Tiraspol is a capital of Transnistria region which is part of Moldova territory situated eastern part of the country. Shortly, we could call it a forgotten remnant of the Soviet Union. Region is an unrecognized country hidden behind a heavily militarized border between Moldova and Ukraine. The region is also known as the “Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic” (or “PMR”), Transnistria is one of the frozen conflict zones that emerged following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

For everyone who wants to visit this place - tourists can enter Transnistria either by train, or by driving across the border – we got in on foot from Ukraine. Although, the latter approach means passing through various military checkpoints, complete with tanks and armed guards. Which is relatively interesting if you ask us, and they all want to know whether you are not a journalist. From the moment we entered we were followed by very odd stares and as we covered the whole capital on foot, we understood that it is not just our imagination.

Almost every country in the world refuses to acknowledge the independence of Transnistria region, nevertheless, this autonomous territory features its own presidential government, a national flag, anthem and even a currency – Transnistrian Ruble. They have adapted and speaking Russian language, you can find everything written in Cyrillic here.

What we found most notable about Transnistria – Tiraspol in particular – is the prevalence of Soviet symbols. It is on completely different level than Ukraine, Belarus or any other post-Soviet country we have seen before. Transnistria goes one step further – referring to itself as a “Soviet state”. Communist motifs appear everywhere from schools and universities, to the nation’s hammer-and-sickle flag. Meanwhile, Tiraspol’s parliament still meets in the city’s “Dom Sovetov” or, “House of the Soviets”.

Helpful tips

Markets. In Tiraspol as in every other location on the world enjoyed by tourists you will have plenty of shops who can sell you overpriced souvenirs.

Prices in grocery shops are the same as through whole region, however, take into consideration that shops accept some shops will only cash and that is Transnistrian Ruble which is a currency only recognized in this region. Once you get it, be sure to spend it all while there!

Transportation. To get to Tiraspol you can use train, bus or car. As it is a capital of Transnistria region, it has great accessibility.

In the city it is common to use public transportation such as buses or small local minibus which drives around the city. Locals advise to use minibus rather than walking. Nevertheless, the city is small, and we managed to walk through it without any serious problems just some odd stares from locals as we were from a different planet.

Best of luck planning your holidays in Tiraspol!

Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Moldova?

If you have anything in mind, please let us know and let’s discuss it.

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