Brits flock to Dracula hotspot for vampire-themed breaks and 45p pints

In an unusual twist on classic holiday destinations, Brits are heading to Romania – home of Count Dracula – in record numbers, a study has found. Holiday experts found that the number of Brits jetting off to Romania now topped 230,000-a-year, a huge rise from the estimated 140,000 just 10 years ago.

The latest figures show that 232,000 Brits flew to Romania on hols in 2022. With new budget air routes opening, the number of folk flying to the 18 airports in Romania is expected to hit 250,000 by the end of the year.

Researchers at Holiday Extras found that new budget air routes had led to a rise in bookings by Brits looking for a cheaper getaway. Romania is among the top "new" destinations, with Bran Castle in Transylvania – known as Dracula’s Castle – one of the most visited tourist attractions.

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Bran Castle in Transylvania, known as Dracula’s Castle, one of the country’s most visited tourist attraction thanks to the 1897 novel by Bram Stoker which is believed to have been inspired by 15th century Vlad the Impaler from Romania – and Bran Castle's towering turrets and gothic style certainly paint a picture of bats, fangs and fear!

The imposing medieval building is now a museum and national landmark. The castle is now the centre of Dracula tourism and details some of the history of the castle and the novel. You won't just get to wander the nearby countryside and stare up at the imposing castle – you can also go inside. and wander the rooms. Entry costs £9.59 for adults while kids can go from £2.61.

It also costs a little extra to enter the most frightening room in the castle – the torture chamber. According to one review on TripAdvisor: "Due to my taste for the morbid and grotesque, one of my favourite rooms of a castle is the torture chamber. When I visited Castle Bran, there was an exhibition of torture instruments that spread across several rooms and had in depth descriptions and depictions next to each barbaric instrument, it was highly instructive, entertaining and yes, a tad horrifying.

But, the castle isn't the only thing enticing Brits to the nation – Bucharest is also pulling people in. The city has gorgeous historic buildings and an enormous spa filled with pools, saunas and 16 waterslides. Plus, pints from £1.20 in the capital and as little as 45p in other cities, according to Pint Price.

Marcus Fenning, 51, of Edinburgh, said he went on holiday to Romania in March. He said: "I was looking for somewhere new and exciting to go and saw the exchange rate in Romania was fantastic and the flights mega cheap – I got a return for £55.

"It is an incredible place – Bucharest is fantastic, so much history…but I love Bram Stoker, so wanted to see Bran Castle. It’s incredibly imposing and it gives you the willies a bit, but it’s a holiday I’ll never forget."

A spokesman for Holiday Extras said today (Wed) that a favourable exchange rate with the Romanian Leu meant Brits were getting more "bang for their buck".

He said: "We found that Romania is the new favourite destination after an increase in budget air routes. Clearly taking advantage of these low-cost flights, Brits are flocking to Romania for a city break on a budget."

Matthew Pack, CEO at Holiday Extras, said: "With the cost-of-living crisis demonstrating little sign of slowing down, budget-friendly options are more popular than ever. Travellers are getting creative, expanding their horizons to include city breaks to Romania and Montenegro where new budget routes have opened up."

You can bag a flight to Romania from £23 on Skyscanner. Other countries seeing a spike in bookings from Brits include Montenegro, Singapore, the Canary Islands, Egypt, and Barbados.

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