Cost of Living in Romania and Bucharest in 2013


UPDATE: If you want the new data, make sure to check out the 2014 cost of living update.

Many people still find it difficult to believe that a monthly budget of a bit over $1,100 could be enough to make a decent living in Romania for two and I want to show you that it actually is possible by keeping track of the expenses. But until then, I decided to create a list with the cost of various items in Romania (especially Bucharest since that is probably the place you’ll be visiting) and help you decide what is the cost of living in Romania.

Have in mind that, just as it happens in any other country, living in Bucharest (the capital) is more expensive than living in smaller cities. Salaries are usually smaller too, but you will probably not come here to search for a job, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Now here’s a breakdown of costs and what you should expect to pay in Romania in this short breakdown of the cost of living in Romania and Bucharest in 2013!

Rent (1 room, city center): 400 USD (Bucharest) or $260 in smaller cities
Rent (1 room, outside of center): $270 (Bucharest) or $150 in smaller cities
Rent (3 room, city center): $800 (Bucharest) or $450 in smaller cities
Rent (3 room, outside of center): $600 (Bucharest) or $400 in smaller cities

Utilities: Prices are about the same in all cities, varying based on personal needs. About $100 should be enough for most families.

Internet: High Speed, $10 per month

Food prices in Romania

Tomatoes (1 kg): $1.5
Potatoes (1 kg): $0.70
Lettuce (1 head): $1
Apples (1 kg): $1
Oranges (1 Kg): $1.2
Cheese (1 Kg): $6
Eggs (1 egg): $0.20
Chicken Breasts (1kg): $6
Fresh fish, local (1 kg): $6
Loaf of Bread (300 grams): $0.60
Milk (1 Liter): $1.85
Bottle of local wine: $4.50
Beer (0.5 liter): $1
Beer (2 liter bottle): $2
Mineral water (1.5 l): $0.70
Bottle of natural juice (1 liter): $1.8

Restaurant prices

Meal for two, inexpensive restaurant, Three-course (without drinks): $15
Meal for two, mid-range restaurant, Three course (without drinks): $25
Beer (0.5 l): $2
Coke (0.25 l): $1.5
Cappuccino: $2.40
Fresh lemonade: $3.30

Prices can vary a lot, though, and you can find great deals at prices that are even lower than this one. For example, me and my wife went to a fancy restaurant in one of the biggest cities in Romania a couple of weeks ago with traditional Romanian foods, we had a three course meal which was absolutely delicious, we drank 2 lemonades, 1 beer and 50 ml of local alcohol and the total cost was… $33 with a big tip included. And I must repeat that this was one fancy restaurant that people all over Romania recommend visiting!

So, as you can see, the cost of living in Romania and Bucharest in 2013 is not huge, on the contrary! Even if you have to pay rent, two people can make it in Romania with a budget of…

$1,000 per month

…if they’re a bit careful with their spending. And there are some great choices of cities except for Bucharest, but we’ll talk about them in an upcoming article.

Until then, how does a country where two can live for $1,000 per month sound like?


  1. I used to pay $50 for my student suite back in 1996. It was very close to the University in Timisoara. I remember it was at seventh floor and the elevator was mostly broken. But I didn’t care much. I was a lot younger back then. Good times. good times.

    • Well… at least yours had an elevator. Hahaha… Things have improved a lot, fortunately, but the prices also went up a bit – just slowed down due to the recession and still haven’t shown signs of improving, so now would be the time to come back for cheap and have a working elevator :))


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