5 of the most beautiful cities in Romania to live in, according to locals

We've been trying to do a top of the most beautiful cities in Romania, and have been asking locals for their opinions on this. The first thing we have noticed is that their opinions are well divided, depending on each person's expectations.
beautiful cities in Romania

From infrastructure, education, green areas or cultural life, each family focuses on the aspects they consider most important for their own well-being.

So, we tried to limit our list of criteria to what is generally most important for people we interviewed, and concluded to the following aspects: education, economy, development and administration (including infrastructure as well), attraction for tourists, and jobs.

Starting from these 5 criteria, we made a ranking of the 5 most beautiful cities in Romania to live for 2021. We describe below each of the cities that made it to the top, and that you may want to consider for moving in, with its pluses and minuses.

5. Timișoara

Although it could have been placed higher in the ranking due to its many advantages, the city of Timișoara lagged behind from the perspective of development and administration criteria, especially for standard of cleanliness, an aspect criticized by many people we interviewed.

Otherwise, Timișoara is considered a good city both for students, due to the university it has, and also if you want to move here with your family. It is well developed economically, a modern city, having a quick exit to Western European countries. From this perspective, Timișoara is considered by most Romanians “the most European city” in Romania.

The city has its pluses and minuses like all the other cities, but in Timișoara you can easily find a good job compared to others (less for Bucharest), thanks to many international companies that extended their operations to this region.

Building in the city center have a beautiful architecture (although some of them still need restoration), and you can enjoy many green spaces where you can spend your time in nature.

Timișoara is chosen by many students in the country and appreciated for the elite high-schools and universities which provide good education.

Read also: Where to live in Timișoara? Most wanted areas in this city

4. Brașov

An alternative to Bucharest, if you don’t like the capital city (but have to work there from time to time) and appreciate nature, is Brașov.

Full of tourists all around the year, and located in a mountainous area, the city of Brașov is the place where you can find everything you need for a quiet life: nature, mountains, fresh air, culture, with many options for winter sports or nature travel.

With only one state university and the Air Force Academy, Brașov is worse off in terms of educational options. However, at Transylvania University you can find enough specializations for all needs.

Although it is not in a economic development sprint like Cluj or Oradea, Brașov still offers a decent infrastructure and public services, which could turn it into a living attraction in the future, in exchange for the other big cities in the country.

If you want to visit the city of Brașov, you will find many beautiful places in the city but also outside of it, such as: the well-known Bran Castle, Râșnov Fortress, Peleș Castle (in Sinaia).

Read also: The citadel of Brașov – best and must-see sights

3. Iași

When it comes to cities in Moldova region, Iași was considered by many locals the most suitable city in this area to move to. Appreciated by its inhabitants for the quality of life and safety, it is still poor in terms of infrastructure and administration.

However, Iași is considered the perfect place for students: 5 out of 6 universities in Iași are included in the international tops of the best universities.

The need for good infrastructure and a highway to connect the city with the rest of the country is among the biggest drawbacks of Iași.

Iași was the capital of the principality of Moldova in the past, and is a city with interesting history. So, if you love discovering the history of Moldova and of the larger region, this is a place you should be. Here you can visit a large number of monasteries, museums and memorial houses.

As for tourist attractions in the city, the Palace of Culture is an emblematic point of the city.

Copou Park and Teiul lui Eminescu as well as many churches and monasteries in the area can be interesting for you, if you are passionate about history and culture.

Read also: City of Iași – best areas to live as an expat

2. Oradea

Becoming in recent years one of the favorite destinations for city breaks of Romanians, Oradea can be proud of a modern development, fast connections with the rest of Europe and jobs in all fields.

In terms of education, in Oradea you can find 3 universities and 5 top high schools, if you decide to move here to study.

Oradea is a safe and family-friendly city, with good living conditions. It has a population of approximately 200,000 people and offers a good quality of life for families with kids. There are many good schools in Oradea, both public and private, with a variety of educational options for children of all ages. The city also has several parks and green spaces, such as the Oradea Zoo and the Central Park, where families can spend time together and enjoy outdoor activities.

Even if it is considered quite expensive, Oradea is constantly developing, so the cost of living is overlooked in relation to the quality of life it provides.

When it comes to tourism, Oradea has been designated as the city of 2021. Old buildings which have been restored in recent years can be seen everywhere on streets, especially in the central area. The city’s architecture features a mix of styles, including Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Secessionist, which gives it a unique and charming character. Oradea is also home to several famous landmarks, such as the Fortress of Oradea, the Black Eagle Palace, and the Moon Church. Additionally, the city has a vibrant cultural scene, with many museums, art galleries, and theaters to explore.

The city is crossed by the Criș River, which makes it picturesque, and contributes to the original look of the city.

A minus point of the city of Oradea, common to other cities in Romania actually, is traffic.

Read also: The best areas to live in Oradea – recommendations of the locals

1. Cluj-Napoca

The capital of Transylvania, Cluj is recognized as the largest and most developed city in Romania, after Bucharest.

Education: 10 elite high schools and 6 public universities with specialized faculties bring extra credibility to the city when it comes to the education system.

Economy, jobs and development: even though it is a growing city with employment opportunities, especially in the IT field, the cost of living rises to the standards of European cities. It can be a minus if your job is not sufficiently paid.

If you want a SMART city, with a well-developed public transport system, the city of Cluj is the best choice in Romania.

However, you should be aware that it is a fairly crowded city and traffic becomes a very important issue, especially during peak hours.

Tourism: old center, botanical garden, panorama of the fortress, are some of the places where you can spend your free time in Cluj-Napoca.

Why isn’t Bucharest included in this top?

Bucharest, the capital and biggest city of Romania, already attracts thousands of people annually, who move here for higher salaries or education.

In comparison, the other cities of the country are considered by the locals cleaner, with less traffic and quieter in general.

However, we do not deny the fact that in Bucharest you have great opportunities for employment and professional development.

What do you think?

Which is the most beautiful and suitable city in Romania to move to as an expat? Obviously, the area you move from and the reason you do it also matter a lot.

Georgiana Dima

Georgiana Dima


4 Responses

  1. Hello,

    As expat in Romania i have been living in Cluj for almost 2 years already, and I must say it is indeed a very nice city. Well developed, very good infrastructure, and people are very, very nice. City is clean and very safe. Many job offers from local employers, and especially IT jobs are well paid.

    Thank you also for your quality resources on this website!

  2. Hi Ella,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Constanta! Do we understand correctly that you don’t really like living in Constanta?
    Can you share more thoughts on the reasons, so other expats are able to understand the pros and cons of living in this city? It would be helpful for the community if you can contribute with your real life examples.

    Thank you very much for your contribution!

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