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Moldova Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Europe
Full Name: Republic of Moldova
Capital City: Chisinau (Kishinev)
Language Spoken: Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)

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Geographic data

47 00 N, 29 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Dniester River 2 m highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Land boundaries

total: 1,389 km border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km

Natural hazards

landslides (57 cases in 1998)

Natural resources

lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Land use

arable land: 54.52% permanent crops: 8.81% other: 36.67% (2005)

Environmental current issues

heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods

Climate

Very mild and pleasant. Temperate with warm summers 20-23°C (68-73°F), crisp, sunny autumns and cold, sometimes snowy, winters. Required clothing Mediumweights, heavy topcoat and overshoes for winter; lightweights for summer. A light raincoat is useful.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+2 daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Population

4,466,706 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 20% (male 455,673/female 438,934) 15-64 years: 69.7% (male 1,498,078/female 1,613,489) 65 years and over: 10.3% (male 170,456/female 290,076) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 32.3 years male: 30.3 years female: 34.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.28% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

15.7 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

12.64 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 65.65 years male: 61.61 years female: 69.88 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.85 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Suit and tie should be worn for business meetings. Business cards are frequently exchanged. Office hours are typically 0900-1700.

Crime

Moldova has experienced a rise in crime, due to worsening economic conditions, increasing organized criminal activity, and more frequent travel by foreigners to Moldova. The possibility of becoming a victim of violent and/or street crime is significant. Proportionately, it is no greater than in most cities in the United States. Many travelers have reported to their embassies the theft of money and small valuables from hotel rooms and local apartments. Cases of breaking and entering into homes and offices have occurred. Take precautions when using ATM machines in Moldova. Thieves take PIN numbers either by "skimming" devices, which record the ATM card information while in use, or by surreptitious observation. Train and bus services are below Western European standards and travelers have been victims of theft while traveling on international trains to and from Moldova. Expatriates who use the Moldovan postal service also note frequent losses from international letter and package mail.

Hotels

There is a small selection of hotels in the capital Chisin?u, with the National at the top end of the market. Its location is fairly central, close to the railway station and about 6km (4 miles) from the airport. The Motel is located approximately 8km (5 miles) from the city center, in close proximity to the Ialovenu vineyard. The motel is closed during winter.

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available in major towns. The country code is 373. Outgoing international calls must generally go through the operator. The postal and telecommunication systems are in need of modernization. The Main Post Office is at 73 Stefan cel Mare, 277012 Chisin?u. Post office hours: 0900-2000 Monday to Sunday.

Electricity

is 220 volts AC, 50Hz Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types

C,F

Food And Dining

There are plenty of small restaurants and coffee shops. The service tends to be slow, but the cuisine is delicious. Local specialties include mititeyi (small grilled sausages with onion and pepper) and mamaliga (thick, sticky maize pie) which is served with brinza (feta cheese). Tocana (pork stew) should be tried with sweet-and-sour watermelons and apples. There are more than 100 varieties of excellent wines produced in Moldova. White wines include Aligote, Riesling and Sauvignon. Moldovan Cabernet and Merlot are noteworthy reds. Doina or Nistru brandy is an ideal accompaniment with desserts.
Tipping:
5 to 10 per cent will be gladly accepted.
Nightlife
In Chisinau, there is a good selection of theaters and concerts halls, which includes an opera house. The Eminescu Music and Drama Theater specializes in Romanian productions, as does the Youth Theater Luceafarul (Poetic Star). All performances in the Chekhov Drama Theater are exclusively in Russian (the building used to be the Chisinau Choral Synagogue). The Philharmonia Concert Hall houses Moldova's Symphony Orchestra. It is also the base for the folklore Doina Choir, the internationally renowned Zhok National Dance Ensemble and the Fluerash Orchestra of National Music. Russian and Romanian productions can be seen in the puppet theater Licurici (Glow-worm).

Entry departure requirements

* See visa section below

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months required by all.

Visas

Required by all except the following for stays of up to 90 days:
(a) nationals of the CIS, except nationals of Turkmenistan who do require a visa;
(b) nationals of 1. Poland and Romania.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist, Simple, Service (Business) and Transit. All may be issued on a single-, double- or multiple-entry basis. Costs vary depending on nationality of applicant and type of visa. Contact Embassy for further details.

Validity

Tourist: One month from date of issue.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information.

Application requirements

(a) Passport with blank pages to affix the visa. (b) One application form. (c) One passport-size photo. (d) Fee payable by money order or cheque only. (e) For postal applications, a self-addressed return envelope should also be submitted. (f) Letter of invitation from Moldova, authorized by the Department of Migration in Moldova, or a tourist voucher issued by a Moldovan tourist agency. Transit: (a)-(e) and, (f) Entry documents for next country. (g) Onward tickets.

Note

(a) Nationals of EU countries, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA do not need to submit an invitation to obtain a visa for stays of up to 90 days. (b) All foreign visitors must register with the police within three days of arrival.

Working days required

Five; same day for urgent visas with surcharge of 50 per cent of visa price.

Temporary residence

Apply to the Foreign Ministry in Moldova.

HIV entry requirements

Test required for anyone staying longer than 3 months

Departure tax

USD12.

Embassies

Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the UK

5 Dolphin Square, Edensor Road, London W4 2ST, UK
Tel: (020) 8995 6818.
Website: http://britania.mfa.gov.md/news-eu/
E-mail: [email protected]

Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the USA

2101 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 667 1130 or 1137 (ext. 15 for consular section).
E-mail: [email protected]
Travelers to Moldova should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Caution is advised if considering traveling to Transnistria. Transnistria (northeast Moldova) is not under Moldovan government control and seeks autonomous status. There was tension between the Moldovans and Transnistrians in summer 2004 and relations remain poor. It is very important to avoid getting into difficulty with the Transnistrian authorities.
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 organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Leu (MDL) = 100 bani. Notes are in denominations of MDL500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 bani.

Currency restrictions

The import of local and foreign currency is unlimited. The export of local currency is unlimited. The export of foreign currency is limited to amount imported.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0930-1730.

Currency exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged in hotels or bureaux de change. Moldova is essentially a cash-only economy. There are three ATMs in Chisinau where local currency can be withdrawn using Visa cards.

Credit cards

Credit cards are only accepted by a few banks. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are not generally accepted, though a few banks may exchange them.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Anenii Noi(0)265+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Balti(0)231+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Basarabeasca(0)297+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Bendery(0)532+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Briceni(0)247+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Cahul(0)299+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Cainari(0)277+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Calarasi(0)244+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Camenca(0)281+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Cantemir(0)273+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Causeni(0)243+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Cead?r ? Lunga(0)291+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Chisinau(0)22+ 6 digit subscriber nr
Cimislia(0)241+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Comrat(0)298+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Criuleni(0)248+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Dnestrovsk(0)559+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Donduseni(0)251+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Drochia(0)252+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Dubasari(0)545+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Edinet(0)246+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Falesti(0)259+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Floresti(0)250+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Glodeni(0)249+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Grigoriopol(0)540+ 5 digit subscriber nr
H?ncesti(0)269+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ialoveni(0)268+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Kamenka(0)556+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Leova(0)263+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Nisporeni(0)264+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ocnita(0)271+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Orhei(0)235+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rezina(0)254+ 5 digit subscriber nr
R?bnita(0)286+ 5 digit subscriber nr
R?scani(0)256+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Rybnitsa(0)555+ 5 digit subscriber nr
S?ngerei(0)262+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Slobozia(0)557+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Soldanesti(0)272+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Soroca(0)230+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Stefan Voda(0)242+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Straseni(0)237+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Taraclia(0)294+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Telenesti(0)258+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Tiraspol(0)533+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Ungheni(0)236+ 5 digit subscriber nr
Vulcanesti(0)293+ 5 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment in Moldova as the standards of care are low and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Medication in short supply and even when available is often out of date or heat damaged.

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in Moldova

Medical facilities

Medical care in Moldova is limited, with severe shortages of basic medical supplies. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood or rare meat. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Only pasteurized dairy products should be consumed.

Specific concerns

CDC reports a severe shortage of vaccines to combat diseases such as measles, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis - along with increased incidence of those diseases. Diphtheria occurs. Cases predominantly occur in urban areas, but increasing numbers have been reported in rural areas. Shortages of vaccine, antibiotics and diphtheria antitoxin are contributing to the problem. While proof of diphtheria immunity is not required for travel, travelers to areas where diphtheria is occurring should be up-to-date for diphtheria immunization. AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Hikers should take protective measures against ticks.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: Encephalitis (tick-borne) - occurs Hemorrhagic fever - occurs Lyme disease - occurs Food- and water-borne illness: Brucellosis - occurs Cholera - occurs Hepatitis - occurs Other hazards: Diseases such as measles and diphtheria are commonly reported. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although cases have rarely been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends from November to April. Rabies - occurs in animals

Entry requirements

AIDS: According to the Department of State, testing is required for persons staying longer than 3 months. Foreign test results are accepted under certain conditions. Contact Moldova's embassy for details.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Municipal Clinical Emergency Hospital1 Toma Ciorba Street Chisinau 2004

Media

Press: The press is generally uncensored. There are more than a dozen daily newspapers in Moldova, the most popular being Moldova Suverana published in Romanian. Other main papers include Dnestrovskaya Pravda, Nezavisimaya Moldova (published in Russian), Trudovoi Tiraspol and Viata Satului. English-language publications can sometimes be found at major hotels in Chisinau. Western press deliveries are erratic.
Radio: BBC World Service (website: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online. Services in Romanian, Russian and English are also available on 68.48MHz (0600-0800 and 1800-2200 local time).

 

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