Don't you love it when there are new things to discover in a city that you're visiting? So do we! And that is why we put together this post, to help you make the most out of your visit to the Moldavian capital; where it is, why you should consider visiting it, why is it important for Romania, things to do in Iasi, and the rest of whats, whys, and where that we could think of.
Table of contents
1. Visit the Palace of Culture
2. Discover the city of hundred churches
3. Enjoy a play at the "Vasile Alecsandri" National Theatre
4. Explore the city on seven hills by bike
5. Read a book inside one of the most beautiful libraries in the world
8. Spend the afternoon in the Palace Garden
10. Take a day trip to one of the surrounding areas
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The Palace of Culture is the landmark of Iasi, and you certainly shouldn't miss a visit to it. With its new impressive architectural lighting, it was included in 2019 in a top of the most beautiful buildings at night in the world. And if that doesn't convince you, the four museums that can be visited inside the palace will surely do: The History Museum of Moldavia, The Ethnographic Museum, The Technical Museum, and The Arts Museum.
Moreover, to have a unique experience, we suggest you get to Clock Tower. Besides this, you can see how the eight bell system that makes up the chime mechanism works.
Holy Three Hierarchs Church
Wherever you are in Iasi, the moment you look around, you will see a church in every direction. Besides the religious side, the churches also have a profane meaning.
Enter the second largest cathedral in Romania, to discover the atmosphere and the bustle of those still practicing Orthodoxy. Here it is also the place where the most significant pilgrimage in Romania takes place, with half of a million people coming here annually.
Not far away, there is also the Church of the Holy Three Hierarchs. With its architecture and the facade embroidered with various architectural details, the church is still on the tentative list to be included in UNESCO'S heritage.
But don't limit yourself only to famous or central-located churches. Get in any church on your way. There are high chances to discover more intriguing stories or facts.
Iasi National Theatre
Known as the first National Theatre in Romania, the "Vasile Alecsandri" National Theatre shelters some true monuments of art: the painted curtain by the Viennese master M. Lenz, the iron curtain painted by Al. Goltz with ornamental motifs symmetrically arranged tightly separated from the restroom scene, and the painted ceiling by Al. Goltz. Numerous performances known worldwide have been staged here.
We suggest you attend a theatre play or an opera show. Besides soloists, ballet, or the stage decor, it is the best time to admire the impressive manually-painted curtain and the rich gold-plated adornments in baroque and rococo style.
Moreover, The BBC publication said about the National Theatre of Iasi that it is one of the seven theaters in the world that will take your breath away, next to the Globe Theatre in London or the Garnier Palace in Paris.
View over Iasi
The geographical relief makes Iasi to be called the city on seven hills. It is the perfect setting for a bike trip. Each of the seven hills had an important role to play in the history of the region, marking the evolution of the city. The religious monuments, the archaeological sites, and the bellevue points are visited and appreciated by both the locals and the tourists.
To get an idea, what means a bike trip on the seven hills, below you can find some technical data:
Elevation gain: 700 m.
Length: 50 km (can be shortened or extended depending on the level of fitness, weather, etc).
Difficulty: medium-difficult – the track goes on unpaved roads about 60% of its length. The track is circular and can be shortened to any point of the trail.
Duration: 5-8 hours including visiting points of interest on the route and stops for eating and hydration.
"Gheorghe Asachi" Technical University Library
Boredpanda made a list of the most majestic libraries in the world and, the library of Iasi Technical University was by a large number of visitors to the article platform that it was ranked the 23rd from a total of 162 libraries.
We do not want to spoil the experience you could have here with too many details. We will only let you know that the late 19th-century decorative style and materials used will bring you into the atmosphere of Harry Potter's Hogwarts. Or at least this is the feeling the first-time visitors have.
Our guide Iulian, showing travelers an old street of Iasi
In a city tour, you will discover the eclectic architecture of the central area of Iasi and the morning rush of a city in a constant change. A guide will help you understand the evolution of Iasi, from historically and geographically point of view. At the same time, he will tell you funny stories and give you the best recommendations. On the way, you can enjoy a good coffee at Jassyro. The baristas here will let you find out how good coffee is made and you can have a talk with some friendly locals. It will be an energy boost for a busy day, and you need it to discover the city.
La Vie Wine Festival
Iasi is located in the northernmost region of Romania, where vineyards are found. Also, an area with tradition in wine production, since ancient times. Some of the most popular local wineries are Bucium, Gramma, Hermeziu Winery or Cotnari. For example, Gramma vineyard was built following the model of the family vineyards in the Provence region. The Gramma winery produces an exquisite range of noble wines, and here you can talk with the family and get an insight into the production of wine.
Near the Palace of Culture, in the last years, a complex with a commercial center and office buildings have been developed. It was integrated harmoniously into the landscape of an A-class historical monument building. And because the people comfort takes priority, a garden where you can spend some hours has been set up.
You can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the restaurants around it, read a book, or become a kid again and roll on the grassy slopes that descend from the palace.
You are free to do whatever you want, the options are varied.
Sometimes there are street food festivals or video mapping contests right on the facade of the Palace of Culture.
Photo source: Meru Iasi - Vlad Melian
It starts to become a tradition, as in bars or pubs in Iasi, Wednesday, or Thursday evening to be jazz nights.
People of all ages are thrilled to attend this kind of event, and you can see them enjoying the relaxing atmosphere with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer.
By the way, if you choose the second option, it is imperative to drink a local beer. Our recommendation is Capra Noastra, a craft beer produced in Iasi following a manufacturer's recipe.
Since Iasi is the largest and most important city in the North-Eastern part of Romania, there are several regions that you can explore while departing from the cities. A day trip to Bukovina will help you discover one of the best-preserved historical regions in Romania in terms of culture and tradition. The UNESCO Painted Monasteries of Bukovina are a landmark that you can't miss, and a walk around Gura Humorului will help you get away from the daily routine and forget about all of your problems, at least for a while.
Voronet Monastery Mural
From Iasi, you can also explore the neighboring Republic of Moldova with a day trip to Chisinau. The Moldovan capital is only 150km away from Iasi, and in Moldova, you will find the largest wine cellar in the world, Milestii Mici. It stretches over an area of 200km, and it is filled with nearly 2 million bottles of wine.
Another destination for an unforgettable day trip is the Neamt area. You can visit the Bison Reservation in Vanatori-Neamt, take a trip to the remarkable Neamt Citadel, or take a tour of the mountainous city of Piatra Neamt.
Neamt Bison Reservation
If you're feeling adventurous, you can start exploring the city by yourself or book a spot on our Daily Iasi City Tour. If you're looking for something a bit more different, we recommend a Bike Tour of Iasi and its surroundings, which will take you not only to the most important landmarks of the city but also to the hills surrounding it. Other tours from Iasi can be found on our website.