This one is for you, city break lovers addicted to the long weekends out of town, the farther the better.
WizzAir has been targeting a wider audience over the last few years with destinations like Sofia and Timisoara, thus arousing the curiosity of those wise travellers who say “I’ve never been tere and I know nothing about it, therefore it deserves a chance”.
Well done, badasses! This is the right way to think and live.
The number of comments and requests for info on my post Things to do and to avoid in Timosoara, makes me think you need me!
For this reason, this post is dedicated to you, who are planning a short trip to Timisoara lasting a little longer than a weekend (or for a particularly intense weekend) and want to be sure about getting the best out of it.
Let’s start with the basics: what to see in Timisoara?
While walking down the streets of Timisoara, don’t forget one key thing: more than ten ethnic communities live here, such as Hungarians, Germans, Serbians, Italians and Bulgarians, and you can spot them all in the urban details and street furniture.
The charming and colourful historic centre makes you feel cuddled during your walks. The alleys share the same flavours as our historic centres, with Austro-Hungarian architecture details and the tops of orthodox cathedrals rising high to form a varied skyline.
Let’s talk about squares first: the most important ones are Plevnei Square, Victoriei Square, Libertăţii Square and Unirii Square.
The first, Plevnei Square, was born in 1900 with the extension of the urban centre. It features a style called “secession”, where animals and plants are depicted while moving.
Victoriei Square is the main central square with the beautiful Opera on one side and the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral on the other, facing each other at a distance and marking the beginning and the end of a square-boulevard with a flower-bed in the middle, where you’ll have the chance to taste some local street food.
Only a few meters away, there is Libertăţii Square, located within an old fortress and full of baroque and rococo details. Overlooking the square, there are the old town hall (belonging to the German community, whereas in the past the Serbian and Romanian communities had separate town halls), three military buildings and Casa Armatei, famous witness of the impossible love story between Ludwig van Beethoven and the fiancée of the commander of the Timisoara garrison.
Quando camminiamo per #Timisoara non dobbiamo dimenticare una cosa fondamentale: qui convivono più di dieci comunità etniche, tra cui ungheresi, tedeschi, serbi, italiani, bulgari e tutte si intravedono nei dettagli urbani. Il pittoresco centro storico accarezza le tue passeggiate. I vicoli hanno i sapori di nostri centri storici con i dettagli architettonici astroungarici e con cime di cattedrali ortodosse che svettano in vari orizzonti. La #neve è compagna dell’inverno e stormi di uccelli neri come esuli pensieri ammansiscono anche gli sguardi che vanno verso l’alto.
Then, there’s Unirii Square, probably the most beautiful of them all. The catholic dome and the orthodox cathedral are located here, facing each other.
On the western side of the square lies the building of the Orthodox Episcopate in Austrian-baroque style, with more recent details related to the Serbian national style.
The square has been recently renovated, with the addition of some very nice benches arranged in an irregular yet harmonious pattern, just like people meeting by chance down the street and sitting down to talk. Even the lighting at night is now amazing.
Moreover, there’s quite a number of parks, that is something I find particularly attractive, as you might well know.
Fresh and green, bursting with buds and colours in the spring and in the summer, or blazing with various nuances of red in the fall, the parks of Timisoara offer several kms for contemplation walks, open-air games as well as protected botanical species, as in the case of the Botanic park, a must-see destination for enthusiasts.
The Cathedral park is the perfect match for the first walk downtown, the right way to continue the path from the Opera building to the metropolitan Cathedral. Along the river there are many water features as well as contemporary art installations, bars and restaurants.
Torniamo in quel di #Timisoara, #Romania! Lo so che la @wizzaircom vi sta strizzando l’occhio con i suoi voli molto low cost e voi vi state chiedendo se andare e per quanto stare. Leggi il #linkinbio e sarà più facile trovare risposte 😜🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧have you ever visited Timisoara, in Romania? You should! And I tell you why in my blog 💋
I then suggest you spend a sunny morning or afternoon in Central Park and Roses Park, the latter a little less wild than the first, full of arches, hedges and obviously a thousand species of roses.
Beware! Sticking to the idea that rushing to “see everything” is a useless and barbaric practice, I suggest you take your time while walking and plan your journey based on the things you’re really going to like visiting.
Let me give you an example: I love theatre and anthropology, so I’d really like visiting a museum with restored local costumes but I would never visit an archaeology museum, because I lack the necessary knowledge to appreciate it thoroughly.
By the way, if the day is nice I would definitely go for a walk in the third park more than visiting my first museum.
This applies to any destination: learn to understand what you really like doing and seeing and do it without the burden of “seeing as much as possible”.
By the way, seeing everything is more or less like seeing nothing.
Banat, at least half a day but even longer!
The museul satului banatean (the Banat village museum) is an open-air ethnographic museum located northeast of town. It’s a faithful reconstruction of about 50 houses and rural buildings dating back to the nineteenth century and coming from different areas of the Banat region. Some houses still existed and were actually still intact, so in some cases they were simply moved to this area rather than rebuilt from scratch.
What’s peculiar about these houses is that they’re built according to the different styles of the European ethnic groups that lived in this area.
The open-air ethnographic museum is located in the woods of Padura Verde and it’s a pleasure to visit it especially when the acting characters/guides are around and explain everything.
Before going to the museum, I suggest you call and ask if all the houses are open and accessible and if acting characters or guides are available.
Writing is better than calling, because you never know the extent of their English when they pick up the phone: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your host or hotel keeper is kind enough to call and get information for you, the number to dial is +40 256 225 588
Address: Str. Avram Imbroane, Nr. 31, cod poștal 300129
Alba Iulia (3 hours drive)
If you have rented a car or plan to do it, take the chance to visit the closest city in the region of Transylvania and appreciate the landscape of local suburban areas. Alba Iulia is located at three hours drive from Timisoara and its historic centre is really peculiar.
To sum up, the key locations to visit are the fortified walls (designed by the Italian Giovanni Visconti in the mid 18th century), the catholic Church of Gyulafehérvár, the Batthanyeum library (for ancient codes enthusiasts), the orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification and the Princely Palace.
This said as a general itinerary, I also recommend enjoying the view of the city at sunset, with all its very peculiar lights that are reflected on the buildings and down the streets.
Bigar Waterfalls (4 hours drive)
For those who enjoy driving, a really nice place to visit are the Bigar waterfalls, about 4 hours drive from Timisoara.
This moss-covered cliff is like out of a storybook. The water flowing on it comes from an underground spring located on the mounts Anina.
This place is ideal for lovers of nature and breathtaking landscapes, but also if you’re one of those who always like to get back home with first-class memories and poster pictures (or worth a thousand likes on Instagram).
Cover pic by Credits. Gratziela Ciortuz.