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  • General Info
The terrain consists of rolling steppe with a gradual slope towards the Black Sea. The proximity to the Black Sea provides Moldova with a mild and sunny climate though winters can be cold. The fertile soil of the river valleys supports wheat, corn, barley, tobacco and sugar beet. Moldova is a wine-growing country and the vineyards and wine cellars of Mileshti and Krikova-Veki are famous throughout the region and popular tourist destinations. The Moldovan capital of Chisinau (formerly Kishinev) is worth a visit. The country has very strong links with Russia and Romania.

Practical Information

Area: 33 800 km² (13 050 miles²)

Capital: Chisinau (Kishinev). Population: 662 200

Population: 4.3 million

Currency: Leu (MDL) = 100 bani

Government: Republic since 1991. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tipping: 5 to 10% will be gladly accepted.

Time zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)

Languages: Moldovan

Additional descriptions

Moldova: Social customs

Dress should be casual but conservative. For official engagements, men should wear a jacket and tie. The country is famous for its tradition of folk arts and there are many lively musical groups (Tarafs),Read more which play a variety of rare folk instruments including the tsambal (not unlike a dulcimer), cimpoi (bagpipe), fluier and nai.

Moldova: Food and local specialties

There are plenty of small restaurants and coffee shops. The service tends to be slow, but the cuisine is delicious. The national specialties are: Mititeyi (small grilled sausages with onion and pepper).Read more Mamaliga (thick, sticky maize pie) which is served with brinza (feta cheese). Tocana (pork stew) should be tried with sweet-and-sour watermelons and apples. There are more than 100 varieties of excellent wines produced in Moldova. White wines include Aligote, Riesling and Sauvignon. Moldovan Cabernet and Merlot are noteworthy reds. Doina or Nistru brandy is an ideal accompaniment with desserts.

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