Moldova is allowing entry to Ukrainian citizens and refugees fleeing the war. It is recommended to avoid the Transnistria region when crossing by land from Ukraine. Instead, it you can enter from north or south of Transnistria at the following points:¹
- North: Otaci – Mohyliv-Podilskyi
- South: Palanca – Mayaki Udobnoe
Due to the influx, wait times can be over 8 hours, so there are additional points of entry being made by the Moldovan government at the following Ukraine - Moldova crossing locations:²
- Serpnevo - Basarabeasca
- Maloyaroslavts 1 - Ceadir-Lunga
- Trojans - Ceadir-Lunga
- Tobacco - Mirnoe
- Vinogradivka - Vulcanesti
- Reni - Giurgiulesti
At the border, you can show any of the following documents to be allowed into Moldova:³
- A national identity card
- A government-issued ID card
- A biometric passport
- A regular passport
- A birth certificate or passport for children
Any children without documents, but who are with their parents, are allowed into Moldova with appropriate registration by the Border Police.
Third-country nationals are allowed into Moldova under the same requirements as Ukrainian citizens. Third-country nationals however will be assisted in returning to their home countries. They are advised to contact their nearest home-country embassy.
Pet owners can bring their pets into Moldova even if the pet does not have vaccination certificates or a pet passport. You may need to complete a form for registering your pet at the border. ⁴
There are no charges or fees to cross the border into Moldova and cars are allowed to enter.
There are refugee shelters available across Moldova, with 5 primary ones located in the capital of Chişinău. Here are the addresses for the accredited shelters in Chişinău:
|Chişinău||or. Chișinău, Spitalul Clinic Municipal de Ftiziopneumologie,str. Grenoble, 147|
|Chişinău||or. Chișinău, Centrul social regional „Renașterea”, str. Melestiu, 20M|
|Chişinău||or. Chișinău, Centrul „MoldExpo”, str. Ghioceilor, 1|
|Chişinău||or. Chișinău, CREPOR ( Centrul Republican Experimental Protezare), str. Romană, 1|
|Chişinău||or. Chișinău, Centrul de plasament pentru persoane vârstnice și persoane cu dizabilități, str. Valea Rediului, 16|
Here are the regions in Moldova with accredited shelters for refugees fleeing Ukraine:
The full addresses for the shelters above can be found under Accredited Shelters on the Moldova help website. ⁵
Moldova is providing free healthcare services to refugees and is providing a list of accredited doctors and psychologists in the country.
As a rule, all foreigners from outside Moldova, including Ukrainians, are legally allowed to stay in Moldova for up to 90 days within a 180 day window.
However, the EU is granting Ukrainian citizens and permanent residents the ability to stay in EU member-states for up to 1 year. This includes receiving services like:⁶
- Access to healthcare
- Access to education
- Right to work
If the conflict is ongoing after 1 year, this support can be extended to 3 years total.
Here are hotlines to call if you need help in Moldova:⁷
|Embassy of Ukraine în Chişinău||+373 22 58 22 84|
|Hotline of the Bureau for Migration and Asylum (call from Moldova)||0 800 015 27|
|Hotline of the Bureau for Migration and Asylum (call from Ukraine)||+373 22 820 007|
|Border Police of the Republic of Moldova, hotline||+373 22 259 717|
|Lawyers Center for Migration||+373 605 748 48|
For more information, including on applying for asylum and legal assistance, here is a PDF guide to entering Moldova created by the Bureau of migration and UNHCR
Once you have entered Moldova, you can move towards a specific destination in the country, or towards Chişinău, or travel on to the Romanian border. You can expect there to be volunteers at the main crossings to help navigate your next steps.
Here are different ways to travel through Moldova once you have entered the country:
The government of Moldova is ensuring free bus transportation for refugees at the border points of Palanka and Otaci. The buses will bring riders to the capital of Chişinău.
There are 5 routes that are going to Chişinău:
- Route No. 1: BCP Palanka-Mayaki-Zruchne - Stefan Vode - Keuseni - mun. Chişinău - Center for temporary accommodation of foreigners (road R52 - R30 - R2)
- Route No. 2: BCP Tudora-Starokazache - Stefan Vode - Keuseni - mun. Chişinău - Center for temporary accommodation of foreigners (road R52 - R30)
- Route No. 3: Otaci-Mohyliv-Podilsk - Balti - Chişinău - Point of temporary accommodation for foreigners (road E583 - M14)
- Route No. 4: BCP Kriva-Mamaliga - Lipkani - Balti - Chişinău - Center for temporary accommodation of foreigners (road - M14)
- Route No. 5: BCP Mirne-Tyutyun - Comrat - Chimishlia - Chişinău - Center for temporary accommodation of foreigners (road E584)
There are 2 additional routes for buses leaving for the Romanian border from Chişinău. This information will be covered in the next section. ⁸
The government is also providing buses to train stations so refugees can continue on to a destination by train, including into Romania. The Palanca-Causeni bus will take refugees from the Palanca crossing to the Causeni train station, to then continue on a CFM train. ⁹
Buses, in general, are well connected to towns and cities within Moldova.
The national railway system, CFM, is providing free train travel for refugees from Ukraine on select schedules from the borders. There are CFM trains from Otaci running to Chişinău, Ungheni, and on to Romania.
CFM is also providing a free regular train from Căușeni to Chişinău, which then continues on to the Romanian city of Iași.
To keep up to date with the train times, destinations, and changes, CFM posts regularly to their Facebook page.¹⁰
But if you are looking to travel within Moldova, without intention to leave the country, a bus may be a better way to reach your destination if it is not Chişinău. CFM is the only train operator in the country.
There are traditional taxi operators as well as app-based taxi services in Moldova.
The most popular taxi apps are:
Bolt is available in Chişinău and can be downloaded on iOS and Android.
There are no discounts for Ukrainian refugees at the moment; however, iTaxi is helping to provide shelters and accommodation for refugees in Chişinău.
For local taxi services, here is a list of phone numbers to call to book a taxi in Chişinău:
Local taxis should have a meter, and they tend to take cash only.
In Moldova, another convenient way to get around cities is with the trolley bus system. It operates in Chişinău, Balti, Tiraspol, and Bender, and provides connections through the city. The tickets can be purchased onboard and in cash.¹¹
There is an organized effort to help move refugees through Moldova to Romania, where additional means of transport and help centers have been set up. Transport is being provided from Moldova to the Romanian city of Iași:
|CFM train||Chişinău - Iași|
|CFM train||Causeni - Chişinău - Iași|
The National Road Transport Agency (ANTA) is also providing 2 bus routes from Chişinău to points on the border with Romania: ¹²
- Chişinău - Leuseni-Albiza BCP (road E581)
- Chişinău - Calarasi - Ungheni - BCP Sculeni-Sculeni (road E58).
The government is also providing buses between the border crossing of Palanca to Causeni to Iași, Romania.
UNHCR and IOM in Romania are also providing buses from Palanca to Albița, Romania, and then on to Huși, Romania.¹³
More information on crossing into Romania, and procedures, can be found on the Dopomoha Romania website.
Additional direct bus routes from Moldova to the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland are expected to open, per the Moldovan government. ¹⁴
- Przemyśl (Poland)
- Rzeszów (Poland)
- Suceava (Romania)
- Tulcea (Romania
Refugees in Moldova can move towards the Romanian and Polish bus stops to grab a Flixbus to travel further into Europe. Flixbus has provided the steps on their website required to secure a free ticket for travel. ¹⁵
The bus company GAM (Gările Auto Moderne) or Autogara is increasing bus routes between Chişinău and Bucharest, and between Chişinău and Warsaw:¹⁶
- Chişinău <> Warsaw buses depart from the North Station
- Chişinău <> Bucharest buses depart from the Central station
It is unclear if there is a discount or free rides for those fleeing the war, but you can ask when getting a ticket.
Many European countries are offering free train travel on national railways to Ukrainian citizens, including: ¹⁷
- PKP in Poland
- DBB in Germany
- ÖBB in Austria
- Czech Republic
Moldova has been closing the airspace to regular commercial flights, but emergency flights are operating out of Moldova.
If you aren’t able to secure an emergency flight, it is likely any travel by air will have to be done out of neighboring Romania. Romania has international airports from which you can fly out, including the main international airport Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest.
WizzAir, who is offering Ukrainian refugees free flights, flies out of Bucharest. As long as you have a Ukrainian passport at the time of booking and check-in, you can try to get one of the 100,000 air tickets WizzAir is offering.
You can find train stations in major cities in Moldova, but most trains head or run through Chișinău. ¹⁸
There is only one international airport in Moldova, and air space is currently restricted in the country. It can be advised to head to the Bucharest airport to pick up flights from there rather than from Chișinău.
There are 30 bus stations across Moldova that are serviced by Autogari Moldova. Here are a few of the main stations:¹⁹
- Ștefan Voda
- Anenii Noi
- Border crossing into Ukraine
- Additional points of entry
- Accredited shelters
- EU stay
- Helplines and more
- Bus transport domestically
- Bus to train
- Train transport domestic
- ANTA bus
- UNHCR bus
- Moldova bus to Poland statement
- GAM crossborder routes
- Train travel in Europe
- Main train stations
- Main bus stations
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