I seriously buzz off this now, and I never used to. It used to be “get to a city, find a bar, have a beer” and chill out and on with the adventure. These days, things have changed. I want to write more about these experiences and share my bars with everyone so you can visit them too!
Every time I’m in a new city which hasn’t been well covered on the travel blogging circuit (or even the drinking circuit), I always want to visit at least 5 bars in each of these spots. I hand pick them myself and then compile them into these top 5s. I love doing it and it must be stressed none of these posts are ever sponsored or influenced. It would probably be a surprise for any of these bars if they ever came across my site to find a Northern Irish backpacker includes them in a top 5.
So to Moldova. Famous for wine and not beer, of course. But Don’t Stop Living has focused on beer adventures, so I bring you a top 5 bars for a wee beer (or if you’re prone a wine) in Chisinau. Moldova’s capital inches itself skyward against its rivals. I’d pick Chisnau any day now over Moscow, Minsk, Riga and Tbilisi. A few other ex USSR capitals I’ve jaunted in and out of on my journeys. Chisinau sits in the background, charmingly awaiting its moment of fame. I have no doubt it will come.
Get the border train from Romania into Moldova, find yourself a base (I went for the Tapok Hostel) and start exploring a charming capital city. Here are my personal top 5 bars in Chisinau (formerly Kishinev).
1. Beer House
It’s my number one. Beer House is in a great location, has cool staff (Igor was my local barman for 4 days!). Not only does this place have swanky decor and typically welcoming Moldovan staff, but they have good food, free wi-fi and they brew their own beer.
It’s a winner and hence why I based myself in here 3 times on the only 4 days I had in the Moldovan capital.
Location – Bulevardul Constantin Negruzzi 6/2, Chișinău, Moldova
Beer Price on tap for 500 ml – $3 US / £1.90 – 2.30 (5 choices of local beers)
2. Cafe Nefertiti
A mixture of a cafe and a bar, this one is on the main street through downtown Chisinau, Boulevard Stefan cel Mare. This made it an easy stop off for a beer while touring the sights of the city in the pouring rain.
Location – Stefan cel Mare 73, Chișinău, Moldova
Beer Price on tap for 500 ml – $1.40 US / £1
3. Pink Martini
Pink Martini is a swanky nightclub and bar and as I walked past looking in trhough the window at its blinding lights and happy customers, I had to pop in. Curiosity killed the cat, but the bar was great. Welcoming staff and within minutes of being inside, Alex who was drinking at the bar asked if I would do a song in karaoke in English. He sorted it out with the DJ and I hit them all with a Pulp song – Common People!
I’m not sure how much the crowd took to me and my Jarvis Cocker moves here in Chisinau but I certainly enjoyed it. It’s a karaoke bar/club and stays open late.
Location – 3 Negruzzi Boulevard, Chisinau, Moldova
Beer Price – £1.50 and up
4. Beer Time
This place won’t win any awards for inventiveness of a name or friendliness towards tourists (photos are banned completely) but it’s a cool spot for at least a pint and a bite. Basically it’s like a secret underground bunker. But hey, I took some photos – shame the guys didn’t want to be on DSL, but you made it 😉
Location – Veronica Micle 2A, Chisinau, Moldova
Beer Price on Tap – $1.50 – $2
5. Dublin Irish Pub
Who goes all the way to Moldova for a pint of Guinness? Me, it seems! I headed into the Dublin and was shocked to find that a pint of Guinness here was cheaper than it would be back in my home town of Bangor! Amazing eh?
Location – Strada Bulgară 27, Chișinău, Moldova
Beer Price of a Guinness – $4.30/£2.75
So Thirsty Thursdays to you all – hope these 5 bars start you off when you hit up Chisinau in Moldova. I visited a few others and also a wine cellar in Butuceni. It’s a wonderful country.
Some videos from the best bars in Chisinau: