Banat, an old province of the former Habsburg empire, where Balkan blends with Hungarian and Romanian influences, captivates with its architectural styles, folk traditions, gastronomy and its locals lifestyle.
Here you will discover the charming city of Timișoara, or Little Vienna as it was known in the past, old wooden churches and villages lost in the picturesque mountain scenery.
Those of you who love unaltered landscapes and winter sports, the Semenic Mountains will leave you in awe, while the Danube Gorge will surpass all of your expectations.
Despite being so close to Central and Western Europe there is no mass tourism here so you can discover in peace the cultural and natural beauties this area has to offer.
Taking a boat trip down the Danube in the Cazane Mici and Mari area.
Carefully take a trip by foot on the railroad and photograph the Love Tunnel between Obreja and Glimboca towns.
Visit the Iron Gates (Porţile de Fier) Museum.
Discover by bicycle the villages and wooden churches from the Făget area.
Go to the Gărâna Jazz Festival to experience jazz in nature.
Visit the Recaş winery.
Try the local spirit called “răchia”.
Go rafting on the Cerna and Nera river.
Good to know
The tourist info centre in Timişoara can be found at 2 Alba Iulia Street.
The tourist centre in Caransebeş is located in Ioan Dragalina General Park.
If you are a fan of extreme sports make sure you consult with local guides that know the Banat area.
If you take a walk on the railroad through the Love Tunnel make sure you check the train schedule because this railroad is still in use.
How to get here
Banat can be reached pretty easily either by plane, train or by car due to its proximity to Central Europe.
If you travel by plane there is an international airport in Timişoara.
There are international trains connecting important cities in Europe with Timişoara and other important cities in Romania.
Most people who visit Banat rent a car at the Timisoara airport. You can also easily get around with your own means of transportation. The region is crossed by some of the most important European roads: E70, and E671. For those of you who prefer transportation by coach you can access the Autogari website where you can find buses from almost all main cities in Romania and Europe.
Have a nice trip!
Having the Mureş Valley, Timiş-Cerna passage way and the Danube as natural borders, Banat is a region that over the centuries belonged to Dacia, the Roman Empire, the Hungarian Empire, was under Ottoman rule, and up until the end of the World War I was under Austrian rule. All these occupations left their imprint on the architectural and urban look of its cities such as Timişoara and others. Next to Timişoara are other sub-regions that make Banat attractive: Ţara Făgetului and the Banat Highlands.
Timişoara the place where the Romanian Revolution ignited in 1989, is a cosmopolitan and avant-garde city with a vibrant lifestyle.
You will discover a valuable and diverse culture and also a series of historical monuments valuable from an architectural point of view such as the Maria-Theresia Bastion, Huniade Castle, the Baroque Palace, the Fabric and Iosefin historical neighborhoods, and the various churches and imposing synagogues.
The rural cultural legacy of Banat can be admired inside the Bănăţean village museum. In Timişoara you will find many parks and gardens as the city was also known as the “City of flowers”. Make sure you don't miss taking a walk through the rose park, Botanical Garden or the alley that stretches along the Bega river.
At just an hour away from Timişoara lies a less known area by tourists- Făget Land, with traditional picturesque villages hidden amidst hills and forests. Its main attractions are the 17 wooden churches dating from the 18th century such as those found in the Româneşti, Poeni, Povergina or Jupâneşti villages. They have a different architectural style than those in Maramureş or Transylvania to fascinate any tourist.
Due to its beautiful nature and the simplicity of life here, any visit to the Banat Highlands seems like a journey back in time. One of the most spectacular parts of this area is the Iron Gates Nature Park, its main attraction being the Danube Gorge in the Cazanele Mari and Mici Nature Reserve. It’s here where you can also admire Decebal’s (king of Dacia state) statue chiseled in the rock of Mraconia valley.
If you reach Orşova you must take a walk down the recently renovated waterfront along the Danube. The limestone relief specific to this area has contributed in creating some of the most spectacular scenery such as the Nera Gorges, Caraş Gorges or caves such as the Comarnic, Popovăţ or Bats Cave. Here you can do a lot fun activities such as rafting, canoeing, mountain biking or climbing.
You will be amazed by one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world -Bigăr Waterfall in the Nera-Beuşniţa Gorges National Park, while in the Rudăria valley you can discover the Watermill Reserve including 22 water mills used for grinding grains.
Cities such as Reşiţa or Bocşa with an industrial history are beginning to reinvent themselves and use the industrial heritage for touristic purposes. An example would be in Reşiţa where you can visit the Steam Locomotive Museum, an open space museum where you can admire 16 locomotives. And if you arrive in Oraviţa you must see the old Theatre Mihai Eminescu that is a representation at a smaller scale of the old theater in Vienna. From here you can take the train to Anina in order to experience one of the most spectacular railways - the “Semmering” of Banat.
One gem of this area is beyond a doubt the Băile Herculane Spa Resort, the oldest spa in Europe dating back to 153 AD. Besides the fact that you can treat yourself and relax here, the spa is still an architectural jewel worth the visit as it still preserves the charm of the Austrian empire.
You won’t truly discover the Banat region until you’ll sit down and enjoy its delicious cuisine. Banatans really know how to eat! Similar to Transylvanian cuisine, Banat cuisine will surprise you by its opulence, but also by the eccentricities that have defined it over time: sweet soups and sweet sauces topped with a gourmet dressing called “rântaş”, tasty pork, beef or poultry dishes, and even homemade pasta (taitei) used for both salty and sweet dishes.
So, to convince you of the special taste of Banat cuisine, try the onion and liver pie, stuffed onion, peasant ham, Banat sour soup or beet soup, stuffed chicken, potatoes stuffed with cheese and caraway, drob made with mushroom and eggplant, cooked beans with smoked goose or different puddings with cheese, cabbage or even with walnut or poppy seed.
Along with the numerous dishes of Banat cuisine, unique wines from the famous vineyards will come to complete the gourmet feast. Your senses will be delighted by the special wines from the vineyards of Recaş and Teremia Mare.