the cost to live in romania retired or expat or digital nomad

The cost of living in Romania: How to survive as a Romanian expat

You’re interested in living as an expat in Romania, eh?

Or for all you digital nomads out there, you might be interested in being a mini retired person in Romania for a period of time maybe? Well whichever you are, you’re awesome for that.

Romania has that mysterious yet enchanting Eastern European history, but with a modern sensibility to its infrastructure as it’s in the EU. So I completely understand why you’re searching for the cost of living in Romania. 

So just how much money do you need to survive as an expat or retired person there? 

In order to help you answer that, I have focused on 7 areas where your money will consistently go each month to examine how much money you need. 

These numbers reflect the costs of living alone in the capital Bucharest.  If you are coming as a couple or a family, you can do the necessary multiplications to figure out how much money you need for your specific situation. Also, keep in mind that smaller and less touristy towns will have a lower Romanian cost of living. This rule pretty much goes for all the other countries in the Balkans as well. 


Looking for work in Romania?

If you are still trying to figure out how to find work to live in Romania, check out Europe Language Jobs to see the latest opportunities available for jobs in Romania.


Aaaand… here’s where your money will go!


For a studio apartment or a one bedroom, the price should be around 200-250 euros per month. Naturally, cheaper apartments will be smaller and perhaps not as renovated. Also let me remind you that if you live in the center of town, apartments will be pricier than those further away from the city center.  


A television, internet and phone bundle should cost around 12 euros per month.  If you live in an apartment with central heating, the price for heating, electricity and water should fall between 50-100 euros depending on how much you use all of those things. And of course, the winter will bring more usage of electricity and heat.


For a month long bus pass, you can expect to pay 10 euros. Students however are in luck and only have to pay half that price. If you are an infrequent bus user and just want to buy a one-way ticket, that will cost  about 0.35 euros. 

Bucharest also has a metro. Take that other Balkan countries! You have two options with the metro: 2 rides for a little over 1 euro, or 10 rides for a little over 4 euros. A one month unlimited pass will cost you 15 euros. And again, students can expect to pay half that price. Bucharest sounds like a great place to pursue a masters degree, huh?  

Going Out

The prices for clubs in Bucharest can actually be quite high. Should you go to a trendier club, 3-4 drinks could cost you at least 18 euros. A beer in more humble bars is about 1.5-2 euros. Shots cost 2-4.5 euros and a cocktail or mixed drink should be 3-5.5 euros. A main course in a decent restaurant will cost about 8-10 euros give-or-take. 


If you work as an expat in Romania, your  employer may be able to insure you. And if you are an EU citizen, you can pay for private service. For expats with no benefits, examinations and blood tests are about 18 euros.  In regards to pharmacies, cough medicines, headache relievers and other over-the-counter drugs should be 5 euros give-or-take. Antibiotics will cost 3-5 euros or more. If you need  medication for a specific disorder or disease, be prepared to spend at least 20 euros.


Groceries can cost between 20-40 euros if you are just shopping for one or two people. But if you are only one person, it shouldn’t be more than 30 euros a week really unless you are an over-eater! This is where the cost of living in Romania is just so awesome!  

Monthly total

You can get by in Romania on as low as 600-650 euros a month. That is, if you just want scrape by in Bucharest. But if you want to enjoy a comfortable life as an expat, at least 750 euros per month would grant you that desire. 

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or have anything you want to say about your experience living in Romania if you have lived there, please do so below!  Also feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram if you need help with anything. 

Thanks so much to my friend Andrei in Bucharest for helping me with this!

Posted in Balkans Digital Nomad, Balkans Expat Guide, Retire in Balkans Guide.

Nwando is an American expat based in the Balkans. She is a musician, blogger (duh!), and Youtuber with almost 3 Million views on her channel about traveling, culture and life in the Balkans!