dracula's castle

Is Bran Castle Really Dracula’s Castle?

Nestled between Wallachia and Transylvania, Bran Castle is one of the most iconic and popular tourist destinations in Romania. This castle has caught eyes globally for its association with Dracula’s castle. But whether or not this is entirely true is a mystery we’ll later uncover on this page, so read on to find out more! 

Who is Count Dracula?

count dracula

Count Dracula’s Castle

dracula's castle

The 2nd chapter of the novel Dracula describes the Count’s castle as “. . . on the very edge of a terrific precipice . . . with occasionally a deep rift where there is a chasm [with] silver threads where the rivers wind in deep gorges through the forests.” 

And the only castle that fits this description near Transylvania is the Bran Castle.

In his book, Stoker describes Dracula’s castle as a stone castle on the perch of a rocky mountain, with a spectacular view, spooky vibes, and alongside a flowing river in Transylvania. However, the resemblance stops here as none of the other features of either of the castles bear any similarities.

In fact, Bram Stoker never set foot in Romania at all. He only described the castle as it was available to him in Britain. It is also said that he drew inspiration from the illustration of Bran Castle in Charles Boner’s book to describe his character’s castle. 

Was Vlad the Impaler the Dracula?

dracula's castle

Why Was Vlad the Impaler Considered to be Count Dracula?

bram stoker dracula's castle

During this reign, Vlad III was known for this brutal act of violence. It is said that during a threat attack from the Ottoman forces, he ruthlessly impaled the bodies of his enemies and citizens in the outskirts of his country. This also earned him the nickname of Vlad The Impaler. It’s also claimed that he killed the people in his kingdom who displeased him in the most inhumane manners including being boiled/skinned alive, beheading or disembowelment.

However, apart from the name, Bram Stoker didn’t suggest any connection between Count Dracula and the real person with historical significance, Vlad Tepes.

Did Vlad the Impaler Live at Bran Castle?

dracula's castle

The Myths in the Villages Nearby

There’s a common belief in Romanian mythology of the existence of an evil spirit called ‘steregoi’. The word is derived from the Italian word Strega, which means witch. There’s a rumor these spirits exist in the outskirts of the village Bran. It was believed that these evil spirits lived a normal life during the day, but during their sleep at night, their spirits would leave their bodies and haunt the villages nearby. 

Count Dracula’s character draws many inspirations from these myths in the nearby villages. 

Why is Bran Castle Called Dracula’s Castle?

dracula's castle

Visiting Count Dracula’s Castle

Count Dracula may not be a real person, but it’s definitely possible to visit Count Dracula’s eerie castle. Simply book your Bran Castle tickets online and take a stroll in this mysterious castle in Transylvania. Be sure to book your tickets online and in advance as Bran Castle tends to get quite crowded because of its spooky reputation. 

Plan Your Visit >

Book Your Dracula's Castle Tickets

From Bucharest: Day Trip To Dracula's Castle - Small Group

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Bran Castle Skip-the-Line Tickets

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Skip The Line: Guided Tour of Bran Castle

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The Real Dracula Castle Tour with visit to Poenari Fortress and Targoviste

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Small-Group Transylvania Tour: Dracula's Castle, Peles Castle & Visit to Brasov

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Frequently Asked Questions About Dracula’s Castle

Q. Is Bran Castle really Dracula’s Castle?

A. No, although there are striking resemblances between the two castles, many historians have proved that the description in the novel doesn’t match the real-life Bran Castle.  

Q. Why is Bran Castle called Dracula’s Castle?

A. Bran Castle is closely associated with Dracula's castle as it’s the only castle in Transylvania that matches with the vivid spooky description mentioned in the novel. However, after rumors of the supposed connections were dismissed, Romania decided to market the castle as the real Dracula’s castle to increase tourism.

Q. Did Dracula live at Dracula’s Castle?

A. As per the novel, Dracula lived and ruled from a spooky-looking castle called Dracula’s Castle.

Q. Can I visit Dracula’s Castle?

A. Yes, you can visit Dracula's Castle or Bran Castle. You can book your tickets for the same here.

Q. Where can I get tickets to Dracula’s Castle?

A. You can buy the tickets on the spot. However, it’s recommended that you buy your tickets online to skip the queue. Book Bran Castle tickets.

Q. Is Count Dracula real?

A. No, Count Dracula is a fictional vampire character from Bram Stoker's novel - Dracula. 

Q. Was Vlad the Impaler the Dracula?

A. Vlad the Impaler received his reputation as Dracula owing to his brutal acts of violence against his enemies. While Bram Stoker did name his character Dracula after learning about this violence, Vlad Tepes isn’t really the sole inspiration for Count Dracula’s character.

Q. Did Bram Stoker visit Bran Castle?

A. No, Bram Stoker never really visited Romania or Bran Castle. Stoker only drew inspiration from the stories and illustrations of Bran Castle to describe Count Dracula’s castle.