Getting there & away
Chişinău has three bus stations. The north bus station (Autogară Nord; 439 489; Str Petricani) is where nearly all domestic and international lines depart, except Transdniestr-bound lines, which depart from central. Services include 12 daily buses to Străşeni, and regular buses to Bălţi, Recea, Ediniţa and Briceni. There are buses every half-hour between 9.15am and 10pm to Orhei.
There are daily buses to Bucharest ($14; 12 hours), Odesa ($4.15), Moscow ($31.50), St Petersburg, Kyiv and Minsk. You can buy advance tickets here or out of a tiny office at the train station. The information booth charges 1 leu ($0.07) per question.
Domestic and international maxitaxis operate out of the central bus station (Autogară Centrală; 542 185), behind the central market on Str Mitropolit Varlaam. Maxitaxis go to Tiraspol and Bendery every 20 to 35 minutes from 6.30am to 6.30pm, with reduced services until 10pm.
Bus services to/from Comrat, Hânceşti and other southern destinations use the less crowded southwestern bus station (Autogară Sud-vest; 723 983), 5km from the city centre on the corner of Şoseaua Hânceşti and Str Spicului. Above each ticket window is a list of destinations covered by that ticket-seller. Daily local services include five buses to Comrat in Gagauzia and six to Hânceşti. A fleet of private maxitaxis to Iaşi, Romania ($10, four hours) departs from here.
The train station (252 737; Aleea Gării) is swelling with pride after major renovations have made it as modern as any in Western Europe. The left luggage office (24 hr) is 100m north of the main entrance alongside the platform. Ticket counters 13, 14 and 15 are for international destinations; 12 is for destinations within Moldova and the CIS.
International routes include three daily trains to Moscow ($46, 28 to 33 hours), one each to St Petersburg ($31.50, 37 hours), Bucharest ($29.50, 14 hours) and Lviv ($15.50, eight hours), and two a week to Minsk ($19.50, 25 hours). To get to Budapest, you must change in Bucharest.
Five daily trains go to Comrat and four to Ungheni.
Moldavian Airlines (549 339, airport 525 506; www.mdv.md; B-dul Ştefan cel Mare 3) located in the Air Service (www.airservice.md) travel centre offers 12 weekly flights to Timişoara and two daily flights to Budapest, from where it has connections to other European destinations. Also in the Air Service centre is Carpatair (www.carpatair.com), which flies to Timişoara and beyond six times a week.
Air Moldova (546 464, airport 525 506; www.airmoldova.md; B-dul Negruzzi 8) is the state carrier for Moldova, with direct flights to Amsterdam, Istanbul, Larnaca, Minsk, Moscow, Paris, Yekaterinburg, St Petersburg and Sofia.
Aerotour (542 454, airport 525 413; www.transaero.md; B-dul Ştefan cel Mare 4) has three weekly flights to Amsterdam and Rome, two to Paris and Prague, one or two daily flights to Buchar-est, Moscow and Istanbul, two daily flights to Budapest, and a daily flight to Vienna.