Festivals and traveling a lot of times go hand in hand. Those of you who like both going to music festivals and travelling, probably try to combine these two passions as often as possible. If you are planning to travel to Timisoara, you should probably know that there are some great music festivals you could attend during your trip. In this article we will tell you about the best international festivals in and around Timisoara. And the best thing is that they are all quite affordable.

 

 

Revolution Festival – Organized by EXIT

Although you may not have heard of Timisoara Revolution Festival, we are sure you’ve already heard about the EXIT Festival from Novi Sad, Serbia. A few years ago, the organizers from Exit Festival and the local authorities from Timisoara teamed up and started organizing Revolution Festival. We can call it the “little brother” of the festival from Serbia.

The two-day festival has become one of the major attractions in Timisoara. The festival has already had 3 editions and some of the artists that played here are: Rudimental (Dj Set), Dubioza Kolektiv, Eluveitie,  Skunk Anansie, John Digweed etc.

Did we mention the festival has about 7 stages with a wide variety of music, starting with DNB, Rock, Reggae, Trance and Cuban music? No matter what your favourite music gender is, you can find something to dance to at this festival.

And the best thing?! The price.

Tickets: The ticket price is 15 Euro if you buy an early-bird ticket and about 20 Euro/day or 40 Euro/ 3 days at the entrance.

Period: Beginning of June, exact date to be announced.

Duration: this started out as a 2-day, festival, but the last edition lasted 3 days (Thursday-Saturday)

Location: The Timisoara Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

 

 

Plai Festival – World Music

 

Plai festival was first organised in 2006 and every year it gathers thousands of festival-goers from all over the world. Plai is actually more than just a music festival, but a cultural one. One of their aims is to celebrate cultural diversity, by hosting different kinds of workshops and events. With activities like theater plays, film projections, handmade workshops and, of course, music, PLAI festival has become a landmark for festivals in Romania.

In 2014 PLAI Festival has been nominated by European Festivals Awards for the Best Small European Festival Title. Some of artists who have visited the festival throughout the years are: Al Di Meola, Mariza, Paco de Lucia, Zaz, Patrice, Gentleman, Asian Dub Foundation, Baba Zula, Manu Chao, Everlast and more.

Tickets: about 30 Euro for 3 days of festival

Period: First Weekend of September

Duration: 3 days (Friday-Sunday)

Location: The Timisoara Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

 

JazzTM – Timisoara Jazz Festival (Free Entrance)

Jazz Tm Timsioara

 

Although JazzTM is quite young – the first edition was held in 2013 – it fast became one of the best jazz music festivals in Romania. Some of the organizers have also worked on PLAI Festival and their 11 years of experience has surely paid off.

With one main stage in the city centre, in Victory Square, and 2 more stages in different parks around Timisoara, the festival has gathered some of the most appreciated jazz players from all over the world.

Some of the artists which played on stage of JazzTM: Paolo Profeti European Collective , Paolo Profeti European Collective, Monty Alexander Harlem Kingston Express, Imany, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Al, Jareu, Andreya Triana, The Cat Epire, Richard Bona etc.Warfield

Tickets: FREE

Period: beginning of July

Duration: 3 days (Friday-Sunday)

Location: Victory Square

 

 

Garana Jazz Festival

 

The Garana Jazz Festival first started off as a jam session back in 1997. It was just an event between friends at “Hanul La Rascruce”. It has since then become one of the most important open-air jazz festival in Central and Eastern Europe.

The festival takes place in the village of Garana, in the Semenic Mountains, one of the must-see places if you are around Timisoara. Besides the great music, Garana offers an opportunity for a great getaway from the city, thanks to the lovely views it offers. It is surrounded by two lakes, forests and, of course, fresh air. Even though this isn’t in Timisoara, it is just a 3-hour drive away and the trip is worth it, both for the music and for the views.

If you need accommodation during your stay, make sure to book your accommodation in advance, as most of the festival-goers book theirs (for the festival) with as much as one year in advance. But don’t worry, you can also camp there – there are plenty of people who just camp in nature during the whole festival.

Tickets: about 65 Euro for the 4-day festival or 20 Euro for a 1-day ticket

Tickets: Abouy 60 Euros

Period: usually mid-July

Duration: 4 days (Thursday-Sunday)

Location: Garana, Caras-Severin

If you are visiting Timisoara or the western part of Romania for a longer period of time, you should probably consider visiting tourist attractions outside of the big cities. For those of you visiting Timisoara and planning some day trips from Timisoara, we have a suggestion (actually two): visit Sarmisegetusa Regia and Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa.

 

A very brief intro on our (ancient) history

In case you’re not familiar with Romanian history, you should know that we go way back. Our ancestors have inhabited these lands since ancient history, the first of whom we know as being the Dacians (Romanian: daci). The Dacians inhabited the current Carpathian region of Romania, up to the Black Sea.

roman-dacia

The Dacians were conquered by the Romans in 106 A.D. and a long rule under the Roman Empire followed. By the way, Romanian is a Romanic language, just like Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese – but most people can’t really tell that when listening to it. That’s probably because of its strong Slavic and Dacian influences.

 

How can you get there?

Unfortunately, you will need to rent a car or find somebody to share the car trip with. But, if you have the slightest interest in visiting ancient (and underrated) places, it will be worth the trip.

road-from-timisoara-to-sarmisegetusa

Both the capital of ancient Dacia, Sarmisegetusa Regia, and the capital of the Roman province of Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa, are a 3-hour drive away from Timisoara. From Timisoara, it shouldn’t take you more than 3,5 hours to reach Sarmisegetusa Regia, in the Orastie mountains, by car. But the good news in that you can first stop to visit Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa on your way.

That’s why we recommend visiting both of them if you are planning to do some trips from Timisoara, be it a weekend getaway or a one-day trip.

 

day-trips-from-timisoara-sarmisegetusa

Sarmisegetusa Regia: Ancient with a tint of mystical

Sarmisegetusa Regia was the capital of the Dacian state, as well as the most important military, religious and political center of the Dacians, before the Roman conquest. After the Romans conquered Dacia, they built a new capital, about 50 km. away, more to their liking: Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa – as you can see, they named it after the original capital.

But the origins and the initial purpose of Sarmisegetusa Regia are still a bit of a mystery. Due to how old the place is and due to the lack of a documentary attestation, we might be missing some pieces of the puzzle. There are several theories about the purpose of this fortress – it is known that it has played an important strategic role during the wars with the Romans, but how about before that?! There is also a theory that its role was initially a religious one and many claim that it is a highly energetical place. By the way, if you get to visit – what do you think about the famous solar disk? It is supposed to have had a purpose in religious ceremonies, but no-one knows exactly how and why.

sarmisegetusa-regia-solar-disk

The Sarmisegetusa Fortress is located on Gradiste Hill, at a height of 1200 meters. It is the largest of the Dacian fortifications and it seems to have been the strategic center of the defensive system from the Orastie Mountains, which included six citadels. All of these citadels have been named UNESCO world heritage sites.

timisoara-day-trip-sarmisegetusa-regia

The location is pretty well preserved, but it could have been better. Until its introduction to the UNESCO heritage (and even after), the fortress has suffered, due to the lack of interest of the authorities and the ignorance of the local people. It seems that over the 1950s many locals used the ancient city stones for their own households. A sad story, yes, and a place with great potential. Today things are a bit better, even an entrance fee, though symbolic, is paid – 5 lei/visitor. The access road to the fortress is very good and there is also a parking lot for tourists. Access is possible only between March and November, with winter months being dedicated to consolidation work.

 

Timisoara-day-trip-ulpia-traiana-sarmisegetusa

Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa: a glimpse of ancient Roman architecture

Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa was the capital of the province of Dacia, under the rule of the Roman Empire. Ulpia Traiana was founded after the conquest of Dacia by emperor Traian, between 108-110 A.D., to take on the administrative role of the previous capital, Sarmisegetusa Regia.

You can find the ruins of the ancient city in the town of Sarmizegetusa. The ruins are quite well preserved, and in order to visit them, you have to pay a visiting fee, which currently is 10 lei/person (reduced rate for children). Close to the archaeological site, there is also a Museum of Archeology, which houses objects recovered during archaeological research.

ulpia-traiana-sarmisegetusa

Although perhaps from the main road this doesn’t seem to be a very interesting destination, the site stretches further than you may think at first glance. It’s also interesting to know that Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa may still hide some secrets, as it seems that the ancient city used to stretch over a much larger area and there are still places where no excavations were made.

 

 

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

If you are planning to visit Romania, most importantly Timisoara, you probably need a list of things to see and do. Timisoara is a big city, located in Western Romania,which has a history that dates back to the 14th century. And of course it a has lot of beautiful spots, good food and plenty of entertainment for everyone.

But what are the spots you should see even if you’re in town just for a few days or in case you’re on a budget?

Here’s our handy guide of what to do in Timisoara on a budget:

union-square-timisoara

  1. Take a stroll through the Union Square

The Union Square is the oldest square in Timisoara. It’s name dates back to 1919, after the first World War, as this is where the Romanian troupes stopped after entering the city.

However, the square dates back to the late 18th century, after the city was taken back from the Ottomans by Austro-Hungarian forces. Before that, the city still had the shape of a citadel.

The Union Square has a very baroque look to it, some of the most important buildings surrounding it are: the Roman-Catholic Dome, the Serbian-Orthodox Church, the beautiful House Brück and the Baroque Palace. But all of the other buildings are quite beautiful and they all have interesting stories to share.

What else can you do in the Union Square? You can stop for a cup of coffee or some lunch, as this is a very active part of the city. In the summertime, the place is full of lively terraces, as this is one of the locals’ favorite spots to hang out. You can also pay a visit to the Art Museum, hosted in the beautiful Baroque Palace – if you are into art and architecture, this will be worth the visit.

victory-square-timisoara

Photo by: Gratziela Ciortuz / Wikimedia Commons

  1. Take a stroll through the Victory Square

he Victory Square is also known as the Opera Square. The name of Victory Square or Piata Victoriei is actually quite new – dating back to the 1989 Anticommunism Romanian Revolution, which marked the end of communism in Romania. This square is actually where Timisoara was proclaimed the first romanian city free of comunism

The Victory Square is flanked by two of the most emblematic buildings in Timisoara: The Opera House (which also hosts the National Theatre, German state theatre and Hungarian State Theatre) in the north and the Orthodox Cathedral in the south. This is a great place to go for a stroll, just like the locals do. It dates back to the early 20th century, when it was designed to replace the former citadel walls. It was actually designed as a art nouveau “promenade” place and people still spend their time walking along the “corso” (the right side, starting from the Opera House, where the aristocracy used to walk) and the “surogat” (in the past, reserved for the workers to walk).

As for things to do, this is the heart of the Timisoara and it is full of terraces, cafes and shops. Victory Square also hosts the city’s holiday markets – like the Christmas market and the Easter market. If you’re visiting during holiday season, you’ll probably find souvenirs and local food there.

Timisoara-village-museum

Photo by: Alexandru Baboş Albabos / Wikimedia Commons

  1. Visit The Village Museum

This museum in Timisoara is an often overlooked attraction, probably because it is quite distant from the city center, but a place worth a visit. The Village Museum reflects the beauty of an traditional Romanian village, displaying houses typical of various regions in Banat. In addition to the houses, the Village Museum has its own church, mill, and even vegetable gardens, that are looked after by the museum’s employees.

The place is even more beautiful as it is located within a forest, right in the outskirts of Timisoara. The place is ideal for a long walk in nature, as it will allow you to get a breath of fresh air without actually leaving the city. While you’re there, we recommend that you ask for a guide, especially if you want to learn more about village life in Banat and traditions.

The Village Museum also hosts a series of markets and festivals – from a “harvest” market to music festivals, so you might also get a chance to visit it during an event.

  1. Visit the zoo

The Timisoara zoo may not be as impressive as other European zoos, but it is worth a day’s visit, especially if you are in Timisoara with your kids. The zoo is pretty well taken care of – the animals have plenty of place and look taken care of.

The zoo is right next to the Village Museum, at the outskirts of the city, so you could actually visit both during the same day. It has also been incorporated into the “Green Forest” (Padurea Verde), so it has a lot of natural vegetation.

If you are looking to spend a day out in nature, without actually leaving the city, the Village Museum and the zoo are the perfect destinations.

timisoara-bega-river

  1. Take a stroll down the banks of the Bega river

You can do this either by walking or by biking. This is the perfect way to relax on a warm sunny day. The banks of the Bega are bike-friendly, as the bike lanes run through almost all of the city’s lenght. The Bega river also passes through plenty of Timisoara’s parks, so you can take the chance to enjoy The Rose Park (Parcul Rozelor), The Children’s Park (Parcul Copiilor) or Alpinet Park – which is said to be the prettiest in Timisoara.

In the summertime, you can also stop to enjoy a cold beer or a lemonade on one of the many terraces on the river bank: D’Arc, La Capite, Koloro, Vineri 15, Porto Arte etc. For many locals, going to these places is a nice way of enjoying a bit of nature in the summer – you may notice that they are quite popular, especially in the evenings.

 

 

 

Main article photo via: Gratziela Ciortuz