Iaşi travel guide

Iaşi Tourism | Iaşi Guide

You're Going to Love Iaşi

Romania's fourth-largest city is a cultural delight. Bubbling with youthful energy, full of beautiful churches, bars, and restaurants, Iasi is a laid-back destination that's always a joy to visit.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Iaşi

1. The Palace of Culture

Iasi's standout building is obvious: the Palace of Culture is a neo-Gothic treat and also home to four excellent museums: the Ethnographic Museum, the History Museum, the Art Museum, and the Science and Technical Museum.

2. It's the "City of a Hundred Churches"

Iasi's nickname is well earned. Everywhere you turn there are beautiful churches, including the Moldavian Metropolitan Cathedral, Golia Monastery, and the stunning Church of the Three Hierarchs.

3. There Are Plenty of Relaxing Gardens and Parks

One of the best things about Iasi is its green spaces. Whether you head to the botanical gardens (where there are 800 rose varieties) or Copou Park, there's no shortage of wonderful picnic spots.

4. Learn about Iasi's Jewish Past

Iasi once had a thriving Jewish community, and there are plenty of reminders, including the 17th-century Great Synagogue and Mountain Hill's Jewish Cemetery, along with an excellent Jewish Museum.

5. It's a Great Place to Go Second-Hand Shopping

Iasi is packed with second-hand stores selling everything from vintage clothing to Communist-era memorabilia and antique tennis rackets. You never know what you might find.

What to do in Iaşi

1. A Mammoth Cultural Attraction

Definitely the city's premier attraction, Iasi's Palace of Culture was built in the early 20th century, and for decades served as the main law court in town. However, more recently, the Palace has been converted into a massive arts complex which serves as the focal point for Romania's Moldavian community. The Art Museum on the Palace's first floor is the centerpiece, with masterpieces by big names like Caravaggio and Veronese, but don't overlook the History Museum, with its 70,000 year-old mammoth skull.

2. Renaissance Glory And Superb City Views

On a slightly smaller scale than the Palace of Culture, Golia is a sublime religious center at the heart of Iasi. It was built in the 16th and 17th centuries when Iasi served as the capital of an independent Moldavia, and must have cut a dash for visitors, with its soaring walls and turrets. Nowadays, it's well worth visiting for architecture buffs, but even more so for the views from the 30 meter tall Golia tower, and for the centuries-old frescoes which adorn the interior.

3. One Of Romania's Most Relaxing Attractions

One of the city's proudest creations, Iasi's Botanical Gardens can be found a few miles north of the center in the leafy Copou neighborhood, and it's definitely worth making the journey from downtown if you get the chance. Opened in 1856, it's the largest garden of its kind in Romania, sprawling over 80 hectares that are filled with Romanian species, rose beds, greenhouses, orchids, and even some fearsome carnivorous tropical species. Apart from the rich collections, its lawns and lake make the gardens one of the most serene spots in town to relax and enjoy a picnic, too.

4. An Exquisite Mix Of East And West

The seat of Iasi's orthodox bishopric, the Moldavian Metropolitan Cathedral is not quite what you'd expect from a church in the east. Although it has the usual cupolas (domes), the church was designed in a hybrid style, borrowing elements from Italian renaissance architects, resulting in a visually harmonious, original fusion. While you can tour the interior and see the sublime murals and statues, expect big crowds (and a vibrant atmosphere) in October when St Parascheva's relics come to town, bringing with them hordes of pilgrims.

5. An Astonishingly Beautiful City Hall

A gorgeous 18th century building, the Roznovanu Palace has transitioned seamlessly from being a home to gilded aristocrats (and even the Romanian royal family for a brief period in 1892), to functioning as Iasi's city hall. And what a civic edifice it is. With its golden railings, interior painted ceilings and walls covered in silk drapes, it presents a cornucopia of visual delights, and visitors are always welcome.

1. A Mammoth Cultural Attraction

Definitely the city's premier attraction, Iasi's Palace of Culture was built in the early 20th century, and for decades served as the main law court in town. However, more recently, the Palace has been converted into a massive arts complex which serves as the focal point for Romania's Moldavian community. The Art Museum on the Palace's first floor is the centerpiece, with masterpieces by big names like Caravaggio and Veronese, but don't overlook the History Museum, with its 70,000 year-old mammoth skull.

2. Renaissance Glory And Superb City Views

On a slightly smaller scale than the Palace of Culture, Golia is a sublime religious center at the heart of Iasi. It was built in the 16th and 17th centuries when Iasi served as the capital of an independent Moldavia, and must have cut a dash for visitors, with its soaring walls and turrets. Nowadays, it's well worth visiting for architecture buffs, but even more so for the views from the 30 meter tall Golia tower, and for the centuries-old frescoes which adorn the interior.

3. One Of Romania's Most Relaxing Attractions

One of the city's proudest creations, Iasi's Botanical Gardens can be found a few miles north of the center in the leafy Copou neighborhood, and it's definitely worth making the journey from downtown if you get the chance. Opened in 1856, it's the largest garden of its kind in Romania, sprawling over 80 hectares that are filled with Romanian species, rose beds, greenhouses, orchids, and even some fearsome carnivorous tropical species. Apart from the rich collections, its lawns and lake make the gardens one of the most serene spots in town to relax and enjoy a picnic, too.

4. An Exquisite Mix Of East And West

The seat of Iasi's orthodox bishopric, the Moldavian Metropolitan Cathedral is not quite what you'd expect from a church in the east. Although it has the usual cupolas (domes), the church was designed in a hybrid style, borrowing elements from Italian renaissance architects, resulting in a visually harmonious, original fusion. While you can tour the interior and see the sublime murals and statues, expect big crowds (and a vibrant atmosphere) in October when St Parascheva's relics come to town, bringing with them hordes of pilgrims.

5. An Astonishingly Beautiful City Hall

A gorgeous 18th century building, the Roznovanu Palace has transitioned seamlessly from being a home to gilded aristocrats (and even the Romanian royal family for a brief period in 1892), to functioning as Iasi's city hall. And what a civic edifice it is. With its golden railings, interior painted ceilings and walls covered in silk drapes, it presents a cornucopia of visual delights, and visitors are always welcome.

Where to Eat in Iaşi

Iasi is experiencing something of a gourmet food boom right now, with options for everyone's palate. Check out Cuib, where raw and vegan food is on the agenda, La Castel, where there's a strong French influence and Buena Vista - an intriguing Romanian/Latin American fusion. Meals should cost around RON40.

When to visit Iaşi

Iaşi in July
Estimated hotel price
$79
1 night at 3-star hotel
Iaşi in July
Estimated hotel price
$79
1 night at 3-star hotel

Late spring and early summer is a great time to visit. It's before the intense heat of mid summer and the roses are in bloom. June also sees Iasi's Afterhills music and arts festival roll into town - with dance, art, and plenty of music.

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How to Get to Iaşi

Plane

Iasi International Airport (IAS) offers a range of European connections. From there you can take bus number 50 (RON2) or a taxi for around RON20.

Train

The train from Bucharest to Iasi takes around 90 minutes and costs about RON20.

Car

From Bucharest, take the E85 northbound, then switch to the E58. In all, it takes around 4-5 hours.

Bus

Massaro and Samson run buses run from Bucharest, while you can also take buses from the Moldovan capital Chisinau straight into central Iasi.

Airports near Iaşi

IASIasi

Airlines serving Iaşi

Lufthansa
Good (2,433 reviews)
KLM
Good (366 reviews)
Air France
Good (450 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,425 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (298 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,896 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (160 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (437 reviews)
FlexFlight
Good (2 reviews)
TAROM
Good (25 reviews)
Wizz Air UK
Okay (44 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Iaşi

Piata Unirii - the hub of Iasi's shopping, Piara Unirii is the city's main square and also home to a number of leading local hotels.

Popular Neighborhoods in Iasi

Bulevardul Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt - running south from Piata Unirii, Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt is the main street in Iasi, and is home to the Cathedral and great eateries like La Baza and Taverna Music-Pub.

Tudor Vladimirescu - the main student district, Tudor Vladimirescu is unsurprisingly strong on nightlife too. It also hosts restaurants like Pizza Pazzo, as well as attractive parklands along the banks of the Bahlui River.

Where to stay in popular areas of Iaşi

Most booked hotels in Iaşi

Pleiada Boutique Hotel And Spa
Excellent (9.4, Excellent reviews)
$122+
Grand Hotel Traian
Excellent (9.4, Excellent reviews)
$122+
Unirea Hotel & Spa
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
$120+
Ramada by Wyndham Iasi City Centre
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
$127+
Hotel Moldova
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$100+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Iaşi

Public Transportation

Buses in Iasi are a reliable and cheap way to get around, costing RON2 for a single ticket.

Taxi

Expect taxis to charge around RON2 for the flag drop, then a further RON3 per mile after that.

Car

Rental companies in Iasi include Nova and Green Rent a Car, and prices per day can dip to RON30.

The Cost of Living in Iaşi

Shopping Streets

City center malls like Hala Centrala are great places to shop for clothing or local foods, while alternatives include Era Pacurari in the far west of the city and Iulius Mall near the university.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets include Profi, Auchan, and Kaufland, where 12 eggs will come to around RON6.50.

Cheap meal
$7.79
A pair of jeans
$76.96
Single public transport ticket
$0.78
Cappuccino
$2.18