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If you’re considering a move to this country, the first question that will come to mind (if you’re anything like me) is “What is the cost of living in Romania?”
Daniel and I spent five weeks in the charming town of Sibiu, exploring the northern part of the country called Transylvania. We found the cost of living in Romania to be incredibly affordable, but of course that term is subjective. So, here’s our complete budget breakdown for five weeks in Romania.
Accommodation in Romania
If you’re planning an extended stay in Romania, you’ll end up somewhere in Transylvania. It’s the most beautiful part of the country and much better than the capital of Bucharest. We chose the quiet and colorful town of Sibiu.
Here, our Airbnb for five weeks cost a total of $700, which makes it $617 per month.
This was a great deal because the studio was in a restored historical home. It was super spacious, had high ceilings, and was just steps from the main square, bus station, and supermarkets.
The amazing location definitely bumped this price up, so if you don’t mind living in the suburbs you can bring this cost down significantly.
Food, Drink & Fun Money
Outside of rent, this is where most of our money goes.
Sibiu has two big grocery stores outside of the center, Carrefour and Kaufland, so getting good food at good prices wasn’t a problem. We spent $50 per week on groceries. For five weeks it totaled $250 (which was wayyy less than we were paying in our Colombia and Peru budgets!)
Eating out is a different story… we kind of just ate and drank what we wanted, when we wanted too as long as we stuck to the budget we set for ourselves. We spent extra money to try craft beer in Sibiu and eat in the best Sibiu restaurants recommended by the locals. So keep in mind that if you practice a little more self control than us or seek out restaurants and bars outside of the city center you can cut this category big time.
In total, we would spend about $50 during the week and $180 on weekends. So, excluding the weekend trips to Brasov and Bucharest (counted below) our total food/drink/fun money spent in our 5 week Romania budget was about $800.
We were so close to everything we needed that we took a total of four taxis during our stay in Sibiu. So, the cost of that was about $30 for five weeks. Nice!
Bus and train costs for longer trips are included in the category below.
Travel and Weekend Getaways
We spent one weekend in Brasov and a second in Bucharest on our way to our next stop in Sofia, Bulgaria. Otherwise, all of the things we did were in Sibiu or day trips from the city.
Weekend in Brasov
Bus to Brasov: $7.50 per person / $15 total
Accommodation at Mountain Tale Hostel: $56 for two nights in a dorm
Fun Money: $120 for food, drinks, transport, entrance fees
Train back to Sibiu: $5 per person / $10 total
Weekend in Bucharest
Train Sibiu to Bucharest: $18 per person / $36 total
Accommodation at Cloud 9 Living: $70 for two nights in a private room
Fun money: $95 for food, drinks and ubers in the city
Bus Bucharest to Sofia: $32 per person / $64 total – get more details on how to get from Bucharest to Sofia.
Other Day Trips and Travels
The only miscellaneous expense I can think of for our Romania budget is the cost for our phone plans. I cancelled my Sprint phone plan and have had nothing since entering Europe, and Daniel is using Google Fi. Unfortunately with extra data usage and international call fees that came out to $60 for the month 🙁
I guess I can include our health insurance here to, which runs us $280 per month for a US plan that we can’t even use… yeah. So for five weeks that costs $350.
For Americans no visa is necessary and we were able to stay in Romania for 90 days every six months for free.
Total Cost of Living in Romania: $2,681
This is a basic breakdown of our cost of living in Romania during out five week stay. However, there are some things to keep in mind.
First of all, a budget like this will let you drink at bars, live in the city center, eat at the more expensive restaurants, and take weekend trips.
If you’re trying to cut costs, it’s possible to reduce this significantly by taking advantage of more of the free stuff to do in Sibiu, living farther from town, eating out and drinking less, and skipping visits to places like Brasov and Bucharest. Also, not paying ridiculous US health insurance costs would definitely help!
Finally, this cost of living in Romania reflects the number for a couple, and it’s important to note that we work during the weeks. If you’re trying to fill every single day of your stay as a vacation, this budget estimate probably isn’t for you and I would expect you’ll spend more.