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For event listings, pick up a free issue of 24-Fun Timisoara, in Romanian with fragments of English, but which gives a fairly good idea of what's on and where.

Timisoara enjoys strong cultural associations and is proud of having independent German, Hungarian, and Romanian theaters; first up on the list of highlights is an opera or drama at the National Theater and Opera House, Str. Marasesti 2 (tel. 0256/20-1284). For an evening of classical music, head to the other end of Piata Victoriei to find the State Philharmonic Theater (Filharmonia de Stat Banatul), B-dul C.D. Loga 2 (tel. 0256/49-2521), to the left of the cathedral. Tickets for both venues are available at Agentia Teatrala, Strada Marase sti (tel. 0256/49-9908; Tues-Sun 10am-1pm and 5-7pm), just around the corner from the opera house entrance. For jazz, the best place is Jazz Club Pod 16, Pod Piata Maria (tel. 0729-945-397; www.jazzclubpod16.ro), which has something to look forward to every night of the week; look out especially for an outfit named Tapinarii.

Komodo, Str. Gheorghe Lazar (tel. 0722-279-177; daily 9am-late) is the city's best lounge bar, slickly designed for a chic crowd; there's a dance floor downstairs and the music varies from retro to house, but the atmosphere in the cocktail lounge is decidedly "Buddha Bar." To get your spirits up, order a Velvet Hammer or Playa Azul; caipirinhas and caipiroskas are the best in the Banat. Komodo occupies an unmarked building; look out for the round streetlights out front.

Lounging by the River -- A favorite venue for a late afternoon cocktail or early evening aperitif is D'arc, which occupies a tranquil spot below the Podul Episcopiei bridge. To reach it, follow Boulevard Ferdinand I along the edge of the leafy park behind the Orthodox Cathedral; instead of crossing the bridge, go down the stairs (if you get lost, call tel. 0722-891-085). You can mellow out on one of the wood-and-cloth director's chairs on the riverside terrace, or sit on the deck built over the river itself. Cocktails run the gamut from mai tais to the "Angel's Tit," and there are superb alcoholic coffees, too. Café Brulot is made with cognac, Cointreau, and cream -- perfect after dining out. Tunes are upbeat -- lounge, ambient, and smooth electronic tracks -- and there's a lively nighttime crowd. Incidentally, if you're up for something more rigorous, riverside D'arc is actually an extension of a popular club on Piata Unirii; go there if you're up for a bit of fun with a local crowd.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.