Friday 16 to Sunday 18 October 2020 (t.b.c.)
Bucharest & Transylvania, Romania
4* hotel in downtown Bucharest
Direct flights to/from Bucharest
When Bram Stoker wrote his world-famous novel in 1897, he could not have imagined that over a century later a bunch of expats would travel from Brussels to Romania to visit the castle featured in his book. Owned by Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, an incredibly cruel ruler became Stoker’s inspiration for his fictional blood-drinking character, Count Dracula. During this trip we trace back the origins of Dracula to Transylvania and Bran Castle, as well as several other places in the region. Our starting point for this trip is the metropole Bucharest, which we will explore during a guided tour, as well as visit to the world’s “heaviest” building, the Palace of Parliament.
This trip is not yet confirmed in terms of dates, program and time. We also cannot yet give you a price indication. Expat Club is keen on adding Romania to the list of destinations and travel there with a group of fun people (max. 25-30 people). If you are interested, we would love to hear that. You can now pre-reserve a spot for free and without obligations. We will then inform you whenever we have more information available. If you are a member and logged in, simply click on the RSVP button. If you are not a member, you can register first and follow these stops, or simply submit your name and email address on this page. Membership is not required for any of our trips because we only offer this online option for those who want to connect more with others.
What is included?
- Direct return flights to Bucharest
- Private airport transfer to hotel
- 2 nights in good 4* hotel in Bucharest centre
- 2 decision breakfast buffets
- Private guided Bucharest Old Town tour
- Private guided tour Palace of Parliament
- Full day private guided Transylvanian castles bus tour
- Visit to Brasov
- Visit to Peles Castle
- Visit to Rasnov Citadel
- Private guided Dracula night tour Bran Castle
- Private dinner in Queen Marie’s Tea House
- All entrance fees group program
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime memory
What is optional?
- Single room
- Alternative flights
Who can join?
Expat Club is open to welcome everyone who feels like joining an open-minded international group of expats and Belgians. Most of our participants are 30-65 years old with some younger and some older, and working in a variety of fields (EU, NATO, NGO, diplomacy, corporate, academics).
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children (minimum 8 years advised due to topic)
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Expat Club welcomes families on board. For this trip, however, be aware that the operas are long and possibly boring. Please contact us before making a reservation, so we can give you a proper discount and can assign the right rooms for you.
As with all Expat Club trips, our program for our weekend trip to Bucharest and Transylvania is carefully designed to make the most of the time we have. However, the program may still change depending on, for instance, the traffic conditions, unforeseeable roadwork issues or any other circumstances. Therefore, the program below is not yet definitive, but aims at providing you with a good idea of what the trip will entail.
Friday 16 October
08h30 – Meeting Brussels Airport (Starbucks main terminal)
10h20 – Departure to Bucharest
14h00 – Arrival Bucharest
15h00 – Check-in to hotel
16h00 – Guided Old Town tour
18h00 – Free time
19h00 – Dinner
Saturday 17 October
07h00 – Breakfast
08h00 – Departure to Transylvania
10h00 – Guided tour Peleș Castle
11h45 – Photo stop Cantacuzino Castle
12h00 – Departure to Brasov
13h00 – Lunch in Brasov
14h00 – Free time in Brasov
15h30 – Departure to Rasnov
16h00 – Visit to Rasnov Citadel
18h00 – Departure to Bran Castle
18h15 – Free time Bran
19h00 – Guided Dracula night tour Bran Castle
20h00 – Vampire’s dinner
21h30 – Departure to Bucharest
23h45 – Arrival Bucharest
Sunday 18 October
07h30 – Breakfast
10h00 – Checkout from hotel
10h30 – Guided tour Palace of Parliament
12h30 – End guided tour
13h00 – Lunch
14h30 – Departure to airport
17h05 – Departure to Brussels
18h55 – Arrival Brussels
Note: if you would like to leave already on Thursday evening, that may be possible as well. This way you may be able to visit one or two museums before the regular group program arrives. You can send us an email if you are interested in this (email@example.com).
As a tourist destination Romania is under-visited, which means that it remains largely unspoilt. Located in the South East of Europe, it is a country of diverse landscapes. From dark undisturbed forests to beautiful green meadows, and from the rolling foothills of the Carpathian Mountains to the wetlands of the Danube Delta, Romania is a country full of beauty, colour and charm. Nestled amidst this stunning landscape, and more particularly in Transylvania, are a multitude of medieval towns and castles, many of which are closely associated with the legend of Dracula. Its capital Bucharest is a vibrant city, with a hotchpotch of architecture on show, numerous cafes, restaurants, parks and lakes to enjoy.
Romania is one of the largest countries in Europe covering an area of 238.000 square kilometers, which is about 7 times larger than Belgium. Despite its size, its population is just under 20 million inhabitants. Romanian borders 5 countries: Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, and Moldova, while it also lies on the Black Sea. It was a communist country for 42 years and ruled over by the Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu from 1965 until he was deposed following the revolution in 1989.
There are many reasons to visit Romania for a short break or a longer holiday as it has much to offer. As our time is relatively short, we aim to offer you a balanced trip where you will experience not only the wonderful nature and landscape that Romania has to offer but also give you the chance to learn about the country’s history, which was heavily influenced by the Roman empire. Did you know that Romanian is a Latin based language and is 1700 years old?
Bucharest is awash with beautiful and diverse architecture and is home to the second largest building in the world, the Palace of Parliament. This is the heaviest building in the world and can even be seen from Space! The sheer immensity of the building is a must see! Did you know that the city is also called ‘The Paris of the East’ or ‘Little Paris’? This is because the Old Town is full of beautiful French-influenced architecture. Between the years 1900-1930 it was considered to be one of the most beautiful and modern European cities.
As always, we start our visit with a guided tour of the city, which will take us along many of the highlights, such as Revolution Square with the Library of the Central University, the Romanian Athenaeum, the National Museum of Romanian History, through the Old Town and along the famous Stavropoleos Monastery Church, slowly towards the unmissable Palatul Parlementului, where we will enjoy a separate guided tour (on Sunday morning).
Transylvania is a historical region situated in Central Romania which is bounded by two very large mountain ranges, the Carpathian mountain range to the East and the South, and the Apuseni Mountains to the West. This historical region is home to a number of major cities such as Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, and Sibiu and was also part of many wars in its time. Most famously featuring Vlad the Impaler and the Ottomans. We will leave early Saturday morning by private bus with 2 drivers (it’s a long day) on our way to this legendary region. They will take us along several amazing destinations.
Brasov is a relatively small city in Romania with an estimated population of 250,000, making it the 7th most populated city in the country. It is situated deep in the Transylvania region and is surrounded by the Southern Carpathian mountain range. It is also famous because one of the most famous castles in the world, the Bran Castle, considered to have close links to the legend of Dracula, is situated close by.
This stunning colourful castle was constructed between 1873-1914 for King Carol I. It was under his reign that Romania gained its independence. The Peles Castle is an architectural blend of Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival and it is the first castle in the world to be fully powered by locally produced electricity! We will enjoy a guided tour in this castle as our first destination in Transylvania.
This villa castle was completed in 1911 and is built in the Neo-Romanian style. It is situated in the popular mountain resort of Busteni and we’ll make a short stop her for some pictures. The castle and estate are built within a park and have spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and forests. In 1948, the Cantacuzino family were forced to relinquish their property to the communist state but it was returned to them in 1989. It was later sold by the family to private investors.
This impressive citadel in Rasnov was built in order to defend the local Transylvanian villages from foreign invasion. It was the only safe place which could protect the inhabitants and ensure their survival. It was built between 1211-1225, during the rule of the Teutonic Knights, and is considered to be the most well preserved rural citadel in Romania.
A peaceful little commune, situated in the Brasov county in Romania. It is home to one of the most famous castles in the world, the Bran Castle. History books will tell you that this was once the residence of Vladimir III (also known as Vladimir the Impaler – due to his favourite method of execution being impalement!). However, for believers of the legend of Dracula, this is where Dracula lived. Vladimir the Impaler was perhaps the most famous ruler of Wallachia. His lifelong goal was to defeat and push back the Ottoman Empire, where, coincidentally, he spent the majority of his childhood. Bran castle is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful nature as it lies just south of the Carpathian mountains in the Transylvanian Alps and is a truly magical and mystical place to visit.
Bran Castle is Romania’s top tourists attraction. Busloads of tourists flock to the town of Bran, making a visit to the castle during high season a true battle. Located on an impressive steep cliff, even without Dracula, it’s a beautiful castle that is definitely worth a visit. The good thing is that for our visit we have something special in mind…
Dracula’s tour at night & vampire dinner
Of course we visit this impressive castle with a professional guide who will tell us all about the history and the legend of Dracula. But instead of taking a regular tour, Expat Club organised a private tour after closing hours, after the sun has set and darkness has fallen across the land, and the midnight hour is close at hand… Never mind, wrong monster. Still, this thriller tour is for sure the creepiest one on our calendar. Dress up as your favourite vampire, or pretend to be Van Helsing, and let’s explore this scary place together in the dark with candlelight. Just imagine being only with a small group in the dark and deserted dungeons of Romania’s number 1 tourist attraction, expecting to bump into the Master around every corner. Surely this tour makes you hungry for bloo… also never mind. We’ll make sure there is a nice 3-course dinner waiting for you in Queen Marie’s Tea House. What a great way to finish a wonderful day in Transylvania!
We will stay in a nice 4* hotel in downtown Bucharest at walking distance from the main highlights. Breakfast and free wifi are included. We always choose good hotels at good locations with very positive reviews so you can really enjoy a nice weekend away from Brussels.
In the hotel you can choose between the following room options, all include a private bathroom:
- Single room (normally with 1 large bed, with surcharge)
- Double room (1 large bed, for couples, no surcharge)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 friends travelling together)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 single travellers who would like to avoid the single surcharge)
- Triple / family rooms (double bed + single bed / sofa, upon request only)
Expat Club room sharing for single travellers
If you are joining this trip on your own, you can of course take a single room, but then you pay a surcharge (start the booking process). However, you can also opt for the Expat Club room sharing service. This means you do not pay the single surcharge. During the outbound journey we will introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. We do not assign a room partner, but you can mutually agree to share the room. We only offer female/female and male/male rooms. This is a great way to save some money while you get to know another nice person on this trip.
There are several airlines flying to Bucharest, both from Brussels and Charleroi Airports. We are probably flying on direct Tarom flights that leave at a decent time on Friday and return not too late on Sunday. However, we can only confirm this at a later point.
- Friday: Brussels 10h20 – Bucharest 14h00
- Sunday: Bucharest 17h05 – Brussels 18h55
- The trip will be carried out by Tarom Airlines.
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are tentative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).
- The cancellation with a refund, as described in the terms & conditions, is 8 weeks. Within this period you cannot cancel the trip and get a refund. You can always find a friend or colleague who will join instead of you without a surcharge.