Ever heard of Moldova? No, it’s not a brand of wine or cheese. It’s an Eastern European country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine that most travelers overlook.
As a solo female traveler, I had my doubts about visiting Moldova, but after spending five days exploring the capital city of Chisinau (In September 2023), I can tell you that it should be at the top of every solo female traveler’s bucket list.
Arriving In Chisinau As A Solo Female Traveler
When you land at Chisinau International Airport, you’ll immediately notice how few other tourists there are. As a solo female traveler, I felt incredibly safe from the moment I arrived.
The airport is small so you don’t have to deal with lots of people. Customs didn’t take long, either. And best of all, no taxi drivers were chasing after me, trying to get my business.
Once I left the airport, there were a few taxis. I was curious about the price, so I asked one of the drivers. He said it would be 20 euros, which seemed really expensive to me. So I told him I wasn’t interested. The taxi drivers were pretty chill about it when I said no. They didn’t try to bargain with me or chase after me to get my business.
A few minutes later, the bus arrived. I hopped on and sat down. After a few more minutes, the fare collector lady came around. I paid my fare, and she gave me a ticket. Then, I just relaxed and enjoyed looking out the window as we drove along.
I was traveling with the local people with a huge backpack. Interestingly, no one ever gave me weird looks or stared at me. Everyone was really friendly and minded their own business.
Once you get to Chisinau, the capital city, you’ll find it has a nice charm to it. The architecture is interesting, and the locals are friendly. What’s charming to me may not be the same for you. I really like the architectural styles of Eastern Europe, especially the old Soviet concrete brutalism. There’s something about those designs that I find appealing.
I wandered the streets alone day and night, and as a solo traveler, I never felt out of place or unwelcome. In fact, locals went out of their way to help this foreign visitor, even though most do not speak English. The city receives so few tourists that people will greet you with a smile, happy to see a new face.
Chisinau deserves so much more attention from tourists. It’s budget-friendly, safe for solo female travelers, and overflowing with culture, food, and wine.
For any woman hesitant to travel solo, I urge you to visit Moldova. The kindness of strangers, rich history, and unparalleled scenery will make you fall in love with this little-known gem. Add Moldova to your bucket list – you’ll be so glad you discovered this welcoming country, and your solo travels will open you up to unforgettable adventures.
Exploring The Safe Streets And Friendly Locals
When I first arrived in Moldova’s capital city of Chisinau, I was pleasantly surprised by how safe I felt exploring the streets on my own. As a solo female traveler, safety is always a top concern, but the friendly locals and lack of harassment put me at ease right away.
When I got there, I had a big backpack. But I felt really different from other places I’ve been. Nobody was even looking at me or trying to sell me anything. Sometimes, it seemed like people were pretending I wasn’t there. I’ve visited 40 countries so far, and this is really what it was like for me there. It was a unique experience compared to other places I’ve traveled.
Chisinau has a refreshingly laid-back vibe. People go about their daily lives at a leisurely pace, enjoying long, lingering meals with friends and family at sidewalk cafes. As night fell, I saw young children playing freely in the city parks as their parents socialized and teenagers on skateboards. This sense of community and safety was heartwarming.
The locals were extremely hospitable and welcoming. Despite the language barrier, everyone I encountered was happy to help by using hand gestures and the few English words they knew. Their kindness and generosity were heartwarming.
I really appreciated how, in Moldova, when someone says “no,” it really means “no.” Street sellers offered me flowers and food, but when I said no thanks, they respected that. One time, a young man sat next to me on a bench and started flirting. But as soon as I said no, he got up and walked away, no problem. I liked that people there listen when you say you’re not interested.
How Safe I Felt
I felt safer walking around Chisinau at night than in some major cities. Places like Paris, Brussels, or Naples don’t feel as safe to me. There’s basically no violent crime, and petty theft almost never happens.
Just like everywhere else, though, you still gotta be careful. Don’t put your wallet in the front pocket of your backpack. Also, don’t flash your cash around for everyone to see. Other than that, it’s pretty safe!
You’ll see old ladies selling fruits, vegetables, and flowers from their homes. But they never ask you to buy anything. Every now and then, you’ll see someone next to a cage with kittens or puppies collecting money. But they don’t ask for money either.
Just like in any Eastern European or Balkan country, you’ll often see stray dogs roaming around. They’ll be lying on the sidewalk or running from place to place. The dogs usually don’t bother anyone. Still, it’s best not to feed them or try to pet them. Just leave the stray dogs alone and go about your business. No need to worry about getting attacked, but it’s safer not to interact with animals you don’t know.
I am a big animal lover, don’t get me wrong. But if you start feeding them, you might end up with more animals around than you planned. And that could cause some problems. The animals may fight each other if there’s not enough food to go around. Also, the people who live nearby probably wouldn’t be too happy about it. They didn’t sign up for all those animals hanging around! So, as much as I love animals, it’s usually best not to feed them unless you’re really prepared for what might happen next.
Moldova’s countryside is stunning, with rolling hills, vineyards, monasteries, and charming villages. Rent a car or bike and get out of the capital to experience the peaceful natural beauty. Impressive historic attractions like Orheiul Vechi Monastery and Tipova Monastery showcase the country’s long, complex history.
While I enjoy driving, I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving there. As someone used to different roads and styles of driving, the roads in that area would take some getting used to. However, if you’re up for an adventure, again, consider renting a car to explore the area. Just be aware that as an outsider to the local roads, it may take some adjustment. But an adventurous spirit could have a great time checking out the new sights from behind the wheel.
Delicious Food And Wine
Moldovan cuisine is influenced by Romanian and Russian flavors, with plump dumplings, savory stews, and fresh salads. But the country is best known for its wine. Some of the world’s oldest vineyards are here, producing amazing reds and whites that cost a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere.
For budget-conscious travelers seeking an authentic experience in a little-visited destination, Moldova should be at the top of your list. The rewarding experiences far outweigh any challenges.
Is Moldova Safe For Tourists?
Yes, Moldova is generally safe for female and male tourists. However, it’s still a good idea to follow your instincts and common sense. Don’t go somewhere if your gut is telling you it’s not a good place. Also, avoid petting stray dogs or getting into conflicts with people. I’m a woman in my 20s who has traveled to 40 countries by myself. In my experience, Moldova feels safe. But using caution never hurts!
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia doesn’t seem to affect people here in Moldova much. If I didn’t watch the news, I wouldn’t even know something was going on over there. You don’t see many Ukrainian flags in the capital city of Chisinau. And the whole country feels safe to visit, even with the fighting between Ukraine and Russia. Life here goes on like normal.
Moldova Should Be On Every Solo Female Traveler’s Bucket List
This charming country offers an authentic experience of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty without the crowds. You’ll find friendly locals, stunning architecture, delicious food, and a vibrant culture at an affordable price.
While tourism is slowly growing, Moldova still remains wonderfully off the beaten path. Ladies, don’t miss the chance to discover this gem for yourself. Pack your bags, book that flight, and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget in magical Moldova. The memories you make there will stay with you for life. I am in love with Moldova – and my trip continues. Next country? Ukraine!