A capital city which seemingly is a huge mall
If you travel in rural Moldova, you will soon understand that there is nothing interesting to keep you there. Till you arrive in Chisinau…
This is not just the capital of a poor (in fact, the poorest) country in Europe. It’s the powerhouse of the struggling Moldovian economy roughly representing 60% of its GDP.
Only for this, Chisinau could be considered a city-state. But how is this city? Its population is over 500.000 but it looks bigger than it is.
As a mix of 19th century architecture, with Stalinist grandeur constructions, wide avenues, parks and plazas and kitchy modern buildings which mushroomed in the post-Soviet era, Chisinau may not be the most attractive capital in Europe but is certainly one of the weirdest.
It’s lively and pleasant to walk around during the day – for the night we have no idea. We spent three nights parked outside Tree House, a hotel with swimming pool at the outskirts of the city.
We parked outside the Grand Hall – one of the numerous Malls in the city and walked more than 12 kms following the Stefan Cel Mare Blvd. towards the Triumph Arch and from there to the vast park around the Valea Moritor lake.
This city means business more than history or arts. It’s incredible the amount of shops, malls and commercial centres in and around the city.
The Plata centrala – the food market – is an interesting spot, where you can buy fresh meat, fish and diary products. Photography is not allowed inside, the security guide was pretty harsh with my for a single photo (see it published).
Would you live in a city like this, on the northeastern corner of Europe, far from the beach or any other attraction? Well, for a fantastic salary I could live anywhere for 1-2 years, just to understand the place. Chisinau could keep happy most couples who like shopping more than anything else.