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Safety and security
Safety and security
Transnistria (see Advisory)
Transnistria is not under Moldovan government control. The security situation is unstable and unpredictable.
Canadian officials may not be able to provide consular assistance to Canadians in Transnistria.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs, particularly in the capital, Chişinău. Common targets for criminal activity include public transportation, bars and restaurants, and other public areas.
Harassment and assaults take place, particularly against foreigners of Asian and African descent.
Violent crime can occur as well. Do not travel alone after dark.
Theft from hotel rooms is common. Always leave your valuables in a hotel safe.
There have been incidents of theft on trains. Do not leave your compartment unattended, and ensure that the door is secured from the inside. Theft on buses has also occurred.
Organized crime is widespread. Criminal groups are active in casinos and nightclubs and are involved in prostitution.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Credit card and automated banking machine (ABM) fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are handled by others
- use ABMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Beware of Internet fraud and scams, which can range from product purchases to Internet romances.
There have been incidents of police, or people posing as police, requesting bribes. While you may be delayed if you refuse to pay the bribe, there have been few incidences of problems beyond inconvenience. Report any such incident to the Embassy of Canada to Romania in Bucharest.
See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Roads are poorly maintained and most are not well lit. Poor signage and a lack of maintenance also pose hazards. Avoid driving after dark.
Accidents are common and often involve drunk drivers.
Farm vehicles, livestock and other similar hazards also pose risks.
Be cautious when crossing streets, as drivers do not always give pedestrians the right of way.
Only use licensed marked taxis, including at the airport. Avoid flagging taxis on the street and do not share taxis with strangers. Establish a rate or a fixed price before starting the journey to avoid excessive fees.
Minibus accidents are common. Trains are often unheated and prone to cancellation.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. There is an increased potential for such demonstrations due to ongoing political tensions. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
General safety information
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Moldovan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Moldova, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days per six-month period
Entry from Transnistria
If you enter Moldova from the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border, you must register within 72 hours of crossing into Moldova at:
- any branch of the Centre for State Information Resources “Registru”
- any branch of the Bureau for Migration and Asylum (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
These offices will not stamp your passport, but will give you a registration document, which you will need when leaving Moldova.
There are frequent checkpoints in Transnistrian, but these are not border control points.
If you fail to legally register with the Republic of Moldova, you could face significant issues when trying to leave the country.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Eastern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Eastern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in Eastern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical services and facilities are limited and medical supply shortages are common. Labels on medication are not in English or French. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury. Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Always carry adequate identification, such as a passport, as police are entitled to request it at any time. If you fail to produce proper identification when requested to do so by authorities, you could face detention or fines. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case of loss or seizure.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Moldova.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Moldova, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in Moldova. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
Illegal and restricted activities
There is zero tolerance for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs. Penalties are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
Photography of military installations or government buildings is prohibited and could result in detention or even arrest.
Strict regulations are in place on items deemed to be of cultural or historical significance. If you purchased any works of art or antiques, confirm with the Moldovan Department of Monuments if you may leave Moldova with these items before attempting to leave, as a permit may be required.
Although the laws of Moldova do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated.
See Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians abroad for more information.
You can drive with an International Driving Permit for up to 90 days after your arrival in the country. Residents must have a Moldovan driver’s licence. You will also need:
- proof of valid insurance
- if you are not the owner, written permission from the vehicle’s owner
Headlights must be used at all times when driving between November 1 and March 31. Winter tires are mandatory during these months.
You must carry in your car a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a warning triangle.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.
The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.03%.
Strict regulations are in place regarding the export of antiques, artwork and items of historical Moldovan significance. You must seek the approval from the Moldovan Department of Monuments for the export of such material. Proof of the approval may be requested at the point of departure. Heavy fines or charges may be imposed if you fail to provide proof of approval to export.
The currency is the Moldovan leu (MDL).
The economy is primarily cash-based.
Euros are accepted.
Credit cards are increasingly being accepted. Local currency ABMs are available in Chişinău, but only a few accept foreign bank cards.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Moldova is in an active seismic zone.
There is a risk of flooding and landslides.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 902
- medical assistance: 903
- firefighters: 901
There is no resident Canadian government office in Moldova. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Embassy of Canada to Romania in Bucharest.
Bucharest - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Bucharest, Romania and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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