Romanian Castles are surprising for most visitors to Romania because they are unexpected and very impressive. In addition to beautiful modern castles and old fortresses, Romania has some of the best medieval castles in Europe. Most of the Romanian Castles are located near mountain passes and hilltops with beautiful views of the surrounding areas. So, come along with me as we explore some fairy tale Romanian Castles.
1. Peleș Castle
The pearl of Romanian castles is Peleș Castle. This beautiful Neo-Renaissance building has strong German influence as well as traditional Romanian architecture features.
Peleș castle is located on a beautiful hilltop and surrounded by steeper hills. When you first come in front of the castle, you will be really impressed by how beautiful this Romanian castle is. Even our kids loved taking pictures in front of it and visiting the interior.
Peles Castle, Romania – The Neo-Renaissance castle was very modern for its time being inspired from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria Germany
See my photos from Peles Castle
You can easily find budget hotels in Sinaia as Romania is generally much cheaper than western Europe. Just be careful where you pick your hotel, as the very steep hills in Sinaia can make getting around somewhat difficult by walking.
Parking at Peles Castle can be tricky especially during the summer when lots and lots of tourists come to visit this beautiful castle. The main parking area for visiting Peles is situated at the bottom of the hill.
From the main Peles parking area, you walk uphill for about 10 minutes and come right in front of the castle. A secondary parking area has you drive to the north side of the property up some very steep roads. You can find a secondary Peles castle parking area.
Coming to Sinaia by train is very easy from Bucharest. From Sinaia train station however, it takes about 25 minutes walking uphill to Peles Castle. While it is not necessarily an easy walk, the path to Peles Castle from Sinaia Train Station is beautiful.
2. Hunedoara Castle
Also known as Corvins’ Castle (Castelul Corvinilor), Hunedoara Castle is the best medieval castle in all Europe in my opinion. Hunedoara Castle represents my favorite of all Romanian castles. Built in the middle ages, and very well preserved presently, Hunedoara Castle should be one of the key attractions for your trip through Romania.
Hunedoara, Romania – The iconic bridge leading to the impressive Corvins’ Castle
See my photos from Hunedoara Castle
You can easily find budget hotels in Hunedoara. While there are lots of tourists during the summer, if you plan carefully, you can really enjoy your trip to this beautiful medieval Romanian castle. During the summer, at the height of the tourist season, Hunedoara Castle is flooded with tourists.
Parking as usual in Romania is very tricky. The main parking area at Hunedoara Castle while very cheap, easily fills up. You can also try your luck finding a spot on the nearby steep hill around this area.
3. Bran Castle
Yes, this is the famous Dracula’s Castle used by Bram Stocker in his famous Dracula vampire novel. Count Dracula has a few historical ties to a real Romanian ruler called Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Țepeș in Romanian). A bloody and fierce ruler, Vlad Țepeș only visited Bran Castle a few times during his lifetime.
Bran Castle, Romania – Beautiful sideview of the majestic Dracula’s Castle
See my photos from Bran Castle
Summers also bring lots and lots of tourists here, as Bran castle is one of the most famous Romanian castles. Even though busy during the summers, you can easily find budget hotels in the Bran area and enjoy the beautiful local area.
Parking is very tricky here and, other than parking around the Bran Castle front entrance, there are not many designated areas for parking.
4. Făgăraș Fortress
Făgăraș Fortress is a gorgeous medieval castle using the star system for its defensive towers. Beautifully preserved and very easily accessible, Făgăraș is a beautiful destination to visit.
Făgăraș Fortress reflected in the water from the old moat
See my photos from Făgăraș Fortress
We love taking a stroll on the outside of the Fortress and see the old walls reflected in the waters of the moat. A couple of times a day, they have a changing of the guard show where you can learn about old customs and costumes.
Parking around Fagaras Fortress is very simple as there are plenty of side streets and parking spots that are very near to the fortress itself. You can also find very reasonable hotels in Fagaras if you want to spend the night in the area.
5. Sighișoara Fortress
Sighișoara is unique in all of Europe as it is the only remaining medieval Fortress still inhabited by people. You find regular houses where regular people still live within the old medieval walls. Hiking up through the covered staircase you can visit a beautiful high school and a very peaceful old cemetery. Sighisoara’s imposing City Hall and studios for a local radio station are also located inside the old fortress walls.
Sighisoara, Romania – Beautifully preserverd defense tower
See my photos from Sighișoara
We loved visiting Sighisoaravisiting Sighisoara and wandering through the narrow streets and climbing in the old defensive towers. This is a beautiful Romanian fortress where you can take your time and walk back in time.
You can find plenty of very affordable hotels in Sighisoara, near the fortress as well as conveniently located by the train station.
6. Râșnov Fortress
Perched high up on a hilltop, Râșnov Fortress dominates the small town of Rasnov below. Râșnov is another Romanian Castle that can easily be visited especially after visiting the nearby more famous Bran Castle.
Râșnov, Romania – Dating from the 11th century, the Râșnov Fortress has withstood numerous invasions and wars
See my photos from Râșnov Fortress
Also, the area around Rasnov is absolutely gorgeous to visit. Piatra Craiului National Park is a mere 15 minutes away from Rasnov. You can easily drive to the dramatic Cheile Zanoagei and visit the breathtaking mountain village of Magura.
Parking at Râșnov Fortress can be pretty stressful in the summer. The main parking area is overcrowded and not free (as erroneously indicated on the internet). Once you park, a small tractor will take you up the steep hill to the fortress.
I recommend instead, parking underground for free at the bottom of the hill, right in the heart of Rasnov old town and take the 30 second tram ride to the top.
7. Rupea Fortress
Rupea is a small town in Transylvania, right on the main road from Brașov to Sighișoara. The medieval Fortress of Rupea can be seen clearly from the main road as it dominates the area from the tallest hill.
Rupea, Romania – Entrance defense walls to Rupea Fortress
See my photos from Rupea Fortress
Rupea Fortress is easily accessible from the main road right after passing the town itself. Following the signs for Cetatea Rupea will take you up the hill right at the main parking area.
8. Alba-Iulia Fortress
Alba Iulia is a medium size city in Romania which boasts lots of history dating all the way back to the Roman Empire. The main attraction here is the Alba Iulia Fortress which dominates the center of town and contains most all tourist attractions in this town. Beautifully restored, Alba Iulia fortress is a beautiful place to visit.
Alba Iulia, Romania – The main entrance gate to the fortress
9. Oradea Fortress
Oradea is a large city in Romania, full of history and beautiful buildings. In the center of town however, you can find the large Oradea Fortres that resembles the fortresses at Alba Iulia and Fagaras. The difference however, is that the Oradea Fortress has not been restored completely as many parts of the fortress walls are in ruins. Restoration work is well underway however, and the fortress can be easily visited.
As of 2019 the restoration work is mostly complete and Oradea Fortress is ready for visitors.
10. Poienari Fortress
Poienari is the actual castle built by the Hollywood famous Count Dracula. It is a medieval fortress that dominates the narrow gorges to the north and to the south of it.
Today, only a few very old walls have survived, but the views from the top of the hill are well worth your time and efforts to climb the steep hill. At over 1000 stairs, the climb to visit Poenari Fortress will give you a great workout in addition to breathtaking views.
Poenari Fortress, Romania – The old fortress walls and the valley below
See my photos from Poienari Fortress
11. Târgoviște Fortress
Targoviste is a large Romanian city with lots of history packed in a small area of the city. While Targoviste is has mostly old ugly communist type of apartment buildings, the large medieval complex is well worth your time to visit.
Targoviste’s symbol is the imposing Chindia Tower, built by Vlad the Impaler in the 15th century.
Targoviste, Romania – The imposing Chindia Tower built in the 15th century by Vlad the Impaler
See my photos from Târgoviște
While in Targoviste, you can also visit the small but nicely renovated old town which features many restaurants and chic buildings.
12. Porumbacu Fairies Castle
The Fairies Castle in Porumbacu is a completely new creation. Built recently, the Fairies Castle resembles a world of fairies and legends. Located by the picturesque Porumbacu Creek, deep in the Transylvanian countryside, Porumbacu is a delightful weekend trip. The buildings were built only to be looked at from the outside as the insides are not visitable.
Porumbacu de Sus, Romania – Romanian girls dressed in traditional costumes at Faries Castle
See my photos from Fairies Castle
Located between Sibiu and Fagaras, the Clay Fairies Castle is a great stop while traveling through Romania.
Should you visit Romanian Castles?
Of course yes! If you plan on visiting România make sure you include a visit to some of the castles I recommend. Entrance fee is always very cheap and the castles themselves are amazing places to visit. Since many Romanian Castles are located in remote areas, you need to be prepared to drive which is somewhat chaotic and very tiring.