Timișoara is a small city in the northwest part of Romania, it is the capital of the Timiș county, and it is one destination which has so far surprised me at every turn.
Timișoara is the perfect stop, especially if you are tired of the big-city hustle from places like Budapest or other capitals. Timișoara boasts a small-city feeling and yet there are plenty of things to do in Timisoara. The buildings are beautiful, many open-air terraces and cafés, and some of the nicest people in this side of Europe.
Things to Do in Timișoara
Stroll Through The Many City Squares
Timișoara is a city of many plazas, or city squares, and all of them are a fantastic place to stroll down and people-watch sitting on one of the plaza benches, or in one of the outdoor terraces.
Victorei Square: The unofficial city center of Timișoara, Victorei Square is always packed with both locals and visitors during the day and night. The square is filled with restaurants and coffee shops, and in the center, a fountain which illuminates at night.
Unirii Square: My favorite square by far, Unirii Square not only offers a great place to relax and outdoor terraces to chill at, but also has amazing baroque-style architecture surrounding it. The colorful buildings surrounding the plaza and the church on the north-east side of it give Unirii Square an amazing retro feel while maintaining a city charm.
Plata Libertatii: The smallest of the plazas in Timișoara, Plata Libertatii is located in between Victorei Square and Unirii Square.
Check Out the Catedrala Mitropolitană (Orthodox Cathedral)
Located right at the end of Victorei Square, the Catedrala Mitropolitană is the tallest building in all of Timișoara and the tallest church in all of Romania.
Views of the cathedral are particularly beautiful at night from Victorei Square, when both the park and the path leading to the cathedral are illuminated.
Wander Through The Streets Looking At Abandoned Buildings
A large number of buildings in Timișoara are (or at least seem to be) abandoned, many of which are within the city center area. Many of them are covered with graffiti, brotken windows, and decrepit walls.
The details on some of these buildings give away their origins to the communist era. The graffitis on them speak loudly about the student community in Timișoara, in an attempt to add their own flare of creativity to the city.
Visit Timișoara’s Many Parks
For such a small city, Timișoara has many parks surrounding the city and more specifically, the city center.
A walk alongside the Bega River in the south of the city will give you an opportunity to see one of best green areas within the city.
How Long to Stay
As each traveller is different, your needs may be different than mine. But Timișoara’s sights can be seen in one day, and therefore a one-night stay in the city is enough.
But if you’re anything like me, you will fall in love with the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere reigning throughout the entire city, and eventually you will end up staying longer.
If you do choose to stay, there are a few day-trips you could do from the Timișoara.
- Visit the city of Arad (50 KMs north of Timișoara).
- Visit Corvin Castle in the region of Hunedora (about 2.5 hours car ride from Timișoara).
- Visit the ancient Dacian cities in Costești (3 hours car ride from Timișoara).
Timișoara might be a small city, but it is definitely worth a short stop in your way into or out of Romania.
Have you ever been charmed by a small city and were unable to leave? Such was my experience in Timișoara, where I planned to stay 2 days and stayed 5. What is yours? What do you thing on this list of things to do in Timișoara?