Top tips for excited expats new to Bucharest
Moving to Bucharest for work, and looking to learn some more about the city? Read up on some top tips for expats relocating to the Romanian capital.
The City Compass Group is a “feel at home in Romania” service provider, and for the last eight years they have been offering top-quality English-language print and online news, city tours, team building services and intercultural consultancy. They are a well-known name among expats in Bucharest, and we asked them to share some of their top tips for newbies to the city.
An emerging market
Oana Pascu is a Tours and Events manager for City Compass, and she’s worked with the company for the last one and a half years. With estimates pointing at more than 70,000 expats living in the city, Oana has got her work cut out for her.
“In these past years, the number of expats living here has been fluctuating, especially due to the financial crisis. But whilst some expats left for home, others came to establish new headquarters for other companies” Oana explains.
Bucharest is not only an emerging market, but also a blue ocean, offering companies the opportunity to grow fast. At the same time, they have access to qualified employees for lower salaries than the EU average.
“Another important reason why people decide to move here is the diverse palette of cultural and leisure activities the city offers. It is a truly lively and vibrant city”, Oana says.
Romanian way of life
Romanians love to enjoy life – especially after a hard day’s work. If they’re not heading home, then they’re meeting friends to go out for a beer and dinner. During the summer months the streets are full of terraces where joyful people are enjoying a beer or lemonade.
“There are also more and more activities that are expat-friendly, from theater plays in foreign languages and concerts, to quizzes and festivals. You’ve probably heard of the George Enescu Festival, and there are many places where you can practice both indoor and outdoor sports in the city”, Oana adds.
When moving to another country there are always certain things that are different, and a feeling of ”culture-shock” is nothing new to expats. Westerners might experience these differences first-hand, both in business and daily life.
“We are a quite bureaucratic country, the business communication culture is very different and there is a lot of political dynamism in Romania. As our Managing Partner would say, ‘creativity and the ability to manage complexity are very important competencies for business success here’.”
Explore as much as you can
Expats, regardless of their age, love living in Romania and it doesn’t take them many months before they feel at home. The city has everything you could need, and Bucharest is even competing with the best European cities when it comes to nightlife.
“The city is only 2 hours away from both the ski resorts in the Prahova Valley, as well as the coast of the Black Sea, making weekend getaways very popular”.
Bucharest is also a university city, which means it blossoms in October when the 300,000 students come back to their dorms. Making a move to a country different from your own can be a scary thought, but beautiful Bucharest will wash away your worries in a heartbeat.
“You should get ready to be pleasantly surprised more often than you think. Someone once said that expats cry twice: when they find out they are coming to Romania, and when they leave”, she says.
Most expats also find Romanians to be very open and helpful, especially to foreigners. Expect them to host you like no other, feed you enormous amounts of food and love spending time with you.
“Be open! Explore as much as you can, try to meet and talk to as many locals as possible and leave the city at least once to discover the beautiful landscapes this country has to offer!”
Oana’s insider tips
In a city as diverse and entertaining as Bucharest, there are several restaurants, meetings and events that you should stop by. But for newcomers it’s hard to know about all the secrets, which is why we asked Oana to list some of the city’s best spots.
“Caru cu Bere and Lacrimi si Sfinti are two restaurants that serve Romanian cuisine you should try. If you’re looking for all-day breakfast you can get it at Simbio, and the MNAC Café is a great spot in the summer. It’s on the top of the Palace of Parliament, inside the National Contemporary Art Museum.”
The Palace of Parliament is a must-see for any visitors, along with the Athenaeum and watching the sun set in Herastrau Park. And if you’re taking the kids with you, be sure to check out the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum.
“Twice a month meetings are held by Internations, an expat community in the city, which is a great networking opportunity. And every other week there is an expat quiz at Mojo, the city’s most expat-friendly bar”, Oana says.
A home away from home
When you’ve made the move to Bucharest, be sure to stay in-the-know of what’s going on by checking out Romania-Insider.com, which provides daily news in English. If you’re looking to stay updated with what’s happening in town and to know where to go, then be sure to subscribe to the City Compass newsletter as well. Or get in touch with them if you have any questions, as they are happy to help.
Life in Bucharest and Romania is sure to be a fun, thrilling and enjoyable experience. After a long day at work, or a fun time dancing the night away, it’s always nice to come home. At Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence you’re not only staying in the center of this fantastic city, but you can take your pick from the 210 rooms and apartments available. You can also take advantage of room service to truly maximize your comfortable stay. See you there!