Ready for a trip, now it’s time for a few safety tips.
In any country, there are always local laws and customs to be aware of, so you don’t make a fool of yourself. Moldova is no different, however, the country is relatively safe and foreigners rarely report incidents of crime. Be aware of petty crimes, like pick-pocketing and scams, keep your wits about you when police stop you, and be polite. Follow the tips in this article and your trip to Moldova will be full of good times.
Even if Moldova is going through a political crisis, the political situation in general is calm, but we advise you to avoid any political rallies, demonstrations or large gatherings.
Take care if you travel to Transnistria and avoid getting into difficulty with the Transnistrian authorities. Make sure you have your passport with you, as you’ll need it to enter the Transnstrian region. Due to the fact that Transnistria is not under Moldovan government control and seeks independence, it can happen that you’ll not be allowed to enter the region. If you do get into any trouble, try to contact your embassy in Chisinau at an early stage.
Moldova is located in a seismically active area and is prone to small earth tremors that are recorded throughout the year without consequence. The last significant earthquake occurred in 1986. Independent advice on how to prepare for an earthquake and how to protect yourself during an earthquake or tremor is available from many sources online.
Traffic safety and road conditions
Moldova’s highway infrastructure consists mainly of two-lane roads that often lack signage, and are unevenly maintained. Be careful (especially in rural areas) of tractors, bicyclists, horse-drawn carts, pedestrians, and livestock on the road. Try to limit driving outside cities to daylight hours. Many Moldovan drivers would be considered aggressive and erratic.
The quality and safety of public transportation vary widely, but the average condition is satisfying. Taxis are available in most urban areas, and vary from old Soviet-era vehicles to new Western European or U.S. vehicles. Since the taxis are relatively cheap (€2-€4), we advice you to use taxi.
Emergency services are generally responsive, although you may not find an English-speaking operator. You can call police at 902 and an ambulance at 903.
Generally the Moldovan nation is known for its hospitality, but some Moldovans dislike minorities and might verbally and sometimes physically harass them.
Nevertheless the crime rates in Moldova are low, be alert to the risk of petty theft, street fights and for pickpockets.
Since credit card and ATM frauds were registered, take precautions when using ATMs. Keep your valuables and passport in hotel safes and carry a copy of your passport with you.
There were no terrorist attacks registered in Moldova, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.