that region in the country’s center. The buildings here are large, opulent, and surrounded by beautiful green countryside. Of course, whether you believe that Dracula dwelled in Transylvania or not, there is much more to Romania than that!
One of the country’s most significant claims to fame is the sheer number of Romanian castles you will find there.
If you’re wondering how many castles are in Romania, let’s say there are several hundred! And some of them date back to the 14th century. These were built strong and to last, so you’ll see some incredibly well-preserved fortresses all over the country.
One of the most famous castles in Romania, if not the most famous, is Bran Castle, built in the 1300s. This is the castle many claim to be ‘home to Count Dracula,’ and this is the castle in Transylvania where you’ll find the most in the way of crowds as a result!
Romania is ideal for you if you’re a huge history lover. Many of the most beautiful castles in Romania have UNESCO World Heritage status and are surrounded by villages, rolling hills, and architecture that hints back to Saxon and Medieval times.
To narrow your choices down a little, here are some of the best castles in Romania we suggest you check out.
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1. Peles Castle
In the region of Sinaia, Romania, you’ll find Peles Castle. The castle was completed in 1914, so it’s not one of Romania’s oldest castles, but this large fortress is one of the most beautiful, for sure. The mountain scenery, with the Carpathians surrounding the building, really compliments the sight before you.
It was initially built as a summer residence for the royal family and retained much of its luxury. Inside the castle, you’ll find countless artifacts from across the globe.
How to get there: Peles Castle can be visited any day except for Mondays between 9.15 a.m.- 5 p.m. However, on Wednesdays, the castle opens at 10 a.m. The entrance fee is 30 euros.
2. Macea Castle
Macea Castle was built by the Csernovics, a Serbian family who eventually lost the castle and passed control over to the Nagy Karolyi family. Nobody knows why the castle was lost, but it was likely due to a card game. The castle was extended at this time, and it now stands much larger today.
While you can’t go inside the castle, you can check out the gardens, which are pretty impressive in themselves.
3. Jidvei Castle
This is one of the oldest castles you will find in Romania. Construction on this building began in 1570 and was renovated later by Count Stefan Bethlen in 1624.
The castle has passed hands a few times throughout history and was last owned by the Haller Family in 2003. Nowadays, many events are held on its grounds, including wine tasting! There are also many myths about the castle, and there is one such tale that there is an underground tunnel leading to a neighboring fortification.
How to get there: Jidvei Castle is open all year round; however, you will need to join a guided tour. Tours occur between Tuesday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
The entrance fee and tour are just over 8 euros for the castle only. If you want to explore further and visit the vineyard and wine cellar, you’ll need to pay an extra 8 Euros.
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4. Bran Castle
Without a doubt, it is the most famous Romanian castle! The Saxons built the castle, and it is renowned for being where ‘Dracula’ dwelled!
The castle, also called the Dracula fort in Romania, has an iconic medieval appearance. It has dark corridors and rooms, towers that point high into the sky, and stunning green countryside.
This is a top tourist spot because of the legends surrounding it, but we can’t take away the beauty of the building. This is a spectacular structure, by all accounts! You’ll find this stronghold near the town of Brasov near the historical border with Wallachia. This is also why Bran Castle is sometimes also called Brasov Castle, Romania.
How to get there: Bran Castle is open all year around, although it has slightly different opening hours depending upon the month. During the main summer months, you can visit all week, opening between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except for Mondays when the castle opens at noon.
During the winter months, you can visit every day between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Mondays from noon. The entrance fee is around 12 Euros.
5. Iulia Hasdeu Castle
The story behind this castle is as interesting as the castle itself. At just 19 years of age, Iulia Hasdeu, a child prodigy, died from TB. Her father was so distraught he reached out for spiritual help, and the medium told him that he should follow guidance from his daughter to build a castle.
Built in 1896, the castle is now a museum where you can learn about Iulia herself and read about the seances her father held with the medium. Some people have even reported seeing her ghost!
How to get there: You can visit this castle between Tuesday and Sunday all year round, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will cost you just 3 Euros to enter.
6. Miko Palace
You’ll find the ethnographic museum within the Miko Palace, but it was also a military fortress before that. The complex itself is pretty impressive, and it was built originally in the 1620s before suffering a fire during the Ottoman invasion. Fifty years later, the castle was reconstructed.
7. Bethlen Castle
Dating back to the 16th century, Bethlen Castle is located close to Cetatea de Balta, and although small, it still packs a mighty punch. It is also very close to Jidvei Castle. Over the years, earthquakes and poor weather have destroyed this castle, but several reservations have maintained its quality.
You must call to visit the castle, which is privately owned, but this is entirely possible. You can also stay there as there are several guest rooms on offer.
8. Rasnov Citadel
This is another of the many Romanian castles in Transylvania built to protect the region from the Ottomans. It was an ancient castle completed in 1225 and underwent several renovations throughout history, as it was damaged in various wars and invasions.
There is an interesting story about this citadel in Romania, which says that two prisoners from Turkey were ordered to dig a well due to there being no water in the area. The dig took 17 years, and you can see carvings from the Quran on the walls where the prisoners were working.
9. Banffy Castle
Banffy Castle has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times it’s certainly got an impressive back story! Built in the 15th century, a Viennese architect renovated the castle in the 18th century, only to be destroyed again during World War II. As communist rule arrived in Romania, the castle was rebuilt for the military.
Nowadays, it’s a full-fledged tourist attraction.
How to get there: You can visit Banffy Castle every year, every day. Opening hours are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, and it will cost you just under 1 euro to visit.
10. Pelisor Castle
With a vast 70 rooms to explore, Pelisor Castle is located in Sinaia and was once the home of King Carol I, Ferdinand, and Marie. Now, you can see many artifacts, including glassware and pottery.
This one has a smaller, more intimate feel, unlike some large castles.
How to get there: Pelisor Castle is open between Thursday and Sunday between 9.15 a.m. – 5 p.m. It will cost just over 6 euros to get inside.
11. Corvin Castle
Corvin Castle has a fairy tale-esque look, but it has a somewhat mysterious history behind it, making it a top-visited spot in the country.
This bloody history has intrigued people for years! This is where Vlad the Impaler was kept prisoner, and this imposing Romanian fortress is also connected with the Dracula legend. The castle is Gothic in style and dates back as far as 1446.
How to get there: You can visit Corvin Castle any day of the week between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., except for Mondays when the castle opens at noon. The entrance fee is around 8.50 Euros, and you can pay an extra 15 euros for a language guide.
12. Sturdza Castle
If you’re looking for a scene for romance, head to Sturdza Castle! Located in beautiful Miclauseni, the castle is surrounded by a pristine and calm lake with centuries-old trees.
The castle has Moldovian roots and was built by a family high in social standing. Built in Neogothic style, the court is one of the most impressive you’ll set your eyes on and one made for peace and quiet.
How to get there: You can visit Sturdza Castle on Mondays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Tuesdays to Fridays between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you want to visit at the weekend, opening hours are 12 p.m. until 6 p.m.
You must make a reservation at least 24 hours before visiting, and the entrance fee is 4 Euros. You can book your place by telephone.
13. Poenari Citadel
While this castle isn’t anything but ruins these days, it’s certainly worth visiting for the history of the spot. An earthquake was to blame for its demise, but Vlad the Impaler once lived here, and unconfirmed reports indicate that Dracula also spent some time there.
Even to check out the ruins and the stunning views, this is a castle worth visiting.
14. Fagaras Citadel
Fagaras Citadel’s building began in 1310 and was designed to defend the Transylvania area from the Ottomans and other invaders. This wasn’t wildly successful, as, in 1541, the castle was attacked and captured before being returned in 1599.
There is a bit of a bloody background to the castle, too, as it is where torturing was carried out before bodies were disposed of via a trap door into the Olt River. The castle went on to become a prison before turning into a museum, as it is today.
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15. Sighisoara Fortress
This fortress may be old, but it is in excellent condition! Nine towers are out of the original 14, but the area around it still looks like it belongs to an older time. The site is large, and many buildings will give you a window to the past. Located in Sighisoara, this should definitely be on your visit list.
16. Cantacuzino Castle
Cantacuzino Castle these days is a museum, and it is a very popular one at that.
You will find many heirlooms and nods to the important Cantacuzino family, and you can see paintings of them on the walls if you want a more visual take on it all. The castle was built in 1911 and is in Neo-Romanian style.
The castle belonged to the family until 1948. The architecture is stunning in style, for sure.
How to get there: This castle is open all week, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The entrance fee is just over 15 euros, allowing you to explore the castle, the gardens, and the art and sculpture exhibitions.
17. Enisala Fortress
Overlooking the Black Sea, you’ll find Enisala Fortress in south-eastern Romania. The stunning views from this fortress and it gave troops a great view to check out possible invasions in the past.
While most of the fortress is in ruins, the five towers remain from the original building date in the 14th century.
Of course, Romania isn’t all about castles, but how can you ignore them when they’re so old and beautiful? Did we miss a castle? Let us know below.