EuroTribe

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Category: Cities & Culture

A guide to Timisoara, Romania

So you are thinking of visiting Romania’s third most populous city? This guide to Timisoara should help you out. Timisoara can be easily reached from many locations like Budapest or…

So you are thinking of visiting Romania’s third most populous city? This guide to Timisoara should help you out. Timisoara can be easily reached from many locations like Budapest or Belgrade (click to read “Belgrade to Timisoara by train“). The name of the city comes from the river Timis that flows to the south of the city and this is the main center of the historical Banat region. It’s a small city and one day is more than enough for exploring it.

SIGHTSEEING

The best way to start sightseeing is by grabbing a map of the tourist attractions at some of the tourist information centers in the city.

Timisoara tourist map

As you can see the map suggests some routes that you can opt for. I suggest you opt for route 3 simply because you will see more attractions. Timisoara is known as the “City of parks” in Romania, so it has a special park route as well. You will most probably start your sightseeing from the Victory Square. From here you can easily visit the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral which is one of the symbol buildings of the city. It’s also one of the biggest churches in Romania.

the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

Interior of the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral

Victory Square has many buildings in the “1900s style” with great architectural elegance. One of the most notable buildings in the square is the Culture palace which houses the Romanian Opera House. It was devastated by two fires and rebuilt again. The auditorium has 600 seats. Timisoara is actually the only European city that has state theatre in three languages as it also hosts the German State Theatre and the Hungarian State Theatre “Csiky Gergely”.

Culture palace Timisoara

Culture palace

By exploring the city you will notice that street art is an important part of a city’s culture. Timisoara also hosts annual “Graffiti and Street Art International Festival” in September with the aim to represent street art works on great and visible sufraces. For more photos click here.

Timisoara street art

Besides Victory square another important square is Unirii. You can see the Holy Trinity Monument here, in baroque style. The three sides show bas-relief with scenes from the plague epidemics which occurred from 1738-1739.

Unirii square Timisoara

Unirii square

One of the most beautiful buildings is the Baroque palace which dates back to the 18th century. Franz Liszt held a concert in the baroque room of the palace in 1846. The building had various names and functions: it used to be the President’s Palace (18th century), headquarters of the Timis Banat and Serbian Vojvodina Governor and since 1984 it has hosted the Art museum.

Serbian Orthodox Vicarage and Serbian Orthodox Church are another important landmarks of the city. The building of the Serbian Vicarage is under the administration of the Serbian community since 1865 and it hosts an old religious art collection.

Serbian church Timisoara

Interior of a Serbian church

Theresia Bastion which used to be a fortress during the 18th-19th centuries is another interesting landmark.

Theresia Bastion Timisoara

Theresia Bastion

Eat/Drink

The local cuisine is influenced by Hungarian, Serbian, German and Arabic specialties.

There is a great Lebanese restaurant in the Victory square called “Beirut”. Shawarma here is really tasty and cheap! You can spot Hungarian kürtőskalács everywhere and Serbian pljeskavica is also quite popular.

Also, you will find many street stalls selling sandwiches, kebab, french fries etc. with great prices.

I recommend a visit to Bierhaus to enjoy a nice beer. There are more than 50 types of beer available here, so you won’t have a problem picking the right one. If you want to try Romanian beer choose Silva or Timișoreana.

Accommodation

There are not many hostels in Timisoara. I’ve stayed in Downtown Hostel which is located in the Victory Square. The hostel is small but cozy as it has three dorms: one of eight beds with shared bathroom, one double-bed room with private bathroom and one twin room with shared bathroom.

It also has a social room and a chill out balcony. But the best part of this hostel are the staff. Great place to enjoy your stay and I absolutely recommend it.

downtown hostel timisoara

Downtown hostel

Downtown Hostel in Timisoara

The walls of the balcony

If you have visited Timisoara, feel free to leave your suggestions below.

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Timisoara Street Art In Photos

Timisoara street art- Timişoara is the third most populous city in Romania, located in Banat in the western part of the country. The city has many attributes and is known as…

Timisoara street art- Timişoara is the third most populous city in Romania, located in Banat in the western part of the country. The city has many attributes and is known as the “City of lights” and the “City of flowers and parks” which is totally justified.

But Timişoara also hosts annual “Graffiti and Street Art International Festival” in September with the aim to represent street art works on great and visible surfaces.

It’s a nice idea to refresh the urban landscape, even more considering that this is a small city. Take a look at some of the works;

Timisoara street art
Timisoara graffiti
Timisoara graffiti
Timisoara graffiti
Timisoara street art
Timisoara street art
Timisoara graffiti

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23 Essential Do’s in Istanbul

“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is…

“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is the most beautiful place on earth.” – Edmondo De Amicis

Here’s the pick of 23 essential do’s in Istanbul;

1. Befriend Turkish people and see for yourself why they are famous for their hospitality

Turkish people

Photo: quinn.anya on Flickr under CC

 2. Cross the Bosphorus Bridge

Bosphorus Bridge

Photo: http://www.bariskaradeniz.com/ on Flickr under CC

3. Try Turkish specialties

Iskender kebab

İskender kebab

4. And beer

Turkish beer Efes

Photo: erenemre on Flickr under CC

5. Don’t miss the Asian side, especially the Bağdat Avenue

Bagdat avenue Istanbul

Bağdat Avenue

6. Attend a sport match of one of “The Big Three” teams

Galatasary basketball team

The Big Three teams are Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. And all are based in Istanbul.

7. Ride in dolmuş!

Dolmus Istanbul

Because doing it local style is the way to go!

8. Hang out at Taksim square – the heart of modern Istanbul

Taksim square Istanbul

Taksim means ‘division’ and originally it was the point where the main water lines from the Belgrade Forest were collected and laid to this point. Nowadays, Taksim is a favorite meeting point for locals and a location for organizing public events and social gatherings.

9. Combine Simit and Ayran

simit and ayran

Simit is a popular street food, sold everywhere by street vendors.

 10. Stroll along İstiklal Avenue

Istiklal avenue

Beautiful. Vibrant. Cosmopolitan. Sleepless. Visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day.

11. Get on top of Galata tower for spectacular views

view from Galata tower, istanbul

A place to see all Istanbul.

12. Climb the Kamondo stairs

Kamondo stairs

Photo: ahunziker on Flickr under CC

13. Feed the cats. They rule the city.

Istanbul is a city of cats.

14. Feel the history in Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia interior

Istanbul’s most famous monument.
Oh, and if you want to be cured from all your ailments, don’t forget to stick your finger in a hole of the weeping column.

15. Visit the stunning Blue Mosque and listen to the call to prayer in the cortyard

Blue Mosque

Remove your shoes, put on a headscarf and enjoy the beauty around you.

16. Take a ferry trip to the Asian side.

ferry trip to the asian side

Enjoy the great view!

17. Search for the Medusa heads in the Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film “From Russia with Love”

18. Try your art of bargaining at the Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Explore, drink lots of tea but don’t get carried away. Note that the Grand Bazaar is a typical tourist trap and everything is overpriced here.

19. Have a cup of Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee) or çay (tea)

Türk kahvesi - Turkish coffee

Check out the tea gardens (çay bahçesis) or coffee houses (kahvehanes).

20. Explore Üsküdar – One of the city’s more conservative suburbs

Uskudar, Istanbul

One of the streets

21. Istanbul is huge, so don’t forget to have a rest

Uskudar. Istanbul

🙂

22. Try tulumba

turkish tulumba

Besides Turkey, this is a popular dessert throughout the Balkans.

23. And if you have some spare time, escape to the Princes’ Islands

Büyükada

Beautiful white homes of Büyükada

All photos are © Eurotribe except where noted. All rights reserved.

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How To Visit London On a Budget

London is a pricey city, do not doubt it for a second. Unlike other touristic cities it is genuinely expensive, so simply avoiding the main street won’t be enough to…

London is a pricey city, do not doubt it for a second. Unlike other touristic cities it is genuinely expensive, so simply avoiding the main street won’t be enough to protect your pocket. Fortunately there are a few ways to keep your visit to London on a budget. A small percentage of your budget for London can easily represent the entire budget for many other cities.

 

Transport

London Tube

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Useful when coming from London City Airport or when visiting East London.

EasyBus

EasyJet’s land sister offers transport to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted for as little as 2£. Book in advance to save money. Tickets are flexible and you may travel within 60 minutes of your selected scheduled time without extra payment (subject to seat availability). The bus can drop you off at the several different places in town.

National Express

Large but efficient bus company that can basically get you anywhere. National Express usually has attractive fares, especially when booking in advance. Main hub is Victoria Coach Station.

Get In

Getting into London can be as expensive as the flight to London itself. Since London has six airports (yes, six), it’s very likely you will fly to one of these. So pay close attention.

From Heathrow: Take the Tube, or you can alternatively buy a Heathrow Express ticket (much more expensive)

From Gatwick: a) Take an EasyBus b) Catch a regular train. Or buy a Gatwick express ticket (much more expensive)

From Luton & Stansted: Take an EasyBus or National Express

From London City: Take a DLR train and connect to the Tube later

London Southend: The author has never flown into Southend, so you are on your own!

London attractions

Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Moving Around

To transport yourself around London is quite expensive, but few simple tips will save you loads of money. The underground (tube) and buses offer an extensive and very efficient network of transport.

The first and most important rule is to buy an Oyster card. It’s not only cheaper than anything else, but it’s also simpler. Ignore this advice and you’ll spend lots of time and money on nothing. You can buy the card in almost any Tube station, and you can claim your £5 deposit when leaving the city. Oyster is valid on buses, Tube, DLR and any other TFL transports. The author recommends using it on the ‘pay as you go’ mode.

The Oyster card automatically calculates the most economic fare for you. For example, one single journey on the card will be charged as a single ticket, while 5 single journeys within a day will be charged as a daily travel card.

TIP: If you’ve been using buses all day long, don’t return on a Tube or you’ll pay for the Tube day pass (which includes buses). Use the bus and you’ll only pay for the daily bus pass. If you’ve used the Tube for a couple of times don’t stop and use it all you want (including buses), since you’ll be paying for the Tube’s day pass anyway!

Tube vs. Bus

Most tourists visiting London only look at the iconic double-deckers as a background for their photos, without noticing that they represent a fantastic way of transportation. Once said this, the dilemma pops out. The Tube is usually faster but considerably much more expensive than buses.

Although longer, bus rides are  more enjoyable, since you can sit up front on the upper deck. The Tube is simpler for the inexperienced, while buses require a bit more concentration. Buses don’t have fare zones, while the Tube does.

Here’s a tip then. Don’t be afraid of the buses, get on them and enjoy the view. Only take the Tube when traveling long distances or when you are really short on time. You wouldn’t know if the neighborhood on top of the Tube is an absolute delight.

TOP TIP: Watch out for bus 11, since it goes through a lot of London’s highlights along the route!

Accommodation

Booking has a large selection of accommodation options and many budget listings.

Booking.com  

HotelsCombined is another good website. It searches for cheapest deals on the internet.

Things To Do

Surprisingly, London has an outstanding range of free museums. Not bad ones, but fantastic world-class museum. Here’s a glimpse of what you can see for free:

  • British Museum

  • Imperial War Museum

  • Natural History Museum

  • Science Museum

  • National Portrait Gallery

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Tate Modern and others

If the free museums are not enough for satisfying your cultural needs, there are other superb attractions that can blow your mind. Parks, markets or simple neighborhoods are great alternatives, often with a more authentic taste than the overcrowded typical attractions.

London attractions Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Top Picks

Parks

  • Regent’s Park

  • Hyde Park

  • Richmond Park

  • Battersea Park

  • Greenwich Park

Markets

  • Borough Market

  • Portobello Market

  • Spitafields Market

Neighborhoods

  • Notting Hill

  • South Kensington

  • Chelsea

  • Southwark

On the other end of the scale, are all those attractions which are not free. They tend to be quite expensive, from the Tower of London to Kew Gardens.

Top Tip

Most admission tickets have a hidden donation (a few pounds). Ask in the ticket office when buying the ticket and say you do not wish to donate. If you’re very pleased with your visit, you’ll have plenty of chances to donate before you exit the site.

London attractions

Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Eating

Most supermarkets offer amazing discounts just before their closing times. You can get fruits, biscuits or even hot meals for a fraction of their price. The bigger the supermarket and the closer to the closing time, the bigger the reduction will be!

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Nine Great Bars in Belgrade

Belgrade has a variety of bars for everyone to enjoy and is known as one of Europe’s best destinations for nightlife. Bars and pubs are very popular in the Serbian…

Belgrade has a variety of bars for everyone to enjoy and is known as one of Europe’s best destinations for nightlife. Bars and pubs are very popular in the Serbian capital and you can find them basically on every corner of the city. There are many places which are worth visiting but here you will find listed just several;

Elixir Bar

The first vitamin bar in the city will attract you with its fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and milk shakes of unusual and exotic flavours. Besides fresh fruits and vegetables, the bright interior and friendly staff will make you feel cozy and relaxed. Besides the existing menu you can even opt to make your own combination. You can enjoy your drink in the bar or ask for the take away, but either way this is a great place for a successful start of the day!

The Black Turtle Pub

The Black Turtle represents a chain of pubs with four pubs in the city center and a mini-brewery established in 2000. These pubs are mostly famous for its beer. Besides local brands of beer, you can try even the seasonal beers and the beer with fruit flavors that make these pubs unique in the city. There are beers flavoured with blueberry, lemon and strawberry and I recommend you go for blueberry one.

The Federal Association of Globe Trotters

The most unusual bar in Belgrade filled with lots of interesting pictures, lamps, curtains and books. Pieces of old furniture brought by the guests make this place unique. The Association also organizes parties and celebrations, film projections, literal and travel lectures etc.  Highly recommended!

Triangle

Small and cozy café with relaxed atmosphere and good music. The bar offers live music, mostly jazz and ethnic compositions but also DJ performances. The bar serves cocktails and wine, but their homemade brandy is one of the best in Belgrade. A big plus is a very friendly staff.

Kandahar

If you want to try real Turkish coffee with lokum go to this place. Oriental interior design makes this place interesting and different to other bars in Belgrade, and it offers a very relaxed atmosphere and music. Kandahar is well-known for its wide choice of teas and tobacco but also Turkish Yeni Raki.

KC GRAD

Located on the banks of the Sava River this place organizes various events (from conferences, book launches, film screenings to music programmes). Its Steve Austen café bar is located on the ground floor. The building was an old warehouse built in 1884. and today it’s a great place for a night out, with the cool interior and decent music!

The Three Carrots Irish Pub

The first Irish pub in Belgrade offers well-known Guinness, domestic beers and some cool cocktails. The atmosphere is very cozy and the pub offers live music from time to time. It’s a great place to come and watch a football game or simply warm up for the night out!

Povetarac

Located on the Sava River, this club provides a unique view of the Old Town. From an old ship it became a big club consisting of two parts, while during the day it serves as a bar. It is famous for its mainstream music, funk, reggae, drum and bass etc. One of the coolest places in Belgrade!

Iguana

Famous for its FWJ (Food, Wine & Jazz) concept, Iguana is an elegant place with a great view! The menu here is small and bit overpriced, but its balcony is a great place to have a beer or two and watch the locals stroll by. Come here to enjoy the wonderful view of the river and jazz music.

Are there any bars that you would recommend? Feel free to leave your comments below.

 

 

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37+ Free Ways To Spend Time In Istanbul

Istanbul is definitely no longer the bargain tourist destination it once was, with some of its tourist attractions even topping the prices of those in Scandinavia! Accommodation offers good value…

Istanbul is definitely no longer the bargain tourist destination it once was, with some of its tourist attractions even topping the prices of those in Scandinavia! Accommodation offers good value for money and the inner city transportation is efficient and not too expensive, but some of its attractions are quite pricey and the fact that Istanbul has too many of them can really add up to costs. And clubbing in Istanbul (depending on the area) can really blow your budget!

This list will be primarily focused at attractions and events;

FESTIVALS/EVENTS

Children’s Day

A public holiday dedicated to children of Turkey and the world is celebrated annually every April 23rd. Besides performances at stadiums, Turkey is also the host of the “TRT International April 23 Children’s Festival” which gathers children from all over the world who are invited to stay at Turkish families’ homes. They get the opportunity to interact with Turkish kids and learn about each other’s countries and cultures.

Orthodox Easter

Celebrated by the Greek Orthodox community in Fener.

Akbank Short Film Festival

Besides the screenings of films from all over the world, the festival also includes workshops and conferences.

Anniversary of Atatürk’s death

On the 10th November at 9.05, a minute’s silence is held to commemorate the death of the founder of Turkish republic.

ATTRACTIONS

(by area)

Sultanahmet Area

– All mosques; Blue Mosque, Küçük Ayasofya Camii (Little Hagia Sophia), Sokollu Mehmed Paşa Camii

– Hippodrome

– Çemberlitaş

– or you can stroll along Arasta Bazaar

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

The area around Topkapi Palace

In this area you can:

– Sit on a bench and watch the passers-by at the Gülhane Parkı

– Wander through Soğukçeşme Sokak (Street of the Cold Fountain)

– Visit Caferağa Medresesi

– Visit Sirkeci Railway Station which once was the last stop of Orient Express

– Go inside the Yeni Camii (New Mosque)

– Walk across the Galata Bridge

Sirkeci Railway Station Istanbul

Sirkeci Railway Station

Baazar District

– All mosques; Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Beyazit Camii, Süleymaniye Camii, Şehzade Mehmet Camii, Zeyrek Camii, Rüstem Pasha Camii

– Get lost at the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar

– See Beyazit Square and Istanbul University

– See one of the most famous landmarks of the city- Aqueduct of Valens

– Stroll through Sahaflar Çarşısı (Book Bazaar)  (for the literature lovers)

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Grand Bazaar

Western Districts

– All mosques; Fatih Camii, Mihrimah Sultan Camii, Fethiye Camii, Sultan Selim Camii, Eyüp Sultan Camii

– See Tekfur Sarayi

– Visit the Church of St. Mary of the Mongols and the Church of St. Stephen of the Bulgars

– Visit the Ahrida Synagogue

– Visit the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate

Galata and Tophane Area

– All mosques; Azarkapi Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Camii and Arap Camii

– Walk up the Kamondo Stairs

– Visit the Church of St. Peter & Paul

– Visit Neve Shalom Synagogue

İstiklal

– Visit Christ Church and Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage)

or even better;

– Get inside the Pera Palas Hotel whose guests were Agatha Christie and Greta Garbo

– Wander around Taksim Square- the heart of modern Istanbul

Stroll along the İstiklal street

Istiklal avenue

Istiklal avenue

Beşiktaş

– Visit Ortaköy Camii

– Walk through Yildiz Parki

Üsküdar

– All mosques; Atik Valide Camii, Çinili Camii, Yeni Valide Camii, Şemsi Paşa Camii

– See Mimar Sinan Çarşisi

– Enjoy the view from the highest point of the city- Camlica Hill

– Visit the Florence Nightingale Museum

Uskudar, Istanbul

Uskudar neighborhood

Kadıköy

– Walk along the glamorous Bağdat Caddesi

Bagdat avenue Istanbul

Bagdat avenue

ARTS

Free Art galleries

– Galeri Nev

– Galerist

– SALT

– Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art

Other interesting reads;

Mosques of Istanbul

All I ever wanted to know about Ottoman Architecture

Istanbul in photos

 

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