Cost of Living in Romania



Romania is one of the brightest prospects for expats, owing much to its affordable cost of living that also makes it one of the most livable country in the region.

A heads up for expats who have their own currencies upon moving that changing money on the street is strictly prohibited. It is actually illegal in this country, so it is always necessary to conduct such transactions with official changing agencies. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are all over the cities and allow withdrawals in the official currency, Leu (RON), from various credit cards, including Plus Visa, Cirrus, MasterCard or Eurocard. Some banks permit cash advances in the client's home currency.

While accommodation is a lot cheaper than in most European countries, you may have to pay as much as €1,200 per month for an apartment in the capital city of Bucharest. However, medium-range single-bedroom apartments go from €100 to €150 and about €150-300 for a house, while a studio flat will likely cost anywhere from €60-100.  

Real estate purchases may be a little more complicated. At present, non-EU citizen expats can buy properties (but not land) while EU citizens can buy both land and property, but only under certain conditions. Prices of land differ depending mainly on location and usability and may go up to about €4,000-5,000 in main city centers. Those with monthly incomes exceeding €1,200/month may apply for credit to buy a new two-room apartment. Bucharest currently has the most number of ongoing real estate development projects and the future looks even better with the influx of foreign investments. Anyone who plans to purchase land or property in Romania is highly advised to consult a lawyer so as to avoid legal complications.  

Food costs vary depending on how and where it is served. Home-cooked meals will cost anywhere between €50 and 100 monthly per person while €10-20 can buy you a decent meal in an average Bucharest or other city restaurant. Bottled water costs about €0.66 per 1.5L while beer may be anywhere between €0.90 and 1.40 for 0.5L. 

Public transport is relatively cheap in this country; with a two-ride bus ticket costing around €0.70 while a month's pass for a single bus line may be about €8.60. Taxis charge about €0.25 per kilometer traveled. Household costs that include electricity, gas, a landline, water, cable TV and the internet costs about €120 to 166 monthly.    

Medical or dental consultations are generally free of charge in Romania, although some visits will cost a fee of about €6 to 7, usually when the doctor or dentist requests to run tests on a patient or writes prescriptions. Private health care through insurance companies will likely take up about 6.5% of your monthly income.

Romania's recent entry into the European Union caused a wave of price increases but the country remains at least ten percent cheaper than most European countries, including the UK. As it is, this economy is expected to hold up and maintain the country's livability for its citizens, expats and tourists. After all, it is Europe's tiger economy and it has shown no signs of falling short of the title so far.



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