Life & Work in Timisoara, Romania

Climate

Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is “Cfb” (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).

The climate which defines Timișoara city is the temperate-oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) and can be regarded as humid continental (Dfb) when using an isotherm of 0 °C (32 °F). The city characterises the South-Eastern part of The Pannonian Basin.

Highest recorded temperature: 41.1 °C (106 °F) – 24 July 2007
Lowest recorded temperature: −35.3 °C (−32 °F) – 24 January 1963
Snow stays on the ground 30 days a year on average
Warmest month: July
Coolest month: January
Highest precipitation: June: 91.0 mm(3.589 in)
Lowest precipitation: February: 44.5 mm(1.737 in)
Climatic general features consist of various and irregular weather conditions. The dominating temperate air masses during spring and summer are of oceanic origin and come with great precipitations. Frequently, even during winter period, the Atlantic humid air masses bring rainy and snowy weather, rarely cold weather.

Demographics

In 1910, when the city was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, it had 72,555 inhabitants. Of these, 31,644 (43.6%) were Germans, 28,552 (39.3%) Hungarians, 7566 (10.4%) Romanians and 4793 (6.7%) others.

As of 2011 census data, Timișoara has a population of 319,279, while the proposed Timișoara metropolitan area would have a population of 418,415.

Of this population, 86.79% were ethnic Romanians, while 5.12% were Hungarians, 1.37% Germans, 1.3% Serbs, 0.69% Romani, 0.18% Ukrainians, 0.17% Slovaks, 0.11% Jews and 0.76% others. 14.2% of the population are under 15 years of age, 4.0% are over 75.

The Ukrainian community is currently growing, partly due to the presence of Ukrainian language educational facilities. In recent years, local investment by Italian companies has spurred the creation of an Italian community, even leading to calls for an Italian Cultural Center.

Since 1990, Timișoara saw a slight population decline owing to migration and a drop in birthrates. Notably, the Hungarian and German communities experienced significant decline, with the latter being reduced by half between 1992 and 2002.

Interesting history

I love cities with interesting history and Timisoara is definitely one of them. Origins of Timisoara come from Middle Ages and the place always played an important role in the history due to its strategic location at the crossroads. Over the century it was under the rule of Hungarians, Ottomans and Habsburgs. Those last ones transformed Timisoara into an important industrial hub (this is how the city used to look like then) with numerous improvements that made the city exceptionally modern for that era. It was the second place in the world (after New York) with electric street lamps and second in Europe with horse-drawn trams.

Rumors say that even Gustaf Eiffel (known to everyone as the creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris) made sketches of one of the bridges in Timisoara! On the contrary, 20th century wasn’t that good for the city. It was badly destroyed in the WW2 and afterwards, as the result of post-war pacts, the Sovietization process has begun.

Timisoara played a very important role in the Romanian Revolution at the end of 1989 – that’s where the whole movement has started! Wandering around the city and discovering all the remnants of the past, especially the recent events, was a great lesson for me.

Incredible architecture

The first impressions of Timisoara weren’t the best. The train station and the area around are rather nondescript and the moment I saw these I started doubting my decision to visit Timisoara. But the closer I was getting to the center, the more things were looking up! Finally, the heart of Timisoara turned out to be what I like the most: mix of art nouveau and peculiar style from the Habsburg time. I felt like a kid in the candy store when wandering around the streets of Timisoara, everything around looked so beautiful! Parts of the inner city, including the most beautiful of three main squares – Piata Unirii – were under construction but still looked colorful and just the prettiest. For some architecture gems you should definitely focus on the center and Fabric neighborhood (especially around Piata Traian).

Sadly many of these spectacular buildings look neglected but if you’re able to look past the layer of dust and flaky plaster you can see the real beauty of Timisoara. With a little bit of investment (which I really hope will come one day) the city have a chance to be one of the most spectacular, jaw-dropping places in Central Europe!

Economy

The economy of Timișoara has historic tradition in manufacturing, commerce, transport, education, communications and tourism.

Timișoara has been an important economic centre since the 18th century when the Habsburg administration was installed. Due to Austrian colonisation, ethnic and religious diversity and innovative laws, the economy began to develop. The technicians and craftsmen that settled in the city established guilds and helped develop the city’s economy. In 1717, Timișoara became host to the first beer factory in Banat.

Timișoara was the first city in the country with international routes economic boom as the amount of foreign investment, especially in high-tech sectors, has risen. In an article in late 2005, French magazine L’Expansion called Timișoara Romania’s economic showcase, and referred to the increased number of foreign investments as a “second revolution”. In 2016, Timișoara was awarded by Forbes as the most dynamic city and the best city for business in Romania.
Apart from domestic local investment, there has been significant foreign investment from the European Union, particularly from Germany and Italy. Continental AG has produced tires since opening a plant in 1998. In the years that followed, Continental also established an automotive software engineering division in Timișoara. All in all, as of 2015 Continental AG employed about 8000 people in Timișoara, and the company keeps expanding.The Linde Group produces technical gases, and a part of the wiring moulds for BMW and Audi vehicles are produced by the company Dräxlmaier Group. Wiring for Volkswagen and other vehicles are produced at the German company Kromberg & Schubert. Also, Swiss company FM Logistic, already present in Timiș County for Alcatel-Lucent, Nestlé, P&G, Smithfield and in Bucharest for Cora, L’Oréal, Sanofi Aventis and Yves Rocher, and for companies like PROFI Rom Foods, BIC, Kraft Foods or SCA Packaging—offering them domestic transport services and international transport services for Bricostore, Arctic, Danone, Unilever or Contitech, the growth of FM Logistic in Romania and in Dudești through its first warehouse in Romania (Dudeștii Noi gives FM the opportunity). Nestlé produces waffles here. Among the chain restaurants present are McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway and Starbucks.

The city has two shopping malls: Iulius Mall Timișoara and Shopping City Timișoara. A third one will be completed in 2018, Timișoara Centrum. A fourth is planned to be built, Timișoara Plaza.

The USA company Flextronics maintains a workplace in the west of the city for the production of mobile telephony and government inspection department devices. In 2009, the company laid off 640 workers. The American company Procter & Gamble manufactures washing and cleaning agents in Timișoara. Smithfield Foods—the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer—has two subsidiaries in Timișoara and Timiș County: Smithfield Ferme and Smithfield Prod.

Living in Timisoara

Expatriates coming to this historic Romanian city will find much to surprise and delight. With a population of some 320,000, Timisoara is the country’s third most populous city and is the economic and cultural center in this western part of Romania. It can claim to be the first city on mainland Europe to use electric street lamps, switched on in 1884, and the first city in Romania to introduce horse-drawn trams, in 1867. Expats living in Timisoara will surely be interested in the fact that their new hometown , sometimes also known as ‘The Little Vienna’, is first referred to in the early 13th Century and grew under the reign of Charles I. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1552 and reigned for some 160 years until it fell under Austrian rule. Timisoara soon became an economic and industrial center. Craftsmen who settled here formed guilds and in 1717 the city saw the first beer factory founded in the region. In the Industrial Revolution, a canal was built which gave Timisoara important commercial links to Europe and elsewhere via the Black Sea.

Moving to Timisoara

Timisoara has a humid continental climate with various and irregular weather conditions. July is the hottest month when temperatures can reach over 100F, while in the coldest month, January, the mercury can drop well below freezing. Expats planning on moving to Timisoara can always check out the discussion groups and forums at InterNations to find out more about the weather – and much more besides – in Romania.

Expatriates moving to Timisoara will quickly come to realize the past influence of the Austrian empire period, which can still be seen today in much of the architecture in the city center. Among the historic areas of note are for example Cetate, Elisabetin, Fabric and Iosefin, and Union Square (Unirii Square) in particular can offer beautiful palaces and numerous attractive coffee houses. The Victory Square is the symbol of the Romanian Revolution which took place in 1989. Timisoara has good public transport and boasts the country’s third busiest airport with connections to many other European as well as domestic destinations. Plus, the city is also an important railway center with connections to the main Romanian cities.

Working in Timisoara

There has been considerable foreign investment in Timisoara in recent decades and numerous multinational companies have a presence here. The high-tech sector has grown impressively and it is claimed that Timisoara even enjoys the highest download speed of any city in the world! Manufacturing in Timisoara includes automobiles, tires, mobile telephones, food and electronics and more. Expats working in Timisoara will find plenty of international restaurants to choose from for their lunch break, and many food franchises that will be well known to them in this bustling, modern city. The InterNations community is always a good place for expats living in Timisoara to chat and find out what else Timisoara has to offer. However, InterNations does not only provide networking and socializing opportunities for its members. Its online collection of expatriation-relevant articles in the Expat Magazine, which cover a range of important topics from moving abroad with a family to cross-cultural communication, is a recommended read not only for expatriates in Timisoara.

Surce: mywanderlust.pl; internations.org; en.wikipedia.org