A trip that will let you see thousands of miles of countryside without lifting a finger is our kind of trip.
By Chantal Strasburger
If this isn't on your bucket list yet, add it now. One of the world's greatest journeys, the Trans-Siberian Railway is not your typical train ride. For starters, you get three routes to choose from: the Trans-Siberian line, the Trans-Manchurian line, or the Trans-Mongolian line. Starting in Moscow, you just have to decide if you want to end up in Vladivostok, on the other side of Russia, or Beijing, by way of either northeast China or Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The massive Russian railway network was built in 1904 and still holds the record for longest railway line in the world, clocking in at 5,772 miles. Connecting Europe and Asia, the Trans-Siberian pretty much embodies the age-old adage, "It's not about the destination—it's about the journey." Except in this case, it's a little of both. All you need now is a good book and a few podcasts lined up for the ride.
This Spring: Spring and summer are the best times to jump aboard (Russian winters are not only brutally cold, but also very dark). Take advantage of the balmy weather by trekking around Lake Baikal, so when you kick back with a cold kvas (a traditional Russian drink made from rye bread) at the end of the day, you'll know you've earned it.
Book your ticket at transsiberianexpress.net.
Come for the bloodsuckers, stay for the medieval architecture.
By Chanel Parks
The Bran Castle in Romania is supposedly the home of Dracula. Bram Stoker's 1897 novel describes a mountainous landscape and extravagant home in Transylvania that has striking similarities to the Bran, although Stoker himself never even visited Romania…allegedly.
But who cares if he ever actually went. The legend stands, and the old medieval architecture and the name Transylvania are enough to make this place feel spooky. On top of that, Transylvania's real-life inhabitants once believed that strigoi, or living-dead spirits, roamed the streets of Bran at night to wreak havoc. Are these shady monster-like creatures still lurking around? We need to pay a visit to Transylvania to find out.
This Spring: Take the Two Castles in One Day tour, a 12-hour excursion that allows you to see Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and their surrounding villages. If you have time, hit up The Horror Castle near the main castle—it's a short haunted adventure that will tap into those spooky Transylvania vibes.
For more information about visiting vampires and the living dead—um, we mean, castles—visit bucharestcitytour.com.