The flow structures behind bare and aluminum foam-covered single circular cylinders were investigated using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The experiments are conducted for a range of Reynolds numbers from 2000 to 8000, based on the outer cylinders diameter and the air velocity upstream of the cylinder. The analysis of the PIV data shows the important effects of the foam cover and the inlet velocity on the separated structures. The results show a considerable increase in the wake size behind a foam-covered cylinder compared to that of a bare cylinder. Furthermore, the turbulence intensity is found to be around 10% higher in the case of the foam-covered cylinder where the wake size is approximately doubled for the former case compared to the latter. The turbulence kinetic energy, however, is found to be less Reynolds dependent in the case of the foam-covered cylinder. In addition, small scale structures contribute to the formation of the flow structures in the foam-covered cylinder making them a more efficient turbulent generator for the next rows when used in a heat exchanger tube bundle. On the other hand, a higher energy level in such separated structures will translate into increased pressure drop compared to bare cylinders. Finally, the results of this study can be used as an accurate set of boundary conditions for modeling the flow field past such cylinders.