Tourism offer

If you happen to be in the heart of the Moldovan capital, you won’t miss the Arch of Triumph, a monument with a timepiece dedicated to the victory of the Russian armies over the Turks. Although the Arch’s bells keep silence for a while and the timepiece has lost its relevance in the era of tablets and smartphones, this building remains one of the popular places for meetings and a landmark reference for foreigners visiting the city. 

This classical-style structure is not there by chance, if you analyze its position. The Arch of Triumph’s location reflects a mixed cultural heritage of Moldovans: in the north-east towards Moscow we can see the country’s main Christian Orthodox Cathedral, while in the south-west towards Bucharest there’s the headquarters of the Moldovan Government. A dramatic reminder about the historical relationships with the east and the west, and about the place the residents of this republic identify themselves with. 

And yet you can hear bell ringings all the time, at the Lord’s Birth Cathedral during religious holidays and from the Chisinau City Hall’s tower every exact hour. 

The capital between the past and the future

The capital is a blend of styles and currents from the architectural point of view too. The buildings that host public institutions reflect most often a Soviet neo-classicism, the malls and supermarkets hang on a glass-and-concrete modernism, and the new residential blocks convey a sentiment of comfort and practicability. The historical center of the city is studded with old houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The past and the future in one place, co-existing in harmony. 

The city brings together the largest number of monuments and commemorative structures compared to the rest of the country - following the removal of the statues to the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin from the district centers. The central park, for example, has an alley with the busts of the most classics of Romanian literature. Ironically, the central granite figure in that park is the Russian writer Alexander Pushkin.

The number of cafes, restaurants and bars has grown like mushrooms after the rain, with national to European, Asian, and even exotic cuisines, with waiters and waitresses switching easily from Russian to English, and free wi-fi.

Rural Moldova


Although it is by far an area with many attractions, the capital is not the only place to stop. The provinces abound in picturesque landscapes, worthy of the brushes of great painters, given the fact that the Republic of Moldova is a land with hundreds of hills and valleys. Some of these hills hide real tourist gems that you can't find anywhere in the world. Such as, for example, the famous Cellars of Cricova and Milestii Mici - wine-tourist complexes with underground tunnels of hundreds of kilometers.

Or the Soroca Fortress - the only Moldovan fortress that survived the Molotov-Ribentrop Pact (two others were ceded to Ukraine, and Tighina is under the control of the Transnistrian enclave). If you reach the south of the country, do not miss to touch a part of the ancient history of the country - Trajan's Wall, built more than 2,000 years ago to protect the borders of the Roman Empire.

Rural Moldova is, to a large extent, a country of churches and monasteries, with locals welcoming all foreigners, carts pulled by animals, storks nestling on power lines pillars, agricultural plantations and sweet fruits. Or superb monasteries - some carved in rocks or caves - are museums with incredible stories, or village churches - some quite luxurious - that preserve the memory of itineraries and the history of local families: baptism, wedding, burial. If you have the opportunity to attend a wedding party, you will certainly not regret it!

The Republic of Moldova is a fascinating land, waiting for tourists and investors who will appreciate the hospitality and diligence of the people, but also the economic potential and business opportunities.

Tourist sightseeing

We’d like to share a few sightseeing venues and public events worth visiting. 

WINE TOURS

- Cricova and Mileștii Mici cellars

If you have not yet had the opportunity to drive into an underground city and travel tens of kilometers on the streets where instead of houses there are cellars full of wine, rustic restaurants and luxurious banquet halls, do not miss a visit to Cricova ( www.cricova.md) or Milestii Mici (www.milestii-mici.md). While Cricova has a huge network of labyrinths (over 120 km), Milestii Mici is known for the world’s largest collection of wines (over 1.5 million bottles).

- Castle Mimi, Chateau Vartely, wineries of Purcari, Asconi, Cojușna, Et Cetera

Moldovan wineries are not only factories for wine-making but also genuine museums of architecture, design and art. Some of them boast that they keep the traditions of ancient Greek colonists and Roman expansionists, but in fact they rely exclusively on the latest wine-making technologies. Excursions to these places of wine worship are accompanied by incredible stories, folk music and fine wine.

NATURE

- Natural reservations: Pădurea Domnească, Orheiul Vechi, and Codrii

Forests have played an important role in the history of Moldova, serving as a hiding place and regrouping ground for war-defeated rulers, a refuge for fugitives and rebels, and a source of inspiration for poets and troubadours. In addition to 4 splendid natural reservations, protected by the state, there are over 30 protected forest areas in the country, some being open to the public and others with restricted access.

In Padurea Domneasca (Royal Forest) you are expected to visit the Valley with 100 Mounds. In reality, the area has over 3,500 mounds, each 3-5 meters high, giving the impression of a huge cemetery of old warriors. The mystery of mound formation has not been solved until now.

- Grots in Duruitoarea Veche and Butești

The grot in Duruitoarea Veche, Rîșcani District, is a stone age settlement once serving as a home for communities of prehistoric people. It has three rooms with a total length of about 50 meters. The grot in Butești, Glodeni District, resembles an elephant lying on grass and used to be a home for our ancestors.

- Caves Cenușăreasa and Bechir

The Gothic style cave Cenușăreasa (Cinderella) is the largest cave in the Republic of Moldova and the third largest gypsum cave in Europe. Inside the 11-meter-high cave there are over 20 lakes and a few wells with drinking water. It is located near the intersection of the borders of the Republic of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. The Bechir Cave is also a paleontological monument, a cavern that is supposed to have served religious purposes, mimicking the shape of a church carved in stone.

- Chișinău parks

In the capital, there are well-cared green spaces for the public to rest. The Dendrarium Park is home to a colony of fluttering squirrels; the Valea Morilor Park is an area for entertainment; the Botanical Garden preserves an exceptional collection of plants; the Public Garden in the city center is the favorite place of families; and the Cathedral Park houses the country's main religious building.

FORTRESSES

- Soroca Fortress and Tighina Fortress

The atmosphere of medieval Moldova is best represented by the fortifications built by the Moldavian rulers on the borders of the old principality. The Soroca Fortress is located 160 kilometers north of the capital, and the Tighina Fortress is 60 kilometers southeast of the capital. Both fortresses are located on the Dniester River and are featured on the 20-leu and 100-leu banknotes, respectively.

- Trajan Wall

Trajan's Wall is a complex of fortifications that stretches over the territories of Romania, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The Romans built these earth walls to protect themselves from tribal incursions north of the Danube. On the territory of Moldova there are two fragments of the wall. Although the name is attributed to Emperor Trajan, in reality the fortifications were built by the Byzantines in the times of Constantine the Great.

MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES

The Ţîpova Orthodox Monastery is located entirely in a stone rock, being considered one of the largest cave monasteries in Europe. Another old monastery is located at Saharna, surrounded by forests, not far from the Dniester bank. Part of the monastery is also dug into the rock.

In total, there are more than 50 monasteries in the Republic of Moldova, many of them being true masterpieces of architecture - for example Noul Neamț, Japca, Hâncu or Căpriana strike by the solemnity of their buildings and the strict schedule of religious services. The Călărași District claims merit for the largest number of monasteries in a single territorial-administrative unit - exactly 5. Visitors who stop overnight are accommodated in special bald spots for guests.

The Cathedral of Lord’s Birth and Theodora de la Sihla Church, both located in the center of the capital, are the most famous churches.

MUSEUMS

The capital holds the record for the number of museums - the Museum of Archeology and History, the Army Museum, the Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, the Museum of Arts, and others.

The Museum of Archeology and History, for example, houses the diorama "Operation Iasi-Chisinau", which includes a canvas measuring 45x11 meters and a natural plan with the details of a battle near the village of Leuseni in World War II. The total area of the painting and the plan is about 800 square meters.

The Museum of Ethnography and Natural History too has dioramas, though smaller, in addition to the exhibits representing different eras. One of the rooms has a permanent exhibition of malformed animals, preserved in glass cylinders. 

If you have never seen what an NKVD officer used to wear, hurry to visit the Army Museum, inside which you will find military uniforms of all the troops who put a foot on Moldovan territory. Soviet combat machines are exposed in the open air - artillery batteries, aircraft, armored vehicles.

Another museum is the Soviet bunker in Olișcani, Soldanesti District. Abandoned after the dissolution of the USSR, this military bunker has a diameter of 32 meters and a depth of 60 meters. Its purpose is still a true enigma even for military experts.

Among the rural museums worth visiting are the Mansion of Manuc Bei - an Armenian diplomat and merchant from the 19th century - in the Hâncești District, and the house of fabulist Alexandru Donici in the Orhei District.

MONUMENTS

- Statue of Stephen the Great

Erected in the center of the capital, the Statue of Stephen the Great is the main monument of the Republic of Moldova, and the square around it is the place of public gatherings of citizens. The ruler of medieval Moldova is commemorated for his devotion to the people.

- Candle of Gratitude

This lighthouse-shaped monument in the Soroca District stands on a rock overlooking the Dniester River. It symbolizes the gratitude of contemporary generations for the suffering endured by their ancestors. To get from the river bank to the place where the structure is located, visitors must walk 600 steps.

Public events

The Republic of Moldova holds many public events, music festivals, official and religious holidays, which attract a large number of tourists. Some of the days when these events take place are non-working days and people fill in the streets - but especially the central square of the capital - as well as cafes, restaurants, parks and rural guesthouses to communicate and have fun. We present the calendar of events for 2020:

Data Eveniment Activitati
9 februarie Mileștii Mici Wine Run
Mileștii Mici, Ialoveni
Competiții la alergări prin beciurile subterane ale vinăriei Mileștii Mici
1-10 martie Festivalul Primăverii Mărțișor
Chișinău, centrele raionale
Muzică și dansuri populare, jazz, clasica
27 aprilie Paștele Ortodox
Național
Reuniuni de familii și prieteni, slujbe religioase în toate localitățile, noaptea de sfințire a mâncărurilor
30 aprilie Vernisajul Vinului
Chișinău
Degustare de vinuri moldovenești
aprilie Festivalul Internațional al Școlilor de Teatru și Film ”Class Fest”
Chișinău
Spectacole montate de absolvenții instituțiilor teatrale din regiune
aprilie Festivalul Național de Performance Coral ”La Izvoare”
Chișinău
Spectacole corale cu participarea studenților din școlile muzicale din Moldova
1 mai Mai Vin
Puhoi, Ialoveni
Picnic la vinăria Asconi
2 mai Maratonul Montan la Ciclism
Trebujeni, Orhei
Competiții la ciclism în zone cu teren denivelat și accidentat
6 mai Herdelez
Ceadîr-Lunga, Gagauzia
Cursa de cai și jocuri populare tradiționale
13 mai Dulce Floare de Salcâm
Văleni, Cahul
Festival etno-folcloric regional
6-18 mai Noaptea Muzeelor
Chișinău
Acces liber la expozițiile muzeelor din Moldova, concursuri de artă și port, spectacole medievale
23 mai Festivalul Urban Vibes
Chișinău
Celebrarea culturii urbane
23-24 mai Street Food & Wine Festival 
Chișinău
Sărbătoare gastronomică
24 mai ArtVin
Purcari, Ștefan Vodă
Degustare de vinuri Purcari și prezentarea de artă contemporană
30 mai VeloHora
Chișinău
Curse de ciclism pentru amatori
30 mai Sparkling Party
Cricova
Degustare de vinuri spumante Cricova
31 mai Mai Dulce
Chișinău
Târgul de dulciuri
31 mai iProsop
Șelemet, Cimișlia
Prezentarea costumelor populare tradiționale, muzică și dansuri populare
mai Aerobis Balloon Fiesta
Ivancea, Orhei
Zboruri cu baloane cu aer cald pentru pasionații de aventuri
mai Bienala Internațională a Teatrului Eugene Ioneco
Chișinău
Spectacole la teatrele din capitală
mai Festivalul Internațional de Film Documentar ”Cronograf”
Chișinău
Vizionarea de filme documentare admise la concurs
mai Festivalul de Muzică Ușoară ”Steaua Chișinăului”
Chișinău
Concerte de muzică ușoară
mai sau iunie Festivalul Medieval
Vatra, Strășeni
Lupte simulate în costumație de epocă, concerte în aer liber
7 iunie Festivalul Mierii și Căpșunii / Festivalul Căpșunii și Vinului
Chateau Vartely
Târgul de căpșuni cultivate și mierii produse în Moldova / a vinurilor autohtone
7 iunie Duminica Mare
Domulgeni, Florești
Prezentarea tradițiilor moldovenilor
13 iunie Ziua Rose
Bulboaca, Anenii Noi
Degustarea vinurilor Mimi
13 iunie Gagauz Gergefi
Comrat
Prezentarea costumelor populare găgăuze
14 iunie Frumos Covor Basarabean
Clișova Nouă, Orhei
Târg de covoare tradiționale
17 iunie Festivalul Lavandei
Cobușca Nouă, Anenii Noi
Vizite în câmpurile cu lavandă, picnic și muzică de cameră
19-21 iunie DescOPERA
Butuceni, Orhei
Muzică clasică în aer liber
28 iunie Ziua Portului Popular
Chișinău
Festival etno-folcloric
iunie Festivalul Internațional de Muzică Simfonică ”Zilele Muzicii Noi”
Chișinău
Concerte de muzică simfonică
iunie DeVin, DeGust
Vatra
Festival de vinuri și gastronomie
5 iulie La Mania
Holercani, Dubăsari
Festivalul artelor tradiționale
iulie Hats&Wines
Chateau Vartely, Orhei
Festivalul de vară al vinurilor
9 august La Vatra olarului Vasile Gonciar
Hoginești, Călărași
Târg internațional de vase din ceramică
15-16 august Hodina
Pohrebea, Dubăsari
Picnic și activități în aer liber
15 august - 15 octombrie Bătălia Producătorilor de Vinuri
Purcari, Ștefan Vodă
Concursuri în perioada recoltării strugurilor
18-19 august Festivalul Gustar
Rezervația Orheiul Vechi
Muzică etno-balcanică în aer liber
27 august Ziua Independenței
Național
Concerte, concursuri de artă, competiții sportive, expoziții în aer liber
27 august Dor Călător
Ulmu, Ialoveni
Festival de muzică la vinăria Poiana
31 august Ziua Limbii
Național
Concerte, concursuri literare, expoziții în aer liber
4 septembrie Vinopera
Bulboaca, Anenii Noi
Muzică clasică la Castelul Mimi
4-16 septembrie Festivalul Internațional de Operă și Balet ”Maria Bieșu”
Chișinău
Concerte de operă și performance de balet
5 septembrie Cursa de Vinuri Purcari 
Purcari, Ștefan Vodă
Competiții la alergări prin plantații de vie
12 septembrie Festivalul Mustului
Cricova
Degustarea vinurilor tinere
13 septembrie Festivalul Osier
Lozova, Strășeni
Meșteșuguri populare în zona de pădure
19-20 septembrie Bostaniada
Bălăbănești, Criuleni
Târg de dovleci cultivați în Moldova, degustarea bucatelor cu dovleac
25-27 septembrie Maratonul Internațional Chișinău
Chișinău
Cursa de alergări
25-27 septembrie Festivalul Etno-Jazz
Chișinău
Muzică internațională etno și jazz
septembrie Concursul Internațional la Dirijat Simfonic
Chișinău
Concurs cu participarea dirijorilor de muzică simfonică din toată lumea
3-4 octombrie Ziua Națională a Vinului
Chișinău, centrele raionale
Concursuri și degustare de vinuri produse în Moldova
14 octombrie Hramul capitalei
Chișinău
Concerte în aer liber, concursuri de artă și competiții sportive
1 noiembrie Gagauz Șarap Yourtusu
Comrat
Festivalul vinurilor găgăuze
28 noiembrie Festivalul Vinului și Muzicii Underground 
Mileștii Mici
Concerte și degustare de vinuri la vinăria Mileștii Mici
12 decembrie Covorul Dorului
Chișinău
Târgul național de covoare
18 decembrie Vernisajul Vinului
Chișinău
Degustare de vinuri moldovenești
25 decembrie
7 ianuarie
Crăciunul
Național
Colinde, concerte, expoziții, distracții de iarnă, acțiuni de caritate, vânzări cu reduceri