Living in Romania as a Foreigner: What Is It Like?

Since many of the people visiting this blog are interested in moving to Romania and living here as opposed to just traveling for a while, I’ve decided to share some thoughts on what it’s like to live in Romania as a foreigner.

This is probably the most important thing that everybody has to take into account before moving to a country: will the locals accept me and help me feel welcome, or will they be cold and consider me an invader and treat me badly?

In order to answer these questions and help you better understand how it will be to live as a foreigner in Romania, I will put to good use the talks I had with various people that made the move here (from various countries, from the US to third-world countries), as well as extensive research and my personal experience after living in Romania for so long.

In the end, before getting straight into the heart of the problem, I must say an extremely important thing: it matters a lot what type of person you are, just like anywhere else in the world.

Even in the friendliest countries out there or with the friendliest people in the world, if you consider yourself superior and act as if the world belongs to you and you disrespect others or treat them badly, you will surely not feel welcome. Although many countries are extremely happy to welcome foreigners, very few are actually asking them to come over and have no obligation to go the extra mile to make you feel good (although most still do it).

I am saying this remembering an episode I witnessed in Budapest, in a McDonald’s: there was this huge lady, a native English speaker, blocking the entrance into the restaurant. She had simply stopped there, placed a huge suitcase next to her, taking 90% of the entrance’s space and was casually slurping her soda.

A Hungarian lady tried to enter and managed to squeeze in – and while doing so, she said something in Hungarian. Now I don’t understand the language, but judging from her tone and body language, she appeared to tell the other lady that she was blocking the entrance, but on a calm tone.

That’s when all hell broke loose: the lady blocking the way started screaming that she shouldn’t be treated like that, yelling at the first lady to address her in English if she had anything to say and show her some respect.

Now this is wrong on all terms, obviously! Don’t be that person – ever! If you do that, if you’re that kind of person, you shouldn’t expect others to treat you nicely because you simply don’t deserve it. If you are that kind of person, you should stop reading right now and know that living in Romania as a foreigner will be a bad experience for you. But the same will happen in any other country, unfortunately…

Now that I got that out of the system, let’s get straight to business and see how is life like in Romania for foreigners – based on my own experience and research, but also based on the talks I’ve had with various people who have made the move and spent here at least a few months (and some of them years).

As you can imagine, running a blog about Romania, I had contact with many foreigners who have made the move, such as the family who moved to Brasov from the US or the Brazilian family that moved to Timisoara – to mention just the ones that I wrote about.

What is life like in Romania for a foreigner?

Just like everywhere in the world, there are good things and bad things about living in Romania. You probably know already about the most important of them (like the fact that this is a really cheap country to be in), but I will still go through everything I can think of – good and bad – and let you decide how’s life in Romania.

Romanians love to be great hosts

Traditional food in Romania might not be the healthiest, but it sure is delicious!

If you’ve been in Romania for a while, you probably know already that Romanians love to impress – even the people they don’t like.

When it comes to foreigners, things become – in most occasions – even more important. Romanians want foreigners to feel good in their country and leave with a solid impression (no matter if the people are actually moving there forever or not).

Romanians are considered, like most people living in the Balkans, great hosts. They will usually go the extra distance to feel you welcome and improve your experience in Romania.

Do have in mind that this can turn into a slightly negative thing, depending on the areas you are visiting. Many of the people living in the country are still uneducated and customer service is one of the worst in Europe – no matter if you’re talking about the public or the private sector.

And since people are simply not trained to be hospitable, their desire to make you feel good and welcome might actually turn into a frustrating experience. But it’s all with good intentions and fortunately things have improved a lot over the past few years and people now understand that their efforts to make you feel welcome could be overwhelming for some.

If you’re visiting a village, for example, the people there will force you to drink Palinca or Tuica (a local moonshine), try some local cuisine that you might not want to and maybe drag you from the table to dance a Hora, the traditional dance. This is all good fun for most, but not all!

So if you’re more of an introvert and like your privacy, you might not enjoy this. But it all comes from the heart, from people with the desire to make you feel better, from people who simply can’t imagine that others might not want to do this or that. So just try to take it in and let yourself go by the flow.

This becomes less obvious in the larger cities, where people will still generally wish to make and impression and help you feel as good as possible, without force feeding you or going over the line.

Romanians love foreigners

Since Romania is still a very poor country – one of the poorest in the European Union – and many of the locals have lived a large chunk of their lives during the communist regime, there are still some leftovers from those times which come with both good and bad effects.

One of the good ones is the fact that Romanians instantly consider all foreigners rich and on numerous occasions feel inferior to them – and this comes with an even greater pressure to please. It doesn’t really matter if you’re rich or not, you’ll always be looked at as “that rich foreigner”.

Fortunately, the younger generation is more open minded and slightly better traveled, so things are changing but since Romania doesn’t have a huge expat community, most foreigners are still considered pretty exotic. These are some of the reasons why Romanians actually love foreigners!

This also means that in certain situations, because they automatically consider you rich, they will try to get more money from you (if selling something, for example) and you always have the chance of running into that Romanian who has a great idea for a business, but not enough money to launch it…

Romanians are always in race to make more money (and impress)

Although things have changed a bit recently and more people are earning a lot more than they did before, Romania is still, overall, a very poor country with many people living on less than the minimum wage in the country.

Even those with better paid jobs still don’t manage to make ends meet as salaries are left behind by the increasing cost of living. However, overall, things are much better now than they were several years ago.

Since Romanians are people who usually want to impress, they’re always in a hurry to make more money and live a better life. This could be a positive thing, but also comes with negatives, meaning that Romanians are usually upset and grumpy and stressed out and smile less often than other people.

Instead of embracing life and keeping a positive mindset, many are pessimistic and always see the empty half of the glass. The race for making money – no matter what – also makes some lose a bit of their humanity and be bitter at all times, never accepting or understanding a gesture of good will, for example.

They usually prefer to spend all their money on expensive cars and phones and consumerist stuff just to impress others, resulting in even more stress for them. Some people went as far as buying expensive cars (like BMWs or Mercedes) just to keep them parked on the street because they couldn’t afford to fill up the tank…

As a result, Romanians are not always shiny and a great company. But this again is changing in the younger generation so things will only get better. But if you’re expecting to find a relaxed country with people casually strolling around and taking their time to enjoy nature… you’ll be a bit disappointed!

The cost of living is still low

Although prices have been going up quite a bit in the past several years and there are no signs it will stop here, the cost of living in Romania remains one of the lowest in Europe. This is extremely good news for foreigners that come here without depending on local jobs – where salaries are low, just like the cost of living.

However, even if you come to work in the country, you could still find a well paid job, earning a lot more than the average Romanian.

Normally, for a single person, if you have 1,000 Euros per month (or more), you can still live a very decent life with rent and all expenses included. 1,500 Euros per person and 2,000 Euros per family would probably be in the “very safe” zone too.

Being gay in Romania

I recently wrote an article about this and the conclusion is that although things are changing relatively fast, being part of the LGBTQ community is not an advantage when you live in Romania.

Being openly gay might come with some disadvantages and stares from some people, but overall you’ll be safe and still be able to surround yourself with a lot of great people, heterosexual or not. But unfortunately, many people (especially in the smaller cities and the rural areas) are still not very open minded.

What about other races?

The sad truth is that not all races are looked at with the same eyes in Romania. The smaller the city and the less touristy, the more stares you should expect to get as a non-caucasian.

However, I wouldn’t say that it’s racism in question here, but simply the fact that people living in Romania (especially the cities or villages) are not used with this ethnic diversity and there might still be people living in this country who only saw caucasians in their entire life.

So the stares you might get (be prepared to get them since Romanians are not shy to stare!) will mostly come from curiosity and not racism.


All in all, even though Romanians are generally very open to meeting new people from all parts of the world, you will still have to make some adjustments to enjoy life in the country. Although I wouldn’t really call it a “culture shock,” there will definitely be some differences in terms of Romanians’ mentality and way of doing things.

It’s not better or worse than it is in other places, but it definitely is different and the further away from Romania you’re used to live, the more differences you might spot.

So people coming from nearby countries like Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary and so on might feel at home instantly, while those coming from Asia, the US and other countries will see more noticeable differences in day to day life.

But all in all, living in Romania as a foreigner shouldn’t be too difficult. The cultural differences are not huge and now with all the globalization and internet available everywhere, people are becoming more and more educated and ready to embrace or at least accept cultural differences.

Also in terms of things you can do to keep yourself entertained, the food you can eat and the stores you have available, you shouldn’t worry about missing anything that you have in your home country.

Maybe some very specific, traditional items will be a bit more difficult to find, but with massive supermarkets like Carrefour, Cora, Auchan, Real and so on, you will definitely be able to find at least most – if not all – things you are used with at home.

If you have other more specific questions about living in Romania as a foreigner, let me know and I will give it my best to offer an honest answer.

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57 thoughts on “Living in Romania as a Foreigner: What Is It Like?”

  1. Nice one C. I got the sense that a lot of Romanians are open to tourists. When we landed st the airport and my husband went through with his E. U passport, then it came to me and l thought he looked pretty mean. He asked why l was visiting Romania incredulously. I replied that l was eager to visit because of friends online. I felt a shift in attitude, like oh…okay and he said welcome to Romania with a little smile. Iโ€™m used to stares wherever l go, they are mostly curious as you say and l can tell the difference. We will get back there at some point.โ˜บ๏ธ

  2. I look at many YouTubes made by American expats living overseas, mainly the Philippines. Many bemoan the “ugly Americans” who come to the Philippines because they can’t seem to abide by the laws in the USA or can’t otherwise behave in a civilized manner. They then go to the Philippines where they think they can lord it over the “poor backward” people, especially desperate women. Needless to say, they soon get in trouble there too. I think Romania is so far off the expat radar that you won’t have to worry about too many of those. On a different topic, did you catch the news about that ridiculous letter sent on Giuliani Partners letterhead, signed by Giuliani, to President Iohannis telling him to let up on the anti-corruption efforts in Romania? Apparently “so many innocent” people had gone to prison and the anti-corruption efforts were just creating too much “instability” for foreign investment. I guess that means not being able to bribe people was cramping the style of American businessmen there in Romania. Liviu Dragnea was trumpeting the letter to anyone who would listen, saying Giuliani had “high moral standing throughout the world.” The US State Department was shocked at this letter which directly contradicted official US policy in Romania which had always been supportive of the anti-corruption efforts. When they asked Giuliani if he had really sent that letter, he said he had only signed it “as a private citizen” at the “request” of a Romanian “friend” and that no one should have assumed he was representing the US government. Giuliani only appears every night on the US TV news shows, defending (usually poorly) the President of the USA! Well, the “friend” turned out to be a wealthy crony of Liviu Dragnea. Giuliani is just another gold digger in the President’s entourage who hopes to monetize his proximity to him. That Giuliani would so readily feed at the same “authoritarian trough” just shortly after another former official Paul Manafort was convicted for doing the same speaks volumes about Giuliani’s “high moral standing.” Well, sorry for getting so far off the topic. I know that Romanians have had to put up with a lot of corruption from all levels of government officials and even have to give monetary “gifts” to medical personnel to get their attention. As a tourist, I never encountered this, but I wonder if expats living there might begin to draw the attention of corrupt officials.

    • The problem with Giuliani’s letter is that those who are already on PSD’s side refuse to accept the fact that he was paid for it, even when he personally admitted that was the case and shown evidence. The only people who might have a change in opinion here are the ones who neither support or are against the ruling party, although I don’t think there’s many left.

      In other words, the letter had the desired impact, making those who are already supporters to be reassured that they’re supporting the right people. I had friends on Facebook who simply refused to accept the fact that Giuliani was paid for these, even though big name news media agencies were covering the story. It was “fake news” to them. It’s a strange era we live in, where free access to information actually makes us dumber and keeps us less informed…

      Regarding the monetary gifts, this is indeed still a practice here in Romania and most people would still accept a “tip” from Romanians or expats. Some might expect the foreigners to “contribute” more (since they’re wealthy) but I think that at the same time they’re ready to expect nothing as well since this is how things are done in other places. But this again, will vary from person to person so nothing’s set in stone.

  3. Hello Calin,
    A very nice read.
    The rude lady in Budapest may have been British or American.
    (My first thought was British;-)) Of course the phrase “Ugly American” is
    certainly an apt one–being one myself–an American that is–ha, ha!
    Now that we’re stuck with Trump, the phrase will certainly be more applicable the world over, sadly.
    Why anyone would want to buy a fancy car they can’t afford is ridiculous!
    It’s the same with trying to keep up with latest Apple iPhones. Or how much bling they can flaunt. Or how big a house they can buy…
    People can be really silly, and not prioritize the real things in life which are really important. Don’t worry–such silliness is NOT confined to Romania!
    As for Romania being poor, why aren’t the oil reserves being tapped into?
    Norway was once a very poor country, but once the North Sea oil reserves were opened up… well, look at Norway now!!!
    So Calin, are you going to consider doing article on the main cities, again? I understand Oradea just had a big fire which was very sad.
    Terrible about fire in Rio, Brazil too destroying the National Museum.
    All such buildings should have sprinkler systems installed, but I digress.
    Customer service in USA is pretty good. It seems it’s mostly a requirement for any job. I don’t understand why anyone in any country can’t be civil and polite in any business transaction. I mean, for no other reason, why would anyone NOT treat someone with dignity and respect the way they themselves would want to be treated.
    It makes no sense to me. Maybe Romanian businesses should really look into improving customer service.
    Stuart: Giuliani is a rat (and looks like one;-) and is as nutsy-cuckoo as Trump is! Trump is no Ceausescu, yet, but he needs to go bye-byes.
    I’m hoping in November, the USA will become more sane–fingers crossed!
    Thanks again for a well-written article, Calin.
    ~Teil (USA)

    • I am happy you enjoy the read, Teil. I don’t really have a plan (sadly) for the articles but there are indeed many other cities that I hope to cover sooner rather than later. I actually wanted to visit Oradea this year in order to be able to share a more personal opinion on a city that I started to put high on the list of cities to move to in Romania, but again these plans didn’t become reality. Different other (minor) problems and distractions managed to keep me away ๐Ÿ™‚

      Regarding the petrol and all other resources… these are not taken advantage of because the people in charge are not competent enough to make the right moves. They live the good life no matter what happens in the rest of Romania and probably that is all that matters.

      There have been stories of young and dedicated (and smart) mayors in smaller or larger cities or even villages who manged to make amazing changes using European funds. So things can be done, but at the moment people are not interested – and those who are, face many obstacles. This is why most of those who managed to do something did it using EU funds: as they are not handled by the local authorities who might have other agendas and obligations.

      Now, since I try to always be objective and never pick sides, I must say that since PSD has taken over, some things have improved a bit or at least they seem to improve. The biggest worry of mine is that these improvements cannot be sustained and the populist measures will eventually turn to bite us really hard. Many experts say that’s the case, but the ones with the power insist that they have everything figured out.

      All in all, things are getting better in Romania and they will still do at least for a while and the most important thing is that those who don’t rely on an income generated in the country should have no problem, no matter what happens in the long run and no matter which side will be proven to be right.

    • Yes, the same happened to me, that is why I had to share the story ๐Ÿ™‚ I am sure that she could’ve been of any nationality, though, as there are bad seeds everywhere. It’s important for us not to be like them.

  4. Speaking as an American foreigner that has visited Romania several times it is a wonderful country with great people in general. It is has its bad apples like anywhere but it is what you make of it. Very few reasons not to live in Romania in my opinion. Lack of good paying jobs and poor medical are the biggest concerns. I am immune to the first one and the second one.. well i am still looking at our options. I wish the Romanian people the best of luck in getting rid of their bad apples as it is a struggle the world over. What truly shocks me is the number of ignorant people (in my opinion) supporting them. In this country over 40% of our population believe donald is doing a bang up job and I am struggling to wrap my brain around it. I struggle similarly with what I see in Romania as well and perhaps we should discuss and figure out what makes people believe and support them so we can counter it because it is crazy dangerous to have these types of people “in power”. Me.. i am looking for a little place in a small town in Romania to eat pop corn and watch the show hoping that nobody pulls a lever that effects me directly. Will be hard to avoid as i think donald could bankrupt this country. Keep writing about the truth and these good stories C. and know you are living in a wonderful country if you can make the most of it.

    • Thank you, Otto, I really enjoyed reading your comment. And I am even happier to hear that things are still going well for you here – I see no reason why any foreigner would not have a good time in Romania, especially if they don’t depend on earning their living in the country.

      As for the second part, in Romania’s case it’s mostly the uneducated and very poor who support them, and they have two main reasons: first, because the leading party is, by tradition, leading Romania. Since the revolution in 1989, there have been very few moments without them at the helm. And second – probably even more important, is the fact that they do go for some populist measures: they are increasing pensions, they are cutting taxes and raising salaries and even though many studies shown that due to inflation everybody is earning less than they did before, the people who don’t have basic knowledge about finances simply don’t see that and instead they are happy that they’re getting a bigger pile of money instead. There could be other reasons as well – and I am sure that out of their supporters, some are honestly feeling that they’re doing a good job – but the two I listed are, in my opinion, the most important ones ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. >>> and may of the people living here have lived a large chunk of their lives during the communist regime
    Dude… you’re one in a billion ๐Ÿ™‚ This is just a fckg great place and it’s so interesting reading ur posts… God bless u!

      • Well my comment was regarding that actually, in Spain, there are about 4 million people, grouped under the political party “Podemos” (“We Can”), that really believe that communism is the solution.
        Yeah, bro, that’s the way this weird world works. It’s really like living in the Matrix, lol.
        Best Regards ๐Ÿ™‚

      • And regarding the place… I mean, the ‘physical’ place, well, I’ve been in a lot of different places, and what changes it’s the stage, but you’re always in the now. If you think that way you can enjoy everywhere, it doesn’t matter where you are ‘physically’.
        I remember traveling Costa Rica, gosh, the roads resemble a lot what I can see at Romanian pics, well, that’s the way it is, u know? We are not here to complain about our surroundings… we’re here to learn from everything around us and to enjoy during the process.
        The worst part? Well, sadly, everything depends on money. I have no idea about why the great architect or cosmic developer made it that way, bro.
        Peace ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. And sorry about the email thing, I can’t write my real email… I guess it’s just a minor bug.
    But yeah… at the end, everything is about your attitude and stopping thinking, at least for small amounts of time. That way you can admire, and appreciate, and to live anywhere you want.
    If you need some help with that email bug let me know. We’ll destroy it right away ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Maybe the site’s spam filter is triggering an alert (could happen if it thinks your email has banned words). I have no idea what’s happening with the email field as nobody seemed to have any problem with it. But we can do even without that field, no problem with that ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. And I remember being at countries with lots of insects and you know everything weird and… well… that the way it is! it makes no sense to complain about what is happening around u! I really believe that’s the big and first mistake that we human beings make all the time… it’s like we have some ‘rights’ over existence… u know? or over the Universe!! LOL, yeah… well… yeah u know… it’s kind of fun with the right perspective ๐Ÿ™‚
    When you are in the worst situation just stop thinking and say out loud: “Well, this f*cking thing is happening here and now so… well, I can suffer a lot or I can accept it. Kind of sufist, u know? If u can change it… it’s ok, but if u can’t, well, you better accept it or suffer.
    So yeah, I really believe I will be able to survive Romania, I’m sure, bro.
    By the way, do you like technology, software languages and all that stuff? please let me know, regards ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This is the correct approach in my opinion. Instead of complaining, we should always look at the positives, because there’s a lot of these anywhere. There are negatives everywhere as well, so it’s all a matter of how you look at things. So yes, with your way of thinking, you should have no problem truly enjoying Romania.

      Regarding your questions, although I can’t code, I do enjoy following the tech world (and I really love playing games too, although not enough time for that nowadays).

  8. Probably the simplest way to define it would be… going with the flow. U don’t like it? Ok… then… are u able 2 change it? If so, it’s ok, but if u can’t, then u only have 2 possible choices… u suffer, or u accept the current situation… the one that’s happening here and now…
    And then, it doesn’t matter where u are. Best regards and thanks a lot for you site, it’s really great.

    • I find short or medium term accommodation is more scammy in Romania than all the neighbouring slavic nations..I’ve been to czechia , croatia , Serbia , Poland, ukraine , Moldova , Baltics and nowhere has there been such a divergence between what you get and what you pay in Romania. It seems they would rather leave the apartments empty than have fair prices or maybe some fool will come along and pay. I cannot understand why a city in Romania should cost equal or more than the beautiful croatian coast or Czechia. Even one horse towns I see prices that are definitely for foreigners but even romanians who travel (if they do at all ) probably in groups or with friends given this trend. For this reason it deters me from touring the beautiful country and spending my money in the Slavic lands which seems more options on Airbnb and booking and better costs to quality ratio .

      • As somebody who’s spending the month in Prague for the next month, I can say with certainty that prices in Romania are not that high ๐Ÿ™‚ When it comes to renting short term, you can still find very good apartments for around 600 Euros per month, which is what you should expect to pay for neighboring countries as well (if not less). But I do agree with the fact that the quality of the apartments is lacking and many improvements should be made.

  9. They are just staying home most of them work at the supermarkets in their village and they get money from the state coz they help them. (I was speaking about danish people)

  10. I am from Lebanon and i moved to romania one year and half ago, and i am married to a romanian woman, and i work in a factory were i am the only arab among almost 500 other workers, and to make a story short, i just feel like home and even better, never faced any problems not at all not at work not at the street, as you said i have this privilege being treated as an exotic, i have romanian friends and colleagues and i feel that we have a lot in common way more than our differences, i come from a small closed minority in Lebanon called druz, and i was welcomed here and embraced, i even got baptized in a church and i have a godmother and a godfather ๐Ÿ™‚ which is so cool and everything is just normal, i managed to integrate so easily in Romanian society ppl are simple and normal and very friendly and modest i love Romรขnia my new home, our whole planet is insignificant in that vast universe we really don’t have the time or the reasons to be different or to have any conflicts.

  11. So, i have a romanian boyfriend and he want take me to Constanรงa, im a black brazilian girl and im realy scary to move in to this country as our culture is so diferent, special if i will be welcomed or not. But your text is very good. I realy like.

    • You shouldn’t be that scared ๐Ÿ™‚ I am sure you will be welcomed here, as Constanta has a very nice mix of individuals from all over the world and diversity is increasing each day.

      We also have an article on the blog (and an interview) with a Brazilian that moved to Romania (Timisoara in this case) and although there was a bit of adjustment needed, it wasn’t difficult for her to adjust. I am sure it will be the same in your case as well.

  12. Hi, im engaged to a very beautiful Romanian lady. We would both very much like to live in Romania close to her family who i adore and get on with very well. My question is, what do i need to do to be able to live there. Im trying to learn thier language, but im struggling a bit.

  13. Good write up. I want you to tell me if i am coming as a foreign student to Romania,do I have a right to work at the same time I go to school. Thanks

  14. Thank you for such a frank article. Of course, in every country you can face rudeness and be disappointed. But you stayed to live in Romania, so not everything is so bad!)

  15. Hello! I enjoyed this article a lot! I haff watched a video for the organization and fell in live with the dog Heidi, so I looked it up and became intrigued that they were in Romania. I thought, “hmmm, I wonder what that would be like?!” So here I am! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a question, how are the spiders there? I wanted to visit Australia then found out about the huntsman spider there, terrifying! Besides the dogs, are there other potentially scary creepy crawlies I would need to brace for? Haha.
    I love being immersed in other cultures ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hello I am an American that is thinking of moving to Romania I have some college but that was 15years ago. But my question is what kind of career opportunities are available for a 40year old American male? I am very friendly and people feel comfortable around me. I donโ€™t need to be rich I just need to make a decent wage for me wife and 10year old child. Can you tell me some jobs that would afford us to live a simple but comfortable life. Again donโ€™t need to be rich but it would be nice to go on a 2week vacation once a year and have a decent birthdays and Christmas. Thank you for any suggestions

    • Hello Nick,

      It is really difficult to assess your situation based on the little information you gave me. I don’t really know the job market that well to make recommendations, but it really depends on what studies you have and what skills you have. Remember though that salaries are pretty low here and it would be very difficult for you to find a job that would allow you to support your family if you’d be the only one working. But it all depends on what you can do – salaries in the IT sector are higher than the average and jobs easier to be found, for example.

  17. The article it’s (pretty) good. Like that are the Romanians. With good and bad habits. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very very few are racists… but indeed some people will try to take advange of you. Are not many, but you must be careful. For them do not count that you are Romanian or that you are a foreigner.

    Foreigner are easiear to be scammed because do not know our language… and even worst, will be to not speak even English. But if you speak at least English it’s good, and if you speak Romanian it’s even better. You can handle with all that kind of stuff. You will need to know in Romania what is the exchage rate, the prices for cabs. At food you cannot be scammed, but at some good restaurants the prices are a little bit higher. Hotels at 3 stars have decent prices and pretty good accommodation. But also that depend of the area where the hotel it’s located. Try to avoid people that are staring at you long time to very tong time. Just to stare, it’s ok, to stare like that will not be alright. Indeed IT can pay much better then other areas.

    In general, as far as I know from past years, overtime is not paid (Or at least that I know – maybe there are employers who pay for the extra hours an employee spends at work. I don’t know lately what happen, I now work as freelancer.). I’m not aware of it anyway. I have been working as a freelancer for the last few years. I hopw that you understood what I wanted to say. What I wrote is more like a supplement to this article.

    • I have a question but couldn’t figure out how to comment.
      I have been in a relationship with a Romanian guy for 1 year. He has just told me that he plans on moving back to Romania when he has enough money to build his own house, and of course be near his family again, which is extremely important to Romanian people-and of the main reasons I love him so much.
      Anyway, I was previously married and have 2 kids, so he has said we must break up when he moves back, because of course I cant leave my children (8 and 5)
      If I moved, and my children came to me during all school holidays, how quickly do you think they could pick up the language?
      I know my children come first, but the idea of being without Andrei forever has taken over and clouded my maternal instincts. Please help…advice needed!

      • The language isn’t particularly hard, depending on what other languages you speak. Since you wrote in English, it shouldn’t be over the top hard for you, it would probably be one of the easier languages you could learn. If you also speak any romance languages, that makes things infinitely easier.
        Children in particular learn languages much faster and easier than adults, so for them I would say give them a few months and they would be able to have conversation level Romanian.

    • Why not take the kids with you from the beginning? If you plan the moves right, you can move to Romania as soon as Summer Break begins, so they will have the entire summer to pick up Romanian. They are still young, so they should pick up the language relatively fast – you could and should also get them a tutor to help them with that.

      And while you’re all together wherever you are, why not have Andrei start teaching them the basics of the Romanian language? This would make the transition a lot easier.

  18. After our wonderful President being overthrown by a corrupt political party, I want to find a country to live in to escape what is coming.
    It breaks my heart to watch America being trampled by a corrupted political party that has taken control of our beautiful, and once free nation. I do not want to remain here to watch them destroy my country. I have been offered a place to stay in Romania and am seriously considering the move. I would like to learn more about the country and the people, your article was very informative and appreciated.
    I have a couple of questions but the one that is moat pressing on my mind is, several years ago a friend surprised me with a trip to Paris, it was lovely but it seems that everywhere we went there were people begging for money or help to leave the country… Would it be like that in Romania? It’s heartbreaking to see.

    • There are beggars here in Romania for sure, but I wouldn’t say that they’re everywhere. The smaller cities have fewer of them, villages have none and even in the large cities, you will only see them every now and then. Paris is a more touristy place, hence the larger numbers.

    • Oooo, if you have been offered a place to stay, than stop thinking about it and just come! :))) Really, in the worst case scenario, you won’t like it and will have to plan your next move: return or try a different country. You will still be in a better position, with more knowledge about what cultural differences actually feel like in daily life and what are your true must haves and true no no’s are ๐Ÿ™‚ So you will be better informed for your next decision. In a better case scenario, you will realize that the things you don’t like are not that important to you (trust me, even if you love a place, there will be things you don’t like that will occasionally get on your nerves) and you will end up loving your life here. And in the absolute best scenario, you will love it here, but over time, things will also take a better turn for you in your own country and you will be able to chose to stay or return without the need to compromise anything, enriched with the experience of living in a different culture – in my own experience, it’s something that always changes you for the better, making you more aware about what is truly important for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I’ve seen some comments regarding corruption. Is Romania any more corrupt than the United States? For example – could Romanian television and the government overturn a national election and tell the Romanian people a certain candidate won – and then use the police or army to imprison political opponents? Do rich people and big companies control Romania? Or since the fall of communism is there freedom in the country, without corruption?

    • I am sure if what you described would’ve happened in the US, the entire world would’ve reacted and measures would’ve been taken. So it’s good that it’s just a hypothetical discussion and not the reality.

      Answering your questions about Romania is pretty difficult. Definitely, there is corruption here – but to what degree, especially comparing it to other countries – that’s difficult to tell. What I can say is that things are better than they were 5, 10 or 15 years ago.

  20. I have seriously been considering leaving America for some time. Everyday that passes the urge grows stronger. Romania is beyond beautiful and I love the history and lore ( yea Iโ€™m talking about Dracula lol). I really just would like to find a place where I can enjoy the beauty of the country and get away from the constant materialism and falsity that is ingrained in all aspect of life here. Simply put, I want to get away and start over. What does an average house cost there? Price of a decent car ( I definitely donโ€™t need fancy)? Iโ€™ve worked in the trades or the business world most of my life, Iโ€™d really have to look into the job market. What about the values in general? Is religion still strong? Iโ€™m definitely not against anyone living their life, but Iโ€™ve seen first hand how quickly a country can spiral when they are willing to compromise morality and cater to depravity. Thank you for the informative article. Every little bit helps

    • Prices of houses vary based on city of choice. You can get a nice one for as low as 30,000 Euros in a village (fixer-uppers start at 5,000 Euros), expect to pay some 50k in a smaller town and over 100k in larger cities. So prices vary a lot here – it all depends where you want to live.

      As for cars, you can choose a second-hand Dacia (Romanian brand, decent quality) for around 2,000 Euros or get a new one for around 10k.

      Romania is still a fairly religious country and I don’t think that will change a lot into the future. Your biggest challenge would be finding a job – no matter how skilled or experienced you are, expect salaries to be generally low – but it really depends on what kind of job you can find.

      • I know buying isnโ€™t that easy if you arenโ€™t a citizen there. I would like to just pay cash for the house so at least I donโ€™t have to worry about rent or a mortgage. I would like to live somewhere out in the country or mountains. I love the castles and the โ€œgothicโ€ historical style. Iโ€™d definitely have to do some looking around. As far as the car goes, reliable and useful is about all I care about at this point.

  21. I was in a town called Arad, about 60KM north of Timisoara. I really enjoyed the slower pace of life. I liked being able to go to an actual butcher where they slaughter the animals on-site.

    I will be going back in the summer of 2022.

    You’re absolutely right about Romanians and their need to impress you. I got that feeling instantly.

  22. We parents, that spent half or more of our lives in communism, must learn to raise our kids differently the way our parents raised us. We must encourage our kids that the only thing that makes someone successful in life is work. Work in school (learning) , work after college graduation, competence, knowledge, skills, abilities and not corruption, nepotism, relationships. What we need is to get rid of our old mentality and raise the new generation the way it is raised outside (in the developed world) and then in 10-15 years ,you guys can erase the economical gap between Romania and Germany, or Italy, or Sweden. Other than that, Romania is a beautiful country with warm and passionate people.

  23. Hello! I just got back from visiting Romania, as I have family that lives there. I was born there, but raised in the United States since I was 4 years old. I came across your article after googling “why does romania have bad customer service?” Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Romanians grasp this concept at all. Every SINGLE place I visited lacked customer service and unlike a lot of other latin countries most people didn’t seem friendly. I spoke Romanian when I was there and expected at least a friendly smile when ordering some food or asking to see something to buy, but that is NOT the case in Romania. I personally believe it has to do with the culture and that the customer service concept is not being taught there. This is unfortunate to say, but I agree that the younger generation seems more open minded and possibly more eager to adopt different concepts, so things will only change once the older generation leaves. It is a beautiful country, but it will be a complete dissapointment for anyone expecting to receive any decent customer service in Romania. I just got back from there yesterday so this is based on my very recent experience ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can imagine how bad this can be from somebody visiting from abroad. But as somebody who’s been living here, I can tell you that things have actually improved (a bit) over the years.

      So at least now you just don’t get smiles and they treat you like they want you to leave, but at least you no longer have to wait 5 minutes before they finish more important stuff like talking to a friend on the phone, reading an article or just watching out of the window… :))

    • Mona, it’s down to cultural differences. When I went to the US, I found customer service there appalling. It felt like on the one hand all about fake smiles and “how is your day?” sort of questions that the person posing that question couldn’t care any less about, and on the other hand a constant rush to get you paying and out of their establishment. The waiter or waitress coming every 2 minutes to ask if everything is alright was something I definitely didn’t enjoy at all… for a while I contemplated telling them either sit down and join in the conversation or just leave us alone, we’ll call you when we need anything else. I did my research beforehand, of course, so I get it: in the US, people working those jobs don’t actually have a good enough wage to live without tips, so they have to be quote-unquote “nice” to… well, live.

      Now, I can also see the flipside: someone coming from that type of customer service culture like the US would find the customer service here lacking or not to their liking.

  24. I am moving to Romania with my family this year, but I am having the most difficult time finding any websites to look up apartment or house rentals LONG TERM. All I find are airbnbs or short term rentals. Any advice?


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