Moldova’s 1994 Constitution declared Moldovan as the national language, although the official language as stated in the Declaration of Independence three years earlier was Romanian and a significant number of the population also speak Russian or French. In Transnistria, Russian is the official language with Moldovan and Ukrainian spoken, as well. In Moldova’s cities and tourist areas, some English is understood, especially by young people.
The official currency of Moldova is the lei, with the US dollar and euro easily exchanged, although the pound sterling is often rejected. Banknotes must be in perfect condition. Payment by credit card is not widely accepted, even in the cities and tourist areas, and although Chisinau is well-equipped with ATMs, only a limited number accept cards with chips and PIN numbers, none outside the main cities. Your best option is to exchange currency at a bank and carry cash for all purchases. Transnistria’s official currency is the Transnistrian ruble, which is untradeable and useless outside Transnistria, but most outlets accept the lei and currency exchange booths can exchange any currency for rubles. Credit cards cannot be used here.
Moldova is in the Central European Time Zone, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +1).
Electricity in Moldova comes as 220-240 V/50 Hz and sockets accept Europlugs or Schuko plugs. Visitors from the US whose laptops and other electrical appliances are configured for 110-120 V will need a step-down transformer and plug adapter, while UK visitors will just need a plug adapter.
The dialing code for Moldova is +373, followed by an area code and a six-digit telephone number. Cell phone networks operate on GSM and CDMA, with Orange Moldova, Moldcell, Unite, and Interdnestrcom (IDC) the main carriers. Coverage is patchy, especially in Transnistria, as Moldovan companies except IDC are prohibited, and call charges are high.
Duty-free allowances for those entering Moldova are: 200 cigarettes, one liter of wine or spirits and perfume/cosmetics for personal use. Travelers returning to the US are allowed to bring the following items duty-free: 200 cigarettes, one liter of alcohol and souvenirs or gifts up to a value of US $400.
Tourism Agency of the Republic of Moldova: +373-22-226-634 or http://www.turism.gov.md/
Consulates in Nova Scotia
US Embassy, Chisinau: +373-22-408-300
UK Embassy, Chisinau: +373-22-225-902
Australian Embassy, Moscow: +7-495-956-6070
Canadian Embassy, Bucharest: +40-21-307-5000