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Moving to Budapest: Cost of Living in Budapest

October 27th, 2021

 

Welcome to the Cost of Living section of our Moving to Budapest Guide!

 

Let's talk about one of the most important things about moving or working remotely abroad: the cost of living. Although prices have risen in recent years, Budapest still enjoys one of the lowest costs of living in any European capital.

Hungary is part of the EU but outside of the Eurozone, so its currency is the Forint (1 Euro = approximately 350 Forint), and the Dollar and Euro generally enjoy strong conversion rates.

New in town? We've written this article on where to exchange money in Budapest in order to help your money stretch as far as it can!

It's no wonder that Budapest enjoys such a thriving expat scene, as it's one of the cheapest cities for digital nomads in Europe. Check out the infographic below for a rundown of the basic cost of living in Budapest! 

cost of living in budapest infographic

As you can see, the two highest bank-account drainers (rent and groceries) are relatively low. And a public transportation pass is a steal compared to neighboring Vienna (51 €). For more info on how to shop smarter, check out the info on grocery stores below!

 

Grocery Stores

Food is one of the main expenses for any budget, and prices can vary based on the tier of grocery store you shop at. Here's a brief overview of grocery stores in Budapest:

Cheap: ABC, 0-24, these bodegas will have the basics if you’re missing an ingredient and just need to pop around to the corner shop. Look elsewhere for produce or other fresh products, though.

Mid-tier: Prima, Aldi, Spar, Lidl, Tesco, GRoby

Top-tier: Culinaris (foreign import store), Szega Market

 

Markets

market hall interior

You can cut your costs (and plastic) considerably by shopping directly from vendors at markets (why buy a plastic wrapped carton of 6 tomatoes when you only need 2 for that bomb spaghetti you’re going to make tonight?). Market shopping in Budapest is common and accessible, and gives you the opportunity to cut down your grocery bill while brushing elbows with the locals.

Piac Online is a great resource of all of the major Budapest markets, and some of  the most popular ones markets are:

 

Shopping

inside of an alternative designer shop

Second Hand Stores

If you’re looking to get some new clothes without breaking the bank then you might consider shopping at one of Budapest’s thrift stores. Cream and Hada are two of the major Budapest thrift store chains. For a vintage vibe (and a bit more of a curated selection) check out Humana or Ludovika.

If you’re willing to zip about 30 minutes outside of the city, then you can find the Premier Outlet. Here it’s possible to buy clothes and accessories a fraction of their normal price without getting them second hand. If you don’t want to rent a car, no worries--you can take a bus from the Kelenföld terminal.

For discounts and deals, head to QPonverzum, Hungary’s answer to Groupon. Find coupons for a range of services, from dining to cosmetics to live entertainment and more. The site is all in Hungarian, but a quick tap of the translate button will open you up to a world of deals.

 

Accommodation

Apartment or house hunting can be one of the most exciting (or stressful) parts of moving to Budapest. And what are you looking for? A historic city-center flat that’s close to all of the nightlife action?

A modern flat in a newly built complex close to the business centers on the city’s outskirts? A spacious family home with a yard in the quiet hills of Buda? Of course the prices of all of these will vary, but for a quick rule of thumb, average prices for an apartment in the center are:

Studio: €380 

1 br: €500 

2 br: €560 

 

Read more about finding and furnishing accommodation.

 

If you're thinking about moving to Budapest, then the cost of living is something you must consider. Comb through the rest of our Moving to Budapest Guide to find more about what to expect from life in Budapest!

 

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