Situated in the Western part of Romania, close to the borders with Serbia and Hungary, Timișoara -the capital of the Timis County and of the Banat region- is the most important city in this area of the country. With its 317.660 inhabitants, Timisoara is the second most populated city in Romania, after the capital Bucharest.
The geographical situation of Timișoara makes it a perfect place for discovering both Central and Eastern Europe. The Serbian capital Belgrade is 150 kilometers away, Budapest about 300 kilometers, Vienna 500 kilometers, and Bucharest, the capital, is at about 600 kilometers distance.
With a rich history, Timișoara is undoubtedly the most multicultural city in Romania, with the most diverse cultural, ethnical and religious mixture in the country - an aspect which makes it a perfect place for your Erasmus.
The fortress of Timișoara was most probably founded in the 10th century, out of the ruins of the Roman fortress Zambara. Throughout the history, Timișoara was dominated by the Hungarians for five centuries, being the capital of the Hungarian Empire for a short period of time during the reign of Carlo Robert of Anjou. In the 16th century, the fortress of Timișoara was conquered by the Ottomans, who dominated here for about 200 years. Since 1716, it became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and it is this historical period that still represents its current architecture and culture. The two centuries of Habsburg Timișoara got to an end in 1919, when Banat was integrated into Romania's territory, together with Transylvania. Timișoara is also the place where the Revolution that leads to the fall of the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu started, on December 16, 1989.
Timișoara is one of the most important educational centers in Romania, after Bucharest, Iași, and Cluj. The city hosts several universities, out of which the most outstanding are: The West University of Timisoara, “Politehnica” University of Timișoara, The University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes and Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Timisoara.
Timișoara has a continental and temperate climate, with sub-Mediterranean and Atlantic influences with hot and dry summers and cold and snowy winters. For that purpose, you should consider bringing along all types of clothes, from the loosest and thin ones to the warmest you own.
How to get here?
The airport of Timișoara offers good connections to most of the European countries. The low-cost company Wizzair operates to/from countries such as Italy, Spain, and Germany. Another option is the Lufthansa connection via Munich airport.
In case your mentor is not waiting for you at the airport, here are some pieces of advice that should help you:
- You must not take one of the taxis that are parked right in front of the airport because they are private ones and very expensive;
- You should withdraw the Romanian currency, Lei (RON), from one of the ATM's at the airport;
- You can get to the city either by ordering a company taxi or by taking a bus.
By taxi:Taxi company numbers:
Radio Taxi +40 256 940
Pro Taxi +40 256 942
Tudo Taxi +40 256 945
AutoGenn Taxi +40 256 988
The bus Express 4 connects the airport to the city center. Tickets can be bought at the airport, from the shop situated in the Domestic Departures Terminal.
As an Erasmus student in Timișoara, depending on the university where you will study in, you may receive a room in one of the students’ dormitories.
The West University of Timișoara and “Politehnica” University of Timișoara offer their Erasmus students the possibility of living in their dormitories. The West University of Timișoara dormitory for Erasmus students is Căminul 13 and for Erasmus students at “Politehnica” University of Timișoara is Căminul 11.
The students’ dormitories are situated in the university campus (complex), a very vivid area of the town, full of students, bars, pubs and affordable places to eat, nearby the main buildings of The West University of Timișoara and “Politehnica” University of Timișoara.
A dormitory room includes two single beds, internet connection and they all imply the use of a shared bathroom and of a common kitchen/floor. The conditions are basic ones, but the price of the room/month is 20 euros at the West University of Timișoara's dormitory, and around 30 euros at "Politehnica" University of Timișoara's dormitory. Living in a dorm is probably the best choice you could make if you want to live in the middle of the Erasmus community and experience the real student life.
If you need to rent an apartment in Timișoara, the best option is that you look for one once you arrive here. Your ESN mentor will help you with this aspect. The average price/month for a two-room apartment is around 150-200 euros.