19th January 2016

Five Good Reasons to Fly to Timisoara

Mild Climate: Check. History and Culture: Check.  Lively Nightlife: Check.   Timisoara in western Romania ticks all the usual short break boxes, but if you’re curious to discover more about this city and the beautiful Banat region, here are five more reasons why Timisoara should be on your city-break radar…

The Storybook Look


Timisoara is known as ‘Little Vienna’ for good reason. From the buildings in the city centre with their rose pink and pistachio-coloured facades to the cobbled streets and baroque palaces and castles, this is a city that looks like it was dreamt up by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen. Nowhere is this more evident than in the architecture of the beautiful Victory Square with its Opera House and Orthodox Cathedral and in the oldest quarter of the city, Unirii Square.


World Class Wines


An impressive range of award-winning wines are produced from grapes grown in the Banat region. According to legend, this region of Romania was where Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, spent most of his childhood. The Recas Vineyard, which dates back to the 15th century is just a short drive from Timisoara and is well worth a visit, but if you don’t have time for a day trip, there are numerous good wine bars in the city centre, not least Barrio Wine Bar on Piata Unirii  where you can raise a glass of the region’s best reds.


Gateway to Natural Beauty


bigar waterfall

Bigar Waterfall


The Banat region is a wonderland for hikers and outdoor adventurers. Cameras and selfie-sticks at the ready for the other-worldly Bigar Waterfall which is located just two hours from Timisoara in the Izvor Bigar reservation. When it comes to active breaks, Semenic National Park offers a range of challenges, from wildlife trails through ancient forests to treks that reveal some of Europe’s most spectacular caves.

A City of Firsts

Unirii Square in Timisoara, Romania pigeons flying sunny day



The city’s major claim to fame is that it was the first European city to introduce electric street lighting (1884), second only in the world to do so after New York. Back in 1869, Timisoara was also among the first European cities to provide horse-drawn trams as public transport, but in the 20th century, Timisoara really pushed the envelope when its citizens kicked off the Romanian Revolution that ended Ceausescu’s regime in 1989.


Hearty Food and Drink


romanian food


The Timisoareana Brewery which dates back to 1718 offers taste tours of the brewery’s unfiltered beer. For an introduction to authentic local grub, head to Casa Bunicii where you can try big hearty Romanian dishes such as Sarmale cu mamaliga (cabbage rolls with rice and meat served with polenta).  One of the best things about eating out in Timisoara is that it doesn’t cost the earth – it’s a university city, meaning prices are always budget friendly.


Flights to Timisoara


Have you been to Timisoara?  Are you a local?  Feel free to add advice and tips for Timisoara in the comments section below.

Fiona Hilliard

Fiona Hilliard

A love of new cultures is what drives Dublin travel writer Fiona Hilliard to explore the cities of Europe and beyond.


  • ludovic

    Small mistake: Apuseni Natural Park is not quite in this region.

    20th January 2016 at 11:47 am
    • Fiona Hilliard
      Fiona Hilliard

      Thanks Ludovic, we have now updated the article to include Semenic National Park, which is much more convenient to Timisoara.

      20th January 2016 at 12:20 pm
  • Andrea

    The many parks perfect for afternoon strolls & the theater with very affordable plays in German/Hungarian/Romanian (with subtitles, sadly only in Romanian though) might also be worth mentioning.
    and “Casa Bunicii” is a really good tip – it’s one of the best restaurants in town.

    20th January 2016 at 9:49 pm
    • Rosanna

      We have had a diner last Tuesday at casa Bunicii… very good indeed! 🙂

      23rd June 2017 at 2:26 pm
  • Casa Bunicii

    Thank you for mention us 🙂

    21st January 2016 at 7:39 am
  • Andrei

    Hi there!
    You like Wien? then you definitely have to visit “the little wien” that is Timisoara.
    You like flowers? Timisoara is known also as “Flower’s city”.
    Would u like to watch theatre scenes, but you only know english or deutsch? No problem. Timisoara is the only city in Europe with theatre in 3 languages: Romanian, Magyar and Deutsch.
    Are you a jew? We have 3 Synagogues! all 3 very impressive!
    You like art? We’ve got the Baroc Palace where is also the Art Museum.
    You like to take a walk on the river or next to them by foot or bike? Then you must come to Timisoara: From this spring we’ll get BegaBus (Bega is the river who flows through the city). Also we have bike-roads just near the river.
    You like art, muzic and culture? Well… in Timisoara you’ll see all of these. Come in summer, you’ll see The heart’s festival (Festivalul Inimilor), Jazz Festival or Bega Boulevard with a race of plastic ducks! You don’t have time to travel in summer? Mmeh..ok. But you don’t have any excuse if you miss the Baroc Festival in October!
    Or maybe you’re just a young person not interested of culture and history, you just like house music, drinks and having fun. That’s perfect! Timisoara is a young city, full of students. In fact is the biggest university center in west Romania.
    Nice girls, cool DJ’s, cheep beer!

    Don’t miss Timisoara! You will never regret beeing here!

    21st January 2016 at 7:00 pm
  • Robert Schwartz

    Casa Bunicii is great, indeed. But you have to try Caruso, too. One of the best fine dining restaurants in that part of Europe. I’ve been there in April and had a very good experience.

    26th May 2016 at 3:36 pm
  • Blondbluey

    Wonderful city! Ryanair made it so reasonable and easy to visit this Romanian gem this past September.

    12th January 2017 at 1:13 am

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