The Cost of Living in Bucharest

On average, life in Romania is cheap compared to countries in the north of Europe. What is really cheap is food, groceries and going out. Clothing can also be found very cheap, even if it is of questionable quality. For better clothing and electronics you pay the same as in Northern Europe. Renting an apartment is possible from as little as € 100 per month. Most expats pay around € 300 for a bit more comfort or a better location. When renting, pay attention that the electricity, internet and water are paid separately. In the winter the electricity bill is of course higher than in the summer.

The exchange rate is fixed: RON 1 = € 0,2143 or € 1 = RON 4,67. That means you will not be surprised with a variable value of your income. In general expats earn minimum € 1000/month (RON 4660). The minimum wage in Romania is € 407 (2018), the average salary is € 515/month, so with this amount you have a very comfortable position.

Food
RON EUR
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district 32 lei (€7)
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) 20 lei (€4.35)
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast 11 lei (€2.46)
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk 4.66 lei (€1.03)
12 eggs, large 10 lei (€2.16)
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes 5.53 lei (€1.22)
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese 14 lei (€2.99)
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples 3.71 lei (€0.82)
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes 2.34 lei (€0.51)
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket 2.98 lei (€0.66)
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality 24 lei (€5.21)
2 liters of Coca-Cola 5.49 lei (€1.21)
Bread for 2 people for 1 day 1.85 lei (€0.41)
Housing
RON EUR
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area 2,727 lei (€601)
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area 1,950 lei (€429)
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 2 people in 85m2 flat 378 lei (€83)
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area 1,699 lei (€374)
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area 1,102 lei (€243)
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas …) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio 246 lei (€54)
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) 30 lei (€7)
40” flat screen TV 1,437 lei (€316)
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) 351 lei (€77)
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) 35 lei (€8)
Hourly rate for cleaning help 18 lei (€4.02)
Clothes
RON EUR
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 308 lei (€68)
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) 166 lei (€37)
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) 328 lei (€72)
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes 383 lei (€84)
Transportation
RON EUR
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new 84,324 lei (€18,571)
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas 5.14 lei (€1.13)
Monthly ticket public transport 62 lei (€14)
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km. (5 miles) 14 lei (€3.12)
Personal Care
RON EUR
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) 25 lei (€5.46)
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 32 lei (€7)
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) 119 lei (€26)
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, …) 18 lei (€3.88)
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) 13 lei (€2.92)
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) 16 lei (€3.58)
4 rolls of toilet paper 7 lei (€1.46)
Tube of toothpaste 11 lei (€2.38)
Standard men’s haircut in expat area of the city 29 lei (€6)
Entertainment
RON EUR
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub 88 lei (€19)
2 tickets to the movies 55 lei (€12)
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) 126 lei (€28)
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert 164 lei (€36)
1 cocktail drink in downtown club 24 lei (€5.26)
Cappuccino in expat area of the city 13 lei (€2.83)
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) 8 lei (€1.83)
iPod nano 16GB 882 lei (€194)
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.63 lei (€0.14)
1 month of gym membership in business district 303 lei (€67)
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes 16 lei (€3.52)