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Brasov. Where some of the happiest Romanians live

Amazing stories published by tech professionals that decided to work from unique cities in Romania

The city at the foot of Tampa Hill has a history of over 800 years. It lays close to the major crossing of the Carpathian Mountains that connected the historical provinces of Transylvania and Wallachia. Today, the city is modern and dynamic but it has kept its traditional historical charm, particularly in the extended Old City, that is still a major component of the city’s life and image.

Brasov is a touristic city, with easy and quick access to ski slopes, architectural wonders in Transylvania, as well as impressive natural landscapes. The city prides itself on 3 aspects that shape its identity:

  1. A vibrant cultural life: a well preserved historical Saxon Old Town (hundreds of years old) as well as many history and art museums;
  2. Green living, surrounded by nature and beautiful scenery: Carpathian mountains are visible from pretty much anywhere;
  3. Serenity: living in Brasov brings peace of mind, due to its high quality of life, low population density, and lower traffic.

Brasov has traditionally been a commercial city, where Western traders met with Eastern ones. The city was founded by the Teutonic Knights and became a Saxon colony, with the majority of the inhabitants being German settlers and traders. The German influence is heavily reflected in the architecture, with most of the Old Town resembling traditional German towns, as well as in the local food and culture.

The city became an important center of Romanian culture as well, with the first book in the Romanian language being printed here (by deacon Coresi). It became an important university center for the Kingdom of Romania, while it transitioned from a trading city into an industrial one. Today, Brasov is the 8th biggest city in Romania and has one of the largest metropolitan areas, which goes to show its transformation into a city for people who enjoy space and nature.

Download the complete Tech Lifestyle In Romania Whitepaper or see tech jobs in Brasov.

Quality of life

94% of Brasov inhabitants are content with their life there, according to a recent study; it is one of the highest percentages in Romania, largely due to its low pollution level, good infrastructure and access to health services.

Transportation infrastructure

Brasov is an important road and rail junction, placed on the main route from the capital, Bucharest, to the Transylvania region. It is only 160 kilometers from Bucharest and 140 kilometers from Sibiu, one of the most famous tourist cities in the country. 

A new airport is being built at Ghimbav to serve the Brasov metropolitan area, due in 2022. It will be the first airport built in Romania since 1974. For now, Brasov is connected with Bucharest Otopeni Airport (the largest in the country), only 2 hours away by road. 

The city’s public transportation, run by RATBV, has 30 lines of buses and trolleys that connect the entire city, as well as to its metropolitan area. The current local administration  is planning to build a new tram system to replace the discontinued one, as to create fast lines that would quickly traverse the city and also expand the current Park & Rides at the outskirts, for the people living in the metropolitan area.

Brasov is #249 in the traffic index rating done by Numbeo, the best placed large Romanian city. In terms of private transportation, you can find many taxis, as well as ride-hailing options (Uber and Bolt). The city recently opened up to micromobility options downtown, such as scooters from Lime and Bolt. Bike rentals are available with brands such as I’Velo, RentalBike or Bikexplore.

Shopping

Coresi Shopping Center is the largest mall in the city, recently opened on the location of the former “Tractorul” factory, in an up-and-coming area of the city (formerly industrial). AFI brand (of AFI Bucharest fame) opened their Brasov shopping center recently, close to the New City Center area.

Brasov’s main street, Republicii, has many shops and cafes as well, as it stands as the most popular promenade spot in the city. 

Sports

The largest and most famous stadium in Brasov is Tineretului Stadium, the home base of FC Brasov, the city’s largest and best known football team. There are a number of smaller stadiums, as well as plenty of football pitches for recreational play. 

Brasov also offers options to exercise and play most sports: gyms (including the famous World Class brand), tennis, squash, swimming, martial arts, basketball, ice skating, hockey, yoga, boxing, rock climbing (outdoors or indoors). One novelty available in Brasov is paragliding jumps and training, from nearby hills, as well as skiing in many resorts close to the city, the most popular being Poiana Brasov.

Healthcare

Brasov is served by many public hospitals, general and specialized. Among the largest are the Brasov County Emergency Hospital and Regina Maria Military Hospital. In terms of private hospitals, the largest is Medlife hospital (part of the Medlife network). The city’s private and public clinics network is large; private ones include brands such as Medlife, Medicover and Regina Maria.

Cost of living

Quality of life, by comparison

  • You would need around 1,600€ (8,600 lei) in Brasov to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 4,700£ in London, 5,000€ in Paris, 3,300€ in Madrid, 4,000€ in Rome (assuming you rent).

Monthly expenses:

  • Rent in Brasov is, on average, 83% lower than in London, 76% lower than in Paris, 62% lower than in Madrid, 66% lower than in Rome
  • Internet in Brasov is 79% cheaper than in London, 72% cheaper than in Paris, 82% cheaper than in Madrid, 75% cheaper than in Rome.
  • Preschool in Brasov is 88% cheaper than in London, 76% cheaper than in Paris, 56% cheaper than in Madrid, 60% cheaper than in Rome.

Purchases and going out

  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Brasov are 67% lower than in London, 64% lower than in Paris, 47% lower than in Madrid, 55% lower than in Rome.
  • Restaurant Prices in Brasov are 64% lower than in London, 63% lower than in Paris, 50% lower than in Madrid, 58% lower than in Rome.
  • Groceries Prices in Brasov are 47% lower than in London, 62% lower than in Paris, 34% lower than in Madrid, 49% lower than in Rome.
  • A beer in a bar in Brasov is 78% cheaper than in London, 82% cheaper than in Paris, 58% cheaper than in Madrid, 75% cheaper than in Rome.
  • Taxis in Brasov are around 87% cheaper than in London, around 90% cheaper than in Paris, 85% cheaper than in Madrid, 88% cheaper than in Rome.

Family and kids

Brasov is one of the best cities in Romania for families and for raising kids, due to its good quality of public education options, public safety, clean air, as well as the cultural life and the sports options in the city.

The city itself is rather green, with multiple small parks, but it also provides a great hiking opportunity on the Tampa Hill, with an amazing view of the city and its surroundings. In the very vicinity of Brasov there are thick forests and the mountains are within easy reach by car or bike.

In terms of education, the city is well served by options at all school cycles, from kindergarten (including Montessori), to secondary schools and highschools. The high ranking ones are: “Andrei Saguna” National College, “Dr. Ioan Mesota” National College, “Gheorghe Moisil” Computer Science College, and “Emil Racovita” Natural Sciences College.

Networking opportunities

Brasov has an up-and-coming, fast-growing tech community. There is an increase in tech entrepreneurs and tech jobs in Brasov, particularly those serving national or international markets with remote work.

The tech communities in Brasov are rather new but are growing into veritable hubs:

  • Hub1317: first coworking space in the city, with 35 active members currently but growing. Focused on community-building, particularly among those who work remotely.
  • Hub OneZero, Utopia Hub, Demisol: are all small coworking spaces that provide cozy offices for small communities of tech-minded entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend Brasov is a great networking event that takes place in Brasov every year, where “developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups”.

Investment

Tech

Compared to larger Romanian cities, such as Bucharest or Cluj, Brasov has a lot of untapped potential in terms of human resources (unemployment is around 2.6%), as well as investment in tech infrastructure (hubs, events). Investing in the local startup ecosystem has the potential to be a very lucrative opportunity in the next few years, given the administrative, political and migration trends of the city.

See tech jobs in Brasov.

Real estate

Square meter price in Brasov is relatively low, compared to the larger cities or even similarly-sized cities in the country: EUR 1.277 per square meter. It has been on a fast growing trend since a historical low in 2014, but it has not yet reached pre-2008 levels which goes to show the untapped potential in Brasov's real estate market. 

Leisure

Going out: restaurants

There are many options for dining out in and around the Old City area, particularly on Republicii street, the city’s main shopping artery, and around Piața Sfatului, its historical city center.

  • Romanian Traditional & New Romanian: Sergiana (nationally famous), Bistro de L’Arte, Casa Romaneasca, Gaura Dulce, Taverna Sarbului,  La Ceaun, Transilvania
  • Fine Dining: Keller Steak House, Casa Hirscher, Kundera, Trattorian Artisan Food, Pilvax, Prato
  • Chinese food: Old Shanghai, Pandamania
  • Sushi: SushiMaster

Going out: cafes

Brasov is well known for its Old City center cafes, great locations for a good (single origin) coffee and conversations with friends:

  • Tipografia
  • Book Coffee Shop
  • Street Cafe
  • Jurnal Cafe
  • Croitoria de Cafea

Going out: pubs & clubs

Brasov is not well known for its night scene, but it does have a few great options for going out in the evening or at night:

  • Clubs or concerts: Kruhnen Musik Halle (for concerts also), Rockstadt, Mood
  • Pubs: Le Sommelier, Terroirs Boutique du Vin, Artezian, Deane’s, Rasta Bar Jamaica, Addit

Festivals

Brasov is the former home of the famous international music festival Cerbul de Aur. While it is held any more, Brasov hosts a number of music or cultural festival every year, among which the more famous are:

  • Oktoberfest: owing to its German heritage, the city holds a cousin festival to the famous Munich Oktoberfest on a former stadium.
  • Dracula Film Festival: an up-and-coming film festival that hopes to put Brasov on the cinematographic map of Europe in the future.

Visiting

Things to see or do in the city of Brasov are plenty: 

  • Visit the historical city center, with its Black Church, Sfatului Square, the first Romanian school, Rope Street (the narrowest street in Europe), Yekaterina Gate, Weaver’s Bastion, the Art Museum, the Museum of Living in Communism, the Brasov Zoo.
  • Take a stroll on Republicii Street, for shopping and people watching.
  • Climb up on Tampa Hill, by foot or by cable car, to get a great view of the city from above.

Brasov, the county, provides for a few amazing natural or historical sites:

  • Bran Castle, or better known as Dracula’s Castle, is the most popular tourist attraction in the area.
  • Rasnov Citadel, a well preserved medieval citadel in the town of Rasnov, close to Brasov.
  • Feldioara Fortress, small medieval fortress, with well preserved walls, located in a picturesque location.
  • Aventura Park, for ziplining as well as other outdoors activities in the forest.
  • Paragliding from the hills near Sacele.

Download the complete Tech Lifestyle In Romania Whitepaper or see tech jobs in Brasov.. 

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