The capital of Moldova has managed to keep its plucky character despite plenty of upheavals. Almost destroyed by an earthquake in 1940 and bombing in WWII, it has made an impressing comeback since. In the last few years, gleaming new skyscrapers have put the old Soviet tower-blocks firmly in the shade – and even though Chişinău is no frontrunner in terms of style, it has kept a special charm. By day the Central Market is full to the rafters with local cheeses, wines and cognacs. Pick up the vibrant atmosphere and delicacies for a picnic in the city’s sprawling parks.
Russia’s famous poet, Alexander Pushkin, once spent three years exiled to Chişinău. Apparently with deep dislike.
At night the smell of the all-night flower markets tempts couples streaming out of the ballet theatres and circuses. It is clear that Chişinău is a city that never forgot how to enjoy itself.