Iasi is the cultural capital of Moldova as well as a legendary city that has undergone crucial changes, and is now displayed to its visitors in a new, shining light. It is both quiet and restless , old and new, modern and vintage, and has something to offer to everyone who crosses its path. At nighttime Iasi will narrate the exact story you want to hear.
1. I recommend booking a room at Hotel Unirea! It is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in and I've been coming here for the past 15 years. It is tall and elegant, with a stupendous view over the city, the restaurants are excellent, there is also a SPA facility, a gym, pool and the breakfast will pleasantly surprise you.
2. Please do take a stroll that should start from Unirii Square (also the location of the hotel) towards Stefan cel Mare boulevard. There are shops, travel agencies and stylish bars/ hotels nearby. We really enjoy talking long walks around here during winter!
3. "Vasile Alecsandri" National Theatre from Iasi is completely arresting! It is fully restored and it accommodates centuries of culture and art. The theatre's Grand Room is one of the most beautiful in the world.
4. Visit the Iasi Mitropoly, one of the most spectacular churches in Romania, but also go to the other churches located in the city center: the gold plated "Trei Ierarhi" Monastery, Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Saint Nicholas Church near the Palace of Culture.
5. I would spend hours upon hours at the Palace of Culture or Palas. The gardens are splendid, you can sit on the grass and read a book or observe the people and the beauty around you. There are also elegant terraces, bars, clubs, supermarkets, a mall and everything else you might need.
6. I recommend eating lunch at Fenice Palas Lebanese Restaurant which, on top of its delicious dishes, also boasts a hanging terrace-garden offering a fairytale like view.
7. From the Palas you can go towards the malls: Moldova or Iulius in Tudor Vladimirescu neighbourhood (where the student dorms are located). Here you can go shopping, clubbing or bar-hopping.
8. Panoramic Restaurant is my choice for a romantic, seductive dinner. It is situated on the 13th floor of Unirea Hotel and on its menu you will find tasty treats at an excellent price (you will surely be amazed!). Do look out the window and take in the view - the entire city will be at your feet.
9. Iasi is blessed with a gorgeous park, Copou, where some of the greatest Romanian writers came in search of their inspiration. The first Romanian University is located close by and it also accommodates the most beautiful library in the country. People are extremely friendly and allow taking pictures.
10. The surrounding area of Iasi invites tourists for a trip: The Natural Bison Reservation Dragos Voda in Vanatori Neamt, Neamt Monastery, Sturdza Castle in Miclauseni, Ancuta's Inn, Bicaz Canyon, a picturesque region that connects Moldova to Transylvania.
Contributing Editor: Alida Cucu
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