Mamaia is the most popular beach resort in Romania, located by the Black Sea. It's known for its fine sand, vibrant nightlife and great restaurants. Mamaia is a magnet for local and foreign tourists, especially because of its warm waters making it perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The resort is attached to Constanta city and separates Lake Siutghiol from the Black Sea. Mamaia's position is fantastic as you can enjoy the sunrise over the sea first thing in the morning and indulge in a magical sunset over the lake in the evening. During certain summer nights, you can observe the moon rise over the sea which is a beautiful spectacle.
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Mamaia became home to the first beach touristic location in 1905. Called Sea Baths, the beach this became a source of zen for the elite at the time, so much so that even the Royal Family visited the resort. As a result, Mamaia became more popular and many important buildings were constructed, for example, the Cara-Dalga Castle, the summer residence of the royal family, Albatros Villa and Rex Hotel. The second ever hotel was called Bucharest, although now it is known as Iaki Hotel, a modern and luxurious building. During communism, Mamaia continued to expand and more tall hotels were erected to accommodate the demand. In the 80's Mamaia reached its peak and became an absolute paradise for tourists. After the collapse of communism, Mamaia lost some of its popularity. Nowadays with new government investments, it managed to attract more foreigner tourists and become known as The Pearl of The Romanian Seaside.
How to get to Mamaia
Getting to Mamaia by car is the easiest and most cost effective. It takes around 3 hours drive on the Sun Motorway A2 (Autostrada Soarelui). There is a small toll for cars to enter the Mamaia Resort. It costs around £1 per entrance.
You can also take the train from Bucharest to Constanta city, and then take a bus to Mamaia. The train journey takes roughly 3 hours. However, from Constanta main railway station you need to board the bus number 100 which takes you to Mamaia. The bus journey lasts roughly 75 minutes. One train ticket costs £10 per person per journey and the bus ticket costs 30 pence per person per journey.
When to visit Mamaia
The official beach season starts on the 1st of May and ends in September. 1st of May (May Day) is Labour Day in Romania which means that many get the day off. This is also the time when youngsters take the cheapest train and make their way to the seaside for the day.
May is still cold. You can sun bathe but the evenings are still nippy. The tickets are very cheap and most restaurants are just about opening up in preparation for the summer. Bathing in the sea is not recommended as the water can be as cold as 15 C degrees.
June is becoming warmer and towards the end of the month, the weather is less capricious. June can still have some rainy days which is why is cheap and comfortable.
July is hot, with long sunny days and pleasant evenings. The sea temperatures are perfect for swimming, but prices are quite high and Mamaia might be crowded.
August is the peak of the season. The beaches are usually full and prices are at their highest. The weather is excellent, with warm mornings, hot days and mild evenings. It really is a joy to be at the Romanian seaside.
Once August is gone, many hotels and restaurants start closing for the cold season. Some businesses will still advertise accommodation packages and if you are after a bargain, then this is the time to get a good deal.
Where to stay in Mamaia
Being the most popular beach resort in Romania, Mamaia has a tremendous amount of accommodation. It varies from luxurious hotels, through budget villas, to apartments just outside of Mamaia, in Constanta. Throughout the years I enjoyed all sort of stays. I recommend getting a hotel right by the beach, but note that they are usually the most expensive. If you are a budget traveller, renting an apartment just outside of Mamaia can be great, but unless you have a car or are prepared to cycle or walk for over half an hour, this may not be such great idea.
I used to visit Mamaia with my parents, once a year. We usually stayed in various all-inclusive hotels by the beach. However, there are plenty of restaurants and bars around for those interested in self-catering accommodation. Click to check the latest prices.
What to eat in Mamaia
In general, traditional Romanian food is not fish based. However, once you get to Mamaia, this changes entirely. You can order fresh fish, fishy pizzas and fishy snacks. One of the greatest things I used to love about the Romanian seaside, was the fresh anchovies. Fishermen used to sell fried anchovies in paper cones. Can't imagine anything better than walking on the beach and munching on crispy fish. I'm getting hungry!
When visiting Mamaia, I had this ritual whereby every day I would order seafood pizza for dinner. My family never liked it, but I couldn't imagine anything better and tastier. Seafood pasta is also pretty popular, usually served with a red sauce. Of course, traditional Romanian dishes are available at pretty much any restaurant.
As I used to visit Mamaia before the big internet era where people would check reviews online, I remember the struggle of finding a good restaurant. It would always be a hit and miss and once we would find one, we would become loyal customers. It's funny how times have changed.
You might find a few people walking around and eating corn on a cob. This is another childhood joy! You will find vendors by the side of the road, selling freshly boiled or grilled corn on the cob, popcorn and candy floss.
For dessert, I always ordered fruit salad. I would not recommend it to anyone, but as a child, it was my absolute favourite. Definitely loved that 20 years ago!
Temperatures in Mamaia
The district of Mamaia has a humid subtropical climate. The winters are cold and the summers are warm. November is the wettest month and August is the driest. January is the coldest month with around -2 C degrees, and July is the hottest with around 26 C degrees. During the summer it is not unusual to have up to 33 C degrees making it perfect for sunbathing.
What to do in Mamaia
Many come to Mamaia to enjoy the sun and the beautiful beach. There is more to this seaside resort than meets the eye. I absolutely love exploring Mamaia, and I adore the history behind Constanta, the nearby city. So here are the top things to do in Mamaia.
Chill on the beach
Of course, this is the number one thing to do in Mamaia. Get a book, sunbathe and get that awesome tan which makes you look glorious. You can either be by the seaside or just by the pool at your hotel.
Swim or Snorkel
The Black Sea gets really warm during the summer which makes it perfect for swimming. The Black Sea is quite wavy which means you can play in the water and jump with the waves. Sometimes the sea gets calm, which offers you the opportunity to snorkel around. There are some fish, crabs and jellyfish you could observe underwater.
Eat great food
I've already told you about the fresh seafood you can enjoy in Mamaia. Wondering what is left to do? Book your holiday and try each and every single traditional restaurant by the beach.
Enjoy the invigorating mud from Lake Siutghiol
Spend an afternoon mud bathing as the mud from Lake Siutghiol has incredible properties. Full of minerals, it does amazing things to your skin and joints. You will see vendors walking on the beach selling packets of mud. Massage the mud on your skin and joints and wait until it fully dries before washing it off in the sea. Feeling better already?
Walk on the beach
Once the sun sets, the evenings in Mamaia become pleasant and perfect for a walk on the beach. On a calm and cloudy night, you can hear the sea but not see the horizon which looks wonderful. It is really mystical and romantic.
Check the local funfair
At the edge of Mamaia resort, there is a funfair with various shops, restaurants and theme rides. It usually opens during summer and it is an exciting entertainment for the whole family.
Evening cocktails in a lounge bar
As Mamaia's popularity increased, many new lounge bars were opened on the beach. The decor is very inviting, with beds, sofas and comfortable chairs right on the sand. You can order great cocktails and listen to the relaxing chillout music. Shisha is also popular in Mamaia so sit back, relax and enjoy the tobacco free fruity flavoured smoked.
Aqua Magic Water Park
Aqua Magic is a themed water park where you can enjoy various water rides as well as daily shows and competitions. The price of the ticket is around £10 per adult and £5 for kids. Click to read more about Aqua Park Mamaia.
Check out Constanta
Take the bus from Mamaia to Constanta and discover the history of the city. You can visit the Casino Constanta a ghostly building which still looks glorious despite its fight against time. It was as majestic as Monte Carlo once upon a time, now just a relic left to be photographed by passers by. Check out the port in Constanta and if shopping is on your list, meander around the many shopping centres Constanta has.
What do you say? Are you ready to visit Mamaia? Did we forget something or wish to add something to the story? Let us know in the comments section below.