Sunday November 18th 2018

Day Train from Chisinau to Odessa

Elderly gentleman standing at attention with Moldovan soldiers. Chisinau, Moldova. June 2014.
Photos courtesy of Standard Travel Fotos

We spent about one week in Chisinau. Our next destination is Odessa, Ukraine.

There’s a day train that leaves from Chisinau at 7:20 a.m. and arrives in Odessa at 12:10 p.m., about five hours by train. The ticket is inexpensive. Maybe it was 200 Moldovan Lei, about 15 dollars.

Because of the early departure, we called a taxi, which cost about 50 Lei ($3.58). I added a 10 Lei tip.

The train stops at Meren, Sokolen, Bulboka and then crosses the border of Transdniestria to Bender. Then it stops at Tiraspol, the capital of Transdniestria. The train stopped for maybe twenty minutes, but we didn’t get off the train.

Transdniestria, meaning across the Dniester River, is a Russian-speaking breakaway region between Moldova and Ukraine.

The next stop was Novosovitskaya, and then into Ukraine– Kuchurgan and on to Odessa. The train arrived more or less on time in Odessa.

As I recall, when we left Moldova, there were no Moldovan border police and we did not get a Moldovan exit stamp in our passports. Neither did we see any Transdniestria border police. Some of the guidebooks have reported shakedowns of travelers by Transdniestria border guards, but we never saw any. We were told that it is more likely to happen if you take a bus, and they sometimes hold up the entire bus for two hours trying to get money from someone. So maybe the advice to take the train is sound.

We did get Ukraine entry stamps from the Ukraine border police, so that proves when we entered Ukraine on June 26.

Größere Kartenansicht

Odessa Peaceful
If you follow the world news, you would be aware that there is some sort of civil war going on in Ukraine. However, when we were in Chisinau, someone who had just come from Odessa told us that Odessa is perfectly normal without any problems. There was some kind of incident in early May, but at this time everything is peaceful in Odessa.

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