Trains in Moldova
Chisinau’s train station is as modern as any in Western Europe–clean, efficient, with groovy fish tanks and friendly clerks.
Ticket counters 13, 14 and 15 are for international destinations. Counter 12 is for destinations within Moldova and the CIS.
International trains from Chisinau include three daily to Moscow (28 to 33 hours), three to Kiev (12 hours), one each to St Petersburg (37 hours), Bucharest (14 hours, overnight) and three to Lviv (eight hours), and three a week to Minsk (25 hours). To get to Budapest, you must change in Bucharest.
Train service to Transdniestr (Bendery, Tiraspol) can be unpredictable and sometimes ceases all together during political flare ups. A new line is in the works from Chisinau to Odesa, which formerly cut through TransD, but no information was available about this during my last check, however the long trip around TransD to get to Odesa will undoubtedly be a royal pain in the fanny. Literally.
There are five daily trains to Comrat (Gagauzia region) and four to Ungheni (Romanian border).
Trains between Romania and Moldova depart from Chisinau, going to Bucharest, via Iasi (overnight, about 12 hours) as well as direct to Iasi (several daily). If you’re considering the bus – or worse, maxitaxi – between Bucharest and Chisinau, think again. It’s modern torture. Better to take the overnight train. You’re back and brainstem will thank you for it. Besides, when the train changes wheels at the border – Romania and Moldova trains runs on different gauge rails – it’s like getting a free trip on a carnival ride (except that it happens in the middle of the night, when you’d least like that kind of thrill).