Transdniestr money and exchange rate
The only legal tender is the Transdniestran rouble (TR). Although it wiggles like a geological meter in Tokyo, the general exchange rate is about US$1 = TR9. For the latest exchange rates, check out the Transdniestran Republican Bank.
The TR is little more than imaginary money arbitrarily pegged against the euro. After being introduced in 1994, the zeros mushroomed, as inflation is wont to do with imaginary money. A second form of currency was introduced – same denominations and roughly same appearance – but with a totally different value. It was a lively time for the TransD economy.
Now it’s all just one rouble, usually tattered and filthy and completely worthless outside of TransD. Spend your roubles before you leave or kiss that money goodbye. If you somehow find yourself with excessive roubles, you might find someone at the bus station in Chisinau who will exchange Moldovan lei with you.
Though ATMs have finally arrived in TransD, you won’t be able to use credit cards or travelers cheques in many places outside of huge hotels. You can exchange money at a bank or any exchange booths (as they are all run by the bank). Occasionally you’ll find a local who is desperate for hard currency, who will do a private exchange. As always, be aware of the exchange rates between euros, US dollars and roubles.
Some taxi drivers, shopkeepers and market traders in TransD will accept payment in US dollars, Moldovan lei or even Ukrainian hryvnia depending on the state of the economy that week, but normally you’ll need to get your hands on some roubles.