Nestled in the foothills of the Gutai Mountains, Baia Mare harbours a charming medieval Old Town with historic buildings, pastel-coloured cottages and museums. Trendy cafes, bars and coffee lounges fill the central square, while the surrounding region reveals wooden churches and centuries-old villages.
Things to do in Baia Mare
Medieval buildings once holding the bastions of power in this former industrial and commercial stronghold now overflow with modern-day shopping and dining in the central Piaţa Libertatii square. Stroll the plaza to get a feel for both past and present life in Baia Mare.
Towering over the square is the Gothic-style Steven’s Tower, a 40-metre-high former belfry with a multi-faced mechanical clock that dates back to 1628. You can climb 136 spiralling stairs for stunning city views, then pop into the small chapel to admire intricately painted wall murals.
Visiting the County Art Museum is an excellent way to appreciate historical and contemporary art forms, with a collection of about 400 paintings by Hungarian and Romanian artists. At Maramures History & Archaeology Museum, you’ll find clay pots from the Bronze Age, Roman helmets and clocks from the 1700s. The museum provides plenty of interactive exhibits for the little ones.
Book a coveted table at Michael Pascale, a French-owned bistro serving chilled gazpacho and chorizo calamari. For an authentic old-world Romanian dining experience, spend an evening at Hanu Ignis. Order the “Shepherd’s Purse” speciality and enjoy the nightly traditional folk music.
Getting around Baia Mare
Baia Mare is about an hour’s drive from Napoca Airport, which offers rental cars. Hotels in town provide shuttles and guided tours or you can use taxis and buses to get around.