Timisoara Travel Guide
Timisoara has slipped under the travel radar for many years. This situation will change in 2021, as it will serve as a European Capital Of Culture.
Visitors will quickly discover its attractive city centre, as well as its ties to the Romanian Revolution.
Pay a visit before the crowds do – we think this city will pleasantly surprise you.
Come check out our Timisoara travel guide for explorers as we cover the best things to do in Timisoara, Romania.
Begin your time here by taking a walk through the Historical Center of Timisoara. Its beautiful architecture played a role in it getting named the 2021 European Capital of Culture. As you stroll its streets, you’ll understand why – its Baroque buildings, which date from the Hapsburg era, stand out.
From its stylish opera house to its sweeping squares, this city will have under its spell in no time. However, there is more to this city’s history than just a bunch of pretty Baroque structures. Back in 1989, it was here where the Romanian Revolution began. We’ll get deeper into that later in this guide.
If you visit soon, though, do note there are tonnes of renovation projects that are in progress. 2021 is going to be a big year for Timisoara, so many key structures are getting a facelift. After you get your fill of sightseeing, stop for a coffee or beer alongside the central squares. Here, you’ll have a chance to watch as local Timisoara residents as they go about their lives.
If there’s one attraction you shouldn’t miss while in the centre, Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral should be it. This church stands out from others in Timisoara, as it boasts eleven towers, the tallest being 90 metres high.
Finished during the Second World War, this place of worship thankfully survived its ravages. Because of that, visitors can marvel at its rich architecture, which draws from several styles. As you check out its features, you’ll see elements of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Renaissance architecture. As you move through this place, check out its icons, which are this attraction’s top feature.
While this cathedral is a sacred place, it witnessed horrors in the opening days of the Romanian Revolution. On its steps, dozens of young protesters met their end. Out of respect for them and those who pray here regularly, respectfully conduct yourself. Don’t make noise, dress modestly, and refrain from using flash photography.
Want to learn more about the Romanian Revolution? Check out the exhibits at Memorialul Revolutiei, a museum dedicated to that time in history. Here, you’ll find memorials and several exhibition halls that detail the events of December 1989.
In them, curators have preserved the memory of the martyrs. They have also attempted to construct an objective version of events. As you explore, you will encounter stories and filmed accounts from those who were there. Other artifacts, like actual flags waved by protesters, will bring that alive for you. All in all, it’s an extraordinary place to visit while in Timisoara – don’t miss it.
Curious about how life was in Communist Romania? Get a peek behind the Iron Curtain by visiting Muzeul Consumatorului Comunist. Translating to “Museum of the Communist Consumer,” you’ll get to see the objects Romanians used back then.
Curators have configured the museum like a Communist-era apartment. As you explore, you’ll encounter artifacts like Romanian vinyl records, radios, TVs, kitchen implements, and more. Afterwards, have a drink at the lovely pub upstairs, and contemplate on what life was like then.
While in Timisoara, take time to check out the Banat Village Museum. This open-air museum opened for the first time in 1917. In all, you’ll find 30 different thatch huts here, which used to be home to rural peasants in Romania.
It’s a quiet place – outside of major holidays, you won’t find many people here. Of course, there’s a reason for this – there is a lack of information. Outside of the artifacts, you won’t have much to go on. For this reason, we recommend getting a guide before coming here.
If the weather is beautiful, relax by the Bega River. As you sit by its banks, watch as sightseeing boats and kayaks go by. In summers, scores of joggers and walkers will pass by on the paths behind you. If you want to be more active, feel free to join them.
If you’re a green thumb, you’ll want to chill out at Parcul Rozelor. Known as “Rose Park” in English, this green space is indeed known for its rose gardens. After the destruction of the Second World War, city planners also added tennis courts and an ice rink. Go ahead and try out either in-season.
If the weather is not cooperating with your sightseeing plans, salvage the day by visiting Iulius Mall. It has more than 450 stores to meet your shopping needs. However, it also boasts full-service restaurants, a swimming pool, ice rink, climbing wall, and much more.