Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path in Moldova

1. What are some lesser-known natural wonders to explore in Moldova?

1. Orheiul Vechi – an open-air museum and archaeological complex featuring ancient cave monasteries carved into limestone cliffs.

2. Saharna Monastery – a beautiful monastery located in a picturesque valley surrounded by waterfalls and green hills.

3. Padurea Domneasca Nature Reserve – home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare species such as the European bison.

4. Dubossary Mountains – a range of low mountains boasting scenic hiking trails and panoramic views of the Dniester River.

5. Purcari Winery – one of Moldova’s oldest wineries, known for its award-winning wines and stunning vineyard landscapes.

6. Tipova Monastery Complex – a series of rock-hewn monasteries built into the cliffs above the Dniester River.

7. Giurgiulesti Cliff – a natural landmark of colorful sandstone formations rising from the ground up to 100 meters.

8. Soroca Fortresses – a historical complex comprising of three fortifications built in the 16th century.

9. Noul Neamt Monastery – an impressive monastery with traditional wooden architecture, adorned with ornate carvings and frescoes.

10. Codrii National Park – an expansive forested area with diverse wildlife, perfect for hiking, camping, and nature photography.

3. Where can I find off-the-beaten-path hiking trails in Moldova?

1. Codru National Park – Located in central Moldova, this park offers numerous hiking trails through ancient forests, meadows and along rivers.

2. Orheiul Vechi – This open-air museum and archaeological complex also has several hiking paths that lead past caves, monasteries and panoramic views of the Raut River valley.

3. Saharna Monastery and Waterfalls – This beautiful complex surrounded by nature offers several trails that take you to cascading waterfalls and amazing viewpoints.

4. Butuceni Village – A great starting point for exploring the surrounding countryside on foot, this village is known for its traditional agricultural practices and well-preserved architecture.

5. Tipova Monastery Complex – Surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush forests, this complex features several hiking paths that lead to hidden frescoes, churches and panoramic views.

6. Danube Delta Reserve – For adventurous hikers looking for a unique experience, the biodiverse Danube Delta offers guided wilderness hikes through untouched natural landscapes.

7. Purcari Winery – Located in southern Moldova, this winery boasts scenic vineyards and offers guided walking tours through the picturesque countryside.

8. Gura Bîcului Nature Reserve – This protected area near the city of Ungheni is ideal for bird watching enthusiasts as it is home to over 200 different species of birds.

9. Vatra Molidului – Translated as “The Fir Hearth”, this popular recreation area has a selection of well-maintained hiking trails that lead through dense fir forests.

10. Trebujeni Corn Maze Experience- In addition to its impressive corn maze attraction, Trebujeni also has various hiking paths that wind through picturesque rural landscapes dotted with traditional homes and farms.

4. Is there a little-known cultural or historical site that is not to be missed in Moldova?

The Orheiul Vechi Monastery Complex is a must-visit cultural and historical site in Moldova. This complex, located in a picturesque valley on the Raut River, consists of a series of ancient caves, churches, and monasteries that date back to the 13th century. The complex provides a unique look into the country’s Orthodox Christian heritage and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also participate in guided tours and learn about the history and significance of this important site. Additionally, nearby there are ruins of a medieval fortress that offer even more insight into Moldova’s past.

5. What are some underrated small towns or villages in Moldova for a tranquil escape?

1. Zabciceni – located near the border of Romania, this tiny village offers stunning views of the surrounding picturesque landscapes and is known for its traditional architecture and peaceful atmosphere.

2. Lalova – nestled in the heart of wine country, this charming village is known for its local wineries and tranquil countryside setting. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and wine tasting in this idyllic retreat.

3. Butuceni – situated in the Orheiul Vechi region, this small village is home to a unique landscape of limestone cliffs, caves, and rural villages. Visitors can explore the nearby ancient monasteries or simply relax in the quaint atmosphere.

4. Saharna Village – located next to a stunning waterfall and natural reserve, Saharna Village offers visitors a chance to disconnect from city life and immerse themselves in nature. The village also has a small monastery with beautiful views of the surrounding area.

5. Taul Village – tucked away in the Codrii Forest Reserve, Taul Village is an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful escape in nature. Visitors can enjoy hiking through the forest or visiting the nearby Roman ruins at Capasteni Castle.

6. Are there any secret beaches or secluded coves worth visiting in Moldova?

Unfortunately, Moldova does not have any beaches or coves as it is a landlocked country. However, there are several lakes and reservoirs that offer scenic views and secluded spots for relaxation, such as Lake Ghidighici and Lake Beleu. Additionally, the Dniester River provides opportunities for boating and picnicking on its banks.

7. Which offbeat festivals or events should I attend during my trip to Moldova?

1. The National Wine Day Festival – held annually in October, this festival celebrates Moldova’s rich wine culture with tastings, live music, and traditional food.

2. Gagauz Yeri Festival – held in August in the autonomous region of Gagauzia, this festival features traditional music, dances, and cuisine of the Gagauz people.

3. Purcari Wine Run – a unique event where participants run through the picturesque Purcari vineyards and taste wine along the way.

4. Haiducul Day – a celebration of Moldovan traditions and folklore, held in villages throughout the country on May 6th each year.

5. Soroca Fortress Medieval Festival – an annual event held in Soroca Fortress, showcasing medieval crafts and reenactments.

6. National Plums Festival – celebrating Moldova’s national fruit, this festival is held annually in mid-August in the village of Bujor.

7. International Jazz Festival “Jazz Brasov” – held in July in Chisinau, this festival brings together jazz musicians from around the world for concerts and workshops.

8. Kazantip Music Festival – held on the shores of Lake Sasyk in southern Moldova every summer, this electronic music festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over Europe.

9. Eco-Tourism Festival “Vis de Rasmina” – an annual event promoting sustainable tourism, held in September at various rural locations in Moldova.

10. Cahul Beer Fest – a beer festival featuring local and international craft beers, food pairings, and live music, held annually in Cahul during the summer months.

8. Are there any hidden gems for shopping, such as local artisans or markets, in Moldova?

Yes, there are several hidden gems for shopping in Moldova that offer unique and locally-made products.

1. The Central Market in Chisinau is a bustling market where you can find a variety of fresh produce, meat, dairy products, and other local specialties.

2. The Gagauz Crafts Center in the town of Ceadir-Lunga showcases traditional handmade crafts of the Gagauz people, including woven rugs, pottery, and embroidery.

3. The Old Orhei winery offers a wide selection of Moldovan wines made with traditional methods and aged in oak barrels.

4. Capricorno Design Studio in Chisinau sells beautiful handmade clothing and accessories created by local artists and designers.

5. La Guvern Artisanal Market is a pop-up market held every month in Chisinau that features handmade products from local artisans such as jewelry, clothing, home decor, and food.

6. Petru Rares Ethnosphere Gallery in Chisinau specializes in ethnographic objects made by Moldovan craftsmen using traditional techniques.

7. Herta Handmade Pottery studio produces unique hand-crafted pottery pieces inspired by traditional Moldovan designs.

8. Konserva Concept Store offers a selection of locally-made clothing, accessories, and home decor items created by young designers from all over Moldova.

9. What are the best underrated adventures, like cave exploration or cliff jumping, to experience in Moldova?

1. Hiking in Orheiul Vechi: This stunning natural and historical complex offers unparalleled views of the Moldovan countryside, as well as ancient cave dwellings and a cliff-top monastery to explore.

2. Exploring Cricova Winery: Venture deep into the underground cellars of one of Moldova’s most renowned wineries. With 75 miles of tunnels and more than 1 million bottles of wine, this adventure is perfect for wine enthusiasts.

3. Canoeing on the Dniester River: Enjoy a peaceful and picturesque canoe trip down the Dniester River, passing through forests, caves, and hidden beaches along the way.

4. Hot air balloon ride over Chisinau: See Moldova’s capital city from a whole new perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride over its historic buildings and beautiful parks.

5. Horseback riding in Codru Forest: Take in the tranquil beauty of Moldova’s largest forest while horseback riding through its winding paths.

6. Zip-lining at Lacul Morii (The Mill Lake): Fly above this scenic lake by zip-lining across it, reaching speeds up to 50 mph and admiring panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

7. Exploring Saharna Waterfall: Hike to one of Moldova’s most impressive waterfalls, hidden among lush greenery and rocky cliffs. After admiring its beauty, you can even swim in its refreshing pool.

8. Paragliding in Butuceni village: Get your adrenaline pumping by soaring high above picturesque villages and dense forests with a paragliding adventure in Butuceni.

9. Cave trekking at Emil Racovita Cave Park: Embark on an underground adventure in Moldova’s first speleological park where you can explore dark caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.

10. Can you recommend any unique accommodations, such as homestays, treehouses or glamping sites, in Moldova?

1) Cobusca Noua Treehouse Village: This unique accommodation offers guests the chance to stay in traditional treehouses that are intricately decorated and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Guests can also enjoy homemade meals and participate in workshops on traditional crafts.

2) Zimbreni Guesthouse: This guesthouse is located in a rural area and offers guests the chance to experience life on a working farm. Accommodations include cozy rooms in the main farmhouse, as well as wooden cabins and a yurt.

3) Ethno-Rural Complex “Hanul lui Hanganu”: This complex offers guests the opportunity to stay in traditional Moldovan houses, complete with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls. Guests can also enjoy local cuisine, participate in cultural activities, and relax in a traditional bathhouse.

4) Eco-Village Moldova: This glamping site is located on the banks of the Raut River and offers eco-friendly accommodations such as yurts, safari tents, and treehouses. Guests can also participate in outdoor activities like kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking.

5) Pensiunea La Castel: This small guest house is located next to a castle and offers guests cozy rooms with castle views. The surrounding gardens and park make for a peaceful retreat.

6) Cricova Wine Resort: For wine lovers, this resort provides the unique experience of staying underground in a network of tunnels filled with wine barrels. Guests can enjoy wine tastings, tours of the cellar, and gourmet meals paired with local wines.

7) Pensiunea Rustica: Located in an old village house, this guesthouse offers rustic charm with modern amenities. Home-cooked meals using locally-sourced ingredients are available for guests to enjoy during their stay.

8) Tipova Monastery Guest House: Stay at this renovated monastery turned guesthouse for an authentic cultural experience. Guests can choose from modest rooms with shared bathrooms or private apartments, and can also visit the monastery’s church and explore the surrounding area.

9) Nomad Retro Camping: This unique campsite offers guests the chance to stay in retro caravans and tents, complete with vintage decor. Located in a picturesque village, guests can also enjoy traditional meals cooked over an open fire.

10) Castania Glamping: This glamping site is set on a hazelnut plantation and offers guests luxury bell tents and a treehouse surrounded by nature. Guests can also participate in nut harvesting and cooking classes during their stay.

11. Where can I find authentic and off-the-beaten-path restaurants serving traditional cuisine in Moldova?

1. La Placinte – a popular chain of traditional Moldovan restaurants, with locations in most major cities. They serve authentic dishes such as placinte (savory pies), sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), and zeama (chicken noodle soup).
2. La Taifas – another chain of traditional Moldovan restaurants, known for their rustic decor and live music performances. Their menu includes dishes like mititei (grilled minced meat rolls) and drob de miel (lamb offal pate).
3. Casa Rinaldi – a family-owned restaurant in Chisinau that serves homemade Moldovan dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Try their mamaliga cu branza (polenta with cheese), ciorba de burta (tripe soup), and pastrav la tigaie (pan-fried trout).
4. Mezzanine Restaurant & Wine Bar – located in the capital city of Chisinau, this restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Moldovan cuisine, using French cooking techniques and locally grown produce.
5. Humulesti Restaurant – situated in the small village of Humulesti, this restaurant is a hidden gem serving authentic Moldovan dishes in a cozy setting. The menu changes daily depending on what ingredients are available locally.
6. Crama Basarabia Purcari Winery – for a unique dining experience, head to this winery where you can dine among the vineyards while enjoying traditional Moldovan dishes paired with their award-winning wines.
7. Hanul Boierilor Restaurant – located in Tiraspol, this restaurant is housed in an old mansion and offers a mix of Moldovan and Russian cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying their pelmeni (dumplings) and shuba salad (herring under fur coat).
8. Butuceni Agro Pensione Popasul Dacilor – situated in a traditional village in the Codru region, this agro-tourism pensione offers an immersive experience where you can participate in cooking traditional Moldovan dishes using ancient techniques.
9. Hanul Lui Hanganu – located in the rural village of Vadrar, this restaurant specializes in traditional Moldovan dishes cooked over an open fire, giving them a unique smoky flavor.
10. Prodan’s House – situated near the Trebujeni rock monastery, this restaurant serves homestyle Moldovan cuisine made with ingredients from their own garden. They also offer cooking classes for those interested in learning how to make traditional dishes.
11. Eco-Village Mereni Restaurant – located near Orheiul Vechi, this restaurant offers a taste of Moldovan eshian cuisine (a fusion of Moldovan and Bulgarian dishes) using organic ingredients from their own farm. They also have demo gardens and offer cooking workshops.

13. Which lesser-known museums or galleries should I visit to learn more about Moldova’s history and culture?

1. National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History – showcases the traditional customs, crafts and culture of Moldova’s different ethnic groups.

2. Stefan cel Mare Museum Complex – dedicated to Moldova’s national hero, featuring his personal items, military artifacts and a replica of his famous sword.

3. Kishinev City Museum of History and Regional Studies – traces the history of Chisinau, from ancient times to present day.

4. Pushkin House-Museum – preserves the memory and works of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin who lived in Chisinau for 3 years.

5. Tretyakov Gallery – features a collection of works by local artists from the Soviet era.

6. Capriana Monastery Museum Complex – showcases religious artifacts, paintings and icons dating back to the 16th century.

7. Memorial Complex “Eternity” – commemorates the soldiers who fought and died during World War II, with an exhibition about Moldova’s involvement in the war.

8. Soroca Fortress – an open-air fortress museum with exhibitions on its history as a Moldovan stronghold against Ottoman invasions.

9. Cricova Winery Caves Museum – displays a collection of over 600,000 bottles of wine stored in underground tunnels.

10. Gagauz History & Ethnographic Museum – highlights the unique culture, traditions and history of the Gagauz people who live in southern Moldova.

11. Pirogovo Open-Air Architecture & Ethnography Museum – features traditional rural houses and buildings from different regions of Moldova.

12. Purcari Wine Estate Estate Museum- showcases 200 years of winemaking history at one of Moldova’s oldest wineries.

13. Minisculptors Park “MiniMundus” – displays miniature replicas of famous landmarks from around the world made by local artists.

14. Can you suggest any underrated day trips from major cities in Moldova, such as countryside tours or nearby villages?

One underrated day trip from Chisinau (the capital of Moldova) could be to the village of Saharna. Located just 68 km from the city, Saharna is home to a beautiful monastery complex set in a stunning natural landscape. Visitors can explore the monastery and its numerous caves, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Another option could be to visit the village of Orheiul Vechi, which is known for its ancient cave monastery and scenic views over the Raut River. A trip to Cricova winery – one of the largest wine cellars in the world – is also highly recommended for wine lovers looking to venture out of Chisinau for a day. Other nearby villages such as Trebujeni and Ivancea offer charming rural experiences with traditional handicrafts, authentic cuisine, and cultural activities.

15. Are there any secret spots for stargazing or viewing the northern lights in Moldova?

There are no specific secret spots for stargazing or viewing the northern lights in Moldova, but some of the best places to go for stargazing include remote villages in the countryside, national parks and nature reserves, and any place with clear skies and low light pollution. The northern lights can sometimes be seen in the night sky from locations throughout Moldova, but they are not a common occurrence. It is important to check weather and solar activity forecasts before heading out to try and view them.

16. Which scenic drives offer the best views of the countryside and lesser-known landscapes of Moldova?

1. Bessarabia Road: This 260-mile route passes through the rolling hills and quaint villages of southern Moldova, offering stunning views of the region’s countryside.

2. Transnistria Highway: Running along the eastern border of Moldova, this scenic drive offers a glimpse into the unexplored Transnistrian region, with its charming villages and picturesque landscapes.

3. Codru Drive: Located in central Moldova, this drive takes you through the beautiful Codru forest, known for its diverse flora and fauna, as well as picturesque lakes and waterfalls.

4. Prut Valley Drive: Following the Prut River in northern Moldova, this route offers fantastic views of the lush agricultural fields, traditional villages, and historic landmarks.

5. Raut River Valley Drive: This scenic road follows the winding Raut River through northeastern Moldova, passing by quaint villages and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

6. Gauja National Park Drive: In northern Moldova near the Ukrainian border, this drive takes you through Gauja National Park’s stunning landscapes, including forests, cliffs, caves, and rivers.

7. Nistru Canyon Route: This 124-mile drive runs along the Nistru River in eastern Moldova and offers spectacular views of deep canyons, peaceful valleys, and ancient monasteries.

8. Taraclia Vineyard Route: Located in southern Moldova near the Romanian border, this drive takes you through picturesque vineyards producing some of Moldova’s best wines while offering panoramic views of the countryside.

17. Where can I find hidden hot springs or natural pools for a relaxing soak during my trip to Moldova?

1. Orhei Vechi: This archaeological and historical complex located in the village of Trebujeni has a hidden hot spring that is popular among locals.
2. Purcari Winery: This winery, which produces some of Moldova’s best wines, has a natural pool with mineral water for guests to relax in.
3. Lake Manta: This picturesque lake in the village of Vadul lui Voda has small natural pools with warm water from underground hot springs.
4. Saharna Monastery: In addition to its stunning views and religious significance, Saharna Monastery also has a hot spring pool for visitors to enjoy.
5. Sungur Gypsy Forest: Hidden deep within the forest near the village of Gura Bîcului lies a natural soaking pool fed by thermal springs.
6. Nisporeni District: This rural area is known for its abundance of thermal springs, some of which have been developed into leisure complexes with natural pools.
7. Anenii Noi District: Located near the capital city of Chisinau, this district is home to several hidden hot springs and natural pools perfect for a relaxing soak.
8. Speia River Canyon: The remote Speia River Canyon offers secluded natural pools with warm water from nearby hot springs, surrounded by beautiful scenery.
9. Cricova Wine Cellars: These underground wine cellars also feature an underground mini spa with a natural pool filled with mineral water from local hot springs.
10. Resorts in Cahul District: Many hotels and resorts in this southern district offer access to hidden hot springs and natural pools for guests to relax in during their stay.

18. Are there any off-the-beaten-path activities, such as farming experiences or cultural workshops, available in Moldova?

Yes, there are various off-the-beaten-path activities available in Moldova that offer unique and immersive experiences. Some options include:

1. Agro-tourism: Moldova is known for its fertile farmlands and agricultural traditions, making it a great destination for agro-tourism activities. Visitors can participate in farming experiences such as grape harvesting, wine making, cheese making, and traditional cooking.

2. Traditional handicraft workshops: To learn about the rich cultural heritage of Moldova, visitors can take part in workshops where they can learn traditional handicrafts such as pottery, embroidery, wood carving or weaving.

3. Community-based tourism: Travelers can also opt for community-based tourism programs that allow them to stay with local families in rural areas and experience their way of life first-hand. This includes participating in daily tasks such as milking cows, plowing fields or cooking traditional meals.

4. Village tourism: Visitors can also explore the lesser-known villages of Moldova on foot or by biking through untouched landscapes and interacting with locals to get a taste of rural life.

5. Wine tours at small family-owned wineries: While most tourists visit the large wine-producing factories in Moldova, there are several small family-owned wineries that offer personalized tours and tastings and give insight into the traditional methods of wine production.

6. Visiting monasteries and churches: Moldova has a strong Orthodox Christian culture, and there are numerous beautiful monasteries and churches spread throughout the countryside that offer a serene atmosphere for visitors to relax and learn about the country’s history and religious traditions.

7. Eco-tourism activities: With its diverse landscape ranging from rolling hills to forests to rivers, Moldova offers many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, horseback riding, birdwatching and fishing.

8. Cultural events: Throughout the year, Moldova hosts various cultural events like festivals celebrating traditional music, dance, food, and crafts. These events provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the country’s culture and traditions.

9. Soviet history tours: Visitors interested in history can take a tour of Moldova’s past under Soviet rule by visiting museums, monuments and landmarks that shed light on this significant period of the country’s history.

These are just some examples of off-the-beaten-path activities available in Moldova. Depending on your interests and preferences, there are many other options to explore and discover during your visit to this beautiful country.

19. Can you recommend any local markets or bazaars in Moldova where I can purchase unique souvenirs and gifts?

There are many local markets and bazaars in Moldova where you can find unique souvenirs and gifts. Some popular options include:
1. Central Market, Chisinau: This is the largest market in the city and offers a wide range of traditional crafts, textiles, ceramics, and handmade items from local artisans.

2. Handicrafts Market at Capriana Monastery: Located just outside Chisinau, this market is known for its selection of traditional folk art and handmade items such as embroidered linens, rugs, and wooden carvings.

3. Orheiul Vechi Craft Market: This open-air market near the ancient cave monastery of Orheiul Vechi features a variety of handcrafted items, including jewelry, ceramics, and woodwork.

4. Souvenir Bazaar in Old Town Tighina: This colorful street market offers an array of locally-made souvenirs such as matryoshka dolls, carved wooden boxes, and traditional clothing.

5. Hâncu Monastery Crafts Fair: Held annually in July at Hâncu Monastery outside Chisinau, this fair showcases a wide array of traditional handicrafts made by local artisans.

6. Stefan Voda Wine Festival Craft Market: This craft market is held during the annual wine festival in October in the village of Stefan Voda. Here you can find a variety of handmade crafts as well as locally produced wines.

7. National Craftsmen’s Fair “Iarmaroc”: Held twice a year (in May and October) in Chisinau’s central square, this fair brings together craftsmen from all over Moldova to showcase their skills and sell their products.

8. Christmas Markets: During the holiday season, many towns throughout Moldova host Christmas markets where you can find unique handcrafted decorations, ornaments, gifts and treats.

Overall, there are many opportunities to purchase unique and locally-made souvenirs and gifts in Moldova. Just be sure to bring cash as many of these markets may not accept credit cards.

20. What are some lesser-known historical or cultural sites that have surprising stories or legends associated with them in Moldova?

1. Orheiul Vechi Monastery – Located on a picturesque cliff overlooking the Raut River, this 13th-century monastery has a legend associated with it. According to local folklore, the monastery was built on the site where Saint Lazarus appeared in a vision to Prince Stephen III of Moldavia, urging him to defend the country against invaders.

2. Memorial Complex Eternitatea – This is one of the largest war memorials in Europe, dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. The complex has a unique architectural design, with 100 stone columns representing each year of Soviet rule in Moldova. It is also said that there are secret underground tunnels beneath the memorial that were used for espionage during Soviet times.

3. Capriana Monastery – This medieval monastery is said to have been founded by King Stefan cel Mare as an act of gratitude for surviving a hunting accident. Legend has it that while hunting in the forest, Stefan’s horse got stuck in quicksand and he was miraculously saved by divine intervention.

4. Hancu Monastery – Located in a secluded area near the Nistru River, this 17th-century monastery has long been associated with mysterious occurrences and supernatural phenomena. It is believed that anyone who blasphemes or disrespects the monastery will be cursed with misfortune and bad luck.

5. City Park Cathedral – This cathedral, built in 1836, is known for its unique frescoes depicting scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy. However, its most intriguing legend involves a supposed secret passage connecting it to Chisinau’s underground tunnels and catacombs.

6. Butuceni Village – This small rural village is home to several traditional houses made entirely out of straw and clay, without using any modern building materials such as nails or cement. Legend has it that these houses have been standing for over 500 years due to magic spells cast by the village’s witch.

7. Transnistria – This self-proclaimed state, situated on the banks of the Dniester River, has a tumultuous history marked by political unrest and conflict. The region is also known for its distinctive Soviet-style architecture and strong Russian influence.

8. Maria Dornea Monastery – According to local legend, this monastery was once home to the elusive White Lady, a ghostly figure who reportedly kept appearing in front of people crossing the nearby bridge at night. It is said that she disappeared after the monastery’s bell tower collapsed in 2005.

9. State University Library – This grand library building holds a secret underground level that can only be accessed through a hidden door disguised as a bookcase. It is believed to have been used as a safe haven for hiding manuscripts and rare books during World War II.

10. Ilascu Cellar – This ancient wine cellar located in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, is said to have been built by monks in the 15th century as part of an underground network connecting several monasteries in Eastern Europe. It is now used for storing and aging premium Moldovan wines.