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Romania's third largest city is probably its most beautiful. Timisoara is a city of elegant squares and boulevards, tranquil gardens and fairy-tale churches, all with a fun-loving party vibe as well.
Timisoara was the epicenter of Romania's rebellion against Communism, and you can find out all about it at the inspiring Museum of the 1989 Revolution.
The city has over a thousand years of history to celebrate and wonderful architectural sights like its Old Town Hall and the stunning Baroque cathedral, as well as the impressive Timisoara fortress.
Timisoara has become a major cultural center in recent years. Independent galleries like Jecza or Helios are the major reason, and the Timișoara Art Museum is spectacular as well.
Timisoara is famous for its blossom and flowers, and the city maintains a gorgeous array of green spaces, like Roses Park, the Botanic Park and Poporului Park.
On the borders of Romania, Hungary and Serbia, the Banat is a magical region, offering spellbinding towns like Arad, ancient ruins, caves and dramatic beauty spots like the Nera Gorges.
Most visitors arrive in summer, between mid June and early September. If you love rock and dance music, early July is a good time to go, as Timisoara hosts its Revolution Festival.
Most people fly into Traian Vuia International Airport, which has connections to cities like Berlin and London. From there, take bus number 4 (RON2.50).
Trains arrive in Timisoara from as far afield as Vienna, Budapest and Munich, and the station is very centrally located.
From Bucharest, take the E81 then the A1 at Sibiu. Take the E70 from Belgrade, or the E75 then the A1 from Budapest.
Viitorul Transport and Normandia provide daily buses from Bucharest to the central bus station, which is just behind the train station.
Excellent hotels in Timisoara's historic center include the Do Stil Boutique Hotel, the North Star Continental Resort (which has a handy spa facility) and the Hotel Timisoara.
Cetate - The historic core of the city, Cetate was built by the occupying Ottomans as a fortress city, with the castle at its heart. Nowadays, it's a beautiful, cosmopolitan center for shopping and culture.
Fabric - Named after its high concentration of textile mills (now gone), Fabric is dotted with historical sights like Millennium Church and is also home to the Timişoreana brewery.
Calea Șagului - This southern suburb is home to the Museum of Communist Consumerism, a cluster of good hotels and fine restaurants like Homemade.
Trolleys, buses and trams ply the streets of Timisoara. Tickets cost RON2 for most journeys (a little more on Express buses).
Expect taxis to cost about RON2.20 for the meter drop, then RON3 per mile after that.
Car rental options include Budget, Agar and Maya, and you can find deals for as little as RON50 per day.
Timisoara is a great place to shop for vintage fashions, with huge weekend flea markets like Piaţa Mehala offering hundreds of stalls. Otherwise, Piaţa Victoriei is the main shopping area.
Local supermarkets include Billa and Kaufland. To give an idea of prices, 12 eggs will cost around RON6.50.
Timisoara has some genuine gourmet restaurants that match the best in Bucharest. Standout places include Caruso - which serves up experimental and traditional Romanian dishes - as well as Nora, where the grilled meats are exceptional. Meal prices start at about RON20.