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Top 10 things to do in Timisoara in 2023

1. Taste the local food!

The Banat region is a multi-ethnic and multicultural melting pot where the traditions and culinary customs of the romanians, hungarians, croatians, serbs,bulgarians and even the french have harmoniously merged. Even the most Romanian of foods have influences from the surrounding nations incorporated into it.

16 restaurants in Timișoara - among which Casa Bunicii is proudly included - are currently included on a signposted route of Banat’s gastronomy.

The Banat region gastronomy route was created by the Association for the Promotion and Development of Tourism in Timiș County and the Horetim Employers' Association, which completed the project to promote the local cultural and gastronomic heritage "Taste the diversity in the Banat dialect".

At Casa Bunicii we serve tasty traditional food from Banat because it has the taste of our childhood. It's the food we grew up with.

The influences of Banat's culinary multiculturalism are present at every step in our menu: Hungarian and Viennese goulash: Viennese schnitzel: braised red cabbage (bazarese) with baked duck leg: slightly sweeter salads: not so sour soups, only using sour cream, not vinegar: Serbian rice: homemade vegetable pot: various sauces - cherry, dill, sage or tomato: typically German and local desserts such as krempita, plum gomboti and sweet cheese pancakes, raisins and vanilla sauce.

Instead of the traditional chicken soup with noodles that was on the tables of Banat residents every Sunday, at Casa Bunicii you can order duck soup with fluffy semolina dumplings, the duck gives the soup a special flavor and an intense golden color and the dumplings floating on the surface , a special elegance and distinction.

The traditional Spatzle (Swabian dumplings) can be tried in various combinations: with ribs, mushrooms, meat, cheese or vegetarian. A homemade raspberry or elderberry syrup completes the meal.

The recipes have been adapted so that they can be delivered in a reasonable amount of time to hungry customers eager to try grandma's dishes. A diverse traditional, rustic Banat menu perfect for savoring slowly.

2. Visit the historic center!

One of the top 10 things to do in Timisoara is to visit historical center of Timișoara, with its three urban squares which seem like they’ve been taken straight out of a tale - Unifications Square, Liberty Squre and Victor Square, can be included in a mini-city tour that reviews the beautiful buildings representative of the Secession style, churches, synagogues, artistic institutions , parks and gardens, Turkish, Jewish and Austrian Timișoara, but also the hotspots of the 1989 Revolution, when we became the first city free from communism in Romania.

In Citadel District you can visit historical buildings like: the Huniade Castle, the Dicasterial Palace, the Baroque Palace, the National Theater and Opera of Timisoara, the Dauerbach Palace, the Lloyd Palace, the House of Prince Eugene of Savoy, the old Town Hall, the House of the Count of Mercy, the Brück House, the Rooster Building, The Roman Catholic Episcopal Palace, the House with the Iron Axis, the Church and the Serbian Orthodox Palace.

- A possible starting point for a walk through Victory Square is the Metropolitan Cathedral - dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs, completed in 1940, founded by King Mihai and built in the Byzantine style. Here you can see the relics of Saint Joseph the New from Partoș, and visit the museum with the collection of old religious art from Banat.

- The Ernő Neuhausz Palace - an integral part of the Secession palace complex in Victory Square, is one of the main attractions of the city. The palace was built in 1910 by the entrepreneur Ernő Neuhausz from Timisoara and designed by the architect László Székely in the period’s style, with the most refined ornaments on the Corso. It is located in a continuous front of monument Secession buildings, between the Lloyd Palace and Arnold Merbl Palace. "The building stands out for its facade, specific to the second manifestation of the Secession current in the architecture of Timisoara. The decorations are geometric and simplified, but the play of textures subtly rhythms the field of the facade", we learn from the history of the building. In 1922, it appears under the name Farber Palace in the Golden Pages, because shortly after its completion it came into the possession of Bernat Farber, the owner of a textile wholesale store in Fabric district and a member of the leadership of the Jewish community. It is the family that founded the Azur paint factory. John Farber is today the owner of the Neuhausz Palace in Victory Square.

A review of Timișoara's historic Art Nouveau/Secession buildings, with their stories and architects, can be accessed here:

- On the cobblestones of Liberty Square and St. George Square, you can see marked the location where the hamam (Turkish public bath), the bazaar (market), the Central Mosque and the Turkish cemetery were.

- The Maria Theresia Bastion - originally called the Ravelin of the Provision Store, used to store food - is part of the old Stronghold of Timisoara, which was completely rebuilt in the Vauban style between 1730-1735, after the Habsburgs conquered the city (in 1716). The bastion represents a small testimony of history that has survived to this day, along with the wall fragments from the Botanical Park and Calea Alexandru Ioan Cuza.

Here is the National Museum of Banat, which hosts various exhibitions.

- Located inside the walls of the former citadel, “Unification” is the oldest square in the city and houses the most beautiful historical monuments. You can easily lose a few hours admiring all the details of the buildings. This place has such a pleasant vibe that you won't want to leave and it can aditionally be compared to the most impressive markets in Europe.

- The Holy Trinity statue is located in the center of Union Square and was erected in memory of the victims of the plague epidemic in 1738-1739. The statue was made in baroque style, being commissioned in Vienna and brought to Timişoara by way of the Danube, Tisza and Bega rivers.

- Perhaps the most representative building in Unification Square is the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Its construction was carried out in two stages, namely 1736-1751 and 1755-1774. It is a true example of the baroque style, and the interior is rich, especially with the nine altars, in rococo and baroque style. Recently, it has been extensively renovated, and from April 2023, on Saint George's Day, it is ready to host religious ceremonies again, after a break of over four years.

- The Baroque Palace was built in the second half of the 18th century and is incredibly similar to the Kinsky Palace in Vienna. It houses the National Art Museum.

- The Prenner House has been attested since 1812. In 1848, a carpentry and a locksmith shop operated here. From the point of view of the architectural style, the building belongs to the eclectic historicist style.

- The Brück House, the most impressive and photogenic building in the center of Timișoara, was built in the Art Nouveau and Secession styles, featuring Hungarian folklore motifs. The house can be admired on Mercy street no. 9, corner with Unification Square. It is a narrow, four-level building that is reminiscent of Amsterdam. It was built in 1910, according to the plans of two famous architects, Székely László and Arnold Merbl. After the construction of the building was completed, the owner Salamon Brück established a pharmacy on the ground floor of the building. To this day it is still open, keeping some of the old furniture.

- Completed in 1909, in Art Nouveau style, on three floors, the Miksa Steiner Palace is one of the most appreciated buildings in Timisoara. It is also known as the Former Discount Bank, due to the symbols found on the building, the beehive. It looks like a gingerbread house.

- Unification Square has a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere, you can still feel the vibe of the old days. Every Sunday you can witness a changing of the guard as it used to be, walking past the house of Mr. Lazar Lazarovits, which in 1828 was the headquarters of the La Trei Husari restaurant, or the house of Elisabetha Dadan, which housed the most famous inn of those times, La Elefant.

- The Serbian Orthodox Episcopal Palace was built in 1745 in the Baroque style. In 1905, the interventions of the architect Laszlo Szekely introduced a new style of facades, which included neo-Byzantine influences.

- The facade of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral faces Emanoil Ungureanu Street. It was built between the years 1745-1748 from stone and brick and has rich decorations in baroque style.

- The Sârbești Community House was built in classicist style with baroque influences, in 1786. The restoration in 2008 highlighted the double Doric semi-columns at the entrance gate, the building having the charm of bygone times.

- At the exit from Unification square you can meet the “U” Barracks, which is still waiting to be transformed from a ruin towering in the city center into a five-star hotel accompanied by an art gallery.

- You can end your visit in the center of Timisoara with a walk through the Botanical Park. Initially, there was a botanical garden here with an area of ​​9 hectares, inaugurated in 1986, which had over 1,650 species of plants. Currently the garden is a public park, which still has 200 species of plants. It's still a perfect place to reconnect with nature right in the middle of the city.

For those who come to Timișoara for the first time and want to benefit from a guided tour of the city, trust the Timișoara City Tours guides.

3. Walk along the banks of Bega canal!

There is no way to come to Timișoara and not walk along the banks of the Bega Canal. On foot, by bike or by boat, the ride will surely delight you. Spring is a perfect time to visit the city, especially if you catch the magnolias and cork oaks in bloom. On your walk you will meet athletes who are kayaking on the Bega.

- If you start the walk from the Cathedral Park, you will discover the lovers' tunnel.

- At the beginning of April, Justice Park impresses with the very large number of blooming tulips.

- The Rose Park, however, is more beautiful in summer, being full of roses that create a great view. In the interwar period, there were over 1,200 labeled rose varieties here. In the park, the Festival of Hearts, the Folklore Festival of Ethnic Minorities and the Gastronomic Festival are organized.

- You will meet on your way the Ion Creangă Children's Park and the Lovers' Walkway, a pedestrian bridge to the Regina Maria Park named so because of the padlocks that couples tie here since 2012. Today, several hundred locks - of all shapes and colors - hang heavily on the walkway fence.

- Regina Maria Park is the oldest park in Timisoara. Here in the spring you can find a little corner of heaven, the gorgeous magnolias beautify the place.

- From the restaurant of the Beer Factory you can go to the Decebal Bridge, where you can hop on the ferry.

- On the banks of the Bega river, you will find the Water Plant, the experimental physics laboratory “Experimentarium TM" inaugurated by the university environment in the Park of Roses for the first time for students and young people who want to discover science in a fun and magical way. You can rest, restore and relax by stopping at one of the many terraces.

- Alpinet Park is the most visited by tourists, as it is very close to the center. From here you can once again admire the Metropolitan Cathedral.

- Timișoara was the first city in Romania with public water transport, which was reopened in 2018 with seven vaporetto boats - bearing historical names - and nine stations for regular runs. Five of the seven steamboats are painted by artists.

- There are six leisure walking routes on the Bega Canal. During the week, the ticket costs 1 Leu, and on the weekend it is free.

- Every Saturday and Sunday you can have a relaxing trip by steamboat to the Sânmihaiu Român Lock, where you can admire the Timișoara of the past and the Bega River in all its natural splendor.

4. Visit the museums!

- The Communist Consumers’s Museum was opened in 2015 as a result of a private initiative. Although small, it is the most visited museum in Timișoara, ranking 6th among the city's tourist attractions, after Unification Square, Liberty Square, Victory Square, the Cathedral and the Bega bank. Arranged in the basement of a house in the Elisabetin area, where the Scârț-Loc Lejer cafe also operates, as well as the Auăleu theater, in the form of a typical “Golden Age” home - with a living room, children's room, kitchen, storeroom, hall and bathroom - the museum includes practically everything Romanians had at home: from household items, furniture, clothing, household appliances, toys, trinkets, stationery to cosmetics or kitchen products. The indispensable siphons, glass fish, Fram fridge and dial telephone are present. The dark atmosphere, the many, cheap and cramped objects, the difficulty of sneaking among the furniture and trinkets awaken the memories and nostalgia of Romanians who lived their childhood and youth like this, but also the curiosity of foreigners and influencers. It can be visited for free, there are no staff, supervisors or tickets. Just you alone with your memories.

- The exhibitions within "(r)evolution? lived histories 1945-1989-2022" are permanent and can be visited from Tuesday to Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. :00, at the headquarters of the Revolution Memorial Associaciation (str. Oituz no. 2B). The interactive documentary exhibition presents the testimonies of the deportees from Bărăgan, the resistance movements in Banat and the elaboration of the Timisoara Proclamation

- Old defunct water treatment plants have come back to life as alternative spaces for cultural events and activities. The "Cultural Branch at the Water Plant" project connects water and culture, people and industrial heritage. The museum complex is part of the Urseni Factory, and its main building - known among Timisoara residents as the Flying Saucer - is a monument of industrial architecture, designed by the famous architect László Székely. It used to house the drilling system. The Water Museum offers generous spaces for exhibitions, concerts, film screenings, videomapping, children's activities, thematic guided visits, with sequences from the city's history.

- To better understand why Timisoara is also called the City of Flowers, visit the Mühle Museum. Located on the ground floor of the Romcapital building (Mihai Viteazu boulevard no. 30B), in the immediate vicinity of the Mühle family house, in Elisabetin. The great florists of Timișoara brought fame to the city through the activities they carried out and carried its prestige through their roses to the great courts of Europe. Andrei Puică's contemporary illustrations complete and imagine the Mühle Universe, highlighting the legacy that the beloved family of gardeners left to the city of Timișoara.

5. Party in nightclubs!

If you're a night owl and you like parties, you have plenty to choose from.

You also have girls' clubs, more expensive and select, such as Fratelli and Epic, but also parties with various themes and more budget friendly as you can find in '80 (rock), D'arc (techno), Like (student) or Heaven (for manele lovers). The most famous of the annual festivals is Flight, a weekend full of music and dance that takes place at the Cioca airfield. If you want to have fun right in Piața Victoriei, you can go to Bipolar House. A new party concept that appeared in Timișoara is the one proposed by Spontan la Apus. Timișoara vibrates and spontaneously socializes in various unconventional locations, at Vox Technology Park, but also at Thesaurus, in the vineyard. Drink a glass of wine, listen to good music and enjoy a special sunset seen from the vineyard.

6. Discover Brâncusi!

More than 100 works by Constantin Brâncusi will be exhibited starting at the end of September 2023 at the Timișoara National Art Museum. In addition to the sculptures we will also be able to see a selection of photos and fragments filmed by the artist himself.

"Constantin Brâncusi: Romanian sources & universal perspectives", curated by Doïna Lemny, will bring together emblematic works of the artist, both from his youth and from his mature years, thus charting the trajectory that imposed Brâncusi's works in the universal heritage. A significant part of Constantin Brâncuși's work is dedicated to photography, to which he dedicated himself with great passion.

This exhibition benefits from exceptional sculpture loans from the National Museum of Modern Art / Center Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, the Guggenheim Foundation Venice, the National Museum of Modern Art in Bucharest and the National Art Museum in Craiova, as well as private collections.

It is the first event of such scope in the last 50 years in Romania.

The Brâncusi exhibition from Timișoara will be open at the National Art Museum from September 30, 2023 to January 28, 2024. Here you will be able to admire a wide selection of his photographic work, alongside works on paper and video fragments filmed by Brâncusi himself, completing all the portraits of this great artist of the 20th century.

7. Festivals on steroids

- District23 - the biggest music festival in western Romania (June 16-18, 2023). Three festivals (Flight Festival, Vest Fest and Magnetic Festival) come together to mark a first for Romania: the creation of a "city" outside Timisoara, at the Cioca airfield, for a weekend full of music of all genres, technology and sustainable actions through the "neighborhoods" offered by each of the three events. District23 will have no less than three main stages and at least three more secondary stages. In total, more than 30 artists and music bands will be present, the first confirmed being Clean Bandit, B.U.G. Mafia, Tom Odell, Subcarpați, Delia, Camo & Krooked, Mefjus, The Prototypes and a surprise guest.

- JAZZx (June 28 - July 2, 2023). A music festival creates a symbol for the city that hosts it, becomes part of its identity and strengthens it. JAZZx is free and comes to celebrate the multiculturalism and vibrant energy of Timisoara, while emphasizing the quality and importance of culture in a healthy community.

8. Pedal and be green!

The Green Association for Bicycles proposes four cycling routes:

- The Green Route - which crosses the central alley of the Green Forest and connects the Zoo and the Village Museum to Calea Lipovei

- The Blue Route - starts from Calea Lipovei and runs for over 3 km with small bumps and jumps to the Dumbrăvița dam

- The Red Route - is considered the most spectacular competition route, over 4 km long, following the Behela stream

- The Orange Trail - is a recreational trail that runs through the former hunting area where hunters' gazebos and traces of wild animals that live in the Green Forest can still be seen.

A variant of the walk that we propose follows the Begăi meadow on the bike path to the lock from Sânmihaiu Român, with a stop at the restaurant "La Plaja Nouă", where you can do water skiing. At Plaja Nouă you can enjoy sports that keep you in shape - wakeboarding (water skiing), paintball for action and adrenaline lovers or beach volleyball, you can enjoy parties in the forest and fun with the whole family in the adventure park, where you can go ziplining, participate in a game of archery or slackline, or simply enjoy the beach or relax in a hammock.

9. The city of a thousand faces: the city of premieres, flowers and revolution

Discover the traces and signs of these firsts in your walks around the city:

In 1718, the attestation of the oldest brewery took place, the first in the territory of the entire present-day Romania. Ten years later, the construction of the Bega canal began, this also being the oldest navigable canal in our country.

Here, in 1771, the first German-language newspaper in Central and South-Eastern Europe, "Temeswarer Nachrichten", was printed. Annually, its successor, Banater Zeitung, organizes a traditional and expected tasting of Banat sausages produced by ethnic Germans.

In 1854, the first telegraphic service was established in today's Romania. A year later, Timişoara was the first city in the entire Habsburg monarchy to have gas-lit streets. In 1881, also in Timisoara, it was the first telephone network launched in the country. Three years later, it is the first city in all of Continental Europe to have electrically lit streets, with a number of exactly 731 lamps. In 1886, the first rescue station in Romania and Hungary was established. In 1889, the first European football match took place. In 1895, also in Timişoara, the first paved street in today's Romania was inaugurated. In 1989, the sparks of the Revolution against the Ceausescu regime ignited on the streets of Timișoara. Timișoara entered the Book of Records with the largest pint in the world and the largest lamp ever built. The lamp was installed in Piaţa 700 and is a reminder of the fact that, 125 years ago, Timisoara became the first city in Europe with electrically lit streets.

Since 1897, cinema screenings have been held in the city. Two years later, the first electric tram was inaugurated. One of the first trams in the world connected the city center with the Fabric and Iosefin neighborhoods.

Briefly, here is the list of the most important premieres related to Timisoara and Banat:

1718 - attestation of the oldest brewery in Romania;

1728 - the beginning of the canalization of Begăi, the first navigable canal in Romania;

1760 - the first city of the Habsburg monarchy with streets lit with lamps;

1771 - publication of the first newspaper in Romania and also the first German newspaper in South-Eastern Europe, "Temeswarer Nachrichten";

1815 - the establishment of Josef Klapka's library, the first public lending library in the Habsburg Empire, in the Kingdom of Hungary and in the Romanian territories;

1854 - the first city on the current territory of Romania with a telegraph service;

1855 - the first city of the Habsburg monarchy with gas-lit streets;

1881 - the first city on the current territory of Romania, with a telephone network;

1884 - the first city on the European continent with electrically lit streets, with 731 lamps;

1886 - the first rescue station in Hungary and Romania;

1895 - the first paved street in Romania;

1897 - the first city on the current territory of Romania where cinematographic projections were made;

1899 - the first electric tram in Romania;

1953 - the only European city with three state theaters - in Romanian, Hungarian and German;

1989 - the first city free from communism in Romania;

2003 - the development of the first sculpture park in Romania, located at the intersection of Mureş Street and Calea Martirilor.

10. Explore the program of events of the European Capital of Culture!

You will find 30 types of events:

- contemporary theatrical art

- conversations with artists

- AR/VR digital events

- book launches

- bus tours

- camps

- catalog releases

- information center

- ceremonies

- competitions

- concerts

- conferences

- debates

- exhibitions

- expeditions

- fairs

- fashion shows

- festivals

- films

- guided tours

- immersive theater

- artistic installations

- interactive exhibitions

- masterclass

- community picnic

- recitals

- youth programs

- video mapping

- workshops

Among them there will surely be something to your taste!

* * *

Here, in short, are our recommendations regarding the top 10 things to do in Timișoara:

1. Taste the local food

2. Visit the historic center

3. Walk in nature on the banks of Begăi

4. Tour the museums

5. Party and have fun in nightclubs

6. Discover Brâncusi

7. Turn up the music at festivals on steroids

8. Pedal and be green

9. Discover the traces of premieres in the city of 1,000 faces

10. Explore the program of events of the European Capital of Culture 2023

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