I tried to get to Bran from Brasov, and suddenly found out that it's a lot harder than one might think if going without a car. We tried to get information from the tourist information in Bran, and they didn't even know how to get there- and actually told us to take a train (even I knew that was not possible- at least at that time).
Turns out the bus to get there leaves from a place that is not easy to find, and the actual times it leaves and returns from Bran make it almost an all day trip. So, be prepared... I was too casual and ended up missing out. On the bright side, Brasov is a great little town, and worth the extra hours of exploration if you end up missing out on Bran too!
Poiana Brasov is the closest and most famous ski resort in the region of Brasov and the best thing is that it is situated only 10 km far from the city. It's a typical ski resort with many hotels and few ski slopes and of course beautiful nature. We came across to a strange Romanian restaurant"Sura Dacilor" in the center of the resort with wonderful local music and interior - chaires made by logs, hanging from the roof dry corn and onlion.
Unfortunately there was no much snow but at least it was sunny and good for a walk.
If you'll visit it like us - only for a day trip, then I recommend the following route (no more than 50-60km) - Brasov, Bran, Rasnov, Poiana Brasov, Brasov :)))
Every tourist that has visited Brasov doesn't miss to visit the famous Dracula's Castle. When you're on your way to Bran, you can stop for an hour in the small town of Rasnov.
Just follow the signs and easily you'll reach a big parking where you could buy tickets for the wagon tractor that will take you to the top of the hill. Of course you can go on foot but me, personaly didn't want to miss a ride in such machine. The tour takes 3-4minutes and you reach the fortress where there is a fee of 15 lei/person to enter. It is a medieval fortress and it has perfect location - view to 360 degrees. It's like a little town with streets and even there are souvenirs shop. You can also receive touristic information inside.
Poiana Brasov is a tourist resort above the town. There is a lake in front of the big hotel, and it has plastic swans on it. (Low maintenance, I guess.) There is an old wooden church to look at, and good overviews of Brasov. In the winter it is a popular ski resort.
You can get there by road, or by cable car from Brasov if you don't mind some walking at each end.
Only few hundred meters far from the central parc.
It is a shame that this place is not advertised better...
I have been first time in Brasov 35 years ago, and only a month ago I have discover it.
Up there is nice and quiet and it is in the middle of Brasov... why not then?
This is the famous "Castle of Count Dracula", but truthfully this castle was really quite ordinary. There was no Dracula "feel" to the place, and it seems that the link is quite tenuous. I think he stayed at the castle once. Still, I had to come here. After all, how can I make a judgement if I don't see it for myself?
The town of Bran has nothing else but the castle, but that brings in bus loads of tourists every day. It's easy to reach from Brasov, and you can double-up with the fantastic Rasnov castle, which is on the same bus route. If you are going to see Rasnov, though, come here first, otherwise Bran will be an even bigger let down.
Now THIS is Transylvania.
Rasnov is a rather ordinary town with an extraordinary castle sitting above it. The castle acts like a gateway between the flat, dull landscape of the city below and its acres of pastoral farmland, and the heady, dreamlike, fantastical land beyond, complete with an authentic, still livng and barely touched medieval castle, and the tall, rolling, forested green hills behind. Walking up the steep steps to the castle is like finding yourself in Narnia; it's like passing through the gate on Skull Island.
About an hour away from Brasov by train or bus is the mountain resort of Sinaia. It's a beautiful location, and makes for wonderful hiking, but Castle Peles is worth a day trip on its own. It's far more "Dracula" than Bran Castle, more impressive, and with a much more dramatic backdrop. There's a few other things to do and see as well, including a trip up the mountain on the gondola, so you can easily make a day of it.
Located about half way between Brasov and Bran, Rasnov Citadel is well worth the short detour. It is an ancient citadel on the top of the hill. The local valley people would come in here during dangerous times. Built early, it was refortified in the 14th century to help against Turkish and Tartar invasions.
One unique thing is the central well. It took 17 years (1623~1640) for two Turkish prisoners to get down 146m to water. But as promised, they were set free after they reached the water table, thereby allowing the citadel to have its own water source for the next 200 years.
Buses to Rasnov and Bran (these towns are on the same road) leave from Brasov's Bartolomeu bus terminal about every hour.
This school is located right beside St. Nicolas church.
It is a very interesting place indeed. And so pity that it doesn't seem to be popular. Or people just don't know about it. The guide is working there and he is a FOND of his job. When telling us about how lessons were going, what tools teachers used to explain, etc, he was almost shining.
And beside all that, a whole collection of rare medieval books is stored there. Among them was the 1st Gospel written in Cyrilic. This guy even speaks 'staroslavyanski' (old slavic) language, he was telling us some phrases.
I really advice to visit it, you won't regret. The price is very low, about 1,5 EUR.
The Rope Street is known as the narrowest street in the Europe, with its wideness between 111 cm and 135 cm.
Its length is 80 m and lies between the Cerbului Street and the Poarta Schei Street.
The first documentary mention of the street was made in the 17th century.
The road was restored in the year 2003, when it gotten new illumination system.
When you go on this street, you can touch simultaneous, with your hands, the both roadsides.
Bran Castle also known as Dracula's Castle is located by the village of Moeciu, close to Brasov. It was originally built as a watch point to protect Transylvania by unwanted guests. The truth is that Vlad Tepes (known as Count Dracula) stopped by the castle rarely. He spent most of his time in Bucharest at Curtea Veche, from where he was ruling the country.
After WWI, the castle was given as a present to Queen Maria to thank her and her family for the special contribution made to the creation of Greater Romania. So the castle became a royal residence.
On October 1950 it was declared a historical monument and 7 years later it became a museum.
Valea Doftanei (Doftanei Valley) is a small village (the pollution here is close to nothing!) close to Campina, but it can be easily accessed from Brasov or Sinaia. The Doftana Valley is very well known for the breathtaking landscape and for the Paltinu Dam (very touristy in the summer).
It is a very popular spot for hiking trips and for mountain biking. The bike path from Doftana Valley to Campina is one of the most challenging in the country.
There are several pensions in the village that make for a nice and comfortable lodging, with homey meals and very friendly pension owners. I have stayed for 2 nights at Ancuta Pension (which you can also see in the picture) and I had a great time.
If you are into fishing, there is no better spot than here!
You can get to Valea Doftanei by taking a bus from Campina or by just driving on your own.
The Transylvanian town of Bran (German: Trötzburg) is home to a castle which is often referred to as Dracula's Castle.
The castle was built in the 14th century and is nowadays a museum with art and furniture of Queen Marie.
The myth of "Dracula's Castle" is probably only a tourist trap as Vlad Tepes actually never lived in the castle, but it is believed that he spent two days in prison in the castle.
We visited the castle on a Sunday when the city was crowded with tourists. The Dracula story obviously seems to attract the tourists.
However, I must admit that we liked Rasnov Fortress much more than Bran castle, but as both towns are located on the same road you can visit them both in one day.
Admission to the castle costs 12 RON and for taking photos you have to pay an extra fee of 10 RON (October 2007). This is relatively expensive but also includes a visit of the village museum.
Buses to Bran leave from Autogara 2 in Brasov. There are services almost every 30 minutes and the journey takes about 40 minutes. A single ticket to Bran costs 3,50 RON (October 2007).
Rasnov (German: Rosenau) is a small town which is located about 15 km southwest of Brasov and 15 km northeast of Bran on the road that links Wallachia and Transylvania.
The main sight of Rasnov is its fortress whose history dates back to the early 14th century.
It is situated about 200 m above the town and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.
We liked Rasnov fortress much more than the touristy Bran Castle, but as both towns are located on the same road you can visit them both in one day.
Admission to the fortress costs 10 RON and for taking photos you have to pay an extra fee of 5 RON (October 2007). This is probably a tourist trap, but we were even checked for the ticket when we were taking photos.
Buses to Rasnov leave from Autogara 2 in Brasov. There are services almost every 30 minutes and the journey takes about 20 minutes. All buses to Bran also stop in Rasnov. A single ticket to Rasnov sets you back 2 RON (October 2007).