10 Reasons To Visit Moldova
10 Reasons To Visit Moldova
Moldova is the least visited country in Europe. I had only known of one person that had been to Moldova before I went. But he only went to tick it off in his quest to visit every European Country. Moldova is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. Many people forget or overlook this small country. However, there are many reasons why I enjoyed my time in Moldova. Plus, many reasons why it deserves a spot on your bucket list.
This post sums up the 10 reasons why you should visit Moldova.
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1. Moldova Has Great Wine
Firstly, one of the best things about Moldova is the wine. Moldova has a very well established wine industry, it is the 11th largest wine producing country in Europe. It’s the 18th largest globally, which is pretty impressive considering that New Zealand is 15th! Annually, Sixty-seven MILLION bottles of wine are exported. Winemaking in Moldova dates back to at least 3000 BC. Also, most families in Moldova have their own homemade wine recipes and varieties of grapes which are passed down through generations. Grapevines cover 7% of the country’s agricultural land, this is the highest density in the world. Also, 200,000 people are employed within the wine industry in this country. This tiny country has 142 wineries! There is even a wine festival celebrated annually!
2. The People Are Really Friendly
Moldavians are some of the friendliest people I have encountered whilst travelling. Most are very excited that tourists are finally exploring their country. Plus they are keen for you to try their traditional foods and for you to find out more about their culture and traditions. Despite the language barrier that was prevalent everywhere I went, the people were friendly, helpful and kind. The people can sometimes seem a little bit stand-offish at first but they are warm and friendly once you get talking to them.
Plăcintă is a traditonal pastry found in Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. It is a small pastry-like bread filled with sweet or savoury fillings. Examples of typical fillings are; potato, cabbage, cheese or apple. I personally think that the potato Plăcintă is the best one. La Placinte is the best restaurant to try these at. Also, they are sold all around Chisinau, I had a great one from a stand at the bus station, so they aren’t hard to locate. They are also very cheap!
4. You can Visit a Country That Doesn’t Exist
The country that doesn’t exist.
Transnistria is a small independent region of Moldova, located between the Ukrainian border and the Dniester River. If you are interested in the Soviet Union, Transnistria is the closest you can get to visiting the U.S.S.R. This region is less developed than the rest of Moldova, and stuck in time. It was declared independent from Moldova in 1990, however is not recognised as a country by any UN member. Although, it is very different from the rest of Moldova. There are Lenin statues, war memorials and a fortress to admire. This region has its own border control and even its own currency. Visiting Transnistria is definitely one of the most unique experiences I have had during my travels.
5. Chisinau is a Great City
Chisinau is pronounced KEE-SHEE-NOW.
Chisinau is full of large grey Soviet-era building. However, if you look past this you’ll find a vibrant, beautiful and green city. The city has a very central location within Moldova, which makes anywhere in the country accessible on a day trip. This city is probably the most underrated capital city in Europe. Chisinau has a great cafe culture and is a great city to enjoy a coffee in and people watch to pass the time. There is also a great nightlife, and as drinks are very cheap so it’s a great place to have a night out in. There are also plenty of monuments and museums in the city to allow you learn more about Moldova.
6. One of the Greenest Capitals
You may have read that Chisinau is a boring city, and even heard it described as ugly. I’m going to tell you that I think that’s inaccurate. Chisinau is one of the greenest capital cities in Europe, with multiple parks dotted around the city. You’ll find parks full of trees, flowers, fountains and even a lake in the city. Also, there are many cafes in the parks that have alfresco seating, allowing you to relax in the beautiful parks and sample Moldavian delicacies and coffee.
7. Moldovan Food is Delicious
Moldova has some of the most delicious food. My favourite dish I tried here was sarmale. Sarmale is a dish of rice, meat and vegetables rolled in cabbage leaves. Moldova is known for meat-heavy dishes, and polenta features heavily in this cuisine. Definitely try borscht, a sour soup made with beetroot, you can order it with or without meat, and it is commonly served with sour cream. I also had the best cherries I’ve ever eaten whilst in Moldova. Moldova’s fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the tastiest I have had, you can pick these up at supermarkets or the central market.
8. You can visit the World’s Largest Winery
Milestii Mici is the world’s largest winery. Complete with the world’s largest underground wine cellar, which stretch for 250km. Milestii Mici holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of wine in the world, There are over 2 million bottles stored here. Seventy percent of the wine made and stored here is red wine, 20% in white and 10% is dessert wine. The winery can only be explored by driving around it. The rows in the cellars even have street names to avoid people getting lost. I highly recommend taking a guided tour and enjoying a wine tasting here.
Check out the link below for information on the tour I took to Milestii Mici.
9. Visiting Moldova Won’t Break the Bank
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Therefore, it is also the most affordable. A hostel bed in the capital will set you back €5 per night. A glass of wine in a bar or restaurant costs just €1, a meal in a restaurant costs under €5. I paid around €5 for a burger and fries at Torro Burger. Therefore, you should definitely try new dishes in restaurants and order yourself a little feast. As it is not very often food is this affordable in Europe.
Taxis are also very cheap, I recommend downloading the Yandex app and you can use this to get around if it is too far to walk. I also recommend buying a SIM card for your phone, this makes navigating the city much easier and they are incredibly cheap to buy. I purchased one from a stand at a park and it had enough data on it to last me the whole 10 days I was in Moldova.
10. It’s not very touristy
Only 12,000 people visit Moldova annually.
This makes Moldova the least visited country in Europe. Consequently, this means that when visiting attractions around the city you won’t find queues of people, and you may even be the only tourist there. It may be very cliche to say that somewhere is ‘up and coming’, but this couldn’t be more true for Moldova. Moreover, I recommend visiting now before people hear more about Moldova and it becomes as popular as it deserves to be. This country is full of tradition and rich in culture which everyone should explore and learn more about. Free from Soviet rule, Moldova is discovering the country it wants to be and I have no doubt that it will become as popular with tourists as its neighbours, Ukraine or Romania are, so visit soon!
Above all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time exploring this country. I didn’t see everything I wanted to see, so will definitely return in the future. This country has so many traditions to learn about and so much culture to delve into and discover. There are many reasons why I think that everyone should visit Moldova, and I hope this post has convinced you to add it to your bucket list!
I hope this post has convinced you to visit Moldova. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my 10 reasons to visit Moldova.
More Moldova Blog Posts
Also, you can check out my other posts on Moldova to help you plan your trip!
- A Guide to Visiting Popeye Village
- Top 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh
- 10 Reasons To Visit Moldova
- A Guide to 72 Hours in Malta
- Volunteering with Animals in Moldova
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