Ultimate Moldova Packing List: What to pack for Moldova for Women & Men

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Last Updated on: 19th June 2023, 06:41 pm

Are you planning a trip to Moldova and wondering what to bring with you? Between figuring out what to wear in Chisinau, Transnistria, and the monasteries in the countryside, packing for Moldova might seem a bit complicated.

It’s actually an easy country to travel, and this Moldova packing list should make it easy for you. It includes what to wear in Moldova for women and men.

My Favorite Travel Booking Sites for 2024

These are my favorite companies that I use on my own travels.

Protect Your Trip via Safety Wing

Find the best city tours, day tours, bus tours, & skip-the-line tickets on GetYourGuide and Viator.

Find the best deals on hotels & vacation rentals on Booking.com.

For English-speaking private airport transfers, book through Welcome Pickups.

For road trips and independent travel, rent a car through Discover Cars.

Find information and cruise reviews on Cruise Critic.

For packing and travel essentials order via Amazon.

Book an affordable family or romantic photography session on your trip through Flytographer (Use the code HISTORYFANGIRL for 10% off your first photoshoot).

For travel guidebooks to have with you during your trip, I always pick one or two from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

Where to Stay in Moldova

Most people will base themselves in Chisinau, and use this to travel the city, taking day trips from Chisinau to the rest of the country. Here are my hotel recommendations for the city for each budget category:

  • 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: 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.

See also
How to Visit the Struve Geodetic Arc in Rudi, Moldova

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.

Moldova - Chisinau - Church
View from my hotel room at the Aria Hotel.

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.

What Kind of Suitcase to Bring to Moldova?

For your main suitcase, you’ll want to decide whether to bring a roller suitcase or a backpack. This depends on a lot of factors. For my trip to Moldova, I brought just a backpack so that I could visit Transnistria and then move on to Ukraine without having to worry about luggage storage. However, if you’re going to be staying put in one city for the majority of your trip, you may choose to bring a roller suitcase.

You also need to decide if you’re traveling carry-on only or checking a suitcase. You can get both kinds of suitcases in versions small enough to travel as carry-on, but I also know backpackers whose backpacks are large enough that they must be checked. Remember that not every backpack is carry-on sized.

See also
10 Instagrammable Places in Chisinau Celebrating the Quirky & Beautiful

My personal preference is to use a carry-on sized backpack because I use so much public transportation in Eastern Europe that I don’t want to have to drag around a large suitcase. However, if you’re planning on taking taxis to and from the airport, then this is less of an issue.


Greece - Crete - Stephanie Luggage
Staying in hostels? Make sure your bags will fit into their lockers.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding on a Suitcase

  • Do you have private or shared accommodations?
  • Are you staying in a hostel where your suitcase needs to fit into a small locker?
  • How fast-paced is your itinerary?
  • Will you be based out of one or two cities for a long period of time?
  • When you travel, do you tend to overpack and not use all your items?


Backpack Recommendations

These days my primary backpack for Europe is the Bergans Skarstind 48 which is similar to this Bergans backpack. This backpack is easy to wear, and the fact that it is taller than it is wide makes the distribution of weight along my torso easy to handle. It’s also small enough that I can easily wear it on city trains without too much hassle. This backpack is small enough to be a carry-on as long as I leave the top compartment empty. When I am not flying, I use this compartment and it adds about six inches of height to the bag.

Greece - Crete - Stephanie Luggage
This is the Bergens backpack (on the left) that’s my favorite travel backpack these days.

For those unfamiliar with Bergans or who are Osprey diehards (which I used to be) then I would choose something similar to this Osprey Women’s pack. For men, I would choose something in the same size range (40-48 L).

If you’ve never backpacked with a real travel backpack, you may wonder what is different about it from a standard backpack or weekender bag. The main difference is that the weight is distributed so that it’s not a burden. Basically, you can put the same weight in all three types of bags, but the ergonomic design makes the backpacking bag easier and more pleasant to carry. Since Europe is a place where you’ll end up carrying your luggage for a long period of time on transit days, this can really save your shoulders, back, and neck from a ton of unnecessary pain. You can check prices and reviews here.

See also
How to Visit Rudi Monastery from Chisinau


Roller Suitcase Recommendations

When I travel and check a bag, which I do from time to time, I opt for a larger roller suitcase. If you are going to bring a roller bag, I suggest getting a soft shell one that can squish. My personal roller suitcase is the awesome Osprey Sojourn.

My dog napping in my Osprey suitcase
Lucy napping in my Osprey suitcase before we left a trip to Ottawa in 2016.

I lived out of just this bag and a backpack for eight months, and I even took it on a multi-country bus trip last summer for six weeks through the Balkans and didn’t have any trouble. If you’re going to be on a lot of public transportation and need a roller bag, you will want a suitcase that can handle some abuse without getting damaged. This bag has been crammed, pushed, squished, scratched, and jammed into the smallest and weirdest of cargo spaces and still looks and works great. You can check prices and reviews here.



What to Use During the Day?

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’re going to want a reliable and safe day bag to carry around things like your camera and wallet. This bag is also important for transit days since it will carry the things you need access to while on the move.

Features to Look for in a Reliable Travel Day Bag

  • Fashionable enough that the bag doesn’t scream “tourist”
  • Safety features that protect you from the kinds of low-level crime targeted at tourists
  • Room for the specific tech you’re bringing like a laptop, tablet, camera, etc.
  • Comfortable to wear for long days sightseeing
  • Small enough to fit under an airplane seat if your main bag is a carry-on
  • Sized right for the kind of trip your taking
  • Collapsible if necessary


Day Bag Recommendations

After two and a half years of full-time travel, I’ve gone through a few different styles of day bags. I use mine daily, so I’m always on the hunt for the best one to fit my needs. Here are my three favorite kinds of personal travel bags:

See also
Where to Stay in Chisinau: Hotels & Hostels for Every Budget


Option 1: Safety First & Technology Friendly

Serbia - Belgrade - Day Bag Pacsafe
My favorite day bag of all time!

For the past six months, I’ve been using my new Pacsafe Citysafe laptop backpack as my primary travel day bag. Things I love about the Pacsafe Citysafe that make it a great bag to pack for Moldova:

  • I can fit my camera for touring days and my laptop for workdays.
  • It has interlocking zippers which are great to avoid pickpockets in busy tourist areas where the petty thieves tend to target obvious foreigners.
  • It has a pocket for your wallet and passport that has RFID protection so my credit cards can’t get scanned from afar.
  • It has side pockets for carrying my own reusable water bottle or when I buy a soda.
  • It’s big enough to use for groceries when I want to save money by shopping at the store.
  • It’s a sleek black bag, which is perfect for Chisinau, where black is in vogue.

You can check prices and reviews for the Pacsafe Citysafe here. Pacsafe also makes smaller bags that still have a ton of safety features to keep your belongings safe on the road. I especially like the Slim Crossbody if you want to find a small purse for your trip.


Option 2:  Sleek and Collapsible

In Moldova, I used my large Longchamp bag. This bag rolls up completely, so I can store it away when necessary. However, it’s large enough to fit what I need to take out with me to explore a city for the day: wallet, camera, snacks, etc. It’s also durable!

Moldova - Rudi - Rudi Monstery - Stephanie
My Longchamp bag in Rudi Monastery. Also, check out the clothes the nuns put on me so I would be sufficiently modest. My knee-length dress and leggings did not suffice.

I have used my Longchamp bag almost every day for two years and it’s still going strong. This is also a great bag to roll up and bring just in case, whenever you want to have a more traditional-looking purse as opposed to a backpack. Because it’s collapsible, you can bring it on every trip and use it as needed. You can check prices and reviews here.

See also
30 Pictures of Tiraspol, Transnistria's Soviet-Loving Capital


Option 3: Large and Functional

Wizz Air Carry On Only Airport Mirror Selfie
Taking a mirror selfie in Budapest with my carryon

Another option I’ve used in the past is a traditional backpack with a laptop slot. For this, I have this SwissGear Travel Laptop Backpack. It’s a great travel daypack because the laptop slot and the middle pocket is large enough to fit my camera and work as a camera bag. This bag is great for someone looking for a reliable bag that can fit everything they need on a smaller budget. You can check prices and reviews here.

This is actually the bag that I backpacked from in Moldova, but I’ve since upgraded to the Bergen’s, and this is now strictly for carting around my laptop on work days in Sofia. However, it’s a good budget option since its much less expensive than a backpack designed for backpacking.



How to Keep Your Bags Organized

Keeping your stuff organized on the road is always important. If you’ll be using much public transportation here, you want your bag to always be easy to get in and out of. This is easier when everything is organized into smaller sections. Regardless of what kind of suitcase and day bag you go with, you’ll need smaller organizational bags to keep them in line. Here’s what I use on my trips:

  • Packing Cubes: I take 1-2 large packing cubes for clothes and 1 medium packing cube for underwear, bras, swimsuits, and pajamas.
  • Small Cosmetic Bags: I have five small makeup bags that I use to keep different items together. Mine are organized into make-up and jewelry, wet toiletries, dry toiletries, medicine kit, and tech odds and ends.
  • Laundry Bag: I use the one that came with my packing cubes.
  • Coin Purse:  Coins add up! There’s nothing worse than finding the equivalent of $10 USD in coins as you pack up to leave, knowing that you’re basically throwing money away.
  • Canvas Tote Bag: Great for grocery shopping, quick errands, or lazy days.
  • Ziplock Bags: These babies are clutch! I take 1-2 empty gallon ziplock bags and 3-5 empty small ziplock bags for random organizational emergencies. These seem to happen on every trip, and I’m always grateful to have them with me.
See also
5 Inspired Day Trips from Chisinau, Moldova
Bulgaria - Sofia - Packing before a trip
Only packing cubes can tame this mess!

What to Wear in Moldova for Women

Here’s what women should pack for Moldova. If you’re planning on doing hiking or trekking, you will want to bring items appropriate for your activities. In Chisinau, the young women dress chic and casual. You should wear what you feel comfortable in, with breathable fabrics that hang-dry well. This list assumes you will be on the road for more than a week, and that you will hand-wash your clothes or take them to be laundered.

Moldova - Rudi - Struve Geodetic Arc - Stephanie
Even in May, I wanted a jacket and long sleeves.

Clothes to Wear in Moldova in Summer, Spring, and Autumn

  • 3-4 shirts or blouses
  • 1 tank top
  • 1 tee shirt
  • 2-3 dresses (If you don’t wear dresses or skirts, then pack additional shirts and jeans to wear instead).
  • 2-3 pairs of leggings (optional). I love wearing leggings while traveling because I can wear a cute dress but still be very comfortable, and they’re great for layering because Moldova can be chilly in the spring and autumn. I wore my jacket even though it was early May.
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 skirt (optional) (If you’ll be going to the monasteries and don’t want to have them put a skirt on you, yours needs to go past your needs, though a maxi length is best. Legging covering your legs do not count).
  • 1 sweater, cardigan, or kimono for light layering (I found that even in May, I wanted to have layers available).
  • 1 jacket (I brought my jean jacket, but something that can handle light rain would also be a good idea since it rained frequently during our two weeks).
  • 1 pajama top
  • 1 pajama bottoms (or use one of the leggings)
  • 1 swimsuit (Optional depending on weather and plans).

Shoes and Sandals

I travel with three pairs of shoes. When traveling in Moldova, I like to have two sturdy shoes good for exploring the cities on long days, and one pair of comfortable slip-on jellies or sandals for when I’m back in my room or apartment.

  • Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes (I use boots like these or like these. Pack hiking shoes if you’re planning on hiking. Otherwise, any closed-toed shoes will work). Expect long days walking on pavement. At the end of everyday sightseeing, my feet were completely beaten up.
  • Comfortable day shoes (I have had a pair of these Tevas for the last two years, and I’ve worn them so much they have a hole in the right sole. For cold weather months, I opt for the second pair of boots. Both the sandals and the boots are perfect for travel because the rubber souls make them extra durable and comfortable at the same time).
  • Extra Easy Slip-on Sandal or Flip-Flops (I use these Croc Jellies because they work for hostel showers but are also wearable outside. I’m currently on pairs #2 and 3. I own them in blue and pink).
See also
21 Fabulous Things to Do in Chisinau, Moldova's Offbeat Capital
Greece - Crete - Stephanie Mirror Selfie
These Chelsea boots are my go-to street shoe when on the road.

Underwear and Socks

  • 7-8 pairs of underwear: I like to have enough for one week before having to do laundry, but you can bring more or less depending on your needs.
  • 1-2 bras: If you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, you might want one of these to be a sports bra.
  • 1-2 bralettes: this is something I added in this year, and I’m obsessed with them. They’re basically super comfortable like a lightweight sports bra. If you have larger breasts, and you want to be able to relax at your hotel or hostel without feeling like you’re dressed inappropriately, add a couple of bralettes to your suitcase.
  • 7-8 pairs of socks: Even in the summer where I’d normally want to wear sandals more often, I find myself needing to wear socks and boots in the cities. Combining walking tours, long days sightseeing, with using public transportation, and I find that I need extra support, and therefore the extra socks.

Jewelry and Accessories

  • 1-2 items of each kind of jewelry you prefer. For me, that’s a few pairs of earrings, one bracelet, my two rings, and a necklace.
  • Sunglasses (regular or prescription if required). You’ll be outside in Moldova more than you expect.
  • Hairpins, Bobby Pins, or Barretts (1-3 styles depending on your hair needs)
  • Headbands or Hair Wraps (1-4 depending on your needs)
  • Watch (optional)
  • A scarf to cover your hair if you’ll be going into monasteries.

What to Wear in Moldova in Winter for Women

Here’s what you need to stay warm in a country where you’ll frequently be outdoors on public transit and sightseeing outside.

  • A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka.
  • Thermal Layers: This ultra lightweight down layer is my new #packinggoals. I don’t own one, but my friend Allison does and she wore hers while we were stuck at a Serbian bus stop in the cold early morning. I was so jealous, and this is on my future packing lists for anywhere I go that’s cold. It’s great because you can wear it on its own when you need a quick layer of warmth, but you can also wear it under your coat when it’s really cold outside.
  • Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.
  • Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.
  • Gloves: In Chisinau, you’ll be doing a lot of navigating on your smartphone, especially when you need to use public transit. I found it incredibly annoying to have to take my gloves off every few minutes, so I upgraded to tech-friendly gloves like these. They’re also clutch for using your phone to take pictures.
  • Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary
  • Leggings: You’ll want to be covered from head to toe when you’re outside. Regular leggings are great for late autumn, but for winter swap them for leggings that are lined with fleece for extra warmth. You can wear them under dresses or even slip them under your jeans.
  • Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.
See also
10 Instagrammable Places in Chisinau Celebrating the Quirky & Beautiful
Canada - Montreal - Winter - Pixabay
Don’t forget to pack to bundle up in winter!


What to Wear in Moldova for Men

Just like the women’s packing list, men will want to wear simple, sophisticated clothes to fit in.

Clothes to Wear in Moldova in Summer, Spring, and Autumn

  • 4-5 everyday shirts
  • 1 collared shirt
  • 3 undershirts
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts (summer only and avoid overly touristy looking khaki shorts or cargo shorts).
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of wrinkle-free dress pants (if you want to do anything nice out in the city)
  • 1 light jacket that can handle rain
  • 1 tee shirt and shorts for sleeping
  • 1 pair of swim trunks (optional depending on weather and plans)
Molodva - Cricova Winery - Secretary John Kerry touring the winery
Of course, bring a suit if you want to tour Cricova with the same swagger as John Kerry

Shoes and Sandals

  • Comfortable Closed-Toed Walking Shoes (Sneakers, hiking shoes, or boots, depending on your preference).
  • Comfortable day sandals. If you are the kind of guy who doesn’t wear sandals, bring a second pair of walking shoes.
  • Extra Easy Slip-on Sandal or Flip-Flops (especially important for anyone staying in hostels).


Underwear & Socks

  • 7-8 pairs of underwear
  • 7-8 pairs of socks

Jewelry & Accessories

  • Sunglasses (regular or prescription if required)
  • Watch (optional)
  • Any personal jewelry

What to Wear in Moldova in Winter for Men

Similar to the list above for women, men traveling to Moldova in winter will want to prepare to be outside more than is typical at home. Between outdoor sightseeing and public transportation, it’s vital that you be prepared to be outdoors in the cold.

  • A Winter Coat: You need that can handle the cold like this North Face parka.
  • Wool Baselayer: You’ll want an extra boost of warmth under your shirt as a wool baselayer.
  • Shoes: Upgrade your regular city boots to a waterproof version.
  • Socks: Upgrade your socks to thick, warm wool socks.
  • Gloves: In Chisinau, you’ll be doing a lot of navigating on your smartphone, especially when you need to use public transit. I found it incredibly annoying to have to take my gloves off every few minutes, so I upgraded to tech-friendly gloves like these. They’re also clutch for using your phone to take pictures.
  • Winter Scarf: You want a thick knit scarf that you can pull up and cover your face when necessary
  • Hat: A fleece-lined knit cap will keep you warm, and you’ll fit right in with the locals.
See also
How to Visit the Struve Geodetic Arc in Rudi, Moldova

Toiletries and Skincare

Not every one of these applies to every person, but here’s a general list of what I always take with me. Remember that if you’re flying carry-on only, you’ll need to bring any liquids in travel sized bottles that fit into a clear, ziplock bag. The limit for carry-on liquids is 3.4oz (100ml).

Haircare & Bathing

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner. Some people swear by solid shampoo, but I just refill the same travel size bottles.
  • Dry Shampoo for the days when you really, really don’t want to shower.
  • Small hairbrush
  • Travel-sized hair dryer with European plugs (I’ve blown multiple hair dryers trying to use voltage converters. I’ve given up and only travel with a hairdryer with European plugs while in Europe). Moldova uses the same plugs as continental Europe, so you don’t need anything special for just Eastern Europe.
  • Hair products specific to your hair type
  • Soap
  • Razor
  • Shaving Cream (optional)
  • Nair or Veet (for when I get lazy)
Moldova - Chisinau - Central Market - Wikimedia Commons
If you forget anything, you can most likely find it in Chisinau. By BagritonOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer (travel is brutal on your skin). A moisturizer with SPF is awesome but is not a substitute for sunscreen since you’ll be outside so much.
  • Night Cream to help your skin recover
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Vaseline. Here’s why you should always pack vaseline!


  • Makeup
  • Makeup removing towelettes

Dental Care

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss


  • Contacts, contacts case, and solution (if needed)
  • Glasses and prescription sunglasses (if needed)



  • Full Sized Travel Towel. Most bloggers I know hate their microfibre travel towels, but I opted for a big, beautiful microfibre towel that’s perfect for the beach or a hostel. Seriously, no one loves their travel towel as much as I do.
  • Tissues, Toilet Paper, or Kleenex
  • Travel Sized Hand Sanitizer for all those days on public transit.
  • Nail File
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers (2 pairs. One for my makeup kit and one for my toiletries kit).
  • Laundry Detergent Powder (I like to have enough for 3-4 loads of laundry. If I’m traveling longer than this, I can always get more on the road).
  • Something to deal with that special time of the month. If you have to deal with a period on the road, pack whatever you need depending on your preferences.
See also
5 Inspired Day Trips from Chisinau, Moldova


Best Microfiber Towel for Travel
I always bring my travel towel wherever I go. She served me well in Moldova.

Medicine Kit

Over the counter medication from pharmacies is pretty easy to find in Moldova, so you don’t need a huge, all-disasters-covered style medicine kit. However, there are a few things you’ll want to have with you. When I’ve visiting pharmacies in Moldova I didn’t find pharmacists who speak English (unlike in the Balkans), so bring anything that might be hard to explain to someone with just Google Translate. A basic kit will include:

  • Your prescriptions
  • Anything you take weekly (for me this would be things like antacids).
  • Any vitamins you take regularly.
  • Your OTC Pain pills of choice.
  • Bandaids (After accidentally stabbing my thumb with my own razor in the Lisbon airport and having to pretend like I wasn’t bleeding to death while eating a steak, I vow to never leave home without band-aids).
  • Travel-sized Vaseline (Vaseline should be in every single person’s luggage for every single trip. Period). Yes, I listed this twice on this packing list. Vaseline is THAT important.
  • If you’re flying transatlantic or anticipate jetlag or sleep issues, I love having melatonin with me on every trip.


Technology and Accessories

As a full-time travel blogger who also has two podcasts, my tech needs are out of control. Here’s the technology that I traveled with to Moldova and the stuff I’ve added to my travel kit since:

  • Laptop (I use a MacBook Air)
  • Laptop Charger
  • Laptop Cover (I have a navy blue one similar to this)
  • Smart Phone (I use a Samsung8, which I love. If you want to pick up a sim card while in Moldova, make sure you have an unlocked phone. Your cell company can unlock it ahead of your trip if it’s not already).
  • Phone Cover (An OtterBox is basically like carrying your phone around in a pillow).
  • Headphones. This is especially important if you’ll be on a lot of public transit.
  • Phone Charger (I used this phone charging cable)
  • Backup Charging Bank
  • DSLR or Camera (I use my Nikon D810)
  • Spare Camera Battery (I use this spare Nikon Battery that goes with my camera)
  • Camera Battery Charger (This is the one that goes with my Nikon)
  • SD Cards (I recommend having a primary and a backup at a minimum).
  • Dropbox Account for Backing Up Photos
  • Two Universal Outlet Adapters with USB Ports. Moldova uses the same outlets as the rest of continental Europe. Remember that North American appliances will fry unless they can handle 220V. Check on each one before using! I’ve fried so many hair dryers.
  • Kindle Paperwhite for reading without having to haul around books
  • Kindle Cover (Mine is like this one, but there are lots of options).
  • DJI Osmo Cell Phone Gimbal for shooting video. (Not for everyone, obviously, but if you want to make videos on your trip, this gimbal changed my life).
See also
How to Visit Rudi Monastery from Chisinau
Germany - Berlin - Cat and Laptop
Cat not included.

Important Documentation

  • Your Passport & either quick access to a soft copy or a couple of hard copies. Make sure to take it with you to buy a sim card. You will also need your passport to visit Transnistria.
  • Passport Holder
  • Your Driver’s License (If you plan on renting a car in Moldova, you will have to have this. It’s also handy for ID checks when you don’t want to keep your passport with you at all times).
  • Your Travel Insurance Policy Information:  I never leave home without travel insurance. You just never know what kind of trouble you’ll run into on the road. I’ve had several broken phones, a nearly stolen wallet, car rental accidents, etc. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. I always get the higher level so that I have coverage for more of my technology in case anything gets lost or stolen. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’re going to be doing any urban exploration in Chisinau or Transnistria.  Have your travel insurance available in a soft copy, and forward your policy info to your primary emergency contact.
  • Credit & ATM Cards (make sure to call your banks to let them know you’re traveling if they require it). Have either quick access to a soft copy or a couple of hard copies. Never travel with only one card or access to one account. I have two checking accounts and four credit card accounts. This way when things happen on the road (and they do), I don’t get stuck. You never know when your credit card company is going to flag your ATM withdrawal in a foreign country as suspicious and block your cards.

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 if you’re going to be doing any urban exploration or visiting Transnistria. 

Books for Visiting Moldova

See also
30 Pictures of Tiraspol, Transnistria's Soviet-Loving Capital
Moldova - Chisinau - Pushkin House Museum
Bring a copy of Eugene Onegin to read at Pushkin’s house where he wrote it.


Apps for Visiting Moldova

Have these loaded up on your smartphone before you get here to make your trip easier!

  • Google Translate (My friend had to get rabies shots in Moldova after being bitten by a cat in Odessa. No one at the doctor’s office spoke English).
  • Google Maps (Download the maps for the cities you’ll be visiting so they’re available offline).
  • Skype (Great for calling to get your bank cards unblocked. Not that I have any experience with that…).
  • Facebook Messenger (This is my main form of communication these days).
  • Instagram (If you go on a trip and you don’t Instagram it, did you even go? Just kidding, Instagram is a necessary evil. Here are my favorite Chisinau Instagram spots if you need inspiration).
  • Adobe Lightroom for Desktop & Lightroom Mobile for your Smart Phone for photo editing. Lightroom Mobile is free, but Lightroom for desktop is paid.
  • Snapseed for the photo editing features that Lightroom doesn’t have when on mobile, especially if you don’t get Lightroom desktop.
  • iTunes, Podcast Addict, or other Podcatcher (Check out these travel podcasts I use for inspiration and learning about upcoming travel destinations)
  • Dropbox Mobile for backing up cell phone photos before you leave. This is important in case your cell phone gets lost, broken, or stolen.
  • The mobile apps for any airlines you’re using. I flew into the country from Bucharest and left via marshrutka to Odessa).
  • TripIt for organizing flights, hotel accommodations, and tickets.

What to Pack for Staying in Hostels

Planning to stay in a hostel? Here are the items you’ll want to bring to Moldova for staying in hostels or other shared accommodations:

  • Flip-flops or shower shoes: I mentioned this above, but it’s extra important if you’re in hostels where you’ll want to have your feet covered in the shower.
  • Full Sized Travel Towel: This is the best travel towel in the world, and you’ll need it if you are staying in hostels where you have to bring your own towel.
  • A lock: You’ll need this for your locker at most hostels.
  • BYO Privacy:  Bring a Sleep Mask and Earplugs if you’re a light sleeper to block out the other hostel guests.
See also
Where to Stay in Chisinau: Hotels & Hostels for Every Budget
Moldova - Chisinau - Parliament Building


What to Pack for Studying Abroad, Working Abroad, and Homestays

If you are going to be staying with someone or interacting with anyone in Moldova who could be considered as “hosting you,” it’s polite to bring a small present from home to give to as a gift to your hosts. Popular items for this type of gift would be something you can only get in your home country, for example, something with your home country’s flag on it or something made there. This doesn’t need to be extravagant, just a small token will suffice.

More Moldova Travel Resources

Headed to Chisinau? Make sure to check out my recommendations for the best things to do in Chisinaubest day trips, plus my write-ups on how to visit Rudi Monastery and the Struve Geodetic Arc.

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 (which is similar to what to pack for Moldova but does include Chernobyl-specific items), and my interview about what exactly happened at Chernobyl.

If you’re pairing Moldova with Romania, I run an entire Balkan travel blog l with TONS of articles about Romania. I’d suggest starting with our Romania trip planning guide.

Pin this Moldova Packing List for Your Trip

What to pack for Moldova: a Moldova Packing List for Women & Men

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