Before I first traveled to Moldova, I had no idea at all what to expect from the capital. It’s full of funky Soviet-era architecture and interesting places to people watch, and I found the hostels and hotels in Chisinau to really be a great value for the money, with everything from affordable luxury options to inexpensive backpacker hostels that are still very bright and clean. Here are my picks for the best Chisinau hotels and hostels, broken out into four categories with twelve overall recommendations to help you decide where to stay in Chisinau.
3 of the Best Chisinau Hostels
Chisinau has a great hostel scene for those looking for budget-friendly places to get a bit of shut-eye in between sightseeing sessions. Here are three picks if what you’re looking for is a super-cheap dorm room or moderately priced private room.
Best Chisinau Hostel: Amazing Ionika Hostel
For a great hostel experience, 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.
Hostel Runner Up: Hostel City Center
You won’t be surprised to learn that a hostel called the Hostel City Center has an excellent location. Many of the best things to do in Chisinau are located just a short walk away, including the Cathedral and the Triumphal arch. If you only have a day or two in the city, you’ll love being centrally located and spending almost no time getting to what you want to see. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Hostel Runner Up: Retro Moldova Hostel
If you love Red tourism and Communist kitsch, then a stay at the Retro Moldova Hostel which has a portrait of Lenin alongside communist-themed murals and insignia. Centrally located, the hostel is less than a ten minute’s walk from the cathedral. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
9 of the Best Chisinau Hotels for Every Budget
Chisinau hotels offer a seriously great bang for your buck. I’m including a recommendation for hotels for each of the following budget categories:
- Budget: Around $25-$45 per night
- Mid-range: Around $45-65 USD per night
- Luxury: Around $100 per night or more
Best Chisinau Budget Hotel: Wine Hotel Chisinau
If your goal is to sample as much local Moldovan wine as possible during your stay, then book a room at the Wine Hotel Chisinau which has an on-site wine bar of local wines to try. Rooms are clean and modern and feel much, much nicer than the price tag would suggest otherwise. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Budget Hotel Runner Up: Bed & Breakfast Olsi
The four-star Bed & Breakfast Olsi has a budget-friendly feel yet the hotel is modern and there’s a spa just ten minutes away. While not a traditional “bed & breakfast,” they do have breakfast available if you want to eat before heading out for the day. There’s also an on-site bar. The rooms are comfy, clean, and basic. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Budget Hotel Runner Up: Hotel Lidia
A budget hotel with a bit of history behind it, the Hotel Lidia is a restored nineteenth-century hotel which also boasts an excellent location as Cathedral Park is just a fifteen-minute walk. The decor, however, is interesting…if your grandmother purchased furniture in 1985 it might have made its way here. However, the reviews are great for the price, and the location is dreamy. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Best Chisinau Mid-Range Hotel: Aria Hotel
The four-star Aria Hotel is lovely, clean, and just posh-enough to feel like a true vacation spot. The rooms are luxurious and clean, with stylish bathrooms and super-helpful staff. I stayed (lived) here for a week, and I loved coming back and sinking into the kingsize bed in my room. The staff 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.
Mid-Range Runner Up: Tulip Residence & Spa
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.
Mid-Range Runner Up: Maxim Pasha Hotel
Yes, you actually can book a five-star hotel in Chisinau for budget prices. The Maxim Pasha Hotel has a spa, indoor swimming pool, and a wine bar. The rooms are comfortable and modern, offering a great place to re-energize and recharge in between tourist activities. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Best Chisinau Luxury Hotel: Radisson Blu Leogrand Hotel
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.
Luxury Hotel Runner Up: Savoy Hotel
The five-star Savoy Hotel has beautiful, traditionally furnished rooms, an onsite spa, and a great terrace to relax from. Priding itself on elegance, you’ll find the Savoy offers an easy and luxurious experience. The location is also great, as it is just a five-minute walk to Cathedral Park. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
Luxury Hotel Runner Up: Bard’s Design Hotel
Boasting Italian style and Moldavian decor, the five-star Bard’s Design Hotel is modern and calming, with updated rooms and furnishings. You can relax at the onsite wellness center, enjoy the views from the terrace, and eat Italian food at the hotel’s restaurant. Check pricing, reviews, and availability here.
How to Get from Chisinau Airport to Your Hotel
I arrived in Chisinau late at night and used the taxi stand to order a taxi. Never negotiate directly with the taxi drivers themselves, order it through the stand. You’ll be told the rate, which should be about 100 lei (about $6 USD). Confirm the price with the stand and again with the driver before you leave to avoid a taxi scam.
If the thought of dealing with taxis right after you arrive is overwhelming, you can pre-book an airport transfer directly to your hotel. This is also the only way to avoid needing to pay in cash in Moldovan lei right after arriving. Check the prices and availability of Chisinau airport transfers here.
There are also two options for taking public transportation to your hotel. the Express “A” bus goes from the airport to downtown Chisinau. The cost is 3 lei (about twenty cents USD). This route runs from 7 am until 7 pm. Alternatively, you can take one of the minibusses. Route 165 goes from the airport to downtown Chisinau. The difference between the public bus and the minibus is that the minibus (marshrutka) only stops when asked. Neither buses have specialized luggage storage, so you’ll need to keep your bags with you.
5 Things to Pack for a Trip to Chisinau
Planning a trip to Moldova? 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.
More Moldova Travel Resources
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.