Halloween is today celebrated around the world, even in countries without Halloween traditions. There are many great destinations worldwide that fit with the spirit of the day. One of these is the Bran Castle in Romania, that place chosen by Bram Stoker as the homeland of the world’s most famous vampire, Count Dracula.
Up on the hill, after 1,500 steps yow have to climb to reach it, the Bran Castle still manages to transport you in a world of magic. Yes, it is full of tourists, but somehow, time stood still here. You’ll go through secret passages, you’ll climb to the top terrace to see the valley below, you’ll make a wish throwing a coin in the fountain at the heart of the courtyard. There are no traces of Dracula – he never lived in this castle – but instead, you will find Queen Marie’s wonder-world. Bran is a treasure trove of art and antiques.
This year, Bran made it to the top 13 international Halloween destinations compiled by Travelocity.
A honorable mention obviously, Bran is the only destination in this part of Europe that made it to the top, one of only three European destinations included, along with London (UK) and Derry (Ireland). Obviously, Bran is included in all “Dracula” tours in Transylvania. From up far, the village looks sleepy and serene, but at the foothills of the castle, the “Vampire” industry is booming. There’s a small market, right in front of the castle, where you can buy all sorts of things. Connoisseurs get to browse through a pile of kitsch to find something authentic, traditional Romanian. Others leave with an expensive vampire artifact.
The top five Halloween destinations in the US consists of famous spooky and thrilling destinations. New Orleans is number one, followed by Chicago, Salem (of course this had to be included!), Portland, and Denver.
The other top eight international places for Halloween devotees include: Niagara-on-the-Lake (ON), Montreal (QC), Vancouver (BC), Ottawa (ON), London, Sydney, Derry (Ireland), and, as mentioned above, Bran (Romania).
I admit I am happy to see a city from my country included in this top and I also have to confess that I like the Bran castle. I visited it several years ago, and found it beautiful and provocative (those of you who climbed the secret stair know what I am saying). Bran Castle is located in a gorgeous mountain area, with various other tourist attractions nearby. Oh, and we too love pumpkins and pumpkins pies. I am sure you’ll find many tasty products at the restaurants in Bran, while visiting the castle.