When planning a move to Hungary, expats may have plenty of questions about life in this exciting European destination. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about expat life in Hungary.
Will I need a car?
Hungary has an efficient and comprehensive public transport network that connects all areas of the country. While cars are convenient for travelling outside the larger cities, they are not absolutely necessary. In Budapest, there is a comprehensive public transport system consisting of buses, trains, trams and a metro.
How bad is the weather in winter?
Like most of Europe, Hungary can get quite cold during winter. However, most residents and Hungarians enjoy skiing and a whole range of winter sports during the colder months. There are also a number of spas and resorts with natural hot springs that residents in Hungary can enjoy all year round.
Will I have access to English-language media?
The larger cities in Hungary have a wealth of English-language newspapers and magazines for expats available at news kiosks around the city. Many of the larger hotels also stock well-known weekly and monthly international newspapers, such as the International New York Times, The Guardian International, the Financial Times and the European version of the Wall Street Journal. In Budapest, some of the popular English resources include the weekly Budapest Times, which will keep a person up to date with what’s happening in and around the city. Online, expats can access Hungary Around The Clock and All Hungary Media Group for local news in English.
Will I need to learn to speak Hungarian?
Although it is possible to get by without speaking the language, it's recommended that expats learn at least basic Hungarian. Not only will this make daily life easier, but it's also an important way of bonding with the locals and assimilating into their culture. Also, most of the older generation, especially outside the big cities, speak only Hungarian or German.
Is it expensive to live in Hungary?
Hungary's cost of living is relatively low in comparison with the rest of Europe. Healthcare and public schooling are available at little or no cost. That said, expats should be prepared to spend a significant proportion of their income on accommodation, especially if living in Budapest and other large cities. Food expenses can also start to add up if expats buy imported goods – purchasing food from a local market instead will bring the cost down substantially.