Transnistria

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Flag of Transnistria Transnistria
Information
Language: Moldovan, Russian, Ukrainian
Capital: Tiraspol
Population: 555,500
Currency: Transnistrian ruble
Hitchability:
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Transnistria-map.png

Transnistria (a.k.a Priednistrova, Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR); Приднестрóвская Молдáвская Респýблика in Russian) is a disputed region in Eastern Europe. It declared independency in 1990, but it was never recognized as a sovereign country. Transnistria is located mostly in a strip between the Dniester River and Ukraine; some few villages and the city of Bender are on the Moldovan side of Dniester but still belong to Transistria. Moldova is on the other side of the river Dniester but considers Transnistria as their own territory.

Hitchhiking is common in Transnistria, it has similar conditions as in other places of former USSR . On the main roads, there is a lot of buses (marshrutkas) which are usually kind of cheap (as in Moldova) so that many drivers won't understand why you hitchhike or may expect for a payment, if you say you travel with no money (ask before enter the car: "Bezplatna?"; which means "for free" in Russian and works as well for Moldova and Ukraine..), they usually understand and take you for free with no problem. Also, keep in mind that according to Transnistrian rules you have to register at the police section if you stay for more than 24 hours.

Legally stay in Transnistria

The old rule that you only can stay in the country for a maximum of 8 hours is not valid anymore. If you want to stay more than 24 hours, however, you have to register at a police station. July 2014: At the immigration border office in Ribnitsa, Fede has been told it was 10 hours the maximum stay as transit with no registration, not knowing what really do he followed this indication and exit in time though in Bender nobody cared about and he could have exit even without being checked by police..

You will get the time by which you have to leave written on your immigration ticket you will fill at the border check point. If you are not reminded about the time till which you have to leave - ask the border policemen about the time. If you are not aware of this - you could get problems when you are leaving Transnistria, if you leave later than the time allowed.

Crossing borders

  • From Ukraine: Coming from Odessa, you have to take care which border crossing to take when getting into Moldova. At Transnistrian border checkpoints you won't get an entry stamp for Moldova, which could cause lots of problems when leaving the country. According to locals and personal experience however, the missing entry stamp is not an issue. Also the Ministry of Information told likewise. You will have an Ukrainian exit stamp, so your path of travel will be obvious. You can also get your missing stamp from the authorities in Kishinew. Border crossings have to be negotiated in Russian.
  • If you are coming on the very low-traffic M13 road from Ukraine, expect the border police to be bored and so they might entertain you with some questions. They might suggest they would like a bribe ("You have a present for me, too?"') and then if you hand over the equivalent of 1 Euro everything is gonna be fine.
  • If you go towards Chisinau from Tiraspol take trolleybus to Bender (some 15km of trolleybus..) then bus number 5 and 7 after it. You will cross the transnistrian border without being checked, and will have to get off the bus and go intentionally to police to be registered out..Might also be an option if you overstayed and didn't register.

Money

As they are not recognized by most countries, they are not connected to the international banking system. It means that your good old Visa or MasterCard will not work here at all, you can't even withdraw money from the ATM.
Take cash with you if you want to spend time in Transnistria. Exchange officies accept Ukrainian and Moldovan money as well as EUR and USD. If you are leaving the country try to spend all your local rubles because it is worth as much as Monopoly money outside the country.

Cities