Palaces with rolling hills, hotels designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame, book-shaped benches was not we expected to find in Iasi, Romania’s third largest city and cultural capital. In eastern Romania near the Moldovan border, Iasi offered a lot in the 3.5 days we visited.
Here are a few highlights.
- Banana bread from Cafeneaua Lattente Specialty Coffee, a tiny cafe with outdoor seating and a quality coffee menu.
- “Happy Luca” (a hot dog with mustard and ketchup inside a warm roll) from Luca, a takeout-only bakery chain throughout the city.
- Carbonara from Pasta House, a takeout pasta shop.
- Soup from Ciorbărie, a small shop that sells ten different kinds of soup with white bread.
- Latte with a double shot of espresso from Capuchin Roasters, a design-forward cafe along a pedestrian-only street.
- Strawberry lemonade from Noir Coffee Roasters, cafes inside black vans throughout the city.
- Play on two shaded playgrounds inside Exhibition Parc, a large park with fountains, gazebos, and snack stands.
- Roll down the hills outside the Palace of Culture, an early 20th century palace that’s now museums.
- Take your kids to the Palas Mall to ride flashing unicorn rides.
- Walk up the stairs at the Yellow Precipice built in the early 20th century.
- Zip line at SuperFun, an adventure park that hosts private parties.
- They let us inside for an hour before a party started for fun.
- Book-shaped benches at Copou Park and throughout the city.
- Brutalism in every neighborhood.
- Grand Hotel Traian, a hotel designed by the same man behind Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
- Neoclassical architecture at Metropolitan Cathedral Iasi and elaborate stonework at Mănăstirea Sfinții Trei Ierarhi, a 17th century monastery nearby.
- Roses in the gardens at the Anastasie Fătu Botanical Garden, the country’s oldest and largest botanical garden.
- Subtle public art throughout the city.