The final leg in our Romania journey.
In order for us to get to Bran we needed to catch a bus from the Autogara 2 in Brasov. The Autogara was easy enough to find and the signs were reasonably understandable. We were lucky because of the time of year there was a large group of costumed individuals waiting for the Bran bus acting as a beacon for us and re-confirming which bus we needed to get on.
There is not a ticketing counter for the buses in Brasov, the drivers instead accept payment on the bus so make sure you have some cash on hand. Our tickets were 10 a person for the one hour ride from Brasov to Bran. If you are lucky you will get a bus with some personality like ours.
As the bus pulled away leaving us in Bran for the night we were greeted with a picturesque view of the imposing Bran Castle. After a few minutes of gawking at the view and gaining our bearings, we made our way 1 kilometer our of town to our hostel for the night. Pension Bran Ioana, was an affordable option for the night, however, it was not the cleanest hostel we had stayed at. Since we were only anticipating spending a few hours in the room it was an acceptable option for us.
The town of Bran seems to explode with small sidewalk stores and souvenir carts during Halloween, if you did not bring a costume, you will have no difficulty finding one in the stalls surrounding the gates of the castle entrance. Tickets for the Halloween party are not available for purchase until 7pm at the front gate. Pre-purchase of tickets is not possible so if you are a planner like us this may drive you a bit nuts, however, it did not appear that anyone was turned away so don’t let that possibility worry you.
The Halloween party itself is not held in the castle but is held at the base of the castle on the lawn in a large tent. There is live music, bartenders, face painters, and souvenirs (like t-shirts) inside. It is a cash event and so you want to make sure you have cash before entering as the line for an ATM can be long and you may find that the ATM you choose has run out of money for the night.
While it is quite chilly in Romania in October I would dress lightly, the large amount of bodies and heaters in the tent will warm you up quickly and if you wear to many layers you end up with the dilemma of where to put them all. Trust me you don’t want to carry a heavy jacket or other items through the crowds of people.
After a long night of dancing, we made our way back to the hostel to pack our bags and sleep for about an hour before we had to catch our four am bus back to Brasov. While we did not see any vampires (or at least none that we were aware of) the ambience and atmosphere of Bran castle made for the most memorable Halloween experience!