A walk around Chisinau leaves no illusions. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and can be seen at first glance. Destroyed buildings and broken sidewalks can be seen when you deviate from the main street.
Representative streets, on the other hand, reminds the former glory days. Built with a typical Soviet grandeur, now they look quite grotesque and ask for at least some facelift. However, such a charm of Chisinau, I personally liked this city very much.
Some buildings are slowly being brought back to life, such as the State Circus. Shortly after opening in 1981, it was the largest facility of this type in Moldova, equipped with the most modern equipment. The economic crisis that followed Moldova’s independence eventually led to its bankruptcy. Currently, part of it has already been made available for circus activities.
Generally Chisinau is not a tourist city and the number of attractions here is quite limited.
The bazaar near the bus station is the main centre of activity. Nowhere in Chisinau have I seen such a bustle and so many people as here. The atmosphere of this bazaar reminded me of a big market in Warsaw, which used to be in the place of present National Stadium.
While being in the area, it’s worth visiting the Military Museum, where you can learn more about the Second World War and the Stalinist repressions that took place in Moldova. The exhibition outside the building in the form of fighters and airplanes is available free of charge.
Parliament with the Triumphal Arch
The Parliament building is an important place on the map of Chisinau. Opposite the Parliament is the Triumphal Arch, built in 1840 to commemorate Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire.
Valea Morilor Park – cascade to the lake
In the competition for the most charming place in Chisinau, the first place is taken by the Valea Morilor park, located right next to the city centre.
The main advantage of the park is quite a large lake, with a boulevard and a beach. You can also admire amazing views from the cascading fountain. The view is great both from the top and the bottom.
Everyone knows the figure of the Little Prince from the book by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Its popularity is so great that Little Prince even has a figurine by the Chisinau lake. It’s quite surprising, especially since neither the author of the book nor its hero had anything to do with Chisinau. The idea of creating an unusual monument occurred to one of the city’s inhabitants during walk along the lake. Iron balls on a metal fence reminded him of the asteroid B-612, Little Prince’s planet. However, the Little Prince Monument is easy to overlook. It is only 115 millimeters high and is the smallest monument in Moldova.
Kilroy has beaten me again …
While walking around Chisinau, I came across a supposedly inconspicuous graffiti: Kilroy was here. It is one of the most famous inscriptions in the world that became popular during the Second World War. Similar graffiti I saw in Washington D.C. More information about it you can find here.
You can also see a strange pink structure on the outskirts of Chisinau. At first glance, you might think that this is some kind of “fancy artistic vision”. I won’t hide that I was a bit confused when I realized that this is a monument commemorating the Moldovan soldiers who died in World War II.
An abandoned Jewish cemetery is also an interesting place. At the end of the 19th century, Kishinev was inhabited by a fairly large group of Jews. Everything changed on April 6, 1903, when there was a pogrom of the Jewish population, as a result of which 47 Jews were killed and about 600 were injured, not to mention the destroyed and plundered houses.
In Chisinau you can also see many murals that, more interestingly, refer to the tradition of this country. However, that doesn’t mean they’re boring.
Even the stops are adorned with the traditional motifs.
Street art is not limited only to murals, in Chisinau you can see other interesting ideas to diversify the urban space ?
Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, therefore prices are much lower here. Honestly, it isn’t a country visited by crowds of tourists, so even in high season it is easy to find nice accommodation. For example, an apartment with amazing view for four people cost around 50€ per night.
A second course in a very good restaurant costs about PLN 35-50. I especially recommend the La Taifas restaurant, serving traditional local cuisine.