Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, most definitely isn’t the first city that comes to your mind when it comes to visiting a city in Europe. In this (short) city guide, I’ll explain what you should see when visiting and help you get an idea of what to expect.
If you are thinking of beautiful cities in Eastern Europe, places like Budapest or Prague will come to your mind. That’s understandable, but you shouldn’t limit your travels to those as there are several more highlights, including the likes of Poznan or Warsaw. Sadly, Chisinau is not on the same level. Quite to the contrary, the city doesn’t have a lot of sights and by no means a beautiful historic city center. However, there are two spots in the city that are well worth visiting anyways.
While you shouldn’t expect a charming old town, the city center of Chisinau has some highlight to offer. First of all, there’s the Cathedral Park, which is home to the Nativity Cathedral, the main landmark of the city.
It’s a rather small, but beautiful cathedral with a clock tower, which is separated from the main building.
On the Southern tip of the Cathedral Park, you can also find the Triumphal Arch, another landmark in Chisinau.
Furthermore, this area comes with a couple of more relevant buildings. One might discuss whether those are really beautiful. That’s especially true for the Government House, which looks very much like communist architecture.
Way more beautiful is the City Hall, which is located on of the sight streets.
The so-called central park, which is home to a few monuments, is worth checking out, too.
Other than that, the city center isn’t really beautiful with lots of ugly buildings, which often are quite rundown, too.
Nevertheless, this area still remains one of the nicest in the city and should definitely be on your touristic to-do list for Chisinau.
From the city center, I would recommend walking in a Southern direction. Like this, you are passing through the Embassy Quarter, which comes with a couple of beautiful historic buildings (sadly, there are many ugly ones here, too).
From here on, I’d recommend looking out for the water tower first, which is a funny looking tower.
After that, I’d continue to the American Research Center, one of the most impressive buildings in the city.
From here, you can also walk down to the Valea Morilor Park, which in my opinion, is the highlight of Chisinau. It’s a beautiful park located at a big lake.
Just minutes away from the city center, you’ll feel like you are in a different world. Especially with all the snow around, the park was a beautiful place to hang out at.
Other than that, there are some museums in this area, in case you are interested.
If you are expecting a beautiful old town or a very good touristic infrastructure, Chisinau will definitely fail you. The city has a troubled past and Moldova, till today, is a relatively poor country. The few highlights of the city are to be found around Cathedral Park and the Valea Morilor Park, both very beautiful areas to hang out. If you come to the city with the right mindset, I’m sure you’ll enjoy walking around and seeing what the city has to offer. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Chisinau for touristic purposes only.
Do you have any questions about Chisinau? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!