Romania is rich in folklore and traditions. However, most of those who travel to Romania’s big cities aren’t aware of the folktales and traditions embedded in the country’s culture. That’s probably because most traditions have been born in the countryside and are not that strong in urban Romania.

 

Reviving Romanian traditions

But in recent years we have been witnessing a “back to the roots” movement, where old traditions are revived and made “popular” again, often with a modern twist. One of these traditions is the “ruga” typical of the Banat area. An interesting initiative meant to revive this traditional event is the Electroruga music festival that will take place in early September (1st-2nd September) in the village of Buzad, which is about 50 km away from Timisoara.

But to better understand the Electroruga festival, we should first understand the “ruga”:

 

Photo via The Village

What is the “ruga”? A “crash-course” for foreigners

In the Banat region, each village or town hosts a yearly celebration of the “ruga” or “negeia” (the name varies according to what part of the Banat you are in). This coincides with the celebrating the anniversary of the local church and the church’s patron.

But the “ruga” or “negeia” is much more than a religious celebration. The event has a religious origin but has evolved over time into a social event, a celebration that involves the whole town or village.

romanian-traditions-ruga

Photo via http://romania.orchesis-portal.org

The “ruga” usually lasts 3 days with religious sermons on each of these days. The evenings are marked by a big gathering with music, dancing, and drinks. Traditionally, locals prepare thoroughly for the celebrations. They clean their homes and prepare food and drinks for their guests. Because the “ruga” is the perfect opportunity for the family to get together – often, relatives and old friends visit to join the celebrations.

What is even more interesting is that, traditionally, the whole village contributes to the organizing of the event. Donations are made by all the villagers to hire a folklore band. On each of the three days, the locals wear their best traditional outfits to the evening sermons. The celebrations, with music and drinks, start immediately after the sermon is over.

The “ruga” or “negeia” used to be the most important event in the village life. It has unfortunately lost its significance as the younger population has slowly moved to big cities. Banat villages still celebrate it, but the “ruga” has lost some of its former glory in many places.

 

concert-the-village-buzad

Photo via The Village

Upgrading the “ruga” for 2018

Which brings us back to the topic of reviving traditions. This is more or less what Electroruga wants to do. Electroruga is an electronic music festival that will take place on September 1st and 2nd in the village of Buzad, about 50 km from Timisoara.

This interesting initiative is planning to reinterpret the tradition of the “ruga” with a modern twist: the “ruga” is a popular social event in traditional village life, as are music festivals in our urban lives. So why not combine the two and see what happens?! This is how Electroruga was born.

Festivals Timisoara

The festival is only in its infancy (we haven’t even seen the first edition yet), but we think it has potential (hence we are writing about it!). The festival mixes “modern” electronic music with the wish to support local traditions:

  • the festival wishes to support the local community by offering the locals the opportunity to sell their products at the festival.
  • The organizers have introduced the concept or “ER BNB” (pun intended) – festival-goers will be able to find accommodation with the locals.
  • the villagers of Buzad can attend the festival for free.

This all sounds very promising and we love the fact that the festival is trying to combine the “old” with the “new” to create an original event, all while caring about the local community.

 

We look forward to enjoying this “out of the box” festival and we’ll keep you posted with news about it!

 

If you love jazz and nature and are also visiting Romania in mid-July, you can’t possibly miss Garana Jazz festival! It’s one of the biggest open-air jazz festivals in Central and Eastern Europe and it’s happening just two hours away from Timisoara! That’s why it is one of the most popular music festivals in our area.

Garana Jazz Festival 2018 will take place between July 12th and 15th. Read on to find out why you should attend…

 

garana-jazz-festival

Photo via Garana Jazz Fest (Facebook)

21 years of jazz in Gărâna: music, nature, and people

The first edition of Garana Jazz Festival took place back in 1997 at the local inn “La Răscruce” (“at the crossroad”), as a jam session among friends. Since then, the festival has taken place every year, growing significantly with each edition.

Currently, Gărâna Jazz Festival takes place mainly in “Poiana Lupului”, a meadow near the village of Gărâna, in the heart of the Semenic mountains.

Over the last two decades, Garana Jazz Festival has made many friends. Yearly, thousands of music lovers gather in the Semenic mountains for 4 days of jazz and nature. Over the years, hundreds of internationally acclaimed artists have played on this stage. To mention just a few: Eberhard Weber, Mike Stern, Jan Garbarek, Charles Lloyd, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Jordan, John Abercrombie, Miroslav Vitous, Zakir Hussain, Magnus Ostrom, Bugge Wesseltoft, Lars Danielsson, Avishay Cohen, Nils Petter Molvaer etc.

 

Gărâna Jazz Festival 2018

Garana Jazz Festival Timisoara Tourism

Photo via: http://www.culturapoloneza.ro/

The 2018 edition of Gărâna Jazz Festival takes place between July 12th and 15th in the same amazing village of Gărâna. There will be concerts taking place in three locations: the main stage will be in “Poiana Lupului”, but there will also be concerts hosted by the Catholic Church in Văliug and “La Răscruce” inn.

The lineup includes: La Classe operaia va in Paradiso (România, Elveția, Germania, S.U.A.), Pink Freud (Polonia), Elena Mindru Finnection feat. Adam Baldych Music (România, Finland, Polonia), Kekko Fornarelli Trio (Italia), Vincent Courtois, Erdmann, Fincker: BANDES ORIGINALES (Franța, Germania), Avishai Cohen’s Big Vicious (Israel), Puba Jazz Connection (România), BROTHERS (Polonia/Norvegia), Roberto Fonseca Trio (Cuba), RYMDEN (Norvegia / Suedia), Stefano Battaglia Trio (Italia) and many more. For a detailed lineup and schedule, please visit the event website.

Tickets can be bought from the event website and prices range from 85 RON (about 18 Euro) for one evening to 300 RON (about 65 Euro) for the whole festival.

 

garana-timisoara-route

Useful information: accommodation, location and how to get there

If you want to attend Gărâna Jazz festival, you have two options as far as accommodation is concerned:

  • book accommodation in one of the villages in the area: Gărâna, Văliug, Brebu or Crivaia; But please note, the festival is very popular and accommodation in the area is usually entirely booked a few months ahead of the festival.
  • camp: camping is allowed in the area and many people choose to camp and enjoy the surrounding natural landscapes while attending the festival. This brings a “plus” to the whole festival experience, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the Semenic mountains while having a chance to meet like-minded people.

As far as transportation is concerned, the best way to reach the festival is by car. From Timișoara, it shouldn’t take you more than 2,5 hours to reach the festival and the village of Gărâna. If you don’t have a car, you can try carpooling – the organizers encouraged car-sharing and there is a dedicated Facebook group for those attending the festival. You’ll just have to find people that share your schedule and split the costs of the gas.

Alternatively, you can take a train to Reșita and from there take a bus to Gărâna. The local transportation companies in Reșita usually organise regular transportation during the festival.

If you would like more details about the route to Gărâna, check out the indications on Google Maps:

 

Have a safe trip and enjoy!

Every time you visit a new city and arrive there by plane, one of the first problems you encounter is the airport transfer. What are your options if you visit Timisoara? Public transport, Uber or taxi – see which best suits you. 

Public Transport

Public transport is the most affordable way to reach the city from the airport. Within 30 minutes, you can arrive near the city center, the last bus stop being “The Cardinal Points”.

The bus stop is just 5 meters away, once you exit the airport. The ticket price is only  2.5 lei (about 50 cents) and you can find tickets at the newspaper stand in the airport. You can also pay via SMS, using the 24Pay app which you can find on PlayStore or on the AppStore if you are an iPhone user. The only downside is that the bus only leaves once every hour. For a detailed schedule, see the airport bus timetable here.

Disclaimer: The timetables were taken from the Public Transport website, traffic conditions may change these times. For going from the city to the airport we recommend arriving at the bus station earlier or taking a taxi or an Uber.

Uber

Uber is quite popular in Timisoara,  and your account is accepted anywhere in the world.  The fair from the airport to any place in the city  should not be more than 50-60 lei, which is approximately 15-16 Euros

Taxi

This should be your last option if you are planning to go from the airport to Timisoara. In front of the airport there are a lot of “private” taxis which charge you extra.  A taxi ride should not cost you more than 70 lei, or 18 Euros. Make sure you ask the taxi driver which is the approximate fare to take you to your accommodation and also make sure they start the fare machine. Some taxi drivers will be nice and honest, but better safe, than sorry!

 

Hopefully, we’ve managed to save you some time and some frustrations with this article about Timisoara airport transfer.  We are curious: which option did you take and how did it go? Enjoy your stay!

Visiting new places is always a good idea, but finding good food in a new city can make any visit better! We know how important it is to find nice restaurants when visiting a new city. If you are wondering about the best restaurants in Timisoara, we have good news: there are many restaurants to choose from!

Since it’s difficult to cover all of them, we thought we could offer you a “local’s guide” of our favourite restaurants in Timisoara. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite restaurants, that:

  1. have been around for a while (and hence we trust them),
  2. we’ve tested and enjoyed,
  3. are not too pricey and,
  4. most of all, are somewhat interesting, offering a pleasant visit.

And since we know you also want to explore the city, we did not shy away from including places that are not in the central area of the city. Here are our suggestions on how to create your own “culinary journey” through Timisoara:

timisoara-locanda-del-corso

Photo via locandadelcorso.ro

1. Locanda del Corso

 

Since the city centre and the area around the old city citadel are the most popular for tourist, we will start with a recommendation that is right in the old city centre: Locanda del Corso.

Located near the Union Square, Locanda del Corso has been around for a while and it is popular with locals and tourists alike. As you can probably guess from the name, the place serves mainly Italian dishes – and their pasta dishes and pizzas are delicious! Do try them out and match them with a glass of wine, as Locanda has a good selection of wines available.

The place is popular both in the evening and during lunchtime,  for people who work in the area but also due to the large number of tourists. If you would like to go there for dinner, we advise you to book ahead – it is a popular place, especially in the evening. If you visit in the summertime, you can enjoy your dinner on their lovely terrace, on one of the city’s pedestrian streets.

Where to find it: 10, Marasesti Street, close to the Union Square

 

homemade-restaurant-timisoara

Photo via Homemade (Facebook)

2. Homemade

 

While you can find several restaurants in the centre of Timisoara, we want to take you on journey through the city. So let us leave the city centre to find interesting restaurants found in other neighbourhoods. Next stop, Homemade: a lovely restaurant serving “homemade” food, located in a historic building in the Elisabetin neighbourhood.

The name of this place is quite suggestive: a visit to Homemade feels very similar to visiting someone’s home. The place is very cosy and offers a friendly atmosphere. It is also very colourful and decorated like somebody’s home: with pictures on the walls, various decorations and a bunch of DIY objects.

The food also feels “homemade”. The menu isn’t very rich, but the food is rich in flavour. The plates served are not too complex, but not average either. They are just right for a cozy evening out with friends and family. It is advisable to book a table, as the place isn’t very big and it can get crowded around dinnertime.

Where to find it: 40, Gh. Doja Street, close to Balcescu Square in the Elisabetin neighbourhood

 

musiu-timisora-restaurant

Photo via Musiu (Facebook)

3. Musiu

 

Our next stop is Musiu, even further from the city centre, but with a wonderful garden that will compensate for the trouble of taking slightly more time to get there. We recommend sipping a cold drink in that lovely garden while waiting for your order. Take your time and enjoy the cozy atmosphere and the chill music.

Musiu has the same “homey” vibe like Homemade and a visit there feels quite similar to visiting an old friend’s fashionable home. You can even find books in one of the rooms! The food is delicious, with few ingredients blended in interesting combinations. If you’re visiting over the weekend, it might be safer to book ahead.

Where to find it: 1B Maresal Averescu Street

sabres-restaurant-timisora

Photo via sabres.ro

4. Sabres Restaurant

 

Not too far from the city centre, but located close to the new Soarelui neighbourhood, you can find the best fish dishes in town, at Sabres restaurant. This place is more on the pricey side, but it has an elegant atmosphere and it’s not that easy to find good fish dishes in this part of the world. If you love eating fish, it will be worth your visit!

They also have a beautiful cozy terrace where you can enjoy your meal, away from the noise of the city.

Where to find it: 1 Craiova Street, close to the students’ campus

 

casa-bunicii-timisoara

Photo via Casa Bunicii (Facebook)

6. Casa Bunicii

 

We’ve saved this restaurant for last because it’s hard to place it on the city map, as it actually has two locations: one near Balcescu Square (not too far from Homemade, actually) and one in Dumbravita (on the outskirts of the city). Both are lovely, so you can pick the one closest to you.

Casa Bunicii” can be translated as “Grandma’s House” and the food served is also meant to remind you of grandma’s cooking. You can find traditional local dishes here, like the Schwaben “spaetzle”, “scoverzi” (pancakes) or appetizers typical for our area, so this restaurant is worth a visit if you want to try some local flavours. They also serve all-natural juices, like grandma would, so bonus point for keeping us healthy!

Where to find them: 3, Virgil Onitiu Street (near Balcescu Square) or 79 Petofi Sandor Street (Dumbravita)

 

What about you? What are your favourite restaurants in Timisoara?

We will be offering more tips on where to eat in Timisoara in our upcoming articles, so let’s keep in touch on Facebook or Instagram!