Chisinau: One of the Less Lively Capital Cities in Europe


I’ve spent nearly an entire month in Chisinau. Now I’m packing my bags again and getting ready to move on.

I haven’t done much in my time in the Moldovan capital.Like anyone else, I have to work and spent most of my time sitting at my desk writing. I had a lot to do and the weather here is cold. It was snowing on the day I arrived and there were a few days when the pavements were covered in ice. It was dangerously slippery. None of this made me enthusiastic to leave the apartment except for my daily trip to the supermarket.

My Thoughts on Chisinau Night Life

During my first two weeks in Chisinau, I tried to have a “Saturday night out”, but the truth of the matter is, compared to what I’m used to, it was boring. I’ve lived in cities where you can drink until the early hours of the morning. I’ve also been in cities where there are bars open 24-hours a day.

When I’m in Eindhoven, I usually go home at 4 am. I do the same in Düsseldorf and Lisbon. In Antwerp, there is at least one bar that does not close at all. In Bucharest, there are plenty of bars still open at 7 am, so I’m presuming they don’t close either. All these cities have areas that offer a huge choice of bars and places to eat. So do a lot of other big cities.

A Saturday night out in Chisinau is a different kettle of fish. There is no nightlife zone filled with bars and places to eat. I found a rock bar on the internet that was meant to be open until 5 am. When I got there it was closed and it was only 12 am. A lot of the bars in Chisinau close at 11 pm. I found a bar in a cellar that seemed to be open pretty late. Maybe it stayed open all night. I’ll never know. It was boring. I had a couple of beers and then went home.

As for late-night eating, the choices in the Moldovan capital are limited as well. The local burger bar shuts at 10 pm on a Saturday night. Star Kebab is reputed to offer the best kebab in Chisinau, but it closes quite early as well. There are eight Star Kebab shops in Chisinau. Some of them close at 10 pm, the others shut at 11:30 pm. However, there is a 24-hour McDonald’s.

When it comes to pizza, the big name in Chisinau is Andy’s Pizza. There are 15 Andy’s Pizza restaurants in and around the city and one of them is open 24-hours a day. It’s on Alexander Pushkin Strada, near the NR1 supermarket [MAP].

The Pizzas at Andy’s Pizza are very good. So is the beer and it’s cheap as well. There are places in Chisinau charging around 30 to 60 lei for a glass of beer and it’s served in glasses that are smaller than a British pint glass. If you go to Andy’s Pizza the drink volume is about the same size as a British pint. It’s the local beer, called Chisinau, it tastes very good, and only costs 20 lei.

The Places and Things I Liked Best in Chisinau

I never went to any museums or did any the things tourists do in, so I’m not sure what the city has to offer. I don’t think it’s as well equipped for tourists as many capital cities are though. There is only one Tourist Information Centre in the entire city. It’s only been open I few years and it’s closed at weekends.

However, if you decide to visit Chisinau, I can recommend the Cathedral Park. Stephen the Great Central Park is nice as well. Both of them are near the Triumphal Arch and the Nativity of Christ Cathedral is in the centre of Cathedral Park.

Triumphal Arach (Chisinau, Moldova)

The Triumphal Arch was built in 1840 to commemorate the victory of the Russian Empire over the Ottoman Empire during the Russo-Turkish War. If you go to Chisinau, it’s one of the things you really need to see.

The Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Chisinau, Moldova)

The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is slightly older than the Triumphal Arch. It was built in the 1830s and it’s an extremely impressive piece of architecture. Again, no trip to Chisinau would be complete without seeing it.

One of the streets beside the Cathedral Park (Strada Petru Rares) has an incredible number of flower shops. They are all next door to each other, shop after shop after shop. It’s amazing.

Street of Flower Shops in Chisinau Moldova

I had to wonder how so many shops can stay in business with so much competition. At first, I thought it could be that there is a graveyard somewhere in the vicinity. I asked someone about it and they told me there is no reason why there are so many flower shops, but they have been there for as long as he can remember.

The only other thing I will always remember about Chisinau is the two bronze statues on Strada Eugen Doga. They are very well crafted and a lot of fun.

Statues of "The Lovers" in Chisinau, Moldova
All Good Things Come to He Who Waits

The first statue is a guy leaning on a lamppost and checking his watch. He has a bunch of flowers in his other hand and is obviously waiting for his date. The second statue is a little way behind the first one. It’s a girl making her way towards the guy with the flowers. She has her shoes in her hand. I’m not sure if she is sneaking up on her date, or rushing to meet him, but I really like the way this two-piece sculpture has been done.

I did some checks and discovered it was created by a Moldovan sculptor called Pavel Obreja and erected in October 2017.

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