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(foreword: The following guide is a work in progress and covers the areas of central & northern Bucharest mainly, as these have to date been the most popular areas we at White Mountain receive requests for. As the city develops, demand increases & the outlying areas such as Grosovesti & Berceni will be added)
The capital city Bucharest is rich in its history with beautiful Art-Deco, Art-Nouveau, Baroque, Byzantine and Bauhaus structures lining the cobbled streets mixed in with a myriad of communist-era blocks. If you want to live in Bucharest then this article will point you in the right direction.
Renting in Bucharest comes in a variety of forms and will suit all tastes, from locals, students, to business traveller, to Expats. Certain neighbourhoods appeal more than others for Expats and are characterised by price, population density, proximity to nature, shopping, transport or nightlife. The old city in the centre is the most famous place for party nights. The more upmarket northern area is perhaps better suited to the more outdoorsy type with many parks nearby. The Northern & Southern Suburbs have several new housing constructions and being further out from the city, is ideal for those who enjoy quieter neighbourhoods. The central area is perhaps the most popular by volume of requests and offers good value for money but is crowded and property is older, while the central-east is more working class but still desirable. The central west is far less preferred but is growing quickly.
Central & Downtown
If you love city life, the Central area might be for you, which includes Piata Victoriei, Piata Romana, Piata Universitatii, Icoanei Garden, Piata Unirii, Piata Alba Iulia, Cismigiu Park including Stirbei Voda Blvd., Cotroceni and Foisorul de Foc neighbourhoods. The population here includes people from all walks of life. Downtown in the heart of the Central area certainly has no shortage of entertainment, dining, and shopping.
The most sought after areas for mid-range rentals are those in or around Piata Romana, Piata Unirii, Piata Universitatii. One reason is the location but also the subway makes a difference, which can save you time because the road auto traffic in Central area is significant between 8 to 10.30 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. For example, it can take 60 minutes by car at 8am to reach Pipera from Unirii, a 10km drive. If you have a moped/ motorbike, this is reduced to 25 minutes.
The northern area consists of the neighbourhoods and includes Herastrau Park area, Kiseleff, Primaverii, Aviatorilor and Dorobanti, which are considered to be the luxury areas of Bucharest.
Floreasca, Dorobanti, Domenii, Mai 1, Blvd Ion Mihalache are desirable by Expats. In this area, you can find many apartment complexes that have private swimming pools, private security service, mini market, kindergarten.
Aviatiei is an up & coming area given the presence of Promenada Mall. On the west side is the French Quarter (Cartierul Francez) that borders Herastrau Park (up as far as the east-west railway track), Nordului and a few mins walk from the Chinese Embassy etc is a bustling thriving residential area consisting of many new blocks. Further away from the park closer to the northern end of Caramfil Street and the railway bridge, there are many older blocks with reduced access to public transport and rents can fall. So this area is hard to categorise because the range is so great. The other side, towards the east of Aviatiei you have Iride Business Park & Connect Business Park. Here again, there is a mix of new & old. New Build, such as Upground & Metropolitan. The many older blocks in the area contain lower cost apartments.
These are all walking distance from the park of Herastrau (the biggest park in Bucharest) and Kiseleff Boulevard, the most famous because of the Arc de Triumph. These areas are perfect for runners and athletic types as well as for families wanting to use the park for their children given the abundance of space here for outdoor activities. Herastrau is probably the most popular area for expatriates so you will have no trouble meeting fellow expats.
Timpuri Noi, Tineretului Park and Carol park are very pleasant, medium-low cost areas and are well placed for Metro and tram lines. 1 bedroom apartments here can be found for 350 euro up to 600 euro for premium quality.
Drumul Taberei and Militari in the west is a more working-class area, communist building area, very densely populated and is characterized by heavy rush hour traffic. The Metro is still under construction at the time of writing which significantly affects traffic speeds. Buildings tend to be less well maintained, and car parking is more of a problem here than in less dense areas.
For example, located near Sos. Cotroceni and Strada Nicolae Staicovici area collection of former bourgeoisie villas which are very popular with Expats.
The areas of Piata Muncii and Titan are simple, pleasant and working to middle-class areas and are boosted significantly with the new Parklake mall since 2016.
Vitan, just south of the Unirii Boulevard-Alba Iulia strip is closer to town than Titan, is bordered by Unirii, Titan, Tineretului & Alba Iulia is considered less desirable by some. A one bedroom apartment in this area starts from 325 euro. Typically, a long-term Expat might live here if surviving on a local salary for example. Dristor, snubbed by some, located to the south-east of Alba Iulia square, has very convenient 24hr food stores and pharmacies, as well as metro access on the yellow line.
If you are someone who enjoys a slower and quieter life, the northern suburbs might be more your style. Composed of neighbourhoods Baneasa, Otopeni and Pipera and even Tunari and Voluntari, the northern suburbs have many new buildings of apartments and villas. Walking is not ideal here due to discontinuous pavements, but If you want to be a bit out of town this is a good option. Taxis are among the cheapest in Europe with a 3km journey costing around 1 euro. Also the largest mall in the area of North – Baneasa Shopping City, IKEA, Supermarket Carrefour & Metro.
In Baneasa & Otopeni, prices are more acceptable than Pipera. Another option for your family to rent might be a villa, which starts from 1100 euro. If the budget is not a problem for you, there are many houses /suites with many services included that can reach up to 3000 euro/ month for the properties with more than three bedrooms.
Pipera has developed very quickly after the year 2000. It is recognised as an area with a majority of foreign residents because of the international schools, airport, safety and comfort. There are many clusters of gated Villa communities
In Pipera, the main street is Iancu Nicolae, where Jollie Ville Mall it is located. there may be properties listed as being in Pipera but are actually located in Voluntari or Tunari, where prices are significantly lower.
Always remember, the owners are more open to negotiating if the rental contract is a long-term one and several rents can be paid in advance.
North of Pipera and east of Otopeni is a fast-growing suburb called Tunari. Previously home to many failed real estate developments that collapsed in the 2008 crash, this area has recently sprung back into life with a vengeance, with many apartment blocks & villas springing up along the east-west road connecting Tunari town with Otopeni & the DN1.
Bucuresti Noi, Pajora & Chitila are all areas to take notice of, as in recent years, the areas have improved, with new buildings gradually springing up. More details to follow about rent prices soon.
If you want to be even more out of the city then Snagov or Corbeanca is a great place to live. Getting out into nature. Here the prices are lower for equivalent standard apartments but also, you find a standard of luxury here that is hard to find in Bucharest & the prices rise accordingly. The air is fresher here and there is plenty of recreation.
Berceni has become incredibly popular with first time buyers due to its low prices and good metro connection. Less popular for renting so far, but nonetheless an area to watch in the future. 1 bedroom apartments rent for 250 euro and less. Giuguilui is a similar story but less popular due to the absence of a metro link.
Grosovesti, Regie, Crangasi, Cotroceni, Rosu……To be continued
Popesti Leordeni, Trapesului…..To be continued
Each neighbourhood offers you something different than the last and it is easy to find the perfect one you are looking for. Bucharest is a diverse city, rich in culture and history just waiting to be explored. We have not discussed southern Bucharest as it is less desirable than the areas described above.
Copyright: Damian Galvin (White Mountain Property). Please ask for permission before reposting this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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