Expat Living in Transylvania: Which City to Choose?
Are you considering relocating to Transylvania, but not quite sure which city is the best destination for expats?
Rest assured, we’ve got you covered in this article!
Though not a major destination for expats as of 2020, lacking the exotic flair of South-East Asia, or the popularity of South America – Transylvania & Romania are worth a second look.
Affordability, easy access to nature, and quick & cheap transit to the rest of Europe make Transylvania a fantastic destination for digital nomads. In this article, we won’t be taking a look at Bucharest, which holds its own as a home for many expats, but is no longer an “off the beaten path” destination.
Up next, we share our insights on expats living in Transylvania, along with our top recommendations. We’re looking at the three biggest cities in the region, all of which have easy airport and train access, are popular foreigner destinations, and also happen to be some of the most diverse populations of Romania.
Expat living in Brasov
Brasov has long been one of the key tourist destinations in Romania, primarily due to its proximity to Bran and the infamous castle of Vlad Tepes (Dracula). Thus, locals in Brasov are by and large used to foreigners, and are very welcoming, meaning that you will relocate to a nice community.
Indeed, most people speak English here, but in some cases, it might be challenging to communicate with senior residents.
There are plenty of accommodation solutions depending on your budget and expectations. As a baseline, you can expect to find a basic studio for rent for around $300 per month – but if you do some extensive research, and are willing to deal with a commute you might discover something more affordable than that. A nice studio in the town center could run you up to $500/month with utilities. Airbnb, while also a reasonable option for limited stays, will come at a premium – expectedly, given the typically high flow of tourism through Brasov.
As an expat hoping to live at least a few months in Brasov, a shared room in an apartment may be more difficult to find. Though popular with students, shared accommodations aren’t as common in Romania as in other parts of Europe, and it may be difficult to find one unless you happen to know local students.
The cost of living in Brasov as an expat is more affordable than most of Europe, according to NomadList. While groceries can run you $35-$50 a week, eating out will not be a significant burden, with plenty of satisfying lunch options under $3 and even decent dinners for $4-$5. These prices apply mainly for Romanian restaurants and fast foods – while Romanian food is rich, you also have access to an array of international restaurants.
Expat living in Sibiu
Sibiu is one of the most popular relocation destinations for expats in Transylvania. It is a small city with a welcoming community, but at the same time, it gets you the feeling that you are living in a big family. Besides the multitude of cultural events usually organized here, you can get the chance to live in an authentic Saxon Old Town.
The cost of living in Sibiu is slightly lower than it is the case with Cluj. If you want to live in the City Centre, you should expect to pay for a one-bedroom apartment around $360 rent per month. But if you are open to another suggestion, we can say that you can quickly discover the same one-bedroom apartment for $200 outside Sibiu Centre.
As it is the case with most cities in Transylvania, most of the restaurants and grocery stores are rather affordable. As an example, the weekly grocery bill might be around 30 and 40 dollars, based on the area you are shopping in.
Expat living in Cluj
During the past years, Cluj became the best relocation destination in Transylvania for those looking forward to accessing an important tech hub. There are plenty of job opportunities available, which is why numerous young expats occupy the city itself.
Since there are plenty of people moving here, the renting costs for a place to live are slightly higher when compared with Brasov and Sibiu. As such, you might have to pay a monthly rent for a studio of around $500. Yet if you think about the affordable lifestyle in the area, it is an excellent price to pay.
Cluj is a vibrant and beautiful city, where you will discover a young and friendly community, along with plenty of events and festivals. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Transylvania, with several multinationals setting up shop in Cluj as an Eastern European base of operations – which is why it has plenty to offer when it comes to employment, entertainment, and education.