Transylvania is best known as the mysterious land of blood thirsty vampires and howling wolves. Some may think it’s fictional, but this central Romanian region is a real place. And it’s pretty special, too.
Transylvania is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Brasov, featuring Old Saxon architecture and citadel ruins; Sibiu with its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses, and Sighisoara, adorned with a hilltop citadel, secret passageways and a 14th century clock tower. Tiny shops offer antiques and fine hand-made products by local artisans and artists.
Visitors to Transylvania will also encounter stunning castles such Bran, near Brasov, – a Gothic fairy-tale structure, often associated with 15th century Walachia Prince Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While the connection with Vlad is tenuous, the deep bond of local villagers with the legend is not.