Cost of Living in Hungary
The cost of living in Hungary is on a par with, or just below, that of other European countries. The larger cities, particularly Budapest, are more expensive than countryside towns; however, a general rule of thumb is that buying local produce will cost less. That being said, Western brands are available and are not exorbitantly expensive compared with prices back home. Expats tend to earn higher salaries than their Hungarian counterparts, which affords them a better quality of life.
As with most destinations, the primary expense facing expats in Hungary is accommodation. This is especially the case for those living in urban areas, such as Budapest. It is not unheard of for residents of Budapest so spend more than half their monthly salary on rent and household maintenance. Naturally, the cost of accommodation in Hungary will largely depend on the location, size and condition of the residence.
The next largest expense for most people in Hungary is food, which accounts for approximately a quarter of the average Hungarian resident’s monthly salary. While it is true that foodstuffs are more expensive in the city, a substantial amount of money can still be saved by purchasing locally grown goods.
Expats with children who are well versed in Hungarian can benefit from the free public school system, which will eliminate a substantial expense. Those keener on international schooling for their young ones, however, will have to deal with the predictably high school fees of international schools. Education can be one of the largest expenses for expats in Hungary.
Healthcare should not be too considerable an expense for expats in Hungary, as anyone working in Hungary can make use of its free or highly subsidised healthcare services. The quality of healthcare in Hungary is on par with most countries in Western Europe and it is even making a name for itself as a prominent medical tourism destination. Private healthcare in Hungary is of a high standard and relatively cheap compared to that of western countries.
The 2014 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranked Budapest at 135nd out of 214 countries.
Cost of living in Hungary chart (Based on Budapest, 2014)
|Furnished two bedroom apartment||HUF 200,000|
|Unfurnished two bedroom apartment||HUF 150,000|
|Dozen eggs||HUF 510|
|Milk (1 litre)||HUF 280|
|Rice (1 kg)||HUF 300|
|Loaf of white bread||HUF 180|
|Chicken breasts (1kg)||HUF 1,500|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)||HUF 960|
|Big Mac meal||HUF 1,400|
|Coca Cola (500ml)||HUF 300|
|Bottle of beer (local)||HUF 500|
|Three course meal at a mid-range restaurant||HUF 4,000|
|Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)||HUF 35|
|Internet (Uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)||HUF 4,500|
|Basic utilities (Average per month for standard household)||HUF 53,500|
|Bus fare in the city centre||HUF 350|
|Gasoline (per litre)||HUF 420|