Poenari Castle Tours

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Sitting on a mountain cliff overlooking the Arges River, the Poenari Castle is best known for its connection to Vlad the Impaler, said to be the inspiration for the fictional Dracula. Now partially in ruins, the castle was first built in the 13th century and came under Vlad the Impaler’s control in the 15th century. Legend has it that Vlad’s first wife committed suicide rather than be taken hostage by the Ottoman Turks. She allegedly threw herself off one of the castle walls into the river below, turning the water red. The river is now referred to as the Lady’s River.

The castle was eventually abandoned and an earthquake in the 19th century destroyed the northern section. It sat in ruins until 1970, when the Romanian government decided to open it to tourists, building more than 1400 steps into the rock of the mountain to allow visitors to climb up to the castle. Walkways and handrails have also been installed to allow for easier movement throughout the ruins.

Practical Info

Poenari Castle is located about 150 kilometers from Bucharest, near the town of Curtea de Arges. Tour buses travel directly to the castle from Bucharest, but you can make the trip independently by traveling first to Curtea de Arges and then catching a mini bus in the direction of Arefu. Tell the driver you are going to the castle and they will drop you as close as possible. No guides are available at the castle, but signs provide information in Romanian and English. Allow at least two hours for a visit, including time to 
climb the steps up to the castle.
Location
Address: Arefu, Romania
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Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Admission: 5 lei (less than 1 Euro)
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The Ruins of Vlad the Impaler's Citadel plus Vidraru Lake and Curtea de Arges Monastery Day Trip from Bucharest

Venture beyond Bucharest to explore Romania’s medieval legends on a private day trip to the Curtea de Arges Monastery and the ruins of Poenari Citadel, known as the ‘real Castle Dracula’ for its ties to Vlad the Impaler. You’ll also soak up the natural beauty of the Carpathians at Vidraru Lake on this completely customizable adventure.
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Bucharest Day Trip to Discover Dracula's Life Journey

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Day Trip to the True Castles of Vlad Dracula

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Private Tour from Brasov to The Ruins of Vlad the Impaler's Citadel, Vidraru Lake and Curtea de Arges Monastery

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Luxury Private Tour from Bucharest to Poenari Citadel and Vidraru Lake

Embark on a private tour from Bucharest to see two top local attractions—Poenari Citadel and Vidraru Lake. Enjoy personalized attention from your dedicated private guide and a flexible itinerary that allows you to travel at your own pace. Visit Vlad the Impaler's Citadel and the ancient Royal Monastery of Romania, as well as Vidraru Lake. Along the way, learn about the area through your guide's commentary.
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Private One Day Tour of Medieval Romania from Bucharest

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Transfagarasan Highway and Curtea de Arges Tour from Bucharest

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Private Transfagarasan Road Scenic Tour from Bucharest

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  • Duration: 14 hours
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Searching for Dracula: Private Day Trip from Bucharest

Join a thrilling quest to find Romania’s biggest legend, on this private day trip from Bucharest. Meet your personal guide in Romania’s capital, then head into the Transylvania countryside to search for Count Dracula. See important sights pertaining to Vlad The Impaler’s life, and learn real storied of his complicated life.
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Secret Story of Dracula 1 Day Private Tour

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Transylvania Day Trip from Bucharest: In Search of Count Dracula

Uncover the true story of the man behind the myth on this full-day tour from Bucharest to historic sites with ties to the legendary Vlad the Impaler. Learn about the life of this brave and bloodthirsty Wallachian prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula as you visit his royal court at Targoviste, the ruins of his former home at Poenari Castle and a fortress and frescoed church that date back to the time of his rule in Curtea de Arges.
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Historic Transylvania Day Trip from Brasov

Appreciating Transylvania’s far-reaching history can be difficult on a self-led excursion. Discover the region’s historic highlights on a full day tour from Brașov, traveling along the Transfagarasan road to visit landmarks including Lake Balea, Poenari Fortress, and the site of the Curtea de Arges Monastery. Travel between dispersed locations with ease via air-conditioned vehicle, and gain insight into the region from your local guide.
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Private Tour from Pitesti to Vlad the Impaler's Citadel plus Vidraru Dam and Curtea de Arges Monastery

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