Capital cities always appeal to me. They have this force that draws everything and everyone towards them. Being in Moldova, I just had to go to Chisinau. Very little was to be found on the internet and the things I could find were mostly negative: ‘ugliest European capital’ or ‘very boring’. I thought to myself: how can a capital be boring? I always love them! That’s why I decided to put these negative reviews to the test.
Travelling to Chisinau is relatively easy. Public transport and roads towards the capital aren’t generally that bad and it usually doesn’t take very long. It is very hard to find the city centre in Chisinau however. I ran into this problem as well and drove around completely clueless for 40 minutes or so. Finally, I realised that the city doesn’t really have a city centre like most European cities. The sights are spread out all over the city.
Just driving in the city made me think that those stories of Chisinau being boring and ugly are probably not true. I saw so many breath-taking sights, that I couldn’t wait to take a closer look. What makes this city unique and beautiful?
This is the main cathedral of the Moldovan Orthodox Church. It looks rather simple for this important position but don’t let the outside fool you. The inside is so beautiful that it’s hard to believe it’s built by humans, it’s out of this world! There is also a tower and a very peaceful park in front of the cathedral. It didn’t surprise me that I saw 2 couples taking wedding photos here as it makes a great photo spot.
This is something I wish every capital has. Yes, crowdedness is something that gives a capital its charm, but I think we can all agree on this: cities like Paris and Berlin are so full of people that it drives us crazy. And it’s not like Chisinau is empty, not at all! It’s just that the city has just enough people walking around to be both vibrant as well as quiet. Wandering around here is so delightful! A traveller’s dream.
What makes the city even less boring are the remnants of the Soviet era scattered all over the city. How can a city with so much history be boring? The most notable building in this category must be the Chisinau State Circus. For a long period of time, this was an abandoned Communist-era circus in Moldova, but now it is once again coming to life. It’s an amazing development!
I think I made it pretty clear by now that Chisinau is definitely not a boring but rather an interesting city. In case I haven’t been able to convince you the city doesn’t deserve being called ugly, just look at these photos.