Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
We advise you to exercise normal precautions.
The Republic of Moldova is currently experiencing political unrest and this leads to regular street protests and occasional outbreaks of violence, especially in the centre of Chişinău. Such gatherings, and crowded areas generally, should be avoided.
Transnistria is a slice of territory between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine seeking autonomous status, and is not under Moldovan government control. Previous tensions between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the breakaway region of Transnistria have abated somewhat, but caution is advised if travelling in that area as the capacities of Irish or EU consular services to intervene may be limited. In particular, the authorities in the Transnistrian region can be suspicious about visitors taking photos, especially in the vicinity of government or military buildings or installations. Visitors to Transnistria are advised against taking any photos in public which could lead to police query.
Because there is no resident Irish Embassy in the Republic of Moldova, we are limited in the help as can offer you in an emergency situation. However, if you need assistance, please contact the Irish Embassy in Bucharest.
You can contact the emergency services in the Republic of Moldova by dialling:
- 901 for fire.
- 902 for police.
- 903 for medical assistance.
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Inoculations are generally not needed but visitors with existing medical conditions or illnesses should seek specific advice in advance from their GPs.
Public medical services in the Republic of Moldova are of an uneven quality and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid there. It is strongly recommended that travellers to the Republic of Moldova take out comprehensive travel insurance in order to maximize potential treatment options.
While the water supply in the Republic of Moldova is not known to be contaminated it is recommended to use bottled or filtered water as a safer alternative.
As elsewhere, visitors should be alert to the risk of street crime and petty theft, including pickpockets and bag snatchers, particularly in Chişinău.
It is useful to carry a small torch after dark, as street lighting is often poor or non-existent.
Public transport in Chişinău and throughout the Republic of Moldova is not as well as developed as elsewhere and motorways are few and far between. Rail, bus and taxis are, however, relatively inexpensive.
If you’re planning to drive in the Republic of Moldova, you should be extremely careful.
- Irish and international driving licences are valid in the Republic of Moldova.
- Some Moldovans drive erratically and at excessive speeds and vehicles are not always fully roadworthy. Serious road traffic accidents regularly occur. Visitors entering the Republic of Moldova by road or driving there should ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. Insurance companies or brokers should be consulted in advance about this, if necessary. Drivers should be in possession of original car ownership and insurance documents.
- The quality of road surfaces in the Republic of Moldova can be uneven. Travel by road in remoter areas should be restricted to primary routes, and daylight hours.
- In the event of an accident involving another vehicle, await police permission before moving your own vehicle.
- In winter, drivers should ensure that vehicles are prepared for extreme weather conditions, including fitting mandatory winter tyres.
Local laws and customs
Local laws and customs
There are frequent police security checks. Visitors should be in possession of the original or a copy of their passports at all times.
Visitors arriving in the Republic of Moldova by air are automatically registered by the Moldovan immigration authorities. Moldovan hotels are also responsible for registering the presence of foreign visitors.
Visitors entering the country by land and staying in private accommodation for more than three days must register with the Department of Information Technologies (address: 42 Puşkin Str, Chişinău, tel: 504 656) or the local passport office, within three working days. This requires presentation of the following documents: (a) a written request for registration providing certain details of stay including address, duration, purpose and host and (2) passport. Failure to register may result in fines and/or difficulties when departing the Republic of Moldova.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.