Bucharest airport to the city center
I have to admit I didn’t really do my homework to find out the best airport for a visit to Transylvania. I just picked Bucharest. I had a late evening flight from Brussels arriving at midnight in Bucharest.
My hostel (Crazy duck hostel) was close to the main train station of Bucharest. Bus 783 runs from the airport to Gara de Nord but it only runs once every 40 minutes and I just missed the previous bus. So I opted for bus 780 which goes to downtown Bucharest.
You need to buy a ticket for the bus (7.50LEI) in the kiosk on your right when leaving the airport building.
All what’s left now is get off as close as possible to the hostel and walk the final part. At the hostel, a friendly man filled in the reservation form and I went to sleep.
For information on how to get to Bucharest from the airport see Get in by plane one Wikitravel
By train from Bucharest to Brașov
The next morning I went to Gara de Nord to board a train to Brașov. The best train to Brașov from Bucharest is the private train provided by Softrans (website). There is only on train a day (9.23am) but it costs only 30LEI for a comfortable ride with wifi, charging possibilities and coffee (1LEI) distributers on board.
You can reserve a seat online but you can also just board the train and buy your ticket there.
I arrived in Brașov around noon and decided to go immediately to Bran. Bran is a small village south of Brașov where the Bran castle is more often called ‘Dracula Castle’.
By bus from Brașov to Dracula castle in Bran
To get to Bran from Brașov train station you first need to take bus 23 or 23B to Autogara 2. A ticket is just 2LEI and need to be bought at one of the kiosks in front of the train station. Bus 23 and bus 23B leave will pick up passengers at the bus stop on the main road. Which is 200m in front of the train station. So NOT the bus parking on your left when leaving the train station.
Validate your ticket on the bus and get off the bus at the fourth stop. The autogara 2 is not very visible from the bus, so either count the stops very carefull or ask another passenger to warn you when to get of.
Buses leave regularly from this bus station to Bran. To find the bus, just ask around at the bus station or simply look what bus has Bran written on a card board behind its front window.
You’ll see the castle from the bus, so it should be clear when you need to get off. I believe this is usually where almost all the people will get off.
Hike from Bran castle to Măgura
Instead of following the main stream directly to the castle, I thought I would first try to make a photograph from one of the surrounding hills. There is a wooden footbridge just about 300m behind the castle.
From here steep trails head up the hill allowing you to get to the cross standing on a rocky outcrop overlooking the village of Bran. Unfortunately, the rain was too strong so I didn’t even try to make a photograph with my camera. I did make a quick snapshot with my phone.
I saw the trail, marked with white and red, going higher up the hill. Maybe there would be a better view further on the trail? At that moment, I still thought I would return later to visit the castle and head back to Brașov to spend the night.
While the rain intensity didn’t decrease at all, the view became more and more breathtaking. So instead of returning to the castle, which was already long gone out of sight, I continued on this trail towards Magura.
I remembered I took a photo at the beginning of the trail. A sign said ‘Măgura , 1h’. I opened google maps and saw the village of Măgura about 5km from my current position. At least two accommodation options in Măgura according to google maps. When looking at the current weather, I would definitely need a place to dry my stuff, have a meal and a good rest. Curious about this trail, I was now determined to go to Măgura . That’s how quickly I throw my draft travel schedule into trash.
Almost at the top the trail makes a right to enter a smaller grass field and descends over some rocks to reach a farm with cows and other animals.
The view was simply too beautiful to leave my camera in a backpack. I’m not sure yet if that was really smart or not. As my screen got completely filled with water at the end of this trip…
The path remains all the time well marked with white and red marks and continues again through the forest for a while and finally reaches some rocky formations from where you can see the village of Măgura down in the valley.
I was a little too enthusiast in descending that I lost the marked trail and still had to look a little for the best way to reach the first houses.
Even with the rain, it was a very nice hike. I would recommend this trail to anyone. You can see it as a small teaser of what you can expect of the landscape in Transylvania.
Click here to see the complete trail on a map with GPS data.
Accomodation in Măgura
Villa Hermani is probably the biggest hotel in Magura, but no-one came to me while I had been ringing the reception bell for a few minutes. Honestly, it also looked a bit too fancy and I wood prefer something smaller and authentic. However, I was completely wet and very tired so I would accept any place. Cheap or expensive.
My next stop for accomodation was Casa Hille but that one was full. They pointed me to a house on the other side of the road. It didn’t look like a hotel on the outside but the new building next to the house of the owners was definitely built to serve as a hotel.
100LEI for me sleeping in double bed + 40 LEI for a traditional dinner
When the woman came with the soup and bread, I thought that was my complete dinner. So I ate almost the whole bread together with the soup. when suddenly the woman entered the dining room again with all the other plates. .
Luckily I didn’t had to walk anymore that day!