Cheapest cities in Romania

Hello everyone,

Budget is an important consideration when moving to Romania. Ideally, expats would settle down in a city in Romania where the cost of living is low but where they could also enjoy a decent quality of life. Would you be able to give a few tips to someone planning a move to Romania by answering the questions below?

What are the cheapest cities in Romania?

Why are they cheap? What singles them out as a city where the cost of living is low?

What is the average budget for one person living in these cities?

Is it easy to find a job as an expat in these cities? What is the overall quality of life like?

Are they expat friendly? Would you recommend these cities to someone looking to settle in Romania?

Please share your experience,


In my opinion, cheapest cities in Romania or anywhere should be the secondary thought and the primary thought should be the cities with great opportunities.
Being here in Romania, I would say that Bucharest is the best place for expats because of 2 major reasons.
1. Ample job opportunities for English speakers
2. Most of the people interact in English while you are roaming around the city which is not the scenarios on most of the other cities

To concretely evaluate cheapest cities, extensive travelling and experience of living all over RO would have to be a prerequisite. 

That said, my limited experience suggests Eastern part of RO - Galati/Braila/Iasi - would prove cheaper. Essentially Moldova and Dubrojea regions.

Jobs in this region: Limited potential for English only speakers. Also not very paying. (But then, overall cost of living is also lower than other parts of RO.)

A nice 2 bedroom apt in Galati/Braila can set you back $350. $150-200 in smaller towns nearby is also possible.

Food is a personal matter, what you eat. Most super market chains in RO should be similarly priced. (However, in mofussil towns one can buy cheaper from the local market and save maybe as much s 25% from supermarket prices. Equally, job prospects in such places are close to zero.

Social equations: Being readily accepted by locals can prove an uphill task for Asians in most small cities/towns. Good jobs are scarce and if you are seen to be gouging some other local's job prospects.... it won't endear you to the locals either.

In nutshell, if one is dependent on a job for livelihood then the primary criteria would be big cities with opportunities, not places which offer cheaper living. (Cost of living could be offset somewhat by living out in the suburbs/nearby townships and commuting via public transport.)

Cheap or expensive, good or bad are subjective. A lot depends on where the expat is coming from and the quality of life and cost of living she/he is used to in home country.

I can only comment regarding my own experience living in Brasov I do however have friends who are able to live a good quality of life with much less
Being from the U.S. we are accustomed to a certain lifestyle in the last 2 years we have traveled Romania extensively but have never lived anywhere but Brasov
As far as rent we personally pay 2500 lei per month however depending on where and what level of amenities you are looking for you can find a safe comfortable apartment for 300-400 dollars (1200-1600 lei)
I have no idea why but our utility bills seem to be a coin toss each month we don’t change our living habits but gas ranges from 150-450 lei per month electricity is about the same range
Cable and internet are extremely cheap our bill is 71 lei per month every month
There are many many very cheap restaurants with fantastic food it is not difficult to get a meal for 5 with coffee and dessert for 300 lei including tip
Being non EU citizens we pay attorney and accountant fees about 10,000 lei annially (it used to be cheaper but Romania doubled the health insurance in 2018)
The job market is pretty healthy we have a friend who left her employer for a better position this year and if you have ANY skills in construction there are opportunities not as many tech jobs as Cluj or Bucharest but from what we have experienced Brasov is a little less expensive than either of those cities
Healthcare is good quality the hospitals and clinics are not pretty but the level of care has been very good for us we have been to private clinics as well as state clinics no difference in level of care
The majority of people are friendly and helpful and most we interact with speak English
Surprisingly grocery shopping is not much different than in the U.S. we spend roughly 25% less here in Romania but our weekly visits to Auchan still range from 800-1000 lei but again you can spend much less if you try
Dental work in Romania is unbelievably cheap I had a filling done for 50 lei and an extraction for 150 lei I would have paid at least triple that in the U.S. WITH dental insurance !!!
One of the things we enjoy most about Brasov is the location there are so many things to do and see that are only a hour or two drive
For anyone like me that absolutely hates traffic the traffic in Brasov is very light you can travel from one side of town to the other in 10 minutes or so that is a great positive for us the only problem is when you get to your destination you may spend another 10 minutes finding a place to park :)
All in all we have not sacrificed at all as far as quality of life (may have actually become better) and we pay roughly 50% less than living in the U.S.  we have made great friends and love it here so much we are looking at purchasing a small business
We find Brasov to be a very inexpensive city to live even with our spending habits after living here for 2 years I think it would be possible to have a good quality of life making anything over 5000 lei per month (for a family)
Hope that helps anyone interested in settling in Brasov

Yes, many people like Brasov. However, some fallacies need correction:

1. Unless you stay well  out in the suburbs and never venture into the city to say Brasov has light traffic indicates previous home in downtown Sao Paulo...! Or Cal!

2. To say that most people you interact with speak English is simplistic to the extent that naturally you will not frequently interact with people who do not speak your language. But that is not to say most Romanians in Brasov speak English - which is what your statement seems to imply.

3. The cost of living arithmetic you offer is wondrous! First time I see 2+2 equal 3!
You conclude by saying a good life is possible within RON 5000 per month, but adding up the sundry expenses you detail in earlier paras significantly exceeds this figure. (Not even taking food and education of a few children in a private English medium school into acct.)

4. Lastly: Brasov is a nice city but quite incompatible with the main focus of this subject - cheapest cities of Romania.

I point out these facts not so much to criticize (we all have a right to express ourselves) but opinions should not be misrepresented as facts that willy-nilly misguide new comers seeking facts and advice here.

The best!

First off I have driven from one end of Brasov to the other for two yeats now and tjhe traffic is very light if you think otherwise you obviously have never experienced heavy traffic how many times have you driven Brasov daily ??
Second the majority of the residents that work in Brasov SPEAK ENGLISH we have never been to a shop restaurant (many have menus in English) we order food and the person on the other line speaks English we go shopping the clerks speak English what are you basing your misguided opinion on ??
I made EXTREMELY clear that we live a certain lifestyle and if you had any reading comprehension skills you would have surmised I specifically stated I was not saying people could live our lifestyle on the amount I listed but could live comfortably (went as far as to mention most people could spend much less on weekly trips to Auchan) so if you got 2+2=3 that would be your mistake I stated we have close friends that live comfortably on much less so if you like comparing apples to oranges that would be your lack of reading my comment since I specifically addressed that
Some people just enjoy looking for thing to criticize but when you accuse others of propagating a fallacy with zero supporting evidence you are generally the one who lacks credibility every statement I made came straight from personal experience for a period of two years I won’t say I’m an expert but I can surely relay what we have encountered

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