1. Moldova only gets 12,000 visitors per year (it is the least visited country in Europe). The people of Moldova are excited about the possibility of tourism and are therefore appreciative of and friendly towards tourists. Plus, this is the ultimate in travel elitism ;)
2. The $ goes a long way. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe so most things in Moldova are extremely affordable. It is an easy place to take a break from the high costs of Western Europe.
3. It's so green. Even with much of its former communist architecture Chisinau still has a unique charm, largely because it is one of the greenest capitols in Europe. It has extensive parks and lots of beautiful countryside.
4. It’s not overly touristy. Not a lot of people go there so you get to see an authentic culture. Unlike some of its former Soviet Union counter parts the people of Moldova talk very freely about their relationship with Russia and what it's like being a former communist country. It's a fascinating place to see the pros and cons of being formerly communist.
5. The wine in Moldova is so good! When Moldova was under Russian rule they were forced to make tons and tons of cheap overly sweet wine. Now that they are an independent republic some of the wineries are learning to make wine in the more traditional European way. And goodness it's good! They have some of their own grape varietals that make delicious dry-ish red and white wines. I highly recommend Castel Mimi for a tour and tasting.
6. It's "up and coming". People like to say this about a lot of places but in Moldova you can really feel it. Moldovans are excited about the things they are building and the projects they are undertaking now that they are free from communist Russia. There is a real excitement in the air and it's fun to be a part of!
7. The churches are cool. I lived in Europe for almost six years so I'm pretty much the definition of "burnt out on churches" however, the churches in Moldova are pretty interesting. In many of the Orthodox churches there are cool paintings of Icons. And there is even a cave church that is definitely worth checking out.
8. The food is delicious! I might be so bold as to say that one of the top 10 meals I've eaten in my life was from Chisinau. I wish I had taken a picture or knew the name but it was chicken with a yummy creamy herb sauce, served with a side of polenta (that my Moldovan friends tricked me into eating with my hands lol). Everything I ate in Moldova was delicious (which I was surprised by, having been less than impressed by some of its neighboring countries).
Have you been to Moldova? Tell me what you thought in the comments section :)