When many people think of Romania, they think of horses and carts, orphanages and vampires. They don’t think of awesome internet access — yet that’s exactly what Romania has to offer. Romania currently has the fastest download speed in Europe. My service currently costs about 12 USD a month.
2. The cost of living is pretty cheap in general.
For basic goods, Romania has some of the lowest prices in the EU. Rent in Bucharest — the most expensive city in Romania – can be as expensive as you want it to be, but you can get a comfortable place for less than $400 a month, and often it’s much less.
A good bottle of wine can cost as little as $6. I recently ordered two pizzas, a dessert pizza, chicken wings, and mozzarella sticks from a local pizza delivery company for about $12 (and due to a promotion, they threw in a bottle of wine for free).
While wages for a majority of Romanians are notoriously low, if you work for a multinational company, an international school, or as a successful freelancer, you can live really comfortably here on much less than you need at home.
3. You’ll have epic road trips.
While the roads in Romania are by no means perfect, Romania is a cool place to see by car. You have the Transfăgărășan Highway — a long, meandering road through awe-inspiring mountain scenery. When the road was featured on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson was so impressed he called it “the best road in the world.”
But apart from that, being able to watch the tranquil countryside and menacing mountains pass you by, and having the opportunity to stop in picturesque rural villages along the way, makes seeing Romania by car an unbeatable experience.
4. Learning basic Romanian language skills isn’t too difficult for native English speakers.
The US Foreign Service Institute categorizes languages based on how many hours it takes for native English speakers to learn them. Romanian is a “Category I” language, which means it is one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn.
Also, if you’ve studied a Romance language at any point (especially Italian or Spanish) learning Romanian will be even easier for you, as it too is a Romance language. That’s not to say Romanian doesn’t have its difficult points — like the goddamn noun endings — but in the grand scheme of world languages it’s one of the easier ones for native English speakers to master.
5. The Romanian wilderness begs to be explored.
Do you like hiking? Skiing? Kayaking? Bird watching? Spotting large mammals in the wild? Beaches? The country is huge, and these places are everywhere (some of them don’t even have names but you’ll find them if you just start walking in any direction). Romania’s varied nature and four seasons have you covered.
6. Romanian wine is cheap, plentiful, and tasty.
I know pretty much nothing about wine in the deadly serious swilling and spitting and noticing the “warm, oaky aroma” sort of way. However, I do have a deep appreciation of wine that is both cheap and delicious. Romania has both in abundance — and it’s not just drinkable, it actually tastes good.
Also, I can all but guarantee that it is available in every “non-stop” convenience store in the country. Consider this: Romania has one of the oldest winemaking traditions on Earth, dating back over 10,000 years. With that sort of historical dedication to the craft, you have to assume they’re doing something right by now.
7. The people are fantastic.
In stark contrast to European media depictions of Romanian citizens as beggars and criminals, the vast majority of Romanians I’ve met are friendly, hardworking, and exceptionally accepting of foreigners. Recently, the country has taken a few turns for the better by cracking down on corruption and electing a president who has pledged to take the country in a more progressive direction. Maybe it’s just me, but people in Romania seem a bit more hopeful, a bit more optimistic, than they were in the past. Moving to Romania now, in a time of palpable change, may be a decision you will never regret.