A few fun ideas for days out in Moldova, mini tours, excursions and day trips.
Self guided and guided tours. All of these tours and many more can be arranged by local tour operators, or can be self-managed, (see below) for some self guiding tips.
In Chisinau, sightseeing is possible without a tour guide. Getting around the city using taxis or public transport is safe and relatively easy. However, hiring a tour guide is inexpensive and will help you see a different side to Chisinau, and make local connections.
We recommend a guide for excursions outside of Chisinau especially when visiting Transnistria. However, self-guided excursions are fun, if you have appropriate transportation and plan ahead.
Click here For downloadable self guide itineraries.
It is a good idea to call in advance to be sure that the attraction(s) and lunch or dinner stop(s) you plan to visit are open. (Pre-ordering your meal is advisable if you will be short on time.) Bring a road map and/or GPS to help with navigation.
CITY OF CHISINAU (Duration: 3-8+ hours)
HALF DAY (Duration: 3-4 hours)
- City center: Nativity of our Lord Orthodox Cathedral, bell tower, and park; Triumph Arch; Stefan cel Mare Monument and central park, including Alexander Pushkin Monument and Alley of Classics; and Stefan cel Mare Boulevard, including Mihai Eminescu Theatre, art market, Organ Hall, City Hall, Great National Assembly Square, Government House, Opera & Ballet Theatre and Parliament and Presidential Office (under reconstruction)
- Lunch at national restaurant with Moldovan food and wine or snack at a café
FULL DAY, SHORT (Duration: 6-8 hours): half day itinerary, plus the following
- Museum(s): A. Pushkin House, Archeology & History, Ethnology & Natural History
- Central market, souvenir shops, and/or art galleries
- Café or wine bar
FULL DAY, LONG (Duration: 8+ hours): full day, short itinerary plus the following
- Concert or theater performance
- Dinner at national restaurant with traditional Moldovan food and wine
- Other city park(s): ValeaMorilor, Dendrariu, La Izvor, ValeaTrandafirilor, and Botanical Garden
- Memorial Park (Memorial Complex “Eternity”) – WWII memorial
- Cemeteries: Armenian Cemetery, Saint Lazarus Cemetery
- Shopping: MallDova
30 Minutes – 2 Hours From Chisinau
WINE: UNDERGROUND WINE CELLARS (Duration: 3-4 hours)
Choose 1 of the following:
Note: Being underground, the cellars can get a bit cool, so dress appropriately.
CULTURE: ORTHODOX MONASTERY (Duration: 2-3 hours)
Choose 1-2 of the following:
WINE―CULTURE―RURAL: ORHEI AREA (Duration: 6-8 hours)
Choose 3-4 of the following:
- Orhei Vechi Monastery and archeological complex (1-2 hours)
- Butuceni and Trebujen villages (1-2 hours, meal at a rural pension, if arranged in advance)
- Chateau Vartely winery & hotel (1-3 hours, meal possible)
- Branesti winery (1-3 hours, meal possible if arranged in advance)
- Orhei town: Museum of History and Ethnography and Saint Dumitru Cathedral (1-2 hours)
- Curchi Monastery (1 hour)
CULTURE: CALARASI AREA (Duration: 6-8 hours)
Choose 4-5 of the following:
- Frumoasa, Hirbovets, Hirjauca, Raciula Monasteries – “Calarasi cross monasteries” (3-4 hours)
- Palanca village, including Casa Parienteasca and wooden church (1-2 hours, lunch possible)
- Ralli Manor in Dolna village, where A. Pushkin for several weeks in 1821 (1-2 hours)
- Capriana Monastery (1-2 hours)
2 – 3 Hours From Chisinau
WINE―CULTURE: PURCARI WINERY (Duration: 6-9 hours)
- Assumption of our Lady Church in Causeni (30 minutes, optional)
- Purcari winery & hotel (2-3 hours, tour, tasting, and lunch/dinner)
Note: Visitors may wish to combine this excursion with a visit Odessa, Ukraine, which is only a further 2 hours away from Purcari by road, including border formalities.
CULTURE: CAVE MONASTERIES (Duration: 6-9 hours)
- Saharna Monastery (1-2 hours)
- Tipova Monastery (1-2 hours)
- Hanul lui Hanganu pension (1-2 hours, lunch possible with )
Note: Hiking is possible at both Saharna and Tipova. The hike around Saharna takes you to a small waterfall and/or to the top rocky hill above the monastery. At Tipova, visitors hike along the bluff above the Nistru River exploring ancient caves. Allow more time for hiking. Bring good footwear.
TRANSNISTRIA: TIGHINA (BENDER) & TIRASPOL (Duration: 6-9 hours)
- Tighina (Bender) fortress (1-2 hours)
- Tiraspol city center (1-2 hours)
- Kvint brandy factory (1-2 hours)
- Noul Neamt (Chitcani) Monastery (1-2 hours, meal possible if arranged in advance)
Note: Please take note of the Visa & Customs procedures for entry/exist into Transnistria.
+3 Hours From Chisinau
CULTURE: SOROCA (Duration: 8-10 hours)
- Soroca Fortress (1-2 hours)
- Gypsy Hill (1-2 hours)
- Thanksgiving Candle Monument (1 hour)
- Ethnography and History Museum
NATURE: GLODENI (Duration: 8-10 hours)
- Padurea Domneasca (Royal Forest) Natural Reservation (2-3 hours)
- 100 Hills (1-2 hours)
CULTURE: COMRAT & CAHUL (8-10 hours)