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Location:Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Currency:Moldovan lei (MDL)
Area:33,851 sq km
Population:3,323,875 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Moldovan/Romanian 80.2% (official) (56.7% identify their mother tongue as Moldovan, which is virtually the same as Romanian; 23.5% identify Romanian as their mother tongue), Russian 9.7%, Gagauz 4.2% (a Turkish language), Ukrainian 3.9%, Bulgarian 1.5%, Romani 0.3%, other 0.2% (2014 est.); note - data represent mother tongue
Religion:Orthodox 90.1%, other Christian 2.6%, other 0.1%, agnostic <.1%, atheist 0.2%, unspecified 6.9% (2014 est.)
Things to Do
1. Visit Orheiul Vechi
Explore the ancient cave monastery of Orheiul Vechi and marvel at its stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The monastery is carved into limestone cliffs and offers a glimpse into Moldova's rich history and culture.
2. Wine tasting in Cricova
Indulge in a delightful wine tasting experience in the underground wine cellars of Cricova. Discover the secrets of Moldovan winemaking and sample a variety of exquisite wines in this unique and picturesque setting.
3. Explore Chisinau
Take a stroll through the capital city of Moldova, Chisinau, and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture and architecture. Visit the iconic Triumphal Arch, the National Museum of History, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the city's central square.
4. Discover the Soroca Fortress
Step back in time and explore the medieval Soroca Fortress, located on the banks of the Dniester River. Admire its well-preserved walls and towers, and learn about its fascinating history as a strategic stronghold in the region.
5. Visit the Milestii Mici Winery
Embark on a wine adventure at the Milestii Mici Winery, home to the largest underground wine cellar in the world. Explore the vast network of tunnels and sample some of Moldova's finest wines in this enchanting underground city.
6. Hike through the Codru Nature Reserve
Escape to the tranquility of the Codru Nature Reserve and enjoy a scenic hike through its pristine forests. Discover diverse flora and fauna, picturesque landscapes, and breathe in the fresh air of this natural paradise.
7. Visit the Transnistria
Explore the breakaway region of Transnistria and dive into its unique political and cultural landscape. Visit the capital city Tiraspol, see the iconic monument of Alexander Suvorov, and experience the distinctive atmosphere of this fascinating place.
8. Discover the Saharna Monastery
Discover the beauty and spirituality of the Saharna Monastery, nestled in the picturesque hills of Moldova. Marvel at its stunning architecture, visit the sacred springs, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this religious sanctuary.
9. Explore the National Wine and Vine Museum
Immerse yourself in the world of Moldovan wine at the National Wine and Vine Museum in the town of Cojușna. Learn about the history of winemaking in Moldova, discover traditional winemaking techniques, and taste some local wines.
10. Visit the Capriana Monastery
Visit the beautiful Capriana Monastery, one of the oldest and most significant monastic complexes in Moldova. Admire its medieval architecture, explore the well-preserved church, and learn about the monastery's rich cultural and religious heritage.
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Moldova has a moderate-continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in the summer months (June-August) is around 20-25°C, while in the winter months (December-February), the temperature drops to around 0°C.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Moldova is in the late spring and early autumn months, when the weather is mild, and the countryside is at its most beautiful. The months of May, June, September, and October offer pleasant temperatures and are ideal for exploring the country's cities, monasteries, and wineries. July and August can be hot, but this is also the peak tourist season, with many festivals and events taking place. The winter months (December-February) can be cold and snowy, but this is also a good time to experience Moldova's winter traditions and festivities.
Moldova has a range of hotels, from budget to luxury. Many hotels are located in the capital city, Chisinau, but you can also find hotels in other cities and towns.
Guesthouses are a great option if you want to experience Moldovan hospitality and culture. Many guesthouses are located in the countryside, offering a peaceful retreat away from the city.
If you're on a budget, hostels are a good option. They are located in the major cities, and some of them also offer private rooms.
You can also rent an apartment in Moldova, which can be a good option if you're traveling with a group or staying for an extended period.
Moldova is known for its wine tourism and rural tourism. You can stay in a traditional Moldovan house in the countryside, participate in winemaking, and enjoy traditional Moldovan food.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, camping is a good option. There are a few campsites in Moldova, and you can also camp in the countryside with permission from the landowner.
Homestays are a great option if you want to experience Moldovan culture and daily life. You can stay with a local family, learn about their traditions and customs, and enjoy homemade food.
Moldova has a public transportation system that includes buses, minibuses, and trolleybuses. The buses are the most common mode of transportation, and they connect major cities and towns. The trolleybuses run in Chisinau, and the minibuses, also known as marshrutkas, are a common mode of transportation in both urban and rural areas.
Taxis are available in all major cities and towns in Moldova. You can hail a taxi on the street or call for one. Make sure to negotiate the fare before getting in the taxi.
You can rent a car from various rental companies in Moldova. This is a good option if you want to explore the countryside or travel at your own pace. However, be aware that driving in Moldova can be challenging due to the poor condition of some roads.
Cycling is becoming a popular mode of transportation in Moldova, especially in the countryside. You can rent a bike in Chisinau or other major cities, and there are also cycling tours available.
Moldova has a limited train network, with trains connecting Chisinau to major cities in Romania and Ukraine. Trains are a comfortable and affordable way to travel, but the schedules can be irregular.
You can hire a private driver to take you around Moldova. This is a good option if you want a more personalized and flexible experience.
- The currency in Moldova is the Moldovan leu (MDL).
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry cash in Moldova, especially in rural areas where card payment options are limited.
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
- ATMs can be found in major cities and towns in Moldova.
- It is advisable to use ATMs located in well-lit areas or inside banks.
- Some ATMs may charge a fee for withdrawals, so it's recommended to check with your bank before using them.
- Tipping is not mandatory in Moldova but is appreciated.
- It is customary to leave a small amount of change or a 10% tip in restaurants and cafes if the service was good.
- Tipping taxi drivers and hotel staff is not required but can be done as a gesture of appreciation.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Moldova is relatively low compared to Western European countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and food are affordable.
- Be cautious of scams involving currency exchange, especially in tourist areas.
- It is advisable to exchange money at authorized exchange offices or banks rather than street money changers.
- Be wary of strangers offering help or assistance, as they may have ulterior motives.