15 Best Places to Visit in Moldova:

  • Chisinau, Moldova: 
  • The cross of Orheiul Vechi, Moldova: 
  • Cricova Winery, Moldova: 
  • Tipova Monastery: Shutterstock
  • Manastirea Curchi: 
  • Cave monastery at Saharna, Moldova: 
  • Transdniestr, Moldova:  Bendery, Moldova: 
  • Gagauzia, Moldova: 
  • Fortress of Soroca – Moldova: 
  • Padurea Domneasca: 
  • Capriana Monastery – Moldova: 
  • Codru Monastery, Moldova: 
  • Kvint, Moldova: 
  • Taul Park and Pommer Mano



1. None of the European countries is able to fascinate you with its visible contrast between the achievements of the modern civilizations, as seen in the cities, and the everyday life of an ordinary peasant.

2. Only in Moldova you can find the largest wineries in the world (more than 200 km of underground galleries), that have been recorded by the Guinness book for holding the biggest wine collection on the planet.

3.Only in Moldova you can find such a large number of monasteries scattered amid the ancient woods and river banks (including the oldest rock monastery in Europe), and concentrated on such a small piece of land, that is sometimes called ‘The Bessarabian Wonderland’.

4. Only in Moldova you can fi¬nd the unique natural formations called Toltry (some reef formations from the Samarian Sea dating back 10-20 million years B.C), that created through time, grots and caves of unbelievable forms, and formed landscape areas.

5. Only in Moldova the local crafts are still kept as they were centuries ago, and at the same time they do not interfere with the modern production.

6. Only in Moldova you can truly enjoy the benefits of the best diet in the world, as only here you will find the freshest ecological fruits and vegetables collected straight from trees and bushes.

7. The Moldovans are very friendly hosts. You are more than welcome to the Casa Mare (the largest room in the house), where people celebrate all the important events and family events. While in other countries it is rude to eat too much when visiting, in Moldova it is considered rude if you eat too little!

8. Join a wonderful holiday in Moldova – The National Wine Festival. During the first weekend of October you have the unique opportunity to take part in professional wine tastings, visits to the vineyards and special moments dedicated to the culture of wine, arts and gastronomy.

9. In Moldova you can find a giant mix of cultures because the country has been taken over by several different dynasties in the past. It is split between Western and Eastern ideologies. This makes it really interesting to explore because you never know what you’re going to encounter.

10.Only in Moldova you have a unique opportunity to travel in a time machine! Do you want to plunge into the times of the U.S.S.R.? Go to Transnistria and take an incredible back-in-time journey to the “frozen island of Soviet Times” – the buildings of the Soviets, the monument of Suvorov, Lenin, Gagarin. Transnistria seems to be behind the times…



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The territory of modern day Moldova has been populated since ancient times. Archeological evidence confirms the existence of humans in this place since the Stone Age. During the Copper Age, the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture thrived here, practicing agriculture, raising livestock, hunting, and making pottery. The society built large settlements, some numbering up to 15,000 inhabitants.

During the early-Middle Ages, the territory was inhabited by Dacian tribes. Between the 1st and 7th centuries, it was intermittently under the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Since 105 A.D., after the conquest of Dacia by Roman Emperor Trajan, the local population was Romanized, adopting the language and advanced culture of the Roman Empire. After the Romans left the territory in 271 A.D., Moldova was invaded by many other peoples, including the Goths, Huns, Avars, and Slavs. This ended with the formation of the Moldovan feudal state, by Bogdan I, in 1359.

The Principality of Moldavia was bordered by the Carpathian Mountains in the west, Nistru River to the east, and Danube River and Black Sea in the south. The principality comprised modern day Moldova and also parts of Romania and Ukraine. During this period, Moldova’s greatest ruler and hero, Stefen cel Mare reigned from 1457 to 1504.

Eventually, weaker Moldavian princes could not withstand the repeated invasions by Crimean Tatars and from the 15th century by the Ottoman Empire. In 1538, the principality became a vassel state of the Ottoman Empire, forced to pay tribute to its new overlord. While Moldova retained partial autonomy, Moldovan Gospodars (the name of Moldovan rulers during this period) were appointed by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1812, as a result of the Russian-Turkish Peace Treaty signed in Bucharest, the eastern part of Moldova situated between the Prut and Nistru Rivers, named Bessarabia, was annexed to the Russian Empire. It was a Russian province until 1918.

In 1918, the supreme authority of the Bessarabian state, Sfatul Tarii, decided to unite with Romania. This unity lasted until 1940, when the country was annexed by the Soviet Union as a consequence of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Moldova then became a territorial entity within the USSR until the late nineties.

During the summer of 1989, demonstrations took place in Chisinau that resulted in legislation by the Supreme Council of Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic on August 31, 1989 established Moldovan (Romanian), written in Latin script, as the state language. This was followed by the first democratic elections for the local parliament; held in February and March 1990. On June 23, 1990, the Parliament adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the «Soviet Socialist Republic Moldova», which, among other things, stipulated the supremacy of Moldovan laws over those of the Soviet Union. After the failure of the 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt, on August 27, 1991, Moldova declared its independence. It became a UN member state in 1992. present day Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. In the same year, Moldova joined the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a way to ensure access to its traditional markets, mainly Russia.

In 2005, Moldova decided to change its political orientation and became the first CIS country to formulate an action plan with the European Union. The Moldova-EU Action Plan has increased alignment between Moldova and the EU. Today Moldova is closely oriented towards the European Union.



Moldova is a largely rural country, made up of gently rolling farmland with numerous lakes, small villages, and woodland. The landscape is cut by many streams and rivers, many of which form impressively steep sided valleys as the underlying limestone is eroded. Moldova’s hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which extends from the Carpathian Mountains. The country’s highest hill, Bălăneşti reaches 430m.


Most of Moldova lies between two rivers, the Nistru and the Prut. The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut River, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. Moldova also borders the Danube for 480m, where the small port of Giurgiuleşti gives access to that great river. In the east, the Nistru (Dneister) flows through the country before joining the Black Sea. There are 3,500 lakes in Moldova, most of them made by farmers for irrigation, and for fish and duck ponds.


About 75 percent of Moldova is covered by rich black chernozema soil, which grows a variety of crops as well as wild flora. The soil becomes less fertile toward the south but can still support grape and sunflower and many steppe grass species. Moldova has two vegetation zones: steppe and forest. Moldovan flora includes 2,300 species of wild plants; (13% are listed as rare species). Oak, hornbeam, linden, maple, chestnut, wild pear, and wild cherry are the most abundant species. The term Codri generally refers to all forests in the area of the Carpathians, yet in Moldova most forests are preserved in the central part. Codri sometimes can refer to the forests in the hills west and north of Chişinău. Local fauna includes; Deer, foxes, wild cats and many woodland bird species, small and medium size rodents, wild ducks, pheasant, storks and pelicans.


There are 5 scientific reservations in the country with an area of 19.4 thousand ha. There are two forest reservations in the Moldova–Codru Reservation and Plaiul Fagului (Land of Beeches). Two other reservations are located on the Prut River floodplain–Prutul de Jos (Lower Prut) and Padurea Domneasca (Royal Forest). The Lagorlac Reservation protects and studies the unique aquatic ecosystem of the Nistru River.


Nearly 60% of Moldova’s population lives in the countryside; however there are several large cities and towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The country’s main cities are the capital Chişinău, in the center of the country, Tiraspol (in the eastern region of Transnistria), Bălţi (in the north) and Bender (in the south-east). Comrat is the administrative center of Gagauzia.


Moldova is at a crossroads geographically, politically, and economically. Positioned between Western Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Moldova has the advantage of geographical and cultural proximity to both western markets and eastern markets. Economic transition has been typical of most post-communist counties, change and adaptation has been a slow and complex process.

After the collapse of the USSR and the declaration of independence on 27 August 1991, Moldova began a transition to a market economy and experienced a significant economic recession. The crisis in Moldova lasted for 10 years, from 1990 to 1999. During this period GDP decreased by almost three times.

From 2000 the situation has become brighter and analysts point to a number of more positive economic tendencies. Between 2000-2005, GDP in real terms increased by 43% with steady economic growth of 6% per annum. However, starting in 2006, growth slowed again, to 4%, a situation mainly caused by an import embargo in Russia on Moldovan wines and fruits. In 2009, Moldova’s economic growth actually contracted by 6%, but has since rebounded modestly. The government is continuing efforts to attract investment and stimulate exports as means of accelerating Moldova’s economic growth.

An important part of Moldova’s growth since 2000 has been the large number of Moldovans working abroad. More than half a million Moldovans work in Europe and Russia. Remittances transferred to Moldova by these citizens are still an important contributor to GDP growth.

Agriculture and food processing are important to Moldova’s economy, accounting for about one quarter of the country’s GDP. Moldova’s fertile soil supports wheat, corn, barley, tobacco, sugar beet, soybeans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, apples, and other fruits. Beef and dairy cattle are also raised, and beekeeping is widespread. Wine is Moldova’s best-known product, produced from grapes from vineyards that are concentrated in the central and southern part of the country. Moldova also produces sparkling wine and brandy.

Light manufacturing, including the production of clothing and textiles, footwear, leather goods, and carpets is also important, ranking second in terms of output and first in terms of exports. These industries benefit from low labor costs, preferential customs duties, and Moldova’s proximity to Europe.

Finally, trade and services, telecommunications, information technology, and transportation, also contribute significantly to the economy, accounting for another 25% of GDP. The Moldovan information communications technology market is at an early stage of development; yet it is among the most dynamic sectors of the economy. Moldova has one of the highest Internet connection speeds in the world, especially in Chisinau. Double digit growth was recorded in the number of Moldovan Internet connections in 2009 and 2010, with increased provider efforts to cover the market as fast as possible. Excellent Internet connections, geographic and cultural proximity to Europe, a highly educated and multilingual workforce, and affordable labor costs have also sparked a thriving ‘near shore’ industry. Moldova has become a preferred near shoring destination for many European markets.


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This small landlocked European country is found between Romania to the west and the Ukraine to the east. Up until World War II, it was a part of Romania and if you visit both countries, you’ll see a lot of cultural similarities. Then it was part of the Soviet Union until 1991, so you’ll also see a number of similarities there. But Moldova has a lot to offer in its own right.  First, it’s remote and rarely visited – making it perfect for adventurers who want to blaze a trail. Second, it has a growing wine-tourism industry and those who know wines know that some of the best in Europe come from Moldova. You’ll find traditions are still alive and hospitality in the villages is genuine. Consider these top attractions while you’re planning your trip.

1. Chisinau


Source: flickr


This is modern and friendly place is Moldova’s biggest city and serves as its capital. Chisinau has loads of green space, parks, and historical buildings. It feels like a city with space.  There’s also no shortage of restaurants, art galleries, nightclubs, spas, and casinos!  You’ll want to visit Pushkin Park and the orange pyramid at the World War II memorial. You’ll find marvellous frescoes in the Nativity Cathedral, and if that’s not for you, check out the stalls of the local modern artists in the art market.

15 Best Places to Visit in Moldova:

The cross of Orheiul Vechi, Moldova
  • Chisinau, Moldova: flickr
  • The cross of Orheiul Vechi, Moldova: flickr
  • Cricova Winery, Moldova: flickr
  • Tipova Monastery: Shutterstock
  • Manastirea Curchi: manastireacurchi
  • Cave monastery at Saharna, Moldova: flickr
  • Transdniestr, Moldova: flickr
  • Bendery, Moldova: flickr
  • Gagauzia, Moldova: flickr
  • Fortress of Soroca – Moldova: flickr
  • Padurea Domneasca: flickr
  • Capriana Monastery – Moldova: flickr
  • Codru Monastery, Moldova: flickr
  • Kvint, Moldova: flickr
  • Taul Park and Pommer Mano