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Flag of Moldova Moldova
Language: Moldovan, Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz
Capital: Chişinău
Population: 4,128,047
Currency: Moldovan leu (MDL)
Hitchability: <rating country='md' />
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<map lat='47' lng='29' zoom='6' view='0' float='right' />

Hitchhiking is very easy in Moldova. You'll see many locals hitching rides between towns, who usually pay for it. Nevertheless, most travelers were never asked to pay.

To hitchhike in Moldova is not prohibited or outlawed, so you can freely hitchhike everywhere without any restrictions. Even within the capital Chişinău it's possible to hitch rides.

Hitchhiking while standing on the side of the road and raising your hand (so that the hand is parallel with the ground) is used as the sign for locals hitching rides, mostly just some kilometres to the next village. Most drivers understand raising the thumb as autostop and barely ever ask for money, if you're a foreign traveler it could be more common that drivers will buy you food or drinks.

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Hitchhiker somewhere in Chişinău, August 2009

Language controversy

Though the official language of Moldova is called Moldovan, it is really Romanian, identical to the Romanian spoken in Romania. Romanian language origins can be traced from the Latin language, so if you get to know any romanic language like French, Italian or Spanish you can communicate with people at a basic level. Also the majority of people understand and speak Russian as well - for some it's their only language.

Border Crossing

Travelers from the US, EU, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Russia, Switzerland and Japan do not require visa for entering Moldova. They are allowed to stay up to 90 days without visa and registration.

While entering Moldova, you could face some problems when you entered from Ukraine via the autonomous Transnistria region. The Transnistrian border is not controlled by Moldovan authorities, which means you won't automatically get an entry stamp when entering Moldova here. This can cause a lot of problems when leaving Moldova via other border checkpoint than Transnistrian. For more information see the Transnistria page. At least on some border crossings (like Pervomaisk-Kuchurhan border crossing) it's possible to ask for a Moldovan entry stamp.

From/Into Ukraine

  • South-East: If you are traveling e.g. from Odesa into Moldova, best option is to take the Ukrainian M-15 motorway south-west and cross borders at the Palanca-Maiaky border crossing. From the border, you could already try to get rides directly to Chişinău or further. Walking over the border checkpoint is no problem, just keep in mind that you have to walk 3 km from the Ukrainian to the Moldovan side, so best is to hitch a ride just after the first checkpoint towards the next. Another option is the Pervomaisk-Kuchurhan border crossing. This is a route used by many locals. It's also possible to cross on foot.
  • North-West: When traveling from Moldova towards Ivano-Frankivsk or Lviv, you have two border crossings to choose. The best option could be to hitchhike via Edineț, Briceni towards Lipcani to take the Criva-Mamalyha border crossing and go on via Chernovtsy. Walking over by foot is no problem there, but you might have to wait for a lift some time.

From/Into Romania

  • Leușeni-Albița border crossing is one of the most used to enter into/exit Moldova. Is located in the center of Moldova, and it is located close to Chișinău. You can't walk across this border crossing, but the border guards will usually help you to find a lift.


Autonomous regions

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)