International travel is always an adventure, and when you plan on visiting a place rich with history both of the literal and fictional kind, the excitement increases even more. One of the most fascinating places on earth is Transylvania. Both the literary attraction of Count Dracula and the real life history of Vlad the Impaler make Transylvania an interesting place to travel. Located in the central part of Romania and bordered by the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania is rich with history and character that draws in both domestic and international travelers. Here are some tips on what you need to know before you visit Transylvania that will help you enjoy your visit to the fullest!
- Count Dracula: Count Dracula is real; well sort of real. Bram Stoker’s novel was loosely based on Vlad Dracul, who was in and of himself a ruthless individual, but the actual vampire lore is fictional. You will find there are two sides to Vlad the Impaler as he is historically known. One side portrays his hatred and cruelty because of his fondness for impaling his enemies. However, Eastern Europeans, and Romanians in particular, revere the count due to his patriotism and commitment to protecting Romania from its enemies.
- Brown Bears: Brown bears are very common. The Carpathian Mountains is home to the largest concentration of brown bears in the world, as well as a wide variety of wolves and lynxes. A great tourist activity is to visit a bear hide with a guide from a reputable tour company. This is the best way to see them up close; however, if that is a little too up close and personal, you can visit the Liberty Bear Sanctuary for rescued bears.
- Old World Style: If you love traditional Old World style, Transylvania is the place to go. Most of Transylvania is like stepping back into medieval times, which is great if you are a lover of castles and everything middle ages. The forests and pastures as well as the architecture all hail back in history. This also means that infrastructure often suffers, so be prepared for rough roads and lack of modern conveniences in places.
- Thermal Springs: There are several areas of thermal springs that are touted for their healing properties. You can visit several resort towns that purport to aid in treatments for everything from arthritis to cardiovascular diseases. Bear Lake is even reputed to solve problems of infertility.
- Language: Be prepared to hear several languages when traveling to Transylvania or anywhere in Romania. After Romanian, both German and Hungarian are very common with Hungarian being especially the norm in Transylvania. So pick up a Hungarian phrase book on your way in.
These are just a few of the things that are of interest and maybe not well known when it comes to traveling to Transylvania. These tips on what you need to know before you visit Transylvania will help you enjoy your trip to the fullest.