Găgăuzia – autonomous area

Găgăuzia is an autonomous region of Moldova, but unlike Transnistria, there are no borders and own currency here. Ethnically Găgăuzians are Turkic in origin, with their ancestors coming all the way from Altai region. Later on they migrated from Bulgaria together with ethnic Bulgarians and settled in Bessarabia (Moldova) between 1812 and 1846. Nowadays the region is comprised of one city, two towns, twenty villages and three communities. The most interesting fact is despite their turkic roots, they are affiliated with the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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They have their own language which is taught in 55 schools, although Găgăuz is still not used as the language of instruction in educational institutions. Russian and Romanian are the official languages in Găgăuzia, and the majority of the population prefers to speak the Russian language.

If Găgăuzia is of any of interested to you or on your list to visit, then here are a few suggestions for what is there to see or experience.

In Comrat you can spend a few hours with a visit included at the National History and Etnographic Museum (entrance 10 lei) which has a collection of historical, cultural and even botanical exhibits. Nearby you will find monuments for the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan and the tankists, Comrat Art Gallery which showcases local găgăuzian art, the cathedral, turkish library Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and ofcourse Victory Square which has a statue of Lenin in front of their administrative building. Also in the city you can find the Comrat Winery which is their main wine producer.

Heading more south, the next stop is Beșalma village for the Ethnographic Museum which contains all the history of the găgăuz nation in a wonderful collection. The local guide does the tour only in russian, so if you wish to visit this museum, try to have a translator with you. If booked upfront, they can organise a little concert also with their national music, traditional clothing and dances.

If anyone is interested in postcards and pretty much soviet style, the post office across the street from the museum will be by your liking. A room where you can send mail, pay bills but also buy things from the counter just like in soviet times it is still very well alive. The villagers are very friendly and will be more than happy to try to converse with you even with the language barrier. A few metres through the village and you can see the Beșalma windmill, the one of last ones in Moldova.

Other things that are worthy to visit, specifically for discovering the food, is the Gagauz Sofrasi in Congaz (biggest and most condensed village in Europe). This is a traditional găgăuz style house which offers local food, lodging, but also experiences such as witnessing a traditional wedding, milking the sheep, wine tasting and even trying out therapeutic sheep wool beds. Keep in mind that they cater for groups of a minimum of 4 people only and require a +24 hours booking upfront.

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And last but not least, deep in the south of Moldova (about 3 hours drive from Chișinău) is the KaraGani winery . Not only they provide wine with găgăuzian accent, but also traditional food cooked by the owner and which has been recognised internationally and included in books about moldovan cuisine. Besides this, they have built their own little museum about găgăuzian culture with objects gathered by their family throughout the generations.

Despite being a less traveled destination and not as many amenities in the region, it is still a day trip that easily could be enjoyed.

Visiting Moldova in Winter

Despite being a season less visited, winter has it’s own charm and perks. Overall the moldovan winters are somewhat unpredictable now showcasing varieties of warmer days with degrees above zero and  others lower temperates under zero, with or without snow, sometimes even heavy one. The lowest temperature that can reach is about -25 degrees Celcius, but this usually lasts for about a week or maximum two throughout the whole of winter. Due to such conditions we ask that if you’re planning to visit Moldova in winter, please keep the following things in mind:

  • dress up warm (hat, gloves, scarf, winter jacket, non slippery + water resistant shoes)
  • icy roads – in the city or driving across the country
  • some areas are harder to reach or visit due to snow and ice (hiking areas specifically) and some amnieties are closed throughout winter, for example Soroca fortress.
  • due to unforseen weather some tours, events, roads can be closed so allow space for flexibility and changes

Now what about happens in Moldova during winter? What things can you see, do and how does it look? Here are some examples to keep in mind when you’re planning your journey here:

Christmas Market in Chișinău takes places every year between the 15th of December until the 15th of January. The whole winter decorations are spread throughout 3 areas of the city centre: main Christmas tree in front of the government building, a little family fair in front of the Opera & ballet Theatre and the Christmas Market on the 31st august 1989 street.

You will find a variety of activities to occupy your time here. From merry-go-round to booths which traditional Moldovan pies and food, snacks and sweets, traditional goods made from leather and wool, plenty of balloons and toys for kids and even mulled wine (plenty of wine!) for the adults. On weekends there is live music at the main stage which offers a programme of folk winter songs and also modern music. Last but not least, plenty of decorations and space for taking pictures and an ice rink for those that wish to skate.

As about the rest of the country, well, just like the capital they offer their own entertainment. The bigger cities will have decorations and events going on.

Visiting villages around Christmas celebrations is quite interesting because you can experience our winter traditions. Kids go around houses carolling, then around New Years with the “Sorcova” and “Plugușorul” to bless who they visit. They all wear specific clothing or traditional elements when doing this. If you’re staying overnight in some of the villages you can experience the “soba”, our traditional heating system which warms up not just the wall and the stove, but it’s also a bed on which you can have the sweetest sleep. Daytime if the weather is nice you can join the children to ride the sledges or if available have a ride with a horse sledge.

The holiday season ends around the 14th of January and the country gets back to it’s usual routine, including the children as they finish their winter holidays. The rest of January tends to be more quiet, but then comes February which brings 2 holidays celebrating love: Valentine’s Day and Dragobete – traditional romanian Valentine’s day celebrated on 24th of February. Most restaurants, bars, clubs and even wineries offer various offers, concerts and events to celebrate these, so if you’re visiting around this time, you will find something to do. Also as spring is approaching, you will start seeing loads of white and red threads being sold across the cities, “Mărtişor” a traditional symbol that is given from 1st of march to celebrate the coming of spring.

So despite sounding like winter may complicate your travel and prevent you from visiting or doing certain things, it offers also an alternative to those – experience winter traditions and life of the region. And then come back during warmer season to see a complete different life!

 

Transnistria

One of the biggest mysteries of Moldova which everyone wishes to see is Transnistria – a piece of territory which has been autonomous since 1992 and is stuck in a frozen conflict. Advertised as a dangerous area, with most embassies not advising to go there, having russian military and the necessary border control, Transnistria has created quite an image for itself. But is it really that scary?

Historically Transnistria became a state of it’s own on 2nd of september 1990 when it was proclaimed “Dnestrian Moldovan Republic” right after the fall of communism. As Moldova gained it’s independence in 1991 and was registered as a member of UN on 2nd of march 1992, it signed a military intervention in the region to get rid of the rebel forces (which were helped by the soviet army) that have been taking over. After a few months of war and deaths, on 21st of july 1992 Moldova signed an agreement of peace with Russia. To this day Russia keeps it’s military and supports this region politically and economically, but it does not recognise it as an independent country.

Nowadays Transnistria has become quite a treasure for tourists. It has uniqueness, it’s own passport and currency. Entering the region one is required to register at the border control which takes a short time without any trouble and no bribery is needed or required whatsoever. Due to the influx of tourists they even speak a bit of english at the border now.

The first city after passing the border is Bender. Here you can visit the “Bender Fortress” which is situated right on the shore of river Nistru (Dniestr). The Military Cemetery and Memorial of Military Glory are both situated in the centre of the city. Please note that Transnistria has it’s own currency, so if you wish to buy your entrance at the fortress, museums or anything else, you need their local roubles.

Despite Bender and Tiraspol are separated by the river, they are united by a bridge and they have the trolleybus 19 that connects both these cities. At the entrance of Tiraspol you will be greeted by the famous Sheriff Stadium.

In Tiraspol itself most of the amenities for visiting are situated along the main road, so getting lost is not much of a possibility. Suvorov’s Statue, The Government building and the Lenin’s statue, House of the Soviets, House of Advisors, Tiraspol’s Museum, The Eternal Flame Memorial and the Tank, The Nistru Bridge, ruins of the fortress Tiraspol, The Cathedral, green market and a ride with the boat are things that you can explore. If you like alcohol then maybe you could book yourself a tour to the Kvint Distillery or Buket Moldavii winery, both of which require booking in advance.

But Transnistria does not end here. Besides Bender and Tiraspol there are other cities too. Nearby Tiraspol you can visit the beautiful Noul Neamt Monastery which is a monk monastery. In village Târnauca you find the “Museum of the bottle” which is a private museum founded in 1988 and hosts around 20.000 bottles from over 170 countries. A fun fact as well is that is the biggest building in the world in the shape of a bottle!

Driving more up north the country you can visit the Grigoriopol, Dubasari or Rabnitsa city which is considered the north Transnistrian “capital”. Beatiful spots of Transnistria can be observed from the shore of Molovata, Saharna, Japca Monastery, Lalova and others. During warmer season boat rides can be booked along the Nistru river which give you the opportunity to see both the shores.

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Book a Tour

Road to Moldova offers a variety of tours, transport and day trips fit for quenching your thirst for Moldova. Created by locals which are passionate about traveling, the routes are custom made to provide you with experiences that will allow you to tap into Moldovan life and culture.

Languages spoken: Romanian, English, Russian, beginner – Spanish & Italian

We offer trips & tours to:

  • Old Orhei settlement, Butuceni village
  • Saharna and Tipova monasteries and waterfalls
  • Wineries of Moldova, such as Milestii Mici, Cricova, Purcari, etc.
  • City tours such as Chisinau, Tiraspol, Soroca, Comrat
  • Autonomous areas: Transnistria and Gagauzia
  • Monasteries – Curchi, Hancu, Capriana, Condrita, Frumoasa, Raciula, Japca, etc.
  • Codrii Natural Reservation
  • Manuc Bey Mansion & Mimi Castle
  • Traditional moldovan villages & eco resorts
  • Off the beaten path routes
  • Hiking & camping
  • Adventurous activities: paragliding, canoeing, hot air balloons, etc.
  • Location scouting for photoshoots & films

If you wish to visit Moldova, please contact us to organise a tour, book a driver or find more information about our services.

Example of our collaborative work with Berlin based director Noaz Deshe

 

 

 

NightLife in Chișinău

Chișinău has an abundant nightlife despite the streets looking quite empty on weekends, offering it’s locals and visitors a variety of clubs, bars, cafe’s, karaokes and clubbing projects. Although clubbing nights start from a thursday, you can still find where to go on the other days of the week.  I have compiled a list of locations to check out for a night out in Chișinău. 

Alternative/ Mainstream Clubs

Located right next to the “Luceafarul” Theatre in the centre of the city, Kira’s is a small club with a capacity of about 120 people. They offer a bar, summer terrace, food until 11pm, great atmosphere and varied music nights. They play from pop, electro, hip-hop up to electro, garage, rock. Every thursday they offer live music too.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: 40 lei  (2 euros) *sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the event

Open: Thu – Sat: 22:00- 05:00

Address: Veronica Micle 7 (Centre District)

Events 

 

Barbar is a well known club in Chișinău, some would say even historical. Previously known as 513, now rebranded and bearded! Barbar is one of it’s kind in Chișinău with a very stylish vibe and design. Daytime you can taste some of their food menu, while nighttime you can dance to the hottest tunes. Weekly they offer club nights and even live music events.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: 100 – 150 lei (5-7 euros) (1-2 drinks included  which you can claim at the bar)

Open: Mon – Thu: 11:00- 00:00, Fri: 11:00 – 05:00, Sat: 14:00 – 05:00, Sun: 14:00 – 00:00

Address: Eminescu, 56 (Centre District)

Events

 

Bandabar is the newest club in Chișinău. Yes, the logos are similar with Barbar because they are both under the same brand. This is the newest project in town aiming to bring about anything fun and creative, from dance, music, parties up to movies and performances. Their club nights feature international dj’s and include events with electronic and minimal music as well.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: 150 lei (7 euros) (2 drinks included which you can claim at the bar)

Open: Fri & Sat: 23:00 – 06:00

Address: Eminescu, 55 (Centre District)

Events

 

Jérome is a cocktail bar/ club which can be accessed only through the entrance of the Torro Burgers (analogy to Bansky’s “Entrance through the gift shop”). Opened recently, it offers nights of electronic and techno music with a variety of drinks.

Entry fee: 100 lei (5 euros)

Open: Fri & Sat: 22:00 – 05:00am

Address: Puskin, 55 (Centre District)

Events

 

 

For those seeking underground and techno music, then OlanDeep is the local community that you need to check out. It is the only electronic community that has been organising  music events for a while and still standing. They organise events named S.O.D (Sounds of Olan Deep) every 2 weeks and depending on the season their locations change. During warmer period they organise open airs, outside the city or in nature. They feature local music producers, dj’s, as well international names.

Entry fee: 50 – 100 lei (3-5 euros) depending on event

Events

 

Club Seven is the only alternative club in Chișinău, so if you’re looking to listen to some rock/metal/punk music, then this is the place for you. An various occasions they organise some techno music events as well. Overall this is a live music venue, so if you’re interested in discovering the local music scene or even the international one, you will find it here.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: from 50 lei up (2.50+ euros)

Open: whenever an event is on

Address: Str. București, 68 (Centre District)

Events

 

Aktiv is a known local club and cafe that has been organising parties and fun events for years. It is situated at the entrance of the city, not far from the airport.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: free

Open: Mon – Fri: 22:00 – 05:00, Sat: 20:00 – 05:00, Sun: 22:00 – 12:00AM

Address: bd. Dacia, 27 (Botanica District)

Events

 

     Fancy/ Glamorous Clubs/ Bars

Zaxi Rooftop Terrace is the most sophisticated rooftop bar in Chișinău which offers Asian Fusion fine dining with champagne and cocktails. Being in the centre, it offers a beautiful view over the city. Every friday and saturday they have live music on, while throughtout the week on various occasions will have different events and parties.

Prices for food and drinks are above average/ high. You can check out their menu here.

Open: Mon – Sun: 18:00 – 02:00

Entry fee: Free entrance (reservation required for the dining)

Address: 77 Mitropolit Varlaam str., Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel (Centre District)

Events

 

Entourage is a restaurant, bar and live music venue situated in the heart of the city. Check out their Facebook page to see when live music events are happening. Dress Code & face control.

Prices for drinks are above average.

Entry fee: free entrance but allowed entrance in only with a reserved table which has been paid already

Open: Mon-Thurs & Sun: 12:00 – 23:45 , Fri- Sat: 12:00 – 05:00

Address: str. 31 August 1989, 117 (Centre District)

Check out their events here.

 

Teatrum just like the other two above is mainly a restaurant, but it does provide live music events and space for dancing. Please note that they have a dress code and do face control.

Price for drinks are average/ above average.

Entry fee: free ( but table reservation required)

Open: Mon – Thu: 11:00 – 00:00, Fri & Sat: 11:00 – 06:00, Sun: 09:00 – 00:00

Address: str.Bucuresti 68 (Centre Ditrict)

Events

 

Piano Bar, known as a Dj cafe is a small club which offers music nights with loads of interesting Dj’s and projects. Famous for their ‘Kurabu” nights and being open even after 6am.

Prices for drinks are above average.

Entry fee: 200 lei (10 euros)

Open: Mon-Thurs: 15:00 – 03:00/ Fri-Sat: 15:00 – 06:00/ Sun: 15:00 – 03:00

Address: Gagarin, 14

Events can be seen here.

 

 

Know as the “club with the panoramic view”, Sky Bar is considered a fancy club to party in. The big windows and the height is situated at offers a wide view over the city and so is their food, offering european and asian cuisine. Not only a club, but a restaurant and cocktail bar. The music is always changing with a wide range of events.

Prices for drinks are above average.

Entry fee: free (some events have prices)

OpenMon-Thurs: 11:00 – 22:00/ Fri-Sat: 11:00 – 05:00/ Sun: 11:00 – 22:00

Address: Str. Albișoara, 4 ( Centre District)

Events

 

*I’m afraid i don’t have much information about this club at this time, so this will be updated later!

Feel free to check out their events.

Open: Fri-Sat: 23:00 – 05:00

Address: Bucuriei 1/6 ( Sculeanca district)

Events

Seasonal Projects 

Flamingo Club hosts 1000 people on the dance floor, 100 at karaoke and 120 at the terrace. Italian/ Japanese/ Ukrainian food. Open in summer and New Years.

Prices for drinks are above average.

Entry fee: Girls – 100 lei, Boys – 200 lei (between 11pm-12am free entry – depending on event)

Open: Fri – Sat: 18:00 – 06:00

Address: Tăbăcăria Veche, 23 ( Centre District)

For their events, check out here.

 

Fanconi Riviera ( also known by the old name “Rai Project”) is a summer platform created right inside the Niagara City Fitness sport complex. Daytime the pool is open and offers a bar and a summer cafe, while nighttime it turns into a night club. The pool is still available to be used at nighttime, but make sure to have your swimwear as it’s not allowed to swim in your party clothes.

Prices for drinks are above average.

Entry fee: Free for girls, 200 lei for men (10 euros)

OpenMon-Sun: 09:00 – 19:00 (clubbing from 22:00 – 06:00)

Address: Ghidighici, 5 (Sculeanca District)

Events

 

Polo House is a rooftop bar and cafe  situated in the Atrium shopping centre. It’s open season is from may until september.

Prices for drinks are average.

Entry fee: Free (some events might require booking or a certain fee)

OpenMon-Thu & Sun: 11:00 – 03:00, Fri – Sat: 11:00 – 04:00

Address: Atrium, Str. Albisoara 4 (Centre district)

Events

 

 Cafe’s/ Bars

Mojito is one of the most popular terrace of Chișinău due to it’s position and it’s average prices for their  cocktails and food.  On weekends and evenings might be more difficult to find a table, so reservations are advised. This place is always full.  Open 24/7.

Prices: Average

Address: 152 Bulevardul Ștefan cel Mare și Sfînt (Centre District)

 

One of the newest bars in towns with a fresh design, music and approach to a night out. Very central with a good atmosphere and food, mostly compromising of sandwiches and sushi. It is specifically designed as a night bar.

Prices are average and above average.

Open: MonFri: 20:00 – 04:00, FriSun: 20:00 – 07:00

Address: Bucuresti 67 (Centre district)

Facebook Page

 

Q Bar is a small but comfortable restaurant & bar which offers a variety of international cuisine. They serve authentic cheesecake as their chef worked at a high end restaurant in New York.

Prices are a mixture of average and above average.

Open: Mon – Thu & Sun: 10:00 – 23:00, FriSat: 10:00 – 00:00

Address: 31 august 1989, 93 A (Centre district)

Events

 

Fanconi Cafe offers soups, delicate meat dishes and some sushi. Dj’s on weekends and shisha available all the time.

Price: Above average

Address: Renasterii 5 ( Centre district)

 

Jack’s Bar & Grill are an american style bar & restaurant. On friday’s and saturday’s they have live music on.

Price: Average & above average

Address: Negruzzi 5 (Centre district)

 

Eli Pili is a very cosy cafe which has 3 rooms and a karaoke hall. They serve moldovan food besides other fast food servings and they have an english option in their menu.

Price: Average

Address: Bucuresti 68 (Centre District)

 

Rock’n’Roll Cafe is the place for those with a taste for a much heavier type of music. A small cafe – bar with a new terrace which serves nice food too. Open 24/7.

Price: Average

Address: Stefan Cel Mare 132 (Centre district)

Beer & Pubs

Draft is a chain of beer gardens spread out around Moldova with 5 of them in Chișinău. They have a variety of grill & pub food, as well  from non alcoholic drinks up to beer, sparkling wine and cocktails. Open 24/7 and they have pub quizzes and live music on weekends.

Price: Average

Address: You can view their locations here.

 

Smokehouse came to life from the passion of a few american volunteers that fell in love with Moldova. The food consists mostly of new american and southern cuisine, while beers a large variety from bottled and crafted ones. Great place to watch a match or just enjoy a local beer. Check out their beer menu here. Oh, and they are english friendly!

Price: Average

Address: bd. Ștefan cel Mare și Sfînt, 128 (Centre district)

 

Taproom 27, as they call it “A hoppy place” is a small but cozy beer pub that offers a great variety of moldovan crafted beer. Despite not serving food, they offer a menu from nearby delivery places and allow to bring your own food. The place is very english friendly.

Price: Average

Address: Vasile Alecsandri 117/1 (Centre district)

 

Baker Street brings the British vibe in Moldova. Despite being a small pub, they offer a diversity of foods and drinks. Sometimes they do little live music events and when football matches are on, the shows are being screened.

Price: Average

Address: Str. M. Eminescu 30 (Centre district)

 

Erik the Red is a Gastro Pub offering delicious homely cuisine and beer specifically to pamper the male spirit. A simple interior with a friendly atmosphere, gastronomic menu and sports matches to watch. Open daily from 9AM until 2AM.

Price: Average & Above average

Address: str. București 67 (Centre district)

 

The York Pub is a warm place which offers pub food, live music and of course drinks! One of the few places that carries the real pub vibe.

Price: Average

Address: str. Mitropolit Bănulescu-Bodoni 45 ( Centre district)

 

Brothers Pub is a very friendly place situated in the centre of the city. Despite being small, their menu is pretty big with choices from moldovan and european cuisine with grilled meat being their favourite. In summer they open their terrace.

Price: average

Address: Str. Mihai Eminescu, 29 (Centre district)

 

Kozlovna Cesca Pivni Restaurace – If you haven’t guessed or understood yet, this is a Czech Beer restaurant. besides their good beer, you can find plenty of food and live music on weekends. Ofcourse watching sport matches is available!

Price: Average

Address: Str. A. Puskin 24 (Centre district)

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei)

Orheiul Vechi is the most iconic place of Moldova, recently registered on the list of UNESCO due to its historic value. It holds scenic views of the hills and caves, including a monastery in a cave, as well beautiful views over the Butuceni and Trebujeni village. It is considered one of the most powerful energetic places in the country with plenty of space for hiking or connecting with the Earth.

If you wish to discover the roots and culture of Moldova, this place is a MUST to visit, especially as it’s only 45km’s away from the capital!

So what’s the history of this place? Well, Moldova has been conquered for thousands of years by different tribes and empires and this settlement actually contains a lot of the remains of those times. Between the XIII – XIVth century this area was under the control of tatar-mongols during the Golden Hoard period which renamed the city as Shehr al-Jadid. The original settlement was destroyed and rebuilt in oriental style, having a mosque and public baths. Until to this day you can see the bath remains in Old Orhei.

After a while moldovans have gained power and kicked out the Golden Hoard, but later on the tatars came back to reconquer the area. Moldovans have managed to strengthen it with a fortress, plenty of churches, houses and defense structures which helped them stand their ground and become one of the most important defense spots in the country. Defeated, the tatars never came back to reclaim this land.

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The Monastery cave which is so famous for it’s placement is as well known for it’s legend. It is said that the ruler of the Golden Hoard hid his golden cart and all of his treasures and gold in the walls of rocks when he found out that they were under attack and going to lose.

Not only a place for hiding gold, but for hiding pilgrims and orthodox christians during the Soviet Union period. As religion was forbidden, many followers and monks used this place as their sacred space. Today it is still a church which is used by locals for praying and a visit point for locals and foreigners. There is a newer church build nearby where all the religious services take place. If you wish to attend the service in the main church, you can do so daily at 7am or from 5pm.

A few steps away from the cave monastery there is a cross with the “Flower of Life” symbol on it which is considered to make your wishes come true just by putting your hand on it!

Down the hill on the right side is the Butuceni village which boasts traditional moldovan style houses and a few restaurants and hotels. There are some museums as well which you can visit to discover how traditional moldovan houses looked inside and what the life in the area was and still is like.

Other  things that this place is famous for, is being a spot for paragliding and parachute jumping, as well for hosting  music festivals, such as “Gustar” which takes place every year in the month of august and DescOPERA – opera open air.

If you plan to visit Orheiul Vechi, it is advisable to book either a driver or a guided tour as the public transport is limited space and time wise.

 

 

Art Galleries in Chișinău

Finding some art in Chișinău is not that hard, especially that most of the galleries are situated in the centre of the city. Here is a list of places to sweeten your eye with local artworks or exhibitions.

 

National Art Museum

The one and only National Art Museum in the country which stretches it’s treasures in 3 buildings with stunning historic architecture. The museum hosts over 39,000 pieces of art which are of moldovan, romanian, russian, turkish, asian origin dating from 15th up to 20th century. You can find thematic or international exhibitions taking place too. A must see for culture diggers!

Open: Tuesday – Sunday

10:00 – 18:00 (april to october)

10:00 – 16:30 (november to march)

Entrance fee: 10 lei, free for everyone on last weekend of the month

Gallery guiding: in Romanian or Russian the price is of 50 lei, a tour in English is 100 lei.

Address: str. 31 August 1989, nr. 115,  Chişinău,  MD-2012

 

 

Galeria Constantin Brancusi

Opened since 1990, this gallery is under the tutelage of Union of Artists from Moldova. They host a variety of exhibitions, from local artists up to college or university students final works.

Open: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Entrance fee: 5 lei

Address: Blvd. Ștefan cel Mare și Sfînt 3, Chișinău 2001, Moldova

 

 

Galeria OU

The newest gallery in the city with a twist! Have you ever been to a gallery that it’s in a cellar? If you haven’t, then you have to visit it! Created by local artists to spice up a bit the alternative and young scene, as well to promote local talents through monthly events and exhibitions. For 200 lei you can buy one of the eggs at the entrance which each contains a piece of art Made in Moldova which is one of a kind!

Open: Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 16:00 (closed in winter)

Entrance fee: Free

Address: str. Sciusev 79, Chișinău

 

 

Gallery Alexander

A gallery shop where you can find authentic moldovan artworks of different styles and types of art. A warm atmosphere and amazing pieces of art guaranteed!

Open: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 19:00

Entrance fee: Free

Address: str.  Bănulescu-Bodoni 41, Chișinău

 

Galleria 73

This is a concept store which exhibits, promotes and sells contemporary Moldovan art. The stylish interior and the exhibited works take you out of the mundane world into a world of wonder, colour and magic.

Open: Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 19:00

Entrance fee: Free

Address: str. Mihai Eminescu 41/1

 

Zpațiu/ Zspace

An alternative space specifically dedicated to the independent art scene from Moldova. Every month they organise different exhibitions, installations and performances. Besides shows, they offer as well workshops and lectures with international artists. Zpațiu can be visited mostly when a show is on, so for that please check their Facebook events page.

Open: when a show/ exhibition is on

Entrance fee: Free

Address: str. Sciusev 103 (inside the Muzeul Zemstvei, turn right on the hall)

 

 

10 Must See! wineries of Moldova

Asconi

Since 1994 Asconi winery has been impressing everyone with it’s quality and the currently owned 400 hectares of vineyards. Situated only 40km from Chisinau, they cultivate Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet – Sauvignon and Muscat Ottonel. Besides their wines, they offer the opportunity to discover how their wine is made by providing tours which start with the visit of the vineyards, following the process of wine making and ending with wine tasting accompanied by traditional moldovan food.

Purcari

purcari

The oldest winery of Moldova founded in 1827 is situated 120 kms from Chisinau in one of the best regions of the country, closest to The Black Sea where the land is most fertile and full of nutrients. Purcari is mostly known for it’s red wines and especially the Negru de Purcari and Rosu de Purcari. A visit to the winery offers you tours with guides, wine tasting, restaurant which offers moldovan and french cuisine, a shop to buy their fine wines and even hotel service – 8 rooms for those interested to spend overnight.

Mimi Castle

The one and only castle of Moldova built by the last governor of Moldova has opened it’s doors again after the reconstruction. Not only it’s a castle, but it’s a local winery too! A variety of wines are open to be discovered in their tours which are still made after the old technique of the governor. Booking required for their tours.

Cricova

cricova

The most famous winery of Moldova and considered a national treasure, is the second largest winery of the country. It has over 120 km’s of tunnels where different kinds of fine wines and collections are being kept – over 1 million wine bottles. From moldovan, french, spanish up to private collections of Vladimir Putin and the nazist General Goring. The oldest being a Easter Jewish wine from 1902. Visiting Cricova is very easy as they are only 12kms away from the capital. An upfront booking is required for their tours and wine tasting.

Chateau Vartely

45 km’s away from Chisinau can be found the Chateau Vartely winery which is famous for it’s catering services besides their wines. They offer their venue for private parties, weddings and have more than 8 rooms for overnight stay. In order to visit their winery, a booking is required. Upon request they offer guided tours to their vineyards too. As well for those that don’t understand much in wine, you can participate in their wine masterclasses. This is the perfect destination to enjoy a relaxed time in nature.

Milestii Mici

The largest winery of Moldova boasting with 200 km’s of underground tunnels, is included in the World Guiness Book for it’s massive wine collection of over 2 million bottles. Visiting Milestii Mici requires a car and a tour booking. Different packages can be found on their website which offer from just the general tour of the winery, food included up to VIP service and degustation of the finest and oldest wines.

Et cetera

The newest winery of Moldova which is family owned by two brothers, is situated 130 km’s away from Chisinau and 10 km’s further from Purcari. This is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested to see a winery on the low scale of production, as they bottle up to 10.000 bottles of each type of wine per year. Their collections vary from Traminer, Chardonnay up to the Negro Amaro, Petit Verdot and Saperavi. Their services include a guided tour which shows the whole process of the production and includes wine tasting in their winery or vineyards. For extra charge, delicious traditional food can be served.

Cellars of Branesti

branesti

Close to Old Orhei settlement, 55 km’s away from Chisinau in the beautiful forests can be found the cellars of Branesti. 60 metres under and 50 km’s of tunnels of this winery are actually one of the less known and visited of Moldova. They contain 2 rooms for wine tasting which offer from traditional up to collection wines, as well as sparkling wine. Upfront booking required for their tours. Lunch can be included in the package.

Chateau Cojusna

15 km’s away from Chisinau in a medieval style themed room you can try out the less known Chateau Cojusna wines. Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are one of their well known types. Besides wine, they make great cognac too. To try out their collections you need to book upfront. Lunch can be included upon request.

Kvint

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If you’re visiting Transnistria (yes that little autonomous area in Moldova), make sure to stop at the Kvint distillery in Tiraspol. Originally produced only vodka, but from 1938 it started producing Brandy and later on wine. Nowadays it is known for its high quality products produced by the traditional french method. The distillery offers tasting, tours and a shop to buy some of their treasures. Situated 78 km’s from Chisinau.

 

Milestii Mici Winery

 

 

Most people know that Moldova is famous for it’s wine, but not many know that it holds the record for the largest wine collection in the world! And this collection is stored at the Milestii Mici Winery Cellars which are found at the borders of Chisinau. The cellars stretch over 200km, with 55km being currently in use.

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To visit the wineries, a car and booking a tour is necessary. If you are visiting Moldova without a car and don’t know anyone, do not worry – many agencies offer trips to the winery. The tours are available in romanian, russian and english.

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The tour itself takes about 40 minutes and it consists of driving and walking around the cellars. For those wishing to taste the wine the tour takes longer. Just keep in mind, because the cellars are underground, it is quite cold. The temperatures vary between 12-16 degrees, so make sure to take a jacket.

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Once the tour around the winery has been finished, you are taken to their restaurant area where you can try out the wine and moldovan food.   *Please keep in mind that you need to order the package with wine and food included if you wish so, because the most basic tour comes without!

You have quite a wide range of choice when it comes to their packages as many offer different options. You can try  just 2 types of wines, 4 or more, different food choices including vegetarian (which is actually vegan!) or no  food or wine at all. The prices vary depending on your choices and even if you do not finish drinking the whole bottle (or bottles), you can take it away with you!

Price wise, i would say the money are worth it! As a local i found the tour very interesting and the wine amazing – and i’m not a wine drinker, but their Rose wine has totally turned me into a lover!

The basic tour without any tasting or food costs about 10 euros. The vegetarian package (pictured above) i chose cost me approx. 22 euros which included degustation of 4 wine types besides the food.

So if you’re looking to discover one of the gems of Moldova, head to the Milestii Mici!

You can find info, book a tour or see their package options on this page.