Moldavia is a land filled with history, cities and medieval citadels, monasteries and fortified churches, ethnographic riches, a special gastronomy and famous vineyards.
Whether you want to visit the monasteries in Neamţ such as Văratec or Agapia, the Neamţ citadel, Iaşi (Iassy) - the capital of Moldavia - or adventure in the Carpathian Mountains to admire Ceahlău’s greatness, the spectacular Bicaz Gorges or simply want to relax in a Balneo resort such as Slănic Moldova, then Moldavia is the place for you!
As you will see, this region requires time to discover so make sure you take your time to explore the cultural and natural wonders of Moldavia or explore a complete wine tour such as from Odobeşti to Cotnari.
Visit the ethnographic centres Târpeşti – Valea Ozanei and Balcani, Brusturoasa.
Try “hârzob” – a trout marinated in brine and wrapped in fir tree leaves – a dish specific to the Oituz valley, stew (made from veal, pork and gravy with polenta and a fried egg), and the „poale-n brâu” pies (sweet cheese pies).
Taste traditional wines like Grasă de Cotnari, Fetească Albă, Băbească Neagră or Busuioacă de Bohotin.
Attend the Folk Theatre Festival, one of a kind in Romania that takes place in August.
Take a road trip along the beautiful Transrarău road that connects the towns of Pojorâta and Chiril.
Good to know
The tourist information centre in Iaşi can be found at 12 Unirii Square.
In Piatra Neamţ the tourist information centre is located in Petrodava Square.
In hilly Moldavia you have the possibility to go hiking, climbing, rafting and do all sorts of winter sports.
Transrarău road is closed during winter.
How to get here
Moldavia is relatively easy to get to by plane, train or by car due to its proximity to central Europe.
There are international trains connecting important cities in Europe with Transylvania or Bucharest, from where you can easily take a connection anywhere to Moldavia.
Most people who visit Moldavia rent a car from the Bucharest or Iaşi airports, or from other important cities such as Galaţi or Bacău. You can also easily get around with your own means of transportation.
The region is crossed by some of the most important European roads: E85 E581, and E577. For those of you who prefer transportation by coach you can access the Autogari website where you can find buses from almost all main cities in Romania and Europe. Have a pleasant trip!
Presently divided between Romania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, the historical region of Moldavia has always been at the intersection of great empires such as the Austrian, Russian and Turkish, each determining, in one way or another, its destiny.
The Romanian Moldavia is rich in natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions endowing it with a special beauty. It is divided by Siret river in two main areas: an western one – sub-Carpathian - and an eastern one - a plateau and a plain.
The Sub-Carpathian Moldavia
A fairytale land mentioned in many literary writings, the western part of Moldavia unfolds from the Carpathians continuing with green hills, orchards and vineyards, revealing small picturesque towns and villages where special historical-cultural attractions are preserved.
The spirit of the region is best embodied in the monasteries and churches found here, true cultural heritages that embrace various styles from Gothic to Byzantine. Some impressive monasteries can be found in Văratec, Agapia, Neamţ, Bistriţa, Secu, Războieni and Pângăraţi.
Witnesses of Moldavia’s turbulent history are the great Neamț citadel, the New Fortress in Roman, Războieni Monastery or the ruins of the Cneji Palace in Durău.
Don’t miss the Princely court in Piatra Neamţ or the Cathedral. The ethno-folk heritage is very rich in Moldavia and reflects its historical past. Ancient crafts such as weaving, ceramics and icon painting are still alive and well in the rural areas so don’t miss acquiring some true souvenirs from this region.
For those of you who love nature and spending time outdoors don’t miss exploring the Moldavian mountains to discover some of the most beautiful and spectacular mountain areas in the country such as Bicaz Gorges National Park, Izvorul Muntelui Lake, Vânători-Neamţ Natural Park with its bison or Ceahlău National Park with its legendary massif Ceahlău and the Duruitoarea Waterfall.
In resorts such as Durău or Slănic Moldova you will find rustic landscapes and relaxation. You can find unique moments of relaxation by visiting the Salt Mine in Târgu Ocna, famous for treatments of respiratory afflictions.
The Hilly Moldavia
The eastern part of Moldavia is similar to a vast hilly plain up to the Danube and Prut rivers with Iaşi, Bacău and Galaţi as the main centres of the region. Here you will find many fascinating monuments and buildings, testimonies to the interesting past of Moldavia such as the Mărăşeşti Mausoleum, the Sturdza Palace in Miclăuşeni, the Cuza Palace in Ruginoasa, Ghika Castle in Dofteana, various monasteries and churches such as St. Nicholas Church in Aroneanu.
Iaşi (Iassy), the capital of Moldavia, a university town and the most important cultural centre in the eastern part of Romania, abounds in monuments and historical buildings, true architectural jewels such as the Palace of Culture, Golia Monastery or the Monastery of the Three Hierarchs.
Adding to these is the youthful spirit of the city due to the thousands of students that come here for University and a romantic feeling given by Copou Park and the Botanical Garden.
If you reach Galaţi, an important port on the Danube, make sure to take a walk along the river bank and admire the 17th century church St. Precista or visit the Botanical Garden where you can admire the Aquarium from the Natural Sciences Museum.
Any visit to Moldavia should include a tasting of its famous wines from the Cotnari vineyard such as Grasa de Cotnari, Tămâioasa românească, Feteasca albă and Frâncuşa.
Another well-known vineyard is in Huşi producing Busuioacă de Bohotin wine, or the one in Odobeşti that makes Galbena Odobeşti wine. In Bucium and Panciu sparkling wine is produced, and if you are truly passionate about Oenology you can visit the Wine and Vineyard Museum located in Hârlău.
The charm of this area is enhanced by the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.
The locals are also well known for keeping their ancient traditions.
Considered as the most sophisticated regional cuisine in Romania, Moldavian cuisine reflects the diversity of food dishes.
Distinguished by the variety of borscht with homemade noodles and meat cuts with vegetables or with vegetables only, slow-cooked dishes with either poultry or pigs meat (such as meatballs, stuffed cabbage rolls or vine leaf rolls and stews) or the numerous pies with different sweet and salty/spicy fillings (sweet or salty cheese, apple, pumpkin, mushrooms, cabbage or even meat), Moldavian cuisine will surely delight you.
In order to convince you of the special flavour of the dishes you must try some of these culinary specialties: “chiroşti” -homemade rolls filled with sweet cheese, polenta with pumpkin cooked in the oven, scrambled eggs with garlic, onion pie, chicken and pork borscht, as well as the fantastic giblets borscht–usually served the day after a traditional celebration (weddings etc.), pork head with sour cabbage, “pârjoale moldoveneşti” -meatballs, “tocană răzăşească” - stew with beef meat and vegetables, “tochitură moldovenească” -stew made from pan-fried cubed pork, sausage, and pork giblets with poached eggs and cheese on top), pilaf with chicken, “alivenci” - Moldavian traditional custard tart with cornmeal and cream cheese.
These flavorful dishes go very well with famous wines such as Grasa de Cotnari, Busuioaca de Bohotin, Galbena de Odobesti, Zghihara of Huşi, Fetească and Băbeasca Neagră.