Small, modern airport and pretty busy while we were there. Be aware there is nowhere to change Moldovan cash once you are through security, a small problem. Lovely Tu134 on display at the entrance!
Minibus #65 takes you to town for just 3 Leu (Oct 2013)
TRain from Bucharest leaves Bucharest at 1740 arrives at 9am.
Train from Chisinau to Kiev leaves at 2038 and arrives at 1330 in Kiev. This is train number 341 and goes by avoiding the Transnistria autonomous region.
It costs 510Lei for 1st class, which is a 4 bed cabin with door. (£28).
Walking around the city is best and easy.
The train station is a 25min walk to the centre.
Left luggage is 11 Lei (70p) for 24hours.
When it came time to leave Chisinau and head into Romania, locals told me it would be faster to take a bus than a train. So, I checked with the lady running Central Youth Hostel and she wrote out times at which buses left for Iasi. I hopped on minibus #152 and took it all the way to the rather isolated south bus station, only to find out all the times she'd written were incorrect and in fact the bus wasn't leaving for almost four hours. It was hot, it was smelly and those were hands-down the worst bathrooms I'd ever seen in my life. I left my bag at the luggage drop (which closes for lunch in the mid-afternoon... don't lock your bags in there if your bus leaves during the closure!) and read books and ate ice cream for the next four hours. The moral of the story? Trust the bus schedules available online (linked below).
The bus ride itself was fine. It was actually your typical minibus, and the passengers included two other females (one of whom had diplomatic status), and a male. The driver saw I was a total keener and let me sit up front, in the passenger seat, where I could see all the scenery and experience the border crossing from a better vantage point. He was super nice! All the border drama I'd hoped to observe (but not experience!) in Transnistria manifested at the Romanian border, where our male passenger raised the suspicions of the border guards. They held our minibus for nearly an hour (though showed no interest in myself or the other females) before unloading the guy's possessions and sending us girls and our driver off on our way. The bus finally arrived at the bus depot in Iasi about an hour and a half behind schedule.
Night train “Prietenia” (aka Friendship) makes the journey Bucharest - Chisinau every night in both directions.
From Bucharest, the train leaves every evening a few minutes before 20 p.m. and arrives in Chisinau the next morning around 9.00 a.m.
From Chisinau, departure is scheduled around 5 p.m. and arrives in Bucharest the next morning a little before 6 a.m.
Return fare with sleeper 2nd class ( 4 comfortable beds) costs 170 Romanian lei, i.e. 50 EURO.
Bring water and food with you, as the only alternative is to ask fellow travellers.
The journey is nice, as the train crosses some picturesque landscape late afternoon departing from Chisinau.
Public transport connecting Chisinau with other cities around Moldova is reliable, well organised and straightforward to use. There are several buses a day to and from all major cities around the country.
To get an idea about how frequent bus connection are and how long does it take, you can check the link below and chhose your city of destination: http://www.turism.md/eng/city/
Buses to cities north of Chisinau, do not leave from the Central Bus Station any longer. They leave from another bus station outside the city centre (10 minutes walk from downtown) called “Gara de Nord” (locals will be able to show you the way, just after crossing a bridge).
I arrived at Chisinau International Airport on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, this meant all the currency exchanges were closed and I only had euros on hand. I knew this would result in a major rip-off when I tried to get downtown, so I sucked it up and went out to the taxi stand with my euros. My guidebook said a taxi into the city center should cost the equivalent of about three euros, so I wasn't surprised when my taxi driver opened with a price of twenty euros. I talked him down to ten before giving up- as a single girl in Moldova for less than an hour, the last thing I wanted was to *** off a taxi driver. Oh, and this was an unmarked taxi! The ten euros got me into town with a few comments along the way- the driver didn't speak English but was trying to share some of Chisinau's sights. When we arrived at Central Youth Hostel the driver actually went to the door to make sure it was a hostel and then helped me with my bags. So while I may have paid more than the local average, I made it to my destination safely and with a smile.
There is only one daily direct train from Chisinau to Bucharest. It leaves at 1710, arriving the next morning at 0646. Check bahn.de for up to date times (using stations chisinau and Bucuresti Nord as your station locations). The sleeper carriages of the train are comfortable.
There are border controls at the frontier. You will need to show your passport on both sides of the border although you will not need to get off the train to do this.
Near the main boulevard Stefan cel mare there you will find the Central Market (Piata Centarla) as well as the Central Bus Station(Autogara Cntrala) from where a lot of busses goes to any directions of Moldiva. But pay attention, most of them are not the newest ones ...so do it like the locals to it.
As I have heard the should exist more than one bus station in Chisinau. Busses goes currently to the Ukraine and to Romania, sometimes to Germany.
The busses direct to Odessa run from the north bus station (gara de nord) You will have no problems travelling through the transnistra on one of these busses.
From the central bus station you can get a bus every 20 mins or so to Tiraspol, the price is a couple of bucks then another couple at the border to enter. They have just withdrawn the invitation letter so it is much easier to enter these days for a longer period.
Your friend in Moldova
From the huge white imposing train station you can catch trains onto Ukraine or down to Bucharest overnight. Note that if you go to Romania you have to wait over an hour at the border as the train must change the bogie and be dropped onto European tracks. Visas are no longer required for EU citizens to Moldova
There is one train every night from Bucharest to Chişinău. It leaves Gara de Nord at 8pm and arrives in Chişinău, 13 hours later, at 9am. The return train leaves Chişinău at 5.10pm and arrives in Bucharest at 6.06am. A second class sleeper has 4 bunks per compartment while a first class one has two bunks. Blankets and sheets are provided. I slept well on the train. Tickets cost 20-30 euros each way. The main reason that the journey takes so long is that the wheels on the train have to be changed at the border.
Chişinău Station is modern and efficient. The Bucharest train continues to Sofia. There are also trains to Kiev, Minsk and Moscow, but the Odessa service has been suspended so you'll need to go there, as I did, by bus. There are several buses a day from the bus station, which is not far from the train station.
The main means of public transportation in Chisinau are trolley buses, buses, maxi-taxis and taxis.
Trolley buses are the cheapest ones. The ticket price is 1 leu (~ 8 cents).
But if you've decided to take a troley bus or a mini-buses, pay attention to your money and documention, or don't ride a full one. It's better to prepair your ticket fee in advance.
Valery works every night, call him at +373(0)79472947, tell him you know Lluis from Spain, he will be happy to help. Reasonable price. Taxi drivers don't cheat to foreigners as much as in Odessa or Ukraine in general.
Transportation within Chisineau can be a challenge. There are basically three way to travel and that is by Bus, Regular Taxi and Maxi Taxi which is a minivan shared by others and run frequently. I would recommend not taking the shared maxi because they are many times over crowded and very uncomfortable. They do come frequently and do not make to many stops. For a few extra lei the regular taxi is better.
If you choose to walk the city at night be aware there are very few street lights and the sidewalks are mostly in poor condition. Also, pay attention when crossingthe street as it can be dangerous.
The main railway station in Chisinau is very modern. You can say thet it is a good visiting card of the capital and all Moldova. The stations has been completly restored recently. It looks nice not only from outside but also inside. On one side there are international, on the other domestic tickets' offices. The staff speaks a little English or/and French. Try both. From the things I noticed at the station you may find: post office, bar, kiosk with newspapers, baggage room and police office. There are lots of policemen at the station and they often check you passport.
In 1870 the railway station was built, and in 1871 the railway communication on the Chisinau-Tiraspol section was opened.