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10 reasons why Romania's capital Bucharest is a great place to work in tech

With high salaries, low living costs, and warp-speed internet, Bucharest is an appealing destination for techies.
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Romania might not be the first country to pop into your head if you're a techie looking for a new base, but the salaries and cost of living could make considering the city worth your while.

Devs often own expensive apartments and drive high-end cars. They relax in cozy cafes with fast internet connections, and at the weekend enjoy a vibrant nightlife in the country's many pubs and clubs. Romania has a low crime rate, and locals are fascinated by foreigners, having had limited contact with the western world until the fall of communism in 1989.

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​1. An affordable lifestyle

Techies earn up to five times the country's average salary. A junior dev usually starts on €700 a month take-home pay, while wages for more senior staff can reach up to €3,500.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment close to the city center is about €350 a month, and the cost of living can be half that of western Europe.

A salary of €2,000 per month in Bucharest is the equivalent of €6,000 in London, taking into account rent in both cities.

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2. Fortune 500 company offices

Oracle, IBM, Ericsson, Microsoft, SAP, Ubisoft, Gameloft, EA, HP, Ixia, and Adobe are among the international tech companies with offices in Bucharest.

Technology is the second most important sector in the country's economy after the automotive industry, and accounts for about six percent of Romania's GDP.

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3. Internet at warp speed

Romania has some of the fastest internet connections in Europe. For just €8.50 a month, anyone can get a download speed of up to 1Gbps at home, and an upload speed of 500Mbps. As for mobile internet, there's 4G even in mountain resorts and on the subway.

Their fast internet is one of the things Romanians are proudest of.

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4. Chase hackers, protect the world

Cybersecurity is among the top tech sectors that Romanians like to work in: Bucharest is home to the antivirus company Bitdefender, while Avira and SecureWorks also have large tech teams there.

White, gray, and black hats from all over the continent meet each fall during DefCamp, one of the biggest security conferences in southeast Europe.

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5. Build a startup with limited resources

Low-budget startups can easily find a home in Romania, thanks to salaries that are lower than western Europe and affordable living costs. Vector Watch, CyberGhost, and UiPath are some of the most successful young businesses at the moment.

Techies go to the annual How to Web startup conference to meet founders, investors, and enthusiasts from all over southeast Europe.

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6. Coworking spaces offer networking opportunities

There are more than a dozen coworking spaces across Bucharest, where both locals and foreigners interested in technology rent offices, play ping-pong, eat pizza together, and share ideas.

There are startup meetings and events for developers, business professionals, and creatives happening every other day. TechHub, ImpactHub, and ConnectHub are the better-known coworking spaces.

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​7. Beer at a bargain price

Bucharest's old city center has many pubs and restaurants with affordable prices. A pint is about €1.30, and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is less than €30. The city's nightlife attracts tourists eager for a good time.

Romanians had limited opportunities to travel abroad until 1989, and they are genuinely eager to help foreigners enjoy the capital's vibe.

Young locals speak English, but contrary to popular belief, they usually don't know Russian.

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​8. Techie pubs and cafes flavor the city

Techies often enjoy a meal at Alt Shift, a restaurant located near Control Club, open until 6am during the weekend.

There's also One Tech Cafe for those who love eSports, and Share Cafe, where bands often play.

If you're up for a subway ride, go to Politehnica station, where fossils are embedded into the pavement.

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​9. Join a tech band

Techies know how to party. ZiBand, a group made up of engineers and QAs working for local software company Zitec, has been around since 2014. They mainly do covers but change lyrics to include jokes about their colleagues and the software industry. 'The Hack Song' and 'Sweet Home Phoenix Tower' are some of the songs that will be included on their debut album due out later this year.

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​10. Bucharest is a safe city

Romania has a low crime rate. In fact, Bucharest is safer than London. Foreigners should, however, be careful with taxi drivers they hail on the street, as they might overcharge them. Better use Uber, taxi apps, or the subway (a monthly pass with unlimited fares is €15).

The fight against corruption has made significant progress in recent years. The healthcare system still needs improvement, but techies can afford to go to private clinics and hospitals that cost only a fraction of the price compared to those in western Europe or the US.

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