You might be thinking twice about considering Moldova as your next destination country to take the family and kids because one none of your friends have ever been there, two no one has ever said a thing or two about it to you, and three you know that this small European country is known for its wine industry. Well, you would also probably ask, “Is Moldova the most boring country in the world?”. Definitely not! The fact that you know too little about it is a good sign that you should take the kids to a Moldovan adventure. Moldova is certainly a country full of amazing possibilities.
Let yourself, including your little ones, enjoy the mystery and thrill of uncertainly.
Though the plethora of child-friendly attractions you expect from other major cities and countries from Europe may not be present in Moldova, the country so rich in history and culture still has something that will trigger your kids’ interest. Here are some of the top things to do and places to see in Moldova with kids.
1. Explore “Kishi-now”
Are you curious about what “Kishi-now” is? Just relax! It is simply how locals actually pronounce the country’s capital city of Chisinau. Whenever you are in Moldova, it is best to kick off your Moldovan adventure with your kids and family in the country’s capital. The city is home to amazing architectural wonders that the kids will find interesting, including the Triumph Arch, a 42 foot (13-meter) tall stone arch that was built in 1840 to commemorate the Russo-Turkish War. Though the roads, especially the sidewalks in the capital, may be a little challenging for you to navigate, especially if you carry strollers, the city is home to playgrounds and parks where the kids can run, play around, and even climb trees. One of your best park options is the Rose Valley that is a popular running area with trails and park. Also don’t forget to visit the Memorial Park that is home to the WWII orange pyramid and the St. Theodor Tiron Church.
2. Check the wine collection at Milestii Mici
Yes. I know, wines are not for kids, much less for toddlers. But remember, Moldova’s production of wine is the highest in the world per capita and it is among the top world wine exporters in the world. It is almost impossible for you to miss the chance of visiting vineyards and wine cellars whenever you are in Moldova. While kids may not be able to taste a glass of Romanesti, yet, visiting Milestii Mici is a good way to educate kids about wine varieties. Remember that knowledge is power! The fact that Milestii Mici’s cellar holds the world’s largest collection of wines is a bonus.
3. Visit Cricova
While we are still talking about wines, vineyards, and cellars, you can arrange a visit to the largest underground winery in the world located in Cricova. Again, no wine tasting for kids, but they can just simply enjoy the history of the place during the guided tour.
4. Travel to Tirnauca
Kids and teenagers, with the supervision of adults can enjoy a trek at the East bank of the river Dniester in Tirnauca, Moldova. You can also try kayaking, hiking, and mountain-bike adventures while visiting. But the most notable attraction that you will find amusing is the Butylka hotel and museum in the shape of a bottle, which is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world.
5. Don’t miss a trip to Orheiul Vechi
If visiting wineries is something you wouldn’t want the kids to do, then, you will have to make sure that a visit to the country’s most important historical site – the archaeological complex at Orheiul Vechi is in order. This cultural and historical complex is home to Eastern Europe’s most unusual sceneries. You will find ancient building and monuments in the valley shaped by Raut River. But the most iconic of all is the Cave Monastery. Not only does it offer the most impressive sight at Orheiul Vechi, but it also has a rich history. At the site, you will find a museum that will provide you with interesting information and will let you see unusual exhibits.
6. Get some culture at Moldova’s prime museums
When in Moldova with kids, you don’t just visit century-old fortresses and monasteries, but also spend time museum-hopping. Among the top museum options are the National Museum of History of Moldova that holds a great number of objects, all from excavations, acquisitions, and donations, the Soviet-era National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, the oldest museum in the country that houses stuffed-animal displays and exhibits about natural history of Moldova that will surely thrill your kids, and the Pushkin House And Museum, which was where the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin spent roughly three years in exile.
7. Strike a pose with Moldova’s Little Prince Statue
At less than four inches in height, this iconic status of the fictional character by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry can be easily missed because of its size. Kids will find the smallest public statue in all of Moldova charming. Take the kids to the lake in Valea Morilor Park to strike a pose with this bronze monument.
8. Join the Wine Festival
If you think that kids will not find the wine festival interesting just because they can’t get a taste of the world-renowned Moldovan wine yet, think again. The Wine Festival may be the very reason why you’re visiting Moldova with kids. The festival may also be mainly for the wine lovers, but it is also for tourists of all kind and kids are no exception. There are stalls selling food and crafts that the kids can visit. They will also enjoy listening to traditional music, while donning the country’s traditional clothes.
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!