Hungary is a landlocked country nested in the heart of Central Europe and which has borders with Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, and Ukraine. Hungary has a low crime rate and enjoys the reputation of being a safe and peaceful destination. Budapest is a beautiful city but it’s not all that Hungary offers. It has lakes, mountains, the Danube, ancient architectural masterpieces, wine regions and a history worth investigating.
If you are considering moving to Hungary, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in Hungary.
Quick Hungarian Facts:
- Population: 9,599,104 (2022 estimate)
- Official Language:Hungarian is the first and official language in Hungary and is spoken by 98% of the population. Romani, German, Croatian, Slovak, Romanian, Slovene, and Serbian are spoken by minority groups. English is widely spoken in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, but not in rural areas and smaller towns.
- GDP Per Capita:Ft 8,172,262
- Thermal water springs: This beautiful country has more than 1,300 thermal water springs. It’s often thought that the healing power of the thermal springs was what drew the Romans to colonise the area.
- Currency: Hungarian Forint (Ft or HUF). As of September 2022, £1 = Ft .0021, €1 = Ft 0.0024, US$1 = Ft 0.0023, AU$1 = FT0.0036
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Hungary
2. Hungarian Housing Costs
Most Hungarians own their homes, and Hungary’s homeownership rate is projected to rise to 84.47% in 2023. Rental prices vary considerably with Budapest being the most expensive place to rent a flat/house.
Monthly Rental Prices in Hungary
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: Ft 111,911.65 – Ft 220,000.00
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: Ft 80,000.00 – Ft 180,000.00
- 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: Ft 172,000.00 – Ft 400,005.00
- 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: Ft 140,000.00 – Ft 300,000.00
- Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: Ft 404,300.00 – Ft 1,500,000.00
- Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: Ft 305,000.00 – Ft 1,000,000.00
Hungarian Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in Hungary compare with other countries around the globe.
United Kingdom is 178.97% more expensive
United States is 364.73% more expensive
Australia is 233.63% more expensive
Singapore is 563.85% more expensive
France is 137.29% more expensive
UAE is 228.81% more expensive
Spain is 98.49% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment or house. Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect room or flatmate: iRoommates, Budbudgetrooms, Erasmusu Play, and Facebook.
- Different regions – different prices. The housing costs in different areas vary considerably. Rural aeas with little infrastructure are the cheapest place to live and ideal for people who wish to retire and don’t need employment. Eger, Esztergom, and Szentendre are considered the cheapest towns to live in, with Budapest being by far the most expensive.
3. Hungary’s Food, Grocery, and Restaurant Costs
Traditional Hungarian cuisine is tasty and primarily based on meat, dairy, bread, seasonal vegetables, fruits and cheeses. The country grows a lot of its own produce – sweet corn, potatoes, sugar beet, and green peas being the most common. Hungary is also well known for sausage and salamis production.
Eating and drinking in bars and restaurants is not expensive compared with other European countries. Food sold in supermarkets and grocers is good quality and very affordable.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: Ft 1,800.00- Ft 4,242.93
- Takeout Coffee: Ft 340.00- Ft 950.00
- Bottle of Coke: Ft 300.00- Ft 590.00
- 1L of milk: Ft 199.00- Ft 450.00
- Loaf of Bread: Ft 340.00- Ft 950.00
- 12 Eggs: Ft 450.00- Ft 960.00
- 1kg Chicken Fillets: Ft 1065.00- Ft 2200.00
- 1kg Beef: Ft 2,200.00- Ft 5,207.00
- 1kg Apples: Ft 248.00- Ft 650.00
- 1kg White Rice: Ft 280.00- Ft 800.00
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- UK restaurants are 116.47% more expensive, and groceries are 56.67% more expensive than in Hungary.
- United States restaurants are 138.72% more expensive, and groceries are 147.53% more expensive than in Hungary.
- Australian restaurants are 113.51% cheaper, and groceries are 138.82% more expensive than in Hungary.
- Singapore restaurants are 91.91% more expensive, and groceries are 137.15% more expensive than in Hungary.
- French restaurants are 116.50% more expensive, and groceries are 109.53% more expensive than in Hungary.
- UAE restaurants are 89.63% more expensive, and groceries are 66.47% more expensive than in Hungary.
- Spanish restaurants are 66.58% more expensive, and groceries are 31.33% more expensive than in Hungary.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants, and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: Hungary has a good range of foods to suit most cultures. Many farmers’ markets sell great fresh produce in most areas within Hungary. There are also excellent health food stores in the larger cities/town that sell organic foods. Popular supermarkets in Hungary are Coop, SPAR, ALDI, Tesco, and LIDL.
- Find Cheap Eats:Hungary offers a diverse range of foods and drinks at a relatively low cost. If you hunt around, you will find some good restaurants that offer specials on certain days of the week. Have a look at the following sites for suggestions – Trip Advisor, Offbeat, Budapest by Locals, Adventurous Miriam, and Slight North.
4. Hungarian Alcohol Costs
Hungarians enjoy alcohol when socialising with friends and family. Prices are low compared with many other European countries.
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: Ft 500.00- Ft 1,100.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: Ft 350.00- Ft 1,000.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: Ft 249.00- Ft 400.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: Ft 275.00- Ft 700.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: Ft 800.00- Ft 2,500.00
How to drink for less in Hungary
- Keep an eye on the local papers and flyers for cheap drinks, either in supermarkets or bars, clubs, and restaurants.
- Many bars and restaurants have Happy Hour specials after work, usually from 4 pm to 7 pm. You can enjoy a side range of drinks in Budapest at affordable prices. Have a look at the following sites for more tips on where to go to save money on a night out – Daily News, We Love Budapest, Itinari, Offbeat, and Trip Advisor.
5. Hungary Transportation Fares
Transport in Hungary is either by rail, road, water or air. Every city and town has a well-established public transportation system, mainly utilising buses, metro, tram, railway, and trolley buses. Public transport costs are extremely low.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult Single – Ft 300.00 – Ft 400.00
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited – Ft 7,700.00 – Ft 10,500.00
- Taxi Start (normal tariff) – Ft 510.00 – Ft 1,000.00
- Taxi 1km (normal tariff) – Ft 300.00 – Ft 450.00
How to save money on public transport
- Get a Budapest card and enjoy unlimited travel on all public transport free of charge. You can buy the 24-hour card for Ft 12,145.00 and a three day card for Ft 36,435.00.
- If you need to travel by several different transportation methods, buy a transfer ticket
- Buy a bike. Cycling is extremely popular in Hungary and there are dedicated cycle lanes and cycle paths in most towns and cities.
- Walking is also a good option in most area.
6. Cost of Internet in Hungary
The 5G network covers almost all of Hungary, including the high-demand areas of Budapest, Torokbalint and Gyor zones, and Lake Balaton. Internet speeds are high and reliable. Here are some sample internet prices in September 2022.
- Telekom– Ft 7,090.00/mo for 50GB
- Yettel– Ft 7,990.00/mo for 150 Mbps download speed and 50Mbps upload speed (1000GB)
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym, and Leisure
Hungary has a continental climate with mildly snowy winters and hot, dry summers. The grey skies and mist are common in winter. The average summer temperature ranges from 22.8 C degrees to 27.8 C degrees. The wettest month is usually April or May, with an average of 25.5mm of rain.
The Gyula and Southern Great Plain are the sunniest areas and are situated just 4km from the Romanian border. Hungary enjoys an average of 2,130 hours of sunshine annually.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: Ft 9,500 – Ft 35,000
- Summer Dress: Ft 6,000 – Ft 15,000
- Running Shoes (Trainers): Ft 17,000 – Ft 35,000
- Business Shoes: Ft 17,000 – Ft 45,000
- Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): Ft 15,081
- Deodorant: Ft 983
- Shampoo: Ft 971
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): Ft 491
- Gym membership: Ft 8,500 – Ft 20,000 per month
- Movie (cinema) ticket: Ft 1,500 – Ft 2,500
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Hungary
Hungary has a good road system with motorways, highways and express systems. You must buy a Vignette before travelling on a motorway. There are large fines if you forget.
You can drive on a foreign licence for twelve months. After that, you’ll need to get a Hungarian driving licence. International driving license are also valid in Hungary but we need to be swapped for a Hungarian licence after twelve months.
Have a look at Interelo for detailed information on buying and owning a car, and how to get a Hungarian driving licence.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Hungary:
- Volkswagen Golf:Ft 6,000,000– Ft 9,000,000
- 1 liter (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol):Ft 395- Ft 570
- Other fees (if any):The average cost of owning and running a car in Hungary is Ft 1,730,121 per annum
Ways to save money driving in Hungary
- Car sharing or pooling is a good way to save money. Try Motar, Carpoolworld, hu, Share Now, and Mollimo.
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Travel Trip, Taxi, and Civitatis.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Hungary? Then read our guide to Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Hungary
Hungary has a flat tax rate of 15% . However, to encourage non-EU investors and trades, Hungary has introduce a low corporate tax rate of 9%. To learn more about the Hungarian tax system, go to Hungarian taxes. The standard VAT (sales tax) rate is 27%, with a reduced VAT rate of 18% on various essential products.
If you own your home, you will be subject to property tax, assessed on the size of your home and the area in which you live. The average property tax in Hungary is Ft 1,257.18 per square meter or a maximum of 3% of the property’s market value. Learn more about property tax in Hungary at this government website.
10. Flight Costs from Hungary
If you do make a move to Hungary, here’s how much approximately it will cost to fly to other major world cities from Budapest based on the lowest one-way fares from Skyscanner as of late 2022:
- London: Ft 13,565
- Paris: Ft 31,636
- New York: Ft 112,894
- Los Angeles: Ft 181,178
- Dubai: Ft 65,759
- Sydney: Ft 844,658
- Melbourne: Ft 834,882
- Cape Town: Ft 279,486
- Hong Kong: Ft 376,234
Other Hungarian Relocation Tips
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Hungary, but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Hungary Alone
Moving is always stressful, but moving on your own can be exceptionally difficult. Thankfully Hungary is a country that is safe and welcomes newcomers. Here are a few tips about settling in Hungary.
- Meetups:Hungary has many Meetup groups covering various activities, from skiing to fine dining.
- Attend local events: There is always something going on in Hungary, and many activities are free. Have a look at the following sites for inspiration – Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Emilyembarks, and Two Wondering Soles
12. Moving to Hungary with a Family
Hungary’s low cost of living and great international schools make Hungary extremely family-friendly. Plus, there are many family activities, such as cave baths, hiking, exploring and a variety of water sports.
- New parents (or parents to be):Check out Budapest Moms, Facebook, Expat Moms in Budapest, Black Girl in Budapest, and Non-native Mommy for advice, courses, and ways to meet other parents or parents to be.
- Live in a family-friendly area:Find the best family-friendly region and area to live in at Fantastic Removals.
- Find things to do with the kids:Hungary has lots for children to do. Have a look at the following website for inspiration – Inspirock, Trip Advisor, Hungary for Families, com, and With Locals,
13. Moving to Hungary for Work
Moving to a new country for work is one of the most common reasons why people choose to move. While it’s possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make a move.
There are job opportunities in various fields – IT, tourism and hospitality, management and trades such as plumbers and electricians.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary:Salaries in Hungary vary considerably are obviously at their highest in Budapest. The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea of how much more you’ll want to be made to make a move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and hu.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Hungary but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Job Board Finder, Budapest Jobs, Million Makers, Jobline, and Job info. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Hungary from Australia
There are a small number of Australians living and working in Hungary. If you are considering moving from Australia to Hungary, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison:Australia is approximately 8,221% times bigger than Hungary and has 15.7 million more residents.
- Join expat groups: com and Internations offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Hungary.
15. Moving to Hungary from the United States
The Hungary government allows non-EU countries such as Canada, the United States, and others to enter for the business or tourist purposes and stay for 90 days without visa. However, you must have a work permit and work visa to work in Hungary. If you’re considering joining them, here are a few things to consider.
- Size: the United States is 10,470% larger than Hungary and has 322.9 million more residents.
- Expat groups:Meeting up with fellow Americans helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and com.
16. Moving to Hungary from the United Kingdom
There are a small number of Brits living and working in Hungary. If you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: The United Kingdom is 2.6 times larger than Hungary and has 56million more residents.
- Expat groups:If you want to get together with others from the UK who enjoy everything Hungary has to offer, then go to Internations and com.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If you want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Hungary, you can start by comparing moving quotes here. You can also find more about moving companies in Hungary here.