I have to confess! I had never heard of Moldova or Chișinău before traveling to Europe this time. This is my third time in Europe and I had never explored the Eastern side of Europe. While I was in Bucharest for 1.5 weeks, I realised that Bucharest did not need 1.5 weeks to explore and see the city and surroundings. So, I started researching about all the other places that I can travel to while in Bucharest. The first place that came to mind was Budapest. But there was a problem in traveling to Budapest – I did not have too many days to spare, the journey by bus took about 16 hours in total one way and the timings of the bus journey was not feasible. And this made me research on some other place – so I landed in Chișinău.
About the place
Chișinău is the capital city of Republic of Moldova. It is famous for Soviet style architectural buildings. A theory suggests that the name Chișinău came from the Russian word chișla and nouă, which means spring or source of water and new respectively.
Chișinău does have an airport where one can fly into. However, I took the economical mode of transport from Bucharest, which is a bus. I had to book the bus using Alverstur website. I would definitely like to say here that the bus journey is around 9 hours and is not comfortable. It is not like FlixBus.
Note: Passport and visa is checked at the border. So ensure to have a valid passport and visa to enter the country.
Language, ATM and Mobile network
I found it hard to communicate in English as people hardly speak English. It is better to learn few basic words in Russian, Moldovan or Romanian.
The visa card not issued in Europe that I was carrying did work in all the ATMs around the city. So, I did not have any problem with the money. Also, most cafes and restaurants accept card payments.
My mobile network that I had purchased in Netherlands did not work in Chișinău. I used local wifis at the hostel and hotels to use internet.
Hostel that I stayed
While I was stuck at a bus stop in Chișinău, I decided to check into a hostel for few hours so I can freshen up before I start exploring the city. The hostel was about 1 kilometre from the bus stop. The name of the hostel was Hostel City Centre. And I must say that I loved the hostel, it was very clean and the staff were friendly.
Things to see
Since I did not have too much time on my hand, I walked around the city centre and saw only the below listed places:
- Stefan cel Mare Central Park and Stephen the Great Monument statue
- Triumphal arch and Nativity Cathedral
- Sculpture of Towers
- Bell tower
- National museum of History
Note: Most monuments are closed on Fridays.
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