Transylvania, the land beyond the forest, bordered to the east by the Carpathian Mountains and best known as the mysterious place of bloodthirsty vampires, is waiting for you to pack your garlic and to discover all its unique (culinary) traditions. Are you ready?
Let’s meet Dracula in Bran
Visitors will be amazed by the stunning castles such as Bran, near Brașov, which is associated with 15th century Wallachian Prince Vlad Țepeș, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Close to Brașov and Bran is the fortified church at Hărman, with its 13th century Saxon towers. You can also explore the largest fortified church in Southern Europe at Prejmer or Corvin Castle near Hunedoara, with a sumptuous Knights Hall, towers and buttresses, reminiscent of medieval times.
Visit Sibiu – European Capital of Culture 2007
Designated European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu, with a history of over 900 years, is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. Here you will find colorful houses on cobblestone streets bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin.
Sighișoara – UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Vlad Dracula
The medieval town of Sighișoara, the birthplace of Vlad Dracula and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perfectly intact 16th century gem with nine towers and cobbled streets where you can visit the Church on the Hill with its 500-year-old frescoes, the 13th century Venetian House or the Church of the Dominican Monastery.
The beauty of the local landscapes will leave you breathless, with large pastures covered by grass where sheep and cattle graze.
Don’t miss… Transylvanian food!
When you’re here, don’t miss out on the local food, all handmade with natural ingredients. The local cuisine is a mix of ancestral Romanian, Saxon and Hungarian dishes. The recipes, passed down from generation to generation, display a variety of flavors with dishes spiced with thyme, red paprika or tarragon. Transylvanians love fatty meals with a lot of grease and hot peppers. Ham, onions or freshly baked bread and a glass of palinka can always be found on their table. The culinary heritage also consists of many local specialties like Cabbage a la Cluj (prepared from several layers of finely shredded fresh or sour cabbage and minced pork or veal mixed with rice and bacon and baked in the oven), gulash and paprikas which both originated in Hungary.
Soup in bread is a Transylvanian specialty found in various places like Sibiu and Alba. The version with bean soup in a bread crust served with red onion is the most popular.
A famous dessert is kürtőskalács, also called chimney cake: a long rope of sweet yeast dough, tightly wrapped in a spiral around a wooden form, like a rolling pin, dusted with sugar, cinnamon and walnuts.
For those who love culture and want to discover new places rich in old history together with tasty authentic food, Transylvania is definitely worth a visit (or two :-)) – your experience will be unforgettable.
Searching for a home base? What about spending a few nights before or after visiting Transylvania in the Romanian capital Bucharest, at the Vienna House Easy Airport Bucharest?