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Introduction

Iasi

Iasi

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Iasi is a city in the Moldavia Region in the northeast of Romania is the second city of the country after Bucharest, the national capital, by population and in cultural, historical and academic importance. It is the second largest university centre in Romania.It has a population of just under half a million people, swelling greatly when the town's several universities are in session.

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Weather

The local climate is continental with minimal rainfall and with large temperature differences between the seasons. Summer is hot and it lasts from the end of the month of May up to the half of September. Autumn is a short season, of transition. In the second half of November there is usually frost and snow. Winter is a freezing season with temperatures dropping to -20 °C.

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Getting There

By Plane

Iasi International Airport (IAS) offers flights to/from Bucharest, Barcelona, Milan, Rome, Vienna, Timisoara, and seasonal flights to Antalya, Corfu and Bodrum.

By Train

The connections to Iaşi from Bucharest, the national capital, and with other counties in Romania are good and reliable. You can also take direct trains from Budapest, which is well linked to Western Europe.

By Car

There are several possibilities to reach Iaşi from all over the country on national roads. These roads have been improved and are not blocked by traffic jams. A drive from Bucharest usually takes 5-6 hours.

By Bus

In Iaşi, there are two main bus stations: West Station and Vama Veche Station. The latter one is situated in front of the railway station. From there, buses go all over Romania, as well as abroad.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are quite popular in Iaşi, and have switched to yellow universally. In Iaşi, locals sometimes take the taxi which they find most appealing, not necessarily the first in line, so if you really like some brand of car, you can opt to take that one. This practice is becoming less common, however.

By Public Transport

Maxi taxis go pretty much everywhere you could go on public transportation. They are privately operated, smaller, usually white micro-buses. They have their endpoint destination written on a paper at the front and they follow a usual route. They do not accept foreign currency, and don't expect the maxi-taxi drivers to speak English well enough to tell you where to get off; you could write your destination on a piece of paper, point and ask.

Buses and trams were traditionally very important for getting around Iaşi, especially during the communist period and afterwards, before cars became commonplace. Public transportation is quite frequent and works from around 5:00am to about 11:00pm. However, during weekends and public holidays, their frequency decreases.

A ticket costs 2 lei, with a 2-trip ticket at 4 lei (two people can also make one journey with this ticket), a 90-minute ticket at 4 lei, and an all-day ticket at 8 lei. Strangely there can be problems if you try to use a ticket for a tram on a bus, etc. You can buy tickets from ticket offices at stops, but bear in mind that at minor stops these offices close around 5-6PM. Ticket machines have been installed throughout the city, and have an English interface.

There is a special tram that goes up and down Copou hill. It is reconditioned classical tram and it's a different style from the normal trams, resembling the San Francisco ones somewhat.

The main reason to go in public transportation is to witness regular people going about their business. Everyone goes on the public transportation. This is a good place to see beggars performing. If you're on a bus, it's fairly likely that some group of little kids will get on and start singing. They are usually gypsies singing traditional Romanian songs, and some of them are rather gifted. They want you to give them money, of course. Also, look out for displays of faith. Romania is one of the most religious countries in Europe, and when passing a church or monastery you may see several passengers, from old women to teenagers in sneaks, doing the sign of the cross.

Old town of Iaşi is quite small, however. You could use the public transport to go around, but most of the interesting parts of the city are in the center, so walking is preferable. You need the bus only if you want to see stuff out of traditional center or because your accommodation is there.

By Foot

Iaşi is a rather large, densely packed town. You can walk from one end to another in a few hours. For the curious visitor, walking is the best way to get around.

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Eat

Iaşi is famous for its nightlife. If you go towards the University you will find a lot of students wondering around or having a beer. There are a lot of bars, coffee shops and pubs where you cand chill, have a drink, or watch a game. Most popular discos and clubs are full until morning during during University periods. Check out the discos "Skye", "Skin", "Master", "Code" and "Viper" even though there are much more that are popular. You can find a lot of bars in front of the "Copou Park", as there are a lot of student housing there and is only natural there are a lot of leisure places. These bars usually are mainstream with popular music you can hear on the radio. Sometimes they have karaoke nights during the week.

There are bars almost every where, but most of them are places you won't have a nice experience as they are only for extremely loyal locals and such they have not invested much into the decoration or the experience. You will need to go to more central or student areas to get a more enjoyable experience. Also, if you just need to get a quick drink, you can always get into the many pizza restaurants you will definitely see, as the prices are the same.

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Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Iasi or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes exist in most cities and towns. The number of internet cafes seems to be declining in bigger cities recently because of cheap availability of computers and the rising living standard here. Wifi is widely available in University areas, airports, public squares, parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pay-as-you-go Wifi is also available in many venues. If uncertain, look for plazas near the Town Hall, large parks or other important buildings. Most (if not all) McDonald's restaurants and Starbucks in Romania have Wifi access and so do most 3-star (and higher) hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Romania's country code is +40. To dial to other countries from Romania, dial 00 and then the international number usually without the first 0.
Public phones work well and are available in all areas. You must purchase a phonecard from a kiosk to use them. When dialing within Romania, dial 0 + three digit area code + six digit telephone.

There are five networks - four GSM/3G (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Cosmote and DigiMobil) and one CDMA (Zapp). Orange and Vodafone have almost full national coverage (98-99% of the surface of the country), while the newly-merged Cosmote+Zapp are expanding quickly. Tariffs are average for the European Union (€0.08-0.30/min, €0.04 per SMS). Both pre-paid cards and subscriptions are available, and special options for discounted international calls exist with some pricing plans. Roaming is available but is, like in most of the EU, rather expensive. Pre-paid cards or recharge codes can be bought in almost every shop, either rural or urban.

On prepaid SIMs you can activate extra options ("extraopţiune") starting from €5 (+ 24% VAT) in total = RON27-32, with a validity period of 30 days, containing thousands (200 -3,000) of minutes and SMSs within the same network and up to 100 minutes outside the network, including most European Union fixed land-line networks and two or three mobile networks.

Post

Posta Romana is the national postal service of Romania. Postal services are generally very affordable, reliable and reasonably fast. Post boxes are red and can be found near the post offices, along the street or in main train stations. Post offices can be found in even the smallest towns and the opening hours are generally Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 12:00, closed on Sunday. You can buy stamps here or at kiosks. Prices for international mail start at around €0.55 and takes at least 3-5 days to countries within Europe. It's slightly cheaper and faster for domestic mail to be send. Intercontinental post is slightly more expensive but takes much longer. For slightly more expensive but faster and more reliable services you can also try international courier companies like TNT, DHL, FedEx or UPS.

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Accommodation in Iasi

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Iasi searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Iasi and areas nearby.

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This is version 11. Last edited at 15:30 on Nov 30, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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