Living in Moldova
Last updated on Feb 05, 2023
Summary: People describe life in Moldova as a mix of traditional and modern. Expats love the low cost of living, the friendly people, and the beautiful countryside. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 per month. The population of Moldova is approximately 3.5 million people. The largest cities in Moldova are Chi?in?u (the capital), B?l?i, Tiraspol, and Tighina. The cons of living in Moldova include the lack of job opportunities, the lack of infrastructure, and the lack of access to modern amenities. Additionally, the country is still recovering from a long period of economic decline and corruption.
What do I need to know about living in Moldova?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Moldova, they said:
"To retire in Moldova it is advised to research the local laws from the Migration and Asylum Bureau at www.mup.gov.md. It is also important to find out about the cost of living, healthcare and entertainment options in Moldova. It is vital to secure a valid residence permit in order to stay permanently in the country, and to register with the Immigration Service to have access to all public services. Additionally, you should find a good local doctor and arrange for sufficient medical insurance. Additionally, it is important to consider visa requirements for travelling in and out of the country, and any additional visa requirements for non-residents. Finally, you should become familiar with the Moldovan culture and lifestyle in order to ensure a smooth transition into the country," remarked another expat in Moldova.
"1.Profit on eating healthy and organic Moldovan food! 2. Be kind in clubs and bars, but do not exagerate-people will try to profit on you 3. Moldovan Women are the best in the world in matter of everything: smart, good wifes, good at work, good at cooking.... 4. Try to avoid discussions with drunk local people- they may kick your ass," explained one expat living in Chisinau.
What do I need to know before moving to Moldova?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Moldova, they said:
"Before moving to Moldova, it is important to know the laws and regulations regarding the entry and residence of foreigners. It is also helpful to familiarise yourself with the country's language, culture, and customs. You should also ensure you have obtained a visa and the necessary paperwork to work or study in Moldova. Additionally, make sure to research the cost of living and find accommodation prior to your arrival. You should also ensure that you have access to medical care and insurance, and familiarise yourself with the healthcare system. Knowing basic information about Moldova's climate, transportation, currency and financial system can also be helpful," said another person in Moldova.
How do I find a place to live in Moldova?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"Finding a place to live in Moldova is relatively easy. The most popular way is to rent an apartment from a landlord either directly or through a real estate agency. It is also possible to stay in one of the many hotels and guesthouses available throughout the country. Many expats choose to rent a house as well but this can be more expensive. Additionally, Couchsurfing and Airbnb are both popular options in Moldova. Lastly, there are a number of student dormitories available in and around the country's major cities," replied an expat in Moldova.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Moldova?
"Expat homes and apartments in Moldova tend to be modern and well-equipped with amenities. Many come with an American-style kitchen, complete with refrigerator, gas stove, oven, microwave, and amenities such as toasters and coffee makers. Apartments are generally spacious with balconies and western-style bathrooms. Many expat homes or apartments come with air conditioners and have access to internet, cable, or satellite TV. Many expat residences also have indoor parking or parking spaces," replied an expat in Moldova.
What is the average cost of housing in Moldova?
If you are thinking about moving to Moldova, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"The cost of housing in Moldova varies depending on the type of residence and location. Generally, the cost of renting an apartment in the capital city of Chisinau can range from around US$200 to US$1,000 per month. The cost of buying property in Moldova tends to be slightly cheaper than the cost of renting, with prices starting from around US$500 per square meter in some parts of the country," added another person living in Moldova.
How do I meet people in Moldova?
When we asked people living in Moldova about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:
"The best way to meet people in Moldova is to get involved in local activities or initiatives. This could include attending cultural festivals and concerts, joining a local sports team or club, or signing up for language classes and other social activities. Additionally, connecting with people online through social media and professional networking sites is an effective way to meet new people. Expat communities are also a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and backgrounds," replied an expat in Moldova.
"The most famous attractions are Wine cellars, clubs. I recommend visiting in period May-October, to fond an extremely lovely green city such as Chisinau. The prices for food are from very low (local production) to average (for some imported goods), for services are quite low," remarked another in Chisinau.
What should I bring when moving to Moldova?
People living in Moldova were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:
"Clothing suitable for changing seasons, comfortable and casual shoes, winter coat and accessories, raincoat or umbrella, a day bag, toiletries, medications, any relevant documentation and records, laptop and necessary chargers, surge protector and extension cords, basic cleaning and kitchen supplies, bedding, towels, and kitchen linens, books, DVDs, board games, small and inexpensive souvenirs, tapestry or wall art, some form of entertainment, a first-aid kit, flashlight, and snacks," explained one expat.
Where should I setup a bank account in Moldova?
We asked expats in Moldova what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:
"There are several banks in Moldova offering accounts to both residents and nonresidents. Depending on the type of account and services desired, customers can choose among banks such as Banca de Economii (BEM), Victoriabank, Moldindconbank, Mobiasbanca, and Eximbank. Nonresidents can also open accounts with international banks such as Banca Comercial? Român?, Citibank, ProCredit Bank, and OTP Bank. Customers should research these banks and choose one based on their individual requirements and preferences," explained one expat living in Moldova.
Will I be able to find a job in Moldova?
When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Moldova, they reponded:
"There is always a chance to find a job in Moldova and the hiring environment is generally favorable. The greatest demand is for employees with special skills and foreign language knowledge, particularly English. Generally, salary levels are low compared to Western countries. It is also possible to find self-employment opportunities in Moldova if you have the right skills and entrepreneurial mindset. Finding a job can also depend on a person's experience, qualifications, and ability to network," said another expat in Moldova.
"Opening your own company or buying a Moldovan one may be an idea, otherwise the salaries are very low to survive for a foreigner," added another person living in Chisinau.
What is life like in Moldova?
When we asked people living in Moldova what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:
"Living as an expat in the area can be a rewarding experience. With easy and affordable access to both urban and rural areas, there is a wealth of activities to choose from. The cost of living tends to be lower than in many other cities and the public transportation system is efficient and reliable. Expats have access to a wide range of cultural, sporting, and leisure activities, as well as great shopping and dining options. English is widely spoken in the area, making integration easier. Cultural and language barriers are minimal, making interaction with the local population more natural. Safety is assured and healthcare is publicly funded and of high quality. All in all, the area provides expats with a comfortable and convenient lifestyle," said another expat in Moldova.
"Even though the country is poorest in Europe, you will never say that by being there. The cars on the street are expensive, people are dressed very well, even much better than are other Europeans.The priorities are not travelling or socializing around the world, but building a house, buying a better car, making great parties, where the tables are "ruined" because of the numerous extraordinary good dishes," added another person living in Chisinau.
What do expats in Moldova appreciate most about the local culture?
"Expats in Moldova appreciate the country’s relaxed pace of life, the beautiful landscapes and nature, the relaxed atmosphere and hospitality of the locals, the affordability of living costs, the low crime rate and the strong emphasis on family and traditions. They also enjoy trying the local cuisine, which features dishes like ‘mamalyga’, ‘placinta’ and ‘mititei’ and indulging in the Moldovan wines. Additionally, the cultural scene of Moldova is vibrant, with festivals such as the renowned ‘National Wine Day’, theatre and art exhibitions, as well as music - particularly classical and jazz - often heard, observed and enjoyed around the country," replied an expat in Moldova.
What do expats find most challenging?
"Expatriates often face difficulty with language, lack of familiarity with local customs, cultural differences, homesickness, immigration laws, and financial issues. They also may struggle with communication, establishing and maintaining friendships, job hunting, developing local networks and contacts, and overcoming feelings of isolation," explained one expat living in Moldova.
Is there a lot of crime in Moldova?
We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:
"Crime rates in Moldova are low compared to other countries in the region. Violent crime is not common, with theft, burglary and car theft making up the majority of recorded crimes. Reports of kidnapping, pick-pocketing, and scams against foreigners are, however, becoming increasingly common, especially in tourist areas," remarked another expat in Moldova.
Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Moldova accepting of differences?
"Moldova is home to a wide range of ethnic and religious diversity. The country is made up of the majority Moldovans (77%), plus Ukrainians (14%), Russians (7%), Gagauz (4%), Bulgarian (2%) and Romani (1%). Despite the country's limited size and population, this diversity is well integrated and accepted. The majority of the Moldovan population subscribes to the Eastern Orthodox faith, but religious minorities, including Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as people of other faiths or no faith are also present. Generally speaking, the people of Moldova are accepting of new cultures and beliefs and have a history of warmly welcoming people of different backgrounds," added another person living in Moldova.
"Foreigners (men) are very well tolerated by the feminine population and quite bad tolerated by men. They see this more as a competition: who is better? If you are just a normal guy (as a foreigner), who does not involve in conflicts, this means that you will be fine. Gays are not tolerated. Blacks are tolerated, but you will see just 0.000001% from the population," explained one expat living in Chisinau.
What are the schools in Moldova like?
"Primary and secondary education in Moldova is primarily provided by public schools and is mandatory for children from ages 6 to 15. At the elementary and secondary school levels, a variety of educational programs are available to children, including general education, vocational and special education. At the higher education level, Moldova has several universities, including the State University of Moldova, Moldova State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, European University of Moldova, Technical University of Moldova and K Bykau University. These universities offer undergraduate and graduate level courses, including specializations in law, medicine, engineering, economics, science and technology," commented one expat when asked about in Moldova.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
- What do I need to know before moving to Moldova?
- How do I find a place to live in Moldova?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Moldova?
- What is the average cost of housing in Moldova?
- Should I buy or rent a home in Moldova?
- What should I pack when moving to Moldova?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Moldova?
- Why do people move to Moldova?
- How are healthcare services Moldova?
- What are medical services in Moldova like?
- What are typical rents in Moldova?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?