I want to cross from Chisinau (Moldava) to Odesa (Ukraine) in June.
I have read so many mixed reports here from late 2006 and 2005. Just wonder if someone had any recent experience of this crossing (I just nered to transit through TransDniestr):
1. Train or bus? Are both available..which is less hassle and fastest?
2. Fees payable. I read from $0 to "they asked me for 160 Euro to transit through Transdniestria!"
3. How long is the journey roughly from Chisinau to Odesa
I did the trip the other way around in 2003, so maybe it's not very useful for you.
I took a train in Odessa to Chisinau, I don't remember exactly how many hours it was, but I think it was somewhere in the range of 5-7 hours, maybe even a little less. I don't think buses are much faster or slower for that matter. (try seat61.com for traintravel, times and prices)
The reason I took trains mainly was because traintravel is so much more relaxing and more comfortable, and my whole trip I wanted to take trains (I nearly managed, only to be stopped by the Skopje to Tirana part and crossing to Italy by boat of course).
It was almost hassle free for me actually, although buying a ticket in Odessa took me some time. Our luggage was checked of course, but apart from some formalities and border patrols wanting to have my euro coins (because they collect them...yeah right) I didn't have any problems. Just keep smiling!
The trip itself is very nice as well, that is if you like a look back into the old days of the cold war, especially the Transdnjestrie part. Odessa itself is very nice, Chisinau just nothing special!
It's not that recent but I don't think things have been getting worse since then. It certainly is not dangerous or something and refuse to pay, otherwise every traveler after you becomes a target again!
Happy travels. Michael
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 19, 2007, at 11:31 PM by Utrecht ]
Michael, Since you mentioned your travel to Moldova, thought I would ask some advice for a future but certain travel to Chisnau and not start a separate thread (as this might be helpful for anyone thinking of going to Moldova as well). Besides going by train from Ukraine to Moldova, are there more cheaper means of travelling into Chisnau? Especially, if I am travelling from Colombo, it is cheaper for me to get a flight to Prague or Zurich or London. From any of these three places, do you have any suggestions to go to Chisnau from there?
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 20, 2007, at 8:46 AM by Ahila ]
Actually, I think this might be a good question for people who have travelled overland eastwards to Moldova.
But I will try anyway. I guess flying into Prague gives the best and cheapest opportunities to go overland to the east. From Prague you can travel to Romania and take a train from for example Bucharest to Chisinau.
In general, as far as I know Moldova has one of the more strict visa applies in europe apart from Russia and Belarus. But maybe that has changed a bit as well (ukraine is visa free for most europeans right now). And when I was there, my pasport should be valid up until 1 year! (one of the longest I know...I wonder why actually, haven't figured that out).
If you want to go as quickly as possible to Chisinau, I bet there are flights from Prague to Chisinau, but it's not really a budget flight destination.
Michael....hopefully being a little helpful anyway...
Thanks, Michael. Yes, some flights I checked out last year seemed pretty expensive (Colombo-Zurich/Prague-Bucharest-Chisnau). I guess maybe it is cheaper for me to ask my friend to meet me in Romania or Ukraine or even Prague than going to Chisnau.