Timisoara is the regional capital of the Banat province, the abundant agricultural heartland of Romania, as reflected in the city’s many restaurants. It is Romania’s most cosmopolitan city, owing to its liberal history and the diverse ethnicities that make up its population. Timisoara has a large Hungarian population, as well as Serbs, Germans and Roma. It has been dubbed ‘the city of flowers’ in honour of the many parks which circle the city, but is most recently (and affectionately) known to its inhabitants as ‘Primul Oraş Liber’ – the first free town – in reference to its part in the revolution of 1989.
It was here that a Hungarian priest first spoke out against the dictator Ceauşescu, resulting in one of the most passionate revolutions in recent European history. The city has an easy-going Latin feel to it, with large squares lined by coffee shops and cafés and some fine architecture revealing the city’s Hapsburg past. It was the first city in Europe to introduce horse-drawn trams in 1869, and they are still here now – minus the horses! Today, people are quickly adjusting to the new democracy, with a thriving city centre and new ventures opening all the time.
The main square of Timisoara’s Old Town is the most picturesque and a focal point for the whole city. Named "Union Square" after the two cathedrals that face one another across it, this is the perfect place to relax in a café and engage in some people watching.
Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
Built in 1754, the same year as the Roman Catholic cathedral that it faces across the square, this immense building stands as a reminder that this city lies on the Serbian frontier, with a large Serb population calling the city home and many cultural ties across the border.
Irish Public House
Irish pubs all over the world serve as a friendly place for people to get together, drink beer and meet new friends. The Irish Public House, located just one minute away from Piata Unirii, is no exception.
Good to know
Timisoara has an extensive bus, tram and trolleybus network. Buses and maxitaxis can be taken from the bus station on B-dul Maniu Iuliu to nearby cities, as well as Hungary and Turkey.
For travelling around the city, the trams and trolleybuses offer the best option with 11 tramlines and 9 trolleybus lines connecting all the major venues, run by Regia Autonoma de Transport Timisoara (RATT).