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Moving to Bucharest

Situated on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, Bucharest is Romania's cultural, administrative and economic capital. Home to just under 2 million people, it's also Romania's largest city and is home to most of the country's expat population.

Living in Bucharest as an expat

The city's unique mix of architectural styles and its cultural atmosphere has earned it the nickname Micul Paris, or 'Little Paris'. Ornate churches overlook trendy cafés, and residents can spend their leisure time in leafy parks or the pubs, clubs and discos in Old Town, adding to an enjoyable lifestyle in the city.

Nonetheless, the metropolis is in the process of reinventing itself. Derelict communist-era apartment blocks are being modernised alongside elegant neo-classical buildings. The city is making its mark as an Eastern European industrial centre.

As the driving force behind the Romanian economy, the capital is responsible for around a quarter of the country's GDP and industrial output. Expats working in Bucharest tend to be employed in IT, communications, finance, engineering and construction.

Expats generally find accommodation in Bucharest in the form of apartments, many of which are in old Soviet-style buildings, while housing beyond the city limits varies. Whether an expat chooses to live in the city centre or in the suburbs, public transport in Bucharest is comprehensive and includes a metro system, buses, trams, trolleybuses and a light rail. The city also has a private minibus taxi system.

One area that could use improvement is healthcare. Although Bucharest has adequate private medical facilities, the standard of healthcare in public hospitals will likely be below what expats are used to. Comprehensive health insurance that covers private treatment is essential.

Cost of living in Bucharest

The cost of living in Bucharest is lower than in most major Western cities. It compares favourably to cities in neighbouring Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. An expat's most significant expense will most likely be accommodation, while expats will be able to save on transport and local goods as they are typically inexpensive in Bucharest. 

Expat families and children

Expats with children will have to consider their options of schools carefully. Although there are international schools in Bucharest, the selection is limited. That said, although fees at these schools are high, they're more reasonable than in other international destinations, and they offer a good quality of education. 

Alternatively, the city's public schools are free to attend for all residents. The quality of education at these schools varies, but the language of instruction is Romanian. For many families, this makes them an impractical choice, leaving international schools as the only viable option.

Climate in Bucharest

Bucharest has a continental climate, boasting long summers that are warm and sunny. Winters are cold and bring snow and frost to the city. Spring and autumn, on the other hand, are mild. Expats moving to Bucharest will experience the best of all four seasons in the city. 

With plenty of events and festivals and numerous attractions throughout the city, there is more than enough to keep expats busy throughout the year. Those who make an effort to learn the local language and culture will find themselves being welcomed into one of the safest cities in Europe by the incredibly friendly locals. 

Cost of Living in Bucharest

The cost of living in Bucharest is cheap in comparison to most expat destinations. Although salaries in Bucharest are much lower on average than what many expats from Western Europe or North America may be used to, this is offset by the city's reasonable prices, and expats earning in a foreign currency will find it even easier to meet expenses.

Ranking 142nd out of 227 cities in the 2023 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Bucharest is slightly more expensive than neighbouring capitals, such as Sofia, Bulgaria (168th) and Budapest, Hungary (161st), but is much friendlier on the pocket than London, UK and Vienna, Austria.

Cost of accommodation in Bucharest

In terms of accommodation, rent for a one-bedroom or studio apartment in Bucharest is typically lower than in other European cities, but is expensive by Romanian standards.

Property prices can vary greatly depending on the area and type of home. As with most cities, the further away from the city centre, the cheaper accommodation becomes. Most expats in Bucharest rent apartments or houses, with the cost of rent being dependent on the size of the home and whether it is furnished. 

A further expense is the cost of utilities, which is generally not included in rental agreements and varies between the winter and summer months.

Cost of transport in Bucharest

The metro is the most popular means of transport in Bucharest. It's possible to buy bundled tickets or tickets valid for a period of time rather than a set number of trips, making travelling on the metro cheaper. 

Taxis are inexpensive in Bucharest. Those who commute will find that cars are generally affordable, although maintaining a car can be expensive.  

Cost of education in Bucharest

Schooling in Bucharest can range from free (for public schools) to costly (for international schools). As the language of instruction in public schools is Romanian, most expat parents don't choose this route for their children unless they plan to stay in the country for the long term.

Bucharest boasts several international schools. The fees for these schools vary but tend to be expensive, and there are usually extra costs such as lunch, bus fare or uniforms. Expats relocating should consider these costs when accepting a job offer.

Cost of goods in Bucharest

Food in Bucharest is relatively inexpensive on an expat salary. Conversely, electronics and luxury products can be more expensive than in other European cities and particularly more so than in North America. Clothing also tends to be more expensive in Bucharest.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Bucharest

The cost of entertainment in Bucharest depends entirely on where one goes. The old city centre caters to many tourists, expats and well-to-do locals, meaning that the prices are on the higher end. Prices at a neighbourhood bar or restaurant can be half the cost. Movies are reasonably priced, and many concerts and museum exhibitions have only a nominal admission fee.

Cost of living in Bucharest chart

Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider, and the table below is based on average prices for Bucharest in April 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

RON 4,200

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

RON 2,800

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

RON 2,300

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

RON 1,630

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

RON 15

Milk (1 litre)


Rice (1kg)


Loaf of white bread


Chicken breasts (1kg)

RON 29

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

RON 23

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

RON 220

Big Mac Meal

RON 27

Coca-Cola (330ml)

RON 8.40


RON 12.80

Bottle of beer (local)

RON 11


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

RON 0.38

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

RON 40

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

RON 600


Taxi rate/km


City-centre public transport fare


Gasoline (per litre)

RON 7.20

Accommodation in Bucharest

Finding accommodation in Bucharest can be straightforward with patience, research and professional assistance. In the right areas, expats will find neighbourhoods with cobbled streets, vibrant markets selling locally grown vegetables, parks with flowering linden trees and outdoor terrace cafés.

Areas and suburbs in Bucharest

Bucharest is divided into six sectors, each with its own municipal council and mayor responsible for its administration. Each of these sectors has charming neighbourhoods from which expats can choose.

One of the most essential aspects for expats to consider when choosing a base is proximity to public transport networks. Bucharest is infamous for its traffic congestion, which can turn a short trip into a long commute. 

Most expat families will find themselves living in Bucharest's northern suburbs; these areas are home to a selection of excellent international schools and some of the city's best parks. Wealthy and diplomatic families will usually live in Primăverii, Kiseleff and Dorobanți, some of the oldest and most affluent neighbourhoods in Bucharest. Domenii and Cotroceni boast tree-lined streets, green spaces and cultural experiences that make them perfect for expat families. 

The Old Town and Bucharest's central neighbourhoods are best suited for young and single expats looking to be where the action is. Piața Romană, Lipscani and Icoanei have a plethora of exciting and chic cafés, bars, pubs and boutiques for expats to enjoy. There is also plenty of Romanian culture and modern amenities to be experienced in central Bucharest. 

See the page on areas and suburbs in Bucharest for more on the best places to live in the city. 

Types of accommodation in Bucharest 

Expats have many options when it comes to housing in Bucharest. The city is divided into six districts, stretching from the city centre to the suburbs. Apartments are most common in the city centre, while larger villas are available in some of the neighbourhoods in Bucharest.

Foreigners can search for furnished and unfurnished houses or apartments, with parking places, building security and other facilities. Expats should note, however, that a 'three-roomed apartment' in an advertisement means that there are three rooms in total and not three bedrooms.

Refurbished old townhouses and apartments offer the luxury of living in a beautiful central area with coffee shops, parks, museums and art galleries. Some complain that Bucharest still has an unpleasant appearance due to the Soviet-era apartment blocks primarily found in the city's east and west sides. But unique architecture can be found in central and northern Bucharest, including art deco, art nouveau, Brâncovenesc (local design) and classic French styles.

Expats will have no trouble finding housing that suits their budget. Rent outside the Bucharest city centre tends to be cheaper, but prices vary depending on size and proximity to public transport and shopping malls. Buying or renting accommodation in Bucharest is expensive compared to other Romanian cities, but it is also often cited as being relatively cheap by European standards. Flatsharing may be an option for students and young professionals who want to live in the city centre but who cannot afford to rent in Bucharest on their own.

Finding accommodation in Bucharest

Although supply is high and there are options for every budget, it's advisable to use a real estate agent when looking for accommodation in Bucharest. The language skills of real estate agents, along with their market knowledge, can assist expats in finding the right property. Agent fees may be charged as a percentage of the buying price when purchasing, or the equivalent of one month's rent if signing a lease.

Foreigners who are familiar with the areas in Bucharest and have already decided where and in which type of housing they would like to live can search online for the options available. They can then establish when viewings are available and negotiate rental prices with the landlord or real estate agent.

Renting accommodation in Bucharest

Refurbished small apartments in Bucharest cost less than larger new apartments. That said, expats should consider renting in a newly developed residential complex due to the good value for money and modern utilities. These also offer more space but aren't usually close to the city, which could be an issue during rush hour or cold winters.

Making an application

To apply for a rental home, expats may need to provide proof of employment and income. They may also be asked for their visa or residence permit for Romania. Some landlords or rental agencies may request references or recommendations of character. Without a history of renting in the country, references from an employer can be a good substitute.

Leases and deposits

The lease period is usually at least 12 months, but shorter leases may possibly be negotiated. Leases can be terminated early, if needs be, but this will usually require two months' notice. Shorter notice may result in one to two months' rent being deducted. Rent is paid monthly.

In order to secure a lease, expats typically pay a deposit equivalent to one or two months' rent. The deposit must be held at the landlord's bank. At the end of the contract, the landlord may deduct expenses from the deposit for repairs to the property and unpaid bills.


Utilities aren't typically included in the rent, and expats will need to budget for the extra expense monthly. The landlord or agent should be able to advise on when to expect utility bills, what format they will come in and how to make a payment.

The General Council of Bucharest manages waste removal, while Apa Nova supplies Bucharest's water. A variety of state and private companies offer gas services (including Romgaz and OMV Petrom) and electricity services (such as Electrica, Schneider Electric and Enel).

For more in-depth information, see Accommodation in Romania.

Areas and suburbs in Bucharest

The best places to live in Bucharest

When it comes to deciding which of the areas and suburbs in Bucharest best suit their needs, expats must consider which factors are most important to them. With six distinct administrative districts, expats will be spoilt for choice. 

Newcomers living in the city centre have greater access to Romanian culture and modern life, but living here tends to be more expensive, and the demand for housing is generally higher. Conversely, expats who appreciate quiet neighbourhoods often find themselves in Bucharest's northern suburbs.

Expats who want to be able to travel freely between home and the office while being able to access other sites of interest should consider areas that are well-connected to the metro network. Public transport in Bucharest is efficient and well-developed, giving expats various options.

Family-friendly areas in Bucharest

Expats in search of leafy suburban living can choose from the beautiful neighbourhoods around King Michael I Park (formerly Herăstrău Park), Kiseleff Park or Floreasca Park in northern Bucharest. These areas are popular with expats for their proximity to the city's international schools and are well-connected to the city centre.

Family-friendly areas in Bucharest


A neighbourhood historically catering to expats, Domenii remains one of the most popular suburbs for expat families in Bucharest thanks to its proximity to Kind Michael I Park and the international schools in Pipera. Although there are some apartment buildings, expats moving here will likely live in villas. Some attractions include a selection of vibrant restaurants and a farmer's market selling some of the best fresh produce in the city. 


Located in north Bucharest, Primăverii is one of the city's most affluent neighbourhoods. Fashionistas and foodies will enjoy the international designer boutiques and wide range of restaurants catering for all budgets and palates. Expat families can also access the picturesque Lake Floreasca and Primăverii Palace. The area is also served by metro and bus links, making for easy commutes. 

Kiseleff and Dorobanți

Kiseleff and Dorobanți are among the city's older and more exclusive neighbourhoods that are teeming with chic cafés. Most of the city's embassies are found here. Expats who can afford it will find plenty of charming and stylish old villas with gardens and red brick and glass buildings in these areas. New arrivals looking to commute into the city centre will be delighted to find that Dorobanți is home to four metro stations, a tram line and several bus lines. 

Areas for young and single expats in Bucharest

Bucharest's downtown neighbourhoods offer all the benefits of restaurants, galleries, theatres and the energetic atmosphere that comes from living in the middle of the city. As such, the central area is the perfect choice for couples with small or no children and singles who would like to mix with locals and discover Romanian culture.

Areas for young and single expats in Bucharest

Old Town Lipscani

Situated in the heart of Bucharest, Old Town is one of the most popular areas among expats, locals and tourists. Lipscani is a tourist hub located within the Old Town that is bustling with restaurants, clubs and bars, making it the perfect home for party-loving expats looking to get their groove on. Although the prices are often some of the most expensive in Bucharest, many expats rent in Old Town Lipscani.


Home to stunning authentically Romanian architecture and a fair few embassies, Icoanei is one of the safest neighbourhoods in Bucharest's centre. Expats will have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at the nearby Gradina Icoanei Park as well as a range of fantastic restaurants sprinkled throughout the neighbourhood.

Piața Romană

Piața Romană is a trendy neighbourhood perched just outside the city centre. The area is a beautiful meeting point for the old and contemporary, as it boasts exquisite pre-war mansions and classic villas alongside Bucharest's most fashionable cafés, bars and boutiques.

Healthcare in Bucharest

Healthcare in Bucharest is generally affordable by Western standards, but expats should ensure they have comprehensive health insurance.

While healthcare in public facilities is free for residents, patients using private medical facilities will need to pay cash upfront before claiming back from their insurance provider.

Corruption is an unfortunate reality in Romania’s healthcare system. The prevalence of bribery, accompanied by poor salaries and unacceptable working conditions, has pushed many Romanian doctors to seek work outside the country, leaving the Romanian public healthcare system in a precarious state. Although expats will likely find adequate care at private hospitals, many expats find the facilities at public institutions to be substandard.

Pharmacies are available throughout Bucharest, and some are open 24 hours a day. Expats may find that some medicines which are readily available over the counter in their home country may require a prescription in Romania.

Below are some of the most prominent hospitals in Bucharest.

Hospitals in Bucharest

Royal Hospital Bucharest

Address: Splaiul Unirii 313A, București 030138

Medicover Hospital

Address: Strada Pechea, Nr.8 , Sector 1 București 013982

Floreasca Emergency Hospital

Address: Calea Floreasca, Nr. 8, Sector 1 București 013982

Ponderas Academic Hospital

Address: Str. Nicolae Caramfil 85A, Sector 1 București 013982

Life Memorial Hospital

Address: Calea Griviței 365, București 010719

Hospital Constantin Angelescu

Address: Aleea Căuzași 49–51, București 030167

Education and Schools in Bucharest

Although public education in Romania is free for all residents, expats usually opt to send their children to one of the many excellent international schools in Bucharest. Romanian is the language of instruction in public schools in Bucharest, which tends to put non-Romanian-speaking expat children at a disadvantage.

Public schools in Bucharest

The quality of public education in Romania can vary from school to school, but in general, large cities such as Bucharest usually have better quality public schools with the most resources.

For expat families with children young enough to learn a new language and who plan to stay long-term, public schooling is an ideal way to mix with locals and integrate into Romanian culture. On the other hand, expats in Romania for an assignment with a limited term or who have children in their teens generally find international schools a much simpler and more practical option.

Private and international schools in Bucharest

Since the early 1990s, many private schools in Romania have opened and flourished. Private schools in Romania are available from kindergarten to high school, and expats can typically find the widest variety in Bucharest, the capital. These schools adopt modern approaches to education and charge fees, which can be expensive.

Private schools that offer the curriculum of another country, or a global curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, are known as international schools.

International schools are the most popular choice for expats in the city. Most of the international schools in Romania are situated in Bucharest and offer quality education for the young expat community. Schools also provide an essential tool for parents who wish to make new acquaintances and form social connections in a foreign country.

International schools in Bucharest usually offer one or more of several curricula, including the International Baccalaureate programme and the British Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level programmes. Expats can also find French and American international schools in Bucharest.

For a list of the top schools, see International Schools in Bucharest.

Special-needs education in Bucharest

The Romanian government has implemented an inclusion policy for special-needs children, intending to integrate them into mainstream schools, providing all children with the same educational opportunities. Dedicated special-needs schools do exist, however, if mainstream schooling cannot provide the required support.

Many schools in Bucharest, including international schools, have facilities and teachers that can assist children with a variety of special needs. Many schools also have specialised occupational therapists and other special-needs professionals to help these children. Only if a child is not able to adapt to mainstream schooling will they be transferred to a special-needs school. 

Tutors in Bucharest 

Private home or online tutors are available in Bucharest to assist children with particular subjects and additional school support. It may be helpful for expats to hire a tutor to help their child adapt to their new school curriculum, if different from their schooling at home, as well as the language of instruction. Romanian can be a difficult language to learn, and depending on the child's age, it may be useful to have extra Romanian lessons with a tutor. 

There are many websites and companies that advertise private online or home tutors in Bucharest. These companies include Verbling, Tutoroo and TeachMe2.

International Schools in Bucharest

There are a number of international schools in Bucharest catering to expats. These schools teach a foreign curriculum in the language of the school's country of origin. Many international schools in Bucharest offer the British curriculum, including the Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels, and a number of schools teach the world-renowned International Baccalaureate.

International schools in Bucharest generally offer a high standard of education, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and modern teaching styles. That said, the standard and popularity of these schools also mean that places are limited and prices are often higher than other educational institutions.

Here are a few recommended international schools in Bucharest.

International schools in Bucharest

American International School of Bucharest

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 2 to 18

Avenor College

Curriculum: British (National English Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels) and Romanian
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 2 to 18

British School of Bucharest

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-Levels)
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 2 to 18

Bucharest Christian Academy

Curriculum: American
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

Cambridge School of Bucharest

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels)
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

Deutsche Schule Bucharest

Curriculum: German
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 1.5 to 18

International British School of Bucharest

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels)
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

International School of Bucharest

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum and Cambridge IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate
Gender: Co-educational 
Ages: 2 to 18

Little London International Academy

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate and Romanian
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

Lycée Français Anna de Noailles

Curriculum: French
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

Maarif International School of Bucharest

Curriculum: British (Cambridge IGCSE) and Romanian
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 18

Mark Twain International School

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 2 to 18

Olga Gudynn International School

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum) and Romanian
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 3 to 15

Scuola Italiana Internazionale Aldo Moro di Bucarest

Curriculum: Italian
Gender: Co-educational
Ages: 5 to 18

Verita International School

Curriculum: British (English National Curriculum and Cambridge IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate
Gender: Co-educational 
Ages: 3 to 18

Lifestyle in Bucharest

Once proudly known as the Paris of the East, Bucharest's communist era affected its image, leading to the city being frequently overlooked in favour of other European capitals. Since then, Bucharest has regained much of its lustre and now demonstrates the many contrasts between its dramatic past and present-day rejuvenation. 

This is most evident in the city's architecture. Old churches rest in the shadows of communist-era apartment blocks, while French palaces sit alongside glass office buildings and beautiful parks.

A colourful metropolis behind a grey facade, there are various options when it comes to shopping and lifestyle in Bucharest. Although the city seems typically Eastern European in some ways, it's a distinctively Romanian blend of cultures.

Eating out in Bucharest

Romanian cuisine is a mix of cultural influences, including Greek, Turkish, German and Hungarian. Traditional Romanian food is meat-based, hearty and sometimes fatty. Soups are popular, and cabbage makes a regular appearance.

Bucharest has a burgeoning café culture and offers residents an array of restaurants catering to every budget and palate. Lipscani is a popular area for dining out in Bucharest, while Strada Episcopiei is also home to numerous restaurants.

Romanians love to cook, and locals often prefer eating at home over going out. Meals are frequently shared at a dinner table with extended family and friends, so it's quite common to be invited over for a meal.

Nightlife and entertainment in Bucharest

Bucharest has a vibrant and diverse nightlife, including chic cafés, raucous bars and trendy nightclubs. There is a great selection of jazz clubs and other live music venues, while philharmonic orchestras, operas and ballets entertain the city in more refined settings.

Once derelict and crumbling, Lipscani is now a focal point of Bucharest's nightlife scene. With a selection of eateries, bars and clubs, the cobbled streets are regularly teeming with partygoers until the early hours of summer mornings. The area is also generally safe to walk at night. 

Home to Bucharest's unofficial red-light district, Centrul Vechi (Old Town) is also another lively spot located in Bucharest's centre. The Old Town is teeming with bars, clubs and restaurants to entertain expats from all walks. 

Shopping in Bucharest

Bucharest boasts an interesting yet exciting shopping experience from large modern malls to low-key local markets. Piata Obor is one of Bucharest's largest outdoor markets and offers all sorts of food items. The weekend flea market at Strada Mihai Bravu on the city's east side is also worthwhile for picking up bargains and antique souvenirs. 

Shopaholics will also enjoy their time in Lipscani's historical centre, thanks to the merchants selling their wares in front of the high-end boutiques. Calea Victoriei is one of the most prestigious shopping areas in Bucharest. It's home to upscale hotels, boutiques and museums, and expats will also find many high-end fashion brands available here.

Outdoor activities in Bucharest

Known for its beautiful gardens, Bucharest's lush parks are places of refuge for locals during the hot summer months.

Cișmigiu Gardens, founded in the mid-1800s, boast a lake for visitors to paddle on in the summer and an ice rink to skate on in winter. Herăstrău is another well-known green space, offering a bar, restaurant and sports complex set against the backdrop of a picturesque lake. Visitors can hire rowboats or visit the nearby theme park.

The Botanical Garden and Carol Park are other popular green spaces in Bucharest, where families love gathering for picnics in the summer while others go to the parks to enjoy a game of chess or catch up with old friends.

Where to meet people and make friends in Bucharest

Building new relationships and friendships is one of the most daunting aspects of moving to a new city. Below are a few organisations expats can join to help ease the process of meeting people and making friends in Bucharest. 

International Women's Association Bucharest

Established in 1978, the International Women's Association Bucharest is a non-profit volunteer association that allows expat women to build life-long friendships while supporting charity. 

Bucharest International Club

Bucharest International Club (BIC) was founded by a group of expats looking to explore Bucharest while building friendships with other foreigners in the city. 

British Football School Romania

Expat parents can sign their little ones up to learn football from UEFA-certified coaches, allowing their children to integrate into a new community. Expats will also have the opportunity to build connections with other parents. 

See and Do in Bucharest

Despite its grey and sometimes dreary facade, Bucharest offers expats a host of interesting sights and activities. From its historic buildings and museums to ornate churches and beautiful parks, visitors will learn about the city's troubled past while experiencing first-hand its quest for modernity in present-day, post-Soviet Romania.

Below are some of the most popular attractions in Bucharest. 

Recommended attractions in Bucharest

Palace of Parliament

One of the largest buildings of its kind and a landmark of Romania's communist history, the Palace of Parliament is a must-see for any visitor to Bucharest. Expats can go on guided tours of the building, which consists of 1,100 rooms housing the Romanian parliament, three museums and a conference centre. The ornate interior is furnished with rare and expensive materials, including bronze, gold, marble and crystal.

Stavropoleos Monastery Church

There are many beautiful and historic churches in Bucharest for new arrivals to explore. The Stavropoleos Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox Church tucked away in Bucharest's Old Town, is a must-see. Originally built in 1724 during the reign of Nicolae Mavrocordatos, the building is characterised by beautiful stone and wood frescoes inspired by biblical themes. The church is also a conservation centre for the relics of several saints and has one of Romania's largest collections of Byzantine music books.

Romanian National Art Museum

Located in the former Royal Palace on Revolution Square, The Romanian National Art Museum features the country's largest collection of Romanian and international art from medieval to modern times. Moreover, the museum's building is an attraction in itself. Visitors can take tours of some of the former royal living quarters and the throne room and view the exquisite art. 

The Romanian Athenaeum

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania, the Athenaeum is a glamorous concert hall in central Bucharest. This ornate domed and circular building is a landmark on the city's skyline and a significant symbol of Romanian culture. It is home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. It's also one of the main venues where the George Enescu International Festival and Competition is held in honour of the Romanian composer.

King Michael I Park

Formerly known as Herăstrău Park, King Michael I Park is the largest park in Bucharest. With an open-air theatre, yacht club and sporting facilities, King Michael I Park is a popular location for family picnics as it has something for everyone to enjoy. It's also home to the Village Museum, which showcases traditional Romanian village life in an open-air setting. The museum has over 60 original houses, farmsteads, windmills and churches scattered around the park showcasing Romania's historic regions.

What's On in Bucharest

There are several great festivals and events in Bucharest that showcase Romanian culture and history, so expats definitely won’t be lacking entertainment in this Eastern European capital.

Here are some of the popular events in Bucharest.

Annual events in Bucharest

Bucharest Street Food Festival (April) 

Gourmands living in Bucharest will not want to miss the opportunity to have their taste buds tantalised at the Bucharest Street Food Festival. Expats can sample a taste of home on Kiseleff Boulevard, where food trucks selling all types of international fare converge and bring a vibrant festival atmosphere. 

Bucharest Pride (May/June)

Honouring LGBTQIA+ rights, the Bucharest Pride is a week-long celebration with various festivities taking place across the city. These include film screenings, art exhibitions and parties. The celebrations culminate in the March of Diversity, which usually sees more than 10,000 people march in a parade in central Bucharest.

Europafest (July)

Europafest is an international music festival held each year in summer that brings together four music genres in one event: jazz, blues, pop and classical music. Local and international musicians descend on Bucharest to participate in concerts, workshops and cultural events in several venues across the city.

Bucharest International Film Festival (September)

Established in 2005, the Bucharest International Film Festival is a prestigious event showcasing the best in local and international independent films. The event sees 10 days of workshops and film screenings at several venues across the city.

George Enescu International Festival and Competition (September)

This classical music festival is held every two years in honour of the famous Romanian composer George Enescu. The festival is celebrated in cities across the country, but the main festivities are staged at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. More than 3,000 local and international musicians converge in Bucharest for over 80 cultural and musical events.

Bucharest International Marathon (October)

The Bucharest International Marathon takes place in early October each year and sees almost 8,000 participants joining in for either the full or half marathon. There are also many more social and fun events, including a relay race as well as children’s races. The race starts at Izvor Park and finishes at Constitution Square in front of the Palace of Parliament in central Bucharest.

Getting Around in Bucharest

With an extensive public transport system, getting around Bucharest is easy. The centre of town is small enough to traverse by foot – but watch out for potholes, broken paving, and cars squeezed into any space they can find. For longer trips, a combination of the metro, tram, bus and trolleybus ensures that most of Bucharest is easily reachable. Otherwise, taxis are relatively inexpensive and widely available.

Public transport in Bucharest


Bucharest's metro system is clean and affordable. With five lines (M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5) and over 60 stations, this is the easiest way to get around the city centre.

Stations are indicated by white signs with a blue 'M'. Tickets can be purchased at stations, with different multiple-journey options available, including unlimited weekly or monthly passes.

Buses, trolleybuses and trams

There are many bus and tram stops throughout the city, making it easier to get around in Bucharest. Buses, trolleybuses and trams are all run by RATB, the local public transport operator. Ahead of their journey, expats should purchase an Activ or Multiplu card, found at kiosks near bus stops. Expats can use either card on any of the three transport options, as they share a ticketing system.

The quality of vehicles varies in Bucharest, and if a commute is crowded, expats should take care of their personal belongings. Bucharest is generally safe, but pickpockets are known to operate on public transport. 

Taxis in Bucharest

Taxi services in Bucharest vary, as do their driving standards. They can be a quick way of getting around, but this depends on traffic, which is exceptionally bad during rush hours. A taxi is a good option once the daily bus service has stopped, however.

When using a taxi, always check the price on the side of the vehicle. Once in, check that the meter shows the same rate and ensure the driver has switched it on. Taxi drivers in Bucharest are infamous for overcharging foreigners. Expats unsure of how to pronounce their destination should have it written down on a piece of paper.

Some rideshare and taxi service apps operate in Bucharest. Local apps include Star Taxi, while Uber and Bolt are also available. These are often cheaper than a regular taxi, make the language barrier easier to overcome and have the added bonus of displaying the fare beforehand. 

Driving in Bucharest

Driving in Bucharest is not recommended unless an expat wants to travel around Romania for sightseeing. The roads are in poor condition, and driving can be a harrowing experience. That said, public transport doesn't cover some parts of Bucharest, making a car necessary.

Bucharest's road infrastructure wasn't designed to cater for the number of cars operating in the city. While it may be quicker to get somewhere by driving, finding parking in Bucharest can be challenging, and drivers often park where they like with little intervention by the police. Traffic in the city is also horrendous during rush hours.

Licencing regulations for expats depend on nationality. Expats can use EU driving licences in Romania until expiry. In contrast, non-EU drivers need an International Driver's Permit (IDP), which they can use for up to six months before it needs to be replaced by a local licence. The same applies to UK licences.