Romania was surely on top of my bucket list. After I was not able , it was now time to tick this amazing country off the list.
Thanks to Airberlin´s Super Sundays we were able to get some very cheap flights from Berlin-Tegel to Bucharest, Romania´s capital and largest city.
We started our journey in Cologne with flight AB6490 to Tegel. Upon vacating the runway we were greeted with a nice sunset.
We made our way to the British Airways lounge and had breakfast. Although Airberlin is a member of Oneworld, guests usually use the Air France / KLM lounge at TXL, which is also the better one in my opinion.
Boarding for our connecting flight to Bucharest began on time and soon we were seated again in one of their A320s.
The flight was smooth and we reached Romania within 1,5 hours.
After we collected our luggage, we decided to go by bus to the city centre. The 780 Express line connects the airport with the Gara du Nord (main railway station), where we had our hotel.
For the rest of the day we walked through the city and enjoyed the special flair of this Eastern European metropolis.
Our first destination was the Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest´s most famous landmark. It is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon in the United States.
Continuing to the city centre and old town…
Bucharest´s architecture is defined by old, sometimes dilapidated, buildings.
In a small alley we found a cozy restaurant and had some delicious dinner. The decoration was really colorful and made a nice subject for photography.
After dinner, we walked along Calea Victoriei, which is a major avenue in central Bucharest. It leads past some historic public buildings until it reaches the Piata Constitutiei square, where the Palace of Parliament is located.
We reached the huge square at the Parliament shortly after sunset. The Târgul Bucurestilor event was in full swing now and a lot of locals as well as tourists enjoyed a warm autumn evening in front of a unique scenery. The event, which is more of a celebration, reveals the authentic products of harvest, crafts, arts and traditions of Romania, while encouraging cultural tourism in Bucharest.
The next morning we took the bus to the airport again and spent the waiting time in TAROM´s (Romanians flag carrier) Business Lounge, which was quite nice. From there we had a good view onto the apron.
We left Bucharest on time and soon we were back in Germany.
Some weeks later I came across an Ryanair offer to Timisoara. With the use of a specific meta flight search we got the incredible price of 0,25€ one way per person and just could not say no. Although I was not a fan of this airline for quite a long time, their enhancements during the past years were quite respectable and nowadays there is not a huge difference to other airlines, which do not provide any free on board service at all. The only annoying thing is Ryanair´s scratch card game. But… you get what you pay for!
It was quite a coincidence that the flights to Timisoara took place just one week after our visit to Bucharest.
The flight was not fully booked and the front rows were almost empty, so we had a lot of space. About two hours later we arrived at Timisoara. The airport is located northeast of the city centre.
After arrival we took the public bus and reached our hotel within 20 minutes. From there we explored the city by foot, as every major attraction is within walking distance.
In Timisoara´s old town are a lot of street cafes, where people enjoy some local gastronomic specialties in the afternoon or evening.
The old trams were formerly used in Germany in the 1970s and -80s. Most of them in Bremen or Munich.
We continued walking towards the cathedral church…
It is really stunning – from outside as well as inside.
Our favourite place was for sure the Piata Unirii – especially in the afternoon, when it was warm enough to relax a bit on the huge patch of grass.
Bottom line: Romania is a very special country. The people there are so friendly and the cities with their old towns are wonderful. Furthermore the value-for-money ratio is outstanding. We really enjoyed our time there and hope to be back soon. Preferably in summer when it is warmer.