Pros and Cons of Moving to Hungary
- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Hungary Guide (PDF)
As more and more people make their way to one of the EU’s most popular destinations, many find it hard to weigh up the pros and cons of moving to Hungary.
Just like any other country, Hungary has its high points, its low points and its in-betweens. Here are some things to consider before making the big move.
Cost of living in Hungary
+ PRO: Low cost of living
As one of the most affordable European countries to live in, Hungary has a low cost of living which makes it appealing to many.
- CON: Expensive VAT
In Hungary, VAT is higher than any other country in the EU at 27%.
+ PRO: Rent can be cheap
Compared to neighbouring countries, accommodation in Hungary is affordable. There are a variety of furnished and unfurnished options, with fantastic deals waiting to be discovered.
- CON: Utilities are expensive
Maintenance and utility fees, especially heat costs during winter, can be exceedingly expensive.
Transport in Hungary
+ PRO: Getting around is easy
Transportation in Hungary is not only very reliable but also affordable – even gasoline for your own vehicle is inexpensive which makes travelling a breeze.
- CON: The roads can be dangerous
Hungarians tend to drive very fast and pedestrians don’t usually have right of way when entering a pedestrian crossing. It is important to exercise extra caution on roads whether driving or being a pedestrian.
Travel from Hungary
+ PRO: Easy travel to neighbouring European countries
Hungary's location in the centre of Europe makes it easy to travel to other European countries, especially neighbouring countries like Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania and Croatia.
Doing business in Hungary
+ PRO: Businesses save on corporate taxes
Companies can enjoy low corporate tax of 10%.
- CON: Lots of paperwork
Sometimes getting official administrative paperwork done in Hungary can be a very bureaucratic process which poses many inconveniences.
Lifestyle in Hungary
+ PRO: Fantastic sightseeing opportunities
When it comes to tourist attractions Hungry is not at all shy, showcasing an abundance of places to see and things to do. There are plenty of opportunities for enriching cultural experiences, from viewing historical monuments dating back to Roman Empires to visiting renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- CON: Hungarians can come across as ill-tempered
Perhaps as a result of Hungary's troubled history, locals tend to focus on the negatives – for example, visitors have observed the locals to rather “pile on complaints” when asked “how are you”? Hungarians are also very straightforward and may not spare your feelings.
+ PRO: Exuberant night life and eateries
Budapest showcases some excellent nightlife and entertainment like a “night party on the Danube”, fantastic festivals, the State Opera House, spa parties in the Széchenyi during summer and rejuvenating thermal baths to soothe your mind and body, to name a few. There is a wide selection of local eateries as well as regular to high-end restaurants.
- CON: Language gap
Hungarian is a very difficult language to learn, and most of the signboards are printed in Hungarian. Many of the locals in the countryside and outside of Budapest only speak Hungarian or a different language and communication may prove to be an immense challenge in certain parts of the country. Foreigners are encouraged to try and become familiar with at least some of the common phrases in Hungarian that will assist day-to-day interaction with locals.
Healthcare in Hungary
+ PRO: High quality care at a low cost
The healthcare systems in Hungary are on par with Western countries and afford quality medical care at less expensive rates compared to some other European countries.
- CON: Few English-speaking staff
Some hospital staff do not speak English at all, however, medical insurance cover for assistance at hospitals who employ English speaking nurses and doctors as well which many expats opt for.
Education in Hungary
+ PRO: A variety of great international schools to choose from
There are many well-equipped international schools based in and around Budapest. Unlike most schools in Hungary, these international schools teach in English. By following British, American or International Baccalaureate curriculums, international schools provide children with an uninterrupted schooling experience.
- CON: Expensive private and international school fees
Although public schooling in Hungary is free and of a high-quality, expats are dissuaded both by classes being in Hungarian and by the highly traditional approaches to teaching often employed in public schools. Consequently, most expats enroll their children in expensive private or international schools.