A 2021 European Capital of Culture, Timişoara is making it onto lots of travel bucket lists. It's one of Romania's most historic cities – and as a university town, it has a lively nightlife scene too. In Timişoara you can learn about the Balkan state's recent Revolution by day, and soak up local vibes at chilled-out rooftop bars by night. With parks around every corner and a colourful central square lined with baroque buildings in pastel shades, it's a pretty backdrop for exploration.
Hostels in Timişoara tend to be quite stylish and range from traditional spaces with antique-style furniture to modern dorms with colourful touches. You can stay in a revamped palace, a cosy house with a back garden or a traditional pension with rustic décor. The majority of Timisoara hostels are in the Cetate area – the old town. Most have free Wi-Fi, social communal areas and self-catering facilities. You'll also find some with an outdoor terrace with a barbecue, while others have a café and offer free bicycle hire.
There's plenty to see and do in the main area of Cetate, which has an eclectic mix of art nouveau, baroque and communist buildings. This is also where you'll find the best nightlife, with the cafés in the squares staying open well into the night. Another big central area is Roses Park, next to the Bega Canal. This green space has it all: from regular open-air concerts and performances to fragrant beds of flowers.
Timişoara's Orthodox Cathedral is awe-inspiring, with intricate paintings, huge chandeliers and gilded details. The city also has a range of lively weekend markets where you'll find everything from local cheeses to antiques. For a taste of rural Romanian life, take tram 1 out to the Banat Village Museum. Transport yourself back in time at this open-air exhibition that has an array of 19th Century peasant houses, with regular dance and music performances.
There are two buses that run from Timişoara Airport to the city – the E4, which runs once an hour and stops at the citadel, and the E4/ which goes from the airport to the train station. If you're coming by train you can easily walk into the old town from the station, which is about 25 minutes away on foot. Buses and trams run from around 5am until midnight, but ride-sharing apps work in the city so you can easily order a taxi.