It is a common knowledge that when it comes to Transylvania, the first thing you have in mind is bloodthirsty vampire. Well, for Edward Cullen’s big fans don’t jump to the conclusion right away because nothing horror you could find in Transylvania, instead the rare beauty of this place may charm you though some other things may annoy you as well.
Are vampires real?
Well, they are real, in the book. Though the Bram Stoker’s book about Vlad Dracula is inspired from a real person although the story (thanks God) is not ‘based on the true story’. The Vlad Dracula character is based on Vlad Tepes the Impaler. The impression of the bloodthirsty young prince is because he beat 80,000 enemies on long spikes. So, the act was noble and he was a true hero. Perhaps it is wise to not referring him as a bloodsucking monster when talking to the local.
What to do in Transylvania?
Transylvania is not always about spooky castle but much more about spectacular scenery view and outdoor activities.
Visiting Famous Bran Castle
The first thing you should do when you visit Transylvania is taking selfie in the top tourist attraction, the famous Bran Castle located near Brasov.
Riding a cable car
There is no better place to admire the rare beauty of Transylvania from above but through the cable car belonged to one of the biggest ski resort in Romania. This cable car will bring you up to 1,775 m where you could enjoy the spectacular view of Carpathian Mountains.
Hiking in Piatra Craiului National Park
Exploring the National Park is one of the reasons why travelers from around the world is coming to Transylvania. You could explore it by yourself or you could sign up to join a seven day trip with Active Travel Romania. The main attractions are including primary forests, deep caves, steep rocks and many more of natural wonders.
Taking part in wildlife
The other attractions of Transylvania that probably could become your lifetime experience is spotting the real bear population with your own eyes. Transylvania is ringed by Carpathian Mountains and these mountains are where you could find the largest population of brown bears in Europe. If it is not enough, along with bears you could spot lynx and of course wolves.
Driving on famous Transfagarasan Road
If you are in Romania and then driving in this road is a must to try. A combination of adrenaline, spectacular view and historical background make this road as world’s best road. Today, it is one of the famous attractions in Transylvania.
Staying in ice hotel
Visiting Transylvania during winter is highly recommended because it is one of the affordable places you could have in Europe of skiing and snowboarding gateway. However, whatever amazing experience you have during skiing in Carpathian Mountains will not equal to experience you will have when staying in ice hotel. Yup, ice hotel is a hotel built from ice. Surely, you will be provided with special sleeping bag by the hotel.
Dining in Classic Restaurant in Century-old neoclassical building
One thing to remember about Transylvania is it is very old and Brasov is where you could go to find the best restaurant in town to end your outdoor exploration of Transylvania.
Asides from those amazing options of exploring Transylvania, you cannot expect something fancier than that because as mentioned above, Transylvania is old followed by poor infrastructure. The famous Transfagarasan is perhaps just few roads that are well maintained, you need to be a bit patients with the rest of road condition. The train system is slow and their English is kind of hard to understand.