In 1989, a protest in Timisoara triggered a chain of uprisings across the country that ultimately resulted in the execution of Romania’s president, Nicolae Ceausescu, and the fall of Communism in this sector of the Eastern Bloc. This western Romanian city is not only an integral location when it comes to its country’s contemporary history; Timisoara is a cultural capital known for its innovative energy, cosmopolitan lifestyle and countless historic and artistic attractions that lures travelers to Timisoara.
As the first city to run on hydroelectric power and to light its streets with electric lamps, it’s no surprise that Timisoara continues in its tradition of breaking ground or putting a new spin on trends and technology. Today, Timisoara, known unofficially known as “Little Vienna” for the Kaiser-style buildings that act as evidence of the city’s long time link to the Hapsburg Empire, is a modern Eastern European haven. Visitors to Timisoara will find themselves in a city that embraces change while paying tribute to its turbulent past: Museums here showcase everything having to do with Romanian culture, from old homesteads in the Banat province to the latest projects commissioned by Timisoara’s most noteworthy artists at the galleries downtown.
Whether you’re interested in educating yourself about Romania’s unique political history or you’re looking forward to familiarizing yourself with the vibrant nightlife after dusk in the city, this bustling Eastern European city will leave a lasting impression.
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Timisoara’s four distinct seasons are marked most noticeably by changes in temperature and precipitation. Winters in Timisoara occur between December and early March and are bitterly cold, with temperatures on average resting around freezing point at 37 degrees F. Spring brings about heavy rains in Romania, and 33 percent of the annual rainfall takes place during between the months of May and July alone. Summers (June to August) are comfortably warm with average temperatures resting around 70 degrees F, making this the busiest time of year to book flights for a Western Romanian vacation. Timisoara’s fall retains the heat leftover from the summer sunshine, but occasional showers and the oncoming winter cold drags the temperature way down, especially in the month of November.
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Regardless of when you fly to Timisoara, you’re sure to find a fun-filled vacation waiting upon your arrival in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Eastern Europe.
Timisoara fills up during spring and summer, after the winter chill thaws to make way for comfortable conditions between the months of April and September. Most travelers visit Timisoara in December to celebrate the winter holidays.
Cheap flights to Timisoara are plentiful after the rush of the winter holidays subside. The bitter cold, especially in the months of January and February, tend to keep tourists at bay. Cheap flights to Timisoara are common in early fall: The city hosts a slew of music festivals in late August and throughout September, giving you yet another reason to wait for the summer vacationers to head home before making your travel arrangements.
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Timisoara’s airport is only a few miles from downtown. Once your flight lands, it will only take you a few minutes to get downtown by taxi or bus. The city has a good network of buses, trolleys and trams within the city limits, but schedules frequently fall a few minutes behind.
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- One of the first spots you should hit after arrival is Unirii Square, the oldest plaza in Timisoara. Located downtown, Unirii Square can be found between the towering domes of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, which was built in the early 18th century. The vibrant colors of the Baroque buildings surrounding the square make an excellent backdrop for photos, so be sure to bring your camera.
- Get a breath of fresh air without leaving city limits – take a trip to the Botanical Gardens or Parcul Central. The Botanical Gardens are located just north of the downtown area, and the sprawling expanse of Parcul Central is a great place to lay out and have a nap after a rowdy night out or long walks around the city.
- Looking to splurge on a shopping spree? Head over to the crumbling bastions of the old city walls, where you’re sure to encounter a great vintage find or two at the open-air market of Timisoara, which takes place here each Saturday. The open-air market is also a great place to sample produce from the countryside’s farms and to pick up some fresh-off-the-comb honey which is a favorite delicacy in the region.
- Looking to leave town for a day or two? Spend a day driving through the Banat region and admire the castles, fortresses and towns that still retain their medieval charm today. Arad is reachable from Timisoara by bus, car or train, and the small town is home to a renowned puppet theater as well as the State Theater of Romania and numerous art museums.
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