Budapest has it all: low cost of living, networking opportunities, locals with a high level of English, a lot of co-working spaces, laptop-friendly cafes, relaxing thermal baths, rich culture, outstanding nightlife, and much more.
Let’s take a closer look at the Top 10 reasons why many Americans and people from all over the world decide to stay in Budapest as a digital nomad for more than 90 days or even try to move with the entire family.
1. Affordable and Safe City for Expats
Budapest is not the cheapest city in Europe. However, it’s much more affordable than other digital nomad destinations such as Barcelona, Lisbon, or Rome. In Barcelona and Rome, on Airbnb, you’ll find only a private room in a shared apartment for a decent budget of 700 USD. Budapest wins this race.
- 200,000 forints ( 520.78USD) for a small apartment.
- Prices depend on the district and the size of the apartment. In the downtown, it will be more expensive. The price also depends on the size of the apartment, fully furnished or not.
- If you rent via Airbnb, you can find some options for 302,176.00 HUF (800 USD), however, the average price is 377,720.00 HUF (1000 USD) per month
- 50 000 HUF – 75 000 HUF (126- 189 USD) for basic stuff like electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage
- 5000 HUF – 7000 HUF (15-20 USD) for the Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)
- 1.5 USD for a cup of coffee
- 2-3 USD for a beer (depends on whether it’s domestic, imported, or artisanal)
- 8 USD for a medium pizza
- 5 USD for Big Mac McMenu
- 15 USD for a meal in a good restaurant
- 7-15 USD for a meal in a typical restaurant
Safety & Crime Rate in Budapest
Q – Is it safe for expats in Budapest?
A – Yes.
Budapest is safe for expats as the crime rate is very low. Purse snatching or pickpocketing may happen in crowded areas, yet you’re not likely to see violent crimes such as assault or armed robbery. Hungary is in the top 15 counties on the list of the Global Peace Index.
Sometimes Budapest is not always LGBT-friendly. Some people are quite conservative and do not welcome gay culture. However, there are still many gay-friendly venues in downtown, and a number of bars where nobody cares about your orientation.
2. Active Expat Community & Busy Social Life
Already in Budapest or planning to move to Budapest?
Then join the Expats in Budapest group on Facebook straight away.
Ex pats love Budapest for its active, friendly, and helpful expat community and regular social events. You’ll find a lot of interesting events like “Budapest Personal Development Meetup” or “Hike & Yoga Retreat”.
3. Plenty of Cafes, Libraries, & Coworking Spaces
Budapest has plenty of coffee shops with good Wi-Fi, laptop-friendly cafes, coworking spaces, and libraries where you can get the work done.
5 Best Cafes for Digital Nomads & Freelancers in Budapest
1 – Magvető Café
Magvető Café is a nice cafe designed in the style of a coworking space. It is spacious and decorated with bookshelves, creating the right working ambiance to get productive. The speed of the Internet is good, and there are lots of outlets and charging ports.
It is a comfortable workspace where you can enjoy delicious cheesecake and attend literary events. It has become a popular place for writers and poets.
2 – Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro
Flow Specialty Coffee Bar & Bistro is a perfect place for digital nomads, specialty coffee nerds, and vegans. It has everything needed to stay long hours working on the laptop: strong Wi-Fi, spacious, well-lit rooms with large windows, good coffee, and a great vegan menu to stay fuelled up throughout the day.
3 – Fabrik Specialty Coffee
Fabrik Specialty Coffee is more like a co-working space with a chilled atmosphere, where you can work comfortably, attend workshops, and rent a separate room for an event.
The main benefit of this cafe is the large desks upstairs. If you come early, you can get your own desk. The staff is friendly and the Wi-Fi is fast and stable.
4 – Dorado Cafe
Dorado Cafe is a nice coffee shop designed in a minimalistic style. It has good Wi-Fi, and delicious coffee, sandwiches, and croissants.
You can occupy a smaller table or sit at the big long table, where you can usually see people working on their laptops. The long table is just perfect to meet up for some work & coffee time.
The downside of this place is that it’s not as big and spacious, and on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday are laptop-free days.
5 – Montage Budapest
Montage Budapest is a go-to spot for in-depth work. It s very cozy, with chill lounge music, friendly baristas, fragrant coffee, and comfortable seating. It also has multiple vegan cakes.
Most importantly, Montage Budapest is open on Sunday, not every place is open in Budapest on Sunday.
5 Best Coworking Spaces for Remote Workers in Budapest
If you are striving to increase your productivity and avoid home office isolation, there are many coworking spaces in Budapest where you can get focused on your next big project and meet like-minded individuals.
Most of the coworking places in Budapest offer hot desks, private meeting rooms, a kitchen, snacks, and drinks.
1 – Impact Hub
Impact Hub is a global network that has offices all around the world, so you’ve probably heard about this coworking space.
It provides shared coworking areas, a lounge room, a community bistro, and a self-service kitchen. It has a meeting room, workshop rooms, rooms for podcasting and calls, and even on-site showers. You can attend weekly events to meet other entrepreneurs and digital nomads.
2 – Collabor8district
Collabor8district is an inspirational coworking space, located in the 8th district of Budapest, offering packages for different needs. You can choose a hot or dedicated desk with 24-hour member access. There are 2 skype rooms and a shared kitchen, and you can rent a meeting room and event space.
The cool thing about this cowork is that staff can speak several languages, including English and Spanish.
3 – Kaptar
Kaptar is a fully green coworking space that runs on fully renewable wind power. It has lots of natural light and comfortable spots to work on the laptop. By working in the shared office you can enjoy enterprise-class Wi-Fi and specialty coffee. You can have a video call in the available meeting room for free. One more great thing about Kaptar is the possibility to work at the standing desk when you are tired of seating all day long at the classic desk.
The rooms for meetings and events are available if you need to gather your team to work on the project together.
4 – Loffice
Loffice is a modern, well-equipped, and sophisticatedly designed coworking space with an inspiring interior. Whatever you need you’ll definitely find there, including comfortably fixed desks, a team desk, 24/7 access to the coworking oﬃce, private offices, meeting rooms, and event spaces.
You can use a Nespresso coffee machine with your prepaid card. If you want to leave your personal items, you can rent a locker, and a notebook lock, to make sure your laptop is safe while you go out to have lunch in the city.
5 – Kubik Coworking
Kubik is a co-working space ideally located in the center of the city and easy to access by tram, bus, trolley bus, or subway. The location is excellent, and you can have lunch in great restaurants in the neighborhood.
They have all types of options, including flexible and fixed desks in the shared area, entry with the proxy card every 24/7, lockers, meeting rooms, private offices, and large event space.
You can use a trial day offer free of charge to make sure Kubik is the right place for you.
Budapest Libraries to Work in Peaceful Environment
If you like to be surrounded by books in a peaceful studying environment, check out some of Budapest’s libraries. You can find some inspiration and boost of motivation to get the job done in one of these beautiful libraries:
- National Library of Foreign Literature
- The National Széchényi Library
4. Variety of Districts & Inexpensive Rentals
Budapest used to be two different cities: Buda and Pest.
Now it is one city but it still can be divided into two parts that offer different vibes, atmospheres, and activities.
Buda (west side) is a calm residential part of the city. Perfect if you want to enjoy the city with slightly less touristy buzz and spend some lazy days in thermal spas.
Pest (east side) is a very busy area, where a lot of activities are happening every day. That is the place where you can be touristy, hang out with other expats and locals, visit the best restaurants, bars, and ruin pubs and clubs.
Best Districts for Expats in Budapest
Budapest consists of 23 unique districts and offers different options for a comfortable short-term and long-term stay.
District 5. It’s a safe and trendy district with lots of pedestrian areas, shops, cafes, restaurants, and tourist attractions. It can be quite expensive to rent a good apartment here, especially in summer. Most of the apartments in this district are in old buildings, which can be problematic sometimes.
District 6. You’ll have a lot of shops and cultural places like Budapest Opera House within walking distance. However, there are also many pubs and bars creating lots of noise. This is where you want to be if you are into going out a lot.
District 7. It is close to downtown and has several beautiful synagogues and universities. There are many specialty cafes, bars, and design shops.
District 9. It is a budget-friendly area in Pest. It has good transport connections, a great number of good restaurants, and is not far from Great Market Hall.
District 13. – It’s a district with a residential vibe. If you like running, consider renting an apartment in Újlipótváros neighborhood – closer to the Margaret Island- island park between Buda and Pest with a beautiful running track.
District 1. This is a luxurious neighborhood with great shopping options and vibrant nightlife. Many business owners and executives of foreign companies live in this district. The rent here is extremely expensive.
District 2. It is a perfect district for families, quite peaceful. If you want to be based not far from transport links, and parks, try to rent accommodation near the Országút neighborhood. Rózsadomb is also a good choice to settle with the family.
District 11. It is a budget-friendly district in Buda with a breathtaking panoramic view of Budapest.
Ways to Find Accommodation in Budapest
1) Airbnb is the easiest way to find accommodation for a short-term and long-term stays.
2) Check Facebook groups for available accommodations and recent updates
3) With the help of a Google translator, you can check the Hungarian real estate websites, which offer good accommodation to rent long term
5. Vibrant Nightlife of Budapest
In Budapest, you’ll discover an exuberant and varied nightlife scene, with numerous bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. It has options for everyone, you can go clubbing all night, or dine in a restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere.
1) Have fun with friends in Gozsdu Courtyard
Gozsdu Courtyard (the Gozsdu Udvar) is full of bars and restaurants. Both locals and tourists like to meet up there with friends to relax and have fun after the busy working days.
2) Have a drink in a rooftop bar and enjoy the view
- 360 Bar
- Intermezzo Roof Terrace
- High Note Sky Bar
- Leo Budapest
- St Andrea
3) Visit ruin bars to enjoy a decadent and alternative atmosphere
- Szimpla Kert
- Instant & Fogas Ház
- Dürer Kert
- Füge Udvar
4) Let loose in the best clubs of Budapest
- Akvárium Klub
- Ötkert Club
- Morrison’s 2
By the way, don’t miss the biggest festival in Budapest this summer. After a long pandemic and several cancelations, Sziget is finally back in the summer 2022!
The lineup this year is impressive and it’s not too late to buy your ticket and have some fun with friends at the festival in August.
5) Hungarian State Opera House
If you are looking to immerse in culture and art, you should definitely visit the Hungarian State Opera House. This is a place to enjoy a breath-taking musical-dramatic performance and get inspired by the design of this opera house, it is a real masterpiece.
Take your time to explore the opera house, view paintings of Károly Lotz, Bertalan Székely, and Mór Than, statues of Franz Liszt and Ferenc Erkel. It is indeed one of the largest and most beautiful opera houses in Europe.
If you’d like to check the newest plays and book your ticket, visit the official website of State Opera House: www.opera.hu
6. Delicious Food and Amazing Restaurants for All Tastes
Best Traditional Hungarian Restaurants
- Hungarikum Bisztró (definitely order here goulash soup and roasted duck leg with braised purple cabbage)
- Frici Papa Kifőzdéje (place to eat like local, big portions for a good price)
- Getto Gulyas ( come here with your foreign friends, and don’t forget to book the tablein advance
- Tüköry Étterem (genuine Hungarian home-cooked meals & cosy atmosphere)
- Aszú Étterem (great atmosphere, live music, and stunning meal presentation
International Restaurants of Budapest
Budapest is a multicultural city and it offers all the flavors of the world. Don’t miss a chance to try something different!
- Nobu Budapest (Japanese cuisine)
- Alessio Cafe and Restaurant (Italian cuisine
- Planet Sushi Allee (Japanese cuisine)
- Dobrumba (Middle Eastern dishes)
- Byblos ( Lebanese & Levantine Cuisine)
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants of Budapest
Budapest is full of vegan cafes, and restaurants, offering plant-based burgers, soups, and delicious raw-vegan sweets.
These are just a few places to stop by for a mouth-watering vegan meal:
- Kozmosz Vegán Étterem
- Tökmag Vegan Street Food
- Vegan Garden
- Las Vegan’s
- Édeni Vegan
7. Relaxing Thermal Baths and Spas
These are some of the best thermal baths in Budapest:
- Széchenyi Baths
- Gellért Baths
- Rudas Baths
- Lukács Baths
- Király Baths
- Császár Baths
Széchenyi thermal bathhouse is the most popular one. In summer, it hosts Saturday night “Sparties”. You can soak up in the thermal bath while dancing to the DJ tunes.
8. Effective Public Transport System
Public Transport (BKK)
The pubic transport is maintained by the Budapesti Közlekedési Központ (BKK). You can purchase your ticket via BKK app, called BudapestGO. Except for a single ticket, there are one-day, three-day, and weekly passes that can be used for different modes of transportation.
You can learn more about prices and types of passes here.
Budapest has an efficient and reliable public transport system. It includes trams, buses and trolleybuses, subways, and ferries.
Budapest is a very comfortable city to live in, and a car is not necessary.
Taxis in Budapest
If you need to get to a specific destination, which is off the public transportation routes, just grab a taxi.
The Bolt app is the easiest way to have a taxi ride.
You can also use the services of companies like Főtaxi and CityTaxi.
Bikes and Scooters
In Budapest, it is easy to get around the city by bike and e-scooter. You just have to download an app, register, add funds and unlock the nearest vehicle you see on the map.
20 HUF/minute; monthly pass (500 HUF); annual pass (5000 HUF); you can leave your bike at any of the numerous BUBI stations available.
You have to pay a base charge of 250 HUF, and then 50 HUF/ minute.
Beware of “no parking zones” to avoid a fine. These are parts of District 5, Castle district, Margaret Island.
3) IMO TIER:
To unlock the e-scooter, you have to pay the fee of 250 HUF, and then 50 HUF/ minute.
9. High-Quality Healthcare at Reasonable Rates
Healthcare in Hungary is good, and in Budapest, you can find many hospitals with English-speaking staff.
The state-owned hospitals may have some old-fashioned equipment, but at the private hospitals in Budapest, you can receive decent treatment at a reasonable price. The only downside of private hospitals is that they may not have emergency resuscitation teams.
These are some private hospitals to consider if you have a health problem:
- Buda Health Center
- Emineo Magánkórház
- Globe Medical Center Magánrendelő
- Szent Lukács Private Hospital
- Péterfy Kórház (for emergencies)
Orthodontics and dentistry are on the next level in Budapest. Many people come from other EU countries for high-quality dental services at affordable costs. It can be literally twice cheaper than in the USA, the UK, and Scandinavian countries.
Note: No matter how affordable the prices may seem, it is still important to have insurance. Some treatments are quite expensive.
10. International English-Speaking Schools and Daycare Centers
International Schools in Budapest
If you’re moving to Budapest with the family, you don’t have to worry about school for kids. There are a number of international English schools for children of expats.
- Britannica International School (National Curriculum for England)
- British International School Budapest (National Curriculum for England
- Greater Grace International School of Budapest ( American curriculum & American High School Diploma)
- Budapest British International Academy (School-developed curriculum)
- Lycée Français Gustave Eiffel de Budapest (French curriculum; Brevet, a kind of GCSE)
English-Speaking Kindergartens in Budapest
In the 2nd and 12th districts, you can find English-speaking kindergartens for your children. In the other parts of the city, there are some options for children.
These are some options you may consider:
- Apple Tree Kindergarten (for 1.5 – 6 y.o. children
- The English Garden (for children from 4 months to 7 y.o.)
- Planet Kids’ Kindergarten (for 2-5 y.o. kids)
- Under the Rainbow (for children from 14 months to 6 y.o.)
Is Budapest Good for American Expats?
Yes, Budapest is a great city for American expats.
- According to the latest country scores, Hungary has a high level of English Proficiency.
- The cost of living is much lower than in many cities in the USA.
- You won’t be lonely cause there is a large expat community and a lot of events to visit.
- If you move to Budapest with your family, your children can go to one of the popular among expats international schools.
- There are a lot of co-working spaces and coffee shops with strong Wi-Fi, which is important for every digital nomad.
Although it might be harder to make good friends with locals, and the Hungarian language is very hard, life in Budapest is very comfortable for American expats.
How to Apply for Digital Nomad Visa in Hungary?
If you’d like to stay in Budapest longer than 90 days, you should apply for a digital nomad visa in Hungary.
It is known as the White Card.
If you’re a business owner or working for a company outside Hungary, you’re eligible to apply for the White Card.
Holders of the White Card can stay in Hungary for one year, and then they can renew it for one more year.
Requirements for a White Card
- Valid Passport
- Proof of Remote Work
- Minimum income amount should be 2,000€/month (you’ll have to submit bank statements from the previous six months)
- Health insurance coverage for the duration of your visa
- Proof of accommodation in Hungary (a lease or sale agreement)
When you have all the necessary documents, schedule an appointment at the Embassy of Hungary (you should be outside Hungary to apply).
On the day of the appointment, you will go through a brief interview and submit your application.
Within 30 days you will receive a response.
As soon as you get your visa, you can travel to Hungary. The final step is to visit Directorate General for Aliens Policing and apply for a residence permit.
And voilà – you can take your time and enjoy your stay in Budapest as long as your visa is vali