Timișoara is a university city and industrial centre in western Romania, with a multicultural heritage due to its location in the Banat region and a history of ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity.
Nicknamed the Little Vienna or the City of Flowers, Timișoara is considered the informal capital city of the historical Banat. The country's third most populous city is the economic hub of the region, with 319,000 (2011) and about 50,000 students from over 50 countries.
Timișoara, like many other large cities in Romania, is a medical tourism service provider especially for dental care. As a technology hub, the city has one of the most powerful IT sectors in Romania. Along with Oradea, Timișoara is part of the Art Nouveau European Route.
In December 1989, a series of mass street protests in Timișoara started the Romanian Revolution that overthrew the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu.
The city will be the European Capital of Culture in 2021.
- 1 Timișoara Traian Vuia International Airport (TSR IATA Aeroportul Internațional Timișoara - Traian Vuia). Romania's third-largest airport, 10 km away from the city centre. There are regular flights from/to numerous major European and domestic destinations: Bucharest (TAROM), Munich (Lufthansa), Barcelona, Bergamo, Dortmund, Forli, London Luton, Madrid, Paris Beauvais, Rome Fiumincio, Treviso and Valencia (WizzAir), Cluj and Iași (Blue Air), Berlin, London, Milan, Bucharest, Brussels, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf (RyanAir). Express Bus line 4 links the airport with downtown Timișoara (fare: 2.5 lei, tickets available at the parking ticket pay desk inside the terminal); car hire is also available.
The main railway station is 2 Timișoara Nord, located on Strada Gării 2, west of the city centre. There are direct trains daily from Budapest (a 5-hour trip) and Vienna (8 hours). There are numerous trains from Bucharest and most major towns in Romania. From Sibiu, for example, it is about 8 hours (73.50 lei, Sep 2018).
Direct trains from Belgrade have been discontinued but it is still possible to travel, with a simple change in the border town of Vršac. (The bus connection over the Serbia-Romania border does not run on public holidays, so check your calendar!)
The 3 Autogara bus terminal lies 500 m to the west of the Gara de Nord railway station. Tickets are purchased directly from the driver, but there are timetables and an information desk inside the small hut by the entrance.
Every day there is a bus from Vršac, just over the border with Serbia, ~2 hours. From Vršac there are many buses further into Serbia.
- Autogenn. Autogenn minibuses leave every 90 min from Oradea via Arad. They arrive in the carpark next to the Medlife clinic on Boulevard Gen. Ion Dragalina, the main road going south from Gara de Nord. (40 lei, 3 hr 15 min).
It is also easy to share a taxi in the direction of the border (Cenad), leaving at Calea Torontalului.
You could walk most places in central Timișoara, but there is a good transportation service including trolleys, trams and buses. The majority of buses and trolleys are new. The trams are old German models, but the travel conditions are quite decent. A major problem in Romanian public transportation is respecting a schedule. Timișoara makes no exception. Some of the tram and bus stations have digital panels which list the waiting times, but they're not always accurate.
There are two types of tickets, one for the three express lines (buses) and one for the rest of the buses, trams and trolleys. The prices for one ticket are around 3 lei and 1.5 lei respectively, and you can find them at press stands in almost every station. You can also buy passes for a day, a week, two weeks or a month, on one, two or all lines.
In Timișoara there is no shortage of taxis. You can reach about any point in Timișoara by paying a fee of 15-50 lei. Don't negotiate with the driver and insist for the meter to be turned on. If you don't want to overpay avoid private taxis and call for a local taxi company (Tudo, Radio, Timișoara, Autogenn, Fan or Prompt). The taxis licensed by the City Hall have a distinctive oval black sticker on the backseat doors, while the pricier, probably scam taxis have a sign on the top of the car which only says 'Taxi' and doesn't mention the name of the taxi company. These taxis are twice as expensive, but they are also legal. If you see a taxi driver approaching and asking you for a ride, reject it, and search for a local company taxi.
If you want to rent a car there are plenty of car rental companies. They offer good priced services and all types of vehicles.
Getting around the city is also possible by bicycle, and during rush hours with fair weather is far better than getting stuck in heavy traffic. There are also dedicated cycle lanes in some parts of the city (starting from the city center). However, be mindful of potholes popping up every now and then and be extra-cautious when sharing the road with cars, as some drivers tend to utterly disrespect anyone traveling on two wheels (be it a bicycle or a motorcycle).
Timișoara is known in Romania as the City of Parks.
- 1 Botanical Park (Parcul Botanic) (near Union Square).
- 2 Rose Park (Parcul Rozelor) (near Victory Square).
- 3 Central Park (Parcul Central) (near Victory Square, just behind the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral).
- 4 Children's Park (Parcul Copiilor).
- 5 Zoo (Grădina Zoologică) (in the same area as the Village Museum). It's a small zoo, but your children will love it.
- 6 Victory Square (Piața Victoriei). It's the symbol of the Romanian revolution. Here you can find the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral, the Opera House, the City Hall, the Philharmonic, the Museum of Banat and beautiful palaces built at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
- 7 Union Square (Piața Unirii). With its beautiful palaces and all the coffee houses it is the old city's center. Here you find St. George's Cathedral (The Catholic Dome), The Baroque Palace (now a beautiful art gallery), the Serbian Church and other important buildings.
- 8 Liberty Square (Piața Libertății) (between Piața Unirii and Piața Victoriei). A small square with old buildings. Here you can find the old City Hall and the beautiful St. Nepomuk's Statue.
- 9 Traian Square (Piața Traian). This is also a part of the old city, but is more quite like a separated neighbourhood, often called Fabric, due to his old factories around that used to run from old times. The buildings are beautiful, but be careful. Try not to visit the area at night and always keep an eye on your valuables. Nearby you can find Timișoreana brewery and Stefano Restaurant.
- 10 Maria Square (south of the metropolitan Cathedral in Elisabetin neighborhood). Place where the anti-communist revolution started in 1989. Here you can also find an incredible statue of St. Mary and the Cathedral of the Reformed Church.
Places of worshipEdit
- 11 Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă).
- 12 St. George's Cathedral (Catedrala Sf. Gheorghe).
- 13 Serbian Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă Sârbă).
- 14 Millenium Church (Biserica Millenium). Built in neo-romanesque style between 1896 and 1901.
- 15 Iosefin Synagogue (Sinagoga din Iosefin).
- 16 Fabric Synagogue (Sinagoga din Fabric).
- 17 Citadel Synagogue (Sinagoga din Cetate).
Notable buildings and structuresEdit
- 18 Maria Theresia Bastion (Bastionul Maria Therezia). Part of Timișoara's old defensive walls. The Bastion is near Piața Unirii; it has been renovated.
- 19 Huniade Castle (Castelul Huniade). The oldest monument of Timișoara, built between 1443 and 1447. It houses the Museum of Banat.
- 20 Decebal Bridge (Podul Decebal). The largest span bridge built on concrete beams in 1909 Europe, it became a case study in the field for its innovation.
- 21 Museum of Banat (Muzeul Banatului).
- 22 [dead link] Banat Village Museum (Muzeul Satului Bănățean) (near Padurea Verde (the Green Forest)). Here you can discover the Romanian tradition and traditional houses from different ethnic groups found in Romania.
- 23 Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă). Among the permanent exhibitions, here you can see the largest collection of Corneliu Baba paintings.
- 24 Revolution Memorial (Memorialul Revoluției), Oituz 2B (just north of Piața Unirii, near the Faculty of Art), ☏ . M-F 08:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. A great museum to visit to better understand what happened in the short seven days during which Romania overthrew its communist government in 1989. A 30-min video with English subtitles explains the events. Only some of the exhibits have English explanations. The thematic guided tours are available in Romanian, English, German, French, Italian, Hungarian and Serbian languages. 10 lei entry, photo permit 10 lei.
- 25 Military Museum (Muzeul Militar).
- 26 Communist Consumer Museum (Muzeul Consumatorului Comunist) (in the basement of Scârț Loc Lejer). 11:00-23:00. This "museum" is a collection of household items from the communist piled in several rooms in the basement of a funky cafe. Turn the lights on, and off when you leave. By donation.
Enjoy nice coffee products in Piața Unirii (Union Square) or Piața Victoriei (Victory Square). Taste the week-end nightlife by dancing all night long at Club The Note or D'Arc, or their summer locations, River Deck or D'Arc terrace on the shores of Bega Channel. Eat a great pizza or pasta at Da Toni, enjoy a nice beer at Bierhaus (you can find around 50 types of beer there), eat tasty Romanian food at Club XXI, don't miss the cocktails at River Deck or Club The Note. If you like shopping, Iulius Mall is the place to visit. Enjoy a nice walk in the Botanical Park. Timișoara is a very cosmopolitan city and if you ask around you can enjoy all kinds of activities.
- 1 The Banat Philharmonic (Filarmonica Banatul).
- 2 The National Theatre (Teatrul Național).
- 3 Sala 2 (Teatrul Național Timișoara - Sala 2). This former stable was turned into a modern performance space by the National Theatre team.
- 4 [dead link] Centre Culturel Français (Centrul Cultural Francez). The French and Francophile communities of Timișoara frequent the local CCF which organizes exhibits, concerts, and various events.
- [dead link] Rent a bike (tBike), Circumvalatiunii Street, ☏ . 24 hr. Explore the city of Timișoara with a bike. There are some special bike lanes in Timișoara but they are part of the sidewalk most of the time. Overall biking in Timișoara is not that easy so be prepared to share you bike path with pedestrians and parked cars. Often there is no bike lane and you have to cycle on the main road. You should also choose the bike tours of Timișoara and Revolution from 1989. 25 lei.
- The German National Theatre, Alba Iulia Street (in the same building as the National Theatre and the Opera).
- The Hungarian National Theatre, Alba Iulia Street (same place as the German Theatre).
In Timișoara you can buy everything, from well known brands to Romanian products. The important shops are in the city center. If you want an authentic adventure visit Piata Aurora or the Brancoveanu shopping area, but be careful and keep a close eye on your valuables. Police won't help you at all.
- Piața Victoriei. The centre of the city, with many shops.
- Iulius Mall. One of the biggest shopping malls in Eastern Europe. You can find many Romanian and international brands and a Cinema City multiplex there.
- Bega Shopping Center (near Hotel Continental). The first important shopping mall in Timișoara.
- Timisoara Shopping City, Calea Sagului 100 (on the main street towards Belgrade). It has many international retailers.
If you want to eat in Timișoara, you can find places for every budget. Because Timișoara was and still is a very cosmopolitan city, the local cuisine is influenced by Italian, Serbian, Hungarian, German, Turkish and Arabic cuisine.
- La cucina di Giordano (on Strada Daliei in the university district). Italian cuisine in a down to earth environment. Home delivery service is also available. Pizza €5-10.
- 1 Fast Food Sultan (just in front of the train station). Looks very crappy from the outside, but don't let that scare you away. This is seriously the best kebab/falafel place in town. Everything is fresh and home made. Be prepared to wait for a long time though: the owner is very slow and talks a lot with everybody that walks in.
- Godfather Pizzeria (near Piata Victoriei). Renowned for its signature dish, the fold-your-own calzone.
- Napoleon (in the Student Campus). A good place to eat a pizza or a hamburger.
- Pan Rusovan (near Piata Victoriei). Well known for its sandwiches and burgers.
- Ready's (in the center of the Student Campus). A Greek restaurant with big portions.
- 2 The Sandwich Factory.
- 3 Timișoreana (near the beer factory). Known for its barbecue meals and cold local beer.
- [dead link] Jolie Bistro, Eugeniu de Savoya 8 (Union Square, close to Liberty Square), ☏ . 09:00-23:00. All fresh ingredients, healthy and delicious food, good wines at decent prices, pasta fresca and big size salads
- 4 BioFresh. Delicious vegan food.
- 5 Casa Bunicii (Grandma's House). Serves really well cooked traditional and local food.
- 6 Casa Bunicii 2. This popular place opened a second location.
- Club XXI (in Piata Victoriei). Well known for the Romanian cuisine.
- D.A.F. Junior, Str. Gloriei, Nr. 5 (in the Eastern suburbs), ☏ . Romania meets Las Vegas! This surreal complex that includes bowling, bars and tennis also has a very good value restaurant with outside terrace. The dishes are enormous and lots of fusion Romanian cuisine on offer at very good prices.
- 7 Dinar. Serbian restaurant.
- 8 Drunken Rat (on the north-east corner of Piața Unirii). Pub
- 9 Marele Restaurant Chinezesc, Simion Bărnuțiu Street (near Piața Badea Cârțan). ~30 lei for a dish.
- 10 Marele Zid Chinezesc.
- Pasta e Basta (near Piața Unirii). Well known for very good Italian food, but is more expensive than Da Toni.
- Sabres. Sea food restaurant.
- 11 Suppa Bar. Soup restaurant.
- 12 Tinecz, Calea Aradului. Very popular restaurant in Timișoara.
- 13 Stradivarius. Serbian cuisine, with a view.
- Aquarium, Piata 700, City Business Center (go into the ground floor of the City Business Center and take lift to 6th floor), ☏ , , , fax: . One the chicest places in the city to eat; dine with a very international business crowd whilst relaxing on an outdoor terrace with views overlooking the entire city. The steak dishes are especially recommended! A main dish and a glass of wine cost on average €12-20.
- Casa cu Flori (near Piata Libertatii). International cuisine.
- 1 D'Arc Club, Piața Unirii. A well-known club in the basement of an old building, is notorious for the Thursday Night Party and for being overcrowded. No entrance fee.
- [formerly dead link] Club The Note. Probably the second best club in Timișoara. Well known for its cocktails, weekend parties and concerts with famous guests. For a reservation you need to call days in advance. Entrance fee around €3.
- [dead link] River Deck. This is Club The Note's summer location, on the bank of the Bega Channel. It's notorious for the weekend parties, but also for the excellent cocktails and the fusion cuisine. If you want to reserve a table for the weekend do it a week in advance, because this is one of the trendiest places in Timișoara. Entrance fee around €3.
- [dead link] Night Club Shark House, Str. Mures nr. 48, ☏ . Girls.
Bars and cafesEdit
- 2 Cuib d'Arte, str. Mărășești nr. 14. Bar, café, tea house
- 3 [dead link] Papillion Cafe (north of Piața Unirii). 24/7.
- 4 Reciproc. Café
- 5 Scârț Loc Lejer. Nicely decorated bar/cafe with comfy couches and free Wi-Fi. The Communist Consumer Museum hosted in their basement is worth visiting too!
- 6 [dead link] La Căpițe. Beer garden with good events.
- 1 Hostel Costel, Str. Petru Sfetca nr.1 (former Vidra), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A house and huge garden with lots of common places, a really big and nice equipped kitchen. Free Wi-Fi, lockers in every room and friendly hosts who can help with every question. €11-13 (dorm) or €30 (double).
- Freeborn Hostel, Str. Patriarh Miron Cristea Nr. 3 Ap.1 (formerly Asanesti), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Clean, cozy hostel in the centre. One minute walk from main attractions, cafes, restaurants, clubs and parks. Free Wi-Fi, internet, Wii console, fully equipped kitchen, hair dryer, large lockers in the room. €11-13 (dorm) or €32-35 (double).
- 2 Hotel Arizona, str Musicescu no 168, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotel has an accommodation capacity of 60 persons in single rooms, double rooms, triple rooms and suites. Rooms are equipped with TV, telephone and air conditioning, guests will benefit also a high speed wireless internet connection in entire hotel free of charge. The exterior parking and the courtyard parking of the hotel have non-stop video surveillance for your vehicle's safety. €100 double.
- Casa Leone, B-dul Eroilor (Southeast of University), ☏ . Free Wi-Fi, garden, they speak good English, German, Hungarian, French, German, Italian. Double room €35 with breakfast included.
- Directia Taberelor, str. Mihai Eminescu nr. 3, ☏ . Youth budget accommodation, very central. 50 lei/night.
- Hotel 2000. It has a swimming pool, but there's no water in it.
- NH Timisoara, Strada Pestalozzi 1/a, ☏ . Modern hotel has 80 well-furnished rooms, a relaxation center and state-of-the-art meeting rooms. Rooms from €65.
- Hotel Valentina, Str. Mehadia. Friendly staff. Special rates for various occasions or length of stay.
- Hotel Continental. The best known hotel in Timișoara.
- Hotel Elysee. The only 5-star hotel in Banat. It's located near Timișoara, in Sacalaz.
- Hotel La Residenza, str.Independentei 14, ☏ . Shakira stayed here for her concert.
- 3 Vila Americana, Str. Avram Imbroane 74 (Green Forest), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Four-star villa close to the Green Forest with apartments and pool, visited by diplomats and officials. From 311 lri.
There are free public toilets underneath Piața Unirii.
- Deta (40 km south)
- Jimbolia (45 km west) – a small town 40 km west of Timișoara on the border with Serbia; several interesting cultural and recreational attractions.
- Arad (60 km north) – citadel, old town with Art Nouveau buildings, Cultural Palace; twelve trains per day, taking 50 minutes.
- Lugoj (60 km east) – 1½ hours by bus.
- Sânnicolau Mare (65 km northwast) – birthplace of Béla Bartók; 2 hours by bus.
- Deva (155 km east) – There are eight trains daily, taking 3½ hours.
- Szeged (115 km northwest) – largest city in Southern Hungary, famous for salami, paprika and sunshine; 1½ hours by bus.
- Kikinda (70 km west)
- Vršac (75 km south) – Serbian border town; there are two trains per day from Nord Train station (1½ hr).
- Belgrade (150 km southwest) – Serbian capital; via Vršac.