Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Head of state:
President Nicolae Timofti since 2012.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici since 2015.
240 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two circular 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.
Last updated: 29 March 2015
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Be alert to the risk of street crime and petty theft, particularly in Chisinau, and for pickpockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas. Take precautions when using ATMs, there have been instances of credit card and ATM fraud see Money
Keep your valuables and passport in hotel safes and carry a copy of your passport with you. It is useful to carry a small torch after dark, as street lighting is poor.
Be alert to the risk of street crime and petty theft, particularly in Chisinau, and for pickpockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas. Try not to draw attention to yourself. Credit card and ATM fraud is on the increase. Avoid using credit/debit cards whenever possible and take precautions when using ATMs. Keep your valuables and passport in hotel safes and carry a copy of your passport with you. It is useful to carry a small torch after dark, as street lighting is poor.
The Transnistria region is not under Moldovan government control and seeks independence.
You should exercise caution if you travel to Transnistria and avoid getting into difficulty with the Transnistrian authorities. If you do get into trouble, try to contact the British Embassy in Chisinau at an early stage. The Embassy will do its best to provide Consular help where needed. But in practice this will be very limited.
To drive a vehicle into Moldova you will need the following documents:
valid insurance (Green Card)
UK driving licence
if you are not the owner, written permission from the owner to drive the vehicle. This should be translated into Romanian and legalised.
The vehicle will need to be declared to the customs authority at the point of entry into Moldova. Vehicles can be brought into Moldova without payment of import taxes for a maximum of 90 cumulative days in a 365-day period, from the date of first entry. Contact the Moldovan Embassy in London if you have more detailed questions about bringing a vehicle in to the country. The British Embassy is unable to offer help to individuals attempting to bring vehicles into Moldova without the correct documentation.
Avoid driving outside urban areas, particularly at night. Driving standards are poor and roads are of variable quality. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. You should comply with all local speed limits. There is a zero tolerance policy on drink driving.
From 1 November until 31 March, drivers are obliged to travel with headlights on at all times. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
Official looking taxis can be unlicensed. Do not share a taxi with strangers or flag down unofficial taxis. You should negotiate a price before getting into a taxi. Where possible ask your hotel to get a taxi for you, or to give you the telephone number of a reputable company.
The Department of Traffic Police has published the following helpline:
42, Vasile Alecsandri street, Chisinau, Moldova
Telephone: 00 373 (22) 255-920
Fax: 00 373 (22) 255-200
(Moldovan officials speak only Romanian and Russian)
The political situation is calm, but you should avoid any political rallies, demonstrations or large gatherings.