TIGHINA, also known as Bender, is in Transnistria. It is located on the right (western) bank of the Nistru river River, 66 km distance from Chisinau. The town was known in the Middle Ages as Tighina in Moldovan sources and later as Bender in Ottoman sources. In the independent Moldova, officially it is known as Bender, but otherwise both names Bender and Tighina are used. The major ethnic groups living in Tighina are: Russians (43%), Moldovans (25%), and Ukrainians (18%).  Tighina is an important industrial center where many factories are located, such as Floare and Tighina (footwear manufacturing) or Moldavkabel (electric cables manufacturing).


Culture. A large medieval fortress is located in Tighina, which is the most important attraction of the city. Until 2010 the fortress was closed to tourists, being used to shelter Russia's 14th Army troops, which has remained on this territory, together with the ammunitions, since 1992. Tighina Fortress was first mentioned as an important customs post in 1408. In the 15th century the system of fortifications (Hotin, Soroca, Tighina, Cetatea Alba fortresses) situated along the Dniester banks played an important role in medieval Moldavia, because they served as defense line against the invasion on the eastern frontiers.

In 1538, the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent conquered the fortress and renamed it Bender. In the 18th century, the fort's area was expanded and modernized by the prince of Moldavia - Antioh Cantemir, who carried out these works under the Ottoman supervision. Tighina fell three times to the Russians during the Russo-Turkish Wars, was annexed alongside with Bessarabia to Russia in 1812 and remained in Russian hands until 1918. As a part of Bessarabia, Tighina belonged to Romania between 1918 and 1940, temporary also between 1941 and 1944.

In the suburbs of Tighina is located Noul Neamt Monastery. Created in 14th century it has been the largest and most important cultural center, which becomes known outside Moldova. The monastery represent a complex of buildings, including several churches and became a place for pilgrimage for many people from Moldova and outside Moldova.

Wine. At 65 km distance from Tiraspol is located a famous Moldova Winery "Purcari". Tourists can take this trip to taste some of the best wines Moldova has. The winery has a hotel and restaurant. Winery tours and guided tasting are being organized for all visitors that are interested.   

Special Interest:


  1. Ethnography and Natural History Museum, Sovetskaya str. 44, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 22 543
  2. Military Museum, Academic Fedorov str. 8, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 26 724
  3. Railway Museum, Academic Fedorov str. 8, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 26 724
  4. Losev art gallery, Communism str. 77, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 42 003

Getting here

By car: Tiraspol is 66 km south-east of Chisinau. The journey normally takes 1 hour. Before entering into Tighina there is a control post. All persons entering Transnistria are obliged to register with the region's customs and border police. If driving to Tighina from Ukraine, the closest border posts are Hrebenyky and Kuchurhan.

By bus: There is regular bus service between Tighina and Chisinau and other cities and towns in Moldova. There are also bus connections to several cities outside of Moldova. Check the online bus schedules (in Romanian) for details.

By train: There is regular train service between Tighina and Chisinau (1 h. 40 min.) and a few other cities and towns in Moldova. There are also train connections to several cities outside of Moldova. Check the train schedule (in Romanian) for details. Make sure to choose the Bender 2 station.


  • Starye Bendery (Old Bender) Hotel, Gorkogo str. 12a, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 20 020

Restaurants, cafes, & bars

  • Tighina Café, Lazo str. 7, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 20 321
  • Starye Bendery (Old Bender) Restaurant, Gorkogo str. 12a, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 20 020
  • Andy's Pizza, Suvorov str. 57, Bender, Moldova, Tel: (+373 552) 45968, web: www.andys-pizz.md



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