How Expensive is Bucharest (2024)

If you’re wondering if Romania is cheap to live, I have been documenting my expenses for the time I’ve been there. For the sake of making this project easier on myself, I will pick two full months that I was in Romania. In actuality, I was there from mid October to mid January. I’ve picked the months of November and December to list my expenses. As prices undoubtedly vary throughout the country, this article will tell you a little bit more about how expensive is Bucharest.

If you’re, like me, looking for where is a good place to live cheaply in Europe, you will want to keep an eye on my blog! I will definitely continue to explore the cost of living in Eastern Europe and create blog posts both for my personal documentation and also to help out people who are looking for reliable information regarding the living expenses in Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe.

How I Divided the Living Expenses

I decided to list my expenses under several categories: food from the grocery store (including candy/chocolate/snacks/drinks), food from ordering takeout (ordered through Glovo), cleaning items (eg. washing liquid, detergent, hand soap), female hygiene products (pads) and cats (food, litter, snacks). Included in the expenses are grocery bags (plastic tax), delivery costs and tips.

Categories that I left out

Gaming expenses, vitamin/supplement/painkiller purchases, transportation and mobile expenses. These types of expenses especially vary per person and depending on the circumstances. As such, I chose to leave these expenses out.

Save Money in Bucharest: Know What to Buy

I always compare prices to what I paid or have been willing to pay in The Netherlands. There are several products that I would love to buy regularly, but are more expensive than in my home country. Examples are cold cuts/deli meats, milk and cheese. The Netherlands has a huge selection of cold cuts that are often very affordable (at least before inflation). This is something I haven’t been able to find in Bucharest so far. Similarly, The Netherlands has a huge selection of slices of cheese. In Bucharest, the slices of cheese offer is limited. They do have a ton of cheese products available, though. Lastly, I’d like to say that milk is about double the price from what I used to pay for it. On the bright side, milk is available in glass bottles in Romania. This is much better as glass doesn’t tamper with the taste of the drink inside of it. I thoroughly enjoyed some milk with 3.6% fat. Back in The Netherlands, I drank milk with 4% fat, but the glass bottled milk in Bucharest tastes significantly more delicious.

So if you’re wondering how expensive is Bucharest when it comes to deli meats, milk and cheese, my answer is more expensive than The Netherlands. Living in Bucharest allows you to save money on other things, though. Such as onions, potatoes, meat (chicken/pork/beef). So you can still opt to get the more expensive items every now and then. Which is what I did.

Living expenses Bucharest, Romania

We rented a fairly expensive Airbnb in Bucharest. Reasons for this are not knowing what to expect, being fairly unprepared, having less choice when coming with cats and needing to ensure that the Airbnb we rent is safe for our cats. Our end goal is to rent long term for less than 400 euros per month. In the mean time, we explore the country by staying in an Airbnb.

Important to note: These living expenses in Bucharest are for TWO PEOPLE and TWO CATS.

November TOTAL: 1311.82 EUR

  • Rent: 1018.97 EUR (77.70%)
  • Food (groceries): 214.29 EUR (16.36%)
  • Cats: 65.47 EUR (5.00%)
  • Cleaning items: 11.68 EUR (0.89%)
  • Eating out: 0 EUR (0.00%)
  • Female hygiene: 1.41 EUR (0.11%)

December TOTAL: 1502.82 EUR

  • Rent: 1052.94 EUR (70.07%)
  • Food (groceries): 284.54 EUR (18.93%)
  • Cats: 83.15 EUR (5.54%)
  • Cleaning items: 63.12 EUR (4.20%)
  • Eating out: 15.09 EUR (1.00%)
  • Female hygiene: 3.98 EUR (0.26%)

Cost of living in Bucharest excluding rent

As the rent varies depending on where you live, whether you’re in an Airbnb, a hotel, a one room or two room apartment, let’s exclude the rent to see the cost of living in Bucharest.

How expensive is Bucharest: November

  • Food (groceries): 214.29 EUR (73.11%)
  • Cats: 65.47 EUR (22.36%)
  • Cleaning items: 11.68 EUR (3.99%)
  • Eating out: 0 EUR (0.00%)
  • Female hygiene: 1.41 EUR (0.48%)

Total spent excluding rent: 292.85 euros for two persons and two cats

How expensive is Bucharest: December

  • Food (groceries): 284.54 EUR (63.24%)
  • Cats: 83.15 EUR (18.49%)
  • Cleaning items: 63.12 EUR (14.02%)
  • Eating out: 15.09 EUR (3.35%)
  • Female hygiene: 3.98 EUR (0.88%)

Total spent excluding rent: 449.88 euros for two persons and two cats

Two months living in Romania: Conclusion

To conclude, I think we did fairly well living in Romania for a couple of months. The groceries were purchased from various chains, including Mega Image, Auchan, Penny, Kaufland and Carrefour. I know for a fact that I would be able to optimize our expenses even more if we could get our own apartment. Because I would stock up on frequently purchased items when they are on sale. Such as meat, cheese, rice (if it goes on sale) and cat food. Of course when not living in an Airbnb, we would have to pay for the expenses of gas/water/electricity &ampl wifi separately. As far as I know, these costs are fairly low compared to the West as well.

So if you’re looking to move to a cheaper country and wondered how expensive is Bucharest, I hope this article was able to shed some light on this question for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re looking for good information on how to live cheaply in Eastern Europe, do keep an eye on my blog. You should definitely look at my related posts and don’t forget my tags actually have a purpose! Be sure to click on the Romania tag to check my other posts about this wonderful country.

Like many foreigners, expats and digital nomads, I’m sure you have a lot of questions on your mind. Let me give you my input on some!

Do people in Bucharest speak English?

I’m going to be honest. Before coming to Romania, I was made to believe “everyone speaks English”. Unfortunately this is not my experience. Whether old or young, if people spoke English at all, their knowledge of this language was limited. What’s worse, is that people continued telling entire stories to me in Romanian after I said “nu vorbesc română” (‘I do not speak Romanian’). This made the situation even more uncomfortable. Luckily I’m starting to get the hang of the language little by little, so sooner or later – if I choose to live in Romania – I’ll be able to communicate in the local language. This will be easier on everyone involved!

Is Bucharest safe?

I was in Bucharest Sector 3 for three months and I felt safe. I also went out by myself alone at night in the dark (as a female, but not past 10 PM) and nothing bad happened. This is my experience and I can only hope your experience will be the same! :-)

Are Romanians friendly to foreigners?

I would say yes. I have not once gotten the feeling that I was not welcome in Romania. However, not speaking the local language did make things a little harder of course. It made me feel like an outsider. But as time went on, this feeling started fading.

Is Romania cheap to live?

Having only lived in Western Europe prior to coming here, the grocery prices, rent and utility prices are significantly cheaper. Not all items and food products are cheaper, but by shopping smartly you will without a doubt be able to save on a significant amount of expenses. Even eating out is competitive compared to Western Europe (especially The Netherlands). Rent in The Netherlands is currently more expensive than the Airbnb I rented in Bucharest. As for groceries, butter, milk, cheese, rice are slightly more expensive compared to The Netherlands. Whereas potatoes, onions, garlic, apples and chicken (meat) are significantly cheaper. Even the Nutella is cheaper than in my home country. The prices of cat food are similar, but hey, cats don’t eat a lot. :-) The cheaper price of the cat litter made up for that. So as you see, depending on your needs, your location, Romania can definitely offer a lot of financial benefits.

Visits: 6