Transylvania
Romania
By Jessica Howell

For a man that never actually laid eyes on Transylvania, Bram Stoker single handedly painted a picture of Transylvania that has survived for over 100 years.  The stereotypical notion that Transylvania is a land of backwards peasants and blood thirsty monsters has permeated literature and films since the book’s publication in 1897.  However, Transylvania is much more than just the setting for Stoker’s gothic novel, Dracula; it is a whimsical land of mist-shrouded mountains, a melting pot of unique cultures, and home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns and churches.  WhatsCheaper.com implores you to ditch your preconceived notions and discover for yourself what makes Transylvania, Romania one of the most exotic destinations in the world.
 
The Romanian government recently invested millions of dollars to revitalize its airports and modernize its infrastructure.  The tourist friendly changes have made it easier than ever to travel to this fascinating place.  To get to Transylvania tourists may choose from two airports:  Sibui International Airport (SBZ) or Cluj International Airport (CLJ).  Both airports are centrally located making for easy travel to all of the amazing attractions Romania has to offer.  To book your flight to Transylvania click on the following link: (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php).  WhatsCheaper.com is also happy to assist with your accommodation needs.  Click on the following link to browse our selection of hotels today: (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).
 
From mountains blanketed in mist to awe-inspiring tales of vampires and werewolves, one cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense that there are supernatural powers at work here.  To penetrate this supernatural element, WhatsCheaper.com insists that you visit the National History of Transylvania Museum.  Learn how the nation has been shaped by centuries of invasions and explore the origins of local folklore.  Located in the lively city of Cluj, the museum offers a complete look at Transylvania’s tumultuous history.  Be prepared to pay a modest admission fee.  While you are in Cluj, WhatsCheaper.com also recommends that you explore Union Square (Piata Unirii).  The main square is resplendent with 18th and 19th century buildings and home to many shops and restaurants.  Be sure to visit St. Micheal’s Church, which is considered to be one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Romania.
 
Next, WhatsCheaper.com recommends you travel to Brasov:  One of the most visited places in Romania.  Set amongst the backdrop of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and bursting with gothic, baroque, and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of attractions, Brasov is an idyllic Romanian city.  Stroll around old Town Hall Square (Pita Sfatului) and stop to explore the cities most popular attractions such as the Black Church and Old Town Hall, which now houses the Brasov History Museum.  About 45 minutes outside the city is one of Romania’s most popular attractions:  Bran Castle more popularly known as “Dracula’s Castle.”  Based on an historic Romanian figure turned literary antihero, Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, was a ruthless leader but is highly respected by Romanians for his campaigns against the Ottoman Empire.  Although Vlad never actually lived in Bran Castle, it is still a must see during your trip.  Another popular attraction is Peles Castle in the nearby town of Sinaia.  Considered to be one of the must stunning castles in Europe, Peles Castle’s ornate German new-Renaissance architecture and fairy-tale beauty far surpasses that of the infamous Bran Castle.  Both stunning castles charge a small admission fee. 
 
While you are traveling throughout Transylvania, WhatsCheaper.com insists that you visit at least one of the fortified churches that can be found scattered throughout Transylvania.  The Saxon fortified churches at Biertan, Calnic, Harman, Prejmer Darjiu, Saschiz, Valea Viilor, and Viscri have all been deemed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.  The walls that once protected these churches from ruthless invaders now peacefully harness ancient history and incredible beauty.  Most of the churches require an admission fee or donation upon entry.
 
WhatsCheaper.com also recommends that you travel to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sighisoara – one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe.  Stroll along the cobblestone streets, up and down narrow alley ways soaking up the essence of this 16th century gem.  One of the most popular attractions in Signisoara is The Clock Tower.  Climb the ancient stairway to the top of the clock tower and look down on the red-tiled roofs of the Old Town, ornate churches, and see intact 16th century Saxon houses lining the narrow cobblestone streets.
 
No matter where you travel in Transylvania, the spectacular Carpathian Mountains add to captivating landscape that matches its haunting, legendary past.  Omnipresent mountain ranges, pristine alpine forests, wondrous caves, undulating waterfalls and hiding underground glaciers are just some of the natural attractions you can expect to see in this region.  WhatsCheaper.com recommends that you visit Apuseni Nature Park, where you can see the Scarisoara Glacier - the second largest underground glacier on the continent.  As you travel underground, you will see stunning ice stalactites and stalagmites, and the sun seeping in creates rainbows from water evaporating off them.  The modest admission charge is well worth this once in a life time experience.
 
WhatsCheaper.com insists that you forget what you thought you knew about Transylvania, and see for yourself why Transylvania is one of Eastern Europe’s best kept secrets.  WhatsCheaper.com invites you to stray from the normal tourist trail and book your next vacation to Transylvania, Romania today!

MUST SEE IN Transylvania LIST:

  • 1. Bran Castle aka “Dracula’s Castle” (Brasov)
  • 2. Medieval town of Sibiu
  • 3. Rasnov Castle & Fortress (Brasov)
  • 4. Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Sibiu)
  • 5. Piatra Craiului National Park
  • 6. Hungarian State Theater & Opera (Cluj)
  • 7. National Art Museum (Cluj)
  • 8. Traditional Villages in Marginimea Sibiului (northwest of Sibiu)
  • 9. Chiscau Bears’ Cave (Apuseni Nature Park)
  • 10. Corvinesti Castle (Hunedoara)

Transylvania EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. EuropaFest (Romania’s International Music Festival) - May
  • 2. Bucharest of Old – July
  • 3. Medieval Days – July
  • 4. The Maidens’ Fair (Targul de Fete) – July
  • 5. Dance at Prislop (Hora de la Prislop) – August
  • 6. Romania’s Folk Art Festival – August
  • 7. Sambra Oilor – September
  • 8. Wine Making Festival – October
  • 9. Halloween in Transylvania – October/November
  • 10. Christmas Traditions Festival – December

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