Go Ahead Traveler Jared explored Dracula’s birthplace and medieval history on his adventure through Romania and Bulgaria. Here, he shares his top seven recommendations for things to do in Romania and Bulgaria.
Explore Piata Mare in Sibiu
This wide-open plaza in the heart of the city is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, cathedrals and museums. The Brukenthal National Museum is a must for art lovers, as it features many Romanian pieces you won’t find anywhere else. When you get hungry, grab a _saratele—_a salty, cheesy, pretzel-like snack—from one of the square’s many bakery stands.
Climb the clock tower in Sighisoara
The best view of this small, vibrant Transylvanian town comes from the pinnacle of the clock tower. Originally built in the 14th century to protect the main gate of the citadel, the tower’s several flights of stairs are worth a climb for the view from the top.
Explore the legacy of Dracula
Sighisoara is the rumored birthplace of Dracula—and you can grab lunch in the house where he was born, Casa Vlad Dracul. After you eat (the bean and red onion soup is a favorite of travelers!), try wandering around upstairs if you are brave enough. You may get the opportunity to meet Dracula himself. For even more Dracula, visit Bran Castle—built in the 13th century, it’s the quintessential medieval structure that’s often referred to as “Dracula’s Castle.”
Go to class at the First Romanian School in Brasov
Brush up on your Romanian and meet a local priest who helps preserve this school, which contains some of the oldest printed materials still in existence!
Marvel at the Peles Castle
Get your postcard-perfect picture taken here in front of the impressive Peles Castle on your last day in Transylvania before returning to Bucharest.
Stroll through the botanical gardens at Queen Maria’s villa
The spectacular garden along the Black Sea coast is the perfect place to relax and even sample a taste of Bulgarian wine and plum brandy.
Catch the sunrise over Veliko Tarnovo
This small town in the center of Bulgaria is a popular vacation spot for Bulgarians. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world—dating back over 5,000 years—and provides magnificent views from any point!