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Exuberant, cultured Iaşi (pronounced ‘yash’) clearly enjoys being the biggest city in Moldavia. Once dubbed the ‘city of the hundred churches’, Iaşi is indeed bursting with centuries of architectural creations. Yet besides the monasteries, theatres and other historic buildings, this eclectic place has botanical parks, big squares and (for better or for worse) both communist-era concrete structures and gleaming modern shopping malls.

As with its shopping scene, Iaşi’s innumerable eateries, drinking holes and lively clubs depend on the robust university population. You'll find students from all over the world here – making this little corner of Romania unexpectedly cosmopolitan.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Iaşi.