TIMISOARA

Romania

One of the largest Romanian cities (the third most populous city in the country, as of 2011 census), with a population of 319,279 inhabitants, Timișoara is considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. The city is a candidate to become the 2021 European Capital of Culture.

Info Timisoara

introduction

Timișoara is the capital city of Timiș County, and the main social, economic and cultural centre in western Romania.

One of the largest Romanian cities (the third most populous city in the country, as of 2011 census), with a population of 319,279 inhabitants, Timișoara is considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. The city is a candidate to become the 2021 European Capital of Culture.

info
POPULATION : 319,279
FOUNDED :  1212 (as Temesiense)
TIME ZONE :• Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
LANGUAGE : Romanian (official)
RELIGION : 
AREA :• City 130.5 km2 (50.4 sq mi)
• Metro 1,070 km2 (410 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 90 m (300 ft)
COORDINATES : 45°45′35″N 21°13′48″E
SEX RATIO :• Male: 48.7%
• Female:51.3% 
ETHNIC : 
AREA CODE : 256
POSTAL CODE : 300001-300990
DIALING CODE :  +40 256
WEBSITE : www.primariatm.ro

Tourism

Timişoara is a university city and industrial center in western Romania. It is often described as the most cosmopolitan city in Romania.

The city center largely consists of buildings from the Austrian Empire era. The old city consists of several historic areas. These are: Cetate (Belváros in Hungarian, Innere Stadt in German), Iosefin (Józsefváros, Josephstadt), Elisabetin (Erzsébetváros, Elisabethstadt), Fabric (Gyárváros, Fabrikstadt). Numerous bars, clubs and restaurants have opened in the old Baroque square (Unirii Square).


THINGS TO DO

Enjoy nice coffee products in Piata Unirii (Union Square) or Piata 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. Timisoara is a very cosmopolitan city and if you ask around you can enjoy all kinds of activities.

History

Middle Ages

Timișoara was first mentioned as a place in either 1212 or 1266 as Castrum Temesiense. The territory later to be known as Banat was conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1030. Timișoara grew considerably during the reign of Charles I, who, upon his visit here in 1307, ordered the construction of a royal palace. Timișoara's importance also grew due to its strategic location, which facilitated control over the Banat plain. By the middle of the 14th century, Timișoara was at the forefront of Western Christendom's battle against the Muslim Ottoman Turks. French and Hungarian crusaders met at the city before engaging in the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Beginning in 1443, John Hunyadi used Timișoara as a military stronghold against the Turks, having built a powerful fortress. The city was repeatedly besieged by the Ottomans in 1462, 1476, 1491, and 1522.


16th–19th centuries

In 1552, a 16,000 Ottoman army led by Kara Ahmed Pasha conquered the city and transformed it into a capital city in the region (Temeşvar Eyalet). The local military commander, István Losonczy, along with other Christians were massacred on July 27, 1552 while escaping the city through the Azapilor Gate.

Timișoara remained under Ottoman rule for nearly 160 years, controlled directly by the Sultan and enjoying a special status, similar to other cities in the region such as Budapest and Belgrade. During this period, Timișoara was home to a large Islamic community and produced famous historical figures such as Osman Aga of Temesvar, until Prince Eugene of Savoy conquered it in 1716. Subsequently, the city came under Habsburg rule, and it remained so until the early 20th century, except for the Ottoman occupation between 1788–1789 during the Ottoman-Habsburg war. During this time, Timișoara evolved from a strategic fortress to an economic and industrial centre: numerous factories were built, electric illumination and public transport were introduced, and rail connections were established. The city was defortified starting in 1892 up until 1910, and several major road arteries were built to connect the suburbs with the city centre, paving the way for further expansion of the city.

It was the first mainland European city and second in the world after New York to be lit by electric street lamps in 1884. It was also the second European and the first city in what is now Romania with horse-drawn trams in 1869. It is said that Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, drew the projects of one of Timișoara's footbridges over the Bega, the "Metal Bridge", however, it was actually planned by Róbert Tóth, the head of the Bridge Department, at the Reșița rail factory.


20th century

On October 31, 1918, local military and political elites establish the "Banat National Council", together with representatives of the region's main ethnic groups: Romanians, Germans,Serbs and Hungarians. On November 1 they proclaimed in Timișoara the short-lived Banat Republic. In the aftermath of World War I, the Banat region was divided between the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and Timișoara came under Romanian administration after Serbian occupation between 1918–1919. In 1920, King Ferdinand I awarded Timișoara the status of a University Centre, and the interwar years saw continuous economic and cultural development. A number of anti-fascist and anti-revisionist demonstrations also took place during this time.

During World War II, Timișoara suffered damage from both Allied and Axis bombing raids, especially during the second half of 1944. On August 23, 1944, Romania, which until then was a member of the Axis, declared war on Nazi Germany and joined the Allies. Surprised, the local Wehrmacht garrison surrendered without a fight, and German and Hungarian troops attempted to take the city by force throughout September, without success.

After the war, the People's Republic of Romania was proclaimed, and Timișoara underwent Sovietization and later, systematization. The city's population tripled between 1948 and 1992. In December 1989, Timișoara witnessed a series of mass street protests in what was to become the Romanian Revolution. On December 20, three days after bloodshed began there, Timișoara was declared the first city free of Communism in Romania.

Climate

Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).

The climate which defines Timișoara city is the temperate-oceanic climate(Köppen: Cfb) and can be regarded as humid continental (Dfb) when using an isotherm of 0 °C (32 °F). The city characterizes the Southern-Eastern part of The Pannonian Basin.

  • Highest recorded temperature: 41.1 °C (106 °F) – 24 July 2007
  • Lowest recorded temperature: −35.3 °C (−32 °F) – 24 January 1963
  • Snow stays on the ground 30 days a year on average
  • Warmest month: July
  • Coolest month: January
  • Highest precipitation: June: 91.0 mm(3.589 in)
  • Lowest precipitation: February: 44.5 mm(1.737 in)

Climatic general features consist of various and irregular weather conditions. The dominating temperate air masses during spring and summer are of oceanic origin and come with great precipitations. Frequently, even during winter period, the Atlantic humid air masses bring rainy and snowy weather, rarely cold weather.

From September until February, frequent continental polar air masses coming from the East invade the area. In spite of all that, the Banat climate is also influenced by the presence of cyclones and warm air masses which come from the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean. Their characteristic feature is that of complete snow thaw during the winter period and stifling heat during the summer period.

Freak measurable snowfalls have occurred as early as late October and as late as early April, but snow in those months is rare, and significant falls do not usually occur until late November. The median date for the first freeze is October 22, while that of the last freeze is April 15.

Climate data for Timișoara, Romania

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec 
Record high °C (°F)17.4
(63.3)
20.5
(68.9)
28.2
(82.8)
32.0
(89.6)
34.5
(94.1)
38.4
(101.1)
41.1
(106)
41.0
(105.8)
39.7
(103.5)
33.8
(92.8)
27.1
(80.8)
20.2
(68.4)
 
Average high °C (°F)2.3
(36.1)
5.6
(42.1)
11.9
(53.4)
17.6
(63.7)
22.8
(73)
25.7
(78.3)
27.8
(82)
27.6
(81.7)
24.0
(75.2)
18.1
(64.6)
10.3
(50.5)
4.2
(39.6)
 
Daily mean °C (°F)−1.6
(29.1)
1.2
(34.2)
5.8
(42.4)
11.2
(52.2)
16.3
(61.3)
19.4
(66.9)
21.1
(70)
20.4
(68.7)
16.5
(61.7)
11.0
(51.8)
5.6
(42.1)
0.8
(33.4)
 
Average low °C (°F)−4.8
(23.4)
−2.3
(27.9)
1.2
(34.2)
5.8
(42.4)
10.1
(50.2)
13.4
(56.1)
14.6
(58.3)
14.3
(57.7)
11.2
(52.2)
6.2
(43.2)
2.1
(35.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
 
Record low °C (°F)−35.3
(−31.5)
−29.2
(−20.6)
−20.0
(−4)
−5.2
(22.6)
−5.0
(23)
2.2
(36)
5.9
(42.6)
5.0
(41)
−1.9
(28.6)
−6.8
(19.8)
−15.4
(4.3)
−24.8
(−12.6)
 
              
Source #1: NOAA
Source #2: Romanian National Statistic Institute 

Geography

Timișoara lies at an altitude of 90 m on the southeast edge of the Banat plain, part of the Pannonian Plain near the divergence of the Timiș and Bega rivers. The waters of the two rivers form a swampy and frequently flooded land. Timișoara developed on one of few places where the swamps could be crossed. These constituted a natural protection around the fortress for a very long time, however, they also favoured a wet and insalubrious climate, as well as the proliferation of the plague and cholera, which kept the number of inhabitants at a relatively low number and significantly prevented the development of the city. With time, however, the rivers of the area were drained, dammed and diverted. Due to these hydrographical projects undertaken in the 18th century, the city no longer lies on the Timiș River, but on the Bega canal. This improvement of the land was made irreversible by building the Bega canal (started in 1728) and by the complete draining of the surrounding marshes. However, the land across the city lies above a water table at a depth of only 0.5 to 5 metres (1.6–16.4 feet), a factor which does not allow the construction of tall buildings. The rich black soil and relatively high water table make this a fertile agricultural region.

This is a relatively active seismic area, and earthquakes up to 6 on the Richter scale have been recorded.

Economy

Timișoara has been an important economic centre since the 18th century when the Habsburg administration was installed. Due to Austrian colonisation, ethnic and religious diversity and innovative laws, the economy began to develop. The technicians and craftsmen that settled in the city established guilds and helped develop the city's economy. Notably, in 1717, Timișoara became host to the first beer factory in what is now Romania.

During the Industrial Revolution, numerous modern innovations were introduced. It was the first city in the monarchy with street lighting, and the first city in mainland Europe illuminated by electric light. The Bega river was also channelled during this time. It was the first navigable canal on current Romanian territory. This way, Timișoara had contact with Europe, and even with the rest of the world through the Black Sea, leading to the local development o fcommercialism. In the 19th century, the railway system of the Hungarian Kingdom reached Timișoara.

Timișoara was the first city in the country with international routes economic boom as the amount of foreign investment, especially in high-tech sectors, has risen. In terms of living standards, Timișoara ranks fourth nationwide. In an article in late 2005, French magazine L'Expansion called Timișoara Romania's economic showcase, and referred to the increased number of foreign investments as a "second revolution".

Apart from domestic local investment, there has been significant foreign investment from the European Union, particularly from Germany and Italy. Continental AG has produced tires since opening a plant in 2000. The Linde Group produces technical gases, and a part of the wiring moulds for BMW and Audi vehicles are produced by the company Dräxlmaier Group locally. Wiring for Volkswagen and other vehicles are produced at the German company Kromberg & Schubert. Also, Swiss company FM Logistic, already present in Timiș County for Nestlé, P&G and in Bucharest for Cora,L'Oréal, Sanofi Aventis and Yves Rocher, and for companies like PROFI Rom Foods, BIC, Kraft Foods or SCA Packaging—offering them domestic transport services and international transport services for Bricostore, Arctic, Danone,Unilever or Contitech, the growth of FM Logistic in Romania and in Dudești through its first warehouse in Romania (Dudeștii Noi gives FM the opportunity).Nestlé produces waffles here. Among the chain restaurants present are Mcdonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and Starbucks.

The city has two shopping malls: Iulius Mall Timișoara and Shopping City Timișoara. A third one will be completed in 2017, Timișoara Centrum. 

The USA company Flextronics maintains a workplace in the west of the city for the production of mobile telephony and government inspection department devices. In 2009, the company laid off 640 workers. The American company Procter & Gamble manufactures washing and cleaning agents in Timișoara. Smithfield Foods—the world's largest pork processor and hog producer—has two subsidiaries in Timișoara and Timiș County: Smithfield Ferme and Smithfield Prod.

Like most of Romania, Timișoara experienced economic slowdown in 2009, due to the global economic downturn.

Subdivisions

Timișoara city traditionally divided into ten parts, but now they have no administrative function.

DistrictArea (ha)Romanian nameGerman nameHungarian nameInstitution
I480CetateInnere StadtBelváros1718
II1017FabricFabrikstadtGyárváros1718
III668ElisabetinElisabethstadtErzsébetváros1890
IV442IosefinJosefstadtJózsefváros1744
V205MehalaMehalaMehala1910
VI231FrateliaFrateliaÚjkissoda1948
VII156FreidorfFreidorfSzabadfalu1950
VIII67PlopiKardos-KolonieKardostelep1951
IX72Ghiroda NouăNeu-GirodaErzsébetpuszta1951
X102Ciarda RoșieRote TschardaVörös Csárda1953

In the 21st century, Timişoara city is divided into quarters (cartiere):

  • Aradului vest
  • Badea Cârțan
  • Banat I
  • Blașcovici
  • Braytim
  • Bucovina
  • Calea Aradului
  • Calea Girocului
  • Calea Lipovei
  • Calea Șagului
  • Cetate
  • Chișoda
  • Ciarda Roșie
  • Circumvalațiunii I, II, III, IV
  • Complex studențesc
  • Complex
  • Crișan
  • Dacia
  • Dâmbovița
  • Elisabetin
  • Fabric
  • Fratelia
  • Freidorf
  • Ghiroda Nouă
  • Ion Ionescu de la Brad
  • Iosefin
  • Kuncz
  • Lunei
  • Matei Basarab
  • Mehala I, II
  • Mircea cel Bătrân
  • Modern
  • Noua Timișoară
  • Olimpia
  • Pădurea Verde
  • Plăvăț
  • Plopi
  • Ronaț
  • Soarelui
  • Stadion
  • Steaua
  • Tipografilor
  • Torontalului
  • Traian
  • Zona Odobescu

Internet, Comunication

To dial fixed phone numbers while roaming, use international prefix +40 followed by 256 for city prefix.

City Hall Internet Page: http://www.primariatm.ro/index.php?lg=en

Prices in Timisoara

PRICES LIST - EUR

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€0.85
Tomatoes1 kg€1.00
Cheese0.5 kg€3.10
Apples1 kg€0.75
Oranges1 kg€0.95
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€0.70
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€4.50
Coca-Cola2 liters€1.30
Bread1 piece€0.57
Water1.5 l€0.52

PRICES LIST - EUR

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€10.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€20.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€3.70
Water0.33 l€0.81
Cappuccino1 cup€1.25
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€1.60
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.15
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.05
Coctail drink1 drink€4.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€8.00
Gym1 month€30.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€4.00
Theatar2 tickets€28.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.16
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€3.40

PRICES LIST - EUR

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€5.70
Tampons32 pieces€3.60
Deodorant50 ml.€3.10
Shampoo400 ml.€3.35
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.25
Toothpaste1 tube€2.20

PRICES LIST - EUR

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€50.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€33.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€62.00
Leather shoes1€70.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.15
TaxiStart€0.50
Taxi1 km€0.50
Local Transport1 ticket€0.45

Tourist (Backpacker)  

38 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

87 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

The city is served by Romania's third-largest airport, Traian Vuia International Airport [www], located 10km away from the city center. It was the hub of Romania's second-largest airline,Carpatair As of May 2014, after bankruptcy, Carpatair no longer operates in Romania or Moldova. There are still flights from/to major European and one domestic destinations:

  • TAROM [www] has daily flights to Bucharest.
  • Lufthansa [www] has daily flights to Munich.
  • Wizz Air [www] has flights (not all daily) to Barcelona, Bergamo, Brussels Charleroi, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Forli, Frankfurt Hahn, London Luton, Madrid, Memmingen (Munich West), Paris Beauvais, Rome Fiumincio, Treviso and Valencia.

Connections to and from many European destinations (such as Manchester, UK) can be made by Lufthansa via Munich. Whilst Lufthansa is not a budget airline, their fares (even with a transfer) can match those of budget airlines who fly direct, if booked from the Lufthansa site and as one ticket.

The domestic airfare from Bucuresti (Otopeni/Henri-Coanda)to Timisoara can be cheaper than the first class sleeper train; the train takes at least nine hours with no refreshment facilities. The flight takes less than an hour; a transfer at Bucuresti Airport therefore can be a convenient alternative to flying directly to Timişoara .

A Romanian alternative to Timişoara Airport was the nearby airport in Arad. That airport is (from April 2015) closed for complete reconstruction. Beware of looking at a map to decide that the airports in Targu-Mures, Cluj, and Sibiu seem quite close by! By road or rail travel is likely to take many hours more than in Western Europe. That said, if your local airport only has direct flights to those airports it may be worth staying in a hotel to continue the next day to Timişoara.

Note that unless you are booking a hire-car on arrival, Beograd (Belgrade) Airport in Serbia (which appears to be close by) is not convenient. Public Transport between Timişoara is slow and virtually non-existent.

Express Bus line 4 links the airport with central Timisoara and line 4B goes to the main train station (fare: 2.5 RON (one way), tickets available at the parking ticket pay desk inside the terminal); car hire is also available.

Timişoara airport is small and has very few retail outlets (just the one "duty free" shop) and minimal refreshment facilities. There are two small self-service "bars" (after check in and security, one upstairs and one down) but no formal restaurant or bar. There is a smoking "cabin" and the toilets are (as is all the airport) very well kept.

Just outside the airport (on the roundabout) sits a faithful and rather touching reproduction of Traian Vuia's early aircraft - a cross between a bedstead, a bicycle and an insect - with its propellor casually turning in the wind.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

There are direct trains daily from Budapest (a 4 hours trip), Vienna(8 hours) and Munich (15 hours) [www]. For Belgrade, take the international train to Vrsac and change there to Belgrade Dunav (5 hours)[www]. Travelling to/from Szeged you have 2 trains daily at 7:50h and 14:48h: going first to Budapest and changing at Bekecsaba, arriving in Szeged at resp. 11:40h and 18:40h. There is no regular bus connecting these cities, the same goes. for Belgrade.

There are several trains to Bucharest and most major towns in Romania [www].

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

The bus terminal [www] (Autogara) lies two hundred meters to the south of the North Railway Station (Gara de Nord).

  • There was mention here before of buses to Vršac, just over the border with Serbia, but at time of writing (April 2015), no buses were running.
  • There are no direct buses to Belgrade. The easiest way to get to Belgrade is to book a shuttle bus with Gea Tours (www.geatours.rs). They generally leave in the morning (9am and 11am). They are a shuttle bus and do door to door pick ups and drop offs. This takes time however depending on how many passengers there are and where they are headed. Fare is 20 euros. It may not be comfortable being squeezed into a van but it is the most hassle free way to travel.

It is also easy to share a taxi in the direction of the border (Cenad), leaving at Calea Sagului.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

Belgrade (Serbia) is 150 km away ( a 3 hour drive).

Budapest (Hungary) is 286 km away ( a 3 hour drive).


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By Public Transport

Probably the best way to see the city is by taking a free tour of the city. Understanding that it's better to bring as many tourists as possible and not to charge them for everything, locals offer free city tours, mostly for English speakers but also for German/Hungarian speakers. A simple search on Google will find such free city tours.

The centre of Timisoara is relatively compact and walking is certainly feasible. The city has an excellent public transport service including trolleybuses, trams and buses. The majority of buses and trolleybuses are new. The trams are old German models, but are comfortable enough. Most of the tram and bus stops have digital panels which list the waiting times.

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 price for one ticket is just 2 Lei, around 0.5 € , and you can find them at newspaper/cigarette stands around almost every stop. You can also buy passes for a day, a week, two weeks or a month, on one, two or all lines. Single tickets and certain passes are available from the many kiosks which display the yellow RATT (the public transport concern) sign. For example on leaving the railway station, turn left: a cigarette/drink kiosk sells the tickets. Remember to put the little paper single tickets in the machine onboard the vehicle - this validates the ticket. The city has the most "welcoming" public transport system in Romania - tickets and information are easily found. The website is excellent and is written in Romanian and English: http://www.ratt.ro/

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

In Timisoara there is no shortage of taxis. You can reach about any point in Timisoara by paying a fee of 10-20 Lei (about 3-6€). 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 instead 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 at least 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.

Currently there's a running trial for an app for iPhone and Android called StarTaxi that allows you to request taxis using the smartphone and Internet connection. You can set it up to English language and as long as you have a clear GPS signal you don't even have to know your current address.

Transportation - Get Around

By Car

If you want to rent a car there are plenty of car rental companies. They offer good priced services and all types of vehicles. Car rental by Eurocars, Klasswagen, Autonom and several local providers (Maya Rent a car, Api Rent a car, Edi rent a car, CityCar) is available.

If you are trying to navigate to an address a lot of times you have to be careful as street names change. Try to request all former street names or your SatNav might not be able to find them. Sometimes people will give you the old name which is also a problem with online-based navigation software.

As in much of Romania, outside of the cities, public transport is sparse. But it is cheap and although it is slow, it is surprisingly efficient.

Transportation - Get Around

By Bicycle

Getting around the city is possible by bicycle, which you can rent at velotm, which has several stations in the city. It's for free for 1 hour. You cannot cycle in the city centre, where all these bicycle stations are situated... There are student bike for rent as well. 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. Be cautious when sharing the road with cars, as some drivers tend to utterly disrespect anyone travelling on two wheels (be it a bicycle or a motorcycle).

There is a separate bicycle route leading from Timisoara to Serbian border for 37 km, starting on Bega canal, but I couldn't find a decent map, just this FB page and news articles.

Transportation - Get Around

By Train

From the main railway station (Gara de Nord, reached by trams 1 and 8) there are two local train operators: the national CFR and the private company Regiotrans. The latter operates rather ramshackle (and incredibly slow) trains to small towns and villages. Their timetables (much reduced from April 2015) are here: http://www.regiotrans.ro/mersul-trenurilor-regiotrans-valabil-din-01-mai-2015 (scroll down to Timişoara to see the list of timetables). CFR operate fast/medium/slow trains to Arad (the fastest taking less than a hour - but you pay a lot more for the very fast trains. Still cheap however by Western European standards). CFR also operate a number of local train services (including two routes to Lugoj; these however do not always appear on the CFR website or timetables. Information is however displayed at the station in Timişoara (in glass cabinets along with much official material including rather obscure and detailed regulations, such as which musical instruments and non-infected livestock can be taken on a train - if you have brought along your medically clear oboe, you will be pleased to know you can travel).

Note that many small Romanian stations in the countryside have no platform, shelter,lighting or information. Indeed several seem to have lost their signs. Even the tracks will be covered in grass. Consult the timetables BEFORE you travel - as there may be only three trains a day, you must plan your day! Yahoo maps is one of the few online map websites prominently to display railway lines and stations (use the satellite option to get a feel!). It is surprising to see sizeable numbers of people suddenly emerging from nowhere to a tiny halt in the middle of a field (with no road access) which has only a rusty sign. Quite how those who do not have the Internet know when the train is due to arrive is a mystery, as is where they come from.

Some trains in Romania (fast and slow) seem to depart at the most peculiar times (such as 3am in the morning) - which can be useful for return from late night partying in Arad!

Transportation - Get Around

By Bus

Bus services in Timişoara depart from a number of points. Buses in Romania are generally as or more expensive than the train. They are however much more modern than the train and many are much quicker. Use this site to find routes and destinations: www.autogari.ro

For buses and trains there is no saving for buying return (round-trip) ticket and buying two singles clearly allows you some flexibility on the mode of return!

Taxis within the city are cheap, but the rate for out of town long distance is higher at 2.79 Lei (RON)per kilometre. Nevertheless, if three people (for example) are travelling, the taxi fare can reduce to the same price per person as one might pay for the bus or train in other countries. Hotels in Romania are cheap by Western European standards so if you do miss your last train it might be cheaper to book in at a hotel (even a four star) than pay for a taxi.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

In Timişoara you can buy everything, from well known brands to Romanian products. The important shops are located 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.

  • Piaţa Victoriei. The center 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 Timisoara.
  • Timisoara Shopping CityCalea Sagului 100 (On the Main street towards Belgrade). newest Mall in the city, with many international Retailers

Flea Markets

  • Piața Aurora (right next to Piața Flavia).
  • Piața Flavia (right next to Piața Aurora).
  • Piața Mehala

Restaurants

If you want to eat in Timisoara, you can find places for every budget. Because Timisoara was and still is a very cosmopolitan city, the local cuisine is influenced by Italian, Serbian, Hungarian, German, Turkish and Arabic cuisine.


Budget

  • Pan Rusovan (near Piata Victoriei). Well known for its sandwiches and burgers.
  • Da Toni Pizza (on Strada Daliei in the university district). Italian cuisine in a down to earth environment. The price for a pizza ranges from 5 to 10 €. Friendly home delivery service is also available.
  • Godfather Pizzeria (near Piata Victoriei). Renown for its signature dish, the fold your own Calzone.
  • Napoleon (in the Student Campus). A good place to eat a pizza or a hamburger.
  • Timișoreana (near the beer factory). Known for its barbecue meals and cold local beer.
  • Ready's (in the center of the Student Campus). A Greek restaurant with big portions.
  • The Sandwich Factory

Mid-range

  • 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. JuniorStr. 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.
  • Drunken Rat (on the North-East corner of Piața Unirii). Pub
  • Marele Restaurant ChinezescSimion 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.
  • TineczCalea Aradului. Very popular restaurant in Timisoara.
  • Stradivarius. Serbian cuisine, with a view.

Splurge

  • AquariumPiata 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 770422716fax: +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.

Sights & Landmarks


Parks

Timisoara is known in Romania as the City of Parks.

  • Botanical Park (Parcul Botanic) (near Union Square). 
  • Rose Park (Parcul Rozelor) (near Victory Square).
  • Central Park (Parcul Central) (near Victory Square, just behind the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral).
  • Children's Park (Parcul Copiilor).
  • Zoo (Grădina Zoologică) (Located in the same area as The Village Museum). It's a small zoo, but your children will love it.

Squares

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Maria Square (south of the metropolitan Cathedral in Elisabetin neighborhood). place where the Anti-communist Revolution started. Here you can also fin an incredible statue of St. Mary and the Cathedral of the Reformed Church

Places of worship

  • The Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă).
  • St. George's Cathedral (Catedrala Sf. Gheorghe).
  • Serbian Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă Sârbă).
  • Millenium Church (Biserica Millenium). Built in neo-romanesque style between 1896 and 1901.
  • Iosefin Synagogue (Sinagoga din Iosefin).
  • Fabric Synagogue (Sinagoga din Fabric). 
  • Citadel Synagogue (Sinagoga din Cetate).

Notable buildings and structures

  • Maria Theresia Bastion (Bastionul Maria Therezia). Part of Timisoara's old defensive walls. The Bastion is located near Piata Unirii, it has been recently renovated.
  • Huniade Castle (Castelul Huniade). The oldest monument of Timișoara, built between 1443 and 1447. Currently houses the Museum of Banat.
  • Decebal Bridge (Podul Decebal). Was the largest span bridge built on concrete beams in 1909's Europe and became a case study in the field for its innovation

Museums & Galleries


Museums

  • Museum of Banat (Muzeul Banatului).
  • Banat Village Museum (Muzeul Satului Bănățean) (Located near Padurea Verde (The Green Forest)). Here you can discover the Romanian tradition and traditional houses from different ethnic groups found in Romania.
  • Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă). Among the permanent exhibitions, here you can see the largest collection of Corneliu Baba paintings.
  • Revolution Memorial (Memorialul Revoluției), Oituz 2B (Just north of Unirii square, near the Faculty of Art). A great museum to visit to better understand what happened in the short seven days during which Romania got its independence. free.
  • Military Museum (Muzeul Militar). 
  • Communist Consumer Museum (Muzeul Consumatorului Comunist) (in the basement of Scârț Loc Lejer). 

Galleries

  • Galeria Calina. Contemporary art space
  • Jecza Gallery.
  • Calpe Gallery (it is located inside the city fortification, also known as the Bastion area).

Things to do

Enjoy nice coffee products in Piata Unirii (Union Square) or Piata 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. Timisoara is a very cosmopolitan city and if you ask around you can enjoy all kinds of activities.

  • The Banat Philharmonic (Filarmonica Banatul).
  • The National Theatre (Teatrul Național). 
  • Sala 2 (Teatrul Național Timișoara - Sala 2). This former stable was turned into a modern performance space by the National Theatreteam.
  • Centre Culturel Français (Centrul Cultural Francez). The French and Francophile communities of Timisoara frequent the local CCF which organizes exhibits, concerts, and various events.
  • Rent a bike (tBike), Circumvalatiunii Street,  +40 724 282453. 24.Explore the city of Timisoara with a bike. There are some special bike lanes in Timisoara but they are part of the sidewalk most of the time. Overall biking in Timisoara 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 Timisoara and Revolution from 1989. 25 ron.
  • The German National TheatreAlba Iulia Street (It is located in the same building as the National Theatre and the Opera).
  • The Hungarian National TheatreAlba Iulia Street (same place as the German Theatre).

Festivals and events

  • Plai Festival
  • Revolution Festival - music festival held in June at the Village Museum
  • Timișoara Jazz Festival (JazzTM) - a jazz festival that takes place outdoors, in Victory Square (and starting from 2016 also in the Civic and Justice parks), in July and brings to the scene international jazz artists
  • Teszt Festival - euroregional theatre festival
  • Timishort - Timishort is a short movie festival held since 2009
  • Ceau, Cinema! - Ceau, Cinema! is a "pocket-size" independent film festival that takes place in July made by volunteers and film enthusiasts with the support of local companies and cultural partners. It also takes place in Gottlob, which has the first reconditioned cinema in rural Romania. 
  • StudentFest – a festival of culture and arts created by the students which has been held ever since 1992
  • International Festival of Literature from Timișoara - the festival, held in October since 2012, brings together Romanian and foreign authors, for two days of lectures and open dialogue with the public
  • Street Delivery Festival – Organized in Bucharest, Timișoara and Iași, the festival reaches areas such as architecture, music, theater, dance and film
  • Timișoara Tango Festival – Argentine Tango event
  • ISWinT – The International Students Week in Timișoara

Nightlife


Clubs

  • D'Arc ClubPiata Unirii. A well known club located at the basement of an old building, is notorious for the Thursday Night Party and for being overcrowded. No entrance fee.
  • Club The Note. Probably the second best club in Timisoara. Well known for it's cocktails, weekend parties and concerts with famous guests. For a reservation you need to call days in advance. Entrance fee around 3€.
  • 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 Timisoara. Entrance fee around 3€.
  • TaineStr. George Cosbuc nr.1. Alternative Music and Rock can be found here.

Bars / cafes

  • Cuib d'Artestr. Mărășești nr. 14. Bar / cafe / tea house
  • Papillion Cafe (north of Piața Unirii). 24/7.
  • Reciproc. Cafe
  • Scârț Loc Lejer. Nicely decorated bar/cafe with comfy couches and free wifi. The Communist Consumer Museum hosted in their basement is worth visiting too!

Safety in Timisoara

Stay Safe


General precautions apply as with any East-Central European country. Timișoara is much safer on average than Romania as a whole - indeed Romania has much less street crime and burglary than (say) the UK.

Attacks from packs of stray dogs are now practically unheard of after a 'cull' (quite literally the drastic 'final solution') some years ago. Indeed if you have taken your dog on holiday (by means of a Pet Passport) never let it roam about in the street on its own even in villages. Locals may get away with it, but even then it is not unknown for villagers to shoot or poison what they say are stray dogs - even if they know it is their neighbours'. Taking a dog on a lead to the city centre is rarely done and you would be refused entry to all establishments and receive a cool reception even for simply walking with a dog. Indeed if your dog were to give someone a friendly nuzzle or lick at an table outside a cafe, you risk serious 'physical' consequences for yourself and dog, especially if the person's children are near. Never tie your dog up outside (say) a supermarket to shop. When you return your dog will almost certainly not be there and within a day or so it will not be anywhere, unless you believe in Canine Heaven or know which abattoir it has been taken to. Even blind travellers with guide dogs can have problems in this respect

As in all cities, keep valuables in your sight at all times or in a safety deposit box. Do not leave any visible objects hinting to valuables inside your car: backpacks, trolleys, jackets, purses, navigation devices, mobile phones, cash. There is clearly a chance (as in any country) that the car will be broken into.

Don't start fights and don't join fights. Be smart and leave. Don't let anyone harass you or allow strangers to take you to unknown places. Do not accept shady deals or gambling games done in the street or behind buildings. If a big fight breaks out in a club, leave immediately - the tactical police forces might be coming soon and they might 'pacify' everyone.

Beware of people posing as policemen, though that's usually rare. If you get stopped and it's somewhere dark, request that you go to a populated area to check the ids or inside the hotel or somewhere within range of surveillance cameras. Have only copies of your important papers on yourself and keep the originals at the hotel.

Very High / 9.5

Safety (Walking alone - day)

High / 7.6

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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