Many European countries advertise themselves as ‘off the beaten track’, but miniature Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, doesn’t even know the track exists.
Only about 12,000 travellers a year visit Moldova, partly for its unspoiled natural good looks, but also for its wine. The country has some of the best up-and-coming vineyards on the continent, and they’re fuelling a bit of a cultural resurgence: you’ll find plenty of trendy bars, cafes and restaurants in the capital Chişinău. The only signs you’ve stepped into a Soviet time warp are the marble busts of Lenin lining the main boulevards, frowning over his goatee at a region outgrowing its communist roots.
Our Moldova trips
Articles on Moldova
Moldova travel highlights
Orheiul Vechi, Moldova
In the country’s most important historical site, uncover cave churches and remote, stark beauty
Mileștii Mici winery
Explore some of 200 kilometres of underground passages, all lined with exceptional Moldovan wine
Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity Chisinau
See an important Moldovan symbol, where locals gather for celebrations or protests
Moldova holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Moldova
Geography and Environment
Health and Safety
Moldova travel FAQs
Travellers from Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Moldova. A 90-day stay within a 6-month period is permitted. Citizens of other countries must either obtain a visa in the nearest Moldovan embassy, at the airport, or at some land border crossings with Romania.
Service charges are not usually included on a bill. Consider adding a 5-10% tip.
WiFi is fast and widespread in hotels and restaurants in the capital Chişinău and other big cities. 4G mobile internet is also available in most urban centres.
Mobile coverage is good across the country, but roaming rates can be high. It’s simple and low-cost to purchase a local SIM card.
Moldova has Western-style flushable toilets.
- Bottle of wine = 100 MDL (Moldovan Leu) (approx. USD 5)
- Meal for two in mid-range restaurant = 445 MDL (approx. USD 22)
- Museum entry = 20 MDL (approx. USD 1)
- Stuffed pastries = 53 MDL (approx. USD 2.5)
Water is safe to drink in Chişinău, but in more rural areas consider sticking with filtered water. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water.
Credit cards are widely accepted in urban centres, less so in more rural parts. It is best to have a reserve of cash.
There are ATMs in Chişinău, but they are not always reliable.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 7 Jan Orthodox Christmas
- 8 Jan Orthodox Christmas Holiday
- 8 Mar International Women's Day
- 16 Apr Orthodox Easter
- 17 Apr Orthodox Easter Monday
- 24 Apr Memorial/Parents' Day
- 1 May International Solidarity Day of Workers
- 8 May Public Holiday (workday move to 10 June Sat)
- 9 May Victory Day
- 1 Jun International Children's Day
- 27 Aug Independence Day
- 31 Aug National Language Day
- 25 Dec Western Christmas
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Moldova go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/moldova/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Moldova
1. Be considerate of Moldova’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. Be ready to remove your shoes when you enter a local’s house. It’s the common custom.
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. In Moldova’s Orthodox Churches, women can keep their hats on, but men should take theirs off.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. Don’t put your thumb between your first two fingers – this is considered a very rude gesture in Moldova.