Here are the common phrases that I hear almost every time I say that I come from Moldova. In the beginning, I was avoiding it, but I realized this is an excellent opportunity to make others know about my country:
-Where is Moldova?
– What is Moldova?
-It’s an island?
Moldova is a European country, the poorest yes, but with hundreds of years of traditions, and we are proud of it. (The most common trait that you’ll see in Moldovan culture).
Yes, we don’t smile much, not even in photos, and if we see you walking and smiling at us, please don’t expect a smile in return. We’ll laugh a lot once we get to know you, and it will be genuine. We have amazing weddings, wine, and food. Located between Romania and Ukraine, it is considered to have one of the greenest cities in Europe – Chisinau, the capital.
Things to do in Moldova
1. Visit the local market in Chisinau. Piata Centrala.
It is a crazy experience to see the local market. Piata Centrala is where you can find cheap and good street food, snacks, clothes, shoes, small electronic devices, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese. Very crowded, noisy, and loud. Locals go to buy their stuff, so it’s okay. You can find Piata Centrala in the center of the city, on the main street Stefan cel mare si Sfant.
2. Taste Moldovan wine – Cricova, Milestii Mici, Mimi Castel, Purcari.
Every Moldovan makes wine at home. That’s what we are known for, and everybody has homemade wine, it is part of our life. Get some time to visit the underground cellars. Some of the cellars extend to 200 km (50km in use) with more than 2 million bottles.
3. Enjoy the traditional food: zeama, placinte, mamaliga.
Placinta-we have placinta everywhere in Moldova, and you can’t avoid it. Placinta is fried bread with different filling such as homemade cheese, potatoes, apples, sour cherries, and even pumpkin.
Zeama– for Moldovan families, zeama (similar to the chicken soup) is served a lot for lunch, made out of a whole chicken, chicken broth and, lots of vegetables.
Mamaliga – so-called polenta, we eat it with homemade cheese, fish, meat, and sour cream or garlic on the side.
4. Get a local friend, or a tour guide to take you to a village.
If you would like to experience the real Moldovan traditions, you would have to go to a village. A village where you can collect grapes and make wine, make placinta, sarmale, mamaliga, and learn some traditional dance moves.
5. Go to a Moldovan wedding (you won’t regret it).
Moldovan weddings are amazing. If you have a chance to attend a Wedding in Moldova, go, but prepare yourself for dancing, eating, and drinking for like 8 hours straight.