When was the last time the scent of good coffee in a high-tech city helped you come up with a great idea? This happened to me in Bucharest, where I found even more to be inspired by than just good coffee.
Traveling to Bucharest as long as I have has given me the opportunity to witness its incredible transformation into one of the fastest-growing high-tech cities in Europe. Seeing the potential of the city early on, we at Pentalog opened a Pentalog delivery center in the capital of Romania in 2004. All these years later, both my team and our international clients know that we made the right call.
Bucharest – the City of Contrasts
Home to many highly skilled IT specialists, Bucharest surprises visitors with its architectural diversity, making it a playground of contrasts. From the medieval, neoclassical, and art nouveau inspiration to the Communist-era dominant features of the buildings, Bucharest shows its historical adaptations each era it has experienced.
The Romanian twin of France’s Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is a reminder of the days when Bucharest was called ‘Little Paris’. With a height of 27 meters, the marble made monument has beautiful decorations from the interwar period. Today, it’s a benchmark for newlyweds who come here to take wedding pictures. Fun fact: in Romania and other eastern European countries, the custom is to ‘kidnap’ the bride from their own party and ask the groom for a ransom. If interested, I can share some nice stories.
Great Place for Fun & Tech
I’ve always felt perfectly safe wandering Bucharest’s crowded, pastry-scented streets. Its parks, too, are major attractions for visitors and residents alike, such as Herastrau Park, which seems to accommodate half of the city’s population! The other half may be at the terraces in the Old Centre, one of the liveliest entertainment district and favorite hangout place for the locals, where parties last until sunrise. And, it’s easy to find other hot spots in town – just search the internet! Romania ranks fifth in the world by broadband internet speed, so you should have no problem getting around.
If you’re planning to be in Bucharest, or are there now, here are more suggestions for places to see while in Bucharest:
The National Museum of the Romanian Peasant (part of Herastrau park) shows Romanian peasant artifacts and building styles, and sells similar souvenirs too.
Revolution Square has powerful historical significance as the location of an attack by the Romanian army against the opponents of the former communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu during the 1989 Revolution.
Cismigiu Garden is the best place to take a break from the bustle and hustle of Bucharest. Situated in the heart of the town, the abundance of old trees, birds, statues, and bridges create an oasis of inspiration and tranquility.
The Palace of Parliament is the second-biggest administrative building in the world, following the Pentagon.
The CEC Palace, built 100 years ago, was once a church, but is now the headquarters of the state-owned Romanian CEC Bank.
The Romanian Athenaeum, opened in 1888 and rebuilt in 1992, is the home of the Romanian Philharmonic Society. Wonderful performances abound there.
George Enescu Museum is filled with pieces from its namesake’s era, displaying the grandeur of the Romanian monarchy and the vibrancy of Romanian society during that period.
A Tech Destination Growing in Popularity
Bucharest is such a compelling place to work and live that I often regret having to leave only to come back for more. It’s like I’m under the spell of a beautiful woman. Aside from eating delicious food, drinking exquisite Romanian wine, and having sparkling conversations with the locals, I also often delight in the energy and creativity of the youths from Romania who intern at Pentalog as part of their student exchange programs in foreign countries.
Did you know that ninety-nine percent of Romanian students learn two or more languages in upper secondary education and that ninety percent of the urban population speaks English? This explains why Romania is a great destination for anyone seeking to recruit a skilled workforce here.
Bucharest alone boasts some of the top universities in Europe, which attract students from all over the world, annually producing around 2,195 IT&C graduates, more than any other city in Romania. The abundance of IT specialists with a high technical expertise make the region attractive for businesses looking for English speaking European developers.
Financial Times ranks Romania among Europe’s fastest-growing economies and one of the most promising European destinations for tech investors. Bucharest, Cluj, Brasov, and Iasi are important cities in the region in terms of the availability of tech talent, with amazing software engineers, marketers and product people. Today, Bucharest is home to more than half the country’s IT workforce, according to Brainspotting. Companies like Oracle, Intel, IBM and Adobe have found the advantages of the market quite attractive in terms of taxes and legal aspects. Consumer prices, including rent in Bucharest are much lower than in other big cities in Western Europe, as well as commercial property, energy, and utilities. The kicker: some of the best software developers in the world live in Bucharest.
We’re on it bigtime!
As the tech startup scene continues to grow in Bucharest, it’s impossible to ignore the electric atmosphere surrounding the incubators, investors, and founders involved in the space here. Talent continues to attract new investment, and even the government is paying increasing attention to the tech industry and the entrepreneurs who fuel it.
For Pentalog, the large talent pool of IT&C graduates and the experienced IT professionals I discovered in Bucharest represented the tipping point. My trust in their expertise led to our team build a strong and truly global IT service platform. Pentalog’s delivery center in Bucharest alone manages over 25 IT projects for 20 different clients in the USA, France, Sweden, Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland, among other countries. And, with 130+ IT specialists located in an office close to the city center, we have access to the community as well.