11 Incredible Things to Do in Timisoara, Romania
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Last Updated on July 27, 2021
Timisoara is Romania’s third-largest city, after the capital of Bucharest and the second city of Cluj-Napoca, and yet it is a city that is often overlooked, with so many tourists heading to the smaller historical city of Brasov instead. But Timisoara is an incredible, colourful, and vibrant city that should not be overlooked.
The city of Timisoara lies on the western edge of Romania, in the region of Transylvania, and it is such a perfectly sized city for all that you would want to see and do. While Bucharest can seem a little too vast and spread out for a lot of visitors to see all of its attractions, try all of its best food, and explore everywhere on foot, Timisoara is a perfectly sized city, large enough to be impressive but small enough to be manageable and easy to explore at your own pace. Here are the best Timisoars attractions, as well as what to do in Timisoara and where to stay in Timisoara.
Photo by Laura Ghise on Unsplash
What to Do in Timisoara
Like every other city in Romania, Timisoara is packed full of historic and religious monuments and buildings that will take your breath away. What sets it apart as a city, however, is how colourful and vibrant everything is. These are eleven things to do for visitors wondering what to do in Timisoara.
Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Surrounded on all sides by a park dedicated entirely to itself, the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral is easily at the top of the must-visit religious historic buildings of Timisoara. Built in a neo-Byzantine architectural style (one of the coolest things about Timisoara is its massive mix of different architectural styles), this cathedral’s most jaw-dropping detail is its series of boldly colourful towers that bring so much majesty to the area.
Medieval Romanian towns are famous for their open squares, which were once used for everything from markets to public executions, with Brasov’s square being one of the most famous. But Timisoara’s Union Square is easily the most beautiful, thanks to its colourful selection of gorgeous buildings that frame it on every side, as well as its Victorian style street lamps and the two cathedrals sitting on opposite sides of the square, each built in a different architectural style.
As already mentioned, Timisoara is a vibrant and colourful city. In fact, it is known as the City of Flowers, and Roses Park is a key reason for that. Events and festivals are hosted here all year round, but seeing it in the summer is when the park is at the height of its beauty.
St George’s Cathedral
St George might be the patron saint of England, but he is also beloved across Europe, especially in Romania. Every catholic in Timisoara visits this cathedral often, since it is the anchor of the catholic community. The cathedral’s bold yellow facade is topped only by the interior decor and the artefacts found inside.
While Union Square is the more famous of the two, Victory Square offers even more to do. Victory Square is more a promenade than a square, with a long bed of flowers running down its middle and some of the city’s best cafes and restaurants lining it on either side. When researching where to stay in Timisoara, basing yourself at or close to Victory Square is more than ideal.
Timisoara Art Museum
A celebration of Romanian artists from across history, all found inside an enormous and inspiringly beautiful baroque building. Many of the paintings found here come from the Banat region of Romania, celebrating the local art of Timisoara.
Museum of the Communist Consumer
The most unique museum in the city is a time capsule that takes visitors back to how the average person in the communist era of Romania lived, resembling an apartment filled with original artefacts from that incredibly dark period of Romanian history. It’s also free!
Image by Jenny Friedrichs from Pixabay
Romanian Opera House
Almost 150 years old, and found on Victory Square, the Romanian Opera House is a daunting and massive building which plays host to some of the country’s best opera, ballet, and musical performances weekly. Tickets are incredibly affordable.
Museum of the 1989 Revolution
In 1989 the Communist oligarchy of Romania was overthrown, with its leader Ceausescu executed by firing squad on Christmas day. To learn all about this incredible year of public revolution in Romania, this museum will leave you in awe.
Banat Village Museum
This open air museum has stood for more than a hundred years and is a beautiful example of how people in the medieval Saxon villages of Romania used to live. To visit this village museum is to take a trip back in time to a fascinating and enlightening period of Romanian history.
Romulus & Remus Column
While the original sculpture can be found in Rome and commemorates the legend of the founding of the city of Rome, Timisoara has its own replica, found in Victory Square. It serves as a commemoration of Romania’s links to ancient Rome.
Image by stachelvieh from Pixabay
How to Get to Timisoara
While it’s quick and easy to get a train from Bucharest north to Brasov, then a bus further north to the second city of Cluj-Napoca, it’s less simple to get to Timisoara. If you’re travelling by land, you have two choices: get a train from Bucharest which takes you directly to Timisoara and is very affordable. It leaves daily but it does take ten hours. Getting a train from most other cities still involved getting a train to Bucharest first and then carrying on to Timisoara.
Your second land choice is by car. You can rent a car anywhere in Romania and then enjoy the country’s quiet open roads at your leisure. Renting a car in Bucharest, however, is not recommended. The city is congested and driving is obscenely aggressive. So head out to a smaller nearby town and rent a car from there.
Your other option is to fly. Timisoara has its own airport, as to Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest, so you can easily fly between these three large cities. Flights take minutes and are very cheap. So, if you’re happy to get through the airport preamble, a flight is the quickest and simplest way to get to Timisoara.
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My grandparents came to USA from small villages near Timisoara and I would love to visit the area some day to see their home towns.