Tiraspol the capital of Transdniestr / PMR
Tiraspol is the capital of Transdniestr / aka Transnistria / aka Pridnestrovie / aka PMR Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic. Situated on the eastern bank of the river Dniestr it's the largest town in Transdniestr and second largest town after Chisinau. The name Tiraspol originates from Greek language given to a colony on the river Tiras 600 BC. In the 18th century a fortress is built by the Russian army as part of the defence system in the fight against the Otomans. Alexander Suvorov who was the Russian generalissimo at the time is celebrated as founder of Tiraspol city in 1792. Part of the Soviet Union till its last days. Transdniestr has proclaimed its independence from Moldova after the Civil conflict of 1992, but is not recognised by any other country of the world. Or by any international bank, so using a bank card in Transdniestr is almost impossible. National currency is Transdniestr rubles. 1 USD = 16 rubles (January 2019).
Almost 30% of the Transdniestrian population live in Tiraspol (129 000 people) which is 5 times less the number of people in the neighbouring Chisinau and 8 times less the population of Odessa. According to a recent 2016 population survey 53.1% of the population of the republic identified themselves as "Transdniestrians", 25.1% as Russians, 9.7% as Moldovans and 5.9% as Ukrainians. Still the capital speaks Russian, even though Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian are the official languages of the Republic. Bring with you a Russian - English dictionary and the Cyrillic alphabet, as all the street&shop signs, menues and timetables etc are in Russian/Cyrillic and not many locals speak English. Other important ethnical groups and communities that live in PMR include Bulgarians, Gagauzians, Belorussians, Germans and Jews. The main religion of the Republic is Christianity (Russian Orthodox church).
Transdniestr/Transnistria is crossed by two international trunk-railways, three gas-main pipelines, two highways of international significance. There is a military airbase in Tiraspol.
Transdniestr in general and Tiraspol in particular has been named a Museum of the Soviet Union in the open air by Lonely Planet. You will find lots of remnants of the glorious Soviet past in towns and villages of Transdniestr as if the place has been frozen in time. Some of the Soviet monuments in Tiraspol are : 2 statues of Lenin on the main 25 October street, WWII tank on the war memorial, honorary board celebrating the war veterans and esteemed citizens of Tiraspol and TD, MIG 19 plane memorial to war pilots, high raised apartments and other high rised architecture dotted accross the city etc.
Tiraspol is located 70 km south east from Chisinau. Regular buses depart from the Central Bus station (Gara Centrala) in Chisinau every 30-45 minutes. The trip lasts 1 hour and a half stopping at the border after 1 hour of the journey. Bus journey one way is about 2 EURO.
For a much more comfortable ride makes the train journey from Chisinau to Tiraspol on the train to Odessa. Unfortunately, it only circulates on the weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) during most of the year with more trains during the week in summer months. The train leaves Chisinau train station (Gara de Tren) at 6.57 AM arriving to Tiraspol at 8.21 AM. There is no passport control on the train, so make sure you get your immigartion slip at the immigration desk in the building of the train station when arriving to Tiraspol.
No visa is required to enter and stay in Tiraspol/Transdniestr. No invitation letter is required to transit or stay in Transdniestr. Entry requirement has been simplified recently and foreign citizens are not required to register with the Migration office any longer. You will get a slip from the immigration desk when entering the country (the main point of entry with such facilities are at the border in Cuciurgani and Bender if travelling by car or bus and in Tiraspol / Bender if travelling by train from Chisinau, Odessa or Ukraine/Russia). It will indicate the lengh of your stay and the address of your residence in Transdniestr. Make sure you keep it safe on you as you will have to show it to the border guards when exiting the country. Failure to present the slip at your exit will result in a fine.