People in many countries around the world have had a fascination with vampires and all things vampire related for a very long time now. Centuries ago, people really did think that vampires walked among them, and there is evidence that they took certain precautions to protect themselves and their families from being attacked by these fanged and fearsome creatures of the night.
In more modern times, the graves of supposed vampires and their old haunting grounds are extremely popular tourist attractions. People now have the option to go on vampire tours across the United States, and in other countries as well. These tours tell stories about the vampires that were local to the area and the effect that they had on the people living there at the time.
Curious vampire lovers can go to places that were once believed to be haunted (and might still be!) by real vampires, the hometown of Vlad the Impaler, the real person that inspired the infamous Dracula, and several social gatherings where you can find other people who don’t mind a bit of blood.
The list below takes a look at 25 different vampire themed destinations that vampire lovers will be sure to appreciate.
The well-known Vampire Café in Japan is located right in the middle of the high end shopping district of Ginza. In keeping with the vampire theme, the entire restaurant is colored deep red from the carpet to the walls to the lighting in the bathroom. For an air of mystery and privacy, there are curtains hanging from the ceilings that allow diners to have some privacy. A large coffin serves as a centerpiece to the restaurant space and mirrors are smeared with red dye for dramatic effect. The theme continues onto the food, of which many items are shaped into crosses, or have a stake sticking out of them like the chicken steak! (appetiteforjapan)
London’s Highgate Ghost & Vampire Walk has consistently received excellent ratings from guests because of their focus on the real, documented history of the haunted village. The 105 minute walking tour is divided into 3 different parts: the first part includes the real history of the various ghosts who haunt the village, the second part includes walking past houses where celebrities such as Kate Moss live. After a brief break at a local haunted tavern, the tour guide leads guests to the final destination: outside the main gates of Highgate Cemetery where the legendary Highland Vampire is buried, after wreaking havoc on the small town a long time ago. (ghostwalklondon)
Twilight fans will definitely want to make their way over to the well-known town of Forks, Washington which is the setting of the widely popular Twilight books. The Forever Twilight in Forks Festival is an annual weekend event in September (set specifically at that time to coincide with the birthday of the main character in the books) that includes fun community events such as “cooking like Bella” cooking classes, scrapbook making classes, t-shirt quilt making classes, and of course, tours of the area as well as stops at particular, well known locations in the books and movies. (forkswa)
For fans of the popular vampire show, “Vampire Diaries”, Mystic Falls Tour company offers to take guests on a tour of the popular locations where the scenes are shot. Some of the well-known show locations that guests will be taken to during the 2.5-3 hour tour is Caroline Forbes House, Mystic Grill, the Courthouse, Isobel and Gram's House, and the popular Lockwood Mansion, which is only accessible to people who are on the tour. The Vampire Diaries Mystic Falls Tour has been rated as one of the top ten best vampire destinations in the world by the Travel Channel. (mysticfallstours)
The Dracula Experience goes above and beyond for guests who are interested in learning more about the history of Count Dracula and his time in England. The experience consists of a melodrama which is played out using animated scenes, live actors, and electronic special effects. The story depicts the history of the Dracula’s arrival and effect on the residents of the small town of Whitby in England in 8 different scenes. The town of Whitby and the property where the Dracula Experience operates have both been rumored to have a high level of paranormal activity due to strange sightings and noises. (draculaexperience.co)
The Grim Philly Twilight Tours is well suited for people who want to veer off the typical tourist experience in Philadelphia. The tour is not appropriate for children because of its focus on unconventional and gritty topics of the city’s dark history. Although many of the stops along the tour are well known as people popular destinations, the tour guides, which typically include college professors and teachers, weave a tale of activities that went on under the cloak of night which will not be included in many history books. The company offers a variety of different styles of tours with walking, riverboat, and tavern tours available. (philatour)
The French Quarter Ghost & Vampire Tour in New Orleans takes visitors through several locations with a dark and scary history of local hauntings and vampire lore. The tour is just under one mile and takes a little less than 2 hours total. The tour guides are passionate about their town’s mysterious history with vampires, ghosts, and anything supernatural and have been licensed by the city of New Orleans so visitors can rest easy knowing that they are receiving historically accurate spooky information. The tour is very popular and has consistently been rated the #1 haunted tour for 8 years in a row. (frenchquarterphantoms)
Spellbound Tours’ Voodoo, Vampires, and Ghosts Tour is led by a team of experienced paranormal investigators who are fully licensed by the town of Salem so you know you are going to get an accurate history of the town’s ghosts, vampires, and other paranormal creatures. Locations on the tour include the Old Burying Point cemetery and what is considered by many experts the most haunted house in the country. Not only will guests receive a detailed description of the haunted spaces in the area, they will also learn the latest scientific methods of ghost detection to recognize signs of true hauntings! (spellboundtours)
Considered one of the better genre festivals in the world and in its 8th year, the Bram Stoker International Film Festival honors the creator of the modern concept of Dracula. In the late 1800s, Bram Stoker visited the town and people who are familiar with the original story of Dracula will be able to visit real life locations that inspired some of the descriptions of the book. The International Film Festival honors the author by continuing his gothic tradition through displaying art, music, literature, and films that are reminiscent of his dark style that has endured for so many years. (whitbyevents)
The Boutique du Vampyre is located in New Orleans although the shop’s history goes back to Transylvania, Romania. According to shop lore, the shop was started by a vampire herself and was only open from midnight to sunrise. Originally, before the shop moved to its current location of New Orleans, it was only open to real vampires, but the shop owners decided to share their love of vampires with mortals as well and opened the doors to everyone who is interested in all things vampire in 2003. The shop regularly receives autographed Anne Rice books to auction off and visitors will be able to find original and handcrafted items. (boutique-du-vampyre)
Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills in California, the Vampire Lounge is a laidback place where people can listen to live, local music while sipping on some local wine. The Vampire Lounge is rumored to be owned by a circle of vampires and prides itself on its relaxed atmosphere. The Lounge closed its doors in 2018 but has plans to move to a larger venue in 2019 so those who are seeking a more relaxed vampire themed destination will have a larger place to enjoy sampling the large variety of wines that are sourced from Vampire Vineyards. (vampire)
The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures in Paris, France is the only one of its kind to provide visitors with an extensive look into the history and lives of vampires and vampirism. The museum was started by a scholar who specializes in studying vampires, esoterism, and occidental tales. Visitors are not only able to look at the various items in his collection, but they will also get to hear the darker history of Paris. The museum includes historical and rare items such as antique books, Dracula toys to take home as souvenirs, photos and artwork of famed vampires. (atlasobscura)
Near Halloween of every year, there is an event called the Endless Night Vampire Ball in New Orleans. The Ball consists of guests interacting with costumed crew who work to carry out an itinerary throughout the night to keep guests engaged and entertained. Costumes for the guests are also required in order to really get into the spirit of things. In addition to the music and costumes, guests can also enjoy the “Cirque at midnight” which includes acrobatic displays of skill as well as a costume contest, and a howl with the coordinator of the entire event, Father Sebastian. (endlessnight)
For those who are interested in the real life person who once inspired the infamous Dracula, Poenari Castle is definitely a place to visit. Built sometime in the 13th century, Poenari Castle is one of the famed castles that the figure who inspired Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, once lived in because of its strategic location high on the Făgăraş Mountains in Romania and the difficulty in reaching the castle with any kind of vehicle or large equipment. Because it's so difficult to get to, the Castle is also known as Poenari Fortress and requires people to climb almost 1,500 concrete steps. (atlasobscura)
Visitors to the National Museum of History in Bulgaria will be treated to a very rare sight; the full skeleton of what was believed at the time to be a male vampire. The skeleton is one of a man with an iron rod through his chest. Evidence showed that he received multiple blows to the chest and stomach, because whoever did so believed that he would rise from the dead and had to take precautions against the occurrence. The vampire skeleton was buried near a church over 700 years ago in the town of Sozopol in Bulgaria near the Black Sea. (novinite)
The Vampire Tour of San Francisco takes place on the first Saturday of each month from May through Halloween in the Nob Hill area of the city. Stops on the two-hour long walking tour include places such as Grace Cathedral, the Nob Hill Cafe, Huntington Park, the Pacific-Union Club, the Fairmont Hotel, and the Mark Hopkins Hotel where guests will have the opportunity to hear about the history of the place and the connection to vampire lore. Despite San Francisco’s well known hills, the entire tour takes place on flat land and is also wheelchair accessible. (sfvampiretour)
Hosted by Lady Raven Productions in Portland, Oregon every year, the Vampire’s Masquerade Ball regularly welcomes over 700 guests who are interested in recreating the elegance of a masquerade ball with a vampire twist. The Vampire’s Masquerade Ball has been going on for over 15 years and they include various artists that feature Gothic/Industrial music as well as live artists and local vendors that offer different vampire wares. The event is open to people who are 21+ and over and is also a catered affair with a waltz at midnight and a photobooth so that guests can remember the night. (vampireballpdx)
Located in the town of Hunedoara in Romania, Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, was built in a Gothic-Renaissance style and is well-known as one of the largest castles in all of Europe. The beautiful castle is listed as one of Romania’s 7 wonders and was originally built sometime around the 1400s as a defense fortress. One of the reasons this architectural marvel might also appeal to vampire lovers is that Vlad the Impaler, the real life ruler who served as the original inspiration for Dracula, was said to have been imprisoned there for a time. (atlasobscura)
Haven Nightclub in Shanghai, China is not your ordinary nightclub. The nightclub is not only vampire themed, it is also very exclusive and serves more as a high-end space for individual events. The nightclub opens its doors to the public only once a month but is available for individuals or groups to rent for a special event- for a limited time. In keeping with the dark theme, the nightclub will only host 666 parties total; after that there will be a big celebration in which guests and the media are invited to smash the entire place up so that they can start over again in a different location. (timeoutshanghai)
The International Vampire Film and Arts Festival, also known as Vampfest, brings together vampire lovers and vampire artists from across the world into a 4 day festival that includes various film screenings, parties, seminars, workshops, book launches, theatre, and readings in the Victorian Gothic town of Highgate Village. The festival features several different genres and used to take place in Transylvania, in the medieval citadel that is considered to be the birthplace of Vlad Dracula. The art is wide ranging and features literature, television, short and long films, and all kinds of games and new media that features vampires. (ivfaf)
Although there are several places that are associated with Vlad the Impaler aka the real life Dracula, Sighisoara is well-known as his hometown and the house that he was born and lived the early years of his life is still standing despite a huge fire in the late 1600s. The town has several accommodations for those who want to take their time exploring the area over a period of a few days and there are many medieval remnants that people can explore the walled city that has many buildings that were built specifically to fortify and defend the village. (europeupclose)
Located in New Orleans' well-known French Quarter, Ye Olde Original Dungeon was inspired by a chilling ghost story and there are accounts of ghost sightings on the location. One of the owners who was involved in the dark history of the premises was actually a sultan and the bar was intended to honor their memory. The popular bar is decorated with skulls and is dimly light, with various cages that serve as sitting areas for the patrons and even a library on the first floor. The bar has various floors and also include a large dance floor so people have many options when they go in. (neworleansonline)
For those who want to visit a place with a chilling history that has been well-documented, Čachtice Castle in Slovakia is a place that has become a dark legend because of the Countess who once lived there and was deemed vampiric due to her practices. The castle was built as far back as the 1200s originally as a border protection fortress and the Countess and her family lived in the walls sometime in the 1600s when stories of young women disappearing started to alert the authorities that something was wrong. The subsequent trail of the vampire countess still lives on today and although the castle is in ruins, visitors can hike up to the ruins and visit a small museum in the main square as well as the church where her body was originally placed. (atlasobscura)
The Propeller Island City Lodge is an eccentric hotel and art installation that offers hotel guests a completely surreal experience because the rooms are elaborately themed. The rooms include a variety of different themes which are carried out through intricate and intentional decorations and furniture and some of the themes include the forest, the prison cell room, the padded cell, and the “gruft” which is a Goth-inspired room that has coffin beds and even a labyrinth underneath! None of the rooms contain a television or commercial radio so that guests are completely immersed in the experience and get to enjoy their unique surroundings in isolation. (atlasobscura)
Located in the Chessington World of Adventures theme park in London, England the Vampire rollercoaster is a suspended ride that has been in operation for almost 3 decades. The rollercoaster has a lot of different Gothic-inspired decorations that take guests through an eery and thrilling ride. The station itself has certain touches such as flaming chandeliers, Gothic murals, a large pipe organ and a lot of dramatic audio and lighting. The Vampire rollercoaster is the only one in the world with the particular fanged theme and towards the end of the ride, thrill seekers are plunged into a dark tunnel. (themeparktourist)