I started writing about how much does it cost to live in Bucharest. Then, I wrote this article on how much is just the basic surviving expenses. Now, it is time to take a look at the second category of expenses – the administrative necessities of a young professional living in the metropolitan area of Bucharest.
So let’s get some more ideas about how much does it cost to live in Bucharest:
The urban transportation in Bucharest is cheaper than in any other big city in Romania and than in any other EU capital.
Bicycle – the cheapest way, but it can also be dangerous. Officially, there are bicycle lanes. Practically, you will have to use the parts of the streets which are not occupied by parked cars, garbage bins and holes. By the way, nobody really respects street circulation rules in Bucharest. Nevertheless, it is the fastest and cheapest means of transportation in Bucharest and there are tens of thousands of people who do it every day. A bicycle costs about 100-150 €. You will also need a very tough chain and locket (bicycles get stolen a lot) which might cost you an additional 10-15 €. Don’t leave your bicycle outside when you’re at home. Keep it in the apartment. Don’t leave your bicycle in the city during the night.
Surface transportation + metro/subway
An “abonament” for RATB (all surface transportation, meaning: trams, city buses and trolleys) is about 12 €/month. THIS ALSO INCLUDES NIGHT BUSES, WHICH WORK BETWEEN 10.30 PM-1 AM and 3-5 AM.
A metro card for monthly transportation in Bucharest is about 15 €/month. The metro runs throughout the whole Bucharest between 5.30 AM-11 PM and in some limited parts between 5-5.30 AM and 11-12 PM. (towards the ends of the tracks and in the center). The last metros go in all directions from Piata Unirii at exactly 11.30 PM.
Taxi services are also cheapest than in any other big city in Romania and any other EU capital. The usual cost is about 0.4-0.5 €/km. A regular trip costs between 3-6 €.
Whatever means of transportation you use, for any reason it is almost a certainty that you will use at least once or twice a month the taxi. So you’d like to spare at least 5-10 €/m for this.
A car in Bucharest might be necessary only in one or more of these conditions:
– your job depends on it;
– you often take trips outside Bucharest;
– you have a family or you drive more than yourself;
– you usually travel between 12-6 AM;
– you usually carry heavy things with it.
Otherwise, a car for your own personal transportation during the day in Bucharest is a very expensive, time-wasting and dangerous method of nerve-racking. Adding all the yearly expenses for a car, at least 100 €/m, supposing that the car is already completely paid for. If you don’t plan on staying in Romania much, but you need a car, best options are either to buy a second-hand car and then sell it when you leave or to buy a car in leasing for the period you live in Romania.
Romania generally uses GSM SIM-based technology for mobile phones. About 99 % of the country is covered, although it may be useful for you to know that usually the signal gets lost in the metro.
You can either use prepaid cards or subscriptions/”abonamente” from any of the 4 big mobile telephony providers: Vodafone, Orange, Cosmote and RCS/RDS. Business people prefer Vodafone, which is usually a little bit more expensive. Young people often use Orange. Each of the networks provides you with almost-unlimited free calls in their network. It is recommended that you either have two mobile phones, or a dual SIM phone, usually Vodafone AND Orange.
The cost depends on how much will you talk on the phone, with how many people, and how well you adjust your subscription/prepaid options to the first two variables. The least is 10 €/m/phone. This is how much you actually get to pay at the end of the month, not what you get advertised.
It is best that you don’t buy a mobile phone or a smartphone in the subscription, as it will end up costing you at least twice the value of the phone in time and it might keep you dependent on that network. If you want a good phone for a few years, from my experience, it is best to invest something like 150-200 € for a very good, resistant mobile phone with no strings attached. I have my dual SIM phone since 2008, I paid 200 € for it in cash, on the spot, out of my own pocket and I have used it with a lot of networks, cards and options in Romania, Belgium, France, and Italy. It still works fine and I intend to keep it.
Here are all the different things for the office, the house and your personal hygiene, such as: light bulbs, candles, lighters, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, razors & shaving cream, small bags, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, pipe-cleaner substances, mops, buckets, brooms, detergent for clothes and for dishes, toner for printer, paper, pens, markers, computer disks. Also, if you do not have access to a printer/copier/scanner, you will have to pay for these services in the city, which can be expensive in time and money. All this, about 30-40 €/month. of course, you don’t need to buy them all at once or in each month, but you do need them. If you want to get them cheap, I recommend Obor market & store.
Taxes, fees and commissions
Romania is a country where there are a lot of taxes to pay, even if you don’t earn any money. The mere existence of you breathing in Romania costs, indirectly: income taxes, local taxes, TV & radio taxes (even if you don’t have any), car taxes, apartment taxes. The bureaucracy is very high and can be compared with that from Russia or Belgium. You basically need to pay for every little thing, especially if you need documents from the local or central authorities. Although I am not sure, there might be even a tax for air and for rain. Of course, most of these are not monthly. And, if you are employed, there are a lot of taxes which are handled by your employer, so you might not even notice it.
To this, please add all the fees that you pay to the banks for all sorts of operations.
This can regularly add up to an average of at least 10-20 €/m., depending on what you are (officially) doing in Bucharest.
Please keep in mind to keep an eye on Analytic Vision to read further on the topic on how much does it cost to live in Bucharest.