Exploring Romania’s second-largest city
Boasting with a Western atmosphere, Timisoara is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. A tourist destination in itself, the city also rewards those who come here for other purposes or just transit it on their way to other places. Either you come to Timișoara for a couple of days or you just stop to admire the buildings’ architecture, to hide from the sun in a shaded park or to grab something to eat, you will be impressed by what the city has to offer.
Below we have listed the top things to do and see in Timișoara. Try them all – or at least one of each category – to make sure you completely grasp the spirit of the city!
Museums & Historical Buildings
Everywhere you turn, you are surrounded by Baroque palaces, imposing historical buildings and elegant houses with Secession facades. A “living proof” and one of the most representative historical buildings is Maria Theresia Bastion, a remnant from the first half of the 18th century, now housing several exhibitions. If you want to find out more about the history of the city and the region, you should turn your steps to the archaeology and history sections of the Museum of the Banat.
If you are more of an art-lover, you can head to the Art Museum, housed by the majestic Baroque Palace, to retrace the artistic fervour and development in the area from the 18th century to the present day. For those interested more in how the people from Banat and Timișoara lived, rather than in how they expressed themselves, the open air Banat Village Museum is a faithful re-creation of the traditional peasant lifestyle.
Churches & Other Places of Worship
One may not necessarily be a fervent believer to be able to understand and appreciate the diversity and beauty of the places of worship in Timișoara, rightfully considered a melting pot of religions. In large squares or hidden between trees or houses, big or small, Orthodox or Jewish, Romanian or Serbian, these quiet sanctuaries are so different that you cannot simply say that stepping inside one is enough.
The most beautiful churches are located in the two central squares of the city. The colourfully-roofed Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral watches over the Victory Square, while at the two opposite ends of the Union Square stand the Baroque Roman-Catholic Dome and the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. Halfway between these two squares, you can also spot the so-called Synagogue from the Citadel, which is not the only place of worship for the large Jew community in Timișoara. Iosefin Synagogue and Fabric Synagogue, named after the neighbourhoods they were erected in, are other exquisite religious edifices built in Moorish style. If you go visit them, don’t miss the Roman-Catholic Millennium Church in Fabric, built in brick in a Neo-Romanic architectural style.
Parks & Gardens
When it comes to parks in Timisoara, you are allowed to be picky, as there are enough for everyone. Tens of parks, most of them spread along the banks of Bega River, offer people a shaded retreat from the hot summer months and the tourist hustle and bustle, as well as a nice place to enjoy fresh air, the smell of flowers and a refreshing run in the evening. While the couples will surely head to the Roses’Park, parents can take their kids to the recently opened Children’s Park or to the far-off, yet very modern Zoological Garden.
Coming to Timișoara and not going paddle boating on the Bega River is like going to the seaside and not entering the sea! Joke left aside, in the past year the city has faced an increase in the leisure and entertainment activities on the river. You can go paddle boating, kayaking and – our favourite – water walking, which means you are put inside a large inflatable sphere that floats on the surface of the water.
If after a day of exploring the city you want to recharge your batteries with some gastronomic delights, Timișoara has a lot of great restaurants on offer. After all, it depends on you and your culinary preferences. Those who are tempted by hearty Romanian traditional dishes can take a short walk from the city centre to Casa Bunicii Restaurant, where they will feel like in their grandmothers’ homes. Fish and seafood are the main stars at Sabres Fish Restaurant, while the Brazilian, French and Mediterranean cuisines perfectly blend in the menu of the highest dining venue in Timișoara, Sky Restaurant.
Bars & Clubs
When you get thirsty, you can head to D’Arc Terrace for a local beer. This is one of the most popular bars and terraces in Timișoara, as it is situated on a boat anchored on the banks of Bega River. In the downtown you can find numerous other bars and pubs, as well as many nightclubs where you can dance till the break of dawn. From rock and retro clubs to fashion and indie clubs, Timișoara’s nightlife leaves you no chance to get bored…or sleep!
With a rich historical heritage, but also boasting with a modern, vibrant life, Timișoara is a perfect city-break destination. Multicultural and diverse, benefiting from a lively atmosphere and stunning sites, you will never get short of choices on how to spend your time here!