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Guide to Mamaia, Romania

A comprehensive guide to Mamaia, Romania written by a Romanian born who visited this destination every summer for over a decade.

Guide to Mamaia Romania -  a beautiful starfish on the beach in Mamaia

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.

The best time to visit Mamaia is during the beach season which is between mid-June and early September. I went to visit Mamaia every single year for over 15 years. So here is a comprehensive guide to Mamaia with everything you need to know about this destination to plan your trip.

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About Mamaia

Mamaia became home to the first beach touristic location in 1905. Called Sea Baths, this beach 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 Hotel and Rex Hotel.
The second-ever hotel built in Mamaia was called Hotel 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, although it quickly bounced back as the go-to seaside destination in Romania. Nowadays with new government investments, it managed to attract more foreign tourists and become known as The Pearl of The Romanian Seaside.

About Mamaia

How to get to Mamaia

Mamaia is located just 231 km (143 miles) away from the capital city, Bucharest.

By car

Getting to Mamaia by car is the easiest and most cost-effective. It takes around 3 hours to 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.

By train

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. From Constanta main railway station you need to board bus number 100 which takes you straight to Mamaia. The bus journey lasts roughly 75 minutes. One train ticket costs £10-£15 per person per journey and the bus ticket costs 30 pence per person per journey. You can buy your train tickets to Mamaia online here.

By private tour

You can always opt for a private tour that takes you from Bucharest to Mamaia and back. With a private tour, you will have comfortable seats, a driver and you will visit certain attraction points during your excursion. You can prebook your private tour in advance here.

Cory from You Could Travel enjoying her summer holiday to Mamaia

When to visit Mamaia

The best time to visit Mamaia is between mid-June and early September. During this time, the average daytime temperatures range between 25 and 30 °C (77 and 86 °F). The water stays warm until mid-autumn and the average sea temperatures are between 21 - 25°C ( 69.8 - 77°F).

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 sunbathe 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. However, booking at the end of June is a good time.

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. In the evening, you'll walk by the beach without feeling cold and relax on the beach sofa beds which belong to the lounges or resorts in Mamaia. Is a fantastic time to visit.

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 beginning to mid-September is the time to get a good deal.

Visiting Mamaia Romania

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 sorts 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 a great idea.

I used to visit Mamaia with my parents, once every 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.

Oxford Hotel - This is a 4-star hotel located just a 13-minute walk from the beach. The hotel features accommodation with a shared lounge, a lobby bar, a restaurant and 2 conference rooms. Free WiFi and free private parking are available on-site. Prices start from £100 per night.

New Splendid Hotel & Spa - This is a wonderful adult-only 4-star hotel located just 200 yards from the beach. Breakfast is included in your price and the rate per night starts from just £139. If you're after comfort and luxury this is the best place to stay in Mamaia.

Hotel Milano Blue - A great 3-star hotel located on the beach. However, it's a good 45-minute walk from the main restaurants and bar. It is a nice walk, especially in the evening. Prices start from £87 per night.

Hotel Bavaria Blu - Ideal if you want to stay in a great 4-star hotel by the beach, with all meals included in your stay which makes it much easier for budget travellers. Prices from £133 per night with breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

What to eat in Mamaia

In general, traditional Romanian food is not fish-based. However, Mamaia is known for its fishing industry and its wonderful grilled seafood dishes. 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, more traditional Romanian dishes are available at pretty much any restaurant.

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.

Here are some of the dishes I recommend for you to eat in Mamaia:

  • Seafood pizza (Pizza cu fructe de mare)
  • Seafood pasta (Paste cu fructe de mare)
  • Fried whitebait
  • Fried anchovies
  • Boiled corn on the cob
  • Papanasi (special Romanian dessert with sour cream and jam)
  • Grilled squid with chips (calamari cu cartofi prajiti)
  • Grilled carp

There are some notable restaurants in Mamaia and around. Some of them will require you to get a taxi or drive to them but it's well worth it given that are an attraction on their own. I recommend that you try the following:

Sardines food mamaia

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.

Some winters, you can see the sea frozen at parts, making it a beautiful winter wonderland. Few people visit Mamaia outside of the summer season, as most hotels and restaurants are closed.

Temperatures in Mamaia, Romania month to month
Month High / Low(°C) Rain
January 4° / -2° 4 days
February 6° / -1° 4 days
March 9° / 3° 4 days
April 14° / 7° 4 days
May 20° / 13° 5 days
June 25° / 17° 5 days
July 27° / 19° 4 days
August 27° / 19° 2 days
September 23° / 15° 3 days
October 17° / 10° 4 days
November 12° / 5° 5 days
December 6° / 0° 5 days

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. I always recommend staying a minimum of 7 days in Mamaia as there's plenty to do and see. You can explore Mamaia and some days you can take day trips to see the nearby seaside towns. 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 that makes you look glorious. You can either be by the seaside or just by the pool at your hotel.

During the summer months, you will see many people just relaxing and getting a tan. Of course, the sun is quite strong so make sure to get good sunscreen. Unlike other seaside destinations, you don't need to wake up first thing in the morning to reserve a sun lounge. You can rent one on the spot and place it wherever you want it.

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. Get your snorkel set with you as on some occasions the sea gets really calm and you can observe the marine life. You'll see a variety of fish, jellyfish and lots of interesting seaweed.

beautiful seaside mamaia

Eat great food

Romanian food is wonderful and will leave you full and happy. Prices are affordable even when you eat out in a restaurant. There are so many restaurants in Mamaia and during the summer months, you will see and hear a wonderful buzz of happy people drinking and eating local food.

As previously mentioned, we recommend that you try some of the local seafood specialities. You can always ask for the catch of the day as nearby, in Constanta, there is a port where fishermen bring daily catches to. So you'll have access to fresh seafood every day.

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?

You can enquire about treatment at your local hotel or wait for mud vendors to come around the beach and sell you some. It's a good idea to keep a little cash with you just in case.

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.

Of course, you can walk on the beach during the day as well, which is super relaxing, especially during lunchtime. Please remember to wear sunscreen when you walk on the beach and the sun is especially harsh during lunchtime. Morning walks on the beach are known to be especially good for your health, as you will start the day with more energy.

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 exciting entertainment for the whole family.

This location is called the Holiday Village and it's on the south of Mamaia. The main attraction is called Luna Park and it's full of lights, colourful games and street food. It's a great place to visit after dark, especially if you plan to visit Mamaia with kids or teenagers. this is an ideal place to get some Romanian souvenirs as well.

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.

In the north of Mamaia, you will find some exclusive four-poster beds installed right on the beach, on the sand, with suave lightweight material for a private cocktail experience or a more exclusive party.

cocktail beach

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. You can read more about Aqua Park Mamaia and book your tickets in advance. Most hotels will also help you book daily tickets to Aqua Park as well. This is especially fun if you visit Mamaia with kids.

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 that 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.

Constanta is a city of 300,000 people so you'll find all the amenities you will expect in a city of its size. You'll find parks, restaurants, malls and quaint streets.

Visit Techirghiol for a spa day

Techirghiol is a small town near Constanta located just 30 minutes drive from Mamaia. You can drive your own car or get a cab there. Take a treatment mud that is organic and free from any chemical additives. You will pay a small entry to the lake area (£3) where you'll find changing rooms for both genders. There's a nude area and a family-friendly area, so you can pick whichever you are most comfortable with. The staff will provide you with black mud you will need to apply to your body. Then sunbathe and wait for the mud to dry out on its own. Now it's time to dive into the salty water.

Many come to Techirghiol for its healthy mud. The lake is very salty and it is believed that the mud can heal a wide variety of illnesses. It's a really unique thing to do when you visit Mamaia.

With so many fun activities it's easy to see why so many people come to relax in Mamaia. It's still a hidden gem when it comes to international tourism but it's quickly gaining popularity abroad. I can see why, as the temperatures are incredible, the sea is ideal for swimming and there are so many amenities for a perfect holiday.

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.

What do you think?

Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Your Comment

G
Gaby
03 Jan 2022

Ah Mamaia....so many memories. Beautiful destination.

T
Tudor Chirila
08 Jul 2019

Imi doresc acest lucru foarte mult