Since Timisoara will be in the spotlight in 2023 as the European Capital of Culture, you might be wondering what the best things to do and see in the city would be if you decide to visit before or during that time.
And that is what we will talk about in today's article. I have to share no less than 19 amazing things to see and do in Timisoara this year!
Timisoara is a truly multicultural and multifunctional center in Romania. Many cultural and artistic manifestations, fairs and festivals are organized here throughout the year. And in 2023, everything looks better than ever.
Furthermore, we are talking about the largest city in western Romania, which has played an important historical role in the country's political and cultural development.
For example, this is where the Romanian Revolution of 1989 began, resulting in the removalNicolae Ceausescufrom power and put an end to communist rule in the country.
It is also one of the four major Romanian academic centers. This makes it a city full of students, with a young atmosphere that can be felt in almost every part of the city.
But even if you are not passionate about history, there are plenty of things to see and do in Timisoara that have little or no relation to historical knowledge - and many do.
That's why I decided to take you through a complete tour of all the amazing things you can do, see or discover in Timisoara. As you know,I like Timisoara very much– a city that has grown tremendously in the last few years.
I guarantee that if you read this entire article, you will find some really exciting things that you will want to try in Timisoara!
So without further ado, let's move on19 of the best things to do and see in Timisoara!
1. Walk around Victoria Square
The first on the list is of course the city centre. There is always traffic here, making it the most "lively" place in town.
And this is reinforced even more by the often organized concerts, festivals and fairs. Victoria Square is the most central part of Timisoara.
You can just stroll around here and enjoy the historic buildings, or eat at one of the many central restaurants and fast food places.
Here you can find the "Wolves" monument, the "Lupa Capitolina Landmark" or the "Lupoaicea statue". It is a replica of the legendary statue that tells the story of Remus and Romulus, the two founders of Rome, who were raised by a she-wolf.
You can also admire the beautiful fish fountain in Victoria Square or feed the hundreds of pigeons that come here.
They are so used to people feeding them or playing with them that they will even climb on your hands, arms or head while waiting for food.
And if you can't wait to eat... there are some great restaurants in the area where you can try Romanian food or enjoy delicious ice cream in the warmer months.
2. Enjoy a theater performance at the Romanian National Opera
On the same Victoria Square is the Romanian National Opera. Several theater performances and operas take place here at regular intervals.
So if you are nearby and passionate about this kind of art, don't hesitate to buy a ticket and enjoy a local show. Here, 2023 will certainly have more to offer than ever!
3. Light a few candles in the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral
Opposite the Romanian National Opera is the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral. It is a symbol of Timisoara that cannot be missed while in the central area.
It is the largest building in the entire city, so it can be seen from many different neighborhoods around the center.
Behind the cathedral you can take a short walk in the forest park. There are many fir trees and benches to keep you cool in the summer. If you walk a little way down through this park, you will come to one side of the Bega River.
If you are interested in museums and art history, the underground of the cathedral is open to the public. This is a museum where you will find a lot of different objects of past church art.
If not, you can at least enter the church and admire the architecture, the chandeliers, the icons and the paintings on the walls. You can also light candles and buy souvenirs or religious items in the small shop at the entrance.
4. Listen to a symphonic concert at the Banatul Philharmonic
Very close to Victoria Square is the Banatul Philharmonic. It is a musical institution in Timisoara with its own symphony orchestra and professional choir. It is located to the left of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
According to your preferences, you can see two main categories of performances at the Philharmonic. You can go to symphony/opera concerts or a jazz festival if you travel in the summer.
You can also go to stand-up/magic shows, as the auditorium is often rented out to performers for these types of shows.
5. Visit the open-air museum in Anton von Scudier's Avenue of Personalities in Central Park
If to the left of the Metropolitan Cathedral there is a philharmonic orchestra, then to the right of the building there is another interesting tourist site.
Just outside the tram stop is one of the entrances to Central Park. It has been renovated recently and everything looks really well maintained.
In addition to numerous monuments, statues, exotic trees, flowers and pavilions, you will also find the Avenue of personality here.
On both sides of the avenue there are numerous sculptures of busts of historically important personalities for the culture of Timisoara or Romania.
6. Watch live street art performances in Libertatii Square
If you start walking from Victoria Square down the street to the right of the Opera House, you will cross a promenade covered with colorful umbrellas and you will reach Libertatii Square.
The oldest square in Timisoara, also called "Red Square", is a beautiful place where you can often find street artists painting, drawing or showing off their talents during live shows.
Talented artists spray painting graffiti and guitarists cheering up the mood are the most common performers.
But you can also often see flutists, voice artists and a pianist who contribute to the artistic or cultural atmosphere of the area.
7. Have a drink at Unirii Square
If you continue along the same pedestrian street as Plac Libertatii, you will come to another place connected to it: Plac Unirii.
This is perhaps the most popular with people going out as most of the restaurants, pubs and bars are located around the square.
8. Explore the Baroque architecture of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. George
If you are already sitting in Unirii Square, I highly recommend going into the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. George.
In addition to the unique Austrian Baroque architecture, the building is also one of the city's landmarks.
Also called the Roman Catholic Dome of Timisoara, this is one of the unique churches that houses an organ.
That is why several organ concerts are organized here, because there are fantastic acoustics inside. You should definitely take a few minutes to visit it if it's open.
9. Connect with nature in the Botanical Park
A little further from Unirii Square is the Botanical Park. It is close to the Kommunale Akuthospital, but there is no noise or trouble from the park side.
In fact, it is the best place in the city to get in touch with nature, take long walks, run, socialize or walk your dog if you are traveling with one.
In the Botanical Park you can admire several species of tulips, daffodils, roses and trees. There are lots of alleys, fountains, lakes, rocks, huge tree roots and small bridges all around.
And if it's quiet enough, you might even spot squirrels running around in the trees.
10. Check out Iulius Town: a mini-town built in the city of Timisoara
Continuing from the Botanical Park, you soon reach what used to be called "Iulius Mall". Originally a rather lush shopping mall, the structure literally became a mini-city in the city of Timisoara.
The project is specially designed in such a way that the whole area includes everything a city should have: shops, office buildings, a business center, apartment blocks, a gym, accommodation options, a huge park with beautifully decorated streets, kiosks, restaurants, cafes, schools and not only.
You can go shopping in Iulius Mall, where there is a supermarket and lots of clothes shops, cafes and restaurants, or just enjoy nature.
Large avenues are surrounded by green areas with grass, trees and flowers, benches, pavilions and even a lake with bridges and ducks.
In addition, speakers are strategically placed on the sides of the hallways and constantly play atmospheric music for the most soothing experience.
11. Step back in time to your childhood at Ion Creanga Children's Park
Timisoara is one of the Romanian cities with an impressive number of green spaces. So if you expected Central Park and Botanical Park to be the only maintained, popular parks, here's a surprise! There are many others where you can spend time!
Ion Creanga Children's Park is one of them.
Even if you have or don't have children, Børneparken is a good place to spend time and remember your own childhood.
When I took our kid there, he loved the place as much as we did!
It is primarily an amusement park for children, where you can find sugar barrels, slides, swings, a functional railway, lakes, green areas and other interactive structures.
But also for adults, it can offer unforgettable walks along beautiful alleys surrounded by trees and street lights. and food. Delicious fast food!
It is especially romantic in the evening, when the place becomes really quiet and lit by lamps on both sides of the alleys.
It is also close to the Begi River bank so you can continue your relaxing walk from the park to the river bank.
12. Scent of the roses in Rosenparken
I won't lie, if you come here in the winter there isn't much to see or do. If you come in winter and there is not even snow on the trees, the park looks quite deserted, monotonous and sad.
If you still want to go, I recommend walking around the part of the park connected to the banks of the Bega River for a more lively view.
Summer is the real thing at Roses Park because it's all about the beauty and perfume spread by blooming roses.
If you are here in summer or autumn, you will be greeted by a rainbow of colors (white-pink-red-orange-yellow shades of blooming roses or an autumnal palette of falling leaves).
These colors make it one of the best places in Timisoara to take memorable photos for your album!
A plus for visiting in the summer is that several concerts, dance performances and culinary festivals, such as seafood, are organized here. So there is also an impulse for entertainment and activity.
13. Explore Bega by ship, hydrobike or kayak
Now this is one of my favorite things about Timisoara, and also something that makes this city one of the most special in Romania.
The Bega River, which I have mentioned so many times in the article, crosses an impressive distance from the city. In fact, Timisoara is one of the few navigable cities in Romania.
This gives residents and visitors the privilege of participating in numerous boating activities.
You can rent hydrocycles, boats or kayaks to cross the entire length of Bega, together or with friends.
Or you can buy a boat ticket for only €0.50 and use the boat as a means of transport.
On both sides of the river, special stations have been set up in many different places in the city, so that people can use the ship as a means of transport.
Here, too, I will share with you the secret of witnessing the most breathtaking sunsets. A walk along the river bank or sitting on the bridges is a good idea.
The sun in the evening takes on an orange-red color, and when it sets, it is perfectly reflected in the flowing water, creating a fascinating view.
It can be romantic, relaxing or inspiring. But overall, the river Bega is one of my favorite things to see and discover in Timisoara and I definitely recommend not to miss it!
14. Photograph the neo-Romanesque architecture of the Millennium Church in the Fabric District
If you move to another part of the city, you can find the Millennium Church in the Fabric district. This is the historical center of Timisoara and the church is the largest Roman Catholic building in the city.
You cannot cross this place off your bucket list, especially if you are passionate about history, religion or architecture.
The Millennium Church has significant cultural and historical significance and is a perfect illustration of the neo-Romanesque architectural style.
In the same Fabric district is Romania's first beer factory, Timisoreana Beer Factory.
15. Meet lion cubs and wild brown bears at the Zoo
A little further from the hustle and bustle of the city of Timisoara, the Zoo is located as part of the Padurea Verde (or "Green Forest") green area.
The zoo is well maintained and several species of farm animals and wild animals can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Here you will find rabbits, lakes filled with ducks or turtles, an impressive collection of reptiles and insects and a large variety of wildlife.
Meet lions and their cubs, wild cats, various species of monkeys and birds, brown bears, ostriches, deer and reindeer, ponies and much more.
In the green areas around the Zoo, people often go for picnics or gather in groups and cycle.
It's a great place to spend time outdoors and get in touch with nature if the Botanic Park is too crowded.
16. Learn about life in a traditional Romanian village at the Banat Village Museum
A few meters from the entrance to the Zoo is the Banat Village Museum.
This is another place you should not miss when visiting Timisoara, as it is an open-air museum with life-size houses in Romanian historical traditional style.
You will practically walk around a huge traditional village and get a good understanding of how Romanians lived in past centuries.
You will see how old churches looked like, as well as how farms, farms, schools and other institutions were organized.
As you probably know from previous articles, visiting a village museum is quite a challengemust do something in Bucharestbut also one ofbest things to do in Sibiu.
17. A walk through the alleys of the oldest park in Timisoara: Queen Mary Park
We are coming to the end of the top 18 things I recommend to do in Timisoara. So I can't stop until I tell you about the oldest park in the city: Queen Mary Park or Regina Maria Park.
To be honest, this one is not as spectacular as Rose Park, Central Park or Botanical Park. But it is worth mentioning and visiting because of its cultural significance.
You can walk along the long alleys and put your thoughts in order, because one of the special characteristics of this place is the silence.
The advantage of not being as popular as others makes it a peaceful and quiet place to find inspiration and coolness in the shade of tall trees.
In addition, the gates from the entrance to the park are quite spectacular and a great place to take unique photos!
18. See what remains of the Austro-Hungarian fortress of Timisoara in Theresa Bastion
You also cannot drive through Timisoara without visiting the Theresia Bastion. It is the largest building preserved from the Austro-Hungarian fortress of Timisoara.
Currently, the ramparts house art galleries, restaurants, a library and a discotheque, and the exterior serves as a passageway.
But it is one of the most representative and important monuments in Timisoara and it is worth visiting, or at least passing by.
19. Visit the Museum of Communism in Scârț, Loc Lejer (Scârț, A Chill Place)
I really love visiting attractions that are not really considered "classics" - such as the usual museum, art galleries and things that can be found on all "to do" lists, and Scârț, Loc Lejer is one of Timisoara's hidden gems .
Primarily a pub, it has an area downstairs where you can visit the owner's museum of communism, with lots of amazing memorabilia from the Nicolae Ceausescu era.
For someone who grew up in those times (like me), it's an interesting journey into the past.
Since those were the times of the past and imports were not really a thing, almost all the things you can see were regulars in all the houses here in Romania. So definitely visit this place to see gadgets and gold there.
Admission to the museum is completely free, but I highly recommend purchasing something from the bar and leaving a large tip to show your appreciation and support.
These are my recommended things to do in Timisoara when you decide to visit.
It's a very big city and as you can see above, there are lots of fun things to do; and many more are likely to follow in the coming years as Timisoara is an important business and academic hub that is constantly growing and developing.
For example, two additional activities if you come in summer are to go to one of the six biggest swimming pools in Timisoara or get to know the nightlife in the most popular clubs in the city.
There's plenty of fun, music and entertainment - just come to Timisoara and there's no way you'll remember it as a boring holiday.
Maybe you will like it so much that you decide to live here. If so, I've got you covered! Check out my previous article onbest places to stay in Timisoara.
I sincerely hope that my guide and recommendations will help you find the most exciting activities according to your preferences when you come to Timisoara. Good visit!
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Having lived in Romania for over 30 years, I'm here to tell you everything you need to know about this beautiful country. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism and love to share my travel tips with the world. He currently lives in Constanta, Romania.
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