I keep saying that remote workers should come here and give this city a try, but everyone keeps asking “Why is Bucharest a great destination for digital nomads?” Well, read on and you’ll have all the reasons you need!
Photo: Nico Trinkhaus – Memorial of Rebirth | Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest is the best place in Eastern Europe
I didn’t know what to expect but it was above any expectation I could’ve had
I heard about a cute city, but I discovered it is a wonderful place. History at every step, lovely people, great value for money and internet… oh, internet works amazing.
This could be the next Berlin
These are all lines I heard from people who came for the first time in Bucharest. I could tell you it’s amazing, or the best place on Earth, but you’d say I am biased. And no, I wouldn’t say that anyway, because every place has its own problems. Of course, you will see sad faces and meet grumpy people – it’s a city in Europe. You will see this in most European cities. While traveling, I noticed that some of the things I was used to having in Bucharest were missing from many places. And that’s the beauty of travel, though. You see and experience new things, learn and adapt. However, the low cost of living and great internet connection are on my “I miss” list many times.
So, let me share some insights about Bucharest and then you will be the one to decide whether you will be spending time in the capital of Romania or not. But before that, just to sweeten the pot, take a gander at the gallery below.
Arriving to Bucharest
First thing’s first – you need to arrive to Bucharest.
The “Henri Coandă” International Airport is just 6.5 km north of Bucharest’s city centre. You can find airplane tickets from almost any part of Europe to Bucharest at under 200€. Sometimes, if you choose to fly with Ryanair, Wizz Air or Blue Air, you can buy tickets for just 10€.
Once you arrive at the airport you can order a cab from a special terminal inside the airport and the cab will be arriving in a few minutes. The ride shouldn’t cost more than 50 lei (11€) regardless of the desired neighbourhood.
As an alternative, you can get the express bus (783) that takes about 40 minutes to get you to Piața Unirii (Union Square), which is the centre of the city and it costs around 2€.
You can take the train to come to Bucharest from many places in Europe, such as Vienna and Budapest, so you can, basically, ride the train here from anywhere. You can also find the same system for getting a cab here as well.
The Romanian roads are not the best, but you can get there by car. Be careful when you arrive in the city, though. If you don’t have that much driving experience, you might find it difficult to get around. There is a lot of traffic and rarely enough space for everyone. Now, imagine people trying to get home to their loved ones after 10 hours at the office in a crowded city. Those are the people you need to drive next to. If you are not a confident driver, you’d better use a cab. It’s pretty cheap too.
Digital nomads who have decent incomes for Western Europe and US will be very happy here. The medium wage in Romania is 420€, which is the equivalent for renting a room in Berlin, for example. Renting a onebedroom apartment or a studio in Bucharest would cost you around 200€-300€ a month.
If you’re going to have a party in your freshly-rented apartment, the price of a beer at the supermarket is 0,7€. Fun, huh? A beer in a pub is around 1,5 – 2,5€ and lunch would cost you between 3 and 10€. I think the prices alone are the answer to the “Why is Bucharest a great destination for digital nomads” question. But wait, I have more!
Internet and Free Wi-Fi
Bucharest is the 7th city in the world with the highest download speed for fixed broadband internet connections. We sure like our internet in Romania. That’s why you will have no issue accessing great internet speeds when you rent an apartment on Airbnb or even if you go online while drink a coffee in a restaurant. You can even find free Wi-Fi at the subway stops. If you need a mobile connection, an internet-ready SIM card costs about €5.
The number of digital nomads is not that high as of yet, but more and more people are becoming aware of the advantages this city has to offer and the cheap plane rides makes this a worthwhile option to explore. The Digital Nomads Community in Romania is growing constantly, with people who want to know more about the city and meet other like-minded people.
When you’re not working, you simply must explore the city, it’s wonderful and you have tons of options when it comes to going out.
If you like gardens where you can relax and have a drink, Eden is the place to go. You can meet cool people, sit around in nature and drink fresh smoothies during the day and party at night. But if you like to party and meet awesome people, we recommend you try Control Club – on of the most notable night clubs and concert venues in the city. Creative is the word that best describes the club and the people you can find there – best option for fun and even a bit of networking, as you are sure to find passionate professionals hanging about.
If you’re hungry while in Control Club, you can simply swing by Alt-Shift, the next-door restaurant and if you like the sort of people you met there, surely you could meet some more in Fabrica Club (The Factory). The ultimate place to go is definitely Energiea – described as an informative establishment and an urban experiment, both pub and urban hub. The perfect place for a drink and a chat surrounded by the energy of urban art events taking place in a deconstructed decorum.
If you don’t want to go to that fancy-artsy extreme, there are tons of places to choose from in the old town-centre. You have your rock clubs, Irish pubs, fast-foods, restaurants, even themed bars like Bicicleta (the bicycle –decorated with bicycle parts). You cannot possibly be bored in Bucharest!
Here’s a little map to help you out:
Most of the apartments in Bucharest are rented on a yearly contract basis, with rents ranging between 200€ – 500€ for a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, depending on area, square footage and utilities. If you want to stay less than a year, the renting prices might go a bit higher, but there are other offers for such short periods, granted they are a little bit more difficult to find.
The alternatives are short-term accommodation platforms like Airbnb. You can look for the offers that include monthly discounts and you may be able to get a really good price without the hustle of finding a short-term lease. There are a lot of real estate websites with quite a few offers, but most of them are in Romanian and you may want to have a local take a look at those offers and advise you regarding the area and price.
Safety and getting around
Contrary to popular belief, Bucharest is not a dangerous place to live. Honestly, we have heard a lot more complaints regarding safety from people living in other European capitals. There are, of course, areas that you should avoid, like the outskirts of the city, but if you stick to densely commercial areas, near the old centre or surrounding important commercial centres, you will find that living in Bucharest is simple and the people here are quite hospitable and kind.
If we were to raise some warning signs about the practical dimension of living here, we would have to say that the cab fairs here range from 1.39RON to 2.19RON (the € to RON ratio is about 1/4.49). To make sure that you don’t get taken in for a ride, we recommend that you use an app to get cabs. Clever Taxi is cab company aggregator, or use Uber. Anything with a GPS system so that you can be informed about your route and mileage.
The subway system in Bucharest is decent, though sometimes overcrowded. You can buy a metro card with 2 trips (5RON), 10 trips (20RON), a daily pass (8RON) or a monthly pass (70RON). You and your friends can share the trips on the first two types of tickets, but the latter two have a 15-minute restricted access. This means that you cannot swipe it for more than one person per trip. There are at least two security guards in each train and in the stations. So you are safe to travel by subway in Bucharest (between 5 AM and 11 PM).
So now that you know it’s also safe, please stop asking “Why is Bucharest a great destination for digital nomads?” and come check it out for yourselves!
Romania is situated in a continental-temperate climate area. Climate has changed quite a bit in the past 10-20 years. But you can still distinguish between the four seasons, even if some years it seems like summer and full-blown winter are one day apart. We have every geographical land form in Romania – mountains, plains, hills, even some desert areas and, of course, the Danube Delta and the Black Sea. Bucharest is located in a vast plain (The Romanian Plain), which means that the winds can get quite fierce sometimes (especially in spring and autumn), compared to the rest of the country. The thousands of tall buildings simmer these winds down, though, so you have no reason to fret.
As we mentioned earlier, you have tons of options when it comes to traveling around Bucharest. Living here for a year would give you a full experience of winter in the mountains, summer by the sea, fishing in the Delta, or just road-tripping around the country. You’ll be left in awe by the wonderful landscapes Romania has to offer.
There are periodic Workations organized by the digital nomad community here, so if you want to get away from the big city at times and you’d like to work on the mountain tops, you have that option. We think anyone around the world can feel at home here and we are sure that the community would full-heartedly embrace any digital nomads looking to experience our small corner of heaven.
European citizens have free passage in Romania. So, it would be virtually effortless for you to come here if you live in the E.U. If you come from outside the Schengen area and are in Europe, you know that you have to leave this space every three months. So, Romania would be the perfect place for you to go without actually leaving Europe.
Check them out below: