Travel Romania - Places to visit in Timisoara

This travel guide is full of up-to-date tourist and general travel information and travel inspiration for first-time visitors to Timisoara in Western Romania. Come for the history and architecture – stay for the multicultural atmosphere.

Travel Romania - Places to Visit in Timisoara

Unmissable places for your trip to Timisoara. Liberty Square, Palace of Culture and Opera House, Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, Anton von Scudier Park, Victory Square, Bega River, Union Square, Cetate Synagogue.

Timisoara, the university town has a population of about 320,000. It sits at the river Bega in western Romania and is a true multicultural hub. Here live Romanians, Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, and Slovaks peacefully together. To Romanians, Timisoara means freedom, and the town stands for tolerance.

Liberty Square - Freedom – Made in Romania

Liberty Square, Piața Libertății in Romanian, is without a doubt an iconic place in Timisoara. It became world famous in the winter of 1989 when the first protests, which later developed into a revolution against the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, were held here.

As protests turned into street fights, the army and secret police (the infamous Securitate) started killing people. However, people remained strong-willed and defied that terror. On December 20, 1989, Timisoara became the first city in Romania to be liberated from communism. During the December Revolution, over one thousand people were killed within only a few days.

After having been arrested and having been granted a public trial for crimes against humanity, Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, deputy prime minister Elena Ceausescu, were executed. Timisoara has been a symbol of freedom ever since.

Palace of Culture and Opera Romana House

The construction of the Opera, after plans of Viennese architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner, took four years from 1871 until its opening in 1875. Opera seasons were held but only until about ten years later when a fire damaged the building. It had to be rebuilt after a further fire accident, in 1928, then in the Romanian New-Byzantine style.

In 1989, during the December Revolution, the balcony of the Opera House took center stage. From its balcony revolutionaries greeted people in the name of freedom and peace as they declared Timisoara free from communism. 18 years later, on December 21, 2017, the European premiere of “Romania: Revolution 1989” took place at the Romanian National Opera Timisoara.

A large square-built white property with three intricately decorated pillars.

A large square built white property on a grey-white tiled square under a blue sky with big white clouds.

Info: Strada Mărășești 2, Timișoara 300086, Romania.

Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

The neo-Moldavian style Orthodox Cathedral, Catedrala Mitropolitană Ortodoxă in Romanian, with its red and green tiled eleven towers is wonderful to look at. It is 83 meters high. Step through one of the three gigantic doors to enter the 52 meters high dome. There are chandeliers, candlesticks, religious paintings, and icons, all in gold. Don't forget to look up and be awed. You might want to be visiting out of interest in architecture, highly recommended. 

Chandeliers, candlesticks, religious paintings, and icons, all in gold under a huge colorful painted dome.

A neo-Moldavian style Orthodox Cathedral with red and green tiled towers in a park under a blue sky.

Info: Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, Bulevardul Regele Ferdinand I, Timișoara, Romania. Hours: Monday to Sunday 6.30am to 7pm. Tickets: free. Wheelchair accesible.

Central Park - Anton von Scudier Park

Go for a stroll through this beautifully landscaped park and walk along the Alley of Personalities. It is an alley with about 30 busts of different composers, pianists, scientists, writers, and bishops. Study all the different busts and learn about the history of the region. Use Google Translate to read the texts (info is provided in Romanian only). There isn't even a single bust of a woman. 

Travel Romania – Places to visit in Timisoara


Info: Splaiul Nicolae Titulescu 1, Timișoara, Romania. It is a city park, and sadly as always, and everywhere around the world, it is best to not visit at night.

Victory Square

Victory Square, in Romanian Piața Victoriei, is a wide boulevard lined with elegant Art Nouveau palaces. The most prominent palaces are the Lloyd Palace, the Neuhausz Palace, the Merbl Palace, the Weiss Palace, and the Dauerbach Palace. Visit the magnificent café and restaurant of the Lloyd Palace and feel transported back in time.

In front of the Szechenyi Palace, you find a stainless-steel monument that commemorates the victims of the 1989 December Revolution. The boulevard connects the Opera House with the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral.

A large restaurant with a bar in art nouveau style with about 25 tables, yellow-blue-red-green windows, dark wooden furniture, and dark red soft chairs, and a cream-white and red-brown tiled floor, decorated with green plants.


Bega River

The Bega River separates the historical part from the newer part of town. The 244-kilometer-long Bega Canal rises in the Carpathian Mountains and wanders through Timisoara all the way to Serbia where it becomes part of the Danube. With that, it belongs to the Black Sea catchment basin. Go for a walk, jump on a bicycle, have a drink at one of the many cafes and bars, or have a picnic on its banks and see the world go by.

An elaborate bridge and its shadow on the pathway over a straight river lined with pedestrianized walking paths on both sides under a blue sky.


Union Square

Union Square, Piata Unirii in Romanian, is the oldest square in Timișoara, and home to a Roman Catholic, and a Serbian Orthodox Church and to several townhouses and city palaces from the 18th and 19th centuries housing banks, shops, restaurants, cafés, and the Museum of Art. The whole area looks like an open-air theatre for people to see and be seen.

On one corner of the square, you find the Brueck House, Casa Brueck in Romanian, named after one of the previous owners, a pharmacist with the name Salamon Brueck. It is one of the stars of the square with its pink and light green painted facade, ornate roof, Secession-style decorations, and ceramic details characteristic of Hungarian architecture. Visit the pharmacy on the ground floor decorated with gorgeous wooden furniture. There has been a pharmacy in this exact place for more than one hundred years. The stained-glass windows over the entrance say pharmacy in Hungarian, Romanian, and German.

Cafes with white sun umbrellas where every single table with bistro chairs is occupied by hundreds of guests dressed in summer clothes in front of a row of yellow and salmon pastel-coloured two-storey period houses.

A few people sit in a sandstone tiled sitting area on a large square lined by pink and yellow and salmon pastel-coloured two-storey period houses and a cream-coloured church and cafes with white sun umbrellas whereas every single table is occupied by hundreds of guests dressed in summer clothes.

A sandstone tiled square with a cafe in front of a row of period houses with pink and light green painted facades, ornate roofs, Secession-style decorations, and ceramic details under a bright blue sky.

The facade of a lavishly decorated white and cream-coloured period property with five windows in light blue, red.


Info: Casa Brueck, Strada Mercy Nr. 9, Piața Unirii 2, Timișoara, Romania.

Cetate Synagogue

Several style elements are mixed at this Synagogue in the Cetate neighbourhood of Timisoara, with predominant Moorish details. The Cetate synagogue was inaugurated in 1865, soon after its construction was completed. It was re-inaugurated by Austrian-Hungarian Emporer Franz Jospeph I in 1867. Above the entrance is a large rose window.

Romania, an ally of Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1944, had a Jewish population of about 757,000 before World War II. According to the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre Yad Vashem "Extreme antisemitic tendencies, long evident in the country, escalated on the eve of the war. In total, 380,000 – 400,000 Jews, were murdered in Romanian-controlled areas". In the years after WW2, the Jewish community of Timisoara grew even smaller, and the synagogue was closed.

The Cetate synagogue has been reopened to the public. 

A rose window with white and blue decoration in the golden decorated ceiling of a synagogue.

A rose window on the facade of a red and cream-coloured synagogue decorated in Moorish style.

The facade of a red and cream-coloured synagogue decorated in Moorish style with a gigantic rose window over the entrance under a blue sky.


Info: Cetate synagogue, Mărășești Street, Timișoara, Romania. Hours: Sunday from 5pm to 8pm. Tickets: Free.

Travel Timisoara – Travel Info

Timisoara is safe. The risk of violent crime is low. As everywhere and all over the world, pickpocketing can occur – make sure to keep an eye on your valuables.

Visa requirements for Romania

Romania is not a member state of the Schengen Area. Visit this website to see whether you need a Visa to visit Romania. And you need to hold a passport valid for in some instances three to six months.

How to get to Timisoara in Romania

Timisoara is easy to reach by car and you can also visit by train. The train from Budapest takes about five hours.

Getting to Timisoara by car/rental car

Timisoara is ideal for a road trip. It is only 300 kilometres from Budapest in Hungary, 520 kilometres from Bratislava in Slovakia, 500 kilometres from Vienna in Austria, and 560 kilometres from Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

When you jump into a car to make your way to Romania, please keep in mind, that you must bring an international driving licence and pay toll for using the road in for example Romania, Hungary, and Austria. Please check costs before you leave for a road trip and buy vignettes to avoid any surprises.

Getting to Timisoara by plane

Some European airports offer direct flights to Timisoara International Airport.

Please avoid flying short distances to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

How long should I visit Timisoara?

The good news, there are enough highlights that are easy to reach on foot. Plan at least a long weekend in Timisoara to take it all in, and more time to venture further and explore deeper.

Best time to visit Timisoara – The weather in Timisoara

The weather in Timisoara is warm to hot from May to late September with hardly any rain, wear sunscreen. It is cold and wet for the rest of the year. Be prepared – remember there is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes.

Romania – Currency and how to pay

The official currency in Romania is the Romanian Leu. In general, contactless payment is accepted all over Timisoara. Chances are that a few smaller venues might expect you to pay cash and only accept cash payments - bring some cash and you are on the safe side.

What to read? Books that transport you to Romania

Go on a Verbatim Journey (see The Touristin for more info) with the following titles. Can I ask you something? Make sure you are not responsible for the death of your local bookshop. Please buy all books from local bookshops. No one wants to live in a town centre without independent shops. It is in our hands; we can vote with our purse. There is no need to support online giants when every one of us can support their own community. You will not find any links in this article to online shops. I recommend these books purely out of love for reading and travelling and understanding different cultures. Make sure you are not responsible for the death of your local bookshop. It sounds drastic, but let us face it, it is true.

Dracula by Bram Stoker.

The Passport by Herta Mueller.

From Berlin with love