Timisoara, the Western gate to Romania

By Anna Lopes

One of the most striking things I learned about Timișoara is that it was the first city in Europe to have electrical street lights in 1884. This is not necessarily the reason why someone should visit the place, although the vibe of the streets in the summer seems to allude to that early invention.

It is rather the holiday feeling, finding that outdoor cafes and restaurants are almost always full, irrespective of the time of day. So, if you are looking for a chill-out weekend alone or with a partner, it is a terrific option.

It takes one hour to fly from Bucharest and up to four hours from other major cities in Europe. It is also possible to get there by car, despite what is said about Romanian infrastructure. Trains can sometimes be an option, but make sure you take an Intercity or Rapid. One downside would be that on hot summer days there will be delays that can really test the patience. I once waited for three hours on the platform in Timișoara, but was able to order pizza, which was delivered to the train station!