The best time to visit Moldova is April or May as it’s not too hot and the countryside is abound with colour, perfect for walkers and bird watchers. There are plenty of things to do in Moldova, no matter when you’re thinking of visiting, with border crossings into Romania opening up a whole new world whilst city sightseeing unveils myriad monuments and wide open green spaces.
“Chisinau is very diverse and safe, and contains several examples of Soviet architecture interspersed with parks and green spaces, as well as several wide, three-lane boulevards aligned with mulberry and acacia trees to support well-maintained roads and a good public transport system.”
Located in a remote but beautiful part of Moldova, Tipova Monastery comprises three main complexes that have been dug out of the rocks along the banks of the Dniestr River. The oldest complex is the Church of the Feast of the Holy Cross (11th century). The remaining two are the Church of St Nicholas (14th century) and Horodiste (16th century). If you follow the path past the caves you’ll enjoy a nice nature hike that ends in a lovely waterfall. Within each cave are monk’s cells, enough for up to 700, though there are less than 20 monks living there now.
This monastery wins the award for the most beautiful in all of Moldova. The complex is made up of five churches, a refectory, several abbeys, and monk cells. Its beauty comes from the Bessarabia architectural style. The centrepiece for the complex is the Mother of God Church, built at the end of the 19th century. After you’ve explored the grounds and learnt about the unique history of the monastery (it was once a psychiatric hospital during the Soviet era) enjoy a nice stroll through the orchards.
Romania isn’t a common travel destination and it’s one that we ended up visiting by happy chance, but this Central European country gets a strong grip on your heart. Travel to Bucharest wasn’t top of our hit list and we had no real idea what to expect of the city or the country. Happily Bucharest turned out to be a fabulous travel destination. Romania as a whole is so delightful that we’ve ended up basing ourselves here for the last 3 years. Romania’s capital, Bucharest, the ninth largest city in Europe by population is one of the most enchanting cities we’ve ever visited. Lets take a look at some great reasons for travelling to Bucharest, things to do and what to see.
In the past Bucharest didn’t really have one central place where people would go out or meet with their friends. So a couple of years ago the City Council decided that the city needed such a place. They designated a couple of streets for this area, laid cobblestones and forbid most traffic, and so now Bucharest has an Old Town. The locals were joking that it must be the newest Old Town in the world…
The Old Town of Bucharest is a real success story, one that has transformed the city completely. Hundreds of bars, trendy cafes, and restaurants have opened in Bucharest in the last few years. The Old Town is the place to be in Bucharest now, and you’ll instantly fall in love with the incredibly lively atmosphere. A bit quiet in the morning, lively during the day, and bustling with activity in the evening, The Old Town is the place that you will end up going to every day of your stay in Bucharest.
Revolution Square in the Centre of Bucharest is a place with lots of history. The monuments and the buildings that you see today have been completely restored and you wouldn’t tell that some of the darkest chapters of Romanian history have been written here.
The Parks of Bucharest
Bucharest is a very green city and there are many parks you can explore. I only visited three – Herăstrău Park, Cișmigiu Park, and Parcul Izvor. I was told that these three parks are not to be missed, but if you have more time you can also visit the Botanic Garden, Parcul Operei, Parcul Tineretului, and the Urban Delta – Parcul Natural Văcărești – is supposedly very nice as well.HOne of the biggest parks of Bucharest – Herastrau Park – is definitely worth a visit. You can rent a bike, go on a boat ride, or tire the kids out in one of the playgrounds. There are several food stalls in the park, and if you go on a weekend or in summer, the chances are high that there will be some kind of an event here.
The Churches of Bucharest
You cannot walk for five minutes without running into a church in Bucharest. Some of the nicest churches in the centre of town are:
- Stavropoleos Monastery – Biserica Stavropoleos
- Church of Saint Anthony – Biserica Sfântul Anton
- Kretzulescu Church – Biserica Crețulescu
- St. Nicholas Church – Biserica Sf. Nicolae – Șelari
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