Visit to where? If you’re an American pondering this post’s title, let me help you with the pronunciation. It’s not Eye-a-see or Ee-ah-sigh, but Yash (with a slight ee in front).
However you pronounce (or mispronounce) it, this Romanian city near the Moldovan border is a fun place to explore, as Champa and I discovered when we drove there with Nina and Andrei from our host family.
Together we visited a lovely botanical garden, a “palace of culture” with four museums, a giant shopping mall, churches, gardens, a historic theater and a synagogue. The latter was closed but we enjoyed chatting with two Israelis we met outside, whose family has local roots.
Iași is among Romania’s largest cities and a traditional center of cultural, academic and artistic life, with several universities. It has an international airport and an impressive industrial base, which we passed on our drive to the city center. If you’re coming from Moldova, it’s where you can find a Starbucks latte, a Subway sandwich, an H&M sweater or an adventure park, as well as an assortment of churches, museums and wineries.
If you’re a tourist or shopper, you might visit Iași as a day trip or weekend excursion from Moldova, or as part of a larger Romania trip that includes Transylvania, Bucharest, the Black Sea or other popular destinations. Whatever. No matter how you end up there, you’ll probably enjoy it — and you might even learn to pronounce it correctly.