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Moldova travel guide - Travel S helper


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Moldova, formally the Republic of Moldova, is an Eastern European landlocked nation bordered on the west by Romania and on the north, east, and south by Ukraine. Chișinău is the capital city.

Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union on 27 August 1991, as part of the dismantling of the Soviet Union. Moldova’s current Constitution was established in 1994. Since 1990, a stretch of Moldovan territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been de facto controlled by the separatist Transnistria government.

As a result of a decline in industrial and agricultural production after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the service sector has come to dominate Moldova’s economy, accounting for more than 60% of GDP. Moldova, meanwhile, remains Europe’s poorest nation.

Moldova is a parliamentary republic led by a president who serves as both head of state and head of government. It is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and aspires to join the European Union.

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Moldova - Info Card




Moldovan leu (MDL)

Time zone



33,851 km2 (13,070 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language


Moldova | Introduction

Geography Of Moldova

Moldova is located between latitudes 45° and 49° N, and mostly between meridians 26° and 30° E (with a tiny region east of 30°). The entire land area is 33,851 square kilometers.

The majority of the country is located between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. The Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea, forms Moldova’s western boundary. Moldova has just approximately 480 m (1,575 ft) of Danube access, and Giurgiulești is the sole Moldovan port on the Danube. The Dniester is the major river in the east, running from north to south and receiving the waters of Răut, Bâc, Ichel, and Botna. Ialpug flows into a Danube liman, whereas Cogâlnic flows into the Black Sea liman chain.

Despite its proximity to the Black Sea, the nation is landlocked. While the majority of the land is steep, altitudes seldom surpass 430 m (1,411 ft), with the Bălănești Hill being the highest point. The hills of Moldova are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which formed geologically from the Carpathian Mountains. The Dniester Hills (Northern Moldavian Hills and Dniester Ridge), the Moldavian Plain (Middle Prut Valley and Bălți Steppe), and the Central Moldavian Plateau (Ciuluc-Soloneţ Hills, Cornești Hills—Codri Massive, “Codri” meaning “forests”—Lower Dniester Hills, Lower Prut Valley, and Tigheci Hills) are its subdivisions in Moldova. The Bugeac Plain, located in the country’s south, is a minor flatland. Moldova’s land east of the Dniester River is divided between portions of the Podolian Plateau and parts of the Eurasian Steppe.

The capital, Chișinău, is located in the center of the nation, as are Tiraspol (in the eastern part of Transnistria), Bălți (in the north), and Bender (in the south-east). Gagauzia’s administrative center is Comrat.

Climate In Moldova

Moldova has a somewhat continental climate; its closeness to the Black Sea results in a warm and sunny environment.

Summers are hot and lengthy, with temperatures average about 20 °C (68 °F), while winters are moderate and dry, with January temperatures averaging 4 °C (25 °F). Annual rainfall varies considerably, ranging from about 600 mm (24 in) in the north to 400 mm (16 in) in the south; lengthy dry periods are not uncommon. The greatest rainfall comes in early summer and again in October, with frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms. Heavy summer rains often cause erosion and river silting due to the uneven topography.

On 21 July 2007, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Moldova was 41.5 °C (106.7 °F) at Camenca.

On 20 January 1963, the lowest temperature ever recorded was 35.5 °C (31.9 °F) at Brătușeni, Edineţ county.

Demographics Of Moldova

According to preliminary statistics from the 2014 census, there are 2,913,281 people living in Moldova (in territories controlled by the central government), a drop from the number reported in the 2004 census. The urbanization rate is 45 percent, with 45 percent of the entire population residing in cities.

Cultural and ethnic composition

The word “Moldavian” was originally used to designate the people of the Moldavian Principality. Austria acquired the northern portion of the principality, which became known as Bukovina, in 1775; a second split in 1812 resulted in Russia annexing the eastern part of Moldavia, which became known as Bessarabia. The ethnic Moldavians who were partitioned did not go through the same nation-building processes as their ethnic counterparts in the Danubian Principalities, which identified as the new Romania. As a result, speakers of Romanian in Bessarabia adhered to a “Moldavian” identity.

Until the interwar era, Bessarabia had a Moldavian identity, while ethnic Romanians in Bukovina had a Romanian identity even before the Great Union. Peasants in all three sections of ancient Moldavia, Romanian, Austrian, and Russian, were more inclined to identify as Moldavians than educated city residents.

According to the 2004 Moldovan Census (areas under central government administration) and the 2004 Transnistria Census (areas under breakaway authority control, including Transnistria, Bender/Tighina, and four neighboring communes):

Self-identification Moldovan
 % Core
 % Transnistria
+ Bender
Total  %
Moldovans 2,564,849 75.81% 177,382 31.94% 2,742,231 69.62%
Ukrainians 282,406 8.35% 160,069 28.82% 442,475 11.23%
Russians 201,218 5.95% 168,678 30.37% 369,896 9.39%
Gagauz 147,500 4.36% 4,096 0.74% 151,596 3.85%
Romanians 73,276 2.17% 253 0.05% 73,529 2.16%
Bulgarians 65,662 1.94% 13,858 2.50% 79,520 2.02%
Romani 12,271 0.36% 507 0.09% 12,778 0.32%
Poles 2,383 0.07% 1,791 0.32% 4,174 0.11%
Others / undeclared 30,159 0.89% 27,454 4.94% 57,613 1.46%
TOTAL   3,383,332   100%   555,347   100%   3,938,679   100%

There is continuing debate about whether Romanians and Moldovans are the same ethnic group, specifically if Moldovan self-identification represents an ethnic group separate from Romanians or a subset of Romanians. There were also many accusations that the ethnicity statistics were manipulated: Seven out of ten Council of Europe observation groups observed a substantial number of instances in which census takers advised respondents to identify themselves Moldovans rather than Romanians. To complicate interpretation, 18.8 percent of respondents who identified as Moldovans said that Romanian was their native tongue.


Orthodox Christians, who make up 93.3 percent of Moldova’s population, were not asked to indicate which of the two major churches they belong to for the 2004 census. Both the Moldovan Orthodox Church, which is independent and subject to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church of Bessarabia, which is autonomous and subordinated to the Romanian Orthodox Church, claim to be the country’s national church. Protestantism accounts for 1.9 percent of the population, while other faiths account for 0.9 percent, non-religious people account for 1.0 percent, atheists account for 0.4 percent, and 2.2 percent did not respond to the religion question on the census.

Language In Moldova

Moldova’s official language is Moldovan, which is derived from Romanian. Russian is also extensively spoken as a first and second language in the nation. Ukrainian and Gagauz are official minority languages in places where there is a significant number of speakers. French, and to a lesser degree English and German, are popular foreign languages taught in the majority of Moldovan schools.

The language you will require in Moldova depends depend on where you want to stay. There are areas where Russian predominates over Romanian, and vice versa. Even though they prefer to converse in Romanian, most individuals here understand basic Romanian and nearly all understand Russian.

The language split in this nation frequently reflects political leanings. The name of the local tongue itself is a subject of continuous political debate. Some refer to the local language as Romanian (limba română), others as Moldovan (limba moldovenească), while yet others just speak Russian. As a foreigner, you will be able to get about if you can speak basic Romanian or Russian.

Economy Of Moldova

Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, energy shortages, political instability, trade barriers, and a lack of administrative capability all contributed to the economy’s downturn. Moldova adopted a convertible currency, liberalized all prices, ceased providing preferential loans to state companies, supported gradual land privatization, eliminated export restrictions, and liberalized interest rates as part of an ambitious economic liberalization program. To encourage growth, the government engaged into agreements with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The economy recovered from its downturn in the late 1990s.

Moldova’s economy has fully recovered from the drought-related recession that occurred in 2012. Following a 0.7 percent drop in 2012, the economy grew by 8.9 percent in 2013, due to a significant recovery in agricultural and associated sectors, private consumption, and exports. Inflation has stayed within the NBM’s (National Bank of Moldova) target range of 5% 1.5 percentage points. The total budget deficit fell to 1.8 percent of GDP in 2013 from 2.2 percent in 2012, owing in part to the failure to complete investment projects. The external accounts continued to improve, with the current account deficit reducing to approximately 512 percent of GDP as a result of robust export performance, limited import growth, and continuing high remittance inflows. International reserves have risen to $2.8 billion (5 months of imports or 105 percent of short-term debt). The real effective exchange rate (REER) fell 312 percent. Although estimates suggest that the real exchange rate may be somewhat overvalued, external competitiveness seems to be generally sufficient, as shown by good sustained export success. The short-term economic prognosis, on the other hand, is bleak. The major risks to the near-term forecast include severe vulnerabilities and governance problems in the banking sector, policy slippages in the run-up to elections, an increase in geopolitical tensions in the area, and a further slowdown in activity in key trade partners. Moldova is extremely susceptible to changes in remittances from overseas workers (24% of GDP), exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the European Union (EU) (88% of total exports), and donor funding (about 10 percent of government spending). The primary transmission Remittances (including owing to possibly returning migrants), foreign trade, and capital movements are all avenues via which negative exogenous shocks may affect the Moldovan economy. According to the staff’s spillover analysis, further strengthening of fiscal and external buffers would be essential for reducing the effect of external shocks, especially given Moldova’s close connections and synchronized economic cycle with trade partners.

Moldova substantially met the major goals of the joint ECF/EFF (IMF financial credit)-supported program, which ended on 30 April 2013. The economy has rebounded well from the drought-related recession in 2012, but it will decelerate in 2014. Financial stability, fiscal policy slippages in the run-up to the 2014 legislative elections, a further downturn in activity in key trade partners, and an escalation of geopolitical tensions are key threats to the near-term picture.

Corporate governance is a significant issue in the banking industry. According to the FSAP recommendations, major flaws in the legal and regulatory frameworks must be rectified as soon as possible to guarantee the financial sector’s stability and soundness. Moldova has accomplished significant budgetary restructuring in recent years, but this trend is already reversing. Resisting pre-election temptations for selective expenditure increases and returning to a course of budgetary reduction would decrease the country’s dependence on very large donor contributions. Fiscal structural changes would assist to ensure long-term viability. Monetary policy has succeeded in keeping inflation within the NBM’s target range. Going ahead, the NBM must be prepared to adopt a tightening bias if inflationary pressures emerge. The inflation targeting regime may be strengthened. The implementation of structural changes proposed in the Moldova 2020 National Development Strategy (NDS) will assist increase potential growth and decrease poverty, particularly in the business environment, physical infrastructure, and human resource development sectors. The extraordinary recovery of Moldova from the terrible recession of 2009 was mainly due to solid macroeconomic and financial policies, as well as structural changes. Despite a little recession in 2012, Moldova’s economic development was among the best in the region between 2010 and 2013. Economic activity rose by approximately 24% over the course of the year; consumer price inflation was kept under control; and real earnings increased by roughly 13% over the course of the year. This growth was enabled by sufficient macroeconomic stabilization measures and ambitious structural changes undertaken in the aftermath of the crisis as part of a Fund-supported program. Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013, which contains provisions for creating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).

Early in 2013, a political crisis resulted in policy slippages in the fiscal and banking sectors. The political crisis that erupted in early 2013 was resolved in May 2013 with the formation of a government backed by a pro-European center-right/center alliance. However, policy implementation delays prohibited the final evaluations under the ECF/EFF arrangements from being completed.

Despite a significant reduction in poverty in recent years, Moldova remains one of Europe’s poorest nations, and structural changes are required to support long-term development. In 2011, 55 percent of the population was poor, according to the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) regional poverty threshold of US$5/day (PPP). While this is a substantial decrease from 94 percent in 2002, Moldova’s poverty rate remains more than twice the ECA average of 25 percent. The NDS—Moldova (National Growth System) 2020, released in November 2012, focuses on many key sectors for economic development and poverty reduction. Education, infrastructure, the financial sector, the economic environment, energy usage, the pension system, and the judicial framework are among them. Moldova has made considerable progress in achieving and maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability since the regional financial crisis in 1998. Furthermore, it has undertaken many structural and institutional changes that are required for the effective operation of a market economy. These measures have aided in the maintenance of macroeconomic and financial stability in the face of adversity, allowed the return of economic recovery, and contributed to the establishment of an environment favorable to the economy’s medium-term growth and development.

The government’s EU integration objective has resulted in some market-oriented development. Moldova’s economy grew faster than anticipated in 2013 as a result of increasing agricultural output, economic measures implemented by the Moldovan government since 2009, and the receipt of EU trade advantages, which connected Moldovan goods to the world’s biggest market. During the summer of 2014, Moldova signed the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Moldova has also secured a Free Visa Regime with the EU, which is the most significant accomplishment in Moldovan diplomacy since independence. Nonetheless, development has been hindered by high Russian natural gas costs, a Russian restriction on Moldovan wine imports, increasing international inspection of Moldovan agricultural goods, and Moldova’s huge external debt. Longer term, Moldova’s economy is susceptible to political instability, a lack of administrative competence, entrenched bureaucratic interests, corruption, increased fuel costs, Russian pressure, and the separatist rule in Moldova’s Transnistria area. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for April 2014, Moldova’s GDP (PPP) per capita is 3,927 International Dollars, excluding the grey economy and tax evasion.

Wine industry

The nation boasts a thriving wine sector. It contains 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres) of vineyard land, of which 102,500 ha (253,000 acres) are utilized for commercial production. The majority of the country’s wine output is for export. Many families have their own recipes and grape strands that have been handed down over centuries. Milestii mici is home to the world’s biggest wine cellar. It extends over 200 kilometers and contains almost 2 million bottles of wine.


Tourism emphasizes the country’s natural scenery and heritage. Wine excursions are available to visitors all across the nation. Cricova, Purcari, Ciumai, Romanești, Cojușna, and Mileștii Mici are among the vineyards/cellars.

Entry Requirements For Moldova

Visa & Passport for Moldova

Citizens of Canada, CIS countries, the EU, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States do not need a visa to visit Moldova and may remain for up to 90 days in a six-month period without registering. Citizens of other countries must acquire a visa from the closest Moldovan embassy, or they may receive a visa on arrival at Chişinău airport and at certain land border crossings if an officially approved invitation letter from Moldova is obtained ahead of time.

If you are a motivated individual traveling into Moldova through Ukraine, be aware that you may be entering Transnistria. Some buses from Odessa pass via Tiraspol, but others bypass the city, trading two border crossings for extra time on the route. Transnistria is an unrecognized state in Moldova’s east, bordering Ukraine, that split away from the nation after a conflict in 1992. Westerners usually have minimal difficulties crossing Transnistrian borders by bus, but international travelers have had difficulty in the past. There is a slight possibility that international visitors may be requested to pay bribes, but buses that travel between Ukraine, Transnistria, and the rest of Moldova generally manage border talks effectively, collecting passports and negotiating with Transnistrian officials. Also, since Moldova does not recognize Transnistria as a state, there is no Moldovan border check between Transnistria and the rest of Moldova, thus you may have to explain yourself if you attempt to leave Moldova without an entry stamp.

How To Travel To Moldova

Get In - By plane

The most popular flight routes are to Bucharest, Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, Munich, Timisoara, and Vienna. Prices are quite expensive. Tickets to Bucharest, Istanbul, Kiev, Milan-Bergamo, and Moscow are the most affordable. Moldova has three airlines. Tickets from Munich may also be obtained at a reasonable price with Lufthansa/Air Moldova.

Get In - By train

The sleeper train is perhaps the cheapest method to enter the nation. Trains from Romania and Ukraine are now available on a daily basis. The train from Bucharest costs about USD40. If you have the time, airfares into Bucharest are about USD200 less expensive than flights into Moldova. This service was stopped after the 2009 political upheaval, and it is unclear if it has been reinstated; nevertheless, it is worth checking. Cars are hoisted individually at the border crossing onto bigger gauge wheels to suit Moldovan rails. Because both nations utilize the same track gauge, crossing the border from Ukraine is easier.

Get In - By car

If traveling by automobile, be sure to utilize a border crossing with a (non-stop) visa granting office. At the border, you must pay a modest road charge. A person driving an automobile that is not registered in their own name must have a letter of permission from the vehicle’s registered owner.

Get In - By bus

Buses run frequently between Chişinău and Bucharest, Kiev, and the majority of important Romanian and Ukrainian cities. There are 5 to 6 buses each day that go to and from Bucharest. The journey takes around 10 hours due to a lengthier stop at the border. Although there is a rudimentary bathroom at the border, most coaches do not stop anywhere else. You will also be able to travel by bus to the majority of European towns using Moldovan bus operators. When traveling by bus, be sure to utilize a border crossing with a (non-stop) visa granting office.

Kiev, 2 daily, MDL250, 12 hours

Moscow, 4 daily, MDL700, 30 hours

Odessa, 20 daily, MDL90, 5 hours

Sevastopol, daily MDL430, 18 hours

Brasov, 5 daily MDL200, 12 hours

Get In - By boat

Despite the fact that the nation is landlocked, there is a ferry service that runs between Giurgiulesti in Moldova and Istanbul in Turkey, crossing the Danube to reach the Black Sea. Every Monday, they depart Giurgiulesti and arrive in Istanbul the following Wednesday. It’s unclear if this ferry service is only available during the peak season.

How To Travel Around Moldova

The bus is the most dependable and comprehensive domestic mode of transportation, connecting you to almost every region of the nation.

Chişinău is the country’s major transportation center. Every city and town in Moldova is served by one of the three bus terminals. Small minibuses that accommodate around 15 passengers are the quickest mode of transportation. Larger buses are also utilized, and since they run at slower speeds, they are slightly safer.

There is a state-run trolleybus system in Chișinău, which contains several modern cars. The price is presently 2 lei, and fares are collected and tickets are issued by a conductress. There is also a ‘bus service that runs on fewer routes.

In most cities, minibuses (rutierele in Moldovan Romanian; marshrutki in Russian) are accessible. They are privately owned and are summoned by asking that the car stop; nevertheless, they are often overcrowded. Drivers should be paid upon boarding (currently 3 lei in Chişinău), however some passengers insist on seating first and giving the money to the person in front of them to give to the driver, so don’t be surprised if random people behind you start handing you money.

Destinations in Moldova

  • Chişinău – A capital is a governmental municipality (Municipiul). A lovely place to visit for a few days and stroll about in.
  • Bălţi like the capital, is worth a visit. A pleasant pedestrian zone surrounds the center plaza. Explore the city’s historic district.
  • Soroca is regarded as Moldova’s “Romani (Gypsy) capital.” Numerous ornately adorned Roma homes may be seen on the hill on the west side of town. The city also has the Soroca fort, which was constructed in 1499 by Stefan cel Mare. It was a vital link in the network of fortifications that now runs across Moldova and Ukraine along the Nistru River. Hours may be irregular, particularly throughout the winter. A Monument named “The Candle of Gratitude” may be seen 5 kilometers south of Soroca on the route into town. The 600 steps lead up to the peak, which is 29.5 meters (98 feet) above sea level.

Accommodation & Hotels in Moldova

Accommodation in Chişinău is shockingly costly, with choices starting at €100 per night. The majority of hotel rates are in euros, although some are in US dollars.

Many smaller towns may feature a Soviet-era hotel replete with full service. Rates will be expensive in comparison to what you’re receiving. In many areas, staying in a local’s home costs about €10. This is an informal arrangement that can only be arranged by chatting to people when you arrive, but it is definitely worth thinking about if you want to go out into the countryside.

Hostels. Hostels are still in their infancy in Moldova, although there are a few excellent ones in Chişinău. Chişinău Hostel and Central Youth Hostel are two examples. Prices vary from $10 to $20 USD.

Apartments. Chişinău has a large number of apartment renters. The location and quality may vary. Many are also out of date. Because it may be difficult to locate individuals who understand English, you may wish to utilize a booking service. Price range: €20–50.

Things To See in Moldova


In downtown Chişinău, there are many museums, including the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of Fine Arts.


Moldova is well-known for producing wines, and high-quality wines at reasonable costs are the country’s primary tourist draw.

Milestii Mici – With almost 200 kilometers (125 miles) of subterranean roads, Milestii Mici is the world’s largest wine collection, according to Guinness World Records. Because a vehicle is required for the trip, it may be easier to arrange a tour via a travel agency. +373 22 382 333.

Cricova, Moldova’s second biggest wine cellar, contains more than 120 kilometers (75 miles) of subterranean roads. It is a popular tourist destination and is just a 15-minute drive from Chişinău. +373 222-277-378

Purcari – One of Moldova’s oldest vineyards, Purcari wine has been consumed by Russian Emperor Nicolai II and English King George.

Branesti is a smaller and more affordable wine cellar. It is near to the Orheiul Vechi Monastery, making it ideal for combining a monastic visit with wine sampling.


Orheiul Vechi – Moldova’s most well-known attraction is a 13th-century Cave Monastery approximately a half-hour drive from Chişinău. A tourist center with a small museum, restaurant, and hotel lies just up the road. Call ahead to +373 235 34 242 to make sure it’s open. The entrance fee to the facility is 20 lei or 15 lei if you are a student – yet no one seems to bother stopping to pay. Every day, six marshrutka trips operate between Chişinău’s central bus station and the tourism complex. There are enormous rocks nearby that hold six more systems of interconnecting caverns. It is strongly recommended not to explore them without the assistance of an expert guide. Just off the river are the ruins of a Turkish bath house.

Capriana Monastery is one of Moldova’s most important monasteries, located just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Chişinău. Buses leave Calea Ieşilor in Chişinău’s Sculeni district every hour in the morning.

Bender (or Tighina in Romanian) – The Fortress of Bender is another fortress, although it is now being utilized as a military training field and is off bounds. The finest views are from the bridge that leads to Tiraspol.

Tipova Monastery is a rock monastery in the middle of Moldova, near the Nistru River.

Food & Drinks in Moldova

Chişinău is a great location for foodies. Chişinău has a plethora of excellent dining options.

Most restaurants offer cheap, delicious cuisine that is popular with the locals. There are several little restaurants and cafés with better service and more varied cuisine. The costs at good restaurants are similar to those in other parts of Europe. Fast food and pizza joints, which can be found on almost every corner, are suggested for a quick lunch. There are little stores all throughout the place where you may get groceries. Some are even just in front of residential buildings, only a few feet from the doors. Shop in supermarkets for harder-to-find goods. Markets are a wonderful location to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of the items are local, although there are many vendors that offer imported goods, mostly oranges, bananas, and other tropical fruits and vegetables. Supermarkets and stores are the greatest places to buy meat and meat products. The quality is much superior than that of the market, and the costs are not significantly more.

While in Moldova, be sure to sample at least some of the local foods – Mamaliga, placinta, and sarmale are must-tries for a full experience. These should be complemented with homemade wine for the complete experience.

Moldova has a long history of producing indigenous wines. The reds, in particular, are popular across the nation. Most Moldovan peasants cultivate their own grapes and make their own wine, and many average rural families produce thousands of gallons of wine each year.

Chişinău’s nightlife is actually very amazing when compared to what one would anticipate. It is home to a plethora of clubs and nightclubs that are on par with those found in other parts of Eastern Europe.

Money & Shopping in Moldova

Local wine is of excellent quality and reasonably priced in contrast to other nations, although it is mostly unknown in Western Europe due to political reasons.

Moldova’s currency is the leu (ISO 4217 code MDL). The Moldovan leu (plural: lei), like the Romanian leu, is split into 100 bani (singular: ban). The currency’s name comes from Romania and means “lion.”

While in Moldova, make a point of visiting at least one piata and perusing the Soviet memorabilia, but be aware that vendors may charge outsiders considerably greater rates than locals.

Banknotes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 lei.

Festivals & Holidays in Moldova

The celebrated non-working days designated by the Government of the Republic of Moldova and valid for the whole area of the nation are known as public holidays in the Republic of Moldova. Local holidays are established by autonomous territorial entities Gagauzia and Transnistria, as well as cities, communes, and cantonal administrations. These are not non-working days. In contemporary Moldova, there are… nationally recognized holidays.

Most retail establishments in the Republic of Moldova shut on New Year’s and Independence Day, but are open on all other holidays. Private companies often only celebrate the major holidays (New Year’s Day, Easter and Easter Monday, Victory Day (May 9), Independence Day, Labor Day, Limba Noastra, and Christmas).

Most holidays in the Republic of Moldova commemorate events or individuals from Moldavia’s history, but four are shared with many other countries: Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, Victory Day (May 9) and Labour Day.

The winter holiday season historically lasted from New Year’s Day to Old New Year’s Day. As of 2009, the holiday season officially starts on December 25, which is now a legal holiday in the Republic of Moldova. The holiday season begins considerably earlier, with the formal lighting of the Chisinau municipal Christmas tree around the end of November or the beginning of December, when some residents celebrate the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa in addition to Christmas.

Summer vacation season traditionally (albeit unofficially) begins in May with celebrations of most significant towns’ anniversaries (Bălţi – 21 May) and concludes in late August with the simultaneous festivities of the Republic of Moldova’s Independence Day and Limba Noastra.

National holidays

These holidays are established by the Government of the Republic of Moldova in line with Moldovan law.

Date Official Name Remarks
January 1 New Year’s Day Commemorates the start of the Gregorian calendar year. Counting down to midnight (12:00 AM) on the previous night, New Year’s Eve, is part of the festivities. The traditional start of the Christmas season.
January 7–8 Craciun pe Rit Vechi (Orthodox Christmas)
March 1 Martisor (first day of spring) Not a Public Holiday
March 8 International Women’s Day
April/May Orthodox Easter
April/May Memorial Day
May 1 Labour Day (Moldova)
May 9 Victory and Commemoration Day
June 1 Children’s Day Not a Public Holiday
August 27 Independence Day (Moldova)
August 31 Limba Noastra (National Language Day (Moldova))
October 14 Capital’s Day Each city, commune, and hamlet has its own celebration day, so it’s not only Chisinau that has a public holiday.
November 21 South Capital’s Day Cahul Public Holiday just for Cahul.
December 25 Craciun pe stil Nou (Western Christmas)

Traditions & Customs in Moldova

Women must be respected. Moldova, like other Eastern European nations, places a premium on chivalry. If you’re out in public, open doors for women and allow them to come in first. If you make derogatory remarks about women in Moldova, you will be in a lot of problems with the people.

When visiting Moldova, be cautious about referring to the people as Romanians, since not all Moldovans identify as such. First, research your host: some Moldovans identify as Moldovan, while others as Romanian. This also applies to the language, despite the majority of Moldovans refer to it as Romanian in daily conversation.

Also, be cautious while discussing Moldova with Romanians. Many Romanians consider Moldova to be Romanian.

Culture Of Moldova

Moldova, which is physically located at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and other civilizations, has enhanced its own culture by absorbing and preserving some of the traditions of its neighbors and other influence sources. Moldovan culture is a synthesis of Romanian and Russian elements. Romanian culture has traditional Latin roots dating back to the 2nd century, during the era of Roman colonization in Dacia.

Numerous churches and monasteries built by Moldavian ruler Stephen the Great in the 15th century, as well as the works of later Renaissance Metropolitans Varlaam and Dosoftei, and scholars such as Grigore Ureche, Miron Costin, Nicolae Milescu, Dimitrie Cantemir, and Ion Neculce, contributed to the country’s cultural heritage. Moldavians from the historic Principality of Moldavia, later divided between Austria, Russia, and an Ottoman-vassal Moldavia (after 1859, Romania), made important contributions to the development of modern Romanian culture in the nineteenth century. Alexandru Donici, Alexandru Hâjdeu, Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, Constantin Stamati, Constantin Stamati-Ciurea, Costache Negruzzi, Alecu Russo, and Constantin Stere were among them.

Mihai Eminescu, a late Romantic poet, and Ion Creangă, a novelist, are the most prominent Romanian language artists, and are regarded as national authors in both Romania and Moldova.

The majority of the ethnic community speaks Romanian and practices Romanian culture. Byzantine culture has also impacted the culture (through Eastern Orthodoxy).

The nation also has significant minority ethnic groups. Gagauz are Christian Turkic people who make up 4.4 percent of the population. Although they were few in number, Greeks, Armenians, Poles, and Ukrainians had been present since the 17th century and had left cultural imprints. Many more Ukrainians from Podolia and Galicia arrived in the nineteenth century, as did new groups such as Lipovans, Bulgarians, and Bessarabian Germans.

Moldova saw significant Soviet immigration in the second half of the twentieth century, bringing with it many aspects of Soviet culture.

Food and beverage

Moldovan cuisine is comparable to that of neighboring Romania, with aspects of Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian food influencing it. Beef, pig, potatoes, cabbage, and a variety of cereals are among the main meals. Divin (Moldovan brandy), beer, and local wine are popular alcoholic drinks.

The total adult alcohol intake is almost equally divided between spirits, beer, and wine.


Gavriil Musicescu, Stefan Neaga, and Eugen Doga are three of Moldova’s most famous composers.

Moldova produced the famous rock band O-Zone, who rose to popularity in 2003 with their hit song “Dragostea Din Tei.” Moldova has competed in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2005. Another well-known Moldovan band is Zdob şi Zdub, who finished sixth in the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest.

Natalia Barbu represented Moldova in Helsinki for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 with her song “Fight” in May 2007. Natalia made it to the final by a hair’s breadth. She finished tenth with 109 points. Then, in 2011, Zdob and Zdub represented Moldova once again in the Eurovision Song Contest, ending in 12th place. Dan Bălan, another well-known musician, released the album Chica Bombin 2010 in 2010.

SunStroke Project’s popular song “Run Away,” performed by Olia Tira, represented the nation in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. Because of Sergey Stepanov, the band’s saxophonistpelvic ,’s thrusting and dancing, their performance became an online meme. He’s been nicknamed “Epic Sax Guy” with good reason.

Mark Pester, a violinist, conductor, and the first professor at the State Conservatory, is one of Moldova’s most renowned classical artists. Mark Pester studied violin under the renowned violin instructor Leopold Auer at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. As a conductor, he produced Moldova’s first operas and worked with singers such as Sergei Rachmaninov. Other notable classical artists in Moldova include singer Maria Biesu, winner of the Japan International Competition, and pianist Mark Zeltser, winner of the USSR National Competition, the Margueritte Long Competition in Paris, and the Busoni Competition in Bolzano, Italy. Oleg Maisenberg, the winner of the Schubert International Competition in Vienna, is another excellent pianist.


Most retail establishments are closed on New Year’s Day and July 4th, but are open on other other holidays. Christmas is celebrated on either January 7, the traditional date in Old Calendarists Eastern Orthodox Churches, or December 25, both of which are official holidays.


Moldova’s national sport is trânta (a kind of wrestling). In Moldova, association football is the most popular team sport.

Rugby union is also popular. The number of registered players has more than quadrupled, and almost 10,000 fans attend each European Nations Cup match. The Moldova President’s Cup, which was first held in 2004, is the most prestigious cycling event in the country.

Moldovan athletes have earned European medals in Athletics, Biathlon, Football, and Gymnastics, as well as World medals in Archery, Judo, Swimming, and Taekwondo, and Olympic medals in Boxing, Canoeing, Shooting, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Moldova

Stay Safe in Moldova

Travelers visiting Moldova for business or romance should be wary of the possibility of frauds, especially if first contact was established through the Internet – notably international money scams and Russian Internet dating schemes.

Transnistria, a breakaway territory, has declared (and mostly achieved) independence but lacks international recognition. As a result, consular assistance in the event of an emergency is generally inadequate. Corrupt police and border guards may attempt to collect bribe money, although crime rates are low in comparison to ‘normal’ crime rates. In reality, locals are usually extremely polite and will go out of their way to accommodate visitors. You may anticipate a long, and almost certainly alcoholic, dinner to be served just in your honor.

At religious places, conservative attire is required. Shorts are not permitted, and ladies must cover their heads while entering monasteries and churches.

While bribery and police corruption are still issues in Moldova, things are looking better. It is nevertheless recommended that travelers carry the phone number of their embassy as well as the contact information for the hotel where they are staying. Foreigners must also have their passports with them at all times. In most cases, though, no one checks this in a regular environment.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages may also be an issue. It’s usual to run across drunks, particularly late at night. Most are amiable, however they may be aggressive and will violate your personal space. This may be frightening the first few times. Normally, politely stepping away works. People who move to a nation where alcohol use is lower risk of getting inebriated.

Stay Healthy in Moldova

Soil and groundwater have been polluted by the widespread use of agricultural chemicals, including prohibited pesticides such as DDT. If you are worried, use water from a recognized safe source for drinking, cooking, and oral hygiene, since conventional water treatment, including boiling, does not eliminate such chemical contamination.



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