From Bucharest in Romania, it is not far to Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. How do you travel easiest between the two capitals? Train, bus or airplane?
Romania – Moldova by air
Flights are available with at least two daily trips between Bucharest and Chisinau with Air Moldova. It takes just over an hour, but the price is difficult to justify considering the cost of other options. An airline ticket costs from 99 euros.
Romania – Moldova by train
There is one daily train from Bucharest to Chisinau. The train leaves from the central station and tickets are bought in the ticket hall at the train station. The ladies in the ticket office cannot speak English, so bring a note with the name of the place you should go to. The train is a night train and takes a lot of time.
In the middle of the night, the train stops at the Moldovian border for a wheel change. The track width is of different width. The stop takes 1-2 hours and in the meantime they check passports, so expect to wake up.
A train ticket costs around 30 euro.
Romania – Moldova by minibus (Marshrutka)
Marshrutka is the most common way to travel in the former Soviet countries. This applies both in town and in the countryside. Minibuses travel around and you can step on and off wherever you want, as long as you can understand where you are.
Within the city, a ticket costs a few euro cents at a fixed price. The buses are usually numbered so you should have a clue about which area they are driving in.
Marshrutka to Chisinau
Going from Bucharest Airport to the bus station in Chisinau costs about 15 euros with Mirtrans. One tip is to go from the airport outside Bucharest instead of Bucharest bus station. Bucharest has one of Europe’s worst traffic situations and the station is big, so if you choose to leave, make sure you have plenty of time.
To the airport, it is easier to get in reasonably fixed time.
The journey to Chisinau takes about 8 hours. With luck, the air conditioner works on the bus. Expect it to be full. The bus makes a few stops at weather restaurants. Stay close to the bus, as it’s not sure how long the stop lasts. Not rarely, travelers can run after the bus and jump on the go …
At the border with Moldova, there are two controls. One control checks the passports, while the other goes through the luggage. That everyone needs to leave the bus rarely happens.
As soon as the bus rolls the first meters on the Moldavian roads, you notice a significant difference to the road standard. The bumps are strong and the bus panic brakes when the driver avoids horse-transports.
Chisinau’s skyline begins to show up after 7 hours. The pain in the back is reminiscent and a pleasant feeling is found when you finally get off at the bus station in Chisinau. The station is a bit far from the center, but it is always possible to ask someone to point out the direction. On foot, it takes about 20 minutes to reach the city center.