View from our 8th floor hotel room at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Vinh, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Walking tour of downtown Chisinau, Moldova

We walked over to pick up our car rental yesterday morning. It's been pure luck that every time we've booked a car rental on this trip, the office has been really close to where we're staying. This time, it was only a fifteen minute walk.

They gave us a little Ford Fiesta for 18 euros per day. We're keeping the car for nine days. This place accepts credit cards, but when I went to pay they said it would cost 3% extra to use the card. Okay, whatever. Not a big deal. I wanted to use the card because I have total rental vehicle coverage through our Visa card. So, it cost an extra $7 or so for that. Oh, and an extra 20 euros for the paperwork to be able to take the car to Transnistria.

Anyhow, it all worked out to a total of around $28 CAD ($21.50 USD) per day. Not bad.

We drove the car back to the apartment, and hopped on the bus to get to downtown! It's just easier to take the bus. Don't need to worry about parking, and it's only one bus. And, the buses are dirt cheap.

We didn't really need the car for yesterday, and it just sat for the rest of the day. However, we wanted to get an early start this morning, that's why we picked it up yesterday.

A friend of Gloria's (our AirBnb host) is a tour guide. But she's only just starting out in that business, and Gloria suggested that Eleonora might want to practice on a couple of international visitors. So we met Eleonora downtown and and she took us on a walking tour.

Moldova Museum of History.

The Presidential Palace.

The presidential Palace is located opposite the Parliament buildings. It's an opulent looking building. Kinda looks like it should be a hotel in Las Vegas. It was damaged during political protests in 2009 and has been surrounded by construction fence ever since. Nobody seems sure why. Eleonora's hypothesis is that they're making it more opulent than it was before and they've run out of money.

This fountain would be beautiful in the summer.

Chisinau has lots of green space, and it's an easily walkable city. Inexpensive, and worth a visit for a few days. 

Statue of national hero Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great).

In Cathedral Park, right downtown.

Ruth and Eleonora.

If anybody wants to do the same tour, you can contact Eleonora at 069926363 here in Chisinau. She speaks English very well, and she was really informative and I'm sure she will become a great tour guide for Chisinau. 

We asked if there was anywhere we could go to get a view of the city, and she suggested the Sky Bar. It's a very modern looking office building with a shopping mall on the bottom floors and a restaurant bar nightclub on the top floors.

The Sky Bar.

We took the elevator up there. but it's closed on Mondays! We'll have to go back another day.

We then walked over to the Chisinau train station. We wanted to find out about our overnight train from Chisinau back to Bucharest. You can't buy tickets online, and I had read that you could only buy them the day of the journey. Gloria had told us otherwise, but we wanted to check and make sure. 

The ticket office didn't speak any English, but the lady was very helpful in trying to understand us, and of course google translate on the iPhone once again came in very handy! It turns out that Gloria was correct. The train leaves every day at 4:45pm and you can buy the ticket at any time, so you don't have to wait until your travel day to purchase it. We'll go back another day and buy the tickets.

The Chisinau train station.

Did you notice that we had a beautiful blue sky yesterday? It was great to see the sun again, but it was still a little chilly. Today, they're calling for more sun, and a high of 6C (43F). That's a little better!

Today, we're off to visit the largest wine cellar in the world, where more than 2 million bottles of wine are stored. We'll be driving our own car through the maze of tunnels with a private guide. Sounds like an interesting experience!

Apple watch on Deal of the Day...

And in Canada...


  1. I don't know anything about Moldovia so I enjoyed seeing the pictures from your walking tour. Looks like a very interesting place to visit.

    1. Seeing it is one of the least visited countries in the world it is no surprise that you didn't know anything about it, we didn't either until we did more research about it. Hopefully after our visit here you will know more about Moldova.

  2. Don't drink and drive in those wine tunnels! ;c)

    1. No worries about that! We did not do any tastings here because Kevin knew he had to drive after. Today we will be going to one more winery but here we will be tasting and also be staying for dinner.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous photos - the inside of that orthodox church is awe inspiring. Like you, we often prefer to pay with a credit card regardless of the additional cost. It makes good cents in the long run. As for those sunny blue skies, it was the first thing I noticed before reading your post. LOVELY! Can't wait to hear about the wine tunnels. Have one for me!! :)

    1. Thank you Dianne. Inside all of the orthodox churches here are much like this with paintings covering every piece of wall and ceiling. Very colourful.

      When renting a car it really makes sense, especially if your credit card covers the rental insurance.

      Unfortunately our blue skies didn't last as long as they were supposed to! Yesterday was a beautiful day as well but today we woke up to clouds again and now it is starting to snow again! :-( It's not supposed to last long though, our fingers are crossed.

  4. Although I am not a wine drinker, maybe you could tell us what you think of the different wines you encounter. Do they export their wines to the US and Canada? Im still touring along with you so keep the pictures coming.

    1. We are not wine connoisseurs so we can't really describe the wines like they do and we haven't done any wine tasting at the two wineries that we have been too but we have bought several wines over our time here and they have all been lovely. We like the drier wines normally but they are suppose to be well known here for both sweet dessert wines and for sparkling wines which we will be trying before we leave. Cricova, is suppose to ship to Canada but Kevin can find nowhere on the internet that can confirm this. Mileștii Mici does not sell to Canada unless a private buyer buys some and then ships to Canada for resale and the winery we will be going to today, Purcari does export to Canada and apparently the wine sells out fast when it hits the shelves.

  5. Paul and I will never get to Moldovia. Thanks for all the photos. It looks gorgeous.

    1. Well, we are glad that we can show you Moldova through our words and pictures. Unfortunately, not many people visit this little known country but we want to try and change that. Our pictures may make Moldova look good but if it were spring, summer or early fall I am sure that our pictures would be Moldova a stunning place, there are so many trees and green places just here in Chisinau and then all the vineyards and farm fields in the country.

  6. Thank you, great description of chisinau. I spent large part of the summer there. Yes! Wine is very good, the fresh vegetables and fruits are exceptional. In chisinau there is a cafeteria or buffet Yellow? We'll worth the stop, $, quality.

    1. Glad you enjoyed our tour around Chisinau, it is an interesting city and we really have only seen a small part of the city.

      The wine is great and we love the prices and the fruit and vegetables are wonderful. I wish we could great produce like this back home for prices that are more reasonable, instead it seems like we have to pay and arm and leg for this quality of produce.

      When we are back in Chisinau we will have to look for this cafeteria, Yellow. It sounds like it would be a place that we would like, thank you for the suggestion.

  7. Tiraspol has it's hidden gems it's clean and very proud of its Russian heritage. Food is good like like all moldova, I had some dental work done in chisinau. They were fantastic work $$$ by American Standard.

    1. Well we will have three days there so hopefully we can find these hidden gems. If you have any suggestions please don't hesitate to suggest them to us. :-)

      We don't need any dental work done at the moment as we had it done in Mexico last year for very good prices as well.

  8. It seems you enjoyed Chisinau and I'm very glad to hear it since I'm a local. Wineries definitely are a must see, which I understood you already did. I like recommending people to check some less popular spots. For some hints you can see the locations described here:
    Wish you to continue enjoying Moldova!

    1. Thank you for the link and suggestions on other places to visit. We will see if we can make it to a couple of them before we leave Moldova next Wednesday. That is a beautiful website and gorgeous pictures, sure makes us wish we were here in summer rather than late fall. We also like the less popular places when we travel.


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