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Travel Guide to Moldova’s National Wine Festival

July 23
5 min read
Table of Contents

    Moldova’s National Wine Day is a huge festival in Moldova that happens during the first weekend of October and is filled with wine tasting, dancing, traditional and popular music, and lots of food. Moldovans love their wine, and this festival celebrates the fall harvest and Moldova’s long history of over 500 years of winemaking. This travel guide contains everything you need to know for Moldova’s National Wine Festival.

    Where to Stay for Moldova’s National Wine Day

    This festival receives visitors from around the world and all over Moldova, so be sure to book early! When I visited, I stayed with locals in the area. However, there is a hostel near downtown, several hotels, and a variety of Airbnbs in and around the capitol. The closer it gets to the event date, the more the prices increase.

    Getting Around Chisinau

    Chisinau has a great public transportation system of cable cars and buses that are constantly running in and around the city throughout the day. Google Maps can help provide directions for which numbered car you need to take, where to get off at/change, and how busy they are during different times of the day.

    YandexGo taxis, iTaxis, and general taxis are easily accessible in the city at taxi stands or can be reserved on their own apps. Make sure to confirm the price before getting in the taxi.

    During the festival, the majority of the main street is blocked off, disrupting traffic, and public transportation is very crowded. Therefore, many people will opt for walking around for traveling between points of interest.

    Moldova National Wine Day | Moldova | Eastern Europe

    Tickets for Moldova’s National Wine Day

    You don’t need to buy tickets to go to the festival. Depending on how long you intend to stay at the event and drink, wine can either be purchased by the glass at each individual vendor’s tent or by purchasing the wine pass pack. The pack costs 100 Moldovan lei and comes with a festival-themed wine glass, 11 stamps for glasses of wine, and a 20%-off coupon for purchasing a wine bottle or any merchandise.

    When I attended the festival, I was in Chisinau the whole weekend so I purchased the wine pack, which was a lot easier to manage than needing to worry about having cash or paying while balancing a glass of wine. However, note that not all of the wine vendors participate in the wine pass pack so you will need to ask if they accept the stamps. You can always purchase a glass if they’re not participating at around 10-20 lei or visit a different vendor.

    What to Expect for Moldova’s National Wine Day

    National Wine Day occurs from 10am-12am on both Saturday and Sunday during the first weekend of October. The majority of the locals spend the full day at the festival since there are different events throughout the day and different seating areas in the center of the festival. Across the street, is local food vendors where you can grab lunch, dinner, or snacks in between glasses.

    Moldovan Wine | Moldova | Eastern Europe

    Both days start with traditional Moldovan music around 12pm-4pm. Many people will begin to partake in traditional Moldovan dances, such as the Hora, and all are welcome to participate. By 6pm, the pop-artists start their performances into the late evening. The festival becomes extremely crowded during this time.

    What to Drink at Moldova’s National Wine Day

    Wine of course! The vendors offer a variety of sweet and dry reds, whites, and rosé wines at both the handmade and professionally-produced levels. Be ready to taste them all! If you find one you like, the bottles can be purchased directly from the vendors. They will sell out, so purchase your favorites sooner than later.

    Moldova National Wine Day | Moldova | Eastern Europe; Travel Guide to Moldova's National Wine Festival

    People will purchase bottles to drink in the food section or seating area, or to bring back with them. If wine is not your favorite, some vendors sell Moldovan cognac which will need to be purchased by the glass or bottle.

    Be aware that water is not sold on the wine-side of the festival. You will either need to go to the food tent-side, if they haven’t already ran out, or to one of the local stores which are not located far from the event.

    What to Eat at Moldova’s National Wine Day

    On the opposite side of the event, towards the park, is the large selection of food tents and seating. There is a large selection, with a few repeats in vendors, so if something catches your eyes then grab it! Create a mix-match of dishes by purchasing from a variety of vendors.

    There are a few vegetarian-friendly options with grilled or roasted vegetables that you can enjoy seated or on-the-go.

    What to Wear for Moldova’s National Wine Day

    Dress comfy, in clothes you don’t mind getting wine on, and weather-appropriate. You will see many people walking around in traditional Moldovan clothing, especially if they’re one of the vendors or involved in the events. Women will be wearing embroidered dresses with flowers. Men will wear brown or black pants with long sleeved baggy white shirts with red embroidery.

    The first weekend of October tends to be relatively warm in Moldova, and it will get warmer as the crowds grow. It is a long festival, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

    Ungheni Moldova Wine | Moldova | Eastern Europe; Travel Guide to Moldova's National Wine Festival

    Get ready to enjoy a weekend of good vibes, delicious wine and food with dancing to music until the sun goes down. Use this travel guide to maximize your experience at Moldova’s National Wine Festival. For more information about festivals happening in Moldova, click here. Noroc!

    Planning a visit to Moldova? Read my city guides below:

    Travel Guides to Comrat, Hincesti, Orhei, Orhei Vechi, and Soroca.

    Other travel inspiration for Moldova:

    Guide to Celebrating Hederlez, Traditional Horse Racing Celebration

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