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If you’re basing your Transylvanian stay in Alba Iulia or Cluj-Napoca, Rimetea Village in Romania is a place that you simply must visit. This UNESCO World Heritage Hungarian village has a history dating back over 1000 years. Nestled in the Trascau Mountains, Rimetea (Torockó in Hungarian) is consistently touted as one of the most beautiful villages in Romania. The quaint white houses, all with deep green shutters, with the rocky crag of Piatra Secuiului looming in the background, is a popular spot for visitors as a day trip.
We’ve visited Rimetea pretty often at this point, as we have been looking for a village house to purchase. One of my stipulations is that it has to be a beautiful village, and given its close proximity to our family in Cluj County, Rimetea is the perfect option. Sadly, no luck yet, but we are still looking! Here are our suggestions on spending a perfect day in Rimetea Village, one of the best things to do in Romania.
Where Is Rimetea Village?
Rimetea is a small village in Alba county, Romania. Despite its location in Romania, it is considered a Hungarian village, as most of the native population is ethnic Hungarian. If you’ve read a few articles on this blog or know a thing or two about Transylvania, you understand the territory politics and why there is such a large Hungarian population.
Rimetea is in the Trascau Mountains, part of the Apuseni mountain range of the Western Carpathians. The large peak you see in most of the pictures of Rimetea is that of Piatra Secuiului.
From Alba Iulia, Rimetea is less than a 1 hour drive.
From Cluj-Napoca, Rimetea is 1 hour and 10 minutes away by car.
How To Get To Rimetea, Romania
From Alba Iulia
If you have access to your own or a rented vehicle, driving to Rimetea takes less than 1 hour by car.
If you’re relying on public transportation, a bus gets you there in about 3 hours.
A taxi ride costs roughly $35 USD.
Guided tours are offered from Alba Iulia to Rimetea. Sometimes, it’s nice to leave the logistics to the professionals.
With your own vehicle, or a rental car, the drive will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Getting to Rimetea with public transportation is about the same as coming from Alba Iulia. A taxi also costs around $35 USD.
Plenty of guided tours are available.
The bus takes slightly less time coming from Cluj-Napoca, with the total ride taking about 2 hours.
Best Time To Visit Rimetea Village
Rimetea Village is beautiful all year round. If, however, you plan on doing some hiking, we recommend visiting during the shoulder season. The shoulder season in Rimetea falls during spring or autumn. The temperatures are not too high and there aren’t as many tourists as in the summer.
Summer brings a lot of tour buses in, and there are lines to get into the village’s few restaurants.
Winter landscapes are beautiful, with the surrounding mountains covered in snow, but hiking will be difficult, if not impossible.
All things considered, it’s a beautiful tourist destination in any season. It just depends on what you’d like to do there.
Things To Do In Rimetea
Try Langos & Kürtőskalács
The village only has two teeny-tiny restaurants. So, don’t be surprised if you have to stop at a langos stand to find something to snack on. Langos and Kürtőskalács are traditional Hungarian snacks or street food, one savory and one sweet.
Langos (pronounced lang-osh) is a deep-fried flatbread that’s offered with a variety of toppings. I usually get mine with cheese, garlic, and (very little) sour cream. The most common variation is with cheese and sour cream.
Kürtőskalács, aka chimney cakes, are spit-roasted cakes that form a paper towel-like tube. A strip of dough is spun around the spit and covered in sugar. As it roasts, the maker bastes it with melted butter until it’s a delightfully crispy, yet fluffy, golden brown. Usually they will offer a little ground walnut or cinnamon to sprinkle on the finished product.
There are two different street trucks in Rimetea that serve these traditional treats, no doubt capitalizing on the fact that the restaurants cannot accommodate the number of people visiting the village.
Lose Yourself in the Streets of White Houses with Green Shutters
Rimetea is famous for its white houses with green shutters and unique architecture. The entire village is in the same design, resembling something out of a storybook. Out of the 300 houses here, over half of them retain the original architectural style. The houses are washed in lime with ornate plaster details on the facades and on the window sills. Most of the houses have window boxes of red geraniums. The white facade, green shutters, and red flowers all add to the beautiful colors of the Hungarian flag.
Hike Piatra Secuiului
Starting right from the center of Rimetea village are many different paths that will lead you on a fun hike up Piatra Secuiului. Piatra Secuiului resembles a huge, flattened mesa made of limestone and halved by a ravine. The northernmost tip of the ravine is Colții Trascăului. Because of the presence of the ravine and the sheer enormity of Piatra Secuiului, the villagers living here get to witness an unusual phenomenon – two sunrises per day! If it’s possible, try to book a stay at one of the cazare in Rimetea in order to set your alarm early and see the sun rise twice in one morning.
To hike all the way up and back down Piatra Secuiului will take about six hours, so plan accordingly if you want to reach the top.
Visit the Ethnographic Museum
The Ethnographic Museum in Rimetea, Romania is actually located inside the City Hall. Although small, it’s an interesting place to visit to see some antiquities and relics from the region’s history. Plus, from inside the museum you can see this great view!
You can check out traditional furniture, embroidered clothing, painted vessels, and other miscellaneous items.
Take Beautiful Photos of the Local Churches
The Unitarian Church is in the center of Rimetea, and is the more historically significant church. It’s one of the very few fortified churches in northwest Transylvania.
The Orthodox Church is much newer. It’s built in the Neo-Byzantine style and is often featured in photographs of the village due to its strategic placement in front of Piatra Secuiului. The composition makes it a very popular spot with photographers.
Enjoy a Late Lunch at Conacul Secuiesc
If the few restaurants in Rimetea are full, don’t worry! We have a great option for you nearby. Conacul Secuiesc is a bed and breakfast. It’s one of the most beautiful properties in the area, and people flock here in droves. It’s a very popular place to visit when visiting Rimetea. The food is outstanding, the service is the most professional I’ve seen in Romania, and the views are spectacular.
You can enjoy a leisurely lunch followed by a water lily-covered lake, immaculately manicured gardens, and a beautiful courtyard. If you’ve got kids in tow, there’s a designated play area for them, where they can enjoy the playground and the fresh air of the Apuseni mountains.
It does get very busy here – last time we were not able to grab a table. I strongly suggest making a reservation in order to secure your spot.