How many days in Moldova | What to do in Moldova
Are you planning on visiting Moldova and you are asking yourself how many days to spend in Moldova? We wrote a short guide about Moldova and what to do in Moldova.
Moldova is one of the least visited country’s in Eastern Europe and it is situated between Romania and Ukraine. You can really feel and taste Soviet life there, it has been a part of the Soviet Republic until 1991.
We spend 3 days in Moldova and we managed to explore around a bit. Chisinau is Moldova’s unexplored capital city, it’s a good place to spend a night or two.
We were really surprised when we heard, that the world’s biggest wine cellar is in Moldova, it’s called Milesti Mici.
Moldova’s native language is Romanian but you will hear a lot of Russian as well, if you speak and understand Russian you can communicate easily, they don’t speak English.
The official currency in Moldova is Moldovan Leu: 1 EUR = 19,7 MDL.
When to go – how many days in Moldova
Moldova has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The coldest months are January and February and the hottest are July and August. Best time to visit Moldova is from May to late September, temperatures are nice, the nights can get a bit chilly.
The exceptions are July and August, which are very hot – if you can’t stand the heat May, June or September are the best months for you.
If you visit Moldova in the warmer months pack light clothes, a t-shirt, a light jacket or sweater if you get cold at night. Don’t forget long pants. You can also pack a raincoat, just in case rain surprises you.
If you visit in the colder months, get dressed well – pack warm clothes, long warm pants, sweater, winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, warm shoes, warm socks,… I think you understood my point.
How to get to Moldova and move around
You can get to Moldova by plane, bus, car, train. Very popular is by train, you have trains connecting Chisinau with some main cities in Romania and also Ukraine. We arrived there with a minibus from Iasi (a town in Romania).
To move around Moldova the best way are also minivans, it’s also the most common way of transportation. The minivan has more than 10 seats and it leaves when it’s full, so it can happen you will have to wait a bit if you arrive there first. Once on the road just tell the driver the place you want to get off. This way of transportation (minibus) connects most of the cities in Moldova.
In Chisinau you use public transport (tram, trolley bus), they are super cheap and you can explore all the city in this way.
What to eat and drink – how many days in Moldova
Street food is very cheap, one of the local dishes is langos (fried dough) filled with Brânză (locally made salty brine cheese), it cost from 4-8 Lei (0,23-0,46$;0,2-0,4€).
If you want to eat a good meal (pasta, pizza, salads) go to Andy’s, it’s a chain of restaurants, all around Chisinau. We ate there all the time, meals are from 60-200 lei (3,5-11,5$;3-10,2€).
If you see Kvas vendors on the streets stop and try a glass of cold Kvas beverage. A fizzy brewed drink sometimes called Russian cola, kvas literally means “leaven”. A cold glass of Kvas will cost you 3 Lei (0,17$;0,15€).
Things to do and try in Moldova
Old Orhei Archeological Complex (Orheiul Vechi)
A good way to get to the monastery is to take a minibus at the Chisinau north bus station (Autogara Nord), where you search for the minibus with the sign Chisinau – Orarul Rutilor, ride to Orheiul Vechi costs 26 Lei (1,5$;1,3€) and it takes 45-60 minutes.
Old Orhei, also known as Orhei Vechi, is probably one of the most interesting attractions in Moldova. It is an open-air archaeological site with a lot of history.
We visited Old Orhei on a very hot day. First, we had to walk to the church on the top of the hill and the cave underneath. I have to admit, I was quite sweaty. But it was all worth it. The view on the top is just beautiful, you can see all the valley and the river flowing by, nature around is outstanding.
The church on the top is more or less like an orthodox church, for us nothing special. The cave is another story, much more interesting! The entrance to the cave monastery is around 100 meters before the church, if you walk up the hill it’s on the right side (not a lot of signs).
The monastery is built in a rock and it is a thing to see. An old monk still lives in the monastery and maintains it. The view from the cave is very beautiful. There is no entrance but you can give them a donation, they will be very happy.
Chisinau is for sure one of the least visited cities in Europe that I have been to. It is very different from the other cities as well, not very populated. It has a lot of Soviet-style looks, which gives you the feeling that you are back in time.
I have to admit that Chisinau is not exactly a travelers paradise but only wandering around the city streets can lead you to see some great gems that the city has to hide. Chisinau Soviet-era architecture, pleasant parks, National theatre, Moldova National Opera & Ballet Theater, Botanica park, Cathedral & Ştefan del Mare Park, Arc de Triomphe are just some of the things worth seeing.
You can also visit some of their pubs and try their cognac and observe people passing by. Two or three days in the city is enough to see everything.
Cricova winery&Milesti Mici
Milesti Mici is the world’s largest wine cellar with more than 2 million wine bottles. You need to book the tour in the wineries in advance, unfortunately, we didn’t make it. You can pick from different wine and food tasting tours with guides.
It’s true that we couldn’t visit the biggest wine cellar in the world but we still bought a bottle of wine in the local store. It was delicious and cheap, we paid 60 lei (3,5$;3,1€) for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. And if you are in Moldova, you should also try their brandy – they are famous for it.
Travel tips for Moldova
Moldovans don’t speak English. It often happened to us, that when we approached somebody in English they didn’t want to answer us just because they didn’t know how to speak – they acted a bit shy to speak in English. What you can do is, you can learn some Romanian or Russian words or maybe even better to write the place you wanna go on a piece of paper and show it to them, they will help for sure, people are very nice.
If you want to save some money use public transportation in Chisinau, it’s super cheap – trolley bus cost 2 lei (0,12$;0,1€), tram only 1 lei (0,06$;0,05€).