Snagov Monastery

Snagov Monastery: Address, Snagov Monastery Reviews: 4/5

Snagov Monastery
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Monastery said to be the final resting place of Vlad (Count) Tepes, also known as Vlad Dracula.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
260 reviews
Excellent
80
Very good
93
Average
62
Poor
14
Terrible
11

Claire
59 contributions
We took the 446 regional bus from Piata Presei out to Manastirea Vlad Tepes before walking down the road for about 15 minutes and crossing the pedestrian bridge to the monastery. When we reached the island, we were a little confused as the gate was closed and there was no one there. I ended up calling the phone number and was told to enter and go to the church, where someone met us to let us into the church. It was 15 lei per person plus 10 for photographs. The monastery has a very cool interior although it is rather small so we only spent around 10 minutes inside. The big plus for me was the five adorable dogs that crowded around begging for pats as well as the variety of ponys nearby. Overall I'm glad I went although it was a bit of a long trip for such a brief experience.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cdwood77
Bangkok, Thailand381 contributions
Couples
Way fun visit to tomb of Vlad The Impaler, AKA DRACULA.
The whole monastery is dedicated to Valad. It is a true monastery and obviously services are held as I noticed wine, cup ect. for communion when pekin into the vestibule behind curtain in rear.
This is an ez self tour, Uber or bus will get you there, 15 lei, $4, to get in. Just go over bridge to island on arrival, holy water on tap to right@ entrance. Walls & ceilings covered with frescoes of saints and sinners, Much history and memorabilia of Valad in front chapel.
Night time visiting unadvised
Written October 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tom M.
Orange County, CA155 contributions
Solo
Snagov Monastery is supposedly the resting place or burial site for Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Dracula. The monastery is located on a small island in which you can access by foot walking over a metal bridge that takes you over a beautiful lake. The monastery is beautiful on the inside and you are able to get up close to Dracula's resting site. Locals visit the monastery so it's not just a tourist attraction. I do think it's worth seeing if you are in Bucharest. It's not that far of a drive from the city.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

msa23_2000
Chino Hills, CA1,197 contributions
We took a tour here. It was a half day to leave Bucharest, visit here and the palace, and return. It's small. Dracula is supposedly buried here. It is small and not much else except for the lore of Vlad the Impaler. If you have time to do it, then go. But I wouldn't make it a priority.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mihaimirunamihaela
Snagov, Romania37 contributions
Dear tourists, next time when you want to visit our magnific monastery try to reach the newest bridge built about 2 3 months ago, located in silistea snagovului. And if u want to ask something in english try to find somebody young or somebody who work in a bank, or in a bigger store, the old people don't speak english and they will always give a bad advice. Or try to learn a little our language, we do learn yours. Another advice is that when you get out at aviatori subway station, go at nearest bus station located on the other way of the boulervard at look, took 330 bus, which will leave you exactly on the maxi taxi station, when you find the 444 maxi taxi try to tell to the driver where u want to go, if he don't understand just say mânăstirea snagov and he will know. I think on the summertime, in weekends mostly you'll find boats at astoria. But you can try the easy way, the new bridge! A bottle of water at 1.5 l is almost 3 lei so around 80 90 pounds or 1 $. I'm sorry for any spelling mistakes that i probably made.
Written July 15, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nschneble
Washington DC, DC155 contributions
Snagov Monastery is on a little island in the middle of Lake Snagov. It was frequently visited and patronized by Vlad Tepes, e.g. Dracula, and is the purported resting place of his head-less corpse.

I was unable to find much information online (in English at least) about how to get to the monastery beforehand, so I will attempt to provide here as thorough a description as possible of the trek undertaken by my girlfriend and myself.

We visited Snagov Monastery as a day trip from Bucharest. Since we were staying near Universitate, we first took the metro to Aviatorilor on the M2 line. A metro ticket costs 2.50 lei and covers two trips, so one ticket is enough for a round trip.

When you exit the Aviatorilor metro station, you will head north to Piata Presei Libere - about a 25 minute walk through an incredibly nice park. A small carnival and a Hard Rock Cafe are located at the park exit, and the minibuses (or maxi taxis) are located directly across the street from the park.

To get to Snagov, you should take the minibus marked "444" on the front. It will list Snagov as one of the destinations, but you can ask any of the minibus drivers if you're unsure (they're all very nice). I believe the "446" minibus also goes to Snagov, but we took the "444" ourselves. The cost to get to Snagov from Piata Presei Libere is 6 lei per person. Our minibus left exactly on the hour, and I've read elsewhere that they leave every half-hour.

The journey to Snagov is about 40 km, and takes around 45 minutes. You will start seeing signs for Snagov (as well as the Complex Astoria) when you're a few km away, but you can also just ask the driver to let you know when you're there. We were let off in the middle of town, but for reasons I'll soon go into, I'd recommend asking the driver if he can drop you off at the train tracks a few km down the road. Trust me, it'll make your life easier!

But for now, back to our experience. We were let off in the middle of town, and I use the word 'town' here with a bit of exaggeration. Snagov seems to be completely under construction, as in they are actually building the town, and not merely working on it. There is a small market and a couple of roadside stands, but that's it. We were dropped off at a fork in the road, and we asked a local construction worker where the lake was, and he pointed to the left fork. So we went that way. This was our first mistake.

To save you, dear reader, from an hour or two of needless walking, should you be dropped off in the center of town, DO NOT go to the left. To the left is a bunch of small neighborhoods, and a handful of nearly completed summer homes. To the left is a dead end.

When you head to the right (two hours later for us), you will think you're also going the wrong way, because there will only be construction. A pizza place looks like it might open soon, as well as a bank, but there are no signs for anything or anywhere. But trust me, it's the right way.

Our destination was Complex Astoria, a resort that Lonely Planet assured us would have in its supply a boat we could rent and take out to the island with the monastery. To get there, you will need to walk through town for a few km until you reach some train tracks. Depending on your walking speed, this could take 20-30 min or more.

When you reach the train tracks, you want to turn left. Although there are no signs, the only options are to go straight (past the tracks) or left. Choose left. If you're lucky, the minibus driver dropped you off here, and this is where your journey on foot begins. I hope you can feel my envy.

It's another km or two to get to Complex Astoria. Luckily, there will be a nice, large sign signifying that you've been traveling the right way all along. After you've walked up the curving road past the sign, you eventually see Complex Astoria on the left. Again, there will be no signs nor anything helpful to aid you, so I'll relate to you our experience.

When you get to the main building, you can walk through to the restaurant out back. Depending on the day of the week, it may be busy or empty. We were there on a Tuesday, and so it was practically a ghost town. However we found an employee almost immediately, and he and his friend knew in an instant that we wanted to rent a boat (surprise). LP mentions you can rent a row boat for around 3 euros an hour. I'll amend that to say if you can get them to rent you a row boat. Despite our firmest negotiating, we could only get them to offer a motorboat, driven by one of their friends. But this being an off-day (notorious words) and not much left for us to do, we agreed. While the price you pay may (and will) vary, we settled on 100 lei for the boat. But it turns out this was absolutely worth the price.

To be blunt, the island is not close to the resort. To rent a row boat is to commit an act of treason against your muscles. We walked with our newly-hired boat driver down past the gardens and the resort pool to the dock, which was tended by a lovely shirtless old-timer and his gaggle of stray dogs. You do have to pay first, which we're normally against, but it turns out the only people who seemed willing to rip off tourists for their own benefit were the guys we originally negotiated with. Our driver and the dock master were both friendly and kind of hilarious at times. (The latter kept talking about "Japanese karate" whenever his dogs would fight) :-)

The motorboat ride out to the island takes around 5-10 minutes, and it's extremely pleasant. When we docked, our driver told us he'd wait for us there, and then proceeded to go fishing while he waited. The island upon which the monastery stands is quite small, and the path from the dock leads right up to the building. The monastery is only used for services periodically, so you'll probably encounter the caretaker (instead of the monks) when you try to enter. Just stand in front of the doors to the monastery and he'll see you.

The price for entry is fixed at 15 lei per person. I've read a great number of forums and user accounts that list widely varied prices for admission, but this cost was listed at the entrance (inside) on a laminated sheet, so I imagine it's been set for some time. The cost for taking photos or videos is a great deal more - 20 euros! - which we opted not to do. I think the high cost discourages people from taking photos unless they're really committed, which isn't a bad thing. We spent our time in the monastery gazing up high at the elaborately painted walls, and admiring the massive chandeliers which hung on several large chains from the very top of the monastery. I won't spoil any details about the tomb itself, lest ye form an opinion before you see it with your own eyes.

We stayed in the monastery for a good 20 min, during which the caretaker busied himself at his desk at the entrance. When we were finished, we took our leave and he returned to mowing the lawn while we explored the exterior of the monastery. We walked around the rear of the building, and saw the old foundation for the jail Vlad Tepes had built to keep his enemies that were cunning enough to make their way to the island.

We took a few photos, played with an extremely cute little puppy (go figure), and then made our leave of the monastery. On the way back, our driver went the long way back around the island and gave us a view of the monastery and its surroundings in their entirety. It was fantastic.

I think it's worth mentioning that during this entire excursion, from getting off the bus to leaving the island, we encountered not a single other traveler. We were entirely alone in our exploits, and free to imagine ourselves as the only intrepid souls willing to journey to see these sights.

We made our leave of the boatman back at the dock, and proceeded to retrace our steps from earlier in the day to get back to the center of town. Lucky for us, the very same minibus that had dropped us off earlier came into sight not 2 min after we passed the train tracks, so we were back on our way to Bucharest in no time at all. Since the minibus travels along just the one route through Snagov, if you're anywhere on the road when it passes, you can simply flag it and jump on.

The cost of the return trip was the same as the first (6 lei per person).

Since this was an all-day affair with a lot of walking, if you follow in our footsteps I'd recommend wearing a comfortable pair of shoes, and bringing plenty of sunscreen. I'd also bring a couple liters of water, or be willing to buy some at the market in town (5-6 lei for 1.5 liters). Although we took a few photos, a camera is by no means necessary. This is a trek to be experienced, and at least to us is better remembered and recounted than simply viewed.

The total cost of our journey, including the metro, minibus, boat and monastery admission was less than 160 lei, or about $48. (for two people)

If you're slightly less interesting in doing this trip "backpacker style" and more willing to spend a few bucks, you can rent a private car with an English-speaking driver for around 60 euros. But that won't include the cost of renting a boat or admission to the monastery. We preferred to spend 6 euros on minibuses instead, but to each his own.

I'll be honest - this was not an easy sight to see, and very rightly should be called a 'trek'. But at the end of the day, we saw a classic and unique piece of history, and went to sleep with a massive sense of accomplishment at what we had done and seen. If you care little for Dracula lore and aren't too keen on walking, then seeing the monastery probably just isn't worth it.

For the rest of us - especially those who just finished reading The Historian (guilty) - it's a one-of-a-kind journey back into the reaches of history, and worth every sweaty, exhausting footstep.
Written August 14, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sairj
Paris, France4 contributions
Friends
Snagov monastery is well worth the trip from Bucharest (about 1h). This oasis of peace on a remote island in the middle of a lake once reached by rowboat but now with a footbridge is steeped in history. Check out info online beforehand though, as there are no guided tours and noone around to explain any background.

A word of warning: There is a 15 lei entrance fee to the church AND an extortionate 20 EUROS photo tax. Both of these are illegal and you will not get any receipt in return for your money. It is a scam organised by some dodgy mon,ks responsible for the monastery and a bunch of gypsies paid to take your money in the church who have a skimming off the top. Just imagine the amount that can be raked in per day. Please PLEASE do NOT pay the photo tax (and if you can avoid the entrance fee, do so too).

Tiganesti Monastery not far away is beautiful - and correct. NO entrance fee, NO photo tax, NO scam.
Written August 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jesse
Henrietta, NY175 contributions
Couples
We didn’t go to Snagov Monastery specifically because of its association with Dracula (Vlad Tepeș), but rather just because I was intrigued by the idea of this old, semi-remote monastery on an island. It sounded like a cool place to visit, and it was, though there are a couple of things to be on the lookout for.

First is the parking situation: there really isn’t any. The street dead-ends at what is now the bridge across Snagov Lake to the island and the monastery. Both sides of the street are lined with houses. When we got there, there were a whole bunch of cars parked on either side of the street which we mistakenly assumed were visitors to the monastery – only afterward did we realize that they were all party guests at one of the houses along the lake. When we returned to our vehicle, a man was waiting, asking for 10 lei for the inconvenience of having us park on his property – asking in Romanian, of course; and I am not the type to go to other countries and expect everyone to speak English, so I was able to get by and communicate in broken Romanian with him. It was a pretty standard hustle, but he only asked for 10 lei (roughly €2 / USD $3) and whether or not he was the property owner I don’t know, but I didn’t pass judgment on that. Most places you go, you have to pay for somebody to park, and he was a nice enough old man for a hustler, so I didn’t really get upset about it. It is what it is.

So, anyway. After you park, to get to the island there is now a bridge which goes straight from the shore to the monastery. Other recent reviews make note of this but older reviews here on Tripadvisor, as well as elsewhere, mention the journey by boat. Part of me was disappointed that you no longer had to take a small boat to get to the island—there’s something adventurous about it, and the thrill of going somewhere that takes some effort to get to. And indeed, the boats could still be seen as we ascended the cement steps of the bridge, forgotten below among the tall reeds. But as much as part of me was disappointed about not taking a boat to the island…a larger part of me was relieved. Mainly because of concerns of having to wait to take the boat there, or to wait to catch a boat back (and by boat I mean something not much bigger than a canoe). It was definitely easier to just walk right across the bridge, which is totally open, and arrive on the island of my own power instead of dependent on someone else to get me there.

The island itself is pretty cool. There is a house and a few outbuildings, a big brick structure at the front, followed by a courtyard, and then the church itself. Beautiful gardens and wildflowers everywhere, and a curious turkey who followed us around for a bit. It was definitely like turning the pages back in time, and a very nice visit.

However, the staff do leave something to be desired. They are not actually unfriendly or rude…they’re just not very friendly or polite. (I always hesitate to complain about staff because some people complain no matter what, and there’s nothing you can do to make them happy; I’m generally the opposite. I usually love everything and everyone and it takes a lot to make me dissatisfied, so take that for what it’s worth, please!) From the moment we walked through the brick structure (sort of like an entrance gate, only an entire building) one of the double doors on the church lurched open a crack, and an eye watched our every move. It was only when we were halfway across the courtyard and it was clear that we were heading for the church itself did the door slam back shut – if not quite in our faces, that’s what it felt like. But we went in anyway.

The caretaker greeted us – again, if not exactly in a friendly way, she wasn’t unfriendly either, just sort of brusque. We paid the entrance fee and then debated paying extra for taking photos, but THAT price was insane. I forget what it was, exactly, but it was upwards of $20 / €15. Trust me when I say that it is not worth it to take photos. Before going on this trip, I read that exact same advice in other reviews, but thought to myself – hey, it’s probably the only time I’m going to visit this place, and as an amateur photographer I place great value in photos from my journeys, so what the heck, I’ll pay the fee, because I want pictures. Well, really. I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to pay the photo fee, of course, but once I saw the interior it wasn’t worth it. Yes, they have some cool frescoes and ancient Romanian written in Cyrillic and interesting stuff to look at…but not spectacular enough to warrant a high photo fee like that.

The interior of the church is very small, less than the size of an average house. It’s sort of an hourglass shape, two rooms with a quasi-doorway in the middle dividing them from each other, and a couple of stone columns/pillars here and there. Not a very big space, and one that could easily have been seen from every angle where the caretaker sat by the front door, but instead she hopped right up and followed us around, practically treading on our heels and breathing down our necks the entire time we were in there – until a new group of people came to the front door at which point she hurried off to collect the entrance fee and we had a few moments to walk around freely without being watched like we were mischievous children waiting until mother’s back is turned to play a prank (which is fairly insulting, to be honest). We might have spent 3 minutes in the place, but the atmosphere of being watched, hawklike, put us out and we went back outside. We spent a few more minutes walking the paths at the front of the monastery, which I assumed would be covered in the entrance fee, but again our friend the caretaker followed us outside too, watching us intently (albeit from a slightly farther distance) until we finally said enough was enough and trekked back across the bridge where our other friend the old man I mentioned earlier was waiting for us.

Don’t let the negatives detract you from visiting. The difference is in being informed, and knowing what to expect up front. Go into it knowing that you’ll most likely be accosted for 10 lei for parking, and the caretaker of the monastery will take her job very seriously. If you’re doing the whole Dracula circuit thing, don’t expect some huge deal here. Of course there is a painting or two of Vlad Tepeș and a little write-up about him, but don’t expect to actually see Dracula’s grave or anything like that.

All in all, this was a neat place, and we’re glad we visited. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a look, but don’t go totally out of your way just to come here.
Written June 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aqua_Uomo
Toronto, Canada7,388 contributions
First off, parking is a huge problem as there is none. You can only park along the road, a few spots. Then there is the wait. The monastery is on a small island, the bridge connecting the main land to the island is closed daily between 12:30 and 2:00, in my case 2:30 when the keeper came, casual and relaxed, not even saying Hi or Sorry for the wait to the (almost) 30 people waiting for him to unlock the gate.

The monastery its self is very small. A small building for the monks, I haven seen any, and a common church. Nothing out of ordinary. The main attraction is the tomb of Dracula. Well...history says it different, even if his body would be there, the head is not with it for sure, the head was sent to Istanbul to the Sultan, typically, to prove his dead by decapitation. So who's body lays there?

However, if you have time to spare, mind as well visit this place but don't make an effort, it is not really worth it.
Written October 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stacey T
Tarpon Springs, FL169 contributions
The monastery grounds and building were nice but I wouldn't skip a trip to another historical place for here. First it is not an easy place to find and be careful using GPS because it will take you to a restricted area on Route 2 make sure you pick Route 1 even though it's longer. Once you get to bwalking bridge parking area be aware that locals will charge you 10RON to "watch" your vehicle. Once across bridge you can freely walk around grounds but IF you want to see where Vlad Tepes is supposedly buried it will cost you 3RON per person.
Written August 20, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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