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The "Gates of Chişinău","Poarta Chişinăului" as seen when entering the city from the direction of the Chişinău airport


Location of Chişinău in Moldova
Coordinates: 47°0′00″N 28°55′00″E / 47°N 28.9166667°E / 47; 28.9166667
Country  Moldova
Founded 1436
 - Mayor Dorin Chirtoacă, since 2007
 - City 120 km2 (46.3 sq mi)
 - Urban 635 km2 (245.2 sq mi)
Elevation 85 m (279 ft)
Population (2007)
 - City 592,900
 Density 4,938/km2 (12,789.4/sq mi)
 Urban 785,000
 Metro 911,400
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code MD-20xx
Area code(s) +373 22

Chişinău (Romanian pronunciation: [kiʃiˈnəw]; in the past also known as Kishinev, Russian: Кишинёв Kishinyov, lit. "New Spring"), is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc. The population of the city is 592,900 (2007) which grows to 911,400 in the entire metropolitan area.

Chişinău is the most economically prosperous locality in Moldova, and its largest transportation hub. As the most economically and socially important municipality in Moldova, the city has a broad range of educational facilities. The proportion of green spaces in Chişinău is one of the highest among major European cities.[citation needed]



According to one version, the name comes from the archaic Romanian word chişla (meaning "spring", "source of water") and nouă ("new"), because it was built around a small spring. Nowadays, the spring is located at the corner of Pushkin and Albişoara streets.[1]

An alternative version, by Stefan Ciobanu, Romanian historian and academician, holds it, that the name was formed the same way as the name of Chişineu (alternative spelling: Chişinău) in Western Romania, near the border with Hungary. Its Hungarian name is Kisjenő , from which the Romanian name originates[2]. Kisjenő in turn comes from kis "small" + the "Jenő" tribe, one of the seven Hungarian tribes that entered the Carpathian Basin in 896 and gave the name of 21 settlements.[3]

Chişinău is also known in Russian as Кишинёв (Kishinyov). It is written Kişinöv in the Latin Gagauz alphabet. It was also written as "Кишинэу" in the Moldovan Cyrillic alphabet in Soviet times. Historically, the English language name for the city, "Kishinev", was based on the modified Russian one because it entered the English language via Russian at the time Chişinău was part of the Russian Empire (e.g. Kishinev pogrom). Therefore, it remains a common English name in some historical contexts. Otherwise, however, the Romanian-based "Chişinău" has been steadily gaining wider currency, especially in the written language.


Chişinău gardens

Chişinău is located on the river Bîc, a tributary of the Dniester, at 47°0′N 28°55′E / 47°N 28.917°E / 47; 28.917, with an area of 120 km². The whole municipality claims 635 km².

The city lies in the middle of the central area of Moldova.

Geographically convenient in the largely flat Eastern European country, the city is surrounded by a relatively level landscape with very fertile ground, offering the basis for the cultivation of grapevine and fruit since medieval times.


Chişinău has a continental climate, characterized by hot dry summers and cold windy winters. Winter temperatures are often below 0 °C (32 °F), although they rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F). In summer, the average temperature is approximately 25 °C (77 °F), however, temperatures sometimes reach 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in mid-summer in the city centre. Although average precipitation and humidity during summer is low, there are infrequent yet heavy storms. Spring and autumn temperatures vary between 16 to 24 °C (61 to 75 °F), and precipitation during this time tends to be lower than in summer but with more frequent yet milder periods of rain.

Typical temperatures and precipitation for each month:[4]

Climate data for Chişinău
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
Average high °C (°F) 0.7
Daily mean °C (°F) -2.5
Average low °C (°F) -5.2
Record low °C (°F) -28.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 30
Snowfall cm (inches) 6
% Humidity 81 80 75 64 62 64 64 63 66 72 80 83 71
Avg. rainy days 9 9 11 14 13 13 11 9 9 10 13 12 133
Avg. snowy days 14 13 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.7 4 12 53.7
Source:[5] 01.01.2009


Moldova is administratively subdivided into 3 municipalities, 32 districts, and 2 autonomous units. Chişinău is one of these municipalities.[6] Besides the city itself, the municipality comprises 34 other suburban localities: 6 towns (containing further 2 villages within), and 12 communes (containing further 14 villages within). The population at the 2004 Moldovan Census is shown in brackets:




Founded in 1436 as a monastery village, the city was part of the Moldavian Principality, which, starting with the 16th century fell under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century it was a small town of 7,000 inhabitants. In 1812 it came under Russian imperial administration, which made it the capital of the newly annexed gubernia of Bessarabia. Its population had grown to 92,000 by 1862 and to 125,787 by 1900.

Industrial age

Stephen the Great Monument in the center of the city
Chişinău, 1889.
Chişinău, as seen from a SPOT satellite

By 1834, an imperial townscape with broad and long roads had emerged as a result of a generous development plan, which divided the city roughly into two areas: The old part of the town – with its irregular building structures – and a newer City Center and station. Between 26 May 1830 and 13 October 1836 the architect Avraam Melnikov established the 'Catedrala Naşterea Domnului' (an Eastern Orthodox cathedral) with a magnificent bell tower. In 1840 the building of the Triumphal arch, planned by the architect, Luca Zaushkevich, was completed. Following this the construction of numerous further buildings and landmarks began. The town also played an important part in a war between Russia and Turkey (1877–78), as the main staging area of the Russian invasion.

Pogrom and pre-revolution

In the late 19th century, especially due to growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the Russian Empire and better economic conditions, many Jews chose to settle in Chişinău. By the year 1900, 43% of the population of Chişinău was Jewish – one of the highest numbers in Europe.

A large anti-Semitic riot took place in the town on 6–7 April 1903, which would later be known as the Kishinev pogrom. The rioting continued for three days, resulting in 47–49 Jews dead, 92 severely wounded, and 500 suffering minor injuries. In addition, several hundred houses and many businesses were plundered and destroyed. The pogroms are largely believed to have been incited by anti-Jewish propaganda in the only official newspaper of the time, Bessarabetz (Бессарабецъ). The reactions to this incident included a petition to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia on behalf of the American people by the US President Theodore Roosevelt in July 1905.[7]

On 22 August 1905 another violent event occurred, whereby the police opened fire on an estimated 3,000 demonstrating agricultural workers. Only a few months later, 19–20 October 1905, a further protest occurred, helping to force the hand of Nicholas II in bringing about the October Manifesto. However, these demonstrations suddenly turned into another anti-Jewish pogrom, resulting in 19 deaths.[7]

World War I

Following the Russian October Revolution the country declared independence from the crumbling empire, before joining the Kingdom of Romania. During this period, Chişinău was in the background, being regarded as no more than a large provincial city. Only with the advent of modern technology and industrialization, it slowly rose into prominence.

Between 1918 and 1940 the center of the city undertook large renovation work. In 1927 the Stephen the Great Monument, by the sculptor Alexandru Plămădeală, was erected.

World War II

Eternity – a memorial complex now dedicated to the soldiers who fell in World War II and the military conflict in Transnistria.

In the chaos of the Second World War Chişinău was almost completely destroyed. This began with the Soviet occupation by the Red Army on 28 June 1940. As the city began to recover from the takeover, a devastating earthquake occurred on 10 November 1940. The epicenter of the quake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale, was in eastern Romania and subsequently led to substantial destruction in the city.

After scarcely one year, the assault on the newly created Moldovan SSR by the German and Romanian armies began. Beginning with July 1941 the city suffered from large-scale shooting and heavy bombardments by Nazi air raids. The Red Army resistance held until Chişinău finally fell on 17 July 1941.

Following the occupation, the city suffered from the characteristic mass murder of its predominantly Jewish inhabitants. As had been seen elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the Jews were transported on trucks to the outskirts of the city and then summarily shot in partially dug pits. The number of Jews murdered during the initial occupation of the city is estimated at approximately 10,000 people.[8]

As the war drew to a conclusion, the city was once more pulled into heavy fighting as German and Romanian troops retreated. Chişinău was taken by the Red Army on 24 August 1944 as a result of the Jassy-Kishinev Operation. By this point the city had lost about 70% of its buildings – the earthquake of 1940 and the air raids contributing to the largest part of this.

After the war, Bessarabia was fully integrated into the Soviet Union. Most of Bessarabia became the Moldavian SSR with Chişinău as its capital; smaller parts of Bessarabia became parts of the Ukrainian SSR.

Soviet Union

In the years 1947 to 1949 the architect Alexey Shchusev developed a plan with the aid of a team of architects for the gradual reconstruction of the city.

The beginning of the 1950s saw a rapid population growth, to which the Soviet administration responded by constructing large-scale housing and palaces in the style of Stalinist architecture. This process continued under Nikita Khrushchev, who called for construction under the slogan "good, cheaper and built faster". The new architectural style brought about dramatic change and generated the style that dominates today, with large blocks of flats arranged in considerable settlements.

The period of the most significant redevelopment of the city extended from 1971, when the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union adopted a decision "On the measures for further development of the city of Kishinev", which secured more than one billion rubles in investment from the state budget,[9] which continued until the independence of Moldova in 1991.

After independence

Many streets of Chişinău are named after historic persons, places or events. Independence from the Soviet Union was followed by a large-scale renaming of streets and localities from a Communist theme into a national one.

Politics and administration

The Government Building – seat of the Moldovan government
The presidential palace.

Chişinău is governed by the City Council and the City Mayor (Romanian: Primar), both elected once every four years. The current Mayor of Chişinău is Dorin Chirtoacă.

His predecessor was Serafim Urechean. Under the Moldovan constitution, Urechean – elected to parliament in 2005 – was unable to hold an additional post to that of an MP. The Democratic Moldova Bloc leader subsequently accepted his mandate and in April resigned from his former position. During his 11 year term, Urechean committed himself to the restoration of the church tower of the Catedrala Naşterea Domnului, as well as improvements in public transport. From 1994, Chişinău saw the construction and launch of new trolleybus lines, as well as an increase in capacities of existing lines, in order to improve connections between the urban districts.

Next elections took place on 10 July, 24 July, 27 November and 11 December 2005. On the first occasion only 26.93% of voters participated, below the one-third turnout necessary to validate the poll. Three subsequent attempts in July, November and December saw the election turnout fall further to 19.82%, 22.37% and 22.07% respectively. After several months in limbo it was announced that the momentary office holder Vasile Ursu, could continue to hold the position, until the next scheduled elections in 2007.

The last elections took place on 3 June 2007. Dorin Chirtoacă from the Liberal party was declared victor in second round of voting on 17 June 2007. 36,26 % of the voters took part in the voting, just over the validation threshold.

Local government

Administrative sectors of Chişinău

The municipality in its totality elects a mayor and a local council, which then name 5 pretors, one for each sector. They deal more locally with a number of administrative matters. Each sector claims a part of the city and several suburbs:[10]



Chişinău is the most economically developed and industrialized city in Moldova. It is a major industrial and services center; its main industries include consumer and electrical goods, building materials, machinery, plastics, rubber, and textiles. The main service fields are banking and shopping/commerce. The economy of Chişinău is mainly centered on industry and services, with the latter particularly growing in importance in the last ten years.



Chişinău has an international airport, which offers connections to a number of major cities including Athens, Bucharest, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Vienna and others. The airport handled 847,900 passengers in 2008.

Bus and minibus

The most popular form of internal transport in Moldova is generally the bus. Bus services in Chişinău are inexpensive, ranging from 1 leu to 3 lei for a ticket (ca. $0.10–0.30). Although the city has just three main terminals, buses generally serve as the means of transport between different cities within and outside of Moldova. Popular destinations include Tiraspol, Odessa (Ukraine), Iaşi and Bucharest (Romania).

Within Chişinău and its suburbs, privately operated minibuses, known as "marshrutkas" generally follow the major bus and trolleybus routes and appear more frequently. A minibus ride costs 3 lei within the city.


Railway Station exterior
Chişinău Railway Station

An international railway terminal exists with possible connections to Bucharest, Kiev, Minsk, Odessa, Moscow, Samara, Varna and Saint Petersburg. Due to the simmering conflict between Moldova and the unrecognized Transnistria republic the rail traffic towards Ukraine is occasionally stopped.


The city is home to 12 public and 11 private universities, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, as well as a number of institutions offering both high school education, as well as 1–2 years of college education.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city has become a relatively lively and well-provisioned capital, with a much higher standard of living than in most rural areas of the country.


The city's growth plan was developed in the 19th century. Many buildings were designed and built in a beautiful architectural style, some remaining to this day. In 1836 the construction of the Cathedral and its belfry was finished. The belfry was demolished in Soviet times, but was rebuilt in 1997.

Modern architecture

Many modern-style buildings were built in the city since 1991. There are also a lot of office and shopping complexes – modern, renovated or newly built. These are Kentford, SkyTower, Union Fenosa headquarters and many others. However, the old Soviet-style clusters of living blocks are still an extensive feature of the cityscape.

People and culture


According to the World Gazetteer, the total population of the city proper was 647,513 in 2004.[11]

According to the 2004 census, the population of the municipality was 712,218, of which that of the city itself 589,204.[12]

Ethnic composition
Ethnic group 1930 census 2004 census
The city itself The municipality
Moldovans (Romanians)[t 1] -    379,149 481,626 67.62%
Russians 19,631 92,690 99,149 13.92%
Ruthenians, Ukrainians 563
Ukrainians - 54,061 58,945 8.28%
Romanians[t 1] 48,456 25,346 31,984 4.49%
Bulgarians 541 8,307 8,868 1.25%
Gagauzians 34 5,982 6,446 0.91%
Jews 41,065 2,603 2,649 0.37%
Poles 1,436 786 834 0.12%
Gypsies 896 273 507 0.07%
others 20,249 7,615 1.07%
Armenians 490
Albanians 22
Czechs, Slovaks 80
Croats, Serbs, Slovenes 86
Germans 979
Greeks 421
Hungarians 141
Tatars 7
Turks 48
did not declare 13,595 1.91%
Total 114,896 589,446 712,218 100%
  1. ^ a b Since the independence of Moldova, there is an ongoing controversy over whether Romanians and Moldovans are the same ethnic group. At the census, every citizen could only declare one nationality. Consequently, one could not declare oneself both Moldovan and Romanian.


FC Zimbru Stadium

There are four professional football clubs in Chişinău, all playing in the Divizia Naţională (national league): FC Zimbru Chişinău, FC Dacia Chişinău, FC Academia Chişinău and CSCA-Rapid Ghidighici. Of the larger public multiuse stadiums in the city is the Stadionul Dinamo (Dinamo Stadium) which has a capacity of 2,692. The Zimbru Stadium, opened in May 2006 with a capacity of 10,500 sitting places, meets all the requirements for holding official international matches, and was the venue for all Moldova's Euro 2008 qualifying games. Chişinău was where David Beckham made his international football debut, in a 3–0 World Cup qualifying win for England on 1 September 1996.[13]


The majority of Moldova's media industry is based in Chişinău. The only national broadcaster in the country is the state-owned Moldova 1, which has its head office in the city. The broadcasts of TeleradioMoldova have been criticized by the Independent Journalism Center as showing 'bias' towards the authorities.[14] There are some hopes that a new broadcasting code will resolve some of these issues.

The Romanian Pro TV Chişinău also broadcasts locally. It was repeatedly thwarted in its attempts to obtain a national license by the government. The station broadcasts a mixture of independent local news, in addition to entertainment and documentary programs from Romania. Pro TV remains on air despite numerous threats from Communist officials to close it down.[15]

Other TV channels are Antena C, CTC, DTV, Euro TV, MTV, MuzTV, NIT and TV 7. In addition to television, most radio and newspaper companies have their headquarters in the city. Broadcasters include the national radio, Vocea Basarabiei, Antena C, BBC Moldova, Europa Libera, Kiss FM, Pro FM, Radio 21, Fresh FM (Romanian radio station Naţional FM), Radio Nova, Russkoe radio, Hit FM, and many others.

The biggest broadcasters are SunTV, Satellit and Zebra TV. In 2007 two companies, SunTV and Zebra launched digital TV cable networks.

International relations

Twin Towns - Sister Cities

Chişinău is twinned with:

In popular culture

In Peter Manseau's Songs for the Butcher's Daughter, Kishinev (Chişinău) is the birthplace and hometown of the protagonist Itsik Malpesh.


See also


  1. ^ (Romanian) History of Chişinău on, Retrieved on 2008-10-12
  2. ^ (Romanian) Istoria Orasului
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ weather. "Monthly Averages for Chişinău, MDA". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  5. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  6. ^ Moldovan Ministry for Local Public Administration, Moldovan Law 764-XV from December 27, 2001, Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova, no. 16/53, December 29, 2001
  7. ^ a b Virtual Kishinev, accessed 23 December 2007
  8. ^ "Memories of the Holocaust: Kishinev (Chisinau) (1941-1944)" from
  9. ^ Architecture of Chişinău on, Retrieved on 2008-10-12
  10. ^ Moldovan Ministry for Local Public Administration, Moldovan Law 431-XIII from April 19, 1995, Monitorul Oficial al Republicii Moldova, no. 31-32/340, June 9, 1995
  11. ^ Chişinău World Gazetteer
  12. ^ 2004 census results in Moldova
  13. ^ "Moldova 0 - England 3". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  14. ^ Monitoring of programs on Radio Moldova and TV Moldova 1PDF
  15. ^ 2003 World Press Freedom Review
  16. ^ "Ankara Metropolitan Municipality: Sister Cities of Ankara". © 2007 Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Kullanım Koşulları & Gizlilik.. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  17. ^ Jérôme Steffenino, Marguerite Masson. "Ville de Grenoble - Coopérations et villes jumelles". Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  18. ^ designated by Sister Cities International
  19. ^ "Tel Aviv sister cities" (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  20. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Sister Cities". © 2005—2009 Retrieved 2009-06-22. 

Further reading



External links


Coordinates: 47°00′39″N 28°52′07″E / 47.0107°N 28.8687°E / 47.0107; 28.8687

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Chişinău article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : Balkans : Moldova : Chişinău
Opera and balet palace
Opera and balet palace

Chişinău (Russian Kishinyov, Ukrainian Kishinev) is the capital of Moldova with a population of around 780,800.


Chisinau is the relatively wealthy capital of the poorest country in Europe, you are likely to see great disparities in wealth. It's also very much a post-Soviet city, with both the good and bad qualities that brings.

Chişinău International Airport
Chişinău International Airport

Chişinău International Airport [1] is served by several airlines like AirBaltic [2], Air Moldova [3], Austrian [4], Moldavian Airlines [5], Tarom [6] and Turkish Airlines [7] with flights around the region, notably to Athens, Bucharest, Budapest, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Madrid, Moscow, Riga, Rome, Timisoara and Vienna, Vilnius.

By train

There are trains coming to Moldova from different places. There are daily trains to and from Bucharest (Romania), Kiev (Ukraine), Moscow (Russia) etc.

For travelers arriving from Western Europe, the train is much cheaper than a flight. The trains, however, are rather slow - particularly when crossing the borders of the old Soviet Union, where they need to stop to have their wheels changed. The bus is a good alternative to the train. It is cheaper than flying and faster than traveling by train. Consider taking the train to a nearby city like Iasi, Odessa or Chernivtsi, and continuing your journey by bus.

Trains leave Bucharest (Gara de Nord) at 19.30 and arrive in Chişinău at 09.00, which is a 13½ hour journey. It is a sleeper train and it's actually quite comfortable, although the toilets are not quite up to European standards. During the 13½ hour journey you will go through customs and the train will have its bogeys changed in Ungheni on the Romania-Moldovan border.

A return ticket to Bucharest costs approximately 50 € (2008). At the moment there are no direct trains to Odessa, Ukraine.

By car

Note that the quality of the roads in Moldova ranges from decent to terrible. The road leading from Chisinau to Ungheni is particularly bad, with lots of potholes. You are likely to be sharing the road with trucks, cars, and livestock, all moving at various speeds without a lot of regard for safety. You might also get shaken down for bribes by the traffic police, especially if you have foreign plates.

By bus

Note that Chisinau has three bus stations - the central one (serving mainly in-country destinations), Gara Nord (for travel to Odessa) and the larger Gara Sud (for journeys to Romania). You can reach Gara Sud from central Chisinau on the 117 Marshrutka (3 lei). Gara Nord is served by marshrutka 163 and trolleybus #9, along with a bunch of others.

There are several buses throughout the day from Bucharest, Odessa, Iasi, Chernivtsi, and Lviv. The journey to/from Odessa takes around five hours and costs around $10 US. Most Odessa-bound buses go through southern Moldova, avoiding the Transnistrian region - these will be marked as going through Palanka or Causeni. The journey to Iasi is three and a half hours long, with travel on to Brasov (price to Iasi:100 lei). There are many buses and maxi-taxis headed to Bender and Tiraspol in Transnistria, about one every forty minutes (21 lei for a ninety minute journey).

  • Call 1499, 1420, 1422, 1447,1444 or any of the other 14xx numbers to get a taxi, except 1488. Ordering in English shouldn't be a big problem, but only a few drivers speak foreign languages. If you don't know the local prices, drivers may charge you exorbitant rates. If you are sitting in a private cab, there is not much you can do. If you are in a taxi with a "14.." number written on it, just call this number and check the price with the operator. An average taxi ride should cost 55 Lei.
  • For budget travelers, just do like the locals do: Ride the trolley-bus, bus or maxi-taxis. A trolley-bus ride costs 1 leu while a bus ride costs 2 lei, collected by a conductor who walks up and down the bus after each stop. Maxi-taxis cost 3 lei, which is paid to the driver upon entry. There are no set stops for maxi-taxis: just tell the driver when you want to get off. Flag him down with your hand (just like you would with a taxi) when the vehicle approaches you on the street.
Botanical garden
Botanical garden
Arch of triumph
Arch of triumph
  • Stefan Cel Mare Monument
  • Rose Valley
  • Rishkani Park
  • Botanica Park (the most beautiful and the largest in Chisinau, situated near the Gates Of The City)


English is spoken in restaurants and some of the markets. Even some taxi drivers speak a little English. Young people are much more likely to speak English than the older generation. In Chişinău most people know Russian and Romanian . If you plan to travel outside Chişinău it would be helpful to pick up some Romanian and about the only language spoken outside of the city is Romanian . In Gagauzia a Turkish dialect is spoken. Mostly only 30% of the people in Moldova speak some English and the country is far behind with schools that teach the English language .


If you are just visiting Chişinău, consider buying a special cognac selection of about 30 small bottles, with different sorts of cognac. It can make a nice gift. Moldovan wines are deservedly famous across the former Soviet Union, yet are little known in Europe. Take the opportunity to sample them. Cigarettes are also much cheaper in Moldova than in the EU, so you might do well to stock up before leaving the country (although note that there are strict limits on the number of cigarettes you can bring across an EU border).


Chisinau is a good place for food lovers. There are plenty of good places to eat all over Chisinau. The cheap, tasty food that is very popular with the locals is served in most places. For better service and more diverse food selection, there are a lot of small restaurants and cafes. Good restaurants have prices comparable to Europe. For a quick lunch, try fast food stores and pizzerias, these can be found on nearly every corner.

The cafe at Sun City that is built over the roadway has some of the best zaema in the city, despite its slow service.

Foisor for cheap blini (pancakes/crepes) and zaema at 16 lei.

The canteen in the basement of the court building across from ASEM University (Academia de Studii Economice din Moldova) is open from 11-12 and 1-4. The simple food is a great value for money (25 lei for soup, main dish, and chefir; 40 lei max for a meal; 2 lei for tea).

Lunch: Pizza House, 133 Stefan Cel Mare, tel: 23-51-62, serves a variety of dishes including pizza, pasta and local favorites. They have a lunch special for about 50 Lei. Prices for a full meal range 40-100 Lei.

Mid-range: Symposium wine Bar, offers a variety of meals including steak, lamb, and pasta. They have an excellent selection of Moldovan wines. Prices for a full meal with drinks range from 250-500 Lei.

For groceries, there are small shops all over. Some are even located right in front of the apartment blocks just a few steps away from their entrances. For harder-to-find items, head to a supermarket.

For fresh fruits and vegetables, markets are the best (and freshest) option. Most of the items for sale are locally-produced, but there are a lot of sellers who sell imports; mostly oranges, bananas and other tropical fruits/vegetables. It is best to buy meat and dairy products from supermarkets or shops. The quality is much better than in the market, and the prices are pretty much the same.



Moldavan wines, cognac, liquor and juice are all on par with the best of Eastern Europe. For one thing, manufacturers tend to use only organic products. Secondly, these products are made in the traditional way. Restaurants tend to sell only local wines, but only those of the highest standards. One of the very best wines of Moldova is from the wine plantation of Purcari and even if you live in the United States you can buy Purcari wines from Purcari and their importer Moldova Traders ( )


Moldovan beer is one of the best in Europe. A very famous is named "Bere Chisinau". It was awarded with the Nr.1 Gold Medal at the Nuremberg beer competition in 2007, beating Germany, Czech Rep. and others. It can be found in all the Bars on every street in Chisinau, so finding a place for a drink is not a problem. However, good bars and restaurants with a pleasant atmosphere can be difficult to find. So watch where you stop.

  • In the main train station, there is a decent hostel. Just enter the train station and ask the guards there. Price is 220 Moldovan Lei per night.
  • Hotel Turist is close to the centre and charges 440 Lei a night for a double room with shower and WC (price as of August 2008).
  • Private apartments. In the second floor of the Hotel Chisinau, Bulevard Negruzzi 7, office 238 you can find comfortable private accommodation in the city centre starting from 600 Moldovan Lei per night.
  • Chisinau Hostel Nice hostel in the city centre. On the main street Ştefan cel Mare. Very helpful English speaking staff.
  • Hotel Cosmos, [8] A very popular hotel in the heart of Chisinau. Clean rooms and friendly staff, some of whom speak English. Rates from 29 EUR/night. You can book rooms online at the low rate at
  • Hotel Luna, [9] A nice hotel with comfortable rooms and good services. Costs around 80 EUR/night.
  • Hotel Edem, [10] A rather new hotel with comfortable rooms and a swimming pool. Rates start at 60 EUR/night.
  • Hotel Stella De Lux, [11] a tiny hotel that costs 50 EUR/night and offers small and rather spartan

rooms(some are windowless). Service is poor and visitors are not allowed to enter the hotel.

  • Hotel Vila IRIS, [12] A small nice hotel with comfortable rooms and accesible prices. Costs around 50 EUR/night. In price is included breakfast, internet Wi-Fi, Parking, Laundry.
  • Hotel Villa Muntenia, [13] A cosy hospitable hotel offering cheap rates and excellent services. Prices go from 40 EUR/night. In price is included breakfast, internet ,TV, Parking, Laundry.
  • Hotel VisPas, [14]. A very cozy 4* boutique hotel in Downtown area about a 15 minute walk to the city center. It has a good restaurant with mid-range prices. A full meal with drinks will cost about 300 Lei.
  • Club Royal Park 5* Hotel, [15].
  • Jolly Alon Hotel 4* , [16]. A very nice hotel located in front of Chisinau's central park on a street with no traffic. Superbly quiet although rooms are at the very minimum of 4* standards. This hotel also has a gym which is only accessible to guest.
  • Leogrand Hotel & Conventions Center 4*, [17](formerly Dedeman Grand Hotel)
  • Luxury apartments for rent, str. Puschin 35, 069848484, [18]. checkin: 24/24; checkout: 12-00. Luxury apartments for rent in Chisinau (1-2 rooms), bath, kitchen, jacuzzi, TV, internet, minibar, security system, surveillance camera, near the central park and in the Center of the city. hourly, daily, weekly!. 00 373 69848484 60-80 euro.  edit

Stay safe

Use your common sense at all times! Be aware that when entering some buildings at night, you will have to walk through unlit alleyways. So when traveling through Chişinău always carry a small flash light.

Watch out about night life: The U.S. State Department warns about Russian dating schemes also very common in Moldova and other kind of financial scams. Most of women in night clubs are not just professionals but scammers.

Also, it is worth noting the high level of police corruption aimed at foreigners. This will usually involve getting arrested for something ridiculously minor, with extra fictional offences added on for dramatic effect, in an attempt to scare you into paying a high bribe. Most police will not speak any English, and you can expect a lengthly lecture in Romanian. Be sure to always carry at least a good quality photocopy of your passports. However, such attemts at bribery can be sometimes successfully detered by making it known that you have your embassy's phone number.

[19] [20] [21]


There is only a single national broadcast television station. For the most part, TV channels are piped in from Russia, Ukraine, Romania and even Georgia. Euronews, Eurosport, CNN, Discovery Channel, etc. are on cable, but in Russian mostly. Not every home in the city has continual hot water. If you will be staying in a private home, be sure to ASK whether there is 24-hour hot water.

Get out

Have a great tour and ask Richard to organize, advice and guide your: contact him at [] or email him at []

Cricova - a small place located right outside Chişinău. Famous for its fabulous wine.

Mileştii Mici [22], [23]- biggest wine cellar in Europe (Guinness Book of World Records) - length 200 km.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Chişinău



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Alternative spellings

  • Kishinev (former English spelling)

Proper noun

Chisinau or Chişinău

  1. The capital city and a municipality of Moldova.


Simple English

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