Expat Hungary

Hungary, part of middle Europe, is home to one of the fastest growing cosmopolitan cities – Budapest, however it is also home to rolling hills, a beautiful country side and valleys that grow wine.

While it has had its share of problems after the fall of communism, Hungary has for the most part emerged intact and ready to take on the world. The country of Hungary, along with the beautiful people, culture, architecture and low cost of living has made it one of the top attractions for expats looking to live in a city far from American shores that has it all. If you are looking for a country that is affordable to live in while sharing with you a great amount of culture, you should definitely give Hungary a try.

Hungary’s capital city of Budapest is where many expats first come to, however once you are acquainted with the beauty of Hungary and Budapest, many expats venture out to other cities such as Eger and Debrecen or find peace and solitude in the hills.


The climate in Hungary is seasonal and temperate. Winters can be cold and in some cases brutally cold, however summers are very comfortable with warm temperatures and mild humidity. Possibly the best time of year to live in Hungary is from May to September. Spring can be wet, but for the most part is comfortable and the fall time is usually mild as well, however it can become chilly towards the end of the season.


The Hungarian government is a parliamentary republic, while it has endured some growing pains from transitioning from a communist country to capitalism, the country and cities of Hungary are very stable and safe for expats.

If you are looking to start a business or invest in a business, Hungary will definitely be interested in helping you find opportunities and does encourage investment. Hungary is part of the European Union and has been working with the EU to update its infrastructure and other government organizations to make sure they are modern and fit the EU rules. While there is occasionally political instability, most Hungarians and expats are very comfortable living and working within the country.

You can find out more about Hungary by visiting the Embassy of Hungary in Washington D.C. You can also contact the United States Embassy in Budapest.

Tax System

Hungary can be tough on income tax, but if you start your own business, you will notice a very low corporate tax. The highest rate for individual income tax is 38%, however corporate tax hits a high at only 16%, one of the lowest in all of Europe. In addition to these taxes are a value added tax (VAT), a community tax and property taxes.

Medical Care

For the most part, health care in Hungary and especially in major cities such as Budapest are more than adequate. While the facilities might not be the most modern, educated and skillful doctors are available and many doctors are able to speak English. For most expats, you can probably pay as you go with healthcare. If you are concerned about serious illnesses or becoming hospitalized, make sure you purchase travelers insurance. This usually works out to about $3 per day and will cover you against serious illnesses and hospitalization costs. Travelers insurance also usually includes medical evacuation to your own home country.

Real Estate

If you are interested in buying property in Hungary, the process is usually straightforward and simple. Property is usually much more affordable than in other parts of Europe, which makes Hungary and especially Budapest extremely attractive. You can buy a villa which is a home in Hungary for less than $100K to one million dollars; however most homes are around $200K if they are near the major cities. Many expats choose to buy small cottages or summer homes near lakes or at the countryside which can be as affordable as $10k to about $100K.

You can also find apartments to rent or lease with ease as well. Apartments are usually very affordable costing from $300 to $600 in the cities and possibly less in the countryside. While many apartments might be smaller than the US, expect basic amenities. Most expats live in Budapest because of the living is fairly comfortable and affordable. It should be noted that while prices have risen over the years, they are still well below prices in other countries such as France and Germany.


Shopping in Hungary has caught up with its Western countries, while not exactly offering as much selection as France, Italy, Germany or the UK; expats can usually find all the necessities plus many luxuries. While some items may cost more, such as computers or consumer electronics, for the most part, prices are more affordable or the same as in the states.

If you are looking for entertainment, cities such as Budapest are extremely cosmopolitan and offer many things to do from dancing, to caf?’s to high end restaurants. Besides these types of entertainment, if you are into the arts, you will find countless exhibitions, baths, architecture and museums to keep you occupied for years.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Hungary is far less than most cities in the United States. One of the driving forces that make Hungary and especially Budapest so popular with expats is its low cost of living. For many expats that enjoy the slower pace of life and living among beautiful culture and architecture, Hungary is a real treat. It doesn’t cost that much to spend 6 months to a year in Hungary and if you can find some part time work such as teaching English or working using the Internet, you can practically stay forever.

Most expats can usually live comfortable for about $1,000 per month, any more and they can afford much more luxuries, however with even less, you can get buy. Many expats simply share an apartment with a few friends and eat most of their meals via grocery shopping. It is not uncommon for students or some expats to get by on $600 per month. However, to live comfortably a monthly income of about $800 to $1200 should be a target.

Web Sites for Expats in Hungary


The Daily Dish of Cosmopolitan Budapest.

Blogs from Expats in Hungary

Budapest and the Rest

Amusing blog by an expat lady in Budapest.

Extradition from Hungary

The Extradition treaty between Hungary and the United States of America was signed on December 1, 1994

This treaty was entered into force on March 18, 1997

Map of Hungary