You can’t miss these amazing castles in Romania! Local travel experts from Romanian Thrills share their favourite magical, mysterious, & marvellous castles.
Romania and romance fit together perfectly, from our language to our fairy tale castles and more. If you’re visiting soon, these are the castles in Romania you can’t miss. But there is so much more to our beautiful home country than just its (albeit, extraordinary) castles! Our fascinating culture and traditions, jaw-dropping landscapes and outdoor adventures, delectable food and wine…it’s all here waiting for you.
If you want to experience the real Romania, we would love to show you. As locals who live in and love this country, we get so much joy from sharing it with visitors from all over the world. Immerse yourself in Romania’s beauty, history, and legends on our tours in Romania!
Until then, here are our favourite castles in Romania to inspire your future travels…
1. Peleș Castle in Sinaia
Perhaps the most beautiful castle in Romania, Peleș Castle is straight out of a fairy tale. This was the summer residence of the royal family from the late 19th Century until it was seized in 1947 as the communist party took control. It was then that King Michael I of Romania was forced to abdicate the throne.
Built in the Neo-Renaissance style amidst the beautiful mountainscape, Peleș boasts impressive interiors showcasing rare books, medieval weapons, works of art, and much more. The castle also holds the claim to being the world’s first castle fully powered by electricity.
A visit to Peleș Castle is easy for most visitors to Romania, given its location in Sinaia in close proximity to Bucharest.
2. Pelișor Castle
Within the same complex as Peleș Castle in Sinaia, you’ll find the more intimate Pelișor Castle. Built at the turn of the 20th Century for the future king, Ferdinand, and his wife Marie, Pelișor is said to have been largely designed by the future queen herself.
3. Bran Castle (or Dracula’s Castle)
Unquestionably, this is one of Brasov’s most famous, yet controversial, associations. It is well known that Bram
Bran Castle is perhaps the most famous castle in Romania, due to its connections with the literary character Dracula. Historically, Bran Castle was built in the mid-1300s and used as a fortress used by the Teutonic Knights against Mongolian invaders.
Bran Castle sits atop a hill overlooking lovely countryside in the city of Brasov. It’s easy to see why this is one of Romania’s top attractions!
Whether you love history, literature, or vampires, you’ll surely enjoy a visit to Bran Castle. During our tours in Romania, we like to debunk the mysteries around “Dracula’s Castle” and share the real stories of its people and history.
And guess what else you can do on our Romania tours? You can Adopt a Dracula with us! Bat houses help with conservation efforts and we love supporting these local projects. Learn more and join us to help protect our fascinating local wildlife here in Romania!
Poenari: The REAL Dracula’s Castle
Romania has two “Dracula” castles, so don’t overlook the real Dracula’s Castle: Poenari Castle (also called Poenari Citadel). Standing atop the mountainscape, you’ll need to earn the views after nearly 1500 steps.
If you conquer them all, you’ll be rewarded with extraordinary views and a visit to the former residence of Vlad the Impaler — better known as “Count Dracula” himself!
Originally built in the 13th Century, Vlad the Impaler realised the strategic advantage of the location of Poenari and repaired the mostly-ruined former fortress in the 15th Century for his own use.
After his death, the castle fell into ruins by the 17th Century and remains as a ruin today. While this isn’t the most regal or decorative of castles in Romania, visiting Poenari is well worth the effort for the history and beautiful landscapes all around.
We like to visit Poenari during our Discover Romania Tour after driving the magnificent Transfagarasan Highway, which was voted by Top Gear as the best road trip in the entire world!
5. Corvins Castle (also called Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle)
Corvin Castle is another must-see castle in Romania. Built in the 14th Century by John Hunyadi (Ioan of Hunedoara), Corvin Castle is the largest medieval castle in Romania.
The castle is shrouded in mystery, with many legends alluding to intrigue and imprisonment…including of Vlad the Impaler.
Constructed in a Renaissance-Gothic style, Corvin Castle boasts an impressive drawbridge and a marvellous Knights’ Hall.
Until you can join us in Romania in person, learn all about the Legends of Corvin Castle on our interactive virtual tour!
6. Cantacuzino Castle
Cantacuzino Castle in Romania was home to an aristocratic family until 1948 when the Communist Party gained control of the country. Its neo-Romanian architecture is awe-inspiring, as are the extensive grounds surrounding the castle.
Fountains and gardens offer quite the enjoyable place to stroll after exploring the intricate mosaic and woodwork indoors.
7. Sturdza Castle
Romantic Sturdza Castle is definitely a must-see while in Romania. The 19th Century building is composed of neo-Gothic and Baroque architecture and surrounded by spacious grounds.
Over the centuries, the castle has seen many transitions. It’s gone from a residence to an orphanage to a hospital and even a convent for a time. Located in the quiet village of Miclăușeni, Sturdza Castle is as beautiful as it is intriguing in its history.
8. Iulia Hasdeu Castle
Romanian writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu designed the petite Iulia Hasdeu Castle with supposed guidance from the spirit of his deceased daughter. Apparently following her advice, he included three towers and ensured each staircase included only seven steps.
The castle was said to have been visited by Iulia herself after construction was completed.
9. Bánffy Castle
Beautiful Bánffy Castle was originally built in the 14th Century. It has undergone a variety of changes since then, with a blend of architectural styles reflecting the passage of time.
The castle is owned by the Bánffy family and continues to undergo renovations, but the grounds are extensive and provide a beautiful destination to seek out on your Romania trip. This is a popular location for events, including fairy tale weddings.
10. Râsnov Citadel
Râsnov Citadel (or Râsnov Fortress) is located near the city of Brașov, which is one of our favourite destinations during our Romania tours. Râsnov was another of the fortresses belonging to the Teutonic Knights (remember, Bran Castle was another such fortification).
Today, Râsnov Citadel offers drama, history, and beauty. Situated atop steep cliffs, Râsnov seems impenetrable from afar. You can experience what life was like within these walls during our Transylvania Tour: Myths and Legends.
11. Bethlen-Haller Castle
Lovely Bethlen-Haller Castle was built in the French Renaissance style in the 16th century. Later restored with Baroque elements, Bethlen-Haller today feels like a magical escape from the norm. Of course, you’ll also want to experience its Jidvei Winery!
12. Not a Romanian Castle, But a Must-See! The Palace of Culture
The Palace of Culture in Iași is home to several museums, including the Museum of Science and Technology, Museum of Art, History Museum, and Museum of Ethnography.
The palace displays a combination of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic, and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Built in the early 20th Century, it was used as the Palace of Justice until 1955.
13. Privately-Owned Castles in Romania
Our favourite part of showing visitors around on our tours of Romania is being able to experience unique accommodations and locations. We often spend the night in privately-owned castles or chateaux owned by aristocratic families.
If you’d like to experience these fabulous places, too, then come join us! Check out our most popular Discover Romania Tour for a sample of where we stay along the way.
What do you think? Are you ready to experience the real Romania now? Let us know! Until you can join us in person, follow along on Instagram for the latest Romania tips and travel inspiration.