Have you ever heard about Transnistria?
Tiraspol was on our plan mostly out of curiosity. Anna (my Erasmus friend from Germany) didn’t know much about Transnistria, but I made her to come there with me. You know, I study Area studies, this was a must. Historicalsightswise, there is not that much to see and do. Monument dedicated to an unknown soldier, Soviet tank, statue of Lenin, House of Soviets… of course you see that they love thinking about the past and USSR. But what I suggest you do after you arrive to Tiraspol (where you get by direct bus from Central bus station in Chisinau) is to change the money.
Look at small things when you walk around. The atmosphere is why this place should be on your list. Everything seems perfectly organized and as a capital of independent republic. They have own plates on cars, own flag, money, ministries…
Definitely bring enough cash in Moldovan Lei, Rubl, USD or EUR. NOT Romanian lei.
Do not try to withdraw money from the ATMs. They don’t work for our cards. Withdrawal is possible only in the bank, where you “pay by card” and they give you cash. Not worth the hassle as it takes ages, trust me.
Try to get Transnistrian coins. They are plastic, they are fun and noone back home will believe you that these are money.
If you have enough time, you can go for an excursion to a local liquer factory Kvint, if not, then bring enough cash to buy some liquers. We haven’t tried it yet, but they look good and they are cheap.
Be careful when entering Transnistria to get a immigration paper with your name on it. Noone checks the bus when entering the “country”, but they for sure will, when leaving it and you don’t want to have problems there. (No English, of course.) They usually give you paper for either 10 or 24 hours, so be punctual and don’t overstay unless you want to pay fines (I have zero experience with that.). And of course, don’t lose the paper.
P.S. Bad news for you, they don’t give stamps into passports.