There are no direct flights from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Chisinau. Having checked several airlines and routes, I decided to fly via Vienna with Austrian and Tyrolean Air, flying onboard the Dutch Fokker 100/70 twin jet. We arrived under glorious weather and our Fokker 70 was parked at Chisinau old terminal which was converted to a VIP reception. One of our passengers turned out to be a VIP businessman and he was rushed away in a fancy Mercedes, while the rest of the passengers boarded the airport bus for the short ride to the terminal. Our transit through immigration was surprisingly swift and within minutes I found myself inside the modern terminal trying to exchange some Euros for the Moldavian currency.
Chisinau, formerly Kishinyov, also spelled Kishinev or Kišinov, is the capital of Moldova (Moldavia), situated along the Bâc (Byk) River. The first documentation reference to Chisinau dates from 1466, when it was under the rule of the Moldavian prince Stefan III. After Stefan's death the city fell under the control of the Ottoman Turks. Gradually Chisinau trading importance increased, though the city suffered severe destruction in the Russo-Turkish War of 1788. In 1812 Chisinau was ceded to Russia with the rest of Bessarabia. It was henceforth known by its Russian name, Kishinyov. Following World War I it was included in Romania as Chisinau, but it was ceded with the rest of Bessarabia back to the Soviet Union in 1940 and became the capital of the newly formed Moldavian S.S.R. Heavy damage was inflicted on the city in World War II, but after the war Kishinyov was rebuilt. Newer parts of the city lie on terraces along the Byk; parts of the old town, however, are still subject to flooding. With the collapse of Soviet authority in Moldavia in 1991, the Romanian-language version of the city's name once more came into official use.
Chisinau is situated in the centre of the republic on the river Byk. The city lies on seven hills and occupies the territory of around 120 sq. km. In Chisinau there are 23 lakes which are mostly situated in the parks. The capital of Moldova is considered to be one of the greenest cities in Europe. There are many parks in the city and the trees grow on almost every street. Chisinau is divided into 5 sectors: Centru (translated from Romanian as "center"; this is the oldest part of the city), Riscani, Botanica, Ciocana and Buiucani.
Chisinau has a continental climate, characterized by hot dry summers and windy winters. Winter temperatures are often below 0 °C, although they rarely drop below −10 °C. In summer, the average temperature is approximately 25 °C, however, temperatures sometimes can reach 35 to 40 °C.
The city has a number of luxury and budget hotels to offer its visitors. Some of the best hotels of the city are Leogrand Hotel, and Convention Centre and Hotel National. I stayed in the 3 star Cosmos Hotel, which was suitable for a couple of days. The rooms were clean and simple and this for a price off 25 euros per night, this included breakfast as well.
Chisinau is sometimes called the White City, as many of the older building are of white limestone. The quarry is now the site of Milestii Mici wine cellars, the largest wine cellar in the world. The collection is made up of 1.5 million bottles of wine and is registered with Guinness World Records.
The heart of Chisinau city centre is dominated by The Triumph Arch. It combines a range of Greek and Roman architectural styles with its Corinthian style columns being the most distinct.
The National History Museum which gives visitors a good insight into Moldovian history
Visiting Chisinau is a wonderful opportunity to discover a place that is rich in history and culture.
The country is not visited by many people; I had the opportunity to go outside the city and saw old monasteries, rolling hills, dense forests and friendly people. No matter what you decide to do on your journey, take the time to enjoy Chisinau for all its grandeur.
Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia & www.britannica.com