The official national currency of Moldova is the Moldovan leu, called in the plural lei. This means of payment is abbreviated to MDL, which also corresponds to the ISO code. One leu is equal to 100 bani and the smallest unit of the country is 1 ban, which is abbreviated with a lowercase b. The currency is only used in Moldova, although it no longer has a great reputation there.
History of the Moldovan Currency
The Moldovan Soviet Republic belonged to the Soviet Union and only declared itself independent in 1991. Two years later, 1993 saw the birth of its own currency in the form of the Moldovan or Moldavian leu, which replaced the previously ruling Russian ruble.
Leu translates as the lion, but the currency could never reach the strength of a lion. As early as the 1990’s, i.e. the first years of this currency’s life, the leu suffered from strong fluctuations in value and quickly lost the trust of the Moldovan citizens. The US dollar grew in popularity just as quickly and quickly became the common currency in the country because it was considered to be much more stable than the leu.
From 2005, however, a gradual change took place, with the euro becoming more and more attractive, which is mainly due to the fact that it is more stable and stronger than the US dollar. More and more prices in Moldova are given in euros. The US dollar and the euro are also increasingly the currencies in which the Moldovan population invests their money when they want to save and make provisions, as trust in Moldovan banks is as low as in their own currency.
Exchange into Moldovan currency
Anyone who is planning a trip to Moldova is therefore well advised to remember when changing currency that one may have more fun in the country with the US dollar and euro than with the Moldovan leu. However, everyday purchases, food on the market or the like, may be cheaper when exchanged.
As a conversion rate for those interested, however, you can calculate about 6.15 euros for 100 lei. If you change your money into the Moldovan leu, you should only exchange as much as you want to spend on site, because when you get home you will hardly get any value for it.