Gorgeous! Beautiful! A dream destination! …. these are just some of the words and phrases you won’t hear people using to describe the unknown country of Moldova.
Europe’s least visited country, located between Romania and Ukraine, is generally left off most travel lists. While I am not going to advocate going out of your way to visit the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, I will state that I was surprised by the overall cleanliness and calmness of the city.
As an additional bonus, Moldova uses a Latin alphabet (as opposed to the Cyrillic alphabet which is used in Russia/Ukraine etc) and the younger population has an English base and a willingness to speak.
With a population of 820,000 and not overflowing with tourist sites, Chisinau can be adequately explored in a day or two. It is very walkable and easy to navigate.
As you can see, the architecture in Chisinau has a modern feel. However, as a former member of the USSR, the city still has its fair share of old Soviet buildings scattered throughout.
In recent years Chisinau has become quite liveable. The city has a few parks, the streets are clean and it is noticeably quiet for a capital city.
It is also full of cheap restaurants serving delicious food!
One of the top sites in Chisinau is the Monument to the Victims of Soviet Occupation.
Unveiled in 2010, this monument and ever burning flame is a 10-15 minute walk from the main downtown area. It is worth a visit.
Outside of the areas covered, there isn’t a whole lot to see or do in Chisinau. Do not plan on sticking around for more than a day or two unless you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind.
While not tourist friendly, I do think Chisinau would be a nice city to live in for a few months. The people seemed friendly, it is easily navigable, and it comes across as calm and orderly.
How to Get to Chisinau:
Chisinau is about 4-5 hours via bus from Odessa, Ukraine and roughly 12-15 hours from Lviv, Ukraine. *Night buses leave between 6-7pm to Lviv*
It is also quite close to the Romanian border – 3-4 hours to Lasi, Romania.
Enjoy your stay!