What tourist attractions are worth visiting in Iasi
The city of Iasi is considered by many Romanians as the most beautiful city in Romania, full of tourist attractions of all kinds. From the Mall Palace area, contemporary and modern to museums, wonderful palaces, sumptuous cathedrals or famous parks. An eclectic mix of places that attract and delight. The small capital of Romania, the city of the Little Union.
In its secular history, Iasi has had moments of greatness but also terribly sad moments. We only mention the fact that the Union Hora was played here for the first time, it was here for two years the capital of Romania in the First World War, but also here took place the program of the Jews from the Second World War. Like any city, however, it carries its history with dignity, boasting of the good ones and bowing its head to the mistakes made.
There are countless places to visit in Iasi and below we will list several of them. We have as a bonus two places that are not in the city but are worth visiting because they are close and are both beautiful and interesting.
Palace of Culture in Iasi
Built on the site of the former royal court, between 1906-1925, it initially served as an Administrative and Justice Palace. A kind of Grand Court in Bucharest. In fact, parts of the walls of the former royal court can still be seen covered with glass, inside the palace. Since 1955 it has become a cultural place. Four museums, which form the Moldova Museum Complex, are open to visitors.
The palace is sumptuous, built in neo-Gothic style, with ornamental details, with heraldic elements on the outside and is one of the most beautiful buildings in Romania! The huge statue of Stephen the Great in front of the Palace is the perfect complement to the space.
The four museums: Museum of History of Moldova, Ethnographic Museum, Museum of Art and Museum of Science and Technology “Stefan Procopiu”, each with generous spaces and valuable heritage objects make the Palace of Culture the main attraction in the city. The clock tower you can visit and admire the complicated mechanism but in this period of pandemic it is closed.
One of the most beautiful halls in the Palace is the Voivodes’ Hall where on the walls are painted, in the style of medieval frescoes, all the important voivodes and rulers from Moldova and Romania.
It is quite strange to enter a Mall on the list of tourist attractions in a city, but here it is something else. A very beautiful area was built behind the Palace of Culture. A modern space that blends perfectly with the antiquity and beauty of the Palace. This created an area where locals come to spend their free time. Beyond the Mall, the space between it and the Palace is extremely well thought out. There is even an open-air amphitheater where shows are held. The store itself is not necessarily as attractive as the “park” formed between the two buildings. The upper stairs of the Palace descend elegantly in an area that rises to the beauty of the old building. It’s worth walking around the Palace for a bit of a walk here. Especially if the outside is warm, the atmosphere is very pleasant.
Stefan cel Mare Boulevard
The boulevard that leads to the Palace of Culture, pedestrian a large part of it is probably the most important artery of Iasi. On both sides you will find important and special buildings.
- Iasi Metropolitan Cathedral
- Roznovanu Palace City Hall and Iasi Prefecture
- Iasi National Theater
- Three Hierarchs Church
Each of these places is worth visiting and because they are close to each other they are easy to reach
Iasi National Theater
This year, on the great Romanian holiday, on December 1, the Iași National Theater celebrates 125 years since its inauguration! We did not want to miss a visit to the beautiful building and we saw the show “Gaitele” at the Great Hall which impressed us enormously. It is one of the most beautiful theaters in Romania and the shows here are famous. It is basically facing the Metropolitan Cathedral. Opera performances are also held here and upstairs is an exhibition of many of the stage costumes from the famous pieces you can see there. The building itself is beautiful, the entrance hall is full of details and the hall rivals the Athenaeum Hall in Bucharest. Thanks for the invitation to the National Theater. If you arrive in Iasi and you want to go and see a play, enter here to see what shows take place
Not very big, not extraordinarily arranged, but with “Eminescu’s Lime” and the bust of the great poet, face to face with the bust of Ion Creanga. Other busts dedicated to Romanian cultural figures guarding the main alleys are on display, and the park remains a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. A series of cultural activities, including poetry festivals, photography exhibitions and craft fairs, are organized here annually. You can’t go to Iasi without a visit here.
Lost Steps Hall and University of Iasi Library
Leaving on foot from Copou Park, you have to walk only a few hundred meters to the beautiful hall called “Hall of Lost Steps” with extraordinary Balasa paintings. The entrance is right in front of the statue. Also here you can visit the University Hall, wonderful in its grandeur and probably after the pandemic and the University Library will pass. The University Palace from Copou is a cultural and architectural symbol of Iași, which has dominated Copoul Hill since its magnificent inauguration in 1897, in the presence of King Carol I and Queen Elisabeta. The building, designed by Swiss architect Louis Blanc, was extended in the 1930s, when the central pediment, the monumental staircase, and a symmetrical body at the bottom were added. It is free to visit and you are not allowed to avoid it!
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University Hall in Iasi
The stairs at Rapa Galbena
Also known as Elizabeth Esplanade. Just a short walk from the University, also towards the center and you will discover the stairs from Rapa Galbena that connect the lower city and the upper part of the city, included in the List of Historical Monuments from 2004. Superbly built at the end of the 19th century. – At the beginning of the 20th century, in order to facilitate the movement of pedestrians between the area of Iași Station, Copou Hill and the central area of the city, it surrounds and embraces a hill and is the ideal place to take pictures. I’m right at the tram stop at the big intersection here. They don’t look good from the street so you have to go there.
Cuza’s Palace or the Union Museum
From here begins Lapusneanu Street where you will discover besides terraces and shops chic and Cuza’s Palace – Union Museum as well as the most famous rich shop in Moldova – Anticariat Grumzaescu, now more of an exhibition hall. The former Ulita Sarbeasca, is the street where the Cuza Palace / Union Museum is located – the house where the ruler lived. The pedestrian street was and still is one of the most important streets in the city. A promenade, full of terraces and summer gardens (nicknamed for that and Ulita veseliei) attracted elegant residents to walks and relaxation. The house was built in neoclassical style, fashionable at that time, in 1806 by the Catargi family and between 1859 and 1866 it was rented to serve as the home of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza when he was in town. The four years were enough for the building to remain in the collective memory under the name of “Cuza Palace”.
Unirii Square in Iasi
This street takes you directly to Unirii Square in Iasi. Zero kilometer of the city! The place where the Union Choir was first played, the place where the imposing statue of Alexandru Ioan Cuza is found and where the Traian Hotel displays its beauty. The market is one of the favorite places of the locals, here being organized countless events both public and private. Unirii Square marks three pillars of the nation: Trajan – the beginning of the Daco-Roman civilization, Dragoș – the founder of Moldova and Alexandru Ioan Cuza – the craftsman of Romania. It is the main place of public manifestation of Iași, where, every year, on January 24, thousands of people gather to celebrate Union Day, dancing the “Union Hour” around the statue of Cuza.
Iasi Museum House
The city has countless museums. Among them is the one called the House of Museums and includes five museums in the same place. The former prefecture of the interwar police in Iasi is today the place where the Pogrom Museum in Iaşi found its exhibition space. It’s shocking and because we choose to stay positive without forgetting but the less beautiful history we urge you just to go and find out there what we could tell you here but it would be extremely sad and painful. The other four are the Museum of Poetry, the Museum of Childhood in Communism, the Museum of Romanian Literature and the Museum of Jewish Theater in Romania.
You can’t leave Iasi without visiting one of the wineries near Iasi. We chose to go visit the Gramma winery which has a beautiful story behind it. The name Gramma is the wine of conversation, so it comes from grammar. The people from Gramma winery have a beautiful collaboration with master Horatiu Malaele.
Marian Olteanu, general manager of GRAMMA Wines, transformed the vineyard inherited from the family into a special wine and at the same time, a thriving business. Marian invested in the old vineyard located on the inherited lands and set up a modern winery, with all the technological links necessary to create a quality wine, different from all the other varieties already known in the area.
If you haven’t bought a virtual currency yet, you can do so here. Between 0.06 and 0.15 Elrond, a virtual currency that is similar to bitcoin, you can buy a bottle of super quality wine from the Stramosii range.
For Forbes, Katie Kelly Bell, writer and critic in the global beverage industry, makes this annual top with labels gathered from all over the world, and in that year from Gramma winery were presented the labels signed by Horațiu Mălaiele. It is impossible not to notice the label with the slice of watermelon or the Girl with a Mac in her hair or the Dancer on the Cuvee Vişan bottle. If you have missed them so far you can place an order online for the holidays. And Gramma Winery is a stone’s throw from Iasi so you can get there very quickly for a wine tasting and a visit to see the winery.
How did the people from Crama Gramma get to Horațiu Mălăele? Here is the story: “The idea belonged to Marian Olteanu’s mother. He knew Meda Victor, the lead actress in the movie “The Silent Wedding” (a film directed by Horațiu Mălăele). She is from Iași and married a family friend. On Medea’s wedding invitation, it was an illustration of Horatiu. Meda put them in touch. Marian told us that what convinced the great actor to collaborate with them was an event that Horațiu Mălăele lived in Iași. “Master Mălăele was with his godfather at a restaurant in Iași and when he asked his godfather what wine to drink, what is the best wine, he told him about our wine, without knowing that we had had some discussions with the master. Then, Mr. Mălăele called me, it was after 10 o’clock in the evening and he told me that we could start the collaboration “, Marian told us.
They told us that they have special tastings, which are made directly from the barrel, which is a rare thing at wine tastings. Also here you can organize tastings with appetizers or dishes especially suitable for Gramma wine varieties. Anyone who has been to the Wine Road in Muntenia at least once knows what we are talking about. We tasted a few varieties of wine and left with a taste that we will not forget.
These are just some of the wonderful places I have visited in Iasi. There are more. It is certain that for us, Iasi is in the top of the cities in Romania and every time we have the opportunity we will gladly return.