Moving to Bucharest: A Newcomer’s Guide to Romania’s Capital

Bucharest, Romania’s bustling capital, is a city of contrasts, blending history with modern urban culture. If you’re considering moving to Bucharest, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the essential aspects of relocating. From understanding local bureaucracy, choosing the right neighborhood, and managing banking affairs, to accessing healthcare services, this guide will prepare you for a smooth transition to life in Bucharest.


Navigating bureaucracy is a crucial aspect of relocating to Bucharest. If you’re from outside the EU, securing a residence permit is essential. This involves registering with the local authorities and providing necessary documentation such as a valid passport and proof of accommodation. EU citizens also need to register their stay. While Romanian bureaucracy can be complex, patience and organization are key. Engaging a local expat service or a legal advisor can ease this process significantly.


Choosing the right neighborhood is key to enjoying life in Bucharest. For those who love vibrant city life, the city center, including areas like Lipscani and Universitate, is bustling with cafes, restaurants, and cultural activities. Piata Romana and Dorobanti are popular among expats for their upscale feel and proximity to international schools and embassies. For a quieter, family-friendly environment, consider areas like Baneasa and Pipera, which offer suburban comfort with easy access to the city’s amenities.


Opening a bank account is one of the first things you should do after moving to Bucharest. Romania’s banking system is modern and efficient, with several national and international banks to choose from. Common requirements for opening an account include a valid passport, residence permit, and proof of address. Online banking is prevalent, offering convenience for managing finances. It’s also advisable to familiarize yourself with the local currency, the Romanian Leu (RON), for day-to-day transactions.


Romania’s healthcare system includes both public and private medical facilities. Upon relocating to Bucharest, it’s advisable to register for health insurance. While EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for public healthcare services, many expats opt for private health insurance for more comprehensive coverage and access to private hospitals with English-speaking doctors. Establishing a relationship with a general practitioner is recommended for routine health matters.

Helpful Information

  • Language Barrier: While Romanian is the official language, English is widely spoken in business and tourist areas. Learning basic Romanian phrases, however, will be appreciated and enhance your daily interactions.
  • Transportation: Bucharest has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and a metro system. Purchasing a monthly pass is a convenient and economical option for regular commuters.
  • Cultural Integration: Immerse yourself in Bucharest’s rich cultural scene by exploring its museums, historical landmarks, and attending local festivals and events. The city’s vibrant nightlife and culinary scene also offer ample opportunities to socialize and meet locals.
  • Employment Opportunities: Bucharest is the economic center of Romania, with opportunities in various sectors such as IT, finance, and services. Networking and joining professional groups can aid in job hunting.
  • Education: For families moving with children, Bucharest offers several international schools with English as the medium of instruction.
  • Social Life: The city is known for its friendly locals and expat community, making it easy to build a new social network. Joining clubs or expat groups can be a great way to meet people and settle in.
  • Cost of Living: Bucharest offers a lower cost of living compared to many other European capitals, but it’s wise to budget carefully, especially for accommodation and international schooling.


Moving to Bucharest presents an exciting opportunity to experience a city that is rich in history and culture, yet dynamic and evolving. By preparing for the bureaucratic aspects, finding a suitable neighborhood, understanding the banking and healthcare systems, and embracing the local lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your new life in Romania’s capital. Welcome to Bucharest, where tradition meets modernity in the most fascinating ways!

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