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Costinesti, Romania

Moving to Romania

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 04, 2023

Summary: Many expats and digital nomads move to Romania for its low cost of living, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. People can find a place to live in Romania by searching online for rental properties, or by asking around in the local community. The most popular cities for expats and digital nomads in Romania are Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, and Brasov.

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What do I need to know before moving to Romania?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Romania, they said:

"Before moving to Romania it is important to plan out your accommodation, obtain a work permit or residence permit, familiarise yourself with the Romanian taxation system and apply for a National Identification Number or Cod Fiscal. You should also make sure to understand the local culture and customs, research the job market and local economy and make sure to brush up on your Romanian language skills. It is also a good idea to ensure that you have comprehensive travel and health insurance coverage and carefully research the cost of living for the area you are moving to," added another expat who made the move to Romania.

"I enjoy the Obor area, because it has all I need, including the biggest grocery market in the city, but has fair prices for the accommodation. I would suggest searching for a place both next to metro stations and parks. Because public transport is doomed to be trappet in rush hour trafic and parks, such as Herastrau, grant an escape from the busy streets, especially for those who come from smaller cities. The far North of the city, above Herastrau park, has the richest area with new apartments. The rest of the city is filled with communistic buildings with simple flats," explained one expat living in Bucharest, Romania.

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How do I find a place to live in Romania?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"One possible way to find a place to live in Romania is to research the different cities and what type of accommodation is available. You can also choose to search online for rental properties, contact real estate agents, or post an ad on a local classifieds website. Additionally, you may also want to consider house-sitting or taking on a job with accommodation provided," said another expat in Romania.

"Through aquaintances. Met some international exchange students and kept in contact with them shrough social networks," added another expat who made the move to Bucharest.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Romania?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Romania is typically modern, with amenities such as air conditioning, internet, and modern appliances. Many expat homes and apartments offer furnished or unfurnished units, depending on the needs of the tenant. They usually feature spacious layouts with bright and airy rooms, and may also have outdoor spaces such as terraces or balconies. Some areas of Romania may offer more traditional properties with features such as high ceilings and stone fireplaces. Expat apartments in Romania are often located near significant attractions such as historical sites and shopping centres," said another expat in Romania.

"I live in a rented flat on the 9th floor. It's a renovated 3-room apartment in a communistic block and I share it with 2 other expat, one of which is a colleague of mine, the other - a firend of a colleague. It's quite typical to share apartments, because most expats work in a more or less international environment with other expat folks. Also, compared to food prices at a market, for example, I find apartments to be disproportionately expensive. Especially when renting a studio," added another expat who made the move to Bucharest.

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What is the average cost of housing in Romania?

If you are thinking about moving to Romania, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Romania varies depending on the location and type of accommodation. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €200 to €450 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center can cost around €400 to €900 per month," said another expat in Romania.

"The housing costs are a little higher than in Latvia. The cost for a studio is the same. But a multiple room apartment outside the city center in Riga should be a bit cheeper. Even if there isn't a big difference in the price, the salary rates vary a bit more for the disadvantage of Bucharest... We pay a monthly fee of 2100 lei - 470 Euro for rent+utilities for a simple 3 room apartment between the downtown and outskirts. Simple studios are around around 250 - 350 Euro," remarked another expat who made the move to Bucharest.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Romania?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Romania, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Whether you should buy or rent a home in Romania depends on a variety of factors. Factors to consider when making the decision include your financial situation, the current housing market, your lifestyle and living needs, and the area you are interested in living in. Additionally, you should think about the long-term cost and benefits of either route, as well as any potential legal or tax implications as a foreign national living permanently in Romania. Ultimately, it is important to carefully consider all angles before making a decision," said another expat in Romania.

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What should I pack when moving to Romania?

We asked people living in Romania to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"Clothing for all seasons, including rain gear, a sturdy pair of shoes, and other comfortable walking shoes. Essentials such as a phone, laptop, travel documents and passport. Toiletries, including sunscreen and a first aid kit. Medicine, both over-the-counter and prescribed. Power adapters and converters. Local currency. Books or a laptop for entertainment. Digital camera and extra memory cards. Adapter plugs for appliances. Any electronics and appliances you need to take with you. Household items like cleaning supplies, kitchenware, linens, and towels," commented one expat who made the move to Romania.

"Some American TV's will work on 220V and 110V.... also you may need an adapter to connect the TV to a cable plug. Also, check to see if your TV runs on Analog or Digital... you may need an adapter for that... best yet. Leave your TVs behind, and just buy one here. We shipped our refrigerator. We found a special 220V to 110V adapter made just for refrigerators on a website that specializes in electronic products for Americans moving to Europe. This adapter has worked for several years and is still working. The refrigerator has an ice maker and a water filter we change every few months. Ice is not easy to find here so an ice maker is nice to have. FireStick works here for YouTube but to see your American movies, you will need a good VPN. YouTube can help you with that. Just about everything you need is here, perhaps a few American name brands not available like Lipton Instant Ice Tea... but substitutes can be found," remarked another expat in Romania.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Romania?

We asked people in Romania if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"In Romania, and other countries generally, it is important to remember to be respectful and courteous. This includes avoiding making jokes or comments that might offend or be seen as insensitive. It is also important to be aware of the local customs. For example, in Romania it is important to dress modestly, avoid physical contact and public displays of affection, and to show respect for elders and those in authority. Also, avoid discussing politics or religion with people you are not familiar with. Additionally, it is necessary to show appreciation for any gifts offered," added another expat who made the move to Romania.

"Embarrassing yes! I tried to ask a man for directions that was facing the building. I only realized that he was "relieving" himself so when he turned around zipping himself up I forgot what I was going to ask him! LOL," explained one expat living in Oradea, Romania.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Costinesti, Romania

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