- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Moldova. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- There has been a significant influx of asylum seekers into Europe, causing localised disruption to cross-border road and train transport services. Travellers should be aware of the possibility of further disruptions, make appropriate contingency plans and follow the instructions of local authorities. See Local travel.
- Australians do not need a visa to travel to Moldova for stays up to 90 days within a six month period. See Entry and Exit.
- On 30 October 2016 presidential elections will be held. This may lead to an increased number of politically motivated demonstrations. You should avoid all demonstrations, rallies and localised street disturbances, especially political ones, as they may turn violent and attract a heavy police presence. See Safety and security.
- The security situation in the Transnistria region is unpredictable as it is not under government control. We advise Australians to reconsider the need to travel to Transnistria as tensions may be heightened reflecting developments in Ukraine. See Safety and security.
- There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Moldova. The Australian Embassy in Russia provides consular assistance to Australians in Moldova.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
- subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued
- follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Entry and exit
Australians do not need a visa to travel to Moldova for stays up to 90 days within a six month period. Penalties for overstays may be enforced and could include deportation.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Moldova, or visit the Moldova Government website for the most up-to-date information.
Visitors to Moldova must register at their port of entry. Registration is automatically carried out by passport control authorities at border crossings, except when entering through Transnistria.
Entry to Moldova through Transnistria: You should avoid entering Moldova through the Transnistria border. There are numerous checkpoints along the routes into and out of Transnistria, however these are not considered to be border or immigration control points. As such, you will not be registered by Moldovan authorities as having legally entered Moldova. Should you subsequently cross the internal boundary between Transnistria and Moldova proper, you might face difficulties departing as your passport will not show a valid entry stamp.
There are strict regulations covering the export of antiques, artworks (including modern art and even posters if they are particularly rare or valuable) and items of historical significance from Moldova. Approval from the Moldovan Department of Monuments is required for the export of such material and this may be requested at the point of departure. We recommend you keep receipts of any such purchases in case they are requested at your point of departure.
Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Civil unrest/Political tension
In recent times, large politically-motivated demonstrations have occurred in Chisinau and other locations in Moldova. Demonstrations and localised street disturbances can occur with little warning. Violence has been reported at past demonstrations. You should avoid all demonstrations, rallies and localised street disturbances, especially political ones, as they may turn violent and attract a heavy police presence.
On 30 October 2016 presidential elections will be held. This may lead to an increased number of politically motivated rallies.
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Transnistria. The security situation is unpredictable and the region is not under government control. Tensions may be heightened following developments in Ukraine. You should think seriously about your need to travel there, which may mean deferring non-essential travel, staying as short a time as possible, eliminating some activities from your itinerary or choosing a less risky destination.
If you choose to travel, you should be aware of the significant risks and have security measures and contingency plans in place. You should also check to see if your travel insurance covers you.
Petty crime such as pick-pocketing and bag snatching occurs, particularly in Chisinau. Criminals are known to target trains and hotel rooms. There have been cases of police officers or people posing as police officers requesting bribes, including in tourist areas.
Internet fraud, including dating and marriage scams do occur. For more information see our International Scams page.
There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information on terrorism.
Money and valuables
The economy in Moldova is cash-based and travellers cheques and credit cards are only accepted in some of the major hotels. There are very few automatic teller machines (ATM) outside of the capital. Both the Euro and US Dollar are accepted currencies in Moldova, however Australian dollars may not be accepted.
Be careful when using ATMs as there have been cases of unauthorised withdrawals after using electronic banking facilities in Moldova. Where possible, use ATMs in controlled areas, such as within banks, shops and shopping centres. Keep your credit card in sight at all times when making purchases.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
Over the last year there have been significant pressures on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers. Australians should carry their passports when crossing borders, even within the Schengen zone. You should monitor local media and other information from transport providers for up to date information on entry and exit changes and delays.
Foreigners can be subject to frequent document inspections requiring presentation of current passports and visas. You should carry at least a copy of your passport at all times. Failure to provide identity documents may result in detention or a fine.
Roads are poorly maintained and street lighting is rare. Driving at night should be avoided. Sharing the roads with pedestrians, farm vehicles and wandering livestock can make driving particularly hazardous. For further advice, see our road travel page.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Moldova.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Moldova, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
You are required to carry identity documentation (at least a copy of your passport) at all times. Failure to produce appropriate documentation to police upon request may result in detention and fines.
Possession or trafficking of illegal drugs can result in severe penalties, including long jail sentences and heavy fines. See our Drugs page.
Driving with a blood alcohol level greater than zero is an offence.
Foreigners have been questioned and detained for photographing military facilities, government buildings and other infrastructure.
Same-sex relationships are legal in Moldova, but are not widely accepted by society. See our LGBTI travellers page.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Doing business in Moldova
Australians intending to travel to Moldova for business should read our Business travel advice. In addition, our Living and Working overseas page provides further information for Australians considering working and living overseas.
Registration of a business in Moldova is performed through the State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Informational Development. Under Moldovan law, all companies (including those located in Transnistria) are required to register with Moldovan authorities.
In 2006, Ukraine instituted customs regulation for goods imported via Transnistria. All goods must be processed by Moldovan customs authorities to be allowed entry into Ukraine. As such, businesses based within Transnistria could face difficulties importing or exporting goods if they are not registered in Moldova.
Information for dual nationals
Our Dual nationals page provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Medical facilities in Moldova are limited and there are frequent shortages of medical supplies. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities may be necessary. Medical evacuation costs would be considerable.
Other health issues
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles and rabies) are prevalent, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes. You should also avoid unpasteurised dairy products and raw and undercooked food.
Travel in forested areas brings the risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases. Ticks are common from spring to autumn. We recommend you take precautions against being bitten by ticks and use insect repellent.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.
If the matter relates to criminal issues, contact the local police. You should also obtain a police report when reporting a crime.
In an emergency, dial the following 24 hour emergency numbers from a mobile or landline:
- 901 for fire and rescue
- 902 for police
- 903 for Medical Emergencies
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and cannot do to assist Australians overseas. Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Moldova. You can contact the Australian Government at the Australian Embassy in Russia for consular assistance. See contact details below:
Australian Embassy - Moscow
Podkolokolny Pereulok 10a/2
109028 Moscow, Russia
Telephone + 7 495 956-6070
Facsimile + 7 495 956-6170
See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the above Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
If you are travelling to Moldova, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in this country, see the following links: