Moldova


Overview

Moldova travel information, including maps of Moldova, food, drink and where to stay in Moldova plus the best time to travel in Moldova

Tiny land-locked Moldova is gloriously untouristy. Fields of nodding sunflowers and friendly people greet you as you arrive in Moldova: one of Europe’s least-known and poorest countries.

Tree-lined Chisinau is one of Eastern Europe’s wildest party capitals where you’ll never be far from a glass of excellent Moldovan wine. East of Chisinau is the self-declared republic of Transdniestr, a flashback to Soviet-style communism, which has its own currency, police force, army and independence day.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Take a day trip to the breakaway region of Transdniesdtr (if they'll let you in...)
  2. Visit the cave monasteries at Orheiul Vechi, and make friends with the resident monks.
  3. Gulp down refreshing dry white sauvignons and full-bodied reds at Cricova’s underground wine cellars.
  4. People-watch from the cool cafes of capital Chisinau.

Wanderlust tips

Few Moldovans speak English so a few words of Romanian or Russian will go a long way.

Credit cards aren’t accepted everywhere but many places will accept US dollars, especially in the breakaway Transdniestran republic.

Further Reading

Travel in Moldova: vital statistics

  • Capital of Moldova: Chisinau
  • Population of Moldova: 4.4 million
  • Languages in Moldova: Romanian & Russian
  • Time in Moldova: GMT+2
  • International dialling code in Moldova: +373
  • Voltage in Moldova: 220AC, 50 Hz
  • Visas for Moldova: Moldova visa
  • Money in Moldova: Leu (MDL). Travellers cheques and credit cards are rarely accepted.
  • Moldova travel advice: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

When to go to Moldova

Moldova has a moderate continental climate; summertime temperatures have been known to soar to mid-30°C in recent years and can sink as low as a chilly -10°C in winter. The annual Wine Festival in early October is one of the country’s calendar highlights.

 

International airport

Chisinau (KIV) 14km from the city.

 

Getting around in Moldova

Inside Chisinau trolleybus rides or taxis are inexpensive. Call taxis rather than waiting at official stands if possible as it’s much cheaper. 

No journey outside Chisinau is too arduous as swarms of minibuses ferry travellers to just about any Moldovan border in a few hours. Orheiul Vechi can be reached by public transport but it's better to organise a guide to interpret.

Trains in Moldova serve international destinations such as Bucharest, St Petersburg and Moscow.

Moldova is flat, flat, flat which makes for easy cycling, despite the condition of some of the roads.

Moldova accommodation

Accommodation is limited in Moldova. Chisinau has a decent range of hotels but outside the city hotels tend to be soviet-style and gloomy. You’ll need your passport to check in. There are no hostels in Moldova. 

Camping sites are few and far between but wild camping is generally OK. Rural and city homestays in Moldova are on the rise.

Moldova food & drink

Moldovan food comes in big hearty portions. Influenced by Russia and Turkey, you’ll find plenty of grilled meat served with pickled fruit or veg. Specialities include tocana  (a garlicky sweet and sour pork stew) and mamaliga (similar to polenta and usually served with cheese). Vegetarians will have a hard time.

 

Health & safety in Moldova

Petty theft can be a problem but it’s no worse than in most European countries.

Speak to your GP or travel health clinics to check your vaccinations are up to date before you travel.