Area: Pipera - School Area Choice #1
If you`re considering Pipera you should have school aged children and enjoy suburban-like living. A good 60% of the families with children that we work with have chosen Pipera, or a neighboring area, for their housing. Pipera boasts the two biggest international schools (The British School and the American International School). This is suburbia, Romania style, so think bedroom community. Things to do include the Bucharest Zoo, the forest (good paths for walking and mountain bikes) and quick access out of the city and up to the mountains for the weekend. Rents for a villa in Pipera are going to jump around a lot depending on the condition and size of the villa and we would suggest a benchmark of about 3,00 Euros for a nice new four-plus bedroom villa.
Conversely, probably not the right neighborhood for expats without school-aged kids as the social scene really does revolve around the international schools and lacking this we`re always a bit concerned about the "cabin-fever" condition of the stay at home partner. Also, a strange lack of pavement means getting anywhere requires a car and the complete absence of a public park combine to make meeting new people a bit more difficult.
Key to getting good value is timing - ideally you want to be signing the lease before the frantic period between June and August. I`m going to list the key International School options below with our recommendation on smart housing / neighborhood suggestions. You can click on the map on the RENTALS page to see the properties in that neighborhood:
The French School / Lycee Francais is located in Baneasa, next door to Pipera. This is off the DN1 and close to the Baneasa Mall. A lot of our clients with children attending the school actually prefer to be a bit closer to the city if possible, rather than in Pipera itself. Look at Baneasa and Domenii as first options as well as Otopeni (very good prices). This will get you into school within 20 minutes maximum.
The British School / BSB is in the heart of Pipera on the main drag so anywhere in Pipera is going to probably work and as pavements still don`t seem to exist in the neighborhood(!!!), walking to school is probably not an option. Within Pipera consider the immediate area around BSB, the Pipera Tunari area and that bit of Pipera heading towards Floreasca as the the road was broadened recently with an overpass bridge as well meaning an easier commute. You can also consider the Baneasa area (East) and further out, but still good because of the road, Otopeni and Corbeanca (further North).
American School / AISB is in the North of Pipera. Consider the immediate area near the school which is the Pipera-Tunari part of Pipera as well as a broader Pipera focus. If you`re on a budget and want good quality you can also think about Corbeanca further North as you can easily get to the school on the improved Bucharest Ring Road.
Other Good International School Options - All Downtown
The International British School is central-city located. Small campus, but excellent academic reputation and their test results are consistently at the top of the tables. Also, about half the cost of BSB (British School of Bucharest) and a top choice of British families who have settled in Bucharest. Suggest either Icoanei, Floreasca or Dorobanti neighborhoods as first choice. Not a lot of options within walking distance to the school as it`s a bit further South-West than we would recommend for expat living.
Cambridge School of Bucharest is not in Pipera (it`s in the city-center near Piata Romana), but it has a rigorous curriculum with a mix of children coming from the diplomatic, local and longtime expat population. A good option if school costs are coming out of your pocket as fees are half those in Pipera. Start your housing search in the Icoanei (downtown), Floreasca, Dorobanti neighborhoods.
Verita International School of Bucharest is now in Floreasca and is in our opinion a very good option. The school follows the British curriculum and believes in a philosophy that education needs to be fun and about discovery. Some people have described it as a bit more Montessori in approach. A client of ours described the school as American owned, British curriculum and Scandinavian aproach to education. We recommend the housing search starts in Floreasca and expands into Herastrau, Dorobanti and Icoanei neighborhoods.