Landlocked in Eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine lies an under-appreciated country that doesn’t get enough attention. Ranking last in Europe’s tourism numbers, Moldova simply deserves better. Especially during unprecedented times when “Eastern Europe” and “Ukraine” can be trigger words used to entice fear given the ongoing attacks from Russia.
Contrary to popular belief, Moldova is safe. It is unique. It is a place that should be explored and appreciated for standing firm in its identity. Moldova doesn’t need the glitz and glamour to become an attractive destination to travelers.
The Ever-Evolving Capitol: A Gateway Into Moldova
Tourism numbers have always been on the low end for this country, but it doesn’t have to be that way. More airlines are beginning to fly here to the capital, Chisinau, making it more accessible than ever for those willing to give Moldova a chance.
Chisinau is the biggest city in the country, with remnants of its Soviet past everywhere. Keyword: past.
There is no active threat to travel here as it relates to their neighboring country’s war. Chisinau has an interesting reputation even without travelers’ hesitation to visit. It would be hard to argue that the city is different than one might expect when they envision Europe. Visitors will not see a lot of color or pizzazz. That’s just not how Moldova rolls.
When you are the poorest nation on the continent, you appreciate what you have. That is what makes Moldova exceptionally beautiful.
The capital city has undergone many identities since its independence in 1990. Worth a visit all on its own; exploring Chisinau is not about getting the perfect selfie or eating picture-perfect food. It’s about getting a local feel of Moldovan life to gain a new perspective.
- Check out a variety of museums, such as art and history
- Take a walk through one of many parks to choose from
- Visit the local market
- Go to a cafe
Moldova Comes Alive At Night
Like any other major city, one might hear the background noise of car horns, dogs barking, or sirens every so often. Other than that, Chisinau is relatively quiet most days.
That changes when the sun goes down. This is where travelers might feel as though they’re in Europe again. Chisinau can go toe to toe with any European city that knows how to party.
@hype_withus We just wanna have a good night 🥳🍾 #hypewithus #nightclub #ночнойклуб #хайп #chisinaumoldova #кишинёв #party #молдова #fyp #рекомендации #capcut ♬ Players – DJ Smallz 732 – Jersey Club Remix – Coi Leray
New bars, restaurants, and clubs are packed on weekends near the historic city center. Whether visitors are looking to pull an all-nighter fist-pumping to local DJs or just show off their karaoke skills, there is something for everyone.
Get Outside The City Life
Moldova is home to multiple monasteries an hour outside Chisinau, the most popular being the gorgeous Old Orhei, which also has caves kept mostly intact to display the history of monks in the region. This place is surrounded by beautiful scenery of the countryside where recent travelers rave its “magical” and “definitely worth a visit”.
There is also the Hancu Monastery, as well as the Capriana Monastery, a 15th century time capsule where recent visitors noted the cleanliness and preservation of such an important piece of history.
Possibly Moldova’s greatest attraction and best-kept secret are the various options to get a taste of locally produced wine.
In fact, Moldova is home to the largest underground wine cellar in the world!
There are 142 wineries spread across the country, but not all of them offer tours to the public.
One of the more popular wineries is known as Milestii Mici. Designed like a fortress from the outside and a wine paradise on the inside, wine enthusiasts will not be disappointed coming here! Travelers say tours are provided in English (if needed), and the full-course meal that’s included is a perfect pairing with the wine.
@themanwhosawtheworld I’m not gonna say it’s real wine BUT I’m not gonna say it’s not either 🍷 #wine #vino #winecountry #winecountrytour #moldova #chisinau #discover #trynewthings #winetasting #booze #alcohol #howisthisreal #isthisreal #explore #wineo #redwine #milestiimici ♬ Rehab – Amy Winehouse
Another popular winery is Cricova, just 30 minutes north of the capital. Cricova is also an underground cellar where recent wine tasters describe it as “phenomenal” and were really impressed with the customer service.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com