Fly in and out of the capital city of Bucharest, but make your home base in Brasov. This is a central spot to explore Transylvania, and it’s full of everything a tourist may need in the way of hotels, restaurants, and shops. Brasov also has many interesting things to see around town. The Black Church, called this due to a fire in 1689 that scorched the walls black, is best photographed from the White and Black Towers. These towers also offer panoramic views of the area. The University buildings are beautiful, and there are quirky animal statues on the campus grounds. Catherine’s Gate is an original gate of the city, surviving from medieval days.

Two of our favorite foods in Transylvania are the polenta, and a dumpling, jam, and cream dessert. We also enjoyed both red and white local wines, along with grilled meat plates.

Transylvania Castles

We booked a Transylvania Castles Tour, and with a very personable tour guide visited both Peles and Bran Castles. Both castles are easily accessible from Brasov, with just a few hours drive.

Rob and Barbara at Bran Castle

Bran Castle was part of the inspiration for Bram Stoker to write his Dracula story. A rocky castle, built into a cliff, it is more interesting to see from the outside than the inside tour. The area around it is covered with tourists and cheap souvenirs.

Peles Castle is by far the better castle to tour. The grounds, the interior, and the surrounding area are stunningly beautiful. A thunderstorm was rolling in to the area as we visited, and we missed the rain but the dark and stormy clouds lent excellently to the atmosphere. Seeing this castle and its grounds was the highlight of our trip.


Bucharest is worth visiting for one night, especially for the night you fly in or out of the country. It has a small Old Town area, full of restaurants, pubs, and strip clubs.

We stayed in the inexpensive Rembrandt Hotel, highly rated, and with an excellent location in Old Town. It is clean and sparse, and has a feeling of being left over from communist days, so it makes for a fine living-history experience.

Bucharest Old Town

What Happened to the Guinness?

This will be one Travel Post of ours without any Guinness photos.😳 Astonishingly, Romania was a country without Guinness when we visited. Well, we drank golden beers in Brasov Irish Pubs and golden beers in Bucharest Irish Pubs. What a way for the Irish pubs here to kick off summer.

2 golden beers
Golden Beers

Planning our Next Visit

We would go back to visit Romania, there is a lot to see and do, and never enough time. Sighisoara is another good option for a home-base city in Transylvania, with a walled Old Town. This is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes: Dracula. Additionally, while we didn’t have time to drive it, we hear that the Transfagarasan Highway, known as the “best road in the world,” is amazing. It runs through the Carpathian Mountains, with intense hairpin turns, providing a heart-racing ride and amazing views.

Grey, rocky mountains
Carpathian Mountains

Also, Romania has a lot of natural beauty, with mountains, forests, mountain lakes, and brown bears. Driving through the forested mountains you have a good chance of seeing the bears, just by the side of the road.

Rob and Barbara with red wines

Until next time, Romania.

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