Why Visit Moldova in 2023?
A celebration of Moldovan culture and wine with 40 events, more direct flights from Europe, an expanded network of rural B&Bs, winery holidays, and cycling/hiking routes, and a focus on sustainability. Here are some of the many reasons to visit Moldova in 2023.
A year of festivals and cultural events under the 2023 “Tree of Life” calendar
The 2023 “Tree of Life” cultural calendar is chock full with 40 different festivals and cultural events located throughout the Republic of Moldova. This year’s cultural agenda includes 15 wine events, 15 music and cultural events, nine events around folklore and traditions, and one sports event. We guarantee there is an event or festival for every type of interest.
The "Tree of Life'' agenda has been an important cultural initiative in the Republic of Moldova since 2018. The festivals and events included are organized annually and highlight Moldova’s deep traditions in the areas of wine, culture, ethnographic heritage, local traditions and cuisine. In addition to playing an important role in the conservation and promotion of local culture, these events offer tourists unique and immersive cultural experiences they won’t find anywhere else.
Highlights from the 2023 “Tree of Life” cultural calendar include:
Mărțișor (1-10 March, 2023: Chisinau) - A grand celebration in Chisinau with music, dance and other events for “Mărțișor,” an ancient Moldovan celebration of spring.
DescOpera (16-18 June, 2023: Butuceni) - An outdoor festival of opera and classical music with dramatic Orheiul Vechi’s limestone gorge as the natural backdrop.
Ia Mania (1 July, 2023: Holercani) - In its 10th year, this cultural and traditional arts festival promotes the “ia”, Moldova’s traditional hand-embroidered blouse, and supports local artisans and handicrafts on the banks of the Nistru (Dniester) River. We expect a big celebration this year as the “ia” received UNESCO status in 2022.
National Wine Days (7-8 October, 2023: Chisinau and wineries around Moldova) - With more than 70 wineries taking over the center of Chisinau and events at wineries throughout the country, the National Wine Days is THE weekend to celebrate, learn about and taste Moldovan wine.
Note: Please take into consideration that the dates may vary.
Moldova, closer than you think. New direct flights from European cities.
It is now easier, quicker and more affordable to fly to Moldova with new direct flights from eastern, central and western European cities. Air Moldova has introduced new direct flights to Chisinau (KIV) from Barcelona, Larnaca, Batumi, Baku, Yerevan, Prague and Warsaw. This is in addition to Air Moldova’s current schedule of direct flights from most major cities in Europe such as London, Paris, Frankfort, Rome and Dublin that allow European travelers to fly to Chisinau, Moldova within 2-3 hours.
In addition, WizzAir reopened its base in Chisinau in September 2022 with resumption of 15 routes for a total of 21 routes and increased frequency on several routes. The resumed routes include direct flights to Chisinau from Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Brussels, Basel and other main cities throughout Europe.
Whether you are looking for a unique city break to Chisinau or a longer exploration of the country, these new direct routes make Moldova closer than you think.
“Victory Train” connects Kyiv to Chisinau after 24 years
The passenger train service between Kyiv, Ukraine and Chisinau, Moldova resumed in November 2022 almost exactly 24 years after it was disconnected. Named the “Victory Train,” the overnight train journey takes around 13 hours with the regular route Chisinau - Kyiv leaving for Ukraine on odd days and Kyiv - Chisinau departing on even days. Prices range from €42 to €58 depending upon a seat or sleeping carriage.
Highlighted as one of Lonely Planet’s 2023 Best European Train Routes, the Victory Train provides an important transportation and solidarity link between Ukraine and Moldova, making it easier and faster for Ukrainians in Kyiv to enjoy a break in peaceful Moldova or visit relatives living there. And, for Ukrainians living in Moldova to visit family in Ukraine.
We all look forward to peace in the region when this Chisinau to Kyiv train route will be used by tourists to explore both Moldova and Ukraine together.
Investments in 40 rural Bed & Breakfasts and small businesses improve services and expand network of community tourism offers across Moldova
Recent investments in rural accommodation, wineries and restaurants to improve services and diversify product offerings mean that visitors have more opportunities than ever to immerse themselves in local culture and experience Moldova’s famous hospitality. And to do so with improved modern comforts, service options, and availability of local tours and experiences.
With several new openings last year – including the newly built Casa Rândunicci and Cuib Tourist Complex that feature modern design inspired by Moldovan traditions – and more expected this spring (including Moldova’s first tiny home property), Moldova’s network of rural B&Bs and family-run accommodation will expand to over 40 properties in 2023. This highlights Moldova’s commitment to rural tourism development that strengthens and provides more socio-economic opportunities to local communities around the country.
Wine tourism infrastructure grows with new accommodation, restaurant and tasting options
Although Moldova’s wine culture and production goes back 7,000 years, wine tourism in the country is still relatively new. But it’s growing quickly. And this is a great thing for wine loving visitors who want the full immersive winery experience: spend the night overlooking the vineyards, eat at its restaurant with menus designed for wine pairings, and do a proper tour and tasting to really understand the unique characteristics of Moldovan wines and its indigenous grape varietals.
Recent investments at Moldovan wineries have resulted in a growing network of wine tourism offerings that in 2023 include 10 wineries with quality accommodation, 20 with restaurants, and 40 with tours and wine tasting options. These wine tourism offerings are incorporated into the Council of Europe’s Iter Vitis Wine Routes that not only include visits to wineries, but also recommended stops at cultural sites.
Public launch of documentary “A Small Country with a Big Heart”
After appearing at documentary film festivals around Europe, “A Small Country with a Big Heart” will be released to the public on Moldova Travel’s YouTube channel at the end of February. This 30-minute documentary was filmed in the spring of 2022, not long after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees fled to Moldova in search of safety. “A Small Country with a Big Heart” shares the incredible story of how Moldovans immediately opened their doors and hearts to their Ukrainian neighbors in need. Told through the hosts of the rural guest houses in Moldova who provided them safe refuge and a welcoming smile, the film is a touching story of Moldovan hospitality and spirit.
The documentary is directed by Daniela Donici and Lucia Lupu and supported by National Inbound and Domestic Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM) and Moldova Travel. You can find the trailer for the documentary here. If you would like to screen the full documentary for a story before public release please get in touch at: [email protected]
Moldova’s commitment to sustainability strengthened through recent Partnership Agreement with GSTC and investments in renewable energy
Moldova’s tourism strategy has always had sustainable development as a key priority, but the Partnership Agreement signed between the Moldovan Ministry of Culture and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in December 2022 is an important step in the country’s commitment to sustainability. This partnership will promote implementation of GSTC’s sustainability criteria to ensure that Moldova’s tourism sector is aligned with the industry’s highest global standards for sustainable tourism.
Investments in alternative energy in 2022 resulted in 22 rural accommodation providers able to use clean energy solutions, mostly through solar panels, to help power and heat their properties. This focus on alternative energy is expected to increase in 2023 as more tourism businesses focus on the importance of renewables, decarbonization and sustainability.
400+km of new cycling and hiking routes connect visitors to Moldovan nature, culture, cuisine and wine
Moldova took an important step in its journey towards becoming an adventure travel destination in 2022 by marking over 400km of new cycling and hiking routes in central and southern Moldova between the ANTRIM and Moldova on Bike projects. These adventure routes are specifically designed to include some of Moldova’s best landscapes and nature, as well as link rural villages together for unique and immersive cultural and experiences. Many of these routes include recommended stops at local artisans, wineries, traditional restaurants and family-run B&Bs to support small business and rural communities.
Practical Travel Information:
Moldova is visa-free for 90 days for over 100 nationalities, including all EU, UK, and North American citizens and many nationalities from Asia and South America.
Information on the current safety and security situation in Moldova in relation to the war in Ukraine is here.
The official tourism information website is Moldova.Travel, also on Instagram and Facebook. This is hosted and run by the National Inbound and Domestic Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM).
Media Activities and Press Trips
If you would like further information, requests for quotes, or images on any of the topics above or on another story you are working on about Moldova, please contact us at: [email protected]. For more updates, story angles, and press releases, please check out our Media Centre. You can also find more information in our Press Kit.
We do occasionally host press trips and are expected to have several trips in 2023 around the “Tree of Life” cultural calendar and other strategic themes. If you have interest in one of these press trips, email us to be included in our media database. Please include your media kit and/or details about the publication, audience, story angles, and your desired timeframe.