Before getting to travel to Transnistria, I was completely obsessed with this breakaway republic. Basically, if there’s an unrecognized country, I HAVE to see it. Here are my Tiraspol pictures from my visit, to show what life is like behind this self-imposed Iron Curtain.
My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2022
These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.
Find cheap flights with CheapOair.
Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.
For road trips and ground transportation, rent a car through Discover Cars.
Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.
For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.
Get reliable travel insurance through World Nomads.
Store your luggage safely with Radical Storage.
My Favorite Tiraspol Pictures from My Visit
Is this the most Instagrammable place in Transnistria? I mean, probably.
This is not the only Lenin statue I’ve seen in my travels behind the Iron Curtain, but it’s certainly the largest.
The Soviet-era tank and Orthodox chapel are the most iconic spot in the city.
Tiraspol is for Brutalism Lovers
Riding in Taxis in Tiraspol
Monument to Russian Military Hero Alexander Suvorov who founded Tiraspol in 1792
The Coat of Arms of Transnistria depicts the Dniester River with grapes on one side and industry on the other.
My Driver Paying a Bribe to Get Into Transnistria from Chisinau
The Tiraspol Train Station
The Fun Bureacracy & Commerce of the Tiraspol Train Station
Graves of the Soldiers who Died Fighting in the Transnistria War
Buying Transnistrian Cognac from Kvint
Celebrating Nearly Thirty Years of Transnistrian Independence
Monuments to the Transnistria War
Relaxing on the Dniester River
Social Realism Out in the Wild
Finally, from this Angle, Lenin Looks like Batman
Where to Stay in Tiraspol
Now that Transnistria has relaxed its visa policies, you can stay for a few days and enjoy your time here. I’m including a recommendation for hotels and hostels for each of the following budget categories:
- Budget: A room in a hostel, usually $10-15 USD per night for a dorm bed or under $25 for a double.
- Mid-range: Around $35-65 USD per night
- Luxury: Around $100 per night or more
Budget: With some of the best hostel reviews in Tiraspol, Like Home Hostel offers free breakfast, twenty-four-hour check-in, and free wifi. They have dorms, private rooms, and excursion you can book. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Mid-Range: A great value in Tiraspol, the CityClub Hotel is the city’s first four-star hotel but still has mid-range prices. Boasting a great location, CityClub is just a short walk from the river and the city center. Amenities include a fitness center, free wifi, and an on-site sauna. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Luxury: With a great location, Hotel Russia is just five minutes from most of the main Tiraspol sites. Rooms are elegant and updated, with free wifi and appliances. English-speaking staffs can help you with your questions about the city. The on-site restaurant serves European and Japanese cuisine. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Where to Stay in Chisinau
If you’ll be visiting Transnistria as a day trip from Chisinau, you’ll want a comfy place to stay in the city after a long day of sightseeing. I’m including a recommendation for hotels and hostels for each of the same budget categories as above.
Budget: For a great budget-friendly hostel, you can stay in the dorms at Amazing Ionika Hostel, which has some of the best reviews I’ve ever seen for a hostel. The rooms are clean, funky, and bright, with free wifi and in-room coffee makers. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Mid-Range: For an affordable, yet elegant stay in Chisinau, pick the four-star Tulip Residence & Spa. This is a Thai-style hotel that has a spa, a Turkish bath, and a swimming pool, so you can really relax when you’re not out exploring Moldova. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
An alternative is the four-star Aria Hotel, which I stayed in for a week. The rooms are luxurious and clean, with stylish bathrooms and super-helpful staff. They helped me arrange private drivers when I needed them, and I really loved making this hotel my home for the week. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Luxury: If you want to enjoy your Moldova vacation in true style, you can stay at the five-star Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel with updated and modern everything. With sleek decor, modern amenities, and an on-site spa and fitness center, it’s a fabulous place to call home for a few days or more. Make sure to check out the hotel’s gorgeous city views. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Still looking? Check out my Chisinau hotel and hostel guide.
5 Things to Pack for a Trip to Transnistria
Planning a trip to Transnistria? I have an entire Moldova packing list, but make sure you don’t forget these important items:
- Lonely Planet Romania & Moldova I find it’s actually really hard to find hard copy travel guides on the road, so if you love having a paper guidebook you need to buy it ahead of time. This guide also comes in a Kindle version for those who don’t want to carry the physical copy with them.
- A Backup Charging Bank so you can keep your phone (and thus phone camera) charged while you’re out sightseeing.
- A copy of Eugene Onegin so you can read it in the city (or even in the house) where it was written. Get this dual English/Russian version if you want to practice your Russian!
- A Primary SD Card and a Spare SD Card because it would be torture to run out of memory and miss out on your photos opportunities (especially because I’ve had a few SD cards fail on me).
- Travel Insurance Policy information, because things happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in cities where tourists can be the victims of pickpockets.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen.
Pro Tip: Combining a trip to Moldova with Ukraine and want to visit Chernobyl? Make sure you follow the packing guidelines for Touring Chernobyl and Pripyat.
Moldova Travel Resources
Headed to Moldova? Here is my list of what to pack for Moldova before you go, and make sure to check out my recommendations for the best things to do in Chisinau and the best Chisinau photography spots.
Trying to figure out where to stay? Here is my guide to the best Chisinau hotels and hostels.
Many travelers choose to pair a trip to Moldova with a trip to either Ukraine or Romania.
If you’re also headed to Ukraine, check out my posts for going on a Chernobyl tour, pictures of what Chernobyl looks like today, my guide to what to pack for Ukraine, and my interview about what exactly happened at Chernobyl.