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Top 30 Fascinating Castles of Transylvania

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The castles of Transylvania are absolutely fascinating! Whether you are planning a trip to Transylvania or you are simply interested to learn more about this interesting part of Romania, then you have come to the right place. In this article I will tell you which are the best 30 castles of Transylvania and why they are such incredible tourist attractions to visit. Ready to learn more? Read on…

30 Castles of Transylvania For an Unforgettable Trip

castles of transylvania

Are you ready to make the most of your trip to one of the World’s most beautiful medieval places, Transylvania? This guide highlights the top castles of Transylvania you need to know to plan an unforgettable trip to Transylvania.

Transylvania, also known as “The Land beyond the Forest”, is a tourist’s dream come true! The bloodthirsty vampires and wolf howls call for adventurous tourists to explore the unbelievably rich medieval architecture and breathtaking castles. So– pack your garlic in handy!

Some of the region’s cities are Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Alba Lulia, and the famous Sighișoara. Transylvania is famous for its connection with a dark history and culture influenced by the Germans, Hungarians, Austrians, and the Ottoman Empire.

…And while you’re planning a visit to one of the most beautiful places in Transylvania, you surely wouldn’t want to miss out on the mind-blowing castles. So, here is a list of 30 Castles of Transylvania that will help you shortlist your favourite sights for your trip.

1. Sighisoara Citadel – A traveller’s Medieval Dream

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

The first up on this list of castles of Transylvania is Sighisoara.

If you’d love to walk around in a living medieval town, then Sighisoara Citadel is the place for you! It stands among the only populated medieval fortresses in Europe for centuries.

The colourful walls of small Citadel houses and rusty churches will make you time travel to the 12th Century among the Saxon Settlers.

2. Bran Citadel – The Dracula’s Castle

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

A trip to Transylvania isn’t complete without a visit to the famous Bran Castle. The famous tourist attraction, topping a rock, is known for its Legend of Dracula. Not to mention the Gothic architecture of the Castle coupled with a romantic charm.

Roughly 25 km from Brasov, the Castle was built and gifted by the Brasov people to Romania’s Royal Family.

This is one of the most picturesque and impressive castles of Transylvania.

3. Peles Castle In a Far Away Land

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

A sight like never before— The Peles Castle is considered one of Romania’s most magnificent and beautiful castles of Transylvania.

The fact that it is located in Sinaia, a region connecting Transylvania and Wallachia, can not override Peles Castle being among the “must-visit” places on our list.

The first Romanian King built the 19th-20th century castle of Neo-Renaissance architecture. It gives off a glance into the daily life of the Royals and is a house to many art pieces and antique weapons.

4. Clay Castle – Valley Of Fairies

Located in Sibiu, the Clay Castle is built solely from natural materials, i.e., straw, clay, sand, and water. The Castle with wavy spruce roofs and naturally curved walls lies at the foot of the Fagarus Mountains and is one of the most unique castles of Transylvania.

The most exciting part of the Castle is that you can spend a night in one of its ten rental rooms. Imagine a night stay in a strange fairyland tucked 9 km away from the Porumbacu locals. Magnificient, isn’t it?

5. Râsnov Fortress – by the Teutonic Knights

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Rasnov Citadel is a treat preserved for the eyes after climbing the rocky hilltops of the Carpathian Mountains.

Rasnov Fortress, unlike other castles and fortresses in Romania, was a house to Saxon refugees in the 14th Century. Due to this, it is better regarded as a village consisting of beautiful cobblestone streets, an old chapel, a school, and a few buildings.

6. Corvin Castle — One of the seven wonders of Romania

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

The Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, is a real-life adventure fantasy in Hunedoara, southwest of Transylvania.

It tops the list of “most beautiful castles in Romania,” with its Gothic structure dating back to the 14th Century. Walking through the long bridge leading to the big halls of the Castle will feel no less than a magical scene; making this one of the best castles of Transylvania.

7. Cris Bethlen Castle

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Owned by the Bethlen Family to date, this Castle is said to be the most beautiful Renaissance Castle in Transylvania, and Europe.

It is located 19 km from Sighisoara, surrounded by the natural beauty of Transylvania.

It is advised to visit the Castle during the daytime so its beauty can be explored to its fullest.

8. Viscri Fortified Church – The Gothic Village

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Admired and visited often by the Prince of Wales, the Viscri Church is one of the many Saxon Fortified Churches UNESCO since the 13th Century.

Tourists plan a one-day trip to explore the Viscri Village and its gothic streets from Sighișoara or Brașov.

9. Brukenthal Palace Of The Finest European Art

Also known as the Brukenthal Art Museum, this palace is located in Sibiu and was visited by the Transylvanian Baron Samuel and his family for summer stays.

This is one of the oldest museums in Romania, housing an art gallery, library, arms and trophies, and natural history.

10. Sibiel Museums and The Sibiel Village

Fr Zosim Oancea Museum, one of the Sibel Museums, is the largest museum in Transylvania to exhibit icons on glass.

The paintings by the Romanian peasants depict the creative imagination, along with the religious inspiration of the rich Orthodox Christian tradition.

11. Rupee Fortress– The Medieval Fortress

Located in the middle of the famous Romanian cities, Sighișoara and Brașov, Rupea Fortress is another medieval village preserved since the 14th Century. It requires climbing a high hill before you can have a closer look at the top.

The Fortress consists of medieval walls, a chapel, and medieval structures. Though many tourists do not visit it, the dreamlike hilltops and its surrounding beauty are a sight to admire.

12. Cantacuzino Castle

This 19th Century Neo-Romanian castle stands between the splendid Carpathian Mountains and greens in Bușteni.

Previously ruled by the Cantacuzino, the Castle is a sight worth capturing, making it one of the most noteworthy castles of Transylvania.

It is famous for its artistic structure and history, though the walls were renovated, and changes were made to the building after the communists took over.

13. Biertan Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Built between the 14th and 15th Centuries, Biertan Fortified Church is one of the famous Saxon Churches for its resemblance to the Castles of Transylvania. Consisting of many towers that are now converted into museums, the church gives a peek into medieval life.

When visiting the church on a hilltop, you can enjoy the aerial view of the village surrounded by gushing streams and coloured houses.

This site is for you if you’re a fan of Gothic architecture.

14. Poenari Castle — Dracula Castle Ruins

Top 30 castles of Transylvania
Aerial view from ruined Poenari Castle on Mount Cetatea in Romania

If you find Bran Castle fascinating, you will love “The Real Dracula Castle” – Poenari Castle. Although the beautiful Castle has come down to ruins, the hike towards Peonari, followed by a 1500-step climb, is a real adventure.

Due to its surrounding forestry, the place is not advised to be visited without a local guide. Without climbing the hills, you can also get a small view of the Dracula Ruins from the Transfagarasan Road.

15. Pelisor Castle in beautiful Romanian Countryside

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Built by King Carol (I), Pelisor Castle is a part of the larger complex of Peles Castle, separated by a small walk. The art-nouveau-style Castle, also built in the 20th Century, honors Queen Marie’s Scottish heritage with its thistle leaf walls and a touch of luxury.

You can add the Pelisor Castle to your list if you plan to visit Peles Castle, as tourists often visit both places together.

16. Alba Carolina Fortress– The Citadel (Cetatea Alba Iulia)

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

The peculiar Alba Carolina Fortress is one of the unique fortresses in Romania and is a must-see for any tourist visiting Romania. Situated in Alba Lulia, this Fortress is also the largest in Romania. Spread over a huge area, this 7-point star-shaped Fortress dates back over three centuries under the Habsburg rule.

Its large area comprises numerous interesting monuments, including The Roman Catholic Cathedral, The Princely Palace, Union Hall, and many more. The Roman Ruins and the Citadel Gates are a sight worth seeing.

17. Brasov Citadel– Citadel of The Guard

This Castle is worth visiting if you are fond of hilltop views. The castle walls and architecture are admirable, coupled with the city view from the top.

18. Feldioara Fortress

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Only 21 km to the North of Brasov, the Feldioara Fortress is also called Teutonic Fortress. The Teutonic Knights built the Fortress, hence the name. The 13th-century Fortress is also one of Transylvania’s oldest and top fortifications.

The Fortress was often reduced to ruins until it was finally renovated a few years back. The detailed architecture of the Fortress is sure to stun you with its late medieval style.

19. Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains

This captivating and unique fortresses will take you back to the Iron Age when it was created. What’s mind blowing about the place is that it dates back to the 1st Century AD and BC.

The six Dacian Fortresses are built in murus dacias style as a defense to counter the Roman Conquest. The UNESCO World Heritage site now played a big role in the Roman-Dacious Wars. Truly mind-blowing!

20. Mărginimea Sibiului Village

Mărginimea Sibiului is filled with astonishing beauty and history for all its inhabitants.

This village has seen religious conflicts between various groups of individuals throughout history. Inhabited by Germans, Romanians, Hungarians, and Saxons, the village can be best known as an existing proof of the rich multi-cultural history of Transylvania.

It is located between the Cindrel and Lotru Mountains ranges, giving off a beautiful hilly view.

21.  Fagaras Fortress

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Fagaras is the only Fortress in the World known as “The Fortress that was never conquered.” It is well preserved to this day, thus keeping the history associated with it alive.

The two big walls and a moat surrounding the Castle are a living reason this Castle was never won over.

Fagaras Castle is one of the medieval time fortresses, and the glaze of its site is extraordinary, making it one of the best castles of Transylvania.

22. Sukosd – Bethlen Castle

Sukkos-Bethlen Castle is a beautiful tourist attraction based on the design of the early turreted castles of Transylvania. The Castle’s four turrets are located around it, giving it a pleasing look. 

This historical landscape existed way back in the 17th Century.

The entrance is located in the south part of the Castle. The only buildings left today at the inner sides are just a fragment of the southern wing and a western wing wall.

23. Karolyi Castle – The 16th-Century Neo-Gothic Castle

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Karolyi Castle is not technically one of the castles of Romania as it is located in Eastern Hungry, however it deserves a place on this list as it is close to the Romanian border. This is a beautiful castle with a great atmosphere and climatic enchantment. The Castle is surrounded by huge ancient trees, which is a centre of attention for all the tourists visiting this remarkable landscape.

24. Lazar Castle

Lazar castle is located on the outskirts of the village and is famous for its archeological designs.

The Lazars was the family that owned this Castle through the period of the 16th to 18th Centuries. Presently this castle is preserved by the Lazaria culture and arts center.

Many incidents occurred at this castle from 1748 to 1872 and it has a fascinating history.

The Saxon Fortified Churches designated by UNESCO World Heritage

I will finish this article by noting the Saxon Fortified Churches in Romania that are worth visiting. There are seven Castles that were built by the Saxon family members (Valea visitor, Beirtan, Prejmer-Tartlau, Darjiu, Saschid Keisd, and Viscri). Lets take a deeper look…

25. Harman Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

The Harman Fortified Church is a typically famous fortified church in Transylvania, which dates back to the 13th Century.

The church and its surrounding walls make it an incredibly peaceful tourist destination.

The Transylvanian fortified churches are some of Romania’s most stunning and intriguing structures among the castles of Transylvania..

26. Calnic Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

One of Romania’s most well-structured defensive churches is known as the Clinic Fortified Church.

Built-in the 13th Century, it consists of a trench and a drawbridge and is surrounded by a seven-meter-tall defense wall.

Add this church to your itinerary if olden-time defence mechanisms catch your interest.

27. Prejmer Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Prejmer is a Lutheran fortified church. The Germanic Teutonic Knights founded the church and were eventually taken over by the Transylvanian Saxon people.

After the Reformation, it changed from Roman Catholic to Lutheran. Together with the surrounding neighborhood, the church is a component of the Transylvanian villages with fortified churches.

28. Darjiu Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

First built in Roman style in the 14th Century and later restructured in Gothic style, the Darjiu Church is one of the most impressive buildings in Transylvania. Its Gate Towers have a firearm opening and wooden shutters well-preserved.

29. Valea Viilor Fortified Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

This church is the most aesthetic church among the fortified churches. It houses a small museum depicting the Saxon Culture as the ethnic German Saxon also built in Transylvania.

30. Saschiz Fortified Church – The aisle-less Gothic Church

Top 30 castles of Transylvania

Saschiz is a Lutheran church built during the rule of the Kingdom of Hungary in Mureș County. With a local guide by your side, you can enter and explore the church.

The church holds a Clock Tower that serves as a Saschiz symbol and a significant landmark.

The Castles of Transylvania- To Conclude

Choosing a handful of sights to visit can get difficult, but knowing a little bit more about the Castles of Transylvania can help you plan itinerary accordingly. Romania is a fascinating country and home to many fascinating architectural wonders, namely the castles of Transylvania.

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