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What is it like living in Romania as a digital nomad?

The answer became clear during our five week stay in the town of Sibiu – living in Romania is pretty dang great.

In fact, I love being a digital nomad in Romania so much that I’m already planning to return again soon.

If you’re considering a move to the country, smooth the transition with this guide covering eight frequently asked questions about life as a digital nomad in Romania.

 

historic center in Sibiu, Romania

Our evening walk in Sibiu looked like this every. single. night.

 

1. How fast is the internet in Romania?

Did you know Romania has the 5th fastest internet in the WORLD?

I know, I was shocked too.

Moving here was like stepping into heaven after 12 months in Colombia, Peru and Mexico. Just to put it in perspective, in Peru the average upload speed is 6 mbps, and at our apartment here in Sibiu we get over 100 mbps. Pretty crazy.

If your work involves uploading photos and videos, living in Romania will be a welcome change from other digital nomad hotspots where the internet just isn’t up to speed.

 

2. What is the cost of living in Romania?

I’ll just come right out and say it: living in Romania is incredibly cheap.

We have a beautiful studio apartment in a historical home only five minutes walking from the main square in Sibiu, and the rent is only $617 per month. Because we use Airbnb, that price includes all utilities and internet as well.

Groceries here are also way cheaper than they were in South America and Daniel and I can get away with spending only $50 a week or less to feed us both.

Additionally, a fancy meal out at my favorite restaurants will generally only run us around $10 each, and beers (even in the main square) only cost $2.50 for 500 ml.

 

3. How easy is it to travel around Romania?

Living in Romania is great is because it’s connected to the rest of Europe and international travel is easy.

I know I keep comparing Romania to South America, but because Medellin is such a hot digital nomad destination (and we spent 6 months there) I feel like it makes sense.

From Romania, we can easily take buses to a lot of nearby destinations.

This year, our route includes Sibiu, Sofia (one of my favorite stops), Belgrade, Zagreb and Budapest, with a vacation in Macedonia and Albania (see our 11 day itinerary here) as well… all without catching an expensive flight.

When we were in South America, on the other hand, we spent 6 months in Colombia and 4.5 in Peru because international flights on the continent are really pricey (around $300+) and buses can be up to 24 hours just to get from one city to the other. In Romania, international travel is MUCH easier.

 

4. How long can digital nomads stay in Romania?

Another reason why Sibiu is a great digital nomad destination is because Romania is outside of the Schengen Zone.

This category only applies to non-Europeans, but as Americans Daniel and I can only stay in the entirety of (most of) the EU for 90 days every six months.

In Romania, we can stay for 90 days in the country and then move on to Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia and get three more months in each. All of them are outside of the Schengen zone so we can completely avoid the annoying “Schengen shuffle” that a lot of remote workers have to be careful with.

 

historic center of Sibiu in Romania

The central square in Sibiu is an idyllic place to while away the time all weekend long

 

5. How do you manage timezones while living in Romania?

The timezone in Sibiu is good for remote work.

Daniel and I have modified our daily schedule to work from 12 pm to 8 pm, so we can overlap with the US schedule for a few hours without too much hassle.

Southeast Asia, anther major digital nomad destination, has a 12 hour time difference with the US so it’s completely off the table for us at the moment. For Europeans, Romania is an even more convenient choice.

 

6. What is Romanian food like? 

The food game is strong is Romania. Sibiu, the city we’re staying in, was even named a European Region of Gastronomy for 2019!

I’ve been happily surprised to have some very memorable meals in this small town, all thanks to the recommendations from a local friend. Check out these six restaurants when you’re here and you won’t go wrong.

If you’re huge into partying, Sibiu won’t be for you (although Cluj or Timisoara might).

However, if you like chill pub nights you’ll love Romania. This country is really quiet and relaxed, and Daniel and I have had some great nights exploring the craft beer scene in Sibiu and trying some new brews with new friends.

 

7. What are the top tourist spots in Romania? 

There is so much to see and do in Sibiu and the surrounding area. In fact, Daniel and I had five weeks here and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

If you’re wondering what your weekends and evenings would look like as a digital nomad in Romania, check out this list of 24 things to do in Sibiu to see all that the area has to offer!

Beyond Sibiu, there are plenty of lakes, hiking, museums, and culture to experience in nearby cities of Cluj, Timisoara, and even Bucharest. 

 

8. What is day to day life like as a digital nomad in Romania?

Life as a digital nomad in Romania is just so damn relaxing. There’s really no other word for it.

This town is ultra-quiet and peaceful, super clean, easily walkable, full of cafes and restaurants, lively in the evenings… just perfect in every way.

There are gyms within walking distance of the center (I use Bebeselea and recommend it), big supermarkets with everything you need, and cheap public transport options. Life here in Romania is just really good, and I can’t recommend it enough!

 

historic center of Sibiu, Romania

Another shot from an evening walk in Sibiu because it’s just too perfect.

 

Is living in Romania right for you?

If remote work in Romania is on your radar, I highly suggest making a move to Sibiu.

It’s beautiful, peaceful, and has a great quality of life. Get fast internet, a low cost of living, and plenty of things to see and do all wrapped up in one quaint, colorful package!

I can’t wait to return to Romania again soon, and if you have the chance, I think you should check it out too!

Ready to go? Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Romania and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the country.

 

This article is part of the Riveting Romania Series. Read the rest below:

Cost of Living in Romania: Our 5 Week Budget Breakdown

What to Do, Eat, and See When You Visit Brasov, Romania

Then, explore the complete Romania Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.

 

I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:

➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.

➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.

Skyscanner and the Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter help me find and book cheap flights and mistake fares.

Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field. 

➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.

➤ Finally, I love hosting my travel blog on SiteGround because they have helpful and responsive customer service and I love MediaVine and CJ for helping me make a living doing what I love!

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great post!
    How to get around language-wise, though?
    I don’t speak Romanian or Hungarian.
    French? Emglish? German? Russian?
    What was your experience?

    Reply
    • We only speak English and it was pretty much fine – there’s not a ton of English there but a mix of gestures and the google translate app got us through just fine. Romanian is kind of similar to Spanish so if you speak that you may be able to understand some menus and stuff, or if you speak German there’s lots of German-speakers in the country as well!

      Reply

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