Chisinau is the liveliest city in the country
Chisinau is the largest city in Moldova. The capital of about 700,000 inhabitants still has a sense of Soviet history in both buildings and public transport.
The green center of Chisinau is easy to explore on foot. All major sights such as the Chisinau Arc de Triomphe, the Nativity Cathedral, the Opera, the Parliament and the Presidential Palace can be easily seen in one day. A museum lover should visit the National Museum as well as the Natural History Museum.
Chisinau has two large, green parks that serve as living rooms for city dwellers. Parks are gathered in the parks whenever the weather allows to spend time with family and friends. You can buy food and drink from cafes when you are hungry. The parks specialize in free wireless internet for everyone.
The restaurant offer in Chisinau is varied and of high quality. There is a choice of European delicacies as well as local specialties. Most restaurants are located on the streets of Bucharest and 31 August 1989. In Moldova, it is customary to leave a tip of about ten percent.
Europe’s largest wine cellars
Short for MDA by abbreviationfinder, Moldova’s main export is wine. According to countryaah, Moldova is also home to some of Europe’s largest wine cellars. The most famous of these is Cricova, about 15 km from Chisinau, whose underground wine cellars form a 120-kilometer-long tunnel network. At its deepest, the tunnels are located 90 meters below the ground.
Cricova’s cellars can be explored with guided tours. The tunnels are transported by electric train, so there is no risk of getting lost. The most interesting part of the tour is getting to know the wine glass-shaped cellar, where valuable vintage wines are stored. On display are a bottle from Jerusalem from 1902 and French red wines from World War II, among others. A guided wine tasting can also be combined with the tour.
The cellars of Mileștii Mic are located about 20 km from Chisinau. They are larger than Cricova’s basements. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, up to two million bottles of wine are stored there. The cellars can be explored on a guided tour. The tour must be booked in advance.
Other interesting wine cellars include Chateau Cojusna and the oldest wine cellar in Moldova, Purcari. Guided tours in English must be booked in advance.
Transnistria: a country that does not exist
Transnistria is located on the eastern bank of the river Nistru, or Dniester. The area, about 200 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide, declared independence in the early 1990s. It is still considered part of Moldova and has not been recognized as an independent state by any country in the world. However, the region is lived as if it were an independent state. Transnistria has its own administration, currency, post office, army, passport and border controls.
Transnistria and its capital Tiraspol are a real time travel into the past. Soviet-era buildings, empty streets named after Soviet leaders such as Karl Marx, and statues of Vladimir Lenin make the city a special place to visit. As Moldova reaches out to Europe, Transnistria is turning its gaze to Russia. The pro-Russian image can be seen in the street scene as, among other things, propaganda. In Tiraspol, it is also worth visiting the war memorial, the museum and the Kvint brand factory.
An excursion to Chisinau can be made to Transnistria. The easiest way is to take a guided day trip, which is well enough to explore the most important destinations. Photography in the area is limited, so follow the instructions in the guide to avoid problems.
By Transnistria, a passport and registration must be presented at the border. You can get an entry card from the border, which entitles you to stay in the area for ten hours. The entry card should not be lost or the time should not exceed ten hours. Fines are harsh and often arbitrary.
It is also possible to stay overnight in Transnistria. In this case, it is very important to register with the country’s Immigration Service within ten hours. More expensive hotels will take care of it on request, but when staying in a home or hostel you will have to take care of it yourself.
Orheiul Vech Museum Area and Cave Monastery
The archaeological site of Orheiul Vech and the cave monastery are the most important historical attractions in Moldova.
Located about 60 kilometers from the capital, the area delights with its scenery and beauty. The visit should start with a visit to the exhibition, which features artefacts found in the area.
The most interesting place in the area is a cave monastery excavated on the banks of a river, in a limestone cliff. The entrance to the monastery, which dates back to the 13th century, is marked by a small bell tower under which the entrance is located. The monastery can be visited daily.
THE BEST OF MOLDOVA
Experience these in Moldova
- City tour of the capital Chisinau
- Day trip to Transnistria
- A visit to Cricova’s wine cellars
Disadvantages of Moldova
- No direct flights from Finland
- Little to see and do in winter