You won’t be able to see all of these in one day, so you can choose to group them in clusters based on the map below. The list is by no means exhaustive and you can search for more here.
You can start your tour at the Palace of Culture. This is the most instagrammed place in Iași. Inside there are four museums: The History Museum of Moldavia, The “Ștefan Procopoiu” Science and Technique Museum, The Ethnography Museum of Moldova and The Art Museum. The Museum of History of Moldova (left wing, ground floor) captures the evolution of the Royal Court of Iasi, the Iași society in 1900 and the function of the Palace of Justice building in the interwar period. It hosts over 50.000 items and comprises of three main collections: “Archaeology”, “History” and “Numismatics and Medalistics”.
Right outside, in the front of the Palace of Culture, in a building you can’t miss, you’ll find The Museum of ”Metropolit Dosoftei”. A place that marks the first pages in Romanian literature history, this was the home of Dosoftei Barilă (1624-1693), the first hierarch in Moldavia who translated and versified books of religious interest in Romanian (Psalms), using the ancient printing press in the process of extending the usage of Romanian in religious institutions.
A bit to the north, on Independence Boulevard, The Museum of Natural History, the first museum of its kind in the country, is especially appreciated by children. The collections of insects, fish, birds and mammals, as well as those of minerals or nests and eggs number over 350,000 pieces, being among the richest collections in Romania. These are complemented by traveling exhibitions of minerals, reptiles or prehistoric creatures.
Close by, on Lăpușneanu Street, you’ll find The Palace of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, a symbol for the city. The ground floor shows various aspects of the Union epoch (the double election, partizans of the Union, reforming politics) and the palace’s history, and it hosts numerous cultural events. In the hallway, the painting “Hora Unirii” by Constache Agafiței illustrates the events of January 1859 which took place in front of the former Bacalu’s Inn in the current Union Square. The first floor is dedicated to the princely apartments – the working offices of the Prince and the Lady Elena Cuza, the living room, the hall, the billiard room, the Lady’s salon and the bedroom.
To the north, lined in a row and close to each other, you can visit: The Vasile Pogor Memorial House (home to the former mayor of Iași and the first private building in the city with electrical lighting), The “Mihail Kogălniceanu” Memorial Museum (home of the most important supporter of the Union of Moldova with Wallachia and a collaborator of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza) and Ion Creangă’s Hovel Museum (a small rustic house where the poet lived for 17 years). These three memorial houses are a must-see. They carry a ton of stories from Romania’s political and literary history. You can find out more about them in the list below.
If you made it this far and have a couple more hours to spare, you should head up towards Copou and The Museum of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University. It hosts two museums actually: The Museum of Cucuteni Civilization (one of the oldest civilizations in Europe) and The Academic Museum (which presents the various historical stages of Iași’s higher education in unique exhibits that reconstruct the evolution of the institution and academic disciplines).
There’s a seemingly infinite amount of knowledge about these museums and memorial houses. Some of it you’ll find in the list below, but for a rewarding and complete experience, you have to visit all of them. Enjoy!