What do you need to know before visiting Pridnestrovie / Transnistria?
This blog post is the travel advice for Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. It contains all the practical information needed for a safe trip there: do you need a visa to Transnistria-Pridnestrovie? What is the process of registration on arrival?
How to get to Tiraspol from Odessa and Chisinau independently and with an organized tour? Do you need an accreditation in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie if you travel as a photographer?
1. Visa to Transnistria - Pridnestrovie: do you need one?
Good news! There is no visa required to enter Pridnestrovie / Transnistria.
If your passport allows you to come to Moldova or Ukraine, then you can travel to Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, too.
However, at the Pridnestrovian / Transnistrian border you will have to register indicating the duration, the place and the purpose of your stay. More about this
There are no visa restrictions on entry for citizens of the European Union and other states.
2. What documents do you need to visit Transnistria - Pridnestrovie?
Registration at the border and the migration card
When entering Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, you should have an identity document with you.
Citizens of the Russian Federation and Moldova can enter the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic with an ID card.
Citizens of other countries are required to have an international passport with them.
Upon entering the territory of Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, you will have to register at the border control and fill out the migration card.
Traveling to Pridnestrovie / Transnistria by car or by bus
If you travel by car or by bus, you have to fill out a migration card at the customs point.
In the migration card you should indicate the address of stay or residence and the period during which you plan to stay in Pridnestrovie / Transnistria.
Traveling to Pridnestrovie / Transnistria by train
If you arrive by train to the Tiraspol railway station, you must go through the registration procedure yourself.
To do this, you should go to the main entrance of the railway station and find a special window with the migration officer. There you have to submit your passport, your train ticket, and a completed migration card.
You can also register at the police station in the city where you plan to stay. In any case, you must do this within 24 hours of arrival.
Sometimes the employee responsible for receiving and processing documents requires the physical presence of the person whose housing you are registering in. In such a case, this person should also bring documents proving that he is the owner of the real estate.
However, as a rule, only your presence is sufficient.
If the registration deadline is coming to an end, and you need to stay longer, you can renew your registration.
For this, you need to go to the local police station with the migration card and your passport. If necessary, you how can also arrange a temporary registration for a longer period.
Fines for loosing your migration card
It's important to keep you registration card until you leave Pridnestrovie / Transnistria.
In case you loose your migration card or stay longer on the territory of Pridnestrovie / Transnistria than indicated in your card, you will have to pay a fine of 50 PMR rubles, that is about 5 US dollars.
3. For how long can you stay in Transnistria - Pridnestrovie?
The maximum allowed registration period is 45 days.
If you need to stay longer in Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, you can prolong your registration card.
You can also apply for a temporary residence permit that is valid for 3 years.
4. Do you need an accreditation in Transnistria-Pridnestrovie if you travel as a photographer or a journalist?
Foreign journalists, including independent freelance journalists, heading to work in Pridnestrovie / Transnistria must obtain accreditation from the State Mass Media Service.
Accreditation can be of two types: short-term (it is necessary if the journalist plans to write about a specific event) and long-term (issued for one year with the possibility of extension).
To obtain a short-term accreditation, you should send an application to the Mass Media Service service by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your application must indicate the full name of the media outlet, its informational focus (political, economic, social, sports, etc.), the location of the editorial office, the region of distribution, postal address, phone number, and email.
The application must also contain the surname, name, the purpose of the assignment, and the period of accreditation.
You should apply no later than 30 days before the expected start of the accreditation.
5. Is it safe to travel to Transnistria - Pridnestrovie?
Safety in Transnistria - Pridnestrovie
The times when Transnistria / Pridnestrovie was closed from the world and western tourists are over.
In fact, Transnistrian / Pridnestrovian government facilitates tourism and develops infrastructure as they understand that tourism helps the local economy.
Still, 10 years ago you could rarely see foreigners in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie. Now, tourists strolling around with a camera don't surprise locals anymore.
The fact that Transnistria is an unrecognized country does not automatically make it less secure.
The crime level is very low, but you still need to take the necessary precautions like not to get drunk, not to walk alone at night, not to do anything illegal, etc.
I've read on the internet the stories about the bribes at the border, but first of all, these stories are ten years old, and it's not known if the travelers, in fact, violated some migration rules and paid not bribes, but fines.
I went to Tiraspol with foreign friends from France, and my friends from Canada and Poland traveled there as well and didn't have any safety issues.
So, Pridnestrovie / Transnistria is generally a safe place to travel. However, it's still better to have a travel insurance in case something happens to you.
6. Travel insurance for Transnistria - Pridnestrovie
Is it worth buying a travel insurance for Transnistria - Pridnestrovie?
It is not possible to purchase travel insurance only for Transnistria as it's a country that is not recognized internationally.
However, you can buy travel insurance for Moldova and Ukraine. The proximity of the borders of Moldova and Ukraine makes insurance very useful for you.
Your stay in Transnistria is usually 2-3 days, and you spend the rest of your travel time in one of the neighboring countries. Make sure you purchase travel insurance in advance, which will cover any costs of medical care in case you need one.
You can check the prices of insurance for Ukraine or Moldova in the online calculator.
Never travel abroad without insurance. The cost of it is close to a few cents a day, and the fact of having a policy protects you against astronomical medical costs that may affect you in some countries.
MORE TO DISCOVER ABOUT TRANSNISTRIA / PRIDNESTROVIE:
This blog post is a travel guide to the special place on Earth Transnistria - Pridnestrovie.
Find out what is Transnistria - Pridnestrovie? Why travel there? What to see and visit in the capital of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Tiraspol?
What are the top things to do in Transnistria - Pridnestrovie?
Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic is one of the most fascinating places you will ever visit. It's an unrecognized republic that was created in 1990 with a unique culture, architecture, monuments, food and attractions.
Experience the most of Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) with a local guide on a carefully selected itinerary. Immerse in the local culture and learn how it is to live in a country that "does not exist".
Here are the best tours and excursions in Pridnestrovie - Transnistria.
Transnistria / Pridnestrovie deserves to spend more than one day here. Most foreigners limit themselves only to visiting Tiraspol and the Bendery Fortress on a one-day excursion, but in fact, you can spend in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie a whole fascinating week.
If you are thinking about spending the night in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie, here are some recommendations for where to stay in Tiraspol and other cities of this unusual self-proclaimed state.
Would you like to spend the night in the castle in Bendery, stay in the hotel from the USSR times in Tiraspol, or maybe sleep in the museum of alcohol?
7. How to get to Tiraspol from Chisinau
Take a bus from Chisinau Central Bus Station. You will see many minibusses with the sign "TIRASPOL - ТИРАСПОЛЬ."
The drivers will shout and actively invite you to choose their bus as there is a competition between the minibus, aka "marshrutka" drivers, and private taxi drivers. They often ask you to pay in cash directly in the minibus.
However, I would advise you to buy a bus ticket at the official ticket office.
The trip by bus takes approximately 1 hour. The distance is 78 km.
The ticket price is around $ 4 - $ 5.
You can also take a train from Chisinau to Tiraspol.
The name of the train is 842Щ Кишинёв – Одесса (Chisinau - Odessa). It runs only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
You can buy it only at the ticket office at the train station.
The price of the train ticket Chisinau - Odessa is around $10, and if you get off in Tiraspol, you will pay about $5.
If you travel in a group of friends, it will pay off to take a taxi and split the costs.
The taxi will cost around $55-$60 for the car, where four people can fit. In this case, it will cost a bit more than the bus but will give you more comfort.
It's better to take a taxi if you travel to Transnistria / Pridnestrovie in summer as the temperature can rise to 37-38 °C / 97-88 °F in July and August.
Summer travel from Chisinau to Tiraspol by bus or minibus without air conditioning turns into a real torture, while in the taxi, you can relax and enjoy your trip with the aircon. Check out the current rates for a taxi from Chisinau to Tiraspol.
8. Day trips and tours to Tiraspol and Transnistria from Chisinau
If you want your trip to Transnistria / Pridnestrovie to go smooth, visit this region on a private tour with an experienced guide.
The tour from Chisinau to Tiraspol lasts around 7 hours. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or hostel in Chisinau and will drive you to Tiraspol.
On the Tiraspol and Bender Fortress Tour, you will visit the Soviet monuments and government of Transnistria / Pridnestrovie in Tiraspol. Then you will head to the Novo-Neamt Holy Ascension Monastery and Kitskany bridgehead in the village of Kitskany.
Kitskany bridgehead was a strategic bridgehead of Soviet troops on the western bank of the Dniester River during the Odessa operation in 1944.
It's a picturesque place where you can enjoy a great view of the city.
The guide will also take you to the Turkish fortress in Bendery.
The delicious lunch in Tiraspol is included in the price of the tour.
9. How to get to Tiraspol from Odessa
Traveling by bus is the most popular way to get from Odessa to Tiraspol.
You can buy your ticket at the Odessa Bus Station. The ticket price is $5-$7.
The trip takes around 2 hours, depending on the time spent at the border control in Kuchurhan - Pervomaisc.
If you enter Transnistria / Pridnestrovie by bus, you will receive an exit stamp from Ukraine on the Ukrainian side.
You can travel from Odessa to Tiraspol by train and vise versa.
From Tiraspol, the train departs at 8.20, arrives in Odessa at 10.46. Departure from Odessa is at 18.45, and arrival in Tiraspol at 21.00.
The train runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
On the train, there will be customs, border, and migration inspection. For this, 30 minutes of parking in Bendery and 40 minutes in Kuchurgani are provided.
So, it can be faster to travel from Odessa to Tiraspol by train than by bus, because there are many more cars and busses at the Kuchurgan Ukrainian border, and the border control is generally longer.
If you travel by train from Odessa to Tiraspol, you will pay around $5 depending on the current currency exchange rates. Buy your ticket at the Odessa Train station.
Taxi is the most convenient and comfortable way to travel to Tiraspol from Odessa. You may find a taxi at the bus and train stations, but be careful, many of them are illegal (not an officially registered taxi).
You can also book your taxi online in advance.
10. Day trips & tours to Tiraspol and Transnistria from Odessa
If you prefer to visit Transnistria / Pridnestrovie on an organized tour, there are several great options with departure from Odessa.
With a private one-day tour to Transnistria that lasts 9 hours, you will visit both Tiraspol and Bendery.
On this tour, you will travel in a private car to and from Transnistria to Odessa and visit Transnistria with a professional English-speaking guide.
The guide will explain to you the historical background of Transnistrian / Pridnestrovian region, tell about the current situation there, and show you the main attractions.
11. Where to stay in Tiraspol and Transnistria - Pridnestrovie
The largest selection of hotels and hostels is in Tiraspol. Here you can find both a very cheap accommodation option for $10, and as well as luxury hotels with excellent service and a spa center.
It is also convenient to stay in Tiraspol from a logistic point of view if you plan to spend a few days in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie.
A lot of transport goes from here to other interesting towns and villages of Transnistria / Pridnestrovie.
Besides Tiraspol, a night in Bendery will also be an exciting experience. I recommend staying at the Old Bastion Hotel, which is located right in front of the famous Bendery Fortress.
The hotel looks like a castle, and there you can taste all the variations of the local cuisine. The hotel has five restaurants with Moldovan, Russian, Ukrainian, and Turkish cuisine.
And if you want to experience genuine Transnistrian hospitality and stay closer to nature, then I recommend staying overnight in the countryside.
There are several beautiful villages in the north of Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, such as Рашков (Raşcov) and Строенцы (Stroenţi).
12. More travel tips for Transnistria - Pridnestrovie
• I recommend that you have a sufficient amount of foreign currency in cash, as ATMs are not very common in Transnistria / Pridnestrovie.
• You can easily exchange Moldovan lei, euros, dollars, or Ukrainian hryvnias into PMR rubles.
• Remember that in Pridnestrovie / Transnistria, you can pay for restaurants, transport, and other services only in PMR rubles.
• One average lunch costs about 5 to 10 euros.
• A taxi around the city costs about 2 euros.
• It is forbidden to take pictures of KGB building, posts of peacekeeping forces, and other military facilities, and as well as the Pridnestrovian / Transnistrian border and its officials.
• If you are a citizen of the Europen Union or the United States and enter Transnistria / Pridnestrovie by car, then you need to buy Pridnestrovian car insurance at the border, as well as pay a vignette fee for the days of your stay in Pridnestrovie.
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HAVE A SAFE AND FANTASTIC TRIP TO PRIDNESTROVIE !
Sasha & The Alternative Travel Guide