Expat Life in Budapest
A city of vibrant culture, a strong job market and high quality of living, it is no surprise that Budapest is becoming a more popular expat destination. Here are compelling reasons to discover all about the excellent lifestyle this traditional city has to offer!
The Cost of Living
Expats who have relocated to Budapest from a similar sized city in Europe, the UK, the US or Australia, will be pleasantly surprised to notice that the cost of living in Budapest is considerably cheaper. General living costs further decrease when living outside of the capital in the countryside or in smaller cities such as Eger and Pecs.
Expats can enjoy dining out regularly in Budapest for half the price it would cost in the UK. A three-course fine dining meal for two people in a semi-expensive restaurant costs as little as 9,000 HUF (Hungarian forints) or 24 GBP (British pounds). Rental prices are also more affordable with a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre totalling 149,392.18 HUF (409 GBP) which is relatively inexpensive compared to a 1,290 GBP studio flat in London.
Getting around the city is also easy and cheap thanks to the good infrastructure and fairly priced public transport. A monthly public transport pass can be used on railways, buses and boats services and costs as little as 9,500 HUF (26 GBP).
Moreover, Hungary’s personal income tax levied at a flat rate of 15% coupled with the low cost of living, stands out as a value point for expats who relocate to Budapest.
how expats spend their free time
A beautiful, historic and enchanting city, Budapest offers a variety of fun-filled activities and sights expats can enjoy on their days off.
From retail shops, large shopping malls to bustling markets, Budapest is a shopaholic’s paradise offering the best of luxury brands and local designer goods. Popular shopping places where expats can go include Corvin Plaza, WestEnd City Center and the Mammut Shopping and Entertainment Centre.
Király street, also known as the city’s ‘Design Street’ is a mile long and hosts plenty of fashion boutiques and shops selling locally made furniture.
From traditional Hungarian cafes to luxury restaurants and inexpensive international eateries, the culinary capital caters to everyone’s finances and taste buds.
Downtown offers the most foodie hotspots where expats can find a variety of restaurants and international eateries including Italian, Chinese, Mexican, American and Japanese. Expats who enjoy fine dining should head to the Michelin star restaurants Onyx and Costes.
To sample some local treats such as Langos (deep fried flat bread), Great Market Hall (Nagycsarnok) is the place to go. Just a throw away from the market is the low-key wine Borbiróság, a simple yet classy ‘Wine Court’ with modern and affordable Hungarian cuisine.
Whether you enjoy having a drink in elegant cocktail bars, hitting the clubs or attending gigs with friends, Budapest offers a truly unique nightlife to all.
District 7 is known as the party zone and is host to a plethora of sports bars, Irish pubs, Hungarian wine bars and many clubs. At the heart of Budapest’s nightlife is its iconic ruin bars. Szimpla Kert, formerly an industrial space which has been transformed into Budapest’s most popular bar, boasts a hip, artsy atmosphere and is bustling with crowds chatting and enjoying the laid-back vibe. Fogasház is a smaller and less touristy ruin bar making it the perfect place to meet other expats and locals.
Budapest’s vibrant music scene offers expats the opportunity to go to gigs and festivals all year round. For example, Sziget Festival sees Obuda island be transformed into a musical haven every August where some of the biggest names in music play.
Theatre + opera
Expats who prefer classy, elegant nights out can visit the neo-Renaissance Hungarian Opera House. The beautifully designed building hosts classical opera and ballet. Its best-known piece is The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky ballet.
Parks and natural zones
Nature lovers can relish the many parks and natural zones in the city. For example, you can escape the city and enjoy the serenity that Margaret Island has to offer. With no traffic allowed except from one bus line, an outdoor summer thermal spa, a pool and musical fountains, it’s the perfect place to relax and indulge in a good picnic!
The Buda Hills also offer the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. A popular place visited by locals in Normafa. From Normafa you can walk up to Fairy Rock where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over Budapest.
If you are interested in a move to Budapest or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.