Moldova, the least visited country in Europe, is a tiny former Soviet country filled with loads of surprises and unusual places to visit.
For all the practical information and things to do, don’t forget to check my Moldova Travel Guide
Capital – Chisinau
Population – 2.6 million (138th)
Language – Moldovan, which is like Romanian, a Romanic language. Russian widely spoken.
Visa – Up to 103 nationalities, including all high-GPD countries (see the full list here) can get a free visa on arrival valid for 90 days within a 180-day period.
When to go – I personally think that harvest season, from mid-September to mid-October should be the best time to come, as wine is a big deal in Moldova and one of the highlights. Spring should also be great, as the weather is pleasant and the countryside becomes colorful. Summer is high season, but most Moldova has a continental climate, so it can get overwhelmingly hot. Winter can be freezing.
Travel insurance –Always a must and I recommend World Nomads for the following reasons:
- It is the only company that covers with an unlimited budget
- It provides coverage for a very big bunch of adventure activities, including trekking in high altitudes
- You can hire it while on the road
Top experiences in Moldova – My favorites:
- Wander around the ghost country of Transnistria – A country within Moldova which was never recognized by the UN. Read my Transnistria travel guide
- Visit epic monasteries – Saharna and Curchi and two gorgeous Orthodox monasteries and important pilgrimage sanctuaries for Moldovans
- Drink wine – Moldovan is a wine country and besides visiting all wine bars in Chisinau, you must see how villagers produce it in the traditional way.
- Spend one night in a Moldovan village – Moldova is by far, the most traditional country in Europe, a country filled with timeless and super authentic villages.
- Discover the Soviet Heritage of Chisinau – Loads of concrete and Soviet architecture.
Remember that, for all the places to visit, don’t forget to read my 12-day itinerary to Moldova
Typical costs – Moldova is cheap, really:
- Dorm: 6-8€
- Double room in a budget hotel: 20-25€
- Local meal: 2-3€
- A 3-course meal in a mid-range restaurant: 5-10€
- Marshrutka from Chisinau to Tiraspol: around 2€ for a 2-hour ride
Moving around Moldova – Marshrutka (mini-bus) is the way to go, as distances aren’t particularly long and you just get so many options all day long. There is a train line in Moldova but it is not that convenient unless you are traveling to places outside of Moldova like Odessa or Bucharest.