Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are standard.

Language

The official language of Moldova is Romanian, but English will be understood in larger cities such as Chisinau.

Money

The leu is the currency of Moldova and is subdivided into 100 bani. There are few ATMs in Chisinau but none outside the capital city. Travellers can easily change dollars or euro (pounds not so easily), and should bear in mind that Moldova has a cash-based economy. Notes should be in perfect condition or they may not be accepted. Some major hotels accept credit cards; travellers should always keep their credit cards in sight, as fraud is a risk.

Tipping

Tipping is becoming increasingly common in Moldova, and is now expected in all restaurants and bars. A service charge is often included in restaurant bills but a further 5 to 10 percent tip is expected. Though it is not always necessary to tip them, taxi drivers can be rewarded for good service.


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Safety

Visitors should take normal safety precautions in Moldova, such as keeping valuables safe and being aware of pickpockets and scam artists in major cities. Corruption is rife and visitors should be cautious of policemen demanding fines for spurious offences, or asking to see documents as a way of stealing cash. If approached in this way, visitors should offer to go with them to the nearest police station before handing over any money or documents. Guests should not leave valuables, including passports, in hotel rooms, or near the window of a hotel room when they are there.

Local customs

Visitors to Moldova should not be unduly concerned about offending locals. Moldovans are for the most part polite and friendly, and tend to go out of their way to accommodate foreigners. In the more rural areas, there is a social stigma attached to women smokers.

Travellers, and especially those who speak English, are advised to carry their passports with them at all times, as police officials in Moldova have been known to extract bribes from tourists who do not have 'proper identification' on hand.

Doing business

Business can be quite bureaucratic and old-fashioned. The country adheres to an imbedded hierarchical structure and often it is the eldest who receive the most respect in business and social meetings.

It is important to address each person according to their title followed by their surname; 'Domnul' for Mr. and 'Doamna' for Mrs. Moldovans prefer a face-to-face approach and like to strengthen personal relationships.

Appointments should be made in advance and confirmed. Although the visitor is expected to be punctual, the host may be late to arrive. Meetings are often quite formal and a general 'Western' set of old-world manners applies.

Business suits are appropriate for meetings. Moldovans dislike an overt display of achievement or exaggerated conversation. Business hours are generally 9pm to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken at lunch.

Duty free

Travellers to Moldova may import up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, two litres of wine or spirits, five litres of beer, and perfume and gifts in amounts reasonable for personal use.

Communications

The direct dialling country code for Moldova is +373. Larger hotels provide WiFi; Moldova's coverage of superfast internet is among the best in the world.

Passport & Visa

All foreign passengers to Moldova must have return or onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses while in the country. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

US citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

British citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for British passport holders for stays of up to 90 days, irrespective of the endorsement regarding their national status contained therein.

Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. A visa is required before arrival.

Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date of their arrival in Moldova. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Useful contacts

Police: 902 Medical: 903 Fire: 901

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassies / consulates in Moldova

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