Bucharest is Romania’s capital and largest city, as well as the most importan industrial and commercial center of the country.
It is also one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe, and, without a doubt, the largest city between Berlin and Istanbul.
Bucharest is a vibrant city with lots to offer in every way, plus – it’s cheaper than most European capitals.
You’ll definitely enjoy the local cuisine, liveliness and architecture of the old and new town. Add that on top of reasonably priced nights out and amazing street food, plus extremely cheap taxis and public transportation.
Restaurants are very affordable in Bucharest, and in this sense it is one of the cheapest capitals of Europe. The food you’ll try in its restaurants is delicious, made locally and is very fresh. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Bucharest will cost you around 7$. As for mid-range restaurants, you can eat a three-course meal for two and it will cost you less than 30$.
Stores and supermarkets are open until late, even during weekends and offer a variety of groceries, all kinds of cheese, milk, yogurt etc. You can find tasty organically-farmed fruits and vegetables in special markets in all cities throughout the city. During summer, try fresh fruit directly from the street vendors and farmers – and they will be very cheap!
Public transport is far from reliable in Romania, but the good thing is that taxis are very affordable and disposable, so you rarely have to ride public transportation, especially if you are a foreigner. If you have to go somewhere outside of the city, you can take the train, it is also very affordable. A monthly pass for public transport is staggeringly cheap – around 13$ a month.
Average cost for all utilities (meaning sewerage, water, gas, building management, garbage, electricity, TV and internet) in an 85m2 apartment in Bucharest, would be at around 120$ per month in the summer months and 270$ per month in the winter months. Internet speed is lightning fast in Bucharest! You can get 1GB/s download speed for about 9$ every month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Like most cities in Romania, Bucharest too has many natural resorts for practicing sports outside. You can go for a ride with your bike in the city or go for a walk anywhere around the city. However, if you’re more of an indoor person, you can become a member of a gym or fitness club for around 40$. There are also many cinemas in Bucharest, and they cost around 7$ per ticket.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Bucharest also has many shopping malls, with a range of Western stores and brands where you can shop for your favorite clothes and shoes. The prices aren’t exactly low (which you might expect from a country located in the eastern part of Europe), but they aren’t sky-high either. You can buy quality jeans for around 60$, and running sneakers for only 70$.
RENT PER MONTH
While rents can be high, they don’t come anywhere close to those that you’d encounter in London or other large cities in Western Europe. Rent will, however, be your main concern while living here. You can find places where you’ll pay 120$ for a studio – if it’s far from the center, while anything above 400$ means you’ll be getting decent accommodation in the best part of the city. A larger apartment for the whole family, in the city center is over 700$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Bucharest
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$7.17|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$1.91|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.32|
|Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$1.11|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$0.58|
|Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$0.34|
|Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$105.00|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$8.76|
|Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$39.62|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$13.93|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$7.17|
|Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$65.90|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$33.62|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$73.18|
|Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$425.77|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$298.20|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$761.37|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Bucharest?
Like in most countries of the world, the biggest expense for the people of Bucharest is food and groceries – they take up 30% of one’s income.
The second biggest expense is rent, since it’s relatively high though not as high as in more developed countries of Europe.
Transportation expenses and going to restaurants are equally as important for the people of Bucharest, with people spending around 15% of their income on restaurants and 11% on transportation.
Utilities have a very low percentage on this pie chart of expenses, with sports drawing more money from the residents’ wallets!
Bucharest: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
The wages in Bucharest are pretty low outside of finance and software development, although they are rapidly increasing like the economy.
Ever since Romania joined EU, the wages have been growing, but they are still on the lower side.
Their average monthly net salary is around 700$ which is definitely more than what is considered the country’s average and surely good enough to cover all expenses.
Minimum wage in Bucharest, in turn, is around 350$, which is still not staggeringly low but could still mean quite a bit of struggle for someone who’s renting.
Cost of Living by City in Romania
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|