Soroca is a town in the northeastern part of Moldova.
Soroca is the main city and the administrative centre in the Soroca District and is somewhat known as the "Romani (Gypsy) capital of Moldova". The town of Soroca is beautifully situated by the Nistru (Dniester) River which also marks the border with neighbouring Ukraine.
The town's history is very much bounded to the importance it has had as a military post between the 12th and the 18th century. At various points in time, Soroca has been affected by wars with Tartars, Cossacks, Poles and Russians. It was of vital military importance during the Pruth River Campaign of Peter the Great in 1711. At points in time the town has also been under rule of Poles and under occupation of Russia. The locality was greatly extended in the 19th century, during a period of relative prosperity. Soroca became a regional center featuring large squares, modernized streets, hospitals, grammar schools and conventionalized churches. In the Soviet period, the city became an important industrial center for northern Moldova.
The population is around 38,000, a number that has been stagnant for the last hundred years. At one point, the city had a Jewish population of around 18,000, which has shrunk to only around 100 today. The city has a sizable Romani (Gypsy) minority.
Buses go several times daily from Gara de Nord in Chișinău; and once an hour on the hour from Soroca, the last one at 18:00 (July 2018). The ride is about 2.5 hours (150 km) and costs 74 lei if bought at the bus station in Soroca, or 75 from the driver in Chisinau.
The city centre is walkable as most things are within 10–15 minutes from anywhere.
Minibuses (rutiere in Romanian; marshrutki in Russian) can take you certain places around town.
The ferry connecting Soroca with Tsekynivka (Ukraine) can only be used by Moldovan and Ukrainian passport holders, as it is a local and not an international border crossing.
You can leave Moldavia by ferry boat via the village of Cosăuți and enter Ukraine at Yampil. Take a taxi to the village of Cosăuți which is only 12 kilometers away from Soroca. Ask the driver to take you to the "feribot". There is a Moldovan customs point with a Duty Free section. It's an international border crossing point unlike the others in Soroca. The ferry boat is quite small and takes cars, motorbikes and pedestrians. It only costs around 5MDL for a pedestrian and it takes around 3 minutes to cross the river Dniestr.
On the other side you'll arrive at the Ukrainian customs point of Yampil. If you're on foot from here you can take a taxi to the Yampil bus station.
In case of heavy rain or bad weather the ferry boat doesn't run.
- 1 Soroca fort. The Soroca fort was built by Stefan cel Mare in 1499. It was an important link in the chain of fortifications which today are located in Moldova and Ukraine along the Nistru river. Hours can be sporadic especially in the winter. Entry fee 10 lei, children 5, according to a sign at the entrance; adults 10 lei, students 5, according to a sign at the courtyard (July 2018).
- 2 The Candle of Gratitude. On the road into town, 5 km to the south of Soroca there is a Monument called "The Candle of Gratitude". You can reach the 29.5-m (98 feet) summit by walking up the 600 stairs.
- 3 Roma houses. The hill on the west side of town has numerous ornately decorated Roma houses
- 4 "Rudy" - One of the points of the world heritage listed Struve Geodetic Arc, near the village of Rudi about 30 km northwest of Soroca. The marker is near the Otaci-Soroca highway. A smaller road leads off the highway and then there's a path to the white pedestal with a while globe on the top of it, a marker stone in the ground, and an information sign.
- Nistru riverfront stroll. Stroll along the Nistru riverfront, thinking about how nice it would be if someone just tended it a bit. Strike a converation with all the fishermen catching today's dinner.
- 1 Piața Centrală. Market square hosting stalls with clothes, foods, etc.
- 1 Nicolaes. Looks a bit shabby, but this restaurant has really good and cheap local food. No English menu.
- 1 Parus, Strada Malul Nistrului (Close to the ferry river-crossing north of the centre.). Nice pub/bar with roof terrace looking out over the Nistru river and into Ukraine.
- 1 Hotel Central, Strada Mihai Kogalniceanu 20, ☏ . Fair priced hotel in the middle of the city centre. The hotel is very nice, clean and up to standards. Friendly and service minded staff. Approx 600 lei for a twin.