Bucharest, the EU’s 6th largest city, is a vibrant and busy capital that has seen a big come-back in recent years, following the rather underproductive and grey years spent under communism (1945-1989). The last decade has bee marked by a focus on architectural restoration, culture, art, and leisure, as part of a concerted effort to make Bucharest live up once again to its 19th century nickname, “Little Paris”. With super active nightlife, charming Belle Époque architecture, a restored Old Town, countless cafes and restaurants, cold yet intriguing communist buildings, and numerous parks and lakes, you won’t get bored in Bucharest.
The cultural revival was backed up by a recovering economy, despite general corruption slowing down the process in the aftermath of the ’89 revolution. Major corporations contributed, but the ever increasing number of entrepreneurs and the younger generation in general is what really helped the city return to capitalism after almost half a century of communism. Nowadays, 30 years later, there are around 80,000 expats living in Bucharest and skilled jobs are plentiful, especially in IT, engineering, construction, communication, and finance. If you’re an expat moving to Bucharest, here are some good recommendations to help you enhance your social and professional network.
InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. In Bucharest there is a significant community organizing weekly events and meetings. For more general information, you can subscribe to their newsletter. To contact other expats or attending local events, you need to join as a member. The website also offers relocation services and a relocation consultancy and guides.
Meetup is mostly about social interactions and leisure activities rather than work-related communities, although you can find consultancy, partnerships and business initiatives there too. The largest general English-speaking group on Meetup Bucharest has over 3,000 members, and organizes weekly events and meetups. With a regular account, you can talk to other members and filter people or groups based on their jobs, preferred activities or hobbies. In other words, it’s almost impossible not to find somebody to hang out or share experiences with.
The Bucharest community on Expat.com has around 2,700 members. The website is more than a platform for expanding your social network and meeting other expats. You can apply for jobs, find a house or get relocation consultancy. Other services for expats include financial advice, health and travel insurance, and language learning. You can create your own events and meetings or attend the 1-2 monthly general events. Events can be filtered based on your preferences, like sports, kids and family, nightlife, business, leisure, or culture while general expat gatherings can be filtered by nationality, country, etc.
International Women Association Bucharest
Despite its title, this association welcomes both women and their husbands/partners, while honoring its origins. Founded in 1978 by women who were part of Bucharest’s diplomatic community, this association grew into a charity and fundraising organization focused on promoting friendship among women living in Romania, and introducing foreign members to Romania’s culture and lifestyles.
IWA has members from 58 countries and welcomes any expat, from diplomats to business professionals, artists, stay at home mothers, hikers or really anyone moving to Bucharest. They have numerous small clubs based on various activities and hobbies, a events calendar, weekly meetings for newcomers, and much more.
CS & Expats Bucharest
CS & Expats Bucharest is one of the largest Facebook Expat Groups in Bucharest, with around 18,000 members. It’s not necessarily a traditional networking platform, but the events calendar is great! You’ll find numerous events, gatherings, shows, and concerts for or recommended by expats.