A country located in central Europe, having 9.8 million people, Hungary makes up a section of the EU’s southern border and is a pretty important immigration hub. Hungary is considered among the EU’s poorer countries, and it has a GDP in the lower third of all member states, even though it is still better off than several of its central European and Balkan neighbors.
Hungary has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages for its residents and if you’re planning to make a move then below we have listed some pros and cons of living in Hungary.
Pros of Living in Hungary
1. Cost of Living
The best restaurants here will cost you a snippet of what you would pay in most other countries. For less than $20, you’ll get to have lunch at a Michelin-star restaurant. Compared to the U.S., the fruits and vegetables here cost much less. To take an example, a kilo of apples is worth 60 cents, while oranges will cost you $1/kg. At around $4, you can get a kilo of pork.
Hiring a house helper will cost you less than $7/hour and they will be doing more than just vacuuming and dusting. You could get your windows cleaned, clothes ironed, have food cooked, etc. The gas might look pricey but you get all the taxes returned so it does not cost more than in the U.S.
2. Endless Travel Opportunities
Since Hungary is quite small, in about two hours, you’ll be able to reach most cities which is perfect for a day trip or a weekend. The seven countries that are neighbors of Hungary are Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia while four more countries – Czech Republic, Poland, Bosnia, Moldova, don’t have common borders but are still pretty close. It all means that you’ll have endless possibilities for weekends or three-day trips, Wizzair also has several links from Budapest so you can choose to fly to Italy or Spain for just $50!
3. Food & Wine
Hungary will prove to be a haven for the foodies as the food here is both delicious and abundant. Hungarian specialties such as Goulash, grey cow, Mangalica pork, paprika, foie gras, beef cheeks, lecso, etc. are delightfully tasty and they will keep you amazed any day. Hungarian wines are also known to be able to easily compete with French or California wines. To add to the list, Hungarians are also the best at preparing freshly squeezed lemonade, plain or with ginger, etc.
4. Public Transportation
Living here, you’ll be able to go everywhere on foot, but you can still choose to get the help of a tram, bus, or metro. You won’t need a car and hassle over the parking as the Hungarians only use their cars to travel outside the city.
There are plenty of public transportations here and they are known to be regular, very safe, and moderately priced at around $40/month. For teenagers who want to go visit their friends without the need of their parents taxing them around, Budapest is bliss.
5. People & Culture
You will come across endless occasions to share the Hungarian culture and meet warm and friendly people are there are festivals at the end of February, Easter in Hollokö, many beers, and wine festivals along with music festivals. The Hungarians also love dogs so you’ll be able to take them to restaurants. And for the cat owners, they also have a ‘cat’ bar.
Cons of Living in Hungary
1. Embassy Community
The community here might not be as tight as some other places since the people here are continuously going out of the city or the country as there is simply so much to do.
The Hungarian language is considered among the toughest to learn after Chinese and Arabic. Very few cognates and rules exist only to be broken in your next sentence.
There are also illogical rules such as using the singular while using a number of ‘lots of’ in front of a name. Obviously in English, the name and the verb are placed in plural form. To take an example, you’ll be saying ‘This five-book is old’ instead of ‘These five books are old’.
At 27%, it is just the highest in Europe. Even the food here gets taxed that lofty. Some items such as bread are taxed at ‘only’ 15%. But after completing lengthy paperwork you’ll be able to recuperate it in most cases which makes the con become a pro!
4. Weather Forecast
You can trust the forecast around one week in advance when in most cities. But in Budapest, it won’t be accurate even when it’s just two days in advance. The weather here fluctuates all the time. But Hungary still sees more sunny days than Barcelona so that’s a great point.
5. Tons of Work
The residents aren’t joking when they say that Budapest is overly busy. Even though the country is a small one, inhabiting 10-million people, it is still in NATO between the West and Russia so it has a greater share of mind than suggested by its size.
Cost of Living
Having gone through all pros and cons, you might have had a clearer idea about settling in Hungary. If you plan to go and become a resident. Here are some further essential details for you to know, such as the basic cost of living.
A 2-bedroom apartment will cost you around 125,000 HUF (400 euros) per month. To live in a studio in the center, you’ll have to pay around 90,000 HUF (€290) before utilities. Basic costs in an apartment will normally run €32 – €96, which oftentimes include water, repairs, cleaning of the apartment block, etc. Then the price of heating can be €30-80, electricity about €16. Somewhat of 60,000 HUF in bills and common costs are quite standard.
2. Food and Drink
You’ll probably be spending €80-100 a week on groceries for two, not including wine
Getting a cleaning and check-up at the dentist is around €25, getting a set of x-rays about that much again.