Trying to work out how to get to Chisinau Airport from the city centre? I explain exactly how, where from, and how much.
While I was in Chisinau, Moldova I was trying to work out how to get to Chisinau International Airport, from the city centre. The internet wasn’t a huge help! There weren’t many sites with information, and what there was pretty much said “there is a minibus for 3 Lei ($0.20AUD) or a taxi for up to 150 Lei ($10AUD)”.
Most people assumed you were flying into Chisinau Airport and trying to get to the city centre. They didn’t really explain where to get the bus from the city to the airport. I guess they assumed you would know, based on where the bus dropped you off when you arrived.
This did not help me since I didn’t fly into Chisinau Airport when I entered Moldova – I got the overnight train from Bucharest, Romania. Eventually, I found some information saying it leaves Strada Ismail – but this is a long street! So, I just walked along until I saw the right minibus.
The exact location of the bus to Chisinau Airport
You’ll want bus 165. There is a sign in the window that says 165, and a list of stops – including AEROPORT.
It’s a minibus (as most buses you’ll get in Moldova are), and leaves from a small bus station on Strada Ismail. Google Maps calls it ‘Sectorul Centru’ – see below for the location. It’s basically on the corner of Strada Ismail and Strada Mitropolit Varlaam, in a small slip road – you’ll see several minibuses parked there.
Other information about the bus to Chisinau Airport
The buses leave regularly. As I arrived, I saw one bus 165 driving off, yet there was another one parked there waiting. Within about 10 mins of me boarding, we were on our way. The good news is that it didn’t wait until it was full to leave – we left when the bus was scheduled to leave. As we stopped many times along the way to pick up and drop off people, so it was full for part of the trip.
The fare was 3 Lei ($0.20) for me, plus 3 Lei for my bag.
The whole trip took less than 40 minutes, with the airport being the final stop. As you arrive at the airport, you’ll see a giant model Moldova Airlines plane out the front. Luckily, the actual planes that fly appear to be in MUCH better condition than this one. It really doesn’t give you confidence!
Tickets are bought on the bus… No, that’s the wrong phrasing. You pay the driver on the bus – there is no ticket that he gives you. Double check that it is the right bus, by asking the driver “Aeroport?” He’ll probably say “Da” and wave you onto the bus.
Take a seat and wait – he’ll collect your money just before driving off… Or just after driving off.
In an example of great Moldovan driving (ok, not just Moldova – Eastern Europe in general), the driver often sorts out payment while he’s driving. Hey, it’s faster that way! People board, take their seats and he drives off. They then pass their cash to the person in front of them, you passes it to the person in front of them, and so on until it reaches the driver.
Does he wait until the next stop? No.
Does he slow down? No.
He continues driving way too fast for the road quality and traffic conditions – now without his hands on the wheel. He counts the money, sorts out the change and passes it back the same way. This will happen over and over during your bus ride, as more people get on the bus. But, as you’re now leaving Moldova – I’m going to guess you’ve seen this a few times already during your travels!
Do you have any additional questions or advice from your own trip?
Let me know in the comments below, or email me via my Contact Page.