Chisinau

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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.

47.012078 28.852090
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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
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  • Harbor Harbor
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
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  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Chisinau

Cathedral Park - Better known as Central Park, it is in the very centre. The centre is adorned with the Nativity Cathedral, the main church for the city. To the Southwest is the Triumph arch constructed in 1841 which is the center piece of The Great National Assembly Square. Across Stefan cel Mare Boulevard is the Government House. The city’s biggest flower market is on the north side of the park along Banulescu Bodoni street. At the intersection of Stefan cel Mare and Banulescu Bodoni is a statue of Stefan cel Mare.

  • Stefan Cel Mare Monument. The monument to Stephen III of Moldovia who in the 15th century achieved European fame by resisting the Turkish advances. The monument is the gateway to the beautiful park of the same name.
  • Rose Valley. A nine hectare park featuring three major lakes and several restaurants. To get here use lines T2, T3, T7, T9 or T10.
  • Riscani Park. A big, 32 hectare wooded park offering you pleasant, almost secluded walks. Use bus 5 or A.
  • Botanica Park. The most beautiful and the largest in Chişinău, situated near the Gates Of The City. Next to Botanica - if you head west after you exit the gates - cross Strada Aeroportului, and then you can find a path which will take you towards the first, and so far only building, that is on the land designated as the Village Museum - Muzeul Satului. It is a wooden church built in the 1600s brought piece by piece to Chisinau from the village of Hiriseni (74 km north of Chisinau). There is a new wooden gate with traditional carvings leading up to the museum.
  • Parcul Valea Morilor. Very large park with a recently renovated lake and which offers acres of largely untouched countryside scenery in the heart of the city.
  • Parcul Dendrariu - A large park in Buiucani (which costs 2 lei to enter). Nice gardens, lake, forests and sports field.
  • Parcul Alunelul - Situated near a former Soviet theme park, this contains a strange door-less and window-less house, as well as a memorial to the pogroms in Chişinău in the first part of the 20th Century.
  • Jewish Cemetery in Buiucani - the cemetery is still in use. Contains new and very old graves, and used to be one of the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Bear in mind that at one point between 40 and 60% of Chişinău's population was Jewish. It also contains an old destroyed synagogue and a monument for the Torah scrolls.
  • Courtyard on the corner of Str. 31 August & Str. Tighina 47, you can find here the Military Museum, containing all sorts of Soviet Era military vehicles (tanks, a MIG fighter jet, etc.)

Pushkin Museum, Str Anton Pann 19 - you can visit the house where Pushkin lived when in exile from Russia during the years 1820-23.

National Archaeology & History Museum, Str 31 August 1989, 121A - Spend a few hours exploring the exhibits.

National Ethnographic and Nature Museum, Str M Kogălniceanu 82

National Museum of Fine Arts, Str 31 August 1989, 115

Memorial Park - A little way-out of the center is the is a memorial commemorating the victory of the Soviet army in WWII. There is also an eternal flame in memory of Chişinău's unknown soldiers who died in WWII. It's behind the military and civilian cemeteries.

Cathedral Park

Parliament House

Government House

Stefan Cel Mare Park

Kishinev Cathedral

Presidential Palace

National History Museum

Pushkin Museum

Rose Valley

Zimbru Stadium

Valea Morilor

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Popular events in Chisinau in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Chisinau

Background

Chişinău is very wealthy compared to the rest of the country, as Moldova is not a very rich country. As is common in developing countries, 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 associated with it. By other side you'll see many modern and great buildings of steel, concrete and glass.

The majority of the middle and working class population lives in blocks of flats. These look standardly, maybe not too nice but are not "dangerous" as similar areas may be considered to be in Western Europe. Do not come to Moldova expecting Western standards everywhere, but the situation is improving every year. Here you can see 4 and 5 star hotels, great restaurants and cafes, coffee houses and bars. Many restaurants and almost all the hotels in the city accept the credit cards. There are hundreds of ATMs throughout the city where you can use your bank cards.

Crime is relatively low although usual precautions apply.

Activities

Opera and Ballet Theatre - catch a show of one of the top ballet companies in Eastern Europe. The company has toured all over the world, from Tokyo to Johannesburg. Show times and information can be found at their website [10]

Mihai Eminescu Theatre - Stefan cel Mare si Sfant Blvd 79. This beautiful old theatre has floor seating and two balconies. They have multiple productions running at the same time, so you if you are staying for a week, you may have four different plays to choose from - and films in the 'studio'. Comedies tend to communicate better if you don't know the language.

The National Filharmonic Str. Mihai Eminescu just north of Stefan cel Mare si Sfant. Some shows start as early as 5pm.

Patria Movietheatre Check for 'In Original English Language'. If not, it might be dubbed in Russian with Moldovan/Romanian subtitles.

Food

Chişinău is a good place for food lovers. There are plenty of good places to eat all over Chişinău. 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. Some restaurants have prices comparable to Europe, although if you eat only in those you may find yourself being ripped off. For a quick lunch, try fast food stores and pizzerias, these can be found on nearly every corner. Beef is often under the veal part of the menu.

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. You will frequently also see markets or even one or two random people selling fruit and vegetables, and sometimes other products such as honey or "brinza" (type of cheese). The majority of these are fresh and perfectly safe to eat and frequently better than what is found in a supermarket.

For fresh fruits and vegetables, open-air markets are the best option. 'Piata Centrala' - 'Central Market' is - as the name implies - in the center of the city and runs more than two whole city blocks. Other districts/neighborhoods such as Ciocana also have large markets. 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. Some say that it is best to buy meat and dairy products from supermarkets or shops because they think the quality is much better than in the market for nearly the same prices.

However, the vendors at the market will let you taste the cheese prior to your purchase so you can decide if it is something that you want to eat. When you first walk into the 'cheese halls', it may look like all of the vendors standing next to each other are selling the same product For hard cheese which tend to be re-sold from larger distributors, it may be the same. However, for cheeses that are locally-made, there are slight variations that arise from even slight differences in technique, variations in the level of salt for curing, differences in feed. 'Oi' means sheep, so this will have a slightly different flavor than cow 'vaca' or goat 'capra' cheeses. 'Cas' is a softer cheese, that is not aged like some of the other 'branza' which tends to be harder and saltier and recommended for Mamaliga - corn polenta. If you are uncertain about how to communicate the quantity you want, you can start by giving the vendor 20Lei or 40Lei depending on if you want a smaller or larger piece. Or, when they suggest a certain piece that might look too large, you can say 'jumatate' which means 'half', and then they will weigh it and tell you the price. You can ask them to write it down if you need by showing a pen and paper.

A classic 'fast-food' is the 'langos' which are fried dough with either 'cartofi' - potatoes, 'branza' - cheese, 'varza' - cabbage, or 'ficat' - liver. These are all made in the bakery in the second story of one of the buildings near the market and are sold by different vendors in identical glass wheel carts in different parts of 'Piata Centrala'.

A quick meal can also be put together with the marinated or pickled dishes that are sold at 'Piata Centrala'. Depending on the vendors, you might find marinated eggplant with onions, marinated shredded carrot, squash or mushrooms. There are also re-hydrated sea grasses (they said from the Black Sea) in white or green curly varieties in whole bunches, or smoother grasses that are more shredded. I didn't catch the names, but again, they will give you samples.

Budget

The orange Beleas stalls all around the city offer cheap and warm food which is very good in winter, and usually "quick and tasty" as advertised (repede si gustos) in Romanian. However they may not always heat it up properly which can mean it might not be so good so ask for fierbinte (boiling). Also, although it is usually nice, don't think about where it might have been before you bought it.

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).

   Sandwich Express (Sandwich and coffee shop), Decebal 91, Botanica (on the Decebal Boulevard, some 100 meters down from the Elat commercial center.),  +373 22 558 008. 8.30-22.00. Sandwich Express is small, friendly and budget-friendly cafe that offers large sandwiches, coffees, fresh juices, free WiFi. 3-5 USD (PLN 16,68).

Express Bravo Cafenea Bar, Stefan cel Mare si Sfant 120 (This is a small place tucked behind a large green sign for Banca de Economii. It is across the street from the Green Hills Nistru Cafe, diagonal to the Southeast from the Mihai Eminescu Theatre). Food is arranged in trays and on plates behind glass. The menu changes and depending on who is working they might let you taste some before choosing a particular dish. The staff doesn't know English, but you can pick up a tray and point to what you want to eat. 10 - 45 Lei, or 1-4 USD.

You might also enjoy eating on the roof of McDonald's where the menu is virtually the same as in America (plus beer).

Mid-range

Andy's Pizza. is a fast food restaurant which is found all over the city. The quality of the food is unfortunately very variable depending on which dish and which outlet you go to, with some of the food being absolutely gross especially the pizza.

Pizza Celentano, str. Puskin. nice pizzas, chain famous in Ukraine, has three branches.

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.

La Placinte. is another restaurant owned by the same people, serving traditional Moldovan cuisine. The quality of the food is far more reliable and good, at decent affordable prices far below that found in Western Europe.

Robin pub - medium sized place with a friendly English style pub atmosphere. This pub has a wide variety of meals from fish to pasta. Staff know a little English and menu is in English as well. This place is all smoking area. The food is fast, hot and decent.

The restaurant owned by the Green Hills company on Stephan Cel Mare is excellent, prices are comparable to European ones.

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.

Drinks

Drinks such as vodka are served on their own. So don't be surprised if your vodka sprite is served as a 2 separate drinks. Also club soda seems difficult to procure, at least in English.

  • Wines - 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 ( www.moldovtraders.com )

  • Beer - Moldovan beer is one of the best in Europe. A very famous is named "Bere Chişinău". It was awarded with the Nr.1 Gold Medal at the Nuremberg beer competition in 2007, beating German, Czech and others. It can be found in all the bars on every street in Chişinău, 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.

Beer House bar and restaurant on bd C. Negruzzi, has a wide range of beers (some brewed on the premises) and a good menu. Prices for a full meal with drinks range from 150-500 Lei.

Clubs

There are more than 40 night clubs in Chişinău, making its night life vibrant and dynamic. Here are some of the best of them.

City club - tucked in behind the parliament buildings this dome shaped club offers tables that can be reserved for 300 lei in the back and 200 lei right on the dance floor. All the tables may look reserved but they are open for purchase. Listen to the electronic music among the red decor. 35 lei cover. 2 floors. Coat check is available. Do not be surprised if the bouncers begin shoving you around - if you get too close to a VIP table, take a drink too far from the bar, or do not move out of the way quickly enough when performers enter the dancefloor.

Booze time club - a club with a slight rustic feel as it is nearly all wood. Somewhat of a university bar feel. Electronic music. Upstairs bar and lounge area. No cover. Connected to City club but for staff only. Booze time will be more full than city on off nights. Coat check available. Bartenders here like to put on a show as well.

Deja vu - a smaller basement pub club. Quite intimate but watch out for the harmless bar top antics where staff pour drinks down customers' throats in a sexually suggestive manner. Be sure to order the flaming sambuca. It's a good show. A mix of pop electronica and club rnb. just don't be surprised if your bar tab ends up being twice as high as expected. But as some shots involve 3-4 staff working to keep you safe as the entire bar is engulfed in flames while bar tenders juggle liqueur bottles turned Molotov cocktails. Cash only (they take euros).

Drive - destination for those who appreciate the real quality club recreation. Powerful energy and surrounding you absolutely powerless sound and modern rhythm will make you to love it at a glance. A wide bar range and a variety of recipes will surprise even the most demanding taste. Also, there is always fresh beer, and a huge selection of cocktails and alcoholic drinks.

Military - the place where Military Club now occupies, brought together people that were symbols of their times. People like Vladimir Visotsky, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrei Mironov, Nona Mordukova, Stefan Petrache, Mashina Vremeni, and many others. Today, this plight is continued by the heroes of our time. On this same place, but with a different name – Military Club, the bright and orange future, promises a new milestone in the capital-city era.

Shopping

There are excessive number of shops, malls and trade centers in Chişinău. Only market places are at about 41. 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).

Chişinău Souvenir Bazaar - The city's main artisan market. One can find hand made crafts, paintings and relics from the Soviet days. English is limited, but many products have a marked price. Negotiating prices is acceptable. Located on Stefan cel Mare boulevard adjacent to the Mihail Eminescu National Theatre at Stefan cel Mare 152.

Unic - An all purpose shopping center in Chişinău, but it is rather soviet-style. For a better shopping experience, go to MallDova or Sun City One can buy just about anything needed when in Moldova. The selection on souvenirs is smaller and many will not be hand made. Located on the corner of Stefan cel Mare and Ismail.

Stefan cel Mare - This is Chişinău's main street. Not only is it great for people watching, it is also lined with numerous shops and restaurants.

Piata Centralâ - Chişinău's outdoor market.

Mall Dova - The largest western style mall in Chişinău. Most stores and products are generic and could be bought at any other mall in any country in the world.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Chișinău on Wikivoyage.

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