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Timisoara is a city in Banat, Transylvania and the capital of Timis county. No less than 315000 people call the city home according to the latest census.
The name is a derivate of the name of the Timis River, known in Roman times as Tibiscus.
Timisoara was first mentioned in history as a fost Castrum Temesiensis in a decree of King Andrew II of Hungary in 1212. As a city, Timisoara was mentioned first in 1474.
The city was the first in Europe to have electric public lighting on the 12th of November 1884, a mere four years after New York City.
But the most important moment of greatness in the city's history came on December 16th 1989 when a crowd in front with a pastor named Laszlo Tokes rose against the efforts of Communist secret services to deport the latter. The next day there was a huge riot against the Communist rule over the country and Nicolae Ceausescu. This marked the beginning of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the end of over 40 years of Communism.
Nowadays the city is one of the most important in Romania from an economic standpoint, being a major attraction point for foreign investments.
Timisoara is located in the region of Banat, Transylvania, in western Romania, 60 km southeast from the western border with Hungary, 40 km northwest from the southern border with Serbia and around 650 km west of the capital, Bucharest.
The Bega River crosses through the city, splitting it into two parts.
Getting to & around
Timisoara, like most other major Romanian cities, is easily accessible by train. The city is part of the InterCity network of fast and comfortable trains.
Getting to Timisoara by plane is an easy feat. The city's international airport named "Traian Vuia", 10 km away from the city center, is the second largest in terms of traffic in Romania. It is the major hub for Carpatair. TAROM and a couple of other carriers also offer flights from here. The airport connects Timisoara with major European destinations, especially Austria, Germany and southern Europe (Spain, Italy) where the most important Romanian communities and major foreign investors in Timisoara reside. There are plans proposed by a Dutch company to the City Council to turn the Traian Vuia international airport into a major hub in Southeastern Europe in order to compete with Budapest's Ferihegy International Airport by 2014 but it remains to be seen whether those plans will materialize or not. Car rental is available at the airport and you can book one in advance using our car rental page.
Timisoara is fairly accessible by car as well through the major European and national road that pass through or nearby the city. Works should kick off soon (or so it is said) at the European Corridor IV linking the western border with Hungary with the Black Sea port of Constanta through Timisoara and Bucharest. You can also reach the Serbian capital, Belgrade, from Timisoara in less than 3 hours, the distance between the two cities being a mere 150 km.
Timisoara's public transportation system is being operated and administrated by an autonomous company owned by the municipality and named RATT. RATT operates 15 bus lines, 9 trolleybus lines and 11 tram lines.
Timisoara has been dubbed "Little Vienna" due to its architecture, gardens and parks.
Some of the major attractions in town are:
- The Liberty Square;
- The Unirii Square - free wireless internet is available in this square;
- The Victory Square;
- The Romanian Opera, hosted inside the Palace of Culture, built between 1871 and 1875;
- The Banat Museum - located in Huniade Square;
- The Bega River and its bridges.
Please visit our page of Timisoara hotels to get further information on Timisoara accommodation or to comment or rate a specific hotel.
By far the most important sports team in Timisoara is Politehnica Timisoara, one of Romania's wealthiest and most important football clubs. Winners of 2 Romanian Cups but no titles, Poli Timisoara plays its home matches on a usually packed stadium named Dan Paltinisanu, with an overall capacity of 33000. The team enjoys the highest attendances in Liga I (the Romanian top football division) and for good reason as they have some of the best players in the country.