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Welcome to Moldova

Moldova Nature Landscape

Moldova, a small but charming country in Eastern Europe is known for its rolling hills, vineyards, and historic monasteries. It offers a unique travel experience that is not to be missed!

Our ultimate Moldova travel guide is packed with travel advice, tips on the best places to visit, local customs and traditions, traditional cuisine, and much more.

Whether you're looking to explore the bustling capital city of Chișinău or to sample some of the finest Moldovan wine, we've got you covered. Let us help you plan an unforgettable trip.

Travel Documents checklist for Moldova

  • Valid passport (for at least three months beyond the length of stay)

  • Visa (if required based on your nationality)

  • Proof of Sufficient funds to cover your stay in Moldova

  • Return airline ticket or onward travel documentation

  • Proof of accommodation or invitation letter from a resident of Moldova (if requested by immigration authorities)

  • Travel insurance covering medical treatment expenses and repatriation (highly recommended) It is important to note that visa requirements vary based on nationality. Use our visa checker tool to see if you need to apply for a Moldovan visa.

Essential Moldova travel information

  • Currency - Moldovan Leu (MDL). $1 is equivalent to approximately MDL 17.5.

  • Daily budget for one person - A budget of MDL 500-600 per day (around $28-$34) should cover basic expenses like food, accommodation, and transportation.

  • Languages - The official language of Moldova is Romanian, but Russian is also widely spoken.

  • Number of travelers per year - According to the World Bank, Moldova received approximately 2.2 million international visitors in 2019.

  • Socket type - The standard socket type in Moldova is type C and type F. The standard voltage is 220V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Moldova is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET), 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Chișinău, Orhei, and Tiraspol.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - The Mileștii Mici Winery, the Orheiul Vechi archaeological complex, and the Capriana Monastery.

Visa information for Moldova

US and EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Moldova for stays of up to 90 days. However, they must have a valid passport and may be asked to provide proof of onward travel and sufficient funds to cover their stay.

For citizens of other countries, visa requirements may vary. For those who require a visa, iVisa offers:

Moldova eVisa

The Moldova eVisa is an electronic travel authorization that allows eligible foreign nationals to enter Moldova for tourism, business, or transit purposes. The eVisa is issued by the Moldovan government and can be obtained online through iVisa's fast and easy application process.

The Moldova eVisa is valid for a maximum of 90 days after arrival from the date of issue and allows a single entry into the country. Travelers can stay in Moldova for up to 90 days within six months from entry.

Visa difficulty index for Moldova

Accessibility: 4/5

Getting a visa for Moldova is relatively easy, especially for US and EU citizens who do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. The visa application process can be completed online or with the Moldovan embassy or consulate for other nationalities. However, some applicants may experience difficulties resulting in the need for an interview, additional documentation, or proof of their ties to their home country.

Time to get your visa: 4/5

The processing time for a Moldovan visa is typically 10-15 business days. However, iVisa offers expedited processing options that can significantly reduce this time. For example, we offer a rush processing option to get your visa in as little as three business days.

Costs: 3/5

The government fees for a Moldovan visa are generally low, but the cost may vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant's nationality. iVisa charges additional processing fees on top of the government fees, but our prices are transparent and displayed on our website. We also offer a 100% refund guarantee in case of visa rejection, and our visa experts are available 24/7 to assist with any questions or concerns.

Typical costs and budget for Moldova

Moldova is an affordable destination for travelers on a budget. Here is a breakdown of typical costs and budget for Moldova:

Daily spending per person - On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around €20-€30 ($22-$33) per day, including meals, transport, and budget accommodation.

  • Meals - A budget meal in a local restaurant can cost around €5-€7 ($6-$8), while a mid-range meal can cost around €10-€15 ($11-$16).
  • Transport - Public transport in Moldova is relatively cheap, with a single ticket for a local bus or trolley bus costing around €0.25-€0.35 ($0.28-$0.39). Taxis are also affordable, with fares starting at about €2 ($2.23).
  • Hotel - Budget hotels and hostels in Moldova can be found for around €10-€20 ($11-$22) per night, while mid-range hotels can cost about €30-€50 ($33-$56) per night.

A trip for two people for one week in Moldova can cost, on average, around €400-€500 ($446-$558), including accommodation, meals, and transport. However, costs may vary depending on the level of comfort and the activities you choose to do and exchange rates are subject to change and may differ depending on the day and location of the exchange.

Transport and ways to travel around Moldova

Moldova has a few options for international travelers to visit and travel through the country, including flying into the main international airport.

Flying to Moldova

The main international airport in Moldova is Chișinău International Airport (KIV), which has direct flights to and from several major European cities, such as London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, and Moscow. Airlines that operate direct flights to KIV include Air Moldova, Turkish Airlines, and Wizz Air. Other airports in Moldova include Bălți International Airport and Cahul International Airport, but they have limited international flights.

Aside from flying, there are other options to enter the country via land border crossing points if traveling through Europe. However, remember that the border between Moldova and Ukraine may be closed due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Your home country may be unable to offer consular support or consular services if you attempt to cross from Moldova into Ukraine and vice versa. However, all other border crossings remain open and are safe to travel.

Arrival and immigration tips for Moldova

  • When arriving in Moldova, applying for a visa in advance is recommended to avoid delays at the airport (if applicable). The main international airport is Chisinau International Airport, which can sometimes be hard to navigate, so it's a good idea to have a map of the airport handy. You can get one at the airport if you need a visa on arrival. However, there may be long queues, so arriving early is best to avoid delays.

  • It's recommended to book a taxi or car service in advance to get to and from the airport. There can be a lot of traffic in and around the airport, so plan accordingly. Alternatively, public transportation is available, including buses and trolleybuses.

Best ways to travel around Moldova

Moldova has a decent transport system that makes it easy to travel around the country. The most popular way to get around Moldova is by bus. Buses in Moldova are modern and comfortable, and they operate regularly. Some famous bus companies in Moldova include Autobuzul, Guguta, and Codreanu. Bus tickets can be purchased at the bus station or from the driver. Purchasing your ticket in advance is advisable to secure a seat, especially during peak travel seasons.

In addition to buses, shared taxis, known as "marshrutkas," are also a popular mode of transport in Moldova. They are often faster and more flexible than buses but can be crowded and uncomfortable, especially for long journeys. Taxis are also available in major cities, but they tend to be more expensive than other forms of public transport.

For those who prefer to drive themselves, car rental services are available in Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova. However, it is essential to note that the roads in Moldova can be narrow and poorly maintained in some areas, so it is recommended to have some driving experience before renting a car. You will also require an international driving permit to do so.

Safety in Moldova

Moldova is generally considered a safe country to visit for tourists. However, like any other destination, travelers should exercise caution, be aware of their surroundings, and have personal security plans to ensure their safety. Local authorities warn that petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and theft, can occur in busy tourist areas like Chisinau and on public transportation. Travelers should keep their belongings close to them and be mindful of their surroundings.

Additionally, it is essential to note that Moldova, a former member of the Soviet Union during World War ii, still has a few regions where political tensions can cause unrest. Visitors should avoid large public gatherings and protests and should be aware of their surroundings in areas where tensions are high.

Overall, travelers who use common sense watch local media to stay updated on current affairs and take necessary precautions for a safe and enjoyable trip to Moldova.

Weather in Moldova

Moldova has a temperate continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The best time to visit Moldova is from May to September, when temperatures are mild and pleasant. During this time, temperatures typically range from 18°C to 28°C (64°F to 82°F), with July and August being the warmest months.

In the winter months from December to February, temperatures can drop below freezing, with average temperatures ranging from -4°C to 2°C (25°F to 36°F). Snow is common during this time and can make travel difficult, so visitors should pack warm clothing, including a coat, hat, gloves, and boots.

Spring and autumn in Moldova have generally mild temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). These seasons are also an excellent time to visit to avoid summer crowds and see the beautiful changing foliage.

Overall, the best time to visit Moldova depends on your preferences for weather and activities. If you are interested in outdoor activities, such as hiking or visiting wineries, then the mild temperatures of spring and fall may be ideal. If you prefer warmer weather and want to take advantage of the many festivals and events that take place during the summer months, then plan your visit between May and September.

Must do and see in Moldova

  • Orheiul Vechi - Located northeast of Chisinau, Orheiul Vechi is a unique open-air museum where you can explore an ancient cave monastery and the remains of a medieval city. It's a great place to learn about Moldova's rich history and see stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

  • Milestii Mici Winery - Moldova is known for its wine, and the Milestii Mici Winery is the largest wine cellar in the world. With over 200 kilometers of underground tunnels filled with millions of bottles of wine, it's an awe-inspiring sight. Take a tour, taste some local wines, and enjoy a delicious meal at the winery's restaurant.

  • Cricova Winery - Another popular winery to visit is Cricova, located just outside of Chisinau. Here, you can tour the underground wine cellars stretching over 120 kilometers. Cricova is known for its sparkling wines, and you can try some during your visit.

  • National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History - Located in the heart of Chisinau, this museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Moldova's culture and history. You can see exhibits on traditional clothing, household items, and musical instruments and displays on the country's flora and fauna.

  • Purcari Winery - Purcari is one of the oldest wineries in Moldova, dating back to the 19th century. It's located in the country's south, near the border with Romania. Tour the winery and vineyards, taste some of their award-winning wines, and enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.

Typical Moldovan food to try

  • Mamaliga - This dish is made from cornmeal and served as a side dish with various stews and meat dishes. It is similar to polenta and is a staple in Moldovan cuisine.

  • Placinte - These savory or sweet pastries are famous in Moldova. They can be filled with various ingredients, including cheese, potatoes, cabbage, apples, or cherries.

  • Sarmale - This dish is made of cabbage leaves filled with rice, ground meat, and spices. It is similar to dolma in other countries and is a popular dish in Moldova.

  • Zeama - This traditional chicken soup is often served with sour cream and garlic. It is a comforting and delicious dish perfect for a cold day.

  • Papanasi - These are sweet dumplings made from cottage cheese, flour, and eggs. They are typically served with sour cream and fruit preserves and make a delicious dessert.

Vaccine information for Moldova

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers to Moldova be up to date on routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and yearly flu shot.

The CDC also recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines for most travelers and Hepatitis B and Rabies vaccines for certain travelers whose activities and itinerary pose potential health risks. Travelers are advised to visit a healthcare provider at least 4-6 weeks before their trip to get the recommended vaccinations.

Regarding COVID-19, all travelers to Moldova are recommended to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before travel. The CDC also recommends that travelers wear masks in public spaces, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently during their trip.

Home to the Best Red Wine in the World

Discover Moldova's Wine Culture! Wine enthusiasts should visit Moldova. It is home to some of the world's oldest and largest wine cellars, including the Mileștii Mici wine cellar, in the Guinness World Record for having the most extensive wine collection in the world.

The country has a long history of wine-making, with evidence dating back over 7000 years. Visitors can take wine tours and tastings, explore vineyards, and learn about the traditional wine-making process. Some famous Moldovan wines include Feteasca, Rară Neagră, and Saperavi.

And as of 2022, it became home of the Best Red Wine in the World when the title was given to the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles made by Fautor Winery in Moldova.

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