What it’s Like for a Digital Nomad in Bucharest Romania

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What it’s Like for a Digital Nomad in Bucharest Romania

After six years of living and traveling as a digital nomad, I’ve come across some great places to pause for a few months to work. Bucharest is hard to beat. The city offers a fine combination of affordability, good entertainment, plentiful housing, fast internet, and all-around foreigner friendliness. A digital nomad couldn’t ask for much more. 

This article is part of a series of posts on digital nomadism where I report on the places I’ve stopped for short-term stays. Before coming to Romania, I was a digital nomad in Budapest, and before that, A digital nomad in Rishikesh, and even stopped to work remotely in Kathmandu, Nepal for a couple weeks.

Housing

Digital Nomad in Bucharest

The first thing you’ll need to do is find housing. Most digital nomads prefer to rent an apartment or share a room for a monthly rental. But if you don’t mind staying in a hostel, there have been numerous good hostels which have opened up recently. A dorm bed runs about $10 per night in Bucharest. Use booking.com for great deals on hostel and hotel beds. Apartments for rent are easy to find. We used AirBnB for a monthly rental of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for less than $500 but there are other good websites to find apartment rentals. While I don’t like using AirBnb for three or fewer days, it is convenient to use for weekly or monthly rentals. For comparison, a budget double hotel room in the center goes for about $25-30, which split two ways is a great value for shorter stays.

Cafes & Coffee Shops

Ten years ago, the old town of Bucharest was a bunch of dilapidated, vacant buildings. It couldn’t be any different today with cafes, restaurants, kebab shops, clubs, and renovated centuries-old churches. The neighborhoods around the old town are vibrant as well. You are spoiled for choice when choosing a cafe to work at. My go-to place for working on my laptop was M60 and Tucano but if you are strictly looking for the best coffee read this article I wrote on best coffee in Bucharest.

Wi-Fi in Romania

a Digital Nomad in Bucharest Romania

As I mentioned in my Why I’m going to Romania post, Wi-Fi speeds here are some of the fastest in the world. That should be critical for digital nomads because most of our work is web-based. In addition to that, a month of mobile service with data is less than $10. You might have problems in Romania, but slow internet ain’t gonna be one of them. As with internet browsing for any country, you should be using a good VPN to protect your computer. 

Cost of Living

A major advantage of choosing a destination in central or eastern Europe is that living expenses are drastically cut. Some countries, like Moldova, Ukraine, and Bulgaria are even cheaper now than places in southeast Asia. While Romania is not quite at that level, it is pretty cheap. And the quality of what you get for your money is good. It gets even cheaper when you leave comparatively expensive capital city, Bucharest. Eating out is an especially good value. We ate big meals at good restaurants for about $5-7. Even a memorable night out at Caru’ cu Bere with some drinks was affordable. We got tickets to the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra for around $10. And public transport is ridiculously inexpensive – figure a little over $1 for 2 trips on the underground metro. 

Sightseeing

Bucharest is not known for its sightseeing but we found plenty to see and do. The architecture is interesting in that there is no cohesive style throughout the city, but a mishmash of styles: from restored ancient churches to communist-era apartment blocks to some late 19th century Art Nouveau to the grandiose Palace of Parliament. Some of our favorite things to do were touring the Ceausescu Palace – the home of the former Romanian dictator, as well as visiting the traditional structures at the National Village Museum. The George Enescu Philharmonic is as fantastic as the Romanian Atheneum – the historic building in which it’s situated. There are huge parks in Bucharest that are great for long walks. In the winter, the Christmas markets are good fun. For drinkers and clubbers, Bucharest is fabulous, with a well-developed scene and plenty of affordable places to party.

Foreigner Friendliness

Although prominent blogger and digital nomad, Wandering Earl was denied a permanent residency, I’d still rank Romania friendly to foreigners. Yes, people are friendly in the literal sense and quite welcoming and respectful to outsiders. In addition, English is widely understood, especially in Bucharest. I only came in contact with a few individuals who didn’t speak English, and still, even with those people I didn’t have a communication problem.

Beyond Bucharest

Other cities in Romania would be good for digital nomads as well. Sibiu, Sighișoara, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, and Brașov, just to name a few. Before arriving in Bucharest I spent some time traveling around Romania researching my small group tour to Transylvania. I fell in love with Transylvania and highly recommend traveling there. The countryside is beautiful and the history of the towns and villages is interesting: a great place to travel slow and immerse yourself in your surroundings.

What it’s Like for a Digital Nomad in Bucharest Romania

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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