Baia Mare is the largest city in the Maramureş region. Quite possibly some of the friendliest people you will meet in Europe. Originally part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the city and surrounding area has a significant Hungarian population. Unlike many cities in Europe with a complicated history, however, the citizens of Baia Mare are quite happy to discuss in detail the history of the region and will entertain questions from visitors without becoming offended.
Maramures has its own sub-dialect of Romanian. Those who have learned some Romanian via an audio book prior to their trip or have spent any time in southern Romania may be confused with the pronunciation of specific words (e.g. "bine" is pronounced "bean-yeah"), however, Maramuresans tends to speak a bit slower than people in southern Romania and may be easier to understand to a foreigner trying to pick up the Romanian language.
The city has undergone a revival in the last years.
There are buses regularly connecting with Satu Mare between 8:00 and 20:30h. Buses to Sighetu Marmatiei - Solotvino (Ukraine) run regularly between 7:00 and 17:00h. See autogari.ro for timetables. There's also minibuses going to/from Debrecen airport (stopping in Satu Mare) see edmeeatrans.ro.
There are several great places to visit in the area by bike. The city has several well equipes bike rental shops, though opening hours vary. Check for example if a shop is open on Saturday.
Taxis are among the most expensive in Romania, but the chances of getting ripped off are virtually inexistent. You can get from one end of the city to the other side for roughly 25 to 30 lei. Stick with the company Galant; their drivers tend to be younger, which means the likelihood that the drivers speak English is much higher, which can be useful when trying to get around the city.
The main attractions in the region around Baia Mare are some of Unesco World Heritage Wooden churches, which are 20 km distance from the sity. The city centre has a lively old town square called Piata Libertatii, where you can find outdoor eating and drinking. You can walk from Piata Libertatii to the nice park Parcul Tineretului, where you find 2 museums: Muzeul de Etnografie and further uphill Muzeul Satului.
Near Baia Mare lies a great, green mountainous area, where you can hike and mountainbike with many marked trails. Breb is a wonderful destination about 40 km from the city, with many guesthouses, hostels and bike rentals available. Check Breb and visitmaramures.ro for detailed information.
Regular buses can get you to Sighetu Marmaţiei. About 20 min. from this border town you can find the famous Happy Cementery of Sapanta.