Young Pioneer Tours offers fully guided and security-conscious Transnistria tours for 2024 and 2025. Officially known as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) is a post Soviet, unrecognised country, frozen in conflict. Transnistria is an unrecognised, who’s territory is claimed by Moldova.
Despite being unrecognised, the de facto state has it’s own currency, parliament, military/police and postal system. YPT has been running tours to Transnistria from the beginning, with deep rooted connections our Transnistria tours will give a glimpse into life behind the Iron Curtain.
Note: despite increased tensions in the region due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Transnistria remains safe to travel to.
TRANSNISTRIA TOURS – GROUP TOURS TO TRANSNISTRIA
We run a number of tours throughout the year to Transnistria incorporating the largest celebrations in the de facto state alongside independent tours to Transnistria. All our group tours start in Chisinau the least visited European capital city alongside visiting Gagauzia and Soroca.
All our group tours to Transnistria are accompanied by an expert YPT guide who lives amongst the local residence alongside our passionate and informative local guides. We have been running Transnistria tours from the early days of the company and are proud to be the longest serving travel company in Transnistria!
GROUP TOURS TO TRANSNISTRIA IN 2024 AND 2025
Currently we are offering the following group tours to Transnistria, alongside independent Transnistria tours throughout the year. All our group tours start in Chisinau, the least visited capital city in Europe. Our bespoke tours to Transnistria can be combined with Romania, Moldova, Gagauzia and/or Ukraine, please get in touch here for more details.
Ultimate Transnistria Victory Day Tour – May 6th 2024 – 12th 2024 – €995
Celebrating the Red Army victory over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War. You’ll see the most important official in Transnistria alongside war veterans. The festivities continue onto Bender, where we’ll join in the celebrations with the locals. The tour continue to Soroca visiting the infamous Gypsy Hill and secret nuclear bunkers.
Transnistria National Day & Gagauzia Tour – August 31st – September 4th 2024 – €495
The largest and most patriotic celebration of the year, where foreign dignitaries come from Russia to watch the military parade. You’ll join in the celebrations with locals enjoying locally produced wine and divin over bbq shashlik. You’ll explore the hidden gems of Transnistria and journey into Gagauzia visiting some of the unique places in the region.
Undiscovered Transnistria Tour – October 2nd – 7th 2024 – €595
Our most comprehensive tour of Transnistria, exploring the largest and capital city, Tiraspol. You’ll journey to the Northern city of Rîbnița a major industrial city before heading to the Southern city of Dnestrovsk. Along your journey you’ll discover forgotten memorials, Soviet mosaics and bus stops which use to thrive during the Soviet Union.
INDEPENDENT TOURS TO TRANSNISTRIA
We understand not all our group tours to Transnistria can fit with your schedule or you like a more in-depth experience of Transnistria then YPT can help you plan your perfect trip. Below is an example tour which can be done as is, shortened, or combined with Moldova and/or Gagauzia.
Day 1 – Chisinau
- Arrive at your own leisure into Chisinau – the capital city of Moldova, is well connected with many European and Middle Eastern countries and the Caucasus. Self-transfer to our centrally located Soviet hotel. Pre-tour accommodation can be arranged for your convenience (for a fee).
- Pre-tour meeting will be held at the lobby of our hotel at 7:30am to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers and YPT guide.
- Your journey begins with exploring an abandoned Soviet sports centre, we’ll enter the complex discreetly and head into the former nightclub and auditorium before heading to the top floor to admire the morning views. Before we leave you’ll get to see the largest and arguably the most stunning Soviet mosaics in Moldova – the complex is soon to be demolished and forgotten.
- Once we’re ready and captured some eerie photos we’ll head to a café and grab a coffee and pastries. Our local guide will be ready and waiting for us at 9:00am, with a brief introduction before we start to explore this beautiful, un-touristy and underrated European city.
- Your journey will feature historical events and vital figures in Moldavian History. We’ll enter a memorial complex dedicated to the brave soldiers who lost their lives during Great Patriotic War and the recent conflict with Transnistria – In true traditional Soviet style the memorial depicts scenes of battle to victory and a prosperous future under the red star of communism.
- The walking tour continues into the Military Museum where you’ll find scattered military hardware from various ages. This includes tanks, fighter jets from the Cold War and cannons used against the Ottomans.
- Along the way, we’ll meet Moldova’s national hero, Stephen the Great, who features on the local currency. The tour concludes outside the Presidential Palace, initially intended to be used for the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR.
- After learning much about the history of Moldova and the impact of socialism on the country, we’ll head to a restaurant which serves hearty Moldavian cuisine – we recommend trying Sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and Borscht (traditional soup) and maybe a swift glass of beer.
- We’ll continue to explore Chisinau’s Soviet history with your YPT guide, by the visiting the abandoned Chisinau Circus the Komsomol monument before heading back to the hotel to relax and freshen up. Along the way, we’ll head into the central market to see a beautiful mosaic and grab a beer with the friendly locals.
- Once everyone’s ready we’ll head up to the National Hotel, built during the peak of the Soviet era. The hotel was used by the KGB for espionage purposes to spy on guests but is now deserted and a shell of its former glory – it’s also a great spot to enjoy the views overlooking Chisinau and appreciate the brutalist architecture over the sunset.
- We’ll head out for dinner to the best steak house in the city, and for those inclined, a few refreshments at a speakeasy bar.
- Overnight stay in Chisinau.
Day 2 – Chisinau – Tiraspol
- Breakfast at our hotel before our schedule ahead.
- Our morning begins at 9:00am where we’ll meet our Transnistria fixer for instructions and guidelines we must follow during our time in the breakaway republic of Transnistria.
- We’ll head off for a 2hour road trip where we’ll stop at a gas station to pick up supplies – please note this will be last time you’ll be able to use your bank cards until we return. Along the way we’ll stop at a Soviet bus stop dedicated to space exploration – these relics are slowly disappearing in former Soviet republics.
- Once we reach the border, we’ll disembark our vehicle for passport control, before we head into Transnistria – please remember it’s prohibited to take photos during immigration control.
- On arrival to Tiraspol, we’ll check into our hotel to quickly freshen up before our walking tour of the de facto state capital city.
- We’ll need to exchange our money for the local currency at the bank. Your guide will be happy to explain the current exchange rate and estimate of what you should exchange – although prices have gone up in recent years it’s still a relatively cheap compared to Western cities.
- Keeping to the Soviet theme, we’ll head to the CCCP café for lunch – a typical stolovka with a selection of hearty cuisine surrounded by USSR memorabilia.
- Once we’re ready we’ll walk into Tiraspol – One thing you’ll notice is how clean, friendly and structured society it is. We’ll start off by the epic statue of Russian General, Alexander Suvorov – who founded the capital in 1792. You’ll be seeing the General throughout your trip, as he features on much of the currency and is considered a national hero.
- We’ll find the numerous flags on flying – the Russian Federation and Transnistrian flags alongside the flags of each district of Transnistria. Opposite are the flags of Transnistria and the breakaway brotherhood states of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia. What’s most interesting is the large national emblem – your guides will explain the meaning behind it.
- Like every town and city, we’ll visit Lenin standing outside the government building – this statue is currently the tallest outside Russia. We’ll continue down October Street, visiting the Eternal Flame Memorial complex dedicated to the Soviet-Afghan war, WW2, Transnistrian Civil War and Chernobyl nuclear accident. Opposite the Flame is the battle-damaged T-34 monument from WWII. You’re permitted to climb on it and get an awesome photo.
- On our walk along October Street, we’ll pass the Abkhazia and South Ossetia embassy. We’ll also pass by some beautiful Soviet era architecture and the impressive House of Culture, with a bust of Lenin waiting outside – we’ll take a customary group photo here.
- We’ll visit the University and see the memorial dedicated to the students and teachers who fell during the Great Patriotic War. Something that’s not so Soviet is the statue of Harry Potter and Hedwig, located opposite.
- Our walk will end up at Gagarin Boulevard. Here we’ll see a bust and a massive mural of Yuri Gagarin – pilot, cosmonaut and the first man in space. It’s easy to remember those facts but his achievements were celebrated worldwide, despite the tensions during the past (Cold War) and recent times.
- We’ll then switch it up and board an old Soviet ferry without an engine and cross the Dniester River to see how the village people live, across from Tiraspol – this is an area truly lost in the USSR!
- We’ll visit a still-functioning palace of culture with an enormous head of Lenin outside, pockmarked with Kalashnikov bullet holes after Moldovan troops symbolically executed him during the Civil War.
- Next, we’ll then visit a stunning and completely self-sufficient monastery complex that must be seen to be believed. We know many of the priests there and sometimes, they allow us to sample their incredible homemade wine. However, this is subject to whether the one priest with the key is available on the day.
- For dinner we’ll head back to Tiraspol to YPT’s favourite restaurant Back in the USSR – the owner is a personal friend of the guides and always accommodates the YPT group. The restaurant has loads of Soviet-era memorabilia and there will be music. Those inclined to a Soviet disco and beverages are welcomed to stay!
- Overnight stay in Tiraspol.
Day 3 – North Transnistria
- Early morning start, we’ll have breakfast before we make our way to rural towns of Transnistria before exploring the industrial capital of the North, Rîbnița.
- Once we’re ready, we’ll start our road trip to Grigoriopol – along the journey, we’ll make a stop at Toshlick to see the impressive Soviet memorial dedicated to various branches of the military in the Great Patriotic War. Locals here still maintain the memorial – some that is lost in other former Soviet Republics.
- Once we arrive in Grigoriopol, we’ll have some time to explore the various sights that the small town offers. Here, you can find a Lenin statue and various war memorials – however for those who are keen, your guide will show you an impressive mosaic, tucked away behind the markets.
- We’ll have lunch in Grigoriopol, where there are various small stores selling tasty Eastern European snacks.
- Once we’re ready we’ll start making our journey to Dubăsari. Along the road trip, we’ll stop off at a tank memorial – The Barrow of Glory. The memorial commemorates the four soldiers who lost their lives within the tank while liberating Dubăsari from the German-Romanian invaders. Ultimately the crew lost their lives within the tank, which fell into the Dniester River from a bridge during a fierce battle.
- On our arrival to Dubăsari, the third largest city in Transnistria, we’ll begin our walking which will include various key sites, including a peaceful memorial located in the park, a functioning stadium built during Soviet times and of course, an impressive Soviet mosaic!
- We’ll take you to a very isolated Soviet music college that is still actively used. It has a large and beautiful Lenin outside and a perfectly intact giant Soviet emblem.
- Next, we’ll visit the hydroelectric dam controlled by the Russian Army. The area is of strategic importance, hence why there is a heavy military and hardware presence.
- The best way to meet locals in this rural isolated town is at the local bar – we’ll be stepping back in time while we’re having a few refreshing drinks in this beautifully preserved Soviet-era establishment.
- We’ll continue to Rîbnița also commonly known as Rybnitsa, along the journey we’ll stop at a beautiful Soviet bus stop and signage for a group photo. Your guide will explain the history and art work of these Soviet relics.
- On arrival to Rîbnița we’ll head straight to the impressive cathedral before we walk around the memorial park, dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. The scenery is impressive, with Soviet memorials alongside the cathedral and communist apartment blocks in the background.
- We’ll make our way into the heart of Rîbnița to see Lenin standing just outside the city hall, before visiting the largest Soviet mosaic in Transnistria. To celebrate our adventure to the North, we’ll have a glass of Divin!
- Once we’re ready, we’ll make our way to Tiraspol, we’ll make rest stops along the way before we arrive late in the evening.
- Dinner at local restaurant followed by drinks at a Soviet disco!
- Overnight stay in Tiraspol.
Day 4 – South Transnistria
- Early morning start, we’ll have breakfast before we discover the Southern region of Transnistria, Chiobruchi and Dnestrovsk.
- Along the journey we’ll stop off at small rural towns and villages and meet friendly locals. You’ll also get to see hidden and forgotten Soviet mosaics and bus stops – something that is slowly disappearing in former Soviet republics.
- We’ll head out to an old Soviet Water Park and explore the complex and learn about its use during the Soviet era and how it’s perceived by locals nowadays.
- Continue to the Opera House, like many officials buildings, you’ll find a Lenin standing outside. Although it’s not permitted to enter, we’ll try our luck to enter.
- We’ll continue and explore an old Soviet Beach Resort and Fishing Village, with hundreds of old Soviet Dachas on stilts in the water. Little has changed since 1950 and it’s always great interacting with the locals here, as they’re not use to tourists.
- Nearby is one of the largest working Soviet power plants in the world, we’ll learn about the history and its significance during the Soviet era and in present times.
- We’ll have a picnic lunch enjoying the scenery, for those inclined can have a few drinks from the local store.
- Once we’re ready, we’ll start making our way back to Tiraspol, along the journey we’ll stop at a Soviet bus stop before heading to a local store to pick up some drinks for our Soviet garage party.
- On our return, located in the outskirts residential area we’ll visit a veteran’s from the 1990 war private garage. The veteran’s a long-time friend of YPT and we’re always welcomed here to see his large collection of Soviet memorabilia. These include guns, uniforms and many more!
- After a busy day we’ll head out for dinner at a local restaurant.
- Overnight stay in Tiraspol.
Day 5 – Bender
- Leisurely morning start, we’ll have breakfast before we make our way to Bender, the second largest city in Transnistria and the only one located west of the Dniester River.
- Today we’ll have an authentic Soviet experience and head to Tiraspol train station. Local buses (Marshrutka) operate from here and we’ll take the next one to Bender. It’s not uncommon for locals to strike up a conversation as they’re both curious and happy to see tourists travelling alongside them.
- On our arrival, we’ll explore the city walking to the renovated and well-maintained train station. You’ll notice that there’s are no trains – it’s an empty ghost station. There are Soviet monuments and an old Soviet train from WWII, with the hammer and sickle on the front, very few locals come here which makes it great for a photo opportunity.
- We’ll continue down the street until we come across Lenin standing opposite the local cinema. It’s a great place to grab a coffee and enjoy the Soviet interior while having modern movies posters. Along the tour you’ll see the government buildings still bearing the bullet holes left from the Civil war – a reminder for those who are quick to forget.
- For lunch, we’ll head to Soviet theme café – there are many nostalgic memorabilia here including controversial pictures of Stalin. We recommend trying cuisines popular with locals including chicken liver and boiled potatoes. There are plenty of vegetarian options also.
- We’ll continue on our walking tour to the House of Culture, the stunning building has historical significance to the local community. Although it’s not permitted to enter, we’ll try our luck and check out the impressive interior of the building.
- After a busy morning we’ll grab a Marshrutka back to Tiraspol. On arrival we’ll your YPT will take you to our favourite bookshop, to pick up some Soviet and Transnistrian nationalist paraphernalia – perfect place to acquire your Transnistrian flag and fridge magnet! Your guide will take you to an official Kvint store, you can find the best collection of divin at cheaper prices. You’re guide will explain the special series of divin and relevance to Soviet history – although these collections are not cheap they’re heavily underrated and great value. A perfect gift or for you to take back home and enjoy!
- Once we’ve picked up our gifts we’ll head back to the hotel to relax and freshen up.
- For dinner, we’ll head to Balka district – 5 years ago there was only a shop here amongst the Monument to Aviators, now the district is full of life with restaurants, bars and cafes. We’ll head to local bar for great food and beer!
- Overnight stay in Tiraspol.
Day 6 – Tiraspol – Chisinau
- We’ll have a relaxing morning breakfast before we depart our hotel. We’ll leave our bags in the secure storage room after we check out.
- As it’s our final morning in Transnistria, we’ll head to The Nativity Church, the largest church in Tiraspol before passing through a large open air market, it’s a great place to take photos. We’ll continue to head to the flea market, here you can purchase Soviet era memorabilia at cheap prices.
- We’ll make a stop at a hidden local bar in the market for cup of coffee or divin and reflect on our journey throughout Transnistria.
- Once we’re ready after picking up our souvenirs, we’ll head to a Sheriff store one final time, to pick up snacks for our journey back to Chisinau and to exchange our Transnistrian Rubles back to Euros/USD.
- Once we arrive to Chisinau at 15:30pm, the tour concludes – YPT can arrange additional nights in Chisinau and are more than happy to provide advice for ongoing flights or trains.
INDEPENDENT TRANSNISTRIA TOUR EXAMPLES
Our independent Transnistria tours are specially designed for your interests and desires, With the rich cultural Transnistrian heritage our expert guides will create the perfect itinerary for you, simply tell us your requirements and we’ll do the rest. Not all our tours are listed – here are some examples of independent tours we can offer.
- Soviet heritage tour – Our most popular independent tour to Transnistria. Your journey begins in Chisinau focusing on the Soviet influence of Moldova before crossing the border into Transnistria. You’ll visit memorials, Lenin monuments to interacting with former soldiers who were stationed across the Soviet Union.
- Architecture tour – Transnistria has some the best preserved Soviet era buildings, we are able to arranged guided tours to some of the most restricted
- Soviet relics tour – Discover the rich Soviet era heritage of Transnistria. Unlike many other former Soviet republics, Transnistria has a rich and condense amount of Soviet relics. You’ll be able to Soviet era signage, bus stops, mosaics and monuments.
- Regional tour – Designed for our returning customers, who would like to experience more of the de facto state. We are able to explore rural towns and villages close to the Ukrainian border, North and/or South Transnistria to discover and explore more of this unique region.
- Wine tour – Transnistria wineries are known for producing a wide range of wines, including the indigenous variety, Rara Neagra. Our wine tours will explore the rich, robust flavours and how they are created using traditional winemaking techniques.
- Lada tour – the most famous Soviet era car, we can arrange road trips in the classic car taking some of the most scenic routes along Transnistria.
- Divin tour – Transnistria produces some of the finest divin which arguably rivals French cognac, we can arrange bespoke tours visiting Kvint and sampling some of the best divin.
- Soviet mosaic tour – Designed specially for those interested in Soviet artwork, your expert guide will take you around Transnistria seeing and learning about the best preserved Soviet mosaics in the region.
- Sheriff football tour – Transnistria home team plays not only at a domestic level, but has international dominance in football. We can arrange game tickets and stadium tours, perfect for football fans.
- Educational tour – We’re currently working with local school, where current and former teachers come and explain the educational system in the West. We’re able to arrange exchange programmes where students can learn from the benefits of two educational systems.
- Language courses – Our Transnistria tours can facilitate those who are wishing to learn Russian, whatever your level. The unique region is ideal for those who are serious in practicing and developing their language skills.
- Military tour – Our network extends to former soldiers working in Transnistria, we specialise in meeting and interviewing soldiers who were stationed in the DDR. An unique interested
- Photography tour – We are able to arrange photography tours around Transnistria, simply tell us your requirements and our expert guides will create a perfect itinerary catered for your project.
- Expat tour – YPT has been coming to Transnistria for over 15 years, we have set up residency for expats. Our expat tours are designed to meet foreigners who have moved to the unrecognised country and learn about their quality of life while enjoying the benefits of Transnistria. We are able to help set up residency.
Transnistria tour guides
We have been in the business for over 15 years, with our tours and reputations reaching customers from all over the world – ours tours are only as good as our guides hence why we only work with the best local guides. Their passion and love for Transnistria creates an unique insight during our Transnistria tours, giving a personal insight into the past and future of the de facto state.
All our group tours to Transnistria are accompanied by an expert YPT guide – our guides spend months at a time in Transnistria doing on the ground research and making connections to ensure our Transnistria tours are the best, something which makes us stand out from our competitors.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TRANSNISTRIA TOURS
During private tours to Transnistria you’ll be accompanied by our local guide and driver who will take care of the immigration formalities.
YPT has a history of tour guides living in Transnistria, which helps our company build relations with the local communities. We ask you to follow the guidelines we send out in our pre tour information documents.
Although cheap, you can’t freely use your bankcard so the money you bring should be sufficient for the duration of your Transnistria tour.