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Moldova is a small land-locked country in Eastern Europe, north of the Balkans, surrounded by Romania to the southwest, across the Prut river, and Ukraine to the north and east. Unrecognized Transnistria occupies a sliver of the area bordering Ukraine east of the Nistru River.
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Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was forcefully incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II.
- Independence - 27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
- National holiday - Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
- Constitution - new constitution adopted 28 July 1994; replaces old Soviet constitution of 1979
Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic.
The poorest nation in Europe, Moldova became the first European (former Soviet) state to elect a communist government and president in 2001. In 2011, the current balance of communists in the Moldovan legislature is 40%. It teeters on returning to communist government but a democratic coalition retains control.
Continental cold and snowy winters, mild springs and autumns, and warm to hot summers.
Chişinău is a good place for gourmands. There are a lot of good places to eat all over Chişinău.
Cheap, tasty food that is very popular with the locals is served in most places. For better service and more diverse food, there are a lot of small restaurants and cafés. Good restaurants have prices comparable to those elsewhere in Europe. For a quick lunch, fast food and pizza shops are recommended; these can be found at nearly every corner. For groceries, there are small shops all over. Some are even right in front of apartment blocks just a few steps away from the entrances. For harder-to-find items, go to the supermarkets. For fresh fruits and vegetables, markets are a great place to shop. Most of the products are local, but there are a lot of sellers who to sell imported stuff, mostly oranges, bananas and other tropical fruits/vegetables. Meat and meat products are best purchased from supermarkets or shops. The quality is much better than from the market, and the prices aren't much higher.
While in Moldova, make sure you try at least some of the traditional dishes here - Mamaliga, placinta and sarmale are essential for a complete expierence in your visit to Moldova. These should, for the full expierence be accompanied by homemade wine.
Moldova has a long local wines tradition. Especially the reds are popular throughout the country. Most Moldovan villagers grow their own grapes and press their own wine, and many standard rural households will press thousands of litres per year.
The nightlife of Chisinau is also quite spectacular compared to what could be expected. It is the host of many clubs and bars that are equal in every aspect to many other places throughout Eastern Europe.
Local wine is of superb quality and cheap in comparison to other countries, but for political reasons, mostly unknown in Western Europe.
The leu (ISO 4217 code MDL) is the currency of Moldova. Like the Romanian leu, the Moldovan leu (plural: lei) is subdivided into 100 bani (singular: ban). The name of the currency originates in Romania and means "lion".
While in Moldova make sure to visit at least one piata and check out the Soviet memorbilia, but be careful, people here usually have a 6th sense for foreigners and they will often quote prices accordingly.
Banknotes are issued in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 lei denominations.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Moldova on Wikivoyage.
Cities in Moldova
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Chişinău is the capital of Moldova with a population of around 790,000 plus 250,000 people coming each day for work and entertainment from all over the country and abroad. City's territory with nearest suburbs cover the area of 635 km2.
- Cathedral Park
- Parliament House
- Government House
- Stefan Cel Mare Park
- Kishinev Cathedral
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Tiraspol is the capital and largest city in Transnistria. You might enjoy a visit to the main street with its parliamentary building boasting relatively new Lenin and Stalin statues. Opposite, a T-34 tank from the Great Patriotic War era forms part of a monument which also contains soil from the pivotal ... (read more)
- Alexander Suvorov Statue
- Tiraspol National United Museum
- Palace of the Soviets
Points of Interest in Moldova
There are several museums in downtown Chişinău, including the museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, the museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Moldova is famous for its wines. With top rate wines at inexpensive prices relative to other countries, it is Moldova’s main tourism draw.
Milestii Mici - With over 200 kilometres (125 miles) of underground roadways, Milestii Mici is registered in the Guinness World Records as the biggest wine collection in the world. It may be easer to book a tour through a travel agency as one must provide a car for the tour.  +373 22 382 333.
Cricova - Moldova’s second largest wine cellar has over 120 kilometers (75 miles) of underground roadways. Only a 15 minutes drive from Chişinău, it is a favourite of tourists. +373 22-277 378.
Purcari - One of the oldest wineries in Moldova, Purcari wine has been drunk by Russian Emperor Nicolai II, the English King George V and Queen Victoria. It is especially famous for Negru de Purcari. +373 22 29 59 11.
Orheiul Vechi - Moldova's best known sight is a 13th-century Cave Monastery located about a half hour drive from Chişinău. Just up the road is a tourist centre with a small museum, restaurant and hotel. Call ahead to make sure it's open at +373 235 34 242. One public bus leaves from the Chişinău central bus station everyday at 10:20, but the return bus does not come until 16:00. In the vicinity are huge cliffs that contain another six complexes of interlocking caves. It is highly advised to not explore them without the help of an experienced guide. The remains of a Turkish bath house is also just off the river.
Capriana monastery - One of Moldova’s most prominent monasteries only 40 km (25 miles) from Chişinău. Buses run hourly in the morning from Calea Ieşilor in the Sculeni part of Chişinău.
Bender (or Tighina in Romanian) - Another fortification is The Fortress of Bender, however it is being used as a military training ground and is off limits. The best views are from the bridge going towards Tiraspol.
Cathedral Park - Chisinau
Orheiul Vechi Monastery - Orhei
Parliament House - Chisinau
Government House - Chisinau
Stefan Cel Mare Park - Chisinau
Kishinev Cathedral - Chisinau
Presidential Palace - Chisinau
National History Museum - Chisinau
Pushkin Museum - Chisinau
Rose Valley - Chisinau
Zimbru Stadium - Chisinau
Valea Morilor - Chisinau