Timisoara

Travel Guide Europe Romania Transylvania Timisoara

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Introduction

Cathedral, Timisoara

Cathedral, Timisoara

© ian 800gs

Timisoara is a city in the Transylvania region in western Romania. The city has been designated European Capital of Culture for 2021 together with Kaunas in Lithuania and Elefsina in Greece.

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Sights and Activities

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.
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.
Maria Theresia Bastion (Bastionul Maria Therezia). Part of Timisoara's old defensive walls. The Bastion is near Piata Unirii; it has been renovated.
Huniade Castle (Castelul Huniade). The oldest monument of Timișoara, built between 1443 and 1447. It houses the Museum of Banat.
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.
Revolution Memorial (Memorialul Revoluției), Oituz 2B (just north of Unirii Square, near the Faculty of Art), ☏ +40 256 294 936. 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.

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Getting There

By Plane

Timișoara Traian Vuia International Airport (TSR IATA Aeroportul Internațional Timișoara - Traian Vuia). Romania's third-largest airport, 10 km away from the city center. 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 - late 2016), Berlin, London, Milan, Bucharest, Brussels, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf. 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.

By Train

The main railway station is 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!)

By Bus

The 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.

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Getting Around

You could walk most places in central Timisoara, 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. Timisoara 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 Timisoara there is no shortage of taxis. You can reach about any point in Timisoara 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, Timisoara, 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).

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Eat

BioFresh. Delicious vegan food.
Casa Bunicii. (Grandma's House) Serves really well cooked traditional and local food.
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), ☏ +40 256 395998. 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. edit
Dinar. Serbian restaurant.
Drunken Rat (on the North-East corner of Piața Unirii). Pub
Marele Restaurant Chinezesc, Simion Bărnuțiu Street (near Piața Badea Cârțan). ~30 lei for a dish.
Marele Zid Chinezesc.
Pasta e Basta (near Piata Unirii). Well known for very good Italian food, but is more expensive than Da Toni.
Sabres. Sea food restaurant.
Suppa Bar. Soup restaurant.
Tinecz, Calea Aradului. Very popular restaurant in Timisoara.
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.), ☏ +40 356 170380, +40 728444618, +40 770422716, fax: +40 356 170380. Arguably the chicest place 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.

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Drink

Cuib d'Arte, str. Mărășești nr. 14. Bar, café, tea house.
Papillion Cafe (north of Piața Unirii). 24/7.
Reciproc. Café.
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!
La Căpițe. Beer garden with good events.

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Sleep

Hostel Costel, Str. Petru Sfetca nr.1 (former Vidra), ☏ +40 724 213631, ✉ office@hostel-costel.ro. 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), ☏ +40 743 438534, ✉ freebornhostel@gmail.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).
Hotel Arizona, str Musicescu no 168, ☏ +40 755 149 849, ✉ info@hotel-arizona.ro. 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), ☏ +40 256-292621. Free Wi-Fi, garden, they speak good English, German, Hungarian, French, German, Italian. Double room €35 with breakfast included. edit
Directia Taberelor, str. Mihai Eminescu nr. 3, ☏ +40 256 490469. 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, ☏ +40 256 407440. 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 Timisoara.
Hotel Elysee. The only 5-star hotel in Banat. It's located near Timisoara, in Sacalaz.
Hotel La Residenza, str.Independentei 14, ☏ +40 256 401080. Shakira stayed here for her concert.
Vila Americana, Str. Avram Imbroane 74 (Green Forest), ☏ +40 733 550844. 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.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes exist in most cities and towns. The number of internet cafes seems to be declining in bigger cities recently because of cheap availability of computers and the rising living standard here. Wifi is widely available in University areas, airports, public squares, parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pay-as-you-go Wifi is also available in many venues. If uncertain, look for plazas near the Town Hall, large parks or other important buildings. Most (if not all) McDonald's restaurants and Starbucks in Romania have Wifi access and so do most 3-star (and higher) hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Romania's country code is +40. To dial to other countries from Romania, dial 00 and then the international number usually without the first 0.
Public phones work well and are available in all areas. You must purchase a phonecard from a kiosk to use them. When dialing within Romania, dial 0 + three digit area code + six digit telephone.

There are five networks - four GSM/3G (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Cosmote and DigiMobil) and one CDMA (Zapp). Orange and Vodafone have almost full national coverage (98-99% of the surface of the country), while the newly-merged Cosmote+Zapp are expanding quickly. Tariffs are average for the European Union (€0.08-0.30/min, €0.04 per SMS). Both pre-paid cards and subscriptions are available, and special options for discounted international calls exist with some pricing plans. Roaming is available but is, like in most of the EU, rather expensive. Pre-paid cards or recharge codes can be bought in almost every shop, either rural or urban.

On prepaid SIMs you can activate extra options ("extraopţiune") starting from €5 (+ 24% VAT) in total = RON27-32, with a validity period of 30 days, containing thousands (200 -3,000) of minutes and SMSs within the same network and up to 100 minutes outside the network, including most European Union fixed land-line networks and two or three mobile networks.

Post

Posta Romana is the national postal service of Romania. Postal services are generally very affordable, reliable and reasonably fast. Post boxes are red and can be found near the post offices, along the street or in main train stations. Post offices can be found in even the smallest towns and the opening hours are generally Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 12:00, closed on Sunday. You can buy stamps here or at kiosks. Prices for international mail start at around €0.55 and takes at least 3-5 days to countries within Europe. It's slightly cheaper and faster for domestic mail to be send. Intercontinental post is slightly more expensive but takes much longer. For slightly more expensive but faster and more reliable services you can also try international courier companies like TNT, DHL, FedEx or UPS.

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Accommodation in Timisoara

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This is version 14. Last edited at 14:34 on Nov 26, 19 by Utrecht. 33 articles link to this page.

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