Chisinau, Moldova

According to wholevehicles, the most comfortable of all the cities of the Soviet development, Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, is a many-sided, noisy and spontaneous city, the center of the wealth of the republic and its historical and cultural center. First mentioned in the chronicles in 1420, Chisinau has since grown steadily, although not always aesthetically correct, accommodating gypsies and Jews, Ukrainians and Bulgarians, Turks and Russians within its walls. Of the latter, “our everything” Alexander Sergeevich was even noted here – he spent three whole years in Bessarabian exile and, captivated by the charm of Chisinau, created a lot of “incorruptibles”, including “gypsies in a noisy crowd…” and “I look like crazy at a black shawl…” Today in Chisinau one can explore sights, walk in picturesque parks, spend time in museums or restaurants with equal success.

How to get to Chisinau

Despite the absence of a common border, transport links between the Russian capital and the Moldovan one are very well established. Every day, planes fly between cities – they deliver passengers to their destination in just 2 hours. In addition, trains run from the Kievsky railway station of the capital to Chisinau, and buses from three bus stations. In St. Petersburg, the choice of options is not so wide, but still finding a direct plane, train or bus to Chisinau is not a problem.


In Chisinau, you can travel by public transport – buses, trolleybuses and minibuses, as well as taxis. It is better to order a taxi by phone – for all companies there are four-digit phone numbers starting with 14: 1420, 1444, 1499, etc. An average trip around the city will cost 50 MDL, from end to end you can drive for 70-90 MDL.

The bus and trolleybus network is very extensive, the fare is 3 and 2 MDL, respectively, regardless of the duration of the trip. Minibuses “maxitaxi” run along most of the streets of the Moldovan capital; the rules for using them are the same as in Russia: wave your hand at an approaching car, hand over the money for the fare to the driver and loudly announce the desired drop-off point. Fare – 3 MDL.

Shopping and shops in Chisinau

The tourist and shopping mecca of Chisinau is a souvenir market on Stefan cel Mare Avenue near the building of the National Theater. Eminescu. Here you can find creations of Moldovan artisans from all over the country – ceramics and pottery, fabrics, embroidery and home textiles, wicker products, icons and paintings and many other authentic stuff. Prices are written on boards, but bargaining is always appropriate. Interior items, sculptures and paintings are sold at Galeria L on Bucharest Street. You need to go to the Central Market for fresh products: fruits, vegetables, herbs, homemade cheeses and marinades, wines and kvass. You can buy a variety of alcoholic products in the stores of well-known wineries: “Cricovo” on Stefan cel Mare, “Small Milest” in the Elat shopping center on Vasile Aleksandri Street and the brandy factory “Ialoveni” also on Stefan cel Mare, 128. In addition, the city has a lot of European-level supermarkets, where you can find a standard range of “civilized” goods – from diapers to plasma screens. One of the largest is Mall Dova.

Cuisine and restaurants

Finding a catering establishment in Chisinau will not be difficult – on almost every corner there is a snack bar, pizzeria or sandwich shop. The cuisine is offered as “folk” Moldavian — pies, simple stews and grilled sausages, as well as international: pizza pasta, kebabs, shawarmas, etc. Popular Italian eateries include numerous branches of Andy’s Pizza. In Chisinau, there are enough upscale restaurants of Moldovan, French and exotic cuisines with quite European prices. You can try national haute cuisine at Orasul Vechi at 24 Armenian Street (among other things, delicious seafood is served here). In another haute cuisine establishment, the French restaurant Simposium, it makes sense to visit lamb dishes (a dish from the chef) and an extensive list of local wines.

Entertainment and attractions in Chisinau

Museums, parks and memorial places of the Jewish people – this is the basis of the Chisinau “excursion”. Among the museums, we can recommend visiting the Museum of National Archeology and History, which exhibits many artifacts found during the excavations of Old Orhei, weapons from the Soviet era, and there is an extensive diorama dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.

Before entering the museum, you can see the notorious sculptural composition “Romulus, Remus and the She-Wolf” – for Moldovans this is a symbol and weighty proof of their Romanesque origin.

The Pushkin Museum is located in the House of the Russian merchant I.N. Naumov, where the poet spent three years (1820-1823) of his Bessarabian exile. It was here that the poem “Prisoner of the Caucasus”, the poems “Gypsies”, “Black Shawl”, the first part of “Eugene Onegin” saw the light of day. The pearl of the Museum of Ethnography and Nature is a recreated mammoth skeleton found in the Rezina region in 1966. The Museum of Plastic Arts exhibits works by contemporary Moldovan and Romanian artists, as well as medieval exhibits – icons, interior items, household utensils.

Of the modern architectural monuments, the Arc de Triomphe, the statue of Stefan the Great, the buildings of the Government and Parliament, the Orthodox Cathedral stand out.

Chisinau has a rich Jewish history: until the beginning of the 20th century. Jews made up about 35% of the city’s population. From that time there was a synagogue, a yeshiva, a monument in memory of the Jewish ghetto and a Jewish cemetery, as well as a memorial complex dedicated to the tragic pogrom of 1903.

You can breathe fresh air in any of the 23 parks of the Moldavian capital – im. Stefan cel Mare, “Riskani”, “Rose Valley” and “Valley of Mills”, Arboretum, “La Izvora” (there are three natural lakes) and in the square of the Cathedral.

In addition, Chisinau is the starting point for the famous wine tours in Moldova.

Chisinau, Moldova

About the author