Best Places to Live in Romania

Panoramic view of the old town and Tampa mountain in Brasov
Image source: Shutterstock / Location: Brasov, Romania

Romania is a tourist country in the Balkans, near the Black Sea. It offers stunning beaches and the Carpathian Mountains. The country also has lush forests, rolling hills, rustic villages, and farmlands. It is popular as the home of Dracula. The country can be challenging but attractive to expats. Its snowy mountains and spectacular medieval castles make it preferred by many. Is Romania a safe country to live in? Overall, it is with a few exceptions in some areas. Generally, many cities in Romania have problems with the local administration, traffic, and pollution. However, the rich history and unique atmosphere compensate for these flaws. In case you are moving from the UK to Romania, you need to prepare for what to expect. Learning how to live in Romania from useful resources will protect you from unpleasant mistakes.

The best places to live in Romania

Romania has a lot of great places, a variety of entertainment options, and rich local culture. This attracts visitors and immigrants from all over the world. Top destinations among the good places to live in Romania include Bucharest, Brașov, and Timișoara. If you are an expat looking where to live in Romania, keep reading.

Timișoara

Timișoara is the largest city in western Romania and the third biggest city in the country. In 2021, it was declared as the European Capital of Culture. Timișoara has a vivid cultural life, as well as constantly expanding social and economic status. Many foreign investors choose to launch their business branches there for that reason. Timișoara is one of the safest cities în România, in which the quality of life is rather high.

Timișoara has undergone many historical changes. The most significant of them took place in 1989. Then, the anti-government demonstrations turned into a revolution, which collapsed the communist regime. Nowadays, the main complaints are about the lack of cleanliness, the traffic, and the local administration. Another drawback that you should know about is the high cost of living.

Brasov

Brasov is one of the most important Transylvania cities in Romania. It is a convenient place near the capital, very close to nature. Travellers and expats often choose it for its great location. Many go there to visit Peles Castle and Bran Castle. The latter is more popular as Dracula’s castle. Immigrants take advantage of the winter sports available in the Poiana Brasov resort.

Brasov enchants with its idyllic and romantic atmosphere. No doubt that it is one of the best places to live in Romania and to visit as well. The architecture and spirit of the city has been preserved very well. Brasov used to be the cultural hub of Romania. The great quality of life and cleanliness are other of its great features. Expats are likely to enjoy its unique cuisine. However, there are areas where the city needs improvements. These are the lack of green areas and smart improvements, the local authorities and the traffic.

Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca is often called Romania’s Silicon Valley, thanks to its prospering technological development. The city is a hub for an abundance of IT industry-related job opportunities. It attracts big companies and many investors. Apart from this, Cluj-Napoca has a hectic cultural city life and superb entertainment options. Many significant theatrical, film and music festivals, such as Untold festival, take place there.

Cluj-Napoca is safe for living, has a young spirit, and at the same time is known as a historic city. It is a unique mixture of stunning historic buildings, museums, and serene nature. There are plenty of cultural events, international events, and rich nightlife. Other factors that make Cluj-Napoca one of the best places to live in Romania are its excellent quality of life – the local council looks after the residents.

Oradea

Oradea has built a reputation as one of the best places to live in Romania. The local council has used effective ways to develop the city. It has made great renovations, which include the historical city centre. The massive economic growth is another one, funded by the European Union. The locals are satisfied with the local authorities and the high quality of life. Oradea is one of the safest cities in Romania as well. The areas that need improvements, according to its residents, are the cost of living and the traffic.

Constanta

Constanta is an attractive city located on the Black Sea. It is only several hours away from the capital. The city has marvellous nature, fresh food, and the sea with its sandy beaches. The trade and tourism in Constanta are strong forces in Romania. You can easily find work in these among other spheres. One of the best places to live in Romania, Constanta is a cosmopolitan area. It has impressive architecture.

The largest port on the Black Sea is Contanta’s marine port. It is the major entrance gate from east into Europe. If you choose Constanta as a place of permanent residence, you can visit plenty of other coastal resorts from the city. The best ones are Eforie Nord, Costinesti, Vama Veche, Venus Beach and, Mamaia Beach. The coast of Romania is a straight line covering 100 km. That’s why you can start from Constanta, choosing different beaches whenever you wish.

Bucharest

The capital of Romania as usual is the most famous city and the most densely populated one. It offers everything for everyone – it doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, you’ll most likely find it in Bucharest. There are exotic restaurants, dance studios, gyms, and excellent options for entertainment.

The diversity of career options to choose from makes it a magnet for residents from all over the world. The capital offers diversity and the best of everything. Buchurest is also the home of prominent universities and the largest airport in Romania. The latter is only half an hour drive away from the city centre.

Buchurest is well-connected to the other countries in the world. Moreover, it’s an international hub that lets you travel with ease for vacations and trips. Considered by many as the best city in Romania, in Bucharest there are a variety of convenient means of transport. These include a perfectly functioning metro system, trams, trolleys. There are buses, light rails, and even night buses. The capital also offers bike tours for adventurers and sports enthusiasts.

Other honourable mentions

Craviova and Iasi are two cities, among many others, that have their charm. These are very suitable for British and other expats. There are certain areas in each that need improvements for them to become a magnet for immigrants and visitors.

Iasi

Iasi used to be the capital of one of the three principalities of Romania – the Moldovian region. The city has the first and oldest university in the country – Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. Iasi is largely populated by businessmen and students. It is not as popular as other destinations in the country yet certainly one of the good places to live in Romania.

One of the most delicious Romanian wines is made in this region. Locals have problems with the traffic, smart city innovations, and local administration. This is the case with many other places in the country. On the positive side, Iasi is a clean, safe city, with relatively high quality of life. To be improved, it needs to be better connected to the rest of the big Romanian cities.

Craiova

Craiova is in the southern part of Romania and is the home to a Ford factory where thousands of residents work. The city offers high quality of life and is considered safe. It has immense green areas, which make Craiova a cosy and beautiful spot for living. Unfortunately, similar to many other cities in Romania, it lacks functional smart innovations.

The traffic and local authorities also need to be improved too. The good side is the convenient location of Craiova. The city serves as a link between the historical parts of Muntenia, Transylvania, and Banat.

Cities and areas to avoid

Steer clear of Gara de Nord (this is Bucharest’s central train station) and Centru Vechi. The latter is the capital’s tourist and historic centre. Besides certain places in Bucharest, the least safe ones în România are Alexandria, Satu-Mare, Suceava, Bacău, Targoviste, and Călărași are other places with petty crime.

Takeaways

Romania has some problems with certain areas, but generally offers a decent standard of life. Most of its towns and cities have historical significance and have undergone development. The architecture in many cities is impressive. There are traffic problems, especially with the road conditions. The road infrastructure is very poor and not properly maintained. Is Romania a good place to live, you may ask. The answer depends on your priorities, but it can be a good choice for most Brits.

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