This might be the oddest article about travel you read this year but stick with us on it. Most of us love the story of Dracula. We’ve seen at least one film based on the legendary Bram Stoker novel, and many of us have even read the source material. Dracula isn’t the only famous vampire story, though. Tales of vampires appear in the mythology of almost every country in the world, often tied to specific locations. That got us thinking about whether some of these famous “vampire locations” could be turned into a weekend break. Maybe we’ve been listening to the band “Vampire Weekend” too much, but we thought it would make for a fun topic!
To our surprise, the answer was “yes.” There are plenty of places in Europe and further afield that have turned their alleged association with vampires into a tourist attraction, and they make for fine options for a vacation with a difference! If you’re into all things macabre, you like the idea of getting a nip in the neck, or you’re simply looking for an alternative to all the usual vacation destinations, here are a few vampire weekend options for you!
Bulgaria has recently noticed that vampires are good for business. An alleged vampire skeleton has gone on display in the country’s biggest museum, and stories about alleged vampire burials regularly make global news. You’re probably wondering what qualifies a gravesite as a “vampire burial.” The answer to that question is that whoever these recently-discovered people were, they were buried around seven hundred years ago with iron stakes impaled through their chests. Someone obviously wanted to make sure that they didn’t come back to life after they were laid to rest! You’ll find the vampire skeleton inside the National Museum of History in Sofia, where the majority of the gruesome grave discoveries have also been made. The fact that Sofia is already a wonderful tourist destination is simply a bonus in this instance.
One look at Cachtice Castle is all it takes to make you think, “yes, I could believe a vampire once lived here.” According to the local legends, one did. She was called Countess Elizabeth Bathory, but she was better known by the nickname “Countess Dracula” on account of her incredible blood lust and the fact that she apparently enjoyed drinking the blood of her enemies. Some people even say she bathed in it. That was back in the 13th century, and so her former home is a crumbling ruin now, but there’s still definitely something very eerie about walking through the corridors of a place where it’s said that people were tortured and killed in their hundreds. Tour guides will tell you that the ghost of the Countess still roams the castle, but we’re sure they’re just trying to scare us. Fortunately, the area around the castle is very beautiful, so you’ll be able to shake off the feeling of doom once you’ve finished your tour and you’re back outside again!
Prague, Czech Republic
We’re back in “disturbing grave” territory now. Around one thousand years ago, a small number of bodies were buried in close proximity on the outskirts of Prague – the Czech Republic’s capital city. Each of them was disposed of the same way. They were decapitated, and their bodies were weighed down with heavy items to prevent them from rising back up out of their graves. It’s thought that the locals of the time genuinely believed these people to be vampires and thought this was the only way to be sure of their safety. The graveyard tends to be either the starting or ending point for many of the vampire tours that will take you through the city, most of which are available seven days per week. We won’t spoil the rest of the tour for you, but we will say that Prague is somewhere everybody should visit at least once, even if they’re not interested in vampires.
This is the obvious place to go vampire hunting, so it would be remiss of us not to include it. If it weren’t for Transylvania, there would be no “Dracula.” If it weren’t for “Dracula,” there would be no “Twilight” or “True Blood.” “Immortal Romance,” which is one of the most popular online slots in the world, wouldn’t even exist. We simply can’t underestimate the influence and importance of Stoker’s work, and the fact that it’s still used as a hook to persuade people to play online slots more than a century after it was written is a testament to just how big Stoker’s brand of vampire lore has become. Nothing you’ll see on the reels of a Rose Slots New Zealand slot will prepare you for the vampire-mania that awaits you in Transylvania, though. The highlight of your visit will probably be Bran Castle, which served as the inspiration for Dracula’s castle, but vampires are Transylvania’s bread and butter. You’ll find vampire-themed attractions everywhere you look, including the equally creepy Poenari Castle. A vampire completist should give serious consideration to visiting both locations!
Whitby was every bit as important a location to Bram Stoker as Transylvania was when he was writing “Dracula.” In fact, Whitby is the place that provided him with the initial inspiration. A lot of that is down to its ruined abbey, which stands atop a hill and creates an imposing silhouette in the moonlight. Both the “Whitby Walk” and “Dracula Tour” provide you with plenty of Stoker-related sights to see. Like Transylvania, Whitby is a place that makes the most out of its vampire connections. It’s also a cute, quaint, and relaxing place to spend time. Whitby is hilly, scenic, and quiet for most of the year. You can do your vampire hunting by day and take in the culture of an English market town by night. If you ask us, that’s the best of both worlds!
The best thing about all of these locations is that there are things to do there other than just bathe in vampire stories. They’re stunning places to spend a weekend break with or without the vampire connections, and so we’re happy to recommend them for a vampire weekend. We still think this might be the strangest travel article you’ll read all year – but we hope you enjoyed it, all the same!
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