Orhei is in Moldova. Its most notable attraction is Orheiul Vechi, i.e. Old Orhei, which is to the southeast of present-day Orhei.
Orheiul Vechi is one of the most visited sites outside of Chișinău and a one hour bus ride from the capital. It features a nature reserve, monasteries, museums, and archaeological sites. A cave church and a functioning monastery are the most prominent sights, but there are plenty of archaeological sites in the area, hotels, restaurants and two museums. One of the museums, just before crossing the bridge to the ridge with the church, costs 10 lei (5 lei for concessions, including students; July 2018) and displays pottery.
There are frequent buses between Chisinau and Orhei; these are buses going to and from places further north in Moldova and international routes. See http://188.8.131.52/orar/ for schedules and fares — the site is only available in Romanian, though.
To get to Orheiul Vechi from Chișinău, take a minibus from the central bus station heading to Butuceni (departing at 08:35, 10:20, 13:15, 14:55, and back at 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00, 16:10; 26 lei each way (July 2018) to pay to the driver when leaving the bus), or Trebujeni (same buses as before plus 17:15, 18:15, 20:10 from Chisinau; 06:00, 18:30 from Trebujeni; from Trebujeni there is a walk to the church cave and the monastery).
Orhei is about 40 km north of Chisinau, on the road to Soroca.
- 1 Roman Catholic Church.
- 2 Vasile Lupu Monument. Statue of Vasile Lupu, Voivode of Moldavia between 1634 and 1653.
- 3 Orheiul Vechi Monastery (Trebujeni, southeast of present-day Orheni. To get here from Chisinau by public transport, get the buses to Trebujeni (which is just next to Orheiul Vechi) from Gara Centrala. Get tickets beforehand from the ticket office. There are around 6-7 services each way. You'll see many buses to Orhei, but this is not the same place although it is nearby. (Aug 2018)). The complex is carved into a massive limestone cliff and this wild, rocky and remote spot is one of Moldova's most fantastic sights. Dug by Orthodox monks in the 13th century, this monastery of caves has not been spoiled by commercial exploitation, but the local children will sometimes offer you their carvings. Visiting the rock-hewn monastic cells does not have to be strenuous because you can drive a track to the clifftop and then negotiate a goat path.
- 4 Orheiland. Amusement park.