Budapest Expat Information
What is the Expat life in Budapest like? Where can I find like-minded people? There are several questions that all people ask themselves when they start their Expat adventure which I try to answer in this article and also give information and ideas for all Expats in Budapest. No matter if you are coming to Budapest in near future or if you are a long time Expat living here since years you will be able to take out the information you need and ask or answer questions.
Budapest Expat Life
Budapest has a large Expat community with many people from for example the UK, Germany, Netherlands but also Portugal, China or the USA. Therefore it is fairly easy to live a decent Expat life in Budapest as there are many like-minded people to meet and get a connection to others through the job, sports or specially for Expats organized meetings. Also Hungarians are fairly open to international people and do speak foreign languages so it is not hopeless to organize your daily life as an expat.
However Hungarian bureaucracy can be a painful experience without Hungarian language knowledge but luckily there are many helpful Hungarians who offer their time to help foreigners out. One important tip though is to start learning Hungarian as early as possible and speak a few words, more than the typical “Hello” or “Cheers”, because Hungarians do appreciate the efforts.
Working and Living in Hungary
As an expat in Budapest you most probably are coming for work. If on a contract in your home country you will get paid the wages of your home country and do not really need to care about salary levels in Hungary however it is good to have a rough understanding of what Hungarians or foreigners on local contracts earn. The average net income in Hungary is around 120.000 HUF per month which is currently around 400€, yes that’s right 400€. However this is all over Hungary and in the country side the wages are lower and in Budapest usually higher as you might have expected. But this should give you a rough indication about the wage level your fellow colleagues are earning.
Living in Hungary, though it gets more and more expensive, is still under the level of Western Europe. I have written an article about the Cost of Living in Budapest which gives you some good indication about prices you can expect here. I tried to give an insight into several parts of live such as daily cost like transportation / mobility, cost for food and drinks, cost for entertainment and leisure, personal care and housing costs. Make sure you have a look and read the article. If you have any questions or need more detailed information feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment.
Budapest Expat Guide & Tips
Unfortunately there is not that one guide that will help you through all situations of your Expat life as it strongly depends on different factors such as you origin, the time you spend here or what you are looking for. Some Expats are in Budapest for 6 months and just want to get over it, others come alone for several years and need like-minded people to enjoy their time here.
See this entire article as your first guide to a great Expat life in Budapest with tips and tricks for the time of your stay. However there is some information many Expats are craving for for examples typical places Expats meet in, sports activities you can join, events or specially for expats organized meetups.
Typical Expat Bars
Expats and international people of course do go to many different bars, pubs and clubs all over Budapest which are mostly visited by Hungarians. However there are a few places in the city that are very well visited by expats from different countries with the motive to meet other expats, preferably from their country of origin, to exchange news and thoughts abroad. Here are a few bars that are very frequented among expats from all around the world:
Pure live sports! Champs Sportsbar in Budapest is one of the most popular sports bars in Budapest. Several screens fill a big location with above average priced but excellent food like meat, pasta or fish. The menu contains a calorie table including the work out required to get the dish off. You also can weight you in Champs Sports bar Budapest just like a boxer. Champs offers different sports on different screens to watch. The wine list is very large as well as the selection of beer. Adress: Dohány Utca 20 District 6 Budapest Phone: +36 (1) 413 1655 Or visit the Champs Sports Bar website. ￩ ￫ x × Previous Next
Live music, bar, restaurant, disco! Old Mans music pub in Budapest is one of the places that is full of expats. You enter a small door and would not guess the size of Old Mans because it is very large. Entirely in the cellar of a normal living house Old Man’s music Pub gives you everything from food over drinks and girls to club atmosphere on the dancefloor. In the afternoon or evening you can have a dinner with some beer. Old Man’s offers a big variety of food like pasta, pizza, salads, meat dishes, desserts and much more. I have never tried the food there so I don’t want to judge it but Old Man’s is more known as a live music and party pub than a gourmet place. Later at night the Pub gets very crowded every day. If you don’t know where to go on a tuesday evening because no club is open you always can jump into Old Man’s. It is free and it is always full with…
Irish cats meet Hungarian chicks! The Irish Cat Pub in Budapest is at Kalvin ter in the center of Budapest. Usually many expats run around in Irish Cat Pub and so do a lot of girls. Every event like Halloween or Easter is celebrated with special parties and typical music. But besides drinking and party the Irish Cat Pub in Budapest offers food as well. Typical american food like Burgers, Chicken Wings or other junk food but also pizza or salads are served. But famous is the Irish Cat Pub for long parties on the weekends with a lot of expats from all over the world. The pub turns into a club and people are dancing, drinking and having fun. It is always a blast in there if you like 80’s music and the typical expat bars in Budapest than Irish Cat Pub is the place to go for you. Adress: Múzeum krt. 41 District 5, Budapest Phone: (+36-1) 266-4085 Or visit the website ￩ ￫ x × Previous Next
Welcome Scotsman! Caledonia in Budapest is an authentic Scottish Pub offering beer from home for any Scotsman. The ambience in Caledonia is very nice as it is like a Scotish pub in the middle of Budapest. You get served Scottish beers, foods and other things from home. Next to your beer you get all kinds of sports offered in TV which lets the pub Caledonia become the home of British people. The big advantage Caledonia has compared to other pubs such as the Irish Cat Pub or Becketts is that you feel like home and not among a mass of Hungarians, Germans or Chinese. Come into Caledonia if you are an expat or just want to have an Scottish beer on your weekend trip. Adress: Mozsár utca District 6, Budapest Phone: (+36-1) 311-7611 Or visit the website ￩ ￫ x × Previous Next
Sports for Expats in Budapest
Football with Germans, Rugby with English or Baseball with Americans? No problem, in Budapest there are many expat sport opportunities to play sports with fellow countrymen and also Hungarians speaking your language. Sports is a great way to make friends, stay fit and meet people from your home country. If you are in charge of a sports team and you are looking for new members please feel free to contact me with information about when and how often you meet and of course your contact possibilities so I can add you here.
In Budapest there are many meetings especially for expats to bring together for example businesses or people with the same interest. These meetings occur occasionally and not always regularly and are communicated via channels like Facebook or Meetup. Therefore it is hard to summarize them and keep up to date with them but you can also ask at your embassy for meetups with like minded people from your home country.
Events are a great way to meet other expats from around the world. No matter if a party, a concert or a festival you can meet foreign people everywhere and connect with them. Find below the next 3 upcoming events in Budapest:
A Celebration of Spring in Budapest – The 34th Budapest Spring Festival
Venue: Various locations in Budapest
Venue: Budapest, Italian Cultural Institute
Electronic beats at Lake Balaton
Venue: Zamárdi Beach
Budapest Expat Jobs
With many international companies operating in Budapest the capital of Hungary can be considered as a hub in Easter Europe. Central location, fairly low labor costs and good education are the main reasons for multinationals to open up offices in Budapest. Vodafone, Emirates, Deutsche Telekom, you name them all have large offices in Budapest with well paid jobs that do not require Hungarian native language skills.
Check out the 10 most recent job openings in Budapest:
Budapest Expat Blog
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