You may have already heard that Timisoara is the only city in Romania that offers public water transport on the Bega. This kind of public transport is available from spring until late autumn, as long as the weather is still pleasant If you are curious to know how you can explore the city via the Bega and what the history behind this idea is, then read on…


The first city on the Romanian territory with water transport for passengers

History tells us that passenger transport on the Bega river is not something entirely new for Timisoara. The old citadel of Timisoara was located in a swampy area. In older times, this location helped defend the city is care of attacks. But as the city expanded and battle techniques developed, the swampy terrain began posing a threat to people’s health and houses: building would be flooded whenever the water would rise and the humidity could cause locals all sorts of diseases.

The is why, after Timisoara was freed by the Habsburgs from Ottoman rule, the city underwent dramatic changes. One of these biggest changes was the construction of the Bega canal, which began in 1728. Surrounding waters were channeled and the land was freed for construction.

While initially the Bega canal was mainly used to transport goods (construction materials and products to be traded in the city’s markets), since 1868 and until the 1960s, passengers transports also took place on the Bega. Workers who lived upstream would travel to the city via the Bega to work here.



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The first Romanian city with water public transport

Half a century after passenger transport on the Bega had stopped, the city has a new premiere: Timisoara has become the first Romanian city which offers public transport “on water”. The Timisoara “vaporettos” were launched this year, after thorough planning and some implementation issues – this is, after all, the first time this is happening in Romania. However, they are now functional and willing to transport passengers all along the Bega.

If you are interested in a city tour via water, you can certainly hop on one of the vaporettos and enjoy the view. Please note, the vaporettos don’t have any “outdoor” seats, for safety reasons. Once you hop on, you will have to take a seat for the whole journey.


How much does a “cruise” on the Bega cost?

Since the vaporettos qualify as public transport, you can take them for a few. The fee, however, is a small one: 1 RON for one trip. You can purchase the ticket on board.



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Timisoara vaporetto: schedule and stops

The vaporettos travel along the Bega every workday, on the following routes:   

1 From the “Waterworks” (Uzina de Apă), downstream towards the Ardealul stop, stopping at the following spots and times:

Mihai Viteazu: 7.30, 8.25 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 11.47, 12.36, 13.23, 14.10 & 14.59, 15.46, 16.33 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Dacia: 7.37, 8.32 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 11.54, 12.43, 13.30, 14.17, 15.06 & 15.53, 16.40 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Corneliu Coposu: 7.44, 8.39 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 12.01 și 12.50, 13.37, 14.24, 15.13, 16 & 16.47 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Vasile Pârvan: 7.52, 8.47 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 12.09 și 12.58, 13.45, 14.32, 15.21, 16.08 & 16.55 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedrala Mitropolitană): 8, 12.17, 13.06 & 13.53, 14.40, 15.29 & 16.16.

Sfânta Maria: 8.05, 12.22, 13.11 & 13.58, 14.45, 15.34, 16.21.

Ștefan cel Mare: 8.13, 12.30, 13.19, 14.06 & 14.53, 15.42, 16.29.

Constantin Brâncoveanu: 8.22, 12.39, 13.28, 14.15, 15.02 & 15.51, 16.38.

2 From “Ardealul” stop, upstream towards the “Uzina de Apă”, with the following stops at the following times:

Ardealul: 7.11, 8.34 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral) 11.19, 12.06 & 12.53, 13.42, 14.29, 15.16, 16.05 & 16.52 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Constantin Brâncoveanu: 7.18, 8.41 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 11.26, 12.13, 13 & 13.49, 14.36, 15.23, 16.12 & 16.59 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Ștefan cel Mare: 7.28, 8.51 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 11.36, 12.23, 13.10 & 13.59, 14.46, 15.33, 16.22, 17.09.

Sfânta Maria: 7.38, 9.01 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral), 11.46, 12.33, 13.20, 14.09 și 14.56, 15.43, 16.32, 17.19 (stops at the Metropolitan Cathedral).

Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedrala Mitropolitană): 7.43, 11.02 & 11.51, 12.38, 13.25, 14.14, 15.01 & 15.48, 16.37.

Vasile Pârvan: 7.52, 11.11, 12 &i 12.47, 13.34, 14.23, 15.10 & 15.57, 16.46.

Corneliu Coposu: 8.01, 11.20, 12.09 & 12.56, 13.43, 14.32, 15.19, 16.06 & 16.55.

Dacia: 8.09, 11.28, 12.17, 13.04 & 13.51, 14.40, 15.27, 16.14, 17.03.


What do you think about this kind of public transport? Would you use it?

We’ve written before about how to get around in Timisoara, but we know that you budget travelers out there are also wondering what is the cheapest way to get around in Timisoara. While walking is always an option (Timisoara is a big city, but its center is not that big), the next best choice is public transport. [Last update: July 3rd, 2019]

What should you know about the public transport in Timisoara?

Before deciding to go visit the city by public transport, you should know that though cheap, public transport isn’t very foreign-friendly. That is, you can’t find detailed information on routes and tickets in all the bus/tram stations. And, unfortunately, not all vendors can speak English. So here is all you should know about the public transport in Timisoara:

Reliability: You’re probably wondering how reliable public transport in Timisoara actually is. Well, it is usually reliable, but delays happen. The most reliable lines are, according to a survey made by local authorities, the bus line no. 33 and the tram line no. 9. Luckily, arrival times are displayed in some bus/tram stations. You can get these estimates on the official Timisoara public transport (RATT) app, which you can download from here. The menu is in Romania, but it is quite intuitive. You just have to search for the line number, the station you are in and your destination.

Costs: One tram/bus ticket costs 2,5 RON (around 0,5 euro) regardless of the kid of vehicle: tram, bus, express bus. Express buses are buses with routes across the city, making it easy to access places in opposite places of the town. These buses also have fewer stops and thus faster.

If you are staying long-term, you can get a subscription – there are various kinds available, you can find the full list here. This means you will also have to get a transport card – this is efficient even if you are not interested in any of the subscription models, as you can simply put money on your transport card and use it anytime you travel.

Cleanliness: Sorry, but don’t expect public transport in Timisoara to be very clean. If you’re lucky, you’ll ride a clean tram. If you’re unlucky, then you won’t. We’re working on this.

Timetable: Public transport in Timisoara runs from 5 a.m. until right before midnight. After midnight, you will have to walk or take a taxi/uber.

Choosing the right public transport: we advise you to use an app like Google Maps. We’ve tested it, and it has proved to be accurate. Alternatively, you can check the 2 maps available on the RATT website:

  • the map of trams and trolleys
  • the map of buses

Buying tickets: there are special shops for this in the vicinity of the bus/tram stations. If you can’t find any, go to the nearest shop or newsstand and ask around. They sometimes sell bus tickets too. You can find a map of the official RATT ticketing points here.

[l.e.] Starting 2019, you can also pay for your ticket with your credit card – on the dedicates machines in each vehicle.

How to get to the airport by public transport

There are two direct bus lines connecting the city with the airport: the E4 or E4/:

  • the E4 line: leaves from next to the citadel, stopping a few times before reaching the airport. The bus leaves once per hour.
  • the E4/ line (on the bus display, there is a “/” across the “E4”): connects the train station with the airport.

How to get to the train station by public transport

The train station is not too far away from the city center, so walking is also an alternative. It shouldn’t take you longer than 20 minutes to reach the train station from the city center:

As for public transport, any of the following lines will take you there: 1, 8, 9, 11,14, 18, E1, E4/.


If there is anything else you like to know about public transport in Timisoara, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’ve tried to make this article as informative as possible, but we’re always open to feedback!