Living in Hungary as an Expat
Why Budapest is so popular among expats as a temporary space to live?
Lots of students, international workers and travellers, bloggers come to Hungary for a longer or shorter period of their lives. If you are one of them, or you are simply planning to move here for a while, you should definitely read our following article, in which we take a closer look on what joy, obstacle and questions expats may discover in Hungary. If you need a more detailed insight with links and step by step guides on how to relocate to Hungary, check out the Ultimate Expat Guide to Hungary.
LIVING IN HUNGARY
The first and most difficult step is flat searching, because expats usually want to live in downtown Budapest. It can be pricey, but it’s worth it, because this city has beautiful old buildings at both sides of the Danube (Duna), for example near the Buda Castle, Hungarian State Opera House, Matthias Church etc… These architectural centers are always organizing forces of diversed and dinamic cultural life, as well. Therefore living in the neighbourhood equals to a busy and enjoyable, atmospheric lifestyle.
Entertainment for expats depends on their location in Hungary. In the largest cities there are lots of pubs, theatres, parties, festivals, concerts and fancy restaurants, where they can meet with other expats and they can help each other.
WORKING HERE AS AN EXPAT
Finding a job in Hungary can be a challenge, especially for expats.
Nowadays working in Hungary as an expat but among Hungarians is not easy without speaking the local language fluently, which is usually considered quite difficult to learn – but not impossible, of course!
Travelling through the capital is quite fortunate, because Budapest has one of the best public transportation system in the world. Intertwining bus and tram lines cover the whole city, supported by underground circulation with three further metro lines.
Everybody can use them if they have tickets. There are also apps for Hungarians and expats as well, to help to use public transport. The most commonly used ones are Google Maps, BKK FUTÁR, and taxify…
If one goes by car, they have to be patient, because there are usually traffic jams, and the car parks are almost always full.
Between cities train- and buslines are also optional, but better to be overthought wisely. Regarding the number of passengers and the distance the cost of using a car and travelling by public transport can almost be the same, if the first one is not cheaper. Depending on your terms of comfort and agility, private transport is also reasonable.
In Hungary a local, residential wire is built for intercity routes. A website named Oszkar offers a community for car drivers who have spare seats and would give them away for some thousand forints, and these seats can be booked just like an airb&b flat – from the owner, to the user, for temporal usage.
Passengers always rate the drivers, so they don’t need to be afraid of perfectly unknown companion – the power of community makes the site, so travelling safe and trustful.
One thing is for sure: you mustn’t drive there, after consuming alcohol! Zero tolerance for alcohol usage for drivers was announced to the whole country.
People who come from other countries often want to taste regular, if not authentic food. They don’t have to worry, because they can find international and traditional reasturants in Hungary as well, or they can visit the Central Market Hall where almost everything can be found what is necessary for proper cooking.
As in other countries, Hungary also has traditional food and drinks. The most popular Hungarian food are Lángos, Gulyás soup, Palacsinta, Pörkölt, Halászlé and Kürtőskalács.
Pálinka and Bikavér are the best-known alchohols there.
These delicies can be tasted at almost every corner of Budapest, but one is better to be careful in the city center or at famous tourist places with the prices.
In the countryside atmospheric and cheap restaurants can be found under the name of Csárda. These places give home for weddings occasionally, or to hungry people on an ordinary day as well.
STUDY IN HUNGARY
Hungary’s capital Budapest is famous for its high quality education system. Szeged, Debrecen, Pécs and Sopron are also popular amon young expats. In these cities they can study in Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Széchenyi István Egyetem, Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Szegedi Tudományegyetem and many other universities. They can learn there Engineering, Arts and Humanities, Medical Sciences – which is far the most famous of its quality and also one of the most crowded by exchange students – and Law.
Students can find accomodation easier because there are dorms for them and flats furnished typically for them. This means usually cheaper but slightly more empty rooms to be living in.
Hungarian people are mostly kind and helpful with expats or tourists, because they know that it’s not as easy as it seems, and they always take it as a compliment, if not an honour that someone from an other place of the world is interested in such a peculiar place to live in – not to mention if you are saying something in Hungarian!
Have you tried it yet?