Do you or someone you know need help?
If you are in Australia
Call 1300 555 135
If you are overseas
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
A volcano erupted on White Island, New Zealand on 9 December 2019. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Updates are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Moldova overall.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Large political protests have occurred. Public protests and events can turn violent and attract a heavy police presence. Monitor the media. Avoid protests and rallies.
The security situation in Transnistria is fragile. Transnistria is not controlled by the government. Reconsider non-essential travel to this region.
Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common, particularly in Chisinau. Criminals target trains and hotel rooms. Keep your personal belongings close.
Police officers, or people posing as police, may ask for bribes. Ask to see ID. Offer to go to a police station to pay any fines.
Online dating and marriage scams can happen. Be wary of business, dating or marriage proposals from people you've met online.
Moldova is in an earthquake zone. Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Full travel advice: Safety
Tick-borne diseases are a risk. Ticks are active in forested areas from spring to autumn. Check your body for ticks if you travel to forests.
Waterborne, foodborne and infectious diseases are common. Boil tap water or drink bottled water. Avoid ice cubes, unpasteurised dairy products, and raw or undercooked food.
Medical facilities and supplies are limited. If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated. Make sure your insurance covers this.
Full travel advice: Health
Penalties for drug crimes are severe. They include long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Always carry ID documents. If you can't show them when asked, police can detain and fine you.
It's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level over 0%. It's also illegal to take photos of military sites, government buildings and other infrastructure.
It's illegal to operate a business without first registering it. Register with the State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Informational Development.
Same-sex relationships are legal in Moldova, but aren't widely accepted. Avoid public displays of affection.
Full travel advice: Local laws
Avoid entering or exiting through Transnistria. If you decide to travel through Transnistria despite our advice, ask your insurer if you need special travel insurance for your trip.
If you're visiting for up to 90 days in a 6-month period, you won't need a visa. For longer stays, you'll need a visa.
Record your entry date, and check your visa dates carefully. If you overstay, authorities may deport you.
Strict regulations cover the export of antiques, artworks and items of historical significance. Get approval from the Moldovan Department of Monuments.
Border controls can be strict. Always carry your passport when you cross. Monitor the media. Ask transport providers for updates on border conditions.
Full travel advice: Travel
Recently, large political protests have occurred in Chisinau and other places in Moldova.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. Local street disturbances can start with little warning.
Protests can attract a heavy police presence.
To stay safe:
avoid demonstrations, protests and street disturbances
monitor the news for possible unrest and avoid those places
obey the local authorities
Events in Ukraine have led to political tension in Transnistria.
Transnistria is not under government control. The security situation is fragile.
Reconsider your need to travel to Transnistria or choose a less risky destination to visit.
If, despite the risks, you choose to travel to Transnistria:
confirm your travel insurance will cover you
arrange personal security measures
make contingency plans
stay as short a time as possible
Pickpocketing, bag snatching and other petty crimes are common, particularly in Chisinau. Criminals target trains and hotel rooms.
Police officers, or people posing as police officers, may ask for bribes, including in tourist areas.
Internet fraud can originate in Moldova. This includes some dating and marriage scams.
To reduce the risk of being a target for crime:
keep your personal belongings close, particularly on trains and in other crowded areas
be wary of business, dating or marriage proposals from people you've met online
monitor local media for crime news
If police stop you and ask you to pay a fine:
ask to see their ID
offer to go to the nearest police station to pay
get an official receipt for any payments
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Moldova, they can still happen.
In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in European cities.
To stay safe:
look out for possible threats
avoid possible targets for terrorist attacks
report anything suspicious to police
monitor the media for emerging threats
take official warnings seriously
follow the advice of local authorities
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Moldova is in an earthquake zone.
Severe weather, including heavy snow and wind, may cause power outages.
If a natural disaster happens:
secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
keep in contact with your friends and family
monitor local media and other sources
follow the advice of local authorities
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Moldova. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
what the medicine is
how much you'll take
that it's for personal use
Tick-borne encephalitis and other tick-borne diseases are a risk, especially in forest areas.
Ticks are common in forested areas from spring to autumn, April to October.
To protect yourself from disease:
use insect repellent
wear long, loose fitting, light-coloured clothing
check your body for ticks during and after travel in forest areas
Waterborne and foodborne diseases are common.
Other common infectious diseases include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
boil tap water or drink bottled water
avoid ice cubes
avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
avoid unpasteurised dairy products
Get medical advice if you suspect food poisoning, or if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Medical facilities are limited. They often don't have enough medical supplies.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to evacuate to somewhere with proper care. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
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.
Moldova has severe penalties for possessing, using or trafficking illegal drugs. These include long sentences in local jails and heavy fines.
You must always carry identity documents. This could be a copy of your passport.
If you can't produce identity documents for police when asked, they can detain and fine you.
It's illegal to:
drive with a blood alcohol level greater than 0%
take photos of military sites, government buildings and other infrastructure
Businesses need to register with the State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Informational Development. It's illegal to operate a business without first registering it. This also applies to businesses in Transnistria.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Dual citizenship is legally recognised in Moldova.
If you're an Australian citizen, but also a citizen of Moldova, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited. You may also be subjet to different entry/exit requirements.
Same-sex relationships are legal, but aren't widely accepted. Avoid public displays of affection.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
If you're visiting for up to 90 days within a 6-month period, you won't need a visa.
For longer stays, you'll need a visa.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact an embassy or consulate of Moldova, or visit the Moldova Government website for details. They'll tell you about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Record your entry date, and where applicable, check your visa dates carefully. If you overstay your visa, authorities may deport you.
Avoid entering or exiting Moldova through Transnistria.
Several checkpoints exist along the routes into and out of Transnistria. These are not official border or immigration control points.
If you enter through Transnistria, your passport will not show a valid entry stamp. This may create problems when you try to leave the country.
You need to register at your port of entry.
Passport control authorities at border crossings automatically register your entry, unless you're entering through Transnistria.
Strict regulations cover the export of antiques, artworks and items of historical significance. This includes modern art and posters if they're rare or valuable.
If you want to export these items, first seek approval from the Moldovan Department of Monuments.
You'll need to provide evidence of approval to export when you leave. You may also need receipts of purchase.
Moldovan customs authorities must process all goods for entry into Ukraine. Businesses based in Transnistria could face difficulties importing or exporting goods if the business isn't registered in Moldova.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Moldova Leu (MDL).
You can easily change euros and US dollars for MDL at banks and licensed money-changers. You can rarely exchange Australian dollars.
Moldova has a cash-based economy.
Some major hotels accept traveller's cheques and credit cards.
Always keep your credit card in sight. Fraud is a risk.
You'll find very few ATMs outside the capital. Take care at ATMs. People have reported unauthorised withdrawals after using electronic banking in Moldova.
Where possible, use ATMs in controlled areas, such as banks, shops and shopping centres.
Pressure on border controls in Europe has increased due to mass movement of asylum seekers.
Always carry your passport when you cross borders.
Monitor local media and ask transport providers for up-to-date information on border conditions.
You'll need an an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Moldova.
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
Roads are poorly maintained and street lighting is rare.
Driving is hazardous because of pedestrians, farm vehicles and wandering livestock.
If you intend to drive in Moldova:
find out about local road rules
avoid driving at night
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Always wear a helmet.
Use only official taxis and limousines. Book these through your hotel.
Unofficial taxis may overcharge. They may also not comply with safety standards.
Taxis that look official can still be unlicensed.
Don't share a taxi with strangers.
Buses connecting Chisinau with other major cities are frequent.
Standards are not the same as in Australia. Minibus accidents are common. Most buses are old and overcrowded.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Moldova's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
family and friends
Call 903 or go to a hospital.
Call 902 or go to the local police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Moldova.
For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Podkolokolny Pereulok 10a/2
109028 Moscow, Russia
Phone: +7 495 956 6070
Fax: +7 495 956 6170
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can’t contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.