Discover Romania’s Regions
Meet the locals and take part in hay stacking, Maramures © Duncan Ridgley

What you should know about Maramures

Maramures is considered by many the heart and soul of rural Romania. It’s like an open-air museum, where everything is frozen in time. The villages, the traditions, even the people’s way of life are beautifully preserved, and have been followed for generations. Maramures is the place to be if you are looking for art, culture, traditions and spectacular landscapes.
  1. You should definitely put the wooden churches of Maramures on your list. They are an outstanding example of wooden architecture, with impressive towers that rise up to 78 meters high. Eight of them are now under UNESCO protection.
  2. The Merry Cemetery. Yes, you read that right. The village of Sapanta is well-known for its unique cemetery, where the crosses are beautifully coloured, and share tales from the life of the deceased through funny, satirical poems. We know that it is not always appropriate on hallowed ground, but here laughter is permitted and even encouraged.
  3. Once you arrive in Sighetu Marmatiei, make sure you visit the Memorial to the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance. The museum, built in the old prison building, presents the chronology of the totalitarian system in Communist Romania and each cell has been transformed to show a particular moment from those dark times.
  4. Regardless of the season, the landscapes in Maramures are always stunning. While wandering around you might want to stop at the 97-metre high Horses Waterfall, enjoy some hikes in Rodnei Mountains National Park, or just drive through the beautiful traditional villages.
  5. Take a ride on the steam train! Mocanita from Vaser Valley is among the few steam trains still working today.