Cost of Living in Romania in 2024 (Monthly Living Cost)

  • The cost of living in Romania grows at fast pace
  • I’m breaking down living expenses by category: accommodation, food, entertainment and more
  • Expect to spend anything between €1,200 – €1,500 per month for a decent life
  • Breaking down the details on how you might be able to live on €1,000 per month

The cost of living in Romania keeps growing at alarming rates, following the huge inflation that plagued the years of 2022 and 2023. Even though it’s slowing down in 2024, the living cost in Romania is at record highs.

Compared to 2013 when I first started to track our expenses and follow the prices of various products in the country, I can say that many have doubled or even tripled.

While the salaries in Romania have also increased significantly, it’s getting more and more difficult for the locals to keep up with the growing monthly costs.

And while Romania remains one of the cheapest countries in the European Union, it’s no longer the place where you could live like a king for $1,000 per month. This was possible 10-12 years ago, but not today.

Actually, I have written an article comparing Romania’s prices to those in Spain, concluding that the difference is not that high anymore.

I will go in depth analyzing how much it costs to live in Romania, break down the expenses in various categories and share some tips and tricks to make sure that you get the biggest bang for your buck here.

These estimates are valid for most cities in Romania, but do expect the larger ones to have a higher cost of living than the smaller cities and towns.

What’s the monthly cost of living in Romania in 2024?

the cost of living is increasing

Living in Romania in 2024 costs about €1,200/month. This covers rent, utilities, food, and basic entertainment, allowing you to live a decent, but mostly modest life.

For a more luxurious living, I recommend a budget of at least €1,500 per month for one person.

While it’s not easy to estimate another person’s expenses, because many personal habits come into play, I strongly believe that if you have anything between 1,200 and 1,500 Euros available per month, you’ll do well in Romania.

As a counter-example, we have below a comment posted by Alexandru, where he detailed his monthly costs living in Romania (back in 2021). This shows that the country can still be very cheap to live in if you’re thrifty:

I live in Brasov with my girlfriend in my own apartment and only one of us is working at the moment. I don’t have to pay rent .

The average costs we have per month are (taking into account food, utilities, bills and miscellaneous) are around 2,500 lei per month. This translates to around 508 euros on average per month.

Honestly this is around what you need, in my mind, not only to survive but to live a comfortable life (going out in the week-ends, ordering food 75% of the time from various restaurants and some other activities which include various costs).

by Alexandru, Romania Experience reader

Taking inflation into account, we can say that in today’s money, his monthly average would be close to 650 Euros/month for two people.

Have in mind that this does not include any rent! But it’s good to have additional opinions, as they help us all paint a clearer picture.

Now let’s get more in depth and break down the monthly costs in Romania into categories, to see what you could expect to spend.

Accommodation costs in Romania

modern apartment in Romania

If you want to rent in the larger cities, budget 400 – 500 Euros per month for a 1-bedroom apartment. In a smaller city, you can pay as little as 275 Euros per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Both rental prices, as well as the costs for buying property in Romania are, right now, at all time highs.

As a result, property prices are some 10% higher than they were in the past couple of years, and they are expected to go even higher as new taxes have been announced.

Rental prices have also gone up a lot in many of the large cities (Cluj Napoca, Bucharest and Constanta mainly), although they remained mostly the same in the smaller ones.

For example, an apartment like the one that we bought in 2014 for 25,000 Euros (in a smaller city) is now listed for €55,000 or more… so prices have indeed jumped up a lot lately when it comes to buying property.

(I wrote an article showing apartments for rent in Romania – make sure to check it out to see what to expect to get for the money AND where to look.)

Monthly costs of utilities in Romania

Romania living cost

The costs for utilities in Romania remain low compared to other countries, despite the recent price hikes.

When renting, these costs are usually not included, so you will have to pay extra. These are called “Intretinere” in Romania, which translates as “maintenance” and it usually includes garbage collection, water, a fund for minor repairs and heating.

If you use gas for heating, that’s paid separately, as well as the electrical bill.

Here are my estimated monthly costs for utilities, for a 1-bedroom apartment:

Intretinere/maintenance: €130/month on average. Expect to pay as low as €30/month during the summer and up to €200/month during the winter. I’m including here gas costs (so heating over the winter too).

Electricity: €70/month. Usually, foreigners use more electricity than Romanians, and I am taking this into account.

However, if you keep the A/C blasting 24/7, you only use the drier for your clothes and generally have appliances that need a lot of electricity, you can end up paying a lot more.

TV, Internet & mobile: €17/month for a combo including 500 Mbps internet, digital TV and mobile plan with unlimited calls & mobile internet. These are offered by Digi, the country’s biggest provider.

Yes, these are still extremely cheap in Romania, and of high quality. You can get more in depth with Romania’s internet speed here if you want to.

Food prices in Romania

traditional Romanian food on a platter

I estimate that a family of two can keep the monthly food budget in Romania at around €400 and still enjoy a varied diet, but cook at home from base ingredients.

In our case, food costs are close to 500 Euros for three people (eating out included – but we eat out a maximum of 4 times per month).

Food prices have gone up like crazy in the past couple of years. It’s not uncommon to see prices higher by 50% to 300% in supermarkets.

The farmer markets, which were the places where you usually could buy cheap, locally grown products have been taken over by companies and resellers, resulting in higher prices.

For example, you could buy locally grown garden tomatoes with as low as 3 lei per kilo a few years ago. This year, prices during the season are around 10 lei per kilo.

As a result, food prices in Romania are usually on par with those in the rest of Europe (although you can still find some great deals now and then).

Examples of food prices

Tomatoes (1 kg): €1.50 – €7.00 (depending on the season, cheaper during summer/autumn)
Potatoes (1 kg): €0.75
Lettuce (1 head): €0.5 – €1
Apples (1 kg): €1.00 – €2.30
Oranges (1 Kg): ~1 Euro
Cheese (1 Kg): €7.5 – €15
Eggs (10): €2.5
Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (1 kg): ~€6.50
Fresh fish, local (1 kg): €7.50
Loaf of Bread (300 grams): €1.00
Milk (1 Liter – no name brands): €1.00
Bottle of cheap local wine: €4.00
Bottle of better local wine: €8.00
Beer (0.5 liter): €0.80 (in stores)
Beer (2 liter bottle): €3.00
Sparkling water (1.5 l): €0.50
Bottled water (5 l): €1.00
Bottle of natural juice (1 liter): €1.75

Here are the costs for eating out

Meal for two, generic restaurant, main course, dessert and one drink (tip included): 30 Euros
Meal for two, better restaurant, Three course (tip included): 50 Euros
Beer (0.5 l): €2.15
Coke (0.25 l): €2.00
Wine (0.75 l): 15 Euros per bottle (but can easily go way up)
Cappuccino / Coffee: €3.00
Fresh lemonade: €3.00

I have detailed our monthly expenses in a previous article – so if you want to know exactly how much my family of 3 is spending each month, make sure to read that as well.

Other living costs in Romania

Bus ticket: 0.40 Eur (1 trip)
Monthly bus pass: ~15 Euros (unlimited trips) – not all cities have something like this!
Gas: 1.75 Eur per liter (varied a lot over the past year, could be the same this year)
Pair of regular jeans: 35 Euros
No Brand T-shirt: 10 Euros
Cinema ticket: 5.00 Euros
Private health insurance: As low as 50 Eur/month (but prices can vary a lot here, depending on your needs).

Most of the things here – from transportation to clothing is generally cheaper (to much cheaper) when compared to other Western European countries.

If this still seems like a lot, you might consider visiting the country first. I have an article sharing whether or not is Romania cheap to visit as a tourist.

Can you live in Romania on 1,000 Euros per month?

thrifty living in Romania

This is a nice, round number and I said a while ago that you can live in Romania for less than 1,000 per month.

As a single person, I think it’s a bit of a challenge, but not impossible. As a couple, with 2,000 Euros per month, you’d live a relatively good life in Romania at 1,000 Euros per person.

Even in USD, you’d still have just enough for a decent – although modest – life in Romania, but mostly limited to the smaller ones.

Let’s make some estimative costs, just for the sake of proving that you can still live in Romania for under 1,000 Euros/month:

Rent: 350 EUR (1-bedroom or studio)
Food: 350 EUR
Utilities: 217 EUR
__________
TOTAL: 917 EUR / month

This would still leave you with 83 Euros per month for any other expenses. Not a lot, for sure, but not extremely bad either.

If you’re in good health and don’t have extravagant needs, you can still make it on a lower budget.

Don’t expect to live like a king or queen for this money, though. It won’t be a daily party for sure, but it is doable, as you can see.

After all, the average salary in Romania is around 945 – so you’d be a bit over the amount required, in theory, for living an average life.

Also, choosing to live in a cheaper, smaller city, would also come with lower costs, offering you even more bang for your buck, as well as lower overall costs.

Wrapping Up

You should have now a much clearer picture of how much it costs to live in Romania.

Basically, you might be able to make ends meet on as low as €1,000 per month if living alone, but around €1,200 would give you more wiggle room.

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You can also read my previous article detailing our cost of living in Constanta, if you’re curious to learn more about specific cities.

If you are already living in Romania – and have been here for a while to at least have an estimate of your total monthly expenses, don’t hesitate to do so and share your numbers in the comments section below. It’s highly appreciated!

Calin
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39 thoughts on “Cost of Living in Romania in 2024 (Monthly Living Cost)”

  1. When I am in Bucharest, usually few months per year (as non-EU I am limited), I am living in a nice hotel for 600EUR per month, with all expenses included (AC/Heating/electricity/Internet, soap…), plus breakfast and coffee for up to 3 of us. Sometimes I came alone and the price is the same.

    Reply
  2. I first came to Romania in 2015, my wife is Romanian, and we were both living in the UK when we met. We have properties in both Countries, and live between the two. I have noticed a significant rise in prices since 2015 in line with previous comments, and also a shrinking of farmers markets. Our nearest city, Zalau, has added yet another large supermarket (and mall) which has contributed to both the rising prices generally, and the frequency of people buying everything under one roof and skipping the markets. As a side point, our nearest large city is Cluj-Napoca, and the hour and a half distance (two in peak traffic) means that the price boom in Cluj has only rippled a little in Salaj. Whilst many of the costs of electrical goods, computers, various items like washing powder and some food items are similar to the UK, property in Salaj is still a fraction of the equivalent in UK, as is the cost of construction and renovation projects. It remains a great place to buy a house and develop it. We are in a large village, was interested in comments I have read about being harder to settle in a village. I am fairly sure I am the only person in this village who is not Romanian, but have found it was easy to fit in, especially as my knowledge of the Romanian language has increased and I can have conversations, share humour and so on. I would recommend Romania to anyone, not for the beautiful scenery or the terrible road system, but mostly because of the friendly Romanian people and their attitude of ‘life is there to be enjoyed’. The closeness of family is also impressive, and at a level the UK used to have, but doesn’t usually match now.

    Reply
  3. It’s nice to see that despite the fact that costs keep rising, Romania remains affordable (the cat is out of the bag though, so l expect it to keep rising) especially because a lot of Brits might not have the funds to bring their foreign spouses back there due to the monetary requirements, so it would be an option. We found quite a few people who lived in malta because of that.
    The prices are indeed quite close to prices in Spain. Too bad about the shrinking markets, but since you have that big old garden, you don’t have to worry much :-).

    Reply
    • Prices are steadily going up, indeed, but Romania remains cheap and I guess it’s not the only country where it’s getting more expensive to live in… Brexit and the pandemic definitely had an impact and I am sure it’s not over.

      Reply
  4. Hi Calin !

    Found your blog and been enjoying reading it since I’m considering moving to Romania. I’m retired (65) I have a monthly Income of 3,795 U.S. dollars a month Including full health Insurance ( no cost to me ) as part of my retirement package. So question I have is if I figured the conversion right it would come out around 15817.18 Ron , I’m going to guess that my Health Ins. would not be accepted over there ? I saw you mention that private Ins starts around 60 Ron but do you know what a good coverage would cost including prescription medicine or what the cost low & high is on health Ins ? also how comfortable could I live on my monthly Income if I want to be in a really nice 2 bedroom home or apartment with a/c ( do they even have central a/c over there ?) I would enjoy some place close to the city but far enough out to enjoy nature & more quiet as a first choice but willing to be in a nice city.
    any suggestions as to where to look ?

    Thanks for any Insight you have.

    Reply
    • Hello Scott,

      You would live a really good life in any city in Romania with that income. You would probably have to spend at most $200 per month for top notch private health insurance and that would still leave with you enough money to have a great life here.

      The biggest problem would be to actually get to live here unless you are an EU citizen. Romania doesn’t have a retirement visa or something along those lines. You could only do it by opening a company (we’ve discussed this in other articles), but it seems that the officials are starting to be very demanding with this and they now require proof that the company is active too. It still can be done, but extra headaches, costs and bureaucracy for you.

      Reply
    • Hi Calin !

      Thank-you so much for your response. I wonder why Romania makes it so hard to retire there , I would think they would welcome that to help increase their economy. Because you know us retirement people we like to spend money ..lol

      So what if I met a Romania Lady while there for the 90 days and decided to get married and we wanted to remain in Romania to live ? Would they not allow me to stay ?

      Reply
      • Sometimes, the politicians simply can’t see the big picture and the advantages coming from making it easier for people to retire here.

        But if you were to get married – that would definitely be a really easy way for you to get a chance to live here long term.

        Reply
  5. Hello,

    I received a job offer to work in Romania.
    The net salary is €2000.
    Is this a good salary? Can I have a good life in Romania with it? I’m divorced, so I’ll live alone.
    PS: congrats for your blog. I can’t stop to read it! You tips are great!

    Reply
  6. Hi Calin,
    I am living and working in Bucharest from last 1 year. As a Non-EU my salary is 600 euro and all other benefits from my employer. My family willing to stay in Romania. So is it possible to bear all costs including my 2 kids school fees in 600 eu salary? Please can you tell me what is fees for 1 child age 5 years old in english school?

    Reply
    • Unfortunately, I don’t think that would be doable. Private schools in Bucharest cost around 500 Euros per month per child (maybe you can find some for around 150 Eur, but I would guess that the quality might not be as high).

      Even if you send the kids to public schools (which are free), 600 Euros won’t be enough for a family of four, even if you have the accommodation paid for. (If you have both food and accommodation paid for already and 600 is extra, then it’s doable with public schools).

      Reply
  7. Good day sir/ma.. as a student coming to Romania, after paying my rents and all can I survive with 21,000 leu ? Coming from Nigeria. And what job can I also do to make money without not affecting my studies

    Reply
  8. Hello! I’m thinking about moving to Romania and want to ask your advice regarding the cost of living. If we’re talking about monthly income around 2 700 kEUR how do you think is it enough for family of 3 (2 adults and child 6yo) including rent (somewhere in Ilfov district) and private school? Also is it real that income tax is 41%?
    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Hello! Prices have gone up a lot recently, so I think that for your area, you should budget around 700 Euros per month for rent (if you want a 2-bedroom house/apartment) and around the same amount for private school. This would leave you with 1,300 Euros which would be enough for a decent life, but nothing too extravagant.

      The income tax depends on each individual’s situation. If you have your own company or are self employed, you will pay between 3% to 10% in tax. Salary tax is indeed different, but as long as you negotiate a net salary with your company, that’s what you will receive in hand.

      Reply
  9. Hi C. the Romanian,

    I have dual nationality (British and Irish) and have taken early retirement . My wife is Romanian and does not work due to health issues.

    We want to move to Romania to live and are looking for the ideal town or city for us. We are looking for a place where we can get to Bucharest within about an hour by train or by car (as I like to visit a really big city at least once a week) and which has the cheapest cost of living possible.

    Any ideas please?

    Thanks a lot and great blog you have here, it is so useful!

    Jonathan

    Reply
    • Does it really have to be Bucharest? Simply going from the outskirts of the city to the center can take up to an hour 🙂

      I am not very familiar with the nearby cities, but some options close to Bucharest would be Titu, Urziceni or Videle (larger towns), as well as plenty of villages.

      The problem is that these are generally more expensive than others due to the proximity to Bucharest itself. So unless you really want Bucharest to be the large city you’re close to, there might be better options available.

      Reply
  10. Hi C. the Romanian,

    I think I would want the city to be Bucharest because I lived most of my life in London and just need that very big city experience once or twice a week just
    because it is now in my DNA.

    However I definitely will be actively looking into all the towns you mention above, so thanks once again for the great information.

    Reply
  11. Hi C the Romanian,

    Whilst looking at the towns you recommended I stumbled across Ploiesti which while further away from Bucharest, has very good train connections (yes I read your article on Romanian trains) with some trains only 37 minute journey. Do you know Ploiesti by any chance and if so would you recommend it as a place to live?

    Reply
    • Ploiesti is indeed close, but it’s one of Romania’s largest cities. For some reason, I thought you are looking for a smaller city to live in. 🙂

      Generally, the larger towns and especially the villages are cheaper, so you would lose most of the cost-advantages if you live in Ploiesti as it would be just as expensive as Bucharest.

      Rental prices might be slightly lower, indeed, but you will probably lose that advantage due to the constant traveling back and forth. So unless you really want a smaller city for the reduced cost of living (in terms of rent, as other costs are the same), you can go straight to Bucharest.

      Reply
  12. Hi C. the Romanian,
    I plan to retire in Romania. My pension is $3600/month.
    I own an apartment in Bucharest and I have dual citizenship- Romanian/American.
    Can you please tell me if my pension would be enough to live comfortably after paying food, utilities and a good health insurance.
    Thank you and have a Happy New Year!
    Camelia.

    Reply
    • Absolutely! That is a great budget for Bucharest – and any place in the country. You should be able to live a good life, travel a lot and still have some money left at the end of the month 🙂

      Reply
  13. We did say the cat was out of the bag a couple of years ago, and it seems it’s come to fruition. I don’t think there’s anywhere that hasn’t seen a big increase and l don’t see it letting up either. Things have jumped up here in Spain too, especially the rent. We are seeing double and more increases. Interesting times, especially with the wages remaining low.

    Reply
  14. Hi C. the Romanian,

    Could a married couple who are both EU nationals live comfortably in Romania on a joint income of 2800 Euro a month (after tax has been deducted) do you think in 2023? How much would a luxury life cost for a couple do you think?

    Thanks

    Jonathan

    Reply
    • Yes, I am sure you could live a good life on that amount, even with the higher prices in 2023. That would include regular eating out, spas and travel and well… generally a good life. Can’t say exactly about “luxury life” as you can go really extravagant here and spend a ton, but you could definitely have at least some luxury on your budget.

      Reply
  15. Hello C. The Romanian,

    Thanks a ton for this info!!
    Im planning to permanently move to Romania.
    Im an IT professional (Salesforce Developer), my current salary is Euros 4637/month.
    From your blog, which by the way is super helpful, Im to understand it is sufficient for a couple and child.
    So my question to you is, how easy/hard it is to find a job in an IT sector in Romania. Im planning to move to Bucharest(most of the big companies are located here. Right?)
    Also I dont speak Romanian, would that be of any issue while im looking for a job?

    Reply
    • Hello! Your current salary would indeed be more than enough to live a comfortable life, together with your family.

      I’m not sure how easy it is to find a job in the IT sector, but Bucuresti is indeed one of the main places to be. Cluj Napoca is also a major IT hub, taking the top spot in the past few days. It’s also a nice city, so you might want to look into it as well.

      Not speaking the language might come as a slight disadvantage, but I don’t think it would be a deal breaker when it comes to finding a job.

      Regards,
      Calin

      Reply
  16. I have been following C for about 10 years now. He is very fair and honest of life in Romania. Our family moved here 18 months ago. I am from Iowa and we are a family of 4 with cat and dog.

    We own home out right so just upkeep expense and that is minor at this time.. less then 1,000usd per year. Our monthly expenses are around $1500 usd and we live pretty well on that.

    Living in USA vs Romania: I am semi retired and USA over my life span has gone in the toilet. No idea how to fix it but it is unbelievable. Hard to think of one thing that got better in last 50 years. My family was concerned and my mother asked me why Romania. I told her anywhere we live on this planet will have problems but we have a loving family and that is what matters most no matter where we are.

    That said.. Romania is much better in almost all areas than USA. Education we raised on in U.S schools and it was HORRIBLE. Our boy is in kindergarten and no gun checks yet LOL. It’s school the OLD way… caring teachers and lots of coloring etc.. puppet show today. No talk about evacuation routes or hiding places. No talk about the “right” subjects to teach a child. Just school winging it and having fun.

    C… Romania has changed in last ten years right?!? You may not notice it but when we settled in WOW! Roads without potholes? Ten years ago was MUCH worse. Romania has everything now if you want it.. just need to look a little.

    But ten years ago? The country has come a LONG way in ten years. It has everything and like USA if you want it you may have to pay for it but at least you can get it. Except for strawberry nesquik.. but another story.

    So as I have said in the past STAY AWAY FROM ROMANIA.. they toss kids in orphanages and dogs eat people and lets not talk about the Vampires. (all popular media reasons) Reality is it is a great place to live if you are a good person. The rest of you stay away.

    Happy to see they rounded up Andrew Tate for being an idiot. No idiots allowed in Romania.. but the rest of you I can’t wait to see. Best wishes C!!!

    Email me as I may not check back in here for a while as I am too busy checking out ALL Romania has to offer. Miss the hamburgers and bacon of USA and that is about it.. oh and family of course.

    Reply
    • Would add we live in Alba Iulia and our $1500 a month allows US to live well but we live a very modest life style. Weekends at our cabin.. eat out once a month and a minor vacation at friends on Black Sea in summer.

      Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your opinion about living in Romania, as well as the cost of living. The more people do the same, the easier it is for others to estimate their own costs.

      And do let me know when you get on the Black Sea coast this year – maybe we can sample some of the hamburgers Constanta has to offer and see if any comes close to those in the US 🙂

      Reply
  17. Hey C,

    I’m a French guy that had an offer in Romania (Already goes there on a Road trip and fell in love with the country) to work remotly anywhere i want in Romania (IT things), and i got an offer around 7000 LEI net monthly (So around 1400 euros, i believe), would it be enough for a single person ?
    I think i would live decently, and i’m looking to move in Brasov or Sibiu, one of these two city, what did you think about that ?

    Reply
    • You can pay with your card in most cases, although in some locations you will actually have to go to the person in charge (usually located in the same building) and pay in cash monthly. However, it is not deducted automatically from your account.

      Reply

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