Bran Castle is an attractive fortification almost straddling the old border between Transylvania and Wallachia (to the south). Built originally in the 1300's to guard the narrow pass across the border (and collect tolls), it was given to Queen Marie of Romania (one of Queen Victoria of England's granddaughters) by the population of Brasov in 1920.
There is NO real historic evidence that Vlad Țepeș (Vlad III) of Wallachia, nor his father Vlad Dracul (Vlad II) - upon whom Bram Stoker based (loosely) his epic fictional tale of "Dracula" (published 1898), though a variety of Romanian "historical writers" and travel companies have suggested this in the last 40 years. The reason is that Romania's second communist leader - Nicolae Ceaușescu - decided in the late 1970's he needed a "Dracula's Castle" for tourism purposes (making money). Bran was chosen as it looks like the "Hammer House of Horror" Dracula's castles, it was near existing hotels (Poiana Brasov), and relatively near an international airport (București). There really is no other connection to "Dracula", though many people will try to make you think otherwise!
Actually Bran Castle is stunning, and well worth visiting in its own right, as the former summer residence of Queen Marie. Just a shame it tends to be rather full of disillusioned tourists looking for Dracula - who isn't there (and never was).
So forget the Dracula hype and go to visit Bran with your eyes open, enjoy the excellent information panels and displays set up by Dominic of Habsburg (the current owner), and appreciate Bran for the impressive castle that it is!
Ideally go off-season, or at opening time in the morning, to avoid the crowds!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.