Romania is one of the best places for remote workers in Europe thanks to its high quality of living coupled with low prices. Here is a comprehensive Romania digital nomad guide covering all the bases.
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Welcome to Romania: the Land of Castles and Dracula
Romania is today a vibrant and fascinating country that offers many advantages to tourists and digital nomads.
Romania has only existed in its current borders since after World War Two, but the Romanian nation has been thriving in the region for many centuries.
Home to the ancient Dacian civilization before being conquered by the Romans, Romania’s history is long and eventful.
Many people are familiar with Vlad Tepes, “the Impaler” (or Vlad Dracula), who served as inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. The real-life count lived in the 15th century in Transylvania, and you can visit some of his castles.
Apart from Dracula, Romania is known for its dark past as a communist state under megalomaniac dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
All of these historical episodes shaped the culture and mentality of Romanians today, and traces of the communist past are visible all over the country.
For digital nomads, Romania has several advantages:
- Part of the EU (not Schengen) with simple visa processes;
- low cost of living by European standards;
- diverse landscapes and livable cities;
- passable infrastructure levels and great Wifi; and
- the country is well-connected to other parts of Europe and the Middle East.
With all that said, here is a comprehensive Romania digital nomad guide.
Where to Live in Romania as a Digital Nomad
Many Romanian cities are well-suited for nomads thanks to their infrastructure and quality of life. I would say that the best places to live in Romania as a digital nomad are the capital and several places in Transylvania. Here are some suggestions.
Bucharest: the Bombastic Capital
As a digital nomad in Romania, Bucharest is the obvious choice. It has the country’s best infrastructure, connectivity, and first-world amenities.
In terms of architecture, Bucharest has some of the most oversized and bombastic communist buildings in all of Europe. That’s because a lot of structures here are from the Ceausescu regime.
Apart from commie blocks, Bucharest also has countless cultural and culinary institutions and a buzzing nightlife scene.
Cluj-Napoca: the Second Largest City
Many tourists overlook Romania’s second-largest city, but it’s actually one of the best places to live in Romania.
It’s less hectic and crowded than Bucharest and is the home of Romania’s largest university. As such, Cluj-Napoca is a young and dynamic city with a great nightlife scene.
The city also has an international airport with lots of low-cost connections to Europe and even a direct route to Dubai.
Overall, Cluj is a highly livable city but doesn’t offer as many sights as Bucharest or other places in Transylvania.
Brasov and Sibiu: Livable Cities in Transylvania
Brasov is the tourist center of Transylvania thanks to its stunning medieval core and proximity to several castles and national parks.
In this context, Brasov is an excellent base to travel to Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle) and Peles Castle, two of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Transylvania.
It’s super popular among tourists, but also suitable for digital nomads thanks to its coffee shops, central location, and laidback vibes.
- read my guide to the Best Things to do in Brasov, Romania.
Sibiu is a small city in the center of Romania, and much like Brasov, its gorgeous medieval architecture and chilled-out vibes make it a great place for remote workers.
From those two cities, you can also go on day trips to the picturesque towns of Targu Mures and Sighisoara.
Oradea and Timisoara: More Places to Live in the Bihor and Banas Regions
Oradea is the seat of the Bihor County and a regional hub. It’s not a touristy place but highly developed and charming. As such, it’s a great place for nomads looking for offbeat locations in Romania.
Timisoara is the country’s fifth-largest city and also features gorgeous medieval architecture. It’s a quaint town close to Serbia and Hugary, making it an excellent stopover point when traveling in the region.
Constanta: the Best City on the Black Sea
If you want to be close to a beach, Constanta is arguably the best choice. It’s the largest city on Romania’s Black Sea coast and has enough infrastructure for your remote working stay.
Better still, it’s well-connected to Bucharest and several Black Sea resort towns.
Iasi: the Underdog
If you want to stay in a genuinely off-the-beaten-path city, Iasi is an option. It’s located close to the Moldovan border and doesn’t have many tourist attractions. As such, it’s a location for people who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and don’t mind being the only foreigner around.
Cost of Living in Romania
Romania is undoubtedly one of the most affordable destinations in Europe. As long as you don’t go to fancy restaurants and stay in expensive hotels, you can easily live for €1.5k here.
Here is a breakdown of one month of digital nomad expenses in Romania.
- Airbnbs, Hotels, and Hostels: €700;
- Food and Drinks: €400;
- Transport: €50;
- Tourist Activities: €100;
- Miscellaneous like Sim Card, Barbershops, Bucharest Coworking, and Gym: €150.
Total Romania digital nomad budget: €1,400 (~1,528 USD)
You could get that budget down by going through a local rental agency, staying in hostels most of the time, and not eating out too frequently.
Accommodation for Digital Nomads in Romania
Overall, Airbnb is the best choice for remote workers in Romania. If you stay longer, local rental agencies are also an option, but the process is complicated
Aside from Airbnbs, hostels are the cheapest option in places like Bucharest, Brasov, and Cluj.
Finally, hotels and guest houses are generally more expensive, but off-season, you can find some bargains.
Infrastructure and Connectivity
The standard of living in Romania has risen over the past 20 years, and the country’s infrastructure (especially the road network) is improving every year.
Romania’s wifi speed is world-class, with a median internet speed of over 170 Mbps. As such, you don’t have to worry about connectivity here.
Sim Cards are available throughout Romania. Two of the most popular options are DIGI and Orange. Both cost between 4 and 6 USD, and then you can top up depending on how much data you need.
Getting Around Romania
If you want to travel across Romania, you can take trains or buses. Romanian trains are slow and generally outdated, bar some private lines that are more modern.
Overall, taking a train in Romania is more of an experience than a fast way of getting from A to B. In this context, buses and carsharing on platforms such as BlahBlahCar are more convenient options.
Check out my vlog of a communist train in Transylvania.
Romania Digital Nomad Guide: Remote Working Locations
Here are some of the best coffee shops and coworking spaces in Romania.
- Commons Unirii Bucharest Coworking: undoubtedly one of the best coworking spaces in Bucharest with competitive prices, a lovely terrace, and even a yoga studio;
- TheAtelier.ro Coworking Space Bucharest: another great space in the center of Bucharest which is great for digital nomads as you can pay by the hour;
- We Love Digital Unirii Bucharest Coworking: a vast and budget-friendly coworking space in the Romanian capital;
- Beans & Dots: a cozy and quiet coffee shop in Bucharest with fast wifi;
- Meron: one of the best coffee shop chains in Romania with locations in Bucharest, Cluj, Oradea, and other Romanian cities.
- Cafe Van Gogh: a charming coffee shop in the heart of Bucharest’s old town;
- The Guild Hall Cluj Coworking: an excellent space in Cluj-Napoca that is a hybrid between coworking space, coffee shop, and chillout area with a game shop;
- Rocket Space Coworking Cluj: a top-notch coworking space in Cluj that caters to vloggers and other content creators;
- ClujHub: a large coworking space and event venue in the center of Cluj;
- Hub 1317 Coworking Brasov: one of the best coworking spaces in Brasov;
- Utopia Hub Brasov Coworking: another highly-rated coworking space for freelancers and entrepreneurs in the center of Brasov.
Culture and People
Romania is a country of extremes. Being one of the newest EU members, it is also one of the countries with the lowest average income. There is, however, a lot of wealth, both in the big cities and rural areas.
Romanians today are the result of a mix of cultures that stems from the country’s eventful history. There are also many minorities such as Hungarians, Serbs, and Roma.
Overall, Romanians are friendly and helpful. The hospitality culture is strong, and most Romanians want to show their country from its best perspective.
Don’t expect the best service in restaurants or administrations, as Romania is lagging in that department.
Furthermore, Romania has a strong rural culture and people celebrate regional traditions.
In a nutshell, Romania has a fascinating culture that blends Roman/Latin heritage with bespoke Transylvanian traditions and the country’s communist past.
Romania Digital Nomad Guide: FAQ
To complete our guide, here are some things to know before traveling to Romania.
Is there a Romania Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes. You can apply for a one-year Romania digital nomad visa if you meet the following requirements:
- Work for a company registered outside Romania.
- Work by using telecommunications technology.
- Have an average income that equals three times the gross monthly average salary in Romania, about €3,700 per month.
The application process is available on the online e-visa platform of Romania.
If you can’t meet the conditions, there is always a 90-day Schengen visa. Romania is not yet part of the Schengen zone but the same rules apply for non-EU citizens. Check the visa policy of Romania here.
How to Get to Romania
Bucharest Otopeni Airport is one of the busiest in Eastern Europe and is well-connected to the rest of Europe and the Middle East.
Apart from Bucharest, Cluj has an international airport and there are also lots of bus and train connections to neighboring Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Moldova.
How are English Levels in Romania?
In the major cities, English levels are not too bad. The younger generations generally have a decent command.
As in many countries, the older generations won’t be fluent, and the more rural you go, the fewer English speakers you’ll encounter.
The Romanian language is part of the Romance family. As such, if you are fluent in French, Spanish, or Italian, you’ll be able to read it quite well thanks to the similarity of the roots.
At any rate, knowing a few basic phrases in Romanian will come in handy.
Is Romania Safe to Live?
Yes. By and large, Romania is as safe as any other Central/Eastern European country. Use common sense, beware of tourist scams (especially in Bucharest’s nightlife areas), and your visit will remain trouble-free.
What’s the Best Travel and Digital Nomad Insurance for Romania?
As always, it’s crucial not to travel abroad long-term without proper insurance coverage.
I have been using Safety Wing for over four years, and they offer the best digital nomad insurance on the market. It’s completely flexible as you can use it for one week or an entire year, no matter where you travel.
For about 10 USD per week, you are insured in case of medical emergencies, accidents, and lost luggage. Check out Safety Wing here.
Are There Many Digital Nomads in Romania?
You’ll find sizable digital nomad communities in Bucharest and Brasov, and, to a lesser extent, Cluj. Romania is quite popular among nomads, but most of them congregate in a few spots.
Romania Digital Nomad Guide: the Bottom Line
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Romania. It’s a great place to work remotely thanks to its affordable prices and fascinating culture.
Personally, Transylvania, and especially Brasov and Cluj would be my top picks for any digital nomad, but Bucharest has the best infrastructure.
Transylvania has so many cool places to visit when you’re not working, and a lot of stunning nature. As such, it’s my favorite part of Romania.
If you’re looking for an all-around great nomad base in Central or Eastern Europe, Romania is undoubtedly worth checking out.