Welcome to the Finding Accommodation section of our Moving to Budapest Guide!
Congrats on choosing to move to Budapest! We love it here, and we're sure that you will too! Now that you've decided to live in the Paris of the East, it's time to get one thing sorted: Where do you look for housing in Budapest?
Caution! Before agreeing to accommodation, make sure that your landlord will agree to signing a lease agreement. Without this you cannot provide proof of residency, which is vital to your visa application. You also need a lease in order to get an address card, which is another key document (most doctors will not treat you without one). Some landlords prefer to skimp on the paperwork so that they can pay fewer taxes, and may agree to a lower rent. But be warned--this may come back to haunt you if you then can’t get the documents you need to stay and work in the country.
Apartment hunting can be quite competitive, especially in the high season of August, so it’s not uncommon to bring an envelope of cash to a viewing so that one can pay the deposit right on the spot!
Average price for an apartment in the center:
Studio: 380 €
1 br: 500 €
2 br: 560 €
You might be wondering: Where do I want to live in Budapest? To oversimplify, the rule of thumb is this: Pest is for partying, Buda is for relaxation. But of course, there are exceptions.
Although Budapest isn’t a huge city, each of its districts manages to have somewhat of its own unique vibe.
Many young students and expats gravitate towards the 6th and 7th party districts in Pest, but if you like peace and quiet you might be more suited to crossing the river and living in the 1st or 2nd district on the Buda side. For a more in-depth idea of things, we’ve written a Budapest district guide to help you get a better understanding of where you’d like to settle!
For better or for worse, Budapest had almost been bursting at the seams with AirBnbs before the pandemic hit. As a result, many lovely AirBnbs in Budapest have shifted gears and lent themselves to long term rental. Alternatively, you could rent one short-term while you look for a more permanent apartment.
During high season, apartments will cycle on and off these platforms quickly. It’s best to set up alerts to have the best chance of snagging your dream apartment!
Real Estate Sites
If you’re overwhelmed with the Budapest apartment search or just feel more comfortable in the hands of a professional, perhaps you should consider using a real estate agent.
It is not uncommon for rentals to come at least partially furnished. But if you’d like to fill out your space, or swap furnishings altogether, there are plenty of places that will help you do that as well. Check out:
MediaMarkt for appliances
Reselling/free stuff Facebook groups
When you rent an apartment, you’re not only committing to the flat, but to the landlord as well. It’s not unheard of to come home and find that your landlord has let themselves in with their spare key (although it isn’t a common occurrence, either).
Depending on where you’re moving to Budapest from, you might find the boundaries or communication styles to be a bit different. Before you sign anything, make sure you read your lease agreement carefully and discuss clear boundaries with your landlord to make sure you won’t run into any surprises down the road.
Now you’re off to a start of finding your dream accommodation in Budapest--or at least knowing where you can start to look! Have fun settling into your new home! And for more information, check out the rest of our Moving to Budapest Guide here!