This is the last part of the articles I have started to write past month on how much does it cost for a young professional to live in Bucharest.
Here you can read the introduction and summary. Then, I wrote this article on how much is just the basic surviving expenses. The third article was about what are the expenses for administrative necessities. Now, it is time to take a look at the third category of expenses – leisure and other expenses.
So let’s get some more ideas about how much does it cost to live in Bucharest:
Books are pretty cheap in Romania, compared to other EU countries, but most of them are in Romanian. A regular price for a Romanian book is about 4-8 €. The books in foreign languages are usually 10-15 €. If you want to buy really cheap books, I recommend you to go the sellers from Universitate, they are opened in the working sunny days between 7 AM-5 PM.
Also, depending on your interest as a professional, there are lots of local and international magazines. Regularly, a niche review can cost between 1.1-6 €. Also, you might be interested in the different business annuals, which are usually published between October-February. Such an annual might have lists of business people, companies and industries, including telephones and e-mails which are hard to find in other places. One such annual might cost between 5-10 € and can be found at most newspaper kiosks, but especially in select stores such as the Relay or InMedio networks, which distribute the best periodicals.
In Romania, all movies are presented in their original language and with Romanian (or, occasionally, English) subtitles. The only dubbed features are some of the animated trash for really small children and they usually come also in a subtitled version for adults.
Bucharest has about 70 cinema screens. The number of films in a regular week (Friday to Thursday) usually varies between 50 to 120.
Bucharest has become in the past years quite an important place on the map of small film festivals. There are at least a dozen of them each year, with very low prices for general entry. In Bucharest, there are frequently a lot of films (both commercial, and artistic) which appear in the same time or even before they get launched in the United States.
The price of a regular entry for an adult depends on:
– time of the day/week – there are discounts for the morning, the weekdays and some special day-based discounts on most cinemas;
– if you are a student and/or you have an ISIC/ITIC card, then you usually have between 30-50% discount;
The cheapest tickets are at some of the state cinemas (Gloria, Europa, Studio, Noul Cinematograf al Regizorului Român or NCRR – something like 1.1-1.7 €/entry) and even in some multiplexes (Lights Cinema, Cityplex – something like 2-2.5 €/entry) or private cinemas (Union, Elvira Popescu – 2.2 €/entry). These cinemas usually have a good art films offer. And of course, there are the very high-quality and premium theaters, appropriate for seeing blockbusters, the best of them (and most expensive) being the RomTelecom IMAX theatre, which is located in the Cinema City of the AFI Cotroceni Palace shopping centre near the Politehnica metro, and also two other private cinema screens also in Cinema City which can run 3D + 48 frames per second features. The prices for such an experience is usually between 6-15 €/entry.
There are also a lot of cultural centers (especially British Council and Centre Culturel Francais) which let you borrow books, magazines and films and often have accessible encounters or projections on cultural topics.
Bucharest is the most cultural city in Romania and an important EU cultural city. Usually, all theater plays are in Romanian. The cost of a ticket varies between 2-3 €/entry for a small theater and 5-15 €/entry for a big theater. In some cases, you can also buy a seasonal subscription, if you go often to the same theater. You can also get significant discounts as a student, which may vary depending on the spectacle and the theater.
Business networking events
Usually, there are a lot of business networking events quite accessible for all the English and Romanian speaking young people interested to participate, if you want to meet people, get clients or suppliers. For example, the meetings organized by Junior Chambers International, Business Network International, InterNations. I also recommend Speaker’s Arena for public speakers, Open Connect for entrepreneurs and Noble Manhattan Coaching Support Group for personal development. Usually, there is a small fee for every single participation in such an event or a monthly annual fee to be paid. If you go to 2-3 of these each month, the monthly cost would be something like 10-15 €.
Of course, you will need to allocate some money for getting out with people, either on business or for personal reasons. Usually, in the regular bars/coffee houses/tea-houses/small restaurants a coffee/soda/small cake is 2-3 €. Most places have wireless access, but you need to ask for the password from the bar/service desk. There are also some cafeteria or small restaurants (especially near the student centers) where you can eat pretty cheap, healthy and consistent for a decent 3-4 €/meal, but those places aren’t appropriate for business meetings with (potential) customers.
Some of the most popular meeting places in the center of Bucharest are the historical city center (with hundreds of small terraces and coffee shops), Mac Unirii (or any of the other MacDonald’s in the center), Cafepedia, SpringTime, KFC and the Librarium teahouse from Romană. All these are also appropriate for business meetings, but the quality of food is usually lower and the prices higher. There is also a Starbucks place in the shopping center Plaza Romania. I usually meet with people at Mac Unirii, Spring Time Universitate or KFC Romana.
Depending on how much, how often, who and where you meet in the city, you can expect to pay at least 10 €/m. Usually, I pay about 15-20 €/m.
Please read here my article on this topic. Generally, the monthly budget for gifts would be 5-10 €/m.
Other special expenses
If anything breaks in the apartment, if you get a fine, if you get seriously sick and generally anything you aren’t insured for, can cost you a lot and are not considered in the monthly budget. Also, if you buy a new phone, a new bike, a washing machine, fridge, furniture and anything like that, these are also not considered in the monthly budget. But at least one of these things is likely to be happening in Romania and you should consider a budget of minimum 100-150 €/year, which adds to 8-12 €/m.