- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Budapest Guide (PDF)
Budapest is a beautiful and inspiring city that is fast regaining its status as a creative hub in the heart of Europe. With incredible architecture and a rich cultural heritage, Hungary’s capital deserves its reputation as the 'Paris of Central Europe'. The picturesque setting on both sides of the Danube, the nine connecting bridges and the villas and historic public buildings all make Budapest easily one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.
Shopping in Budapest
For the shopaholic who wants a bit of everything, the malls in Budapest have a lot to offer. Some of the most popular include the WestEnd City Center, Corvin Plaza and the Mammut Shopping and Entertainment Centre, where a combination of familiar international brands and local shops can be found.
While there are many international brands in Budapest, young Hungarian designers offer an exciting shopping alternative. Király Street is known as Budapest's 'Design Street'. Here, expats can visit local fashion boutiques and browse the numerous home design shops full of locally made furniture.
Nightlife in Budapest
Hungarian wine is highly underrated and, aside from the well-known Tokaji, the country boasts several great wines. Expats can head to the city’s numerous wine bars to sample various blends in beautiful surroundings, such as the area around the famous St Stephen's Basilica.
Expats in Budapest should be sure to try out the city’s infamous 'ruin' bars. Built in abandoned properties in Budapest's old Jewish Quarter, these bars have taken a largely minimalist approach to their settings and have become a defining symbol of Budapest culture. Each bar has its own distinct personality, with an eclectic mix of art and design, and diverse music and decor.
Eating out in Budapest
Expats looking to eat out in Budapest should banish all images of grey and unappetising goulash, as the city has an amazingly wide array of restaurants catering to all budgets and palates. Downtown offers the most variety, where expats can find almost anything.
Those looking for global flavours will be spoilt for choice, as the city offers many international restaurants, including Mexican, Italian, Chinese and American. Those who are in the mood for something local can sample authentic Hungarian cuisine, which is famed for its stews and pastries.
Drinking coffee is a serious business in Budapest and, as such, there are many great coffee houses in the city where expats can sit and savour their favourite roasts. Downtown Budapest houses many coffee shops and cafés that are always full of locals, students and entrepreneurs, and can be a perfect place to meet new people.
►For information on how best to get around the city, see Getting Around in Budapest
"There’s great energy in Budapest; I’ve been way more productive here than anywhere else I’ve lived. There’s so much to see and do; something new around every corner. That’s probably what I like most – the surprises. I’ve been here more than three years and I’m still discovering new places." Read more about Irish expat Mary's experiences in Budapest.
Are you an expat living in Budapest?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Budapest. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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