Chisinau

We’ll be honest: by the time our BTG researcher got to Chisinau, she already had a sprained right ankle (from running Bucharest, Romania), a twisted left knee (Sofia, Bulgaria), and a painful left heel (Moscow, Russia). The injuries left her physically unable to personally research this city’s runs, but the thought of leaving active Moldovan adventurers in a lurch was even more painful. So, by putting together tips from fellow traveling runners, advice from the people who ran her hostel, and observations from her own limping expeditions through the city center, she was able to compile the following partial running resource.

In all, she found, there aren’t a lot of runners in Chisinau, and there isn’t a lot of great running. But the city does have wide streets like Boulevard Stefan cel Mare that could be amenable to early-morning city jaunts. Dendrariu Park, just off the northern end of this boulevard, is also rumored to harbor some great footpaths. Post-run, snack up at the produce market near the bus station. Complete your purchase of peaches with a couple of bottles of local wine, and you will be set to refuel your body in proper Moldovan style.

Watch Out For: 
  • Fast Cars: Particularly those of the BMW / Mercedes variety. In Moldova, those rich enough to drive these wheels think they own the country, and because of the rampant organized crime they probably do. So don’t make them mad, and don’t get in their way.
  • Horse-drawn carts: Yes, watch out for these too! You might not see many in the city center, but in the countryside they are more common. And no, the locals don’t use them ‘cause the Volvo’s in the shop.
  • Wine: Locally-crafted quality vintages can be bought for as little as $2 per bottle. Try to rein yourself in until after your run.

Did you know? Moldova has one of the highest instances of organized crime in Europe. Yet, with the average person living on $4 per day, it also is home to the Continent’s poorest populace.