I came to Brasov with one goal in mind: partake in Bran Castle’s annual Halloween party. Halloween isn’t big in Europe at all, but the holiday is growing. Bran Castle takes it’s Dracula haunting corridors and transforms it into a beautiful and fun event. This year they offered three different ticket options: a Halloween night tour, a Halloween after party, and Halloween dining experience like no other. Prices significantly increased from the previous years with the more recent tourist traction, but this didn’t stop me. I was determined to scratch this off my bucket list.
The gates re-open at 7 pm for it’s guests for the event. There wasn’t much organization for entry if you ask me. Supposedly there were two lines. If you had pre-purchased the tickets online, you were ushered to stand to the left in front of the audio-guides. The right line was for those who hoped to purchase a ticket at the door and you just go to the normal ticket counter. It was a lot more of a hassle to pre-purchase and would advise just buying them upfront. And, to top it off, supposedly people were paying less than half of the price my friend and I did at the door!
People immediately migrated up towards the castle once their entry was approved. We waited literally 0 minutes for this portion. I was incredibly thankful for this after the hassle of just validating our tickets. The night was just uphill from this point really. Everything was decorated with jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween Pinterest décor. If a medieval castle spruced with spider-webs and ghosts didn’t bring you into the Halloween spirit, the costumed guest sure would as you roamed the corridors.
The tour was self-guided with special friends along the way (Dracula and Vlad the Impeller). You could take pictures with them and they would show you to the free shots of red wine. I think you were only supposed to take one, but as the night progressed, more and more people poured into the castle. My friends and I needed to increase our dose of alcohol intake to deal with the crowds. We became “those people” you could say. Just kidding, but not really.
Besides that, I assume it’s what you would typically get with a standard ticket to Bran during the day. It made me feel less guilty about going back to get seconds and thirds on the shots of wine to get my money’s worth in the sense. If you were to just do the tour and not the after party, you would probably leave wanting… more. Some free candy could’ve easily satisfied that desire. As long as it was something, I would be able to justify just spending the 70 lei (about $20) for the Halloween night tour.
The after party is where the free candy was at though… and the free black vodka. Basically you get triple the amount of free goodies, triple the amount of amazing costumes, and a great party until about 1 am. You do not actually party in the castle. A tent is set up on the lawn of the castle where the guests make their way to after their wine tour of Bran. Spooky magic is projected onto the castle throughout the night though so the whole area is joining in on the fun. This part of the night starts at about 9 pm so there’s no need to rush through the castle.
Really, that’s the only ticket worth buying in my opinion: the after party. It includes the tour plus the party down at the lawn for 180 lei (about $45). It’s a great value when you compare it to American standards. Enjoy a true European party experience with a Halloween twist upon it.
There is a dinning package as mentioned in the beginning, but it costs about 450 lei (about $115) per person to taste in the delectable vampire bites. It’s extremely expensive when you realize a typical dinner in Brasov’s city square is about 40 to 50 lei (about $10-15).
All in all, it was a great night. I wouldn’t travel all the way to Romania specifically for the event, but if you’re in the area, please do yourself a favor and attend one of their parties. Romania in autumn is really beautiful, and Brasov offers plenty of activities and sights for it’s tourists.