Republic since 1991. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Head of state:
President Nicolae Timofti since 2012.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Iurie Leanca since 2013.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two circular metal pins are used.
Rich with history and fertile soils that produce abundant vineyards, Moldova is an unjustifiably forgotten tourist destination, as yet untouched by the budget airline brigade. In this land-locked eastern European country, you can wander round vast monasteries, sample the local wines, or trek through ancient forests.
Despite remaining one of the poorest countries in Europe, the people are friendly and welcoming, and the main centres, such as the capital Chisinau, have everything a visitor could need. Chisinau's cathedrals, monuments and museums survived severe WWII bombings to the city, including the house where Pushkin spent his days in exile penning some of his most famous works.
The threat from terrorism is low. But travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Parliamentary elections in April 2009 resulted in violent demonstrations. The situation for the moment is more settled, however you should still avoid any political rallies, demonstrations or large gatherings.
Caution is advised if considering travelling to Transnistria; consult your embassy in Chisinau for the most up-to-date information.
You should be vigilant to petty crime, particularly in Chisinau. It is advised to always carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes, as police checks are frequent.
There is a zero tolerance policy for possessing or supplying drugs; therefore, there are strong penalties for possession or use of drugs.
Avoid taking photographs of military or government installations.
The Moldovan authorities are now strictly enforcing penalties (including deportation) against foreign visitors who overstay the terms of their visas.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: