Western part of Romania is often overlooked in favor of the immense architecture of Bucharest or the Dracula-related tourism in the Carpathian region. Still, the Banat area (where Timişoara is located) is perfectly pleasant and, to be honest, we had underestimated just how fun and interesting it was going to be to just roam around and explore it for the weekend.
First, the architecture was lovely – if you are a fan of Budapest’s classical facades, you will definitely be a fan of Timişoara. Much like Hungary and northern parts of Serbia, this area is a paradise for anyone who prefers getting around on a bike (as long as you stay away from the traffic, of course) – flat and then some! There is a bike rental place in the center, but you can also use taxis to get around as they’re ridiculously cheap. There’s a small, but pretty well-equipped Zoo in town, and you can also visit the Banat museum to get acquainted with the archaeological history of the area. One of the reasons why many people from this area and even neighboring countries visit Timişoara for a day is the massive Iulius mall, where you can shop in one of the 300+ stores. There’s also a small train that can take you over the border to the quaint town of Vršac in Serbia, which is famous for its exquisite wines. Still, my favorite thing was trying the gogoși, a local delicacy that could best be described as donuts on steroids. Delicious!
There’s a really cool bookshop with a decent selection of English titles just off the Union Square.