The cost of living in Bucharest is generally much cheaper than in most major Western European capitals. 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 good prices. 

Bucharest was ranked 174th out of 209 cities in the 2020 Mercer Cost of Living Survey. Being the most expensive city in Romania, prices anywhere outside of Bucharest are generally cheaper. 


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 one goes, the cheaper accommodation becomes. Most expats in Bucharest rent apartments or houses, with the cost of rent being dependent on the size of the apartment or house and whether it is furnished or not. 

A further expense is the cost of utilities, which is generally not included in rental agreements and which 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 daily, biweekly or 62-trip cards, which makes travelling on the metro cheaper. 

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


Cost of education in Bucharest

Schooling in Bucharest can range from free (for public schools) to very expensive (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 on staying in the country for the long term.

Bucharest boasts several international schools. The fees for these schools vary but tend to be expensive, and don't cover 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 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 at the higher end. Prices at a neighbourhood bar or restaurant can be half the cost. Movies are reasonably priced and there are many concerts and museum exhibitions that have only a nominal fee for admission.


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 May 2021.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre 

RON 1,500 - 3,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre 

RON 1,000 - 1,900

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

RON 2,700 - 5,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

RON 1,900 - 3,500

Shopping

Milk (1 litre)

RON 5.10

Eggs (dozen)

RON 10,80

Loaf of white bread

RON 3.10

Rice (1kg)

RON 5.50

Chicken breasts (1kg)

RON 21.75

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

RON 21

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

RON 20

Coca-Cola (330ml)

RON 6.40

Cappuccino

RON 10

Local beer (500ml)

RON 8

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

RON 150

Utilities

Mobile call rate (minute-to-minute)

RON 0.40

Internet (uncapped ADSL or Cable – average per month)

RON 40

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

RON 485

Hourly rate for a domestic cleaner

RON 30

Transport

City centre bus fare

RON 1.50

Taxi rate per km

RON 2

Petrol (per litre)

RON 5.15