Timisoara, Romania.

Timisoara is not the most obvious city in which to spend time in Romania, especially given that Transylvania in general, and Brasov in particular, are not too far way. This said, in 2009 we stayed in the city on two brief occasions and came to admire its quirks and idiosyncrasies. Indoors and out there is much to enjoy, and movement around the city is easy because of an excellent network of trams and buses. Although interesting architecture exists from the pre-communist and the communist eras, it is, for obvious reasons, survivals from the more distant past that really grab the imagination. Romanians are very good at creating squares full of vitality, even when such squares are surrounded by grand public edifices. Timisoara has two such squares and, for good measure, a wide pedestrianized street that has the atmosphere of an elongated square. A brewery that serves food with live music, a river that looks like a canal, some delightful restaurants and bars around the squares and a handful of good hotels make Timisoara a great place for a stay of a few days. The busy railway station connects Timisoara with most parts of the country, Sibiu, Sighisoara and Brasov included.

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