TRAVEL TIPS FOR MOLDOVA
5 Interesting Facts About Moldova
- Moldova is considered the least touristy country in Europe
- Moldova is the 20th largest wine-producing country in the world
- Moldova also boasts the largest wine cellar in the entire world
- Moldova is a country with 2nd highest consumption of alcohol per capita in the world
- Moldova is a small country, yet has a break away territory and even an autonomous territorial unit
Moldova - on the map
Have you ever heard of Moldova? The former Soviet Union country wedged between Romania and Russia? Well, maybe you have, but how much do you really know about it? No worries, nobody is going to blame you for insufficient knowledge of geography, you don't really hear about this country much anywhere.
Moldova ranks among the least touristy countries in the world, and is for sure the least visited country in Europe. And this fact certainly brings along lots of advantages too - no overcrowded places, no queues, no overpriced restaurants or souvenir shops. Just a real travelers' experience.
Moldova is a pretty new country, and the consequences after decades under the influence of the Soviet Union are noticeable. In Moldova, you won't find any world's wonders, but you should surely visit it to get a different point of view. While Chisinau, unlike most capital cities, doesn't really have so much to offer, it is recommended to visit Moldavian wine regions and cellars.
A Few Days in Moldova
Good to know before traveling to Moldova
1. Moldova doesn't consist of only Moldova
Although Moldova is a pretty small country and non-Europen people will most likely even struggle to find it on the map, this country isn't just one, in fact. Moldova consists of 32 regions, plus two autonomous teritorries - Gagauzia and Transnistria.
The motivation to create a separate region of Gagauzia - officially called Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia - was ethnical, as the Gagauz people are mostly Orthodox Turkic-speaking. To make the system of administrative divisions of Moldova even more interesting, Gagauzia is divided into 4 enclaves.
While Gagauzia is a pretty peaceful part of Moldova, it's all much more tricky with Transnistria
2. Nobody speaks English
I mean not at all. Like everywhere else, there are indeed certain exceptions, such as hostels and perhaps a bit more touristy places, for example Cricova, but generally speaking, don't even try to communicate with locals in English. Moldavians seem to be very closed people, which also probably has to do with their complicated history. For a very long time they had been a part of Romania and under influence of Russia, so there has never been a reason for the English language to go through. Unless you speak Romanian, it will better work with any Slavic language as most people in Moldova speak Russian.
2. Moldova acknowledge 4 different languages
The official language in Moldova is Moldovian, which, in fact, is Romanian. Due to the influence of the former Soviet Union, many people also speak Russian, which is granted the status of inter-ethnic language, and it also has official status in both autonomous regions -Gagauzia and Transnistria. Ukrainian is also acknowledged as the official, regional language of Transnistria. Last but not least, Gagauz language is the forth language, spoken in Gagauzia. Gagauz belongs to the branch of Turkic languages, it's not Turkish, though.
The interesting fact about languages spoken in Moldova is not only that there are so many for such a small country, but they are also from totally different language groups - Romance, Slavonic and Turkic. It must be very interesting to cross individual territories as nobody speaks English in any of them.
3. It's very poor...
Unfortunately. As sad as it sounds, Moldova is a very poor country, being at the very bottom of the ranking (together with Albania). Every educated person has heard of the poverty problems in Africa etc. But about It's insane how big the differences are among the European countries. The best way to see it is to take a road trip starting in Scandinavia, going on to Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czechia and down to the Balkans or East. If you come to Moldova from Romania, you will already see that the East of Romania feels less developed.
Explore more of Moldova
Moldova - Counties
Moldova - places