Probably the most storied park in Romania, Copou is found upon Copou hill, from which it gets its name. When it was established, in 1834, it was a good distance outside the city, away from the hustle and bustle, and it quickly became a hot spot for the local aristocracy, being described as an “outdoor salon”.
Today, it is firmly within the city, easily accessible by foot or public transport. It’s a wonderful destination to simply relax, escape the heat in the summer over ice cream, sit on a bench surrounded by many old trees and think, or stroll around with family and friends.
History and literature fans will be drawn to Eminescu’s Linden Tree, over 600 years old and still blooming every late May. Eminescu, Romania’s most celebrated poet, often came to sit and write beside this very tree. His bust is now in front of it and, close by, the Junimea Alley hosts the busts of many of the key members of Junimea, the most important literary movement in the history of the country, which started here, in Iași, in the 19th century.
Copou is always a great choice, no matter if you want to simply relax or explore the literary history of the city.
Located up on Copou Hill, it looks like a stylistic mix between Palas Park and Copou: more drink & food options than Copou, but not as packed with them as Palas. It’s clearly separated into a few distinct sections: a small children’s play area and a skating park to the South and South-West, the food, beverage, and refreshments area to the North, and the main park itself in the middle. On warm weekend days especially it gets really crowded, but even at its fullest, you will never fail to find a spot to work, think or simply relax.
Ciric Forest and Leisure Park
For a more raw and natural experience, you can visit Ciric Lake, surrounded by a forest with wonderful walking and running trails. The area around the lake also has leisure spots where you can go swimming in the pools, have barbecues, take hydro-bicycles on the lake or have a drink on one of the terraces. There are also occasional parties in some of the establishments there, so after a relaxing day, you can hit the dancefloor.
Our other two suggestions are parks situated nearer the city center, but are perfect for quick pauses during your visiting tours. The Junimea Park is near Stephen the Great Boulevard, through the back alley behind one of the buildings facing the street. It’s been recently renovated and also has some fitness machines so you get rid of those carbs from all the restaurants you visited.
The other one is at the bottom of the Copou hill, not far. The Voivodes Park is a small corner park with 8 statues of Romanian rulers, of which 7 are historical monuments. This is also a good spot to take some photos and maybe have a coffee on the bench.
Overall parks in Iași are in every neighborhood and are easy to get to since Iași is a city ideally experienced by foot. Most of them have well-maintained lawns and are clean. Enjoy the greenery!