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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 battle of Stalingrad and, in the same square, a monumental warplane decorated with flowers. You probably won't miss the Soviet-style banners either!
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Points of Interest in Tiraspol
You can see most of what there is to see in Tiraspol by walking up and down October 25 St., the main drag. There are several nice parks in the city, including the Culture Park near the university. This has abundant trees and a mixture of abandoned and enthusiastically used amusement park rides, and is a good place for people-watching. Most of the big monuments are at the south end of the city, about 2 km from the Palace of Soviets.
Tiraspol has a relatively modern infrastructure. The state-run bus service is a simplistic, fairly accessible method of transportation operating at peak hours during the day. Tickets can be obtained on board, and cost 1.40 rubles for trolleybuses and 2 rubles for maxi taxis. Night-time operations were halted due to an increase in criminal drug trafficking, which became rampant on the bus system during the mid 1990s. Subsequent reforms by ex-President Smirnov and other officials enabled the bus system to remain open for at least the better part of the day, restoring a much needed public service to the Transnistrian population.
Tiraspol is landlocked and is largely closed off from the outside world due to a lack of transcontinental infrastructure. There is neither an airport nor a seaport in Transnistria. The nearest international airport is located in neighbouring Moldova.
The local sewer system and electrical grid is state of the art. Recently adapted from models based in western Europe, the Transnistrian basic infrastructure was built in the mid 1990s after the profits gained after the war of independence in 1992.
Visit many Soviet monuments that remain in Tiraspol since the days of USSR. You may also want to visit the local drama theatre and local museums near the centre of the city. The war museum near the parliament is also quite interesting; note that foreigners have to pay ten times more than locals - 20 rubles. There are cheap boat tours on the Dniester which take about 30 minutes; just board the boat, the guide will collect the money after the ship departs.
- Iceskating - near where the mashrutkas from the Ukrainian border arrive is an ice rink. 65 rubles.
- Andy's Pizza. provides a mix of Western-style foods such as the "English Breakfast" and other Eastern European favourites. The menu is in English/Russian, which is excellent if you don't know too much Russian. One waiter when we were there spoke good English also. The atmosphere is clean and modern, but the toilets are the Eastern European squat variety, which starkly contrasts the rest of the restaurant. Décor is on par with Western standards. Free Wi-Fi.
Bottle Museum Tourist complex where you can taste wines and brandies produced in Moldova and the Moldovan sample dishes of national cuisine, decorated in the Moldovan national style.
- Cafe Eilenburg, Sverdlov Street 1 (at the corner of Sverdlov Street and 25. October Street). German-style restaurant with view over the main square with monuments and government buildings. The menu is in Russian, English and German, with the staff being fluent only in the first one of these 3 languages.
- Kumanek, Sverdlov Street 37. Nice-looking restaurant, has both smoking and non-smoking rooms. Prices are considerably high for Tiraspol. Very slow service, three soups took half an hour (and a reminder), dumplings were served cold.
La Placinte is another Moldovan chain with a branch in Tiraspol. Provides traditional Moldovan food at reasonable prices and free Wi-Fi. Menu in Russian but with pictures.
- 7 Пятницъ (7 Fridays), 25. October Street 112, ☎ 9-22-10. Western-style restaurant on the main street. Very modern and clean, with some English-speaking staff and a comprehensive menu with various international dishes of high quality including a wide selection of sushi, but no local specialities except for the local cognac (Tiras). Free Wi-Fi (broadband). An average meal with salad and main course costs about 80 Transnistrian rubles, 50cl beer ca. 17 rubles and 5cl cognac 9 rubles.
There are many shops and markets to purchase local food, drink and their famous Transnistrian Vodka drink commonly referred to as a "smirnovka" - appropriately named after president Igor Smirnov. Along the river downtown, a handful of bars and restaurants can be found, usually open till about midnight.
There are several large and modern discos in the center. They are usually open until late, seven days a week. Tourists are rare and the few English speakers that might be around are often very happy to communicate with foreigners.
In order to purchase goods, services or souvenirs in Tiraspol, or in any Transnistrian locale you must exchange your outside currency into Transnistrian rubles. The Transnistrian central bank sets their own exchange rate and prints their own money, so the amount of rubles you will get on any given day for your Euros varies significantly from week to week. Currency exchanges are everywhere, including inside many popular stores, and will change most local and major currencies. Some exchange booths (e.g. those of the Agroprom Bank which are located at the Sheriff stores) will ask for your passport. You can't pay with credit or debit cards in Transnistria.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Tiraspol on Wikivoyage.