Find out why Romania is perfect for remote workers and freelancers. This guide contains everything you to need to know about daily life, coworking, cafes, & accommodation.
Romania is a truly wonderful country and an ideal place to be based as a digital nomad. The country has a long and interesting history, with remnants of Soviet, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian occupation being visible in much of the architecture and even its cuisine.
Of course, the legend of Vlad Dracul, the famous inspiration for Dracula, makes for some fascinating day trips and stories — the castles and endless hiking opportunities also mean you’ll never be bored here on your days off.
An open and friendly country, people are very willing to chat and get to know you. Violent crime isn’t an issue and the cost of living is low by European standards. The public transport system is excellent and you will have no trouble travelling across the country by train.
Your Complete Guide to Living and Working in Romania
As we have spent time remote working in Romania, we’re here to share everything you need to know from what city to choose, to the best coworking space and cafes, accommodation options and how to get yourself set up.
Get ready to fall in love with Romania.
Seven Interesting Facts About Romania
- Romania features one of the world’s most beautiful driving roads. The Transfagarasan highway races and snakes through the mountain passes of the Southern Carpathians, taking hairpin bends to a new level.
- Throughout their history, Romania has had to survive three empires trying to assimilate them, including the Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman. You can see signs of ottoman influence in some of the dishes and spices used in Romanian traditional meals (which are delicious!)
- Romanians love a drink. It’s considered the fifth booziest country in the world, just behind Belarus, Russia, Moldova, and Lithuania.
- It has its own Hollywood signs. In Brasov and Rasnov you’ll find big white letters on a hill that look strikingly familiar.
- Romania has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some of the oldest and most beautiful churches and chapels in Europe
- You’ll find the world’s heaviest building in the capital of Bucharest. The Palace of Parliament, a vanity project started during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s rule, is still the house of the Romanian parliament.
- Vlad Dracul, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was very real. His legacy as a bloodthirsty tyrant grew thanks to early propaganda, as his enemies spread rumours about him drinking blood. In truth, he was a brutal and bloodthirsty man, but he did not drink blood.
Tip: Here are some great books to read about Romania if you’d like to learn more about their history or sample some Romanian fiction.
Best Cities for Digital Nomads: Deciding Where to Live in Romania
Deciding where to be based while in Romania is a challenge as there are so many great cities and towns to choose from. Here are the most popular spots where you’ll find everything you need as a remote worker.
From Russian churches to brutalist communist buildings, the most elegant and beautiful bookstore, side streets you could mistake for Paris, to a medieval farmer’s market Bucharest offers a lot to explore.
The nightlife and cafe scene is buzzing and it is a city brimming with young entrepreneurs. It’s a city that rewards people who spend a little time there unpacking and discovering making it perfect for remote workers.
The gorgeous old town area is what usually jumps to mind when you picture Brasov, the capital of Transylvania and it really is vibrant and full of cafes and restaurants to enjoy.
But Brasov extends way beyond its old town and offers a hub for artists and freelancers with plenty of networking opportunities.
You also have all of the stunning Transylvania on your doorstep to enjoy with easy day trips from Brasov to places like Bran Castle, endless hiking opportunities, and quick trips to historic towns such as Sighisoara (birthplace of Vlad Dracule) and Timisoara which border Serbia.
This city, vibrant due to its universities and student population, can be found in the northwest of Romania and is considered an unofficial capital of Transylvania.
The nightlife and music scene is particularly buzzing with some of the biggest electronic music festivals held here. Bursting with creative bars, hipster joints, endless cafes, and museums Cluj-Napoca is a fantastic choice for digital nomads looking for a hub.
Sibiu is ideal for anyone looking for a quieter, smaller, and cheaper historic town to live in with similarities to Brasov and other European cities like Tallinn or Salzburg.
It has been named the European capital of culture and also offers a lot for hikers being so close to the mountains. You’ll find plenty to do in terms of cafes, museums, and attractions but less in the way of nightlife.
Five Reasons Why Romania is Perfect for Remote Workers and Digital Nomads
Before we expand on everything you need to know about Romania, here are some reasons why you will love living and working in Romania.
- Affordable cost of living – With a low cost of living compared to other areas of the EU, you can keep your costs low being based in Romania.
- FastwWifi – In the top ten wifi speeds in the world and one of the fastest in Europe, you won’t struggle for a good connection.
- Great travel opportunities – With an extensive train network that is affordable and easy to use, travelling around Romania is a breeze. It’s also gorgeous and brimming with hiking opportunities and history.
- Solid remote working community – With coworking spaces, Facebook groups, and regular events and meetups, you’ll meet fellow nomads in no time.
- Fantastic cafe options – Romania loves its coffee, there are so many cafes to choose from and most are ideal for working from.
How to Find Long Term Accommodation in Romania
One of the easiest ways to find accommodation in Romania is by using Airbnb and you can easily find affordable accommodation within walking distance of the city centre or even centrally depending on your budget.
What’s more, you can pay by the month making it very convenient if you’re only planning on staying short term.
Some of the cheaper Soviet-era apartments, particularly in Bucharest, can be quite damp without much natural light so just bear that in mind if you find a bargain.
You can also use Facebook groups, like Bucharest Apartment Rentals (or the equivalent if you’re considering another city) to find your ideal accommodation. Due to the number of digital nomads living in Romania, there are also frequent house sitting options available.
Cost of Living in Romania
In Romania, they use the Leu as currency (pronounced ‘lay’), major credit cards are accepted in most cities, airports, hotels but you may struggle in smaller towns so make sure to have some cash on you. ATMs and currency exchange facilitates are widely available.
On the whole, you can comfortably get by in Romania on $600 a month, including rent on a one-bedroom rental – bearing in mind that the minimum wage in Romania equates to roughly $550. Obviously, if you are prepared to spend more then you can live closer to the city centre.
You can find apartments for around $250 dollars a month which will be smaller, further out (though usually within walking or tram distance of the city centre), and potentially be a seismic risk.
The average rental price for a good apartment in Brasov is around $400 dollars so remote workers can find savings by being based in gorgeous Transylvania.
Noticeably the supermarkets are much pricier, particularly for fresh food and dairy, than the many food markets dotted around. So we’d highly recommend getting to know your local market which will also likely have ready prepared meals and drinks to enjoy as you go around.
Uber is available in Bucharest, as well as Uber Eats and other take out services. Fares generally cost between 1.6 lei and 3.5 lei per km so you generally won’t have to pay more than five-ten dollars for most journeys.
Read More: Budgeting Tips for Digital Nomads
6 Best Cafes for Remote Workers in Romania
We’ve mentioned some coworking space below but if you just love a cafe with great wifi and even better coffee then the cities in Romania are ready for you. You’ll find your usual Starbucks and local chains but there are also some great independent places to seek out.
The exciting options also extend to food and drink with Bucharest, in particular, offering some amazing and affordable restaurants to try both Romanian and international food.
Here are some great cafes in Romania for working:
Beans & Dots (Bucharest) – Great coffee and snacks as well as big tables to work at. It’s typical to find people there working all day so no one will bother you. Also, the wifi is great.
Saint Roastery (Bucharest)- For speciality coffee, this ethical roastery and cafe is where you need to set up. Incredibly laptop-friendly, fill up their loyalty card for a free drink and get some work done.
Truthfully, you’ll be stumbling over cafes in Bucharest so you won’t have any trouble finding one.
Kafe Pub (Brasov) – Incredibly cosy with real writer vibes, Kafe Pub is decked out in dark wood with vintage odds and ends about and hidden corners to set up in. However, there aren’t many outlets so come with a full battery or ask where the plugs are.
L’etage (Brasov) – One of our favourite spots in Brasov, the decor is incredible with open books lining the walls, musical instruments, and dark wood aplenty. It also hosts music events and turns into more of a wine bar in the evening for a post-work drink.
Bonus: More suited to a day off than working (though you can certainly work there), is Dr Jekelius, our other favourite cafe in Brasov. Set in an old apothecary, it just nails the atmosphere.
Meron (Cluj Napoca) – Stripped down with a bright and airy Nordic design, with plenty of outlets and great wifi. This is where to go if you need to get some serious work done. The coffee is also excellent. Meron is a small chain so you’ll also find branches in Brasov and Bucharest and across Cluj Napoca.
Koffer (Clu Napoca) – For book lovers, this is the ideal cosy spot to read or write, or get work done. A book cafe with cake (including raw and vegan options) and speciality coffee, it always hits the spot.
What are the Downsides of Remote Working in Romania?
Overall, there are very few downsides to choosing Romania as your base as a remote worker but here are a few things that popped up for us:
The cold is quite brutal in the winter so depending on your tolerance levels you may want to save Romania for the warmer months.
It’s also quite grey and smoggy, in Bucharest in particular due to the congestion levels, during this time. We found the air in Brasov much clearer during the winter and there was more snow.
Driving around the country can be quite intimidating and, in Bucharest, it did feel dangerous being a passenger in taxis at times with some very close calls.
The roads are a lot calmer once you are outside Bucharest and the views of the mountains are a treat but we would still opt for the train or foot when possible.
This is certainly not the only country we have encountered crazy drivers but it is worth bearing in mind before getting behind the wheel, especially as Romania currently holds the highest rates of road deaths in Europe.
We absolutely loved walking around Bucharest and were more than happy to walk most places, especially considering how safe we felt, even late at night.
Do I Need to Learn Romanian?
You can absolutely get by without learning Romanian (especially in Bucharest and other Romanian cities) as most young people speak English and most signs and menus are bilingual.
There’s also the added advantage that Romanian is a romance language rather than a Slavic language, like its neighbours, meaning it’s a lot easier to decipher for Western Europeans and English speakers.
Learning hello (Bună ziua!) please (Vă rog)m and thank you (mulțumesc) is always nice though.
If you are interested in learning Romanian then you can pick up free apps like Duolingo which will help you with the basics.
Working from Romania
Romania is one of the easiest countries to work from with a thriving network, a plethora of coworking spaces, and cafes as well as great wifi.
Five Coworking Spaces in Romania
There are plenty of coworking spaces to enjoy in Romania, particularly in Bucharest, and as it’s also a country that loves coffee and modern cafes so you won’t struggle to find somewhere with good wifi to work.
Here are some notable and affordable co-working spaces in Romania to enjoy:
theAtelier (Bucharest) – Found in the city centre, this coworking space provides everything you need to work comfortably including great wifi, complimentary coffee and drinks, and business rooms for meetings.
You can rent a desk by the hour which is something you rarely see (for 10 lei), by day (50 lei), or in a prepaid block of ten days (400 lei). They also hold regular events for their network of entrepreneurs and nomads and they offer a student discount.
V7startupstudio (Bucharest) – A gorgeously designed hub for entrepreneurs to come together, work, and collaborate on projects. A monthly pass including free tea and coffee and access to all facilities and perks is 220 euro, there are also day and ten-day passes available. If you’re here to grow your business network, they have you covered.
Hubba Hubba (Brasov) – Pay by the day (around Є10), part-time 10 days monthly (Є60), or full-time monthly (Є100) and enjoy this friendly and open space in the historic centre of Brasov.
Some of the benefits of the space include free tea and coffee (and sometimes beer), a kitchen to use, lockers, inside bike parking, and 24/7 access for pro members meaning you can work whenever is right for you. They also have excellent ultrafast wifi.
Demisol (Brasov) – Almost like a family ready to get to welcome and get to know you ‘Demisol is a free co-working space dedicated to hackers, designers, developers, marketers, troublemakers and other disrupters.’ They have some rules so if you think you fit the bill then go say hi!
Cluj Cowork – A space that fosters a real community feel for local entrepreneurs, freelancers, and bloggers where events are organized so you can network and make friends. Coffee, tea, and fresh fruit are included as well as nine rooms including meeting space, HD projector, and sound system.
A kitchen area is also included with a stovetop and espresso maker. They also offer discounts with partners like local bookshops, restaurants, pubs, flower shop, online classes, etc. prices start at Є10 per day Є45 per week, or Є160 with the first month discounted.
The Digital Nomad Scene in Romania
Romania has been a popular destination for digital nomads for several years meaning a big community of remote workers already call this wonderful country home.
The biggest communities exist in Bucharest and Brasov and overall, they both offer tight-knit groups where you can easily make friends and connections if you’d like to.
A great place to start is CoCoHub Bucharest – they offer coworking and coliving options, a telegram group to get to know people, and local deals and events to get stuck into.
Is Romania Safe for LGBTQA+ people?
While gay marriage isn’t legal at the moment and it is a conservative and catholic country overall, queer people are fully protected by the law and there are queer-friendly spaces to enjoy.
Keeping PDA to a minimum is advised as homophobia is still very much present but, overall, it is safe and has come a long way in a short time.
What is the tax and visa situation for remote workers in Romania?
While Romania is a member of the EU, it’s not in the Schengen zone which is something worth taking into account as you organize your visa situation.
Schengen Visa holders do not need to get a (special) Romanian visa to visit Romania as long as their Schengen visa allows at least two entries in Schengen space and the number of entries and/ or length of stay has been not exhausted.
Currently, there are no specific visas for digital nomads like other nearby countries though, hopefully, that will change soon.
If you’d like to stay permanently, it’s possible by forming a company through a local attorney and paying tax. It can work out expensive by the time all the documentation and translation are complete but it is possible and certainly more straightforward than many other countries.
Living and Working in Romania: Final thoughts
Overall, we’d highly recommend Romania as a base for working abroad. It ticks all the boxes in terms of comfortable working spaces, affordable lifestyle and accommodation, fast wifi, amazing food, and endless travel opportunities.
People are friendly and ready to help you out plus you can get by in English.
All I would say is, if you struggle with the cold, maybe come back once the winter is over.