Costs to Retire in Brasov Romania

In this video, I will share our estimated costs to retire in Brasov Romania if the two of us retire here year-round on a tight budget. We also share mid-range costs in case money is not as tight for you.

After sharing costs, I will share my Brasov Retirement desirability factors including walkability, Internet, food, weather, things to do, social considerations, safety considerations, expat community, medical, tourist visa, residency requirements, real estate, and our Brasov Overall Retirement Desirability score.

I was last here 11 years ago. Brasov is one of my favorite cities in Eastern Europe and it is relatively affordable compared to other parts of Europe. So I am thrilled to come back, film it again, and share what we have learned about retiring here.

Estimated Costs to Retire in Brasov Romania

Rents: I found this furnished 1-bedroom apartment for rent for 350 Euros (378 USD) monthly in one of the best areas of Brasov. If you rent for a shorter period on Airbnb it would be much more expensive.

A larger flat with more space could cost twice as much per month. So for the middle range expenses, I estimate $650 USD per month or more depending upon area and size.

Here is the process we use to find great apartments. So, we will show you a table of all expenses in a moment. We will use 378 USD per month for our lower rent estimate and $650 per month for the mid-range cost of living estimate for expats who want more space.

Utilities: We estimate that the year-round average for our utilities would be about $110 USD per month. The utilities would cost more for the larger space, starting at around $150 USD per month.

Groceries: We would shop in the grocery stores for fresh food, nonperishable food, and other things like shampoo and detergents. We estimate about $320 per month for groceries. Other expats are likely to spend more on imported groceries they miss from home spending more than $410 per month on groceries.

Restaurants: We would eat out twice per week mostly in more local-style restaurants averaging about $5 to $8 USD per meal per person and one or two splurges per month of $10 to $13 USD per meal per person. If you add all that up, we would spend around $205 per month for the two of us. We may have a beer here and there, but that is covered below in alcohol.

Other expats are likely to eat more Western-style foods in expensive expat-style restaurants and less in local-style restaurants, so they would likely spend more like $280 per month for 2 people in restaurants. It is lifestyle-dependent.

Cell Phone Data: The cost to get a prepaid Orange Brand sim card for your unlocked smartphone is about $7 USD per month with about 66 GB per month of data. My Android phone will act as a hotspot so we can both be on the internet at the same time when we are out of the house together.

Other expat couples are likely to buy two prepaid SIM cards so they would send $14 per month.

Laundry: The apartments all seemed to have clothes washing machines. The above grocery estimate includes laundry detergent.

Drinking Water: We read online that the water is clean here and many people drink water from the tap but we would be more careful. We didn’t see reverse osmosis delivery in 20-liter jugs here so we would probably get a Brita water filter. The filter refills would be about $5 USD per month.

Internet: 60 MBPS up and down is about $10 USD for in-home wifi.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is about $0.85 USD per ride one way. We would average two round trips per week for the two of us, which is 8 per week or 32 per month, or about $27 per month in public transportation. We would probably take another 4 Bolt Taxi App rides per month averaging about $3 USD each, or $12 USD. So total transportation would be about $39 per month for the two of us. Other expats might spend more on taxis and less on public transportation, so I estimate $100 per month for them.

Alcohol (Optional): Domestic beer in grocery stores in Brasov is about ($1.03 USD) for 500 ml. In bars and restaurants, half-liter draft domestic draft beers are about $3 USD. We estimate about $100 per month on alcohol for the two of us.

Other expats might spend a higher amount for imported foreign or craft beers in expat bars, so about $180 USD per month for 2 people assuming they are not into imported whiskey or wine.

Entertainment (Optional): We would budget about $200 per month for entertainment for the two of us. We enjoy doing more do-it-yourself kinds of entertainment so expats would spend a little more, maybe $300 per month, for 2 of them?

Estimated Costs to Retire in Brasov Romania


















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The above lower estimated cost of living would be if the two of us lived in Brasov Romania on a tight budget. The middle estimate is just an example of what other expats might spend if they moved here.

To understand what it would cost you to live here, you must put your feet on the ground, see how you would choose to rent, eat, and entertain yourself, and add it all up. It doesn’t matter what anyone else spends because we are all different.

Brasov Romania Retirement Desirability Factors

Before you move anywhere outside your home country, create a list of things that you must have for your happy retirement. Here are my retirement desirability factors and I will rank each as high, medium, or low before assigning an overall retirement desirability score to Brasov, Romania.

Walkability: High. We would stay in the old town area of Brasov. In fact, we walked everywhere in central Brasov. We found all of our needs within a 5 to 15-minute walk. We took a Bolt Taxi (APP) to and from the Brasov train station when we arrived in town and departed. So we would not need a car if we lived in Brasov.

Internet: High. The wifi in our Airbnb was 60 MBPS up and 42 MBPS down. Good enough for us to do Zoom calls, upload YouTube videos, and watch Netflix.

Food: High. There are several grocery stores in central Brasov and our favorite grocery store, Lidl grocery store is just a short walk from central Brasov. There is also a large selection of various foreign restaurants in Brasov because it has international tourists visiting, with prices running from $10 to $13 USD. There are also local food places with meals starting around $5 to 8 USD.

Weather: Medium. Average monthly highs in Brasov range from 38 F (3 C) in January but increase to 72 F (22 C) in August. Average monthly lows in Brasov range from 25 F (-4 C) in December but increase to 58 F (14 C) in July. The best weather runs from May through September. On average, at least some rain falls between 10 and 15 days per month except in May and June when rain falls about 17 days per month. About 370 cm of snow falls each year. But enough snow falls in the mountains about 20 minutes away to snow ski.

Things to Do: High. Brasov Central is around 2000 feet above sea level which is around 609 meters. Brasov mountainous feel to it with a ski resort just 20 minutes up the hill. But its beautifully restored medieval center has a deep cultural sophisticated feeling. Bravo has several interesting museums, the Brasov Philharmonic, concerts, live shows, and festivals, in Brasov. So it is more than a mountain town with nearby skiing. It also has nightlife, coffee shops, shopping malls, and many international and local restaurants.

Social Considerations: High. Romanian people who work at hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and other public-facing occupations speak English. Additionally, about 40% of the general public speaks conversational-level English. About 90% of young Romanians speak conversational English because it is taught in schools. Plus, Romanians are fascinated with foreigners from the West and are helpful when they realize English is your first language. However, in remote areas like in Brasov, English is less likely as you move further away from the central area of Brasov, so you may need to rely more on Google Translate and universal hand gestures and pantomime.

Safety Considerations: High. The US State Department webpage for Romania published the lowest level 1 risk for Romania–” Exercise normal precaution. “Numbeo surveys report that crime is lower and life is safer in Brasov than in Denver Colorado, for example. But, you can compare Brasov to other cities in the world at that link. I have been out late in Brasov and it felt very safe to me. You can also review my report, How to Travel the World Safely, which is how I have remained safe traveling the world for 17 years.

Expat Community: Medium. Here is a Facebook page that caters to English-speaking expats living in Brasov Romania: FB. These online expat communities are great for learning all about things that expats want to learn when they first move overseas. They are more likely to answer questions that have not been answered recently. So, make sure to scroll down and/or search for previous questions asked and answered before posting any questions to the group.

Medical: Medium. This healthcare international comparison index ranks Romania 72nd in the world, three spots better than the United States at 69th. There are different ways healthcare is rated, but this one seems to be considering quality of care in relation to what patients are charged.


There are a few hospitals listed in Brasov. If you have a medical condition that they are unable to treat, you may decide to seek treatment in Bucharest, or in one of the other countries in the world on this or any other ranking. I have had great experiences with Thailand 31st and Malaysia 42nd for both price and quality of service. It is also true that there are very good doctors in Romania. So, make sure to ask around for referrals and establish relationships with doctors based on the feedback you have gotten from others who have used their services. The above Expats Facebook pages may be a good source for that information. You can also access Expat Facebook pages in Bucharest for this sort of information and don’t forget to ask locals.

Tourist Visa: High. Romania is a member of the Schengen Visa countries. Citizens of many countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, USA, and many many others, are given 90 days of visa-free entry upon arrival. Plus, we can stay in any Schengen member country for no more than 90 days cumulatively of any 180-day period.

Romania Residence Permits: Medium. A residence permit allows foreign citizens to legally stay in Romania beyond the 90-day Schengen period. There is more than one kind of residency permit, but I will only discuss two here and then give you a link to an immigration specialist who has a YouTube video on this subject. The two I will discuss are both be for people that want to retire in Romania. The first is for people 65 or older who want to retire in Romania. Technically, it seems there is no retirement visa at all. But if you are 65 or older, you just overstay the 90-day Schengen period. Then this immigration specialist says they can help you apply for residency including paying for health insurance (400 Euros per year) and filing your Romanian taxes. The present Romanian Immigration policy is to allow you to stay because you are past working age. So, they issue a residence permit so long as you keep paying your health insurance and paying your Romanian taxes. I learned this technique from watching videos by an immigration lawyer R&R Partners Brasov that you can reach by email here ( or their YouTube Channel. For people under age 65, the same specialist suggests getting the same health insurance and then setting up a corporation in Romania to obtain the first-year permit, and then reporting an income of at least 3000 Euros each year to obtain residency extensions. But this second corporate residency permit may vary based on your home country. Also, things change so contact them directly to learn any changes to these two residency methods. And, make sure to do your due diligence to verify that this immigration specialist is properly qualified and properly licensed.

Real Estate: High. The sale of apartments to foreigners in Romania is allowed, so foreigners can purchase, rent out, and sell properties. But foreigners can not buy land in Romania. Land with a house can be bought for a legal entity if it’s a Romanian company. There are apartments for sale in Brasov starting at around $100k USD. However, I do not recommend buying real estate in a foreign country until you have lived there for an extended period of time making sure you love it. Real estate transactions in Romania can be faked. If you decide to buy, you should also get your own lawyer who has no conflict of interest with you. For example, do not use a lawyer recommended by your real estate broker or local lover.

Brasov Romania Retirement Desirability Score: Medium. I like warmer year-round weather. The weather is cool enough in the winter in Brasov to make me want to fly south to warmer weather for 5 months of the year. But if you would like to live in such a culturally rich city in the mountains with skiing just 30 minutes away, then Brasov would likely be highly desirable for you.

Brasov Romania Old Town Walking Tour

Google Map

Editable Google Map of Walking Tour

Council Square Brasov: In 1504, this square was built so Saxon, Hungarian, Romanian, Arab, Greek, Turkish, Polish, and Italian merchants paid taxes on their imported goods and sold them. In Brasov, in the 17th century, 20 trials took place against women accused of witchcraft. They were tried, convicted, and burned alive in the square here 400 years ago, as people watched. The buildings you see here are mostly preserved as they stood over 200 years ago.

The Black Church: The Black Church was built in the 14th Century of Gothic architecture. By an invasion by the Turks delayed the completion of the church by about 100 years. The church was damaged by fire in the 17th century which is why it is called the black church now.

Catherine Gate: The Catherine Gate was built in 1559 by the tailors guild. It is the only surviving gate from medieval times. The gate was named after Catherine’s monastery that sate here before the gate was built.

The Schel Gate (Scaffold’s Gate): was built in honor of a visit from the Emperor of Austria, Francis Joseph I in 1817.

Weavers Bastion: Weavers’ Bastion was constructed in 1421 and maintained by the weavers guild and abandoned in the 18th century when this type of protection was no longer needed. Now it functions as a medieval museum.

Telecabina: Tampa Mountain has a spectacular view of Brasov. It is also a nature reserve with walking paths. walking paths and historic structures. The (Telecabana) Tampa Cable Car is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM.

Strada Republic: is a walking street street that was used for markets and large fairs. Today it is a lovely place to walk, shop, dine, and admire historic architecture.

How we got from Bucharest to Brasov Romania

From the Bucharest North Train Station, we bought our bus tickets to go to Brasov Romania a the ticket counter for $14 USD per person. The ride was 3 hours. We then took a Bolt Taxi (APP) to Central Brasov for $3 USD.

Brasov Restaurants Map

Google Map

Restaurants, Bars, Services

Restaurants, Bars (prices in Romanian Lev (LEI) (divide LEI by 4.57 to get USD))

When they take your order or bring your food in Romania, they will ask questions like, do you want bread with that, or a salad with that, etc. Always ask, “How much more is that before saying yes,” so you are not surprised when the bill comes.

Dei Frati Restaurant: Mushroom soup 20, Ravioli 48, Pasta mozzarella with Pistacchio 39. Ursus 300ml 10, Ursus resto 500ml 14

Bistro de l’Arte: Tomato soup 26, Bean soup 23, Clara 400ml 21

Old Jack: Franziskaner 500ml 22, Stella 400ml 18

Restaurant Mamaliguta Brașov: Good for beer only, Staropramen beer 40 0ml 12, french fries 16


Brasov Train Station:

Bucharest North Train Station:

Grocery Store:

Lidl Groceries:

Central Square Brasov:

What would it cost you to live in Brasov Romania?

To get a better understanding of things you should add to our estimated cost of living watch this video: 9 Reasons You Can’t Retire on $1000 Month Overseas.

Most people will likely be unable to retire for the lower range estimate above. I give example reasons why in this report. Plus, this other report explains how to avoid coming home early with your tail between your legs.

Also, if you are going to try to retire cheap offshore, make sure to read my report, the Two Biggest Risks of Retiring Early for Cheap Offshore, which explains why you should have emergency funds available for unexpectedly large expenses.

You should also add anything to the above table that you spend money on in your home country that is not listed in the above table. Presumably, you find those things necessary in life. To do that, visit the Numbeo Brasov and add anything not mentioned in the above table.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on your lifestyle and the time since this post.

Many of the expats we meet living overseas are self-insured for medical care. That means that not everyone buys health insurance when they move overseas. That probably sounds crazy to many of you.

I didn’t carry medical insurance for most of my first 17 years living overseas. But last year I bought medical insurance. If you are wondering what it costs and what it covers, watch my medical insurance video at this link. This is not an affiliate link.

More typical expat living costs in Brasov range from about $1500 to $3000 per month. But people spending that much often have higher savings, incomes, or pensions. They often report spending more on accommodations, entertainment, eating out more, traveling, and alcohol. Many also have more expensive cars, houses, or apartments.

Make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook, How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 17 years.