Shopping and Living in Moldova

Shopping in Moldova



1 Moldovan Leu = 100 Bani. Currency abbreviation: L, MDL (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 L; Coins in denominations of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 bani. Prices are often given in dollars or euros and can be paid with these.

Credit cards

Accepted to a limited extent in hotels and restaurants in major cities, but should not be overlooked for safety reasons. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.


Maestro card / Sparcard / ec card

Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted in Europe and worldwide. Further information from banks and credit institutes. ATMs that accept international credit or debit cards are only available in larger cities (except in Transnistria). EC cards with a chip that were issued after 01/01/2014 do not work, however.

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank customer card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the options for using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Some banks are also open on Saturdays and some exchange offices are also open on Sundays.

Foreign exchange regulations

According to usprivateschoolsfinder, the import and export of the local currency is limited to 2,500 L. Unrestricted import of foreign currencies, obligation to declare. Export of foreign currencies up to the amount declared on entry, minus the exchange amounts.

Currency Exchange

Is possible in many banks, in all exchange offices and hotels. Money should only be exchanged in banks or exchange offices, never at money changers on the street.



The following articles can be imported into Moldova duty-free (people over 18 years of age):

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars / cigarillos;

2 l of wine or spirits;

5 liters of beer made from malt;

Perfume and other items for personal use;

Food as travel provisions to the destination.

Prohibited imports




Popular souvenirs are colorful traditional costumes, handmade carpets, embroidery, and Moldovan wine or brandy, especially cognac. There are numerous handicraft centers where wood carvers, enamel painters, weavers and instrument makers offer their goods.

There is a large selection of locally produced fruit and vegetables in this agricultural country. Moldovans particularly like to shop at the market (tolchok), which takes place regularly in all larger towns. In addition to fresh food, you can get almost everything else here, from haberdashery and household items to cars, and you can often find one or the other bargain. The largest market takes place on Calea Mosilor in the city center of Chișinău, the Baidukowa market on the outskirts of Bălţi is also known.

You won’t find any large department stores in the city centers, but there are shopping centers where you can mainly buy clothes in small boutiques. The most famous shopping center is the elegant MallDova in Chișinău, where international retail chains offer luxurious fashion at appropriate prices. In addition to an extensive gastronomic offer, there are also some entertainment options such as a bowling alley.

Opening hours

The larger shops are usually open Mon-Sat from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., all other shops from Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grocery stores are generally open seven days a week.



There is a varied entertainment offer in the major cities of the country with numerous nightclubs, discos, bars and pubs. In Carlsberg Pena Pub, Chisinau German beer is even served. At several open-air concerts by internationally known musicians, you can experience the joy of life and warmth of the Moldovans. In rural areas, things are much quieter.

The country is famous for its folk traditions and there are numerous upbeat music groups (tarafs) that play several of the sometimes rare folk instruments such as the tsamsbal (a kind of cymbal), the bagpipe-like tsimpoi, the fluier (a kind of flute) and the Playing the nai (a type of pan flute).

The capital Chisinau in particular has a varied nightlife to offer. Here you will also find a diverse cultural offer with theaters, concert halls and an opera house. The opera and the Luceafarul (“poetic star”) youth theater offer interesting evening entertainment. The Pushkin Theater mainly stages productions in Moldovan, while the Chekhov Theater only stages plays in Russian. The Philharmonic Concert Hall is the seat of the Moldavian Symphony Orchestra. The Doinachor (folklore) and the internationally known state dance ensemble Dschok are also at home here. Russian and Moldovan plays can be seen in the Licurici puppet theater(“Fireflies”) see.

Moldovans love dance sport; In addition to fantastic ballet performances, Chisinau regularly hosts large international dance competitions.


Regional specialities

  • Mititeji(small sausages with onions and peppers)
  • Mamaliga(a rich corn pie) that is served with sheep’s cheese.
  • Tocana(stew with pork strips) is eaten with watermelons and apples.
  • Cabbage à la Babette(braised pork with white cabbage)
  • Placinte(dumplings filled with herbs and sheep’s cheese, mushrooms or meat)
  • Brynsa(cream cheese made from sheep’s milk)


5-10% is common.

Regional drinks

Over 100 different excellent wines are produced in Moldova. Riesling, Gligote and Semilion are the best known local white wines. Moldovan Cabernet, Merlot and Bordeaux are among the best red wines. Brandy, e.g. B. Nistriju and Doina, is served for dessert.

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In the Republic of Moldova you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.

Shopping in Moldova