But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.– C.S. Lewis
Well, while you aren’t old enough to read fairytales, I’ll try to inspire you with these gorgeous Romanian castles.
People are naturally attracted to castles. There is something about these old fortified constructions that modern society loves. Maybe the eerie stories the Grimm brothers wrote centuries ago, or fairytales Disney made out of them.
Either way, Europe is as jam-packed with castles as Snow White’s house is jam-packed with dwarfs. And you can find a handful of them in an offbeat country in the Balkans.
Yes, Romania is often an overlooked vacation destination for many travel bloggers as well as for tourists, that’s why I can’t avoid but to show you how beautiful this country is.
From miles and miles of secret tunnels to the Count Dracula’s castle, Romanian castles are full of legends. And who are we to just ignore them, right?
Anyway, I’ve described and written a little about these castles’ stories (and listed the main fortified churches of Transylvania too), as well as some practical information about visitation (if possible), and some fun facts (which sometimes are not that fun, but eerie).
In today’s post we’ll talk about:
Tips for Visiting the Castles in Romania
First of all, the castles in Romania are gorgeous, straight out of a fairy tale book. That’s true. However, the country is significantly big, and most of these attractions aren’t close to each other.
Also, traveling by train can slow you down considerably if the town you want to reach is somewhere in the faraway countryside.
That’s why I recommend you pack a map, rent a car, and go on a road trip in Romania. You’ll have a fantastic time and will thank me later for that.
Click here to check the latest prices to rent a car in Romania.
Besides, to follow driving directions you’ll need a WiFi hotspot because Google My Maps doesn’t have that option (yet).
Frank and I use Skyroam, an excellent pocket WiFi for travel. We can both connect our phones and laptops (up to 9 devices connected); hence we share the bill too.
Click here to check the latest prices of the pocket WiFi. Pssst: Be sure to use your coupon code MAPSNBAGS
Moreover, always have local cash with you (called leu, plural lei, code RON) because many stores, or even castles, don’t accept cards. Good to be prepared!
And finally, when looking for accommodation, check Booking.com. This is our go-to website when we want to find a decent B&B or hotel.
Romanian Castles Map
Unique Romanian Castles
1. Peles Castle
Perhaps my favorite castle in Romania, this one is possibly among the most beautiful castles in the world.
The Peles Castle is a neoclassical construction near Sinaia in the Carpathian Mountains, and King Carol I commissioned its construction because he fell in love with the area, and I can assure you he wasn’t off base.
The breathtaking landscape is full of snow-capped mountains and dense forests. Also, the building itself reminds a lot of the Bavarian castles, which was a way to honor the king’s roots (He was German).
When I was there, I couldn’t avoid but to think of how this site looked like those fairytale sceneries, and I wondered how I had never seen a movie set on that castle.
Anyway, the woodwork and yellow bricks that adorn the facade look exceptionally romantic. The interior is highly (and beautifully) decorated with angels and other figures carved on wood as well as many paintings.
For more information about the Peles Castle and a day trip to Sinaia, read my review on a tour I took there.
Practical Information about the Peles Castle
-Fun fact: Peles Castle was the first fully electrified castle in Europe.
-Admission: 60 lei (there’s a shooting fee of 35 lei/ camera or 60 lei/ video camera). Note that you must join a guided tour to enter Peles Castle.
-Address: Aleea Peleșului 2, Sinaia 106100, Romania.
-Opening hours: Mid-May through Mid-September – Tue from 9.15am-4.15pm (only ground floor can be visited). Wed 11am-4.15pm. Thu-Sun from 9.15am-4.15pm.
Mid-September through Mid-May – Wed 11am-4.15pm. Thu-Sun from 9.15am-4.15pm.
-How to get to Peles Castle: Take the CFR train from Bucharest to Sinaia (It takes around 1 ½ hour), or from Brasov (Around 1 hour).
One-way ticket costs between $4-$10 US depending on where you take the train. Arriving in Sinaia, walk uphill through a pleasant path to the castle.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi. There are plenty there. If you have bags with you, know that you can store them at the station (9am-7pm) for a small fee, 10 lei.
2. Pelisor Castle
Pelisor castle looks a lot like Peles castle because they are part of the same complex and the latter was partially designed by the same architect as the former.
However, Pelisor is much more intimate, maybe because Queen Marie chose many design details herself.
Back in the 20th-century, King Carol I ordered the construction of this castle to serve as a residence for his nephew and future king, Ferdinand and Marie, his wife.
Today the fairytale castle is a museum showcasing, among others, how the royalty used to live. You can easily visit it on the same day as Peles Castle. Just so you know, Pelisor is much less crowded than the latter and cozier too.
Practical information about the Pelisor Castle
-Admission: 20 lei (there’s a shooting fee of 35 lei/ camera or 60 lei/ video camera).
-Opening hours: Wed from 11am-4.15pm. Thu-Sat from 9.15am-4.15pm. Sun from 9.15am-4.15pm.
-How to get to Pelisor Castle: Pelisor Castle is only 820 ft/ 250 m from the Peles Castle.
3. Poenari Castle
A former fortress of Vlad III “Dracul” the Impaler (aka Dracula), Poenari Castle history mixes between legend and truth.
That’s why many people claim that this is the real Dracula castle and also the one that inspired the vampire novel. However, there’s no evidence that Bram Stock knew about the existence of Poenari.
Wallachia’s Prince, Vlad Dracul, fell in love with the cliffside views of this place, near the Fagaras Mountains, and given its strategic location, he made it his main fortress. So yes, this is indeed the real Dracula castle.
If you’re ready to climb 1,480 steps, you will find an interesting small ruined castle from the 15th-century where “Count Dracula” himself lived.
Practical information about the Poenari Castle
-Admission: 5 lei.
-Address: Coordinates (45°21’13.0″N 24°38’06.2″E) – Transfăgărăşan Comuna Arefu, Romania.
-Opening hours: Due to bears in the area, you can visit the Poenari Castle only in groups and accompanied by gendarmes and in specific times, at 10am and 2pm.
-How to get to Poenari Castle: From Bucharest go to Curtea de Arges by train, or by bus is leaving from Brasov. Then, another bus to Capataneni. Ask the driver where to get off and walk your way up to the castle (~1h).
Alternatively, you can cut off the hassle and visit the castle with a tour company. This one here offers a day trip to Targoviste, Poenari, Curtea de Arges (they have a famous monastery there), and you’ll make a stop at Vidraru Lake, according to Top Gear, this is the world’s most beautiful road (Google it!).
Included in the price are the transfers, English speaking guide, and entrance fees. All taken care for you.
Click here to read more reviews about this tour.
4. Corvin Castle
One of the most beautiful Gothic castles in Transylvania, Corvin is straight out of a fairy tale book because of its remarkable construction.
Also known as Hunedoara Castle, it’s an impressive drawbridge, a splendid Knights’ Hall, and over 50 old rooms (After all, Corvin Castle is among the largest castles in the world!).
In fact, this place also holds some legends about the feared Vlad III “Dracul.” It’s said that John Hunyadi, Transylvania’s voivode, held Vlad Dracul The Impaler as a prisoner in the dungeons of the castle for seven long years, what led to his madness.
Obviously, there is no evidence that this is true, but if you go on a guided tour there, you will probably hear this story (and many others) too.
Practical Information about the Corvin Castle
-Fun fact: Corvin Castle was the film set for the creepy horror movie The Nun. However. The Abbey of St Carta in Sibiu, mentioned and showed on the movie, had to be reconstructed in the set because in Romania they don’t allow to film inside a church.
-Admission: 30 lei. (5 lei shooting fees) More info.
-Address: Strada Castelului 1-3, Hunedoara 331141, Romania.
-Opening hours: Tue-Sun from 9am-5pm, Mondays from 12pm-5pm.
-How to get to Corvin Castle: First, go to Sibiu by train and find accommodation there. Second, take a train to Deva the next day in the morning (It takes 3h to reach the town), then a minibus to Hunedoara, and finally walk 30 minutes to the castle using Google. Note that you have to stay a night in the area because Hunedoara is 248.5 mi/ 400 km from Bucharest. Nevertheless, the trip is worth it.
Read next: Best things to do in Bucharest
5. Cantacuzino Castle
The majestic 20th-century castle is part of the legacy of the Romanian aristocratic family, Cantacuzino.
Although they lost this residence during the forced nationalization in 1948, they regained it back in 1989 and sold it to private investors 15 years later.
The impressive neo-Romanian architecture is just a small part of its beauty as the castle is surrounded by a park that leads to artisanal fountains, waterfalls, and grottos.
Moreover, the Romanian mosaic in the lobby and carved woodwork, as in Peles Castle, is impressive.
Practical Information about the Cantacuzino Castle
-Admission: 40 lei. Note that entry is made only once every hour (at five past the hour).
-Opening hours: Sun-Fri from 10am-6pm. Saturdays from 10am-7pm.
-How to get to Cantacuzino Castle: From Bucharest or Brasov, take the CRF train to Busteni and walk 20 minutes to the castle (The trip to Busteni takes around, 2h20 and 1h, respectively).
6. Sturdza Castle
Sturdza Castle, also known as Miclauseni Castle, was the Sturdza family’s residence until 1944 when the place fell in disgrace – the Russians, who took over the place, destroyed part of the castle, and left it for degradation and theft.
Years later, during the communism ruling in Romania, the site was still being ignored, but the government used it as an orphanage for disabled children.
Furthermore, Sturdza was famous for its precious art, religious artifacts, and books – the castle had the most prominent library in the country with over 60k rare books. Unfortunately, after WWII and communism, only one volume of that whole collection was all they could find.
Architecture-wise, the late Gothic architectural palace is not in its full glory, but it still is classic, gorgeous, and imposing.
Certainly one of the most beautiful castles in this list. Be sure to make a stop at the restaurant as the local dishes are delicious.
Moreover, the place is surrounded by a dense park where you can go for a pleasant walk – the oldest tree in this site is 400 years old.
Pssst: If you go there by car, you might want to check out the UNESCO painted monasteries. They are masterpieces inspired by Byzantine art.
Practical Information about the Sturdza Castle
-Admission: 15 lei only with reservation.
-Address: Coordinates (47°05’47.8″N 26°55’24.3″E) Sat Miclăușeni, Comuna Butea.
-Opening hours: Weekends only from 12pm-6pm.
-How to get to Sturdza Castle: From Bucharest take a CFR train to Iasi. This trip takes around 5 to 6 hours. Then, rent a car and drive to the castle. Alternatively, you can also rent a car in Bucharest and drive there 219 mi/ 353 km.
7. Bethlen Castle (Magna Curia)
Back in the 16th century, a Hungarian captain in charge of the Deva Fortress ordered the construction of a house at the foot of the citadel hill.
Fast forward 40 years, Gabriel Bethlen, who, among others, lived in that residence, started a radical transformation of that house, making it a Renaissance-styled palace.
Later modifications added the Baroque details, but the building remained one of the oldest castles in Transylvania.
The exterior is light pink and has a gorgeous garden, which makes the place ridiculously cute. Inside you will find the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilisation.
Pssst: While in Deva, you can also visit the Deva Fortress atop the hill using the funicular.
Practical Information about the Bethlen Castle
-Fun fact: They built a graveyard near this castle for the horror movie The Nun. However. The Abbey of St Carta in Sibiu, mentioned and showed on the movie, had to be reconstructed in the set because in Romania they don’t allow filming inside a church.
-Admission: 10 lei.
-Address: Strada 1 Decembrie 39, Deva 330005, Romania.
-Opening hours: Every day from 10am-5pm.
-How to get to Bethlen Castle: The closest big city is Sibiu, and the easiest way to reach the town of Deva is by car. The city is 79 mi/ 128 km to the west of Sibiu.
8. Jidvei Castle (Bethlen)
Atop a little hill, this gorgeous 16th-century castle has an eclectic architectural style that mixes French renaissance and baroque.
It’s a beautiful place that hosts events, weddings, and dinners, which is why visitors are not allowed unless you’ve scheduled a wine tasting which, I heard through the grapevine, it’s one of the best white wines in Romania.
Practical Information about the Jidvei Castle
-Fun fact: The legend has it that there is a tunnel connecting the Jidvei Castle to the Cris Bethlen Castle.
-Admission: Reservation required.
-Address: Coordinates (46°15’20.2″N 24°10’24.6″E) – Castelul Bethlen-Haller, Cetatea de Baltă 517235, Romania.
-How to get Jidvei Castle: The location is 1h30 to the north of Sibiu. The easiest way to get there is by car.
9. Savarsin Castle
For centuries, Savarsin Castle belonged to the Hungarian royal family because that region was part of the Hungarian territory.
Well, that was the case until December 1st, 1918, when Transylvania was united to Romania. Since then, the Romanians celebrate the Unification Day every year on that date.
Back to the Savarsin, like many other properties in this post, the castle was confiscated by the communist government and later returned to the Romanian Royal family.
Princess Margareta coordinated the renovation works, recreating the style adored by her grandmother Queen Helen, “The castle has the Queen’s spirit, the spirit of the King, it is a historic place, and we want to keep it this way.”
Today, the castle, which is surrounded by a beautiful arboretum, is still a royal residence; hence no visits are allowed, except once or twice a year.
However, if you drive past it on your road trip, you will see the majestic entrance of the royal winter residence.
Practical Information about the Savarsin Castle
-Address: Coordinates (46°00’55.5″N 22°14’08.4″E)
-How to get Savarsin Castle: The location is 2h to the west of Sibiu. The easiest way to get there is by car.
10. Bran Castle
Back in the 14th-century, a fortress on the top of a hill in Bran was destroyed to give place to a castle.
This castle was meant to offer protection to Romania from its enemies, especially the Ottomans because of its strategic location.
Fast forward 6 centuries, Brasov city council decided to give the castle to Queen Maria of Romania and King Ferdinand I.
However, this royal residence became famous as the Count Dracula Castle, although there is no proof Bram Stoker has ever set foot here, or in Romania for that matter.
Bran castle surrounding area is enchanting, and it’s indeed among the most beautiful medieval castle in Europe. If it’s not, I just put it on this list myself.
Jokes apart, the castle rises atop a 200-foot-high rock (61 m), and when I was there the sky was perfectly blue, and the hill, trees, and surroundings were covered in snow. If this isn’t straight out of a fairy tale book, please tell what it is then!
Anyway, the first two floors are dedicated to showing how the royalty used to live and to tell their story. The third and last floor is dedicated to Dracula’s story, even though this is not the real castle of Vlad Tepes.
There you’ll find a summary of Bram’s life together with the whole explanation about his evil character on the walls.
Don’t think you’ll find a vampire sleeping in a coffin though, the scariest thing you’ll see is the actual necklace used in the Dracula movie.
Practical Information about Bran Castle
-Fun fact: Many say this is Dracula Castle, however, neither had Bram Stoker ever set foot in Romania nor had Vlad Tepes set foot in this fortress.
–Admission: 40 lei.-Address: Strada General Traian Mosoiu 24 – 507025, Bran – Romania.
-Opening hours: October through March – Mondays from 12pm-4pm. Tue-Sun from 9am-4pm.
April through September – Mondays from 12pm-6pm. Tue-Sun from 9am-6pm.
-How to get to Bran Castle: From Bucharest, take the CFR train to Brasov. The trip takes 3h30 and costs 40 lei. Then take a bus towards Bran – Moeciu at terminal #2. This trip takes around 45 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 7 lei. Alternatively, you can take a pleasant day trip tour from Bucharest to Bran and Peles Castles, and Brasov, as I did.
11. Iulia Hasdeu Castle
Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, a Romanian writer, had a spiritual hand helping him build this castle – from his deceased daughter.
Iulia Hasdeu passed away from tuberculosis a month before she was to turn 19, after that, her father sought help in spiritualism, and in one of those sessions, he received some guidance from his deceased daughter to design the castle. Handy, right?!
She also advised him to pay attention to two magical numbers – 3 and 7. And he did – the castle has 3 towers, all staircases have 7 steps, and so on.
Moreover, many people claim to have seen Iulia walking in the garden of the palace once the construction was done.
If that’s true, I can’t say, but castles in Romania do have more legends and stories than castles in any other country. Granted, a visit to this place is undoubtedly a lesson of spiritism, history, and architecture.
Practical Information about Iulia Hasdeu
-Admission: 10 lei.
-Address: Bulevardul Carol I 199, Câmpina 105600, Romania.
-Opening hours: March through October – Tue-Sun from 9am-5pm. November through February – Tue-Sun from 8am-4pm.
-How to get to Iulia Hasdeu Castle: From Bucharest, take a CFR train to Campina, then walk to the castle. The trip takes around 1h50, and a one-way ticket costs 13 lei.
12. Banffy Castle
Electronic music, medieval buildings, fairytale castles. What do they all have in common? Banffy Castle!
The original construction dates back to the 14th century, but since the castle went through many restorations and reconstructions along the time, it acquired a mix of architectural styles – Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic, and English Romantic.
Located 18 mi/ 30 km to the north of Cluj-Napoca, Banffy castle is still under extensive restoration works, and the government wants to create a conservation laboratory and a hotel on this site.
Meanwhile, an Art Cafe and an educational center are operating in the building as well as a yearly, significant Electronic music festival. All of that to fund the restorations and bring Banffy back to its former glory.
Pssst: Relax and picnic near the lake behind the castle.
Practical Information about Banffy Castle
-Admission: 8 lei.
-Address: Coordinates (46°54’37.4″N 23°48’38.2″E) – DJ161, Bonțida 407105, Romania.
-Opening hours: April through October – Mon-Sun from 10am-8pm. November through March – Mon-Sun from 10am-4pm.
-How to get Banffy Castle: From Cluj-Napoca, take a train to Bontida and from there walk 2.5 mi/ 4 km to the castle. I know, that’s quite far for a walk, so alternatively, you can rent a car, which is the easiest way to reach it.
Castle 13. Miko
Miko is a fortified 17th-century castle that had strategic importance defending the eastern border of the Habsburg Empire; hence they made numerous reinforcements to the castle.
Fast forward four centuries, the castle is now an ethnographic museum dedicated to the Székely heritage (Hungarians that live in a specific part of Romania), to the preserved sacred art treasures, and to the history of the castle.
Besides the permanent exhibition, they also host around ten other expositions throughout the year.
Practical Information about Miko Castle
–Admission: 15 lei.
-Address: Piața Cetății, Miercurea Ciuc 530003, Romania.
-Opening hours: Tue-Sun from 9am-5pm.
-How to get Miko Castle: From Brasov, take a CFR train to Miercurea-Ciuc. Then walk 10 minutes to the castle. The trip takes around 1h40.
14. Huniade Castle
700 years of culture, history, ups, and downs. The Huniade Castle in Timisoara endured wars, uprisings, and natural disasters, but today…today it waits for the local authorities to start the renovations as the city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2021.
Since 1948 the castle hosts the Banat museum, a natural history and science museum which is the largest in Timisoara.
However, since the place is under renovation, the museum was temporarily relocated to Maria Theresia Bastion, a few blocks away.
If you do stop by the castle, you’re free to walk around the place and photograph it, although you can’t go inside.
Practical Information about Huniade Castle
-Fun fact: There are two lamps in front of the castle that celebrate Timisoara being the first European city to use electric lights on the streets.
-Address: Piaţa Iancu Huniade nr. 1, Timisoara, Romania.
-How to get to Huniade Castle: The easiest way to reach the castle is by car. You basically have to drive past Sibiu towards Timisoara.
15. Palace of Culture
Ok, ok. I know I said castles, but this palace deserves a place in this list. Let me show you why.
The Palace of Culture in Iasi houses the Moldavia National Museum Complex. A compound formed by four museums – History Museum, Art Museum, Science Museum, and Ethnographic Museum.
The mansion is the former Palace of Justice, but since it became a place filled with culture, they thought it was better to change its name.
Because there were two construction phases and so two architects, the palace has a mix of architectural styles – Neo-Baroque, Nao-Gothic, and Art Nouveau.
The Voivodes’ Hall is decorated with dark blue walls and golden details, giving the impression of a starry night. The portraits you’ll see in this room are from Moldavia’s rulers as Iasi is near the Moldovian border–and one of the best places to visit in Romania!
Also, the entrance is right under the Clock Tower, which has three clocks on it. The clocks are made of stained glass illustrating the 12 astrological signs. Be sure to go up in the tower to see how the clocks work.
Practical Information about Palace of Culture
-Admission: 40 lei for all four museums, but you can also buy them separately, which costs between 12-16 lei.
-Address: Bulevardul Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt 1, Iași 700028, Romania.
-Opening hours: Tue-Sun from 10am-5pm (Book the visit to the Tower Clock at the information desk. It happens at a quarter before an hour from 10.45am to 3.45pm.)
-How to get the Palace of Culture: From Bucharest take a CFR train to Iasi. This trip takes around 5 to 6 hours. Then, take the bus 19 towards C.U.G.I. in front of the McDonalds. Get off at Pod Cantemir stop and walk 10 minutes to the palace.
Read next: Alternative places to visit in Bucharest
16. Csernovics Castle
Also known as Macea Castle, the Csernovics Castle belonged to the Serbian family with the same name until they lost the mansion to the Nagy Karolyi family.
Later, the Karolyi expanded the building a lot to the construction we know today.
As a good Romanian castle, this former royal residence is full of legends too. One of them is about a cursed young woman, but I’ll let the suspense in the air as an incentive for you to visit the place. Sorry, folks.
Moreover, the garden is pleasant, and I highly recommend a walk there.
Today, the castle houses the registered office of “Vasile Goldis” Western University; hence you only wander through the garden and see the exterior of the palace.
Practical Information about Csernovics Castle
-Fun fact: Legend has it that the Csernovics lost the castle at a card game.
-Address: 791 -792, Macea Village; Macea Commune, Arad. Romania.
-Opening hours: Every day from 6am-10pm.
-How to get to Csernovics Castle: The castle is a little over an hour to the north of Timisoara, and it’s best reached by car.
17. Faragas Fortress
Built in the 14th century, Faragas Citadel was once the residence of Transylvania rulers. Later it became a military post and a prison, which didn’t lack torture methods.
One of the prettiest medieval castles in Romania, Faragas Fortress, was considered one of the strongest fortifications in the region and has never been conquered.
Granted, the place is surrounded by a moat, has four massive lookout towers, and a double wall – a solid rock (pun intended). However. Faragas Fortress was defeated because of treason. Not cool.
Since 1954, the castle houses the Faragas County Museum which showcases traditional folks crafts, medieval weapons, painted glass, and Roman artifacts.
Practical Information about Faragas Fortress
-Fun fact: Criminals used to be buried inside the citadel walls.
-Admission: 15 lei.
-Address: Strada Mihai Viteazul 1, Faragas – Brasov. Romania.
-Opening hours: Junto through September – Tue-Fri from 8am-7pm, Sat-Sun from 10am-6pm.October through May – Mon from 12pm-4pm, Tue-Fri from 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun from 9am-5pm.
-How to get to Faragas Fortress: The fortress is 41 mi/ 67 km to the northwest of Brasov, and you can reach it by (taking a few) buses, but the best way is by car.
18. Rasnov Fortress
Built atop a hill in the Carpathian Mountains during the rule of the Teutonic Knights, the 13th-century medieval fortress lies 650 ft (198 m) above the town of Rasnov.
However, researchers said to have found fortification traces since the prehistoric times.
Well, as I said, the Rasnov Fortress has a strategic location, hence whenever enemies would attack the town, all people of Rasnov would go uphill to hide inside the fortified citadel, and conquering it was nearly impossible. Nearly.
In the 17th century, the castle was finally defeated because their enemy had found their secret water spring and the people in the fortress had no longer water.
A smart move, but that taught the Rasnov people what their weakness was. After that, they dug a 479 ft (146 m) well inside the fortress.
Pssst: There is an exciting festival about movies and books during the summer in the fortress.
Practical Information about Rasnov Fortress
-Fun fact: Legend has it that the people of Rasnov made two Turkish prisoners dig the well through solid rock with the promise that they would be released after that. The prisoners dug it for seventeen years (what?!) and that’s the reason verses of the Quran can be found inside the well. No one knows what happened to both of them.
-Admission: 15 lei (If you don’t want to walk uphill, you can purchase the funicular ticket – round trip ~3 lei).
-Address: Strada Cetății 17, Râșnov 505400, Romania.
-Opening hours: Every day from 9am-6pm.
-How to get to Rasnov Fortress: From Brasov, take a train to the first station called Rasnov (not Rasnov h.).
19. Neamt Castle
Neamt Castle is a historical monument with great significance to the formation and protection of the Moldavian state. Actually, this fortress is of the most important medieval monuments in Romania.
Strategically built overlooking the region (1,575 ft / 480 m high), the 14th-century structure endured rough sieges from the Ottomans and the Polish back in the old times. However, it lost its significance with time and was left to the ruins.
Today, the castle houses a museum showcasing its own history with fully reconstituted rooms and even historical characters.
Practical Information about Neamt Castle
-Admission: 15 lei (shooting fee 20 lei/ filming fee 25 lei).
-Address: Coordinates (47°12’51.6″N 26°20’36.8″E) – Strada Cetăţii, Târgu Neamț 615200, Romania.
-Opening hours: April through September from Tue-Sun from 10am-6pm. October through March from Tue-Sun from 9am-5pm.
-How to get to Neamt Castle: From Bucharest take a CFR train to Iasi. This trip takes around 5 to 6 hours. Then, rent a car and drive to the castle, which is 66 mi/ 107 km to the west of Iasi. Alternatively, you can also rent a car in Bucharest and drive there 242 mi/ 390 km.
20. Karolyi Castle
Karolyi Castle, in the town of Carei, is the most popular attraction of Satu Mare county. The 15th-century construction was destroyed and rebuilt several times to improve its defenses, and it has also been renovated in the past few years.
Once owned by the Karolyi family, today the castle houses an exhibition that reproduces the ambiance of the former palace, a library, and a presentation of the local history.
Moreover, the castle is a two-level building with an entrance for old carriages. The interior is dominated by a hall paved with mosaic and equipped with large fireplaces.
After the renovation of the castle, the rooms on the first floor were decorated with historic furniture.
Also, the Karolyi castle is surrounded by a beautiful and huge park filled with rare plants and a plane tree that is considered the oldest tree in the park, planted in 1810.
Practical Information about Karolyi Castle
– Fun fact: Besides the beautiful park, many legends surround this castle. One of them says that there were secret tunnels under the castle leading to a chapel 3 mi/ 5km away. So the princes Karolyi and Rakoczi would have their horseshoes intentionally mounted opposite so that their enemies would think they actually left the tunnel.
-Address: Castelul Karolyi,
-Opening hours: Tue-Sun from 9am-5pm.
-How to get to Karolyi Castle: The closest big city is Cluj-Napoca, and the easiest way to reach the town of Carei is by car, which is 105 mi/ 170 km to the northwest of Cluj-Napoca.
Bonus: Fortified Churches of Transylvania
Only 150 fortified churches from the 13th and 16th centuries are still well-preserved from the former 300 in the Southeastern region of Transylvania.
The area has the highest concentration of them, and the seven villages that house these national monuments are now considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Pssst: The following churches are also pinned to the map.
As I said, there are 150 churches so I can’t list them all here. Instead, I’ll indicate the main attraction in each one of those villages with their photos below.
– Saschiz Fortified Church is a Lutheran church from the 15th-century in Saschiz, Mures county.
– Viscri Fortified Church was built by the Transylvanian Saxon in Viscri, Brasov county, in the 13th-century.
– The 16th century Biertan Fortified Church is in Biertan, Sibiu county. It was Catholic, but after the Reformation it became Lutheran.
– Câlnic Citadel was built by a nobleman in Câlnic, Alba county, who later sold it to Transylvanian Saxon. There is a chapel inside the citadel.
– Prejmer Fortified Church was established by the Germanic Teutonic Knights in Prejmer, Brasov county, in the 13th-century.
– Dârjiu Fortified Church, documents say it was first mentioned in the 14th century in Dârjiu, Harghita county.
The castles in Romania are full of legends, exciting stories, and striking architecture. Most are also quite far away from each other. So consider going on a road trip around the country to visit most of them, if not all, in one go.
Also, take your camera to photograph the picturesque landscapes, so you have inspiring mementos of your trip of the Romanian Castles. And finally, come back here to tell me how you liked them!
I’d love to hear from you! Oh and if you have already been in a mysterious castle in Transylvania (or any other throughout the country), comment below your experience!
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Photo credits fortified churches, respectively: Diana Popescu CC BY-SA 3.0 RO, Andrei Kokelburg CC BY-SA 3.0 RO, Antony Stanley CC BY-SA 2.0, Neighbor’s Goat CC BY-SA 3.0 RO, Andrei Kokelburg CC BY-SA 3.0 RO, Cristian Chirita CC BY-SA 3.0 RO, Otto Schemmel CC BY-SA 3.0