The Digital Nomad Guide in Bucharest
If exploring hidden gems, soaking in diverse architecture, and going back in time are your thing, then Bucharest is your place. Slowly but surely becoming a hub for digital nomads, this is a city where you can get a cultural fix, lose yourself in eclectic neighborhoods, and savour a flourishing culinary scene, all while working on one of the world’s fastest internet.
A city of contrasts, Bucharest is truly old meets new with an East meets West charm. A walk through town can transport you back to the 1980’s, each step taking you further down history, or bringing you back to the present. Stop for a moment, turn around, and look behind you to let the arches, curves, and the elusiveness of it all enlighten you as you stand in awe.
Best time to go to Bucharest
The weather in Bucharest is best from April to September, or late spring to early autumn. Summer temperatures can get as high as 40°C (104°F). During the winter, temperatures can drop down to -20°C (-4°F), although for just a few days.
Top neighborhoods in Bucharest
Bucharest is quite large. Made up of many unique neighborhoods separated into six sectoare (sectors), each holding its own appeal. The city is pretty spread out, so you may want to begin your search close to the city center where you’ll find plenty of cafes, coworking spaces and other nomads. Some standout neighborhoods are:
Cișmigiu: Home to Cișmigiu Garden, the oldest public garden and arguably one of the most beautiful in Bucharest. It’s also become the city’s official Creative Quarter, thanks to its many cultural hubs, trendy shops, and small bars.
Dorobanți: A rather posh district up north, currently making its name as foodie central, this is the place to wander around and admire some of the most beautiful villas in the capital.
Cotroceni: One of Bucharest’s most charming neighbourhoods. Primarily a residential area housing villas from the 19th century and old linden trees, it’s also where you can discover the city before it was touched by communism.
Floreasca: An up-and-coming area made up of blocks of flats, old villas, and plenty of green spaces. You can find plenty of speciality and gourmet shops, along with some of the best restaurants in the capital.
Places to work in Bucharest
From dozens of cafes to coworking centers to makerspaces, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some local favorites are: Dose for its speciality coffee, FruFru a chain found throughout town offering fresh, quick eats with healthy drinks, and Omega House for their bright, welcoming coliving, coworking and community space. With a vibrant startup environment, slow-paced, laid-back lifestyle, and budding community of digital nomads you’ll find yourself fitting in right away. Don’t forget to join in on one of the many meetups or events taking place throughout the city in the evenings!
Mobile Internet and WIFI Speed Info
Internet access is fast and widely available. On Speedtest’s Global Index, Romania’s Fixed Broadband currently ranks at number 5, while Mobile Speed ranks at number 22. Most cafes have free wireless internet, as do many shopping malls and subway stops. A month of wireless home service will cost around 40 lei, and a SIM card with loaded data will cost about 25 lei.
What’s there to do in Bucharest?
Once you’re done working it’s time to explore all that Bucharest has to offer. From a late night out to a relaxing afternoon, there is literally something for everyone. There are tons of options, you’ll never have to worry about not finding anything to do.
During the day, visit one of Bucharest’s many museums. The National Village Museum, Antipa, and the Romanian Kitsch Museum all make for a great way to get to know Romanian culture and history. Take a stroll in a park, or better yet head to Gradina Eden. Part bar, part park, it’s the perfect place to relax on a summer day in a hammock, iced beverage in hand.
Visit a piaţa (farmer’s market) to get a real taste of Romanian culture. Piaţa Obor is the largest, while Amzei is the only one you’ll find in the center. On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, you can take a trip to Valea Cascadelor, the largest flea market in Bucharest.
Take a day trip. Hop on a train or a bus, and in just 2-3 hours, you can be at the seaside, in the mountains or at Dracula’s castle.
When the sun goes down, make your way towards the old town where you’ll find all kinds of clubs, pubs, and restaurants. For a more alternative scene, check out Fabrica Club, Energeia, or Lente. If you want to dance the night away, let’s meet at Control Club!
Although part of the EU, Romania has yet to adopt the Euro. Local currency is called the Lei. Usually not readily available abroad, it’s best to exchange money once you’ve arrived to get a better exchange rate. While credit cards are widely accepted, it’s advisable to always have some cash on you as you may, more often than not, come across a restaurant or cafe that only accepts cash, especially if you venture out into the countryside.
The subway runs from 5 AM to 11 PM. You can buy 2 trips for 5 lei, 10 trips for 20 lei, a daily pass for 8 lei, or a monthly pass for 70 lei. For the first two options, you can share the ticket. The last two have a 15-minute waiting time, meaning it can only be used by one person per trip.
To ride the trams, trolley buses, or buses, you have to buy an Activ or Multiplu card in advance at the RATB kiosks found next to major bus and tram stops. A Multiplu card costs 1.60 lei and must be loaded with two to ten trips when purchasing. Each ride costs 1.30 lei or you can choose unlimited travel with a day pass for 8 lei. This card cannot be topped-up. For 3.70 lei, you can purchase an Activ card that can be topped-up more than once with any amount from 2.60 to 50 lei.
If you prefer to take a cab, fares range from 1.39 lei to 2.19 lei. Apps like Uber or Bolt are also available. Download them before arriving to save yourself some time.
With an EU passport, you can enter and exit Bucharest without a visa. If you don’t have an EU passport, it’s best to check the requirements with your local consulate or embassy. Remember Romania is not in the Schengen zone, you will need to have your passport ready upon arrival in the event you’re coming from a country that is.