With its leafy parks, Parisian-style boulevards and lovingly curated museums, Chisinau is one of Eastern Europe’s most enchanting capitals. You’ll get a fascinating glimpse at the Soviet era, with Brutalist-style buildings, decommissioned tanks and abandoned fighter jets dotting the city.
Things to do in Chisinau
Chisinau is anchored by a pair of lush parks perfect for an afternoon stroll. Dating back to the 1800s, the highlight of Parcul Catedralei is the zinc-domed Nativity of Christ Metropolitan Cathedral. Nearby Gradina Publica Stefan cel Mare si Sfint translates to “Park of the Lovers,” named after its popularity with loved-up couples.
Housing ancient Mongol artefacts, Soviet-era weaponry and an immense WWII diorama, the National Archaeology & History Museum is one of the most iconic museums in Chisinau. The nearby National Museum of Ethnography & Natural History is another highlight, luring visitors with its life-sized reconstruction of a Moldovan dinosaur skeleton.
Doing business since 1825, the Central Market is packed full of stalls selling fresh fish, homemade sheep milk cheese and everything in-between. You can also eat your way through Moldovan favourites, such as “placinte” stuffed pastries, “zama” chicken soup and “mamaliga” boiled corn meal.
Want a taste of Moldovan culture? Housed in an elegant neoclassical building, the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre puts on a fantastic line-up of contemporary Romanian productions. The Opera & Ballet Theatre also offers a dose of culture, hosting performances from Moldova’s national companies.
Getting around Chisinau
Chisinau is a compact and easily walkable destination, with the best museums, hotels and restaurants no more than a 15-minute walk apart. B-dul Stefan cel Mare serves as the city’s main thoroughfare, with buses and trolleys running up and down the strip. You can also jump aboard a “marshrutky” shared taxi.