"Come back!" the lady at the transportation desk in the Budapest airport called out to us with a smile as...Read more
Capital City: Budapest
Climate: Continental Climate
International Dialing Code: +36
President: Janos Ader
One of the oldest countries in Europe, Hungary is a destination with a complex history, beautiful architecture, rich cultural traditions, and thermal baths galore. Since joining the EU in 2004, tourism has become one of Hungary’s primary sources of income, with millions of tourists arriving every year to admire this country’s natural beauty.
Hungary is located in Central Europe and is well-connected to other European cities through excellent rail networks. Bordered by Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria, Hungary is a land-locked country offering a portal to an array of European destinations.
Hungary’s history consists of rulings by different European nations. When Austria-Hungary collapsed after WWI, Hungary declared itself an independent nation, but it would be years until it was truly sovereign. During WWII, Hungary was occupied by Germany, after which the Soviet Union took control. It wasn’t until 1991 that the last Soviet troops withdrew from the country.
Hungary became a democracy in 1989, and new rights were allowed to citizens, like property ownership. Pursuing development in service and trade, Hungary prospered and evolved into the thriving, modern nation it is today.
Hungary has a continental climate with four seasons. Summers are hot with low humidity levels, and average temperatures range from 80℉ to 95℉. Winters can be bitterly cold, with temperatures dropping as low as 32℉ to -9℉. Although these conditions suit some, they’re not for all… winter in Hungary will require picking up the snow shovel from time to time.
In Budapest, and Hungary’s other major cities, you won’t have problems speaking English and being understood by most people. Outside of these hubs and among the older generation, the same can’t be said. Language is a potential barrier to settling into life here, as integrating into the local community without speaking Hungarian is difficult.
Hungarian is a challenging language to learn. It has 35 cases, 14 different vowels, and relies heavily on idioms. It may not be worthwhile to learn if you’re living in a big city. That said, always learn the basics, like “hello”, “goodbye”, and “thank you”.
To cope with the language barrier between themselves and the locals, expats have turned to fellow non-Hungarian speakers and created steadily growing communities. Here, you’ll find expats from diverse backgrounds . The expat community interacts regularly through Facebook groups, where events and meet-ups are organized. You’ll build your social network over time by attending events that interest you.
The cost of living in Hungary is nearly 40% less than in the States. Rent, in particular, can be even lower. Real estate is incredibly cheap in rural areas, but prices increase in urban zones, especially Budapest.
Weekly groceries run at about US$55 for a couple, less if you search out locally grown produce in farmers’ markets. Avoid imported products if you are sticking to a budget as these are costly. Meals out can be as low as US$6.50 for the traditional Hungarian three-course affair (including soup, main course, and dessert).
Hungary has an excellent public transport system, and monthly passes are cheap. If you settle in one of Hungary’s cities, remove the cost of owning a car , and avail of this efficient and economic way of getting around.
Health care in Hungary is high standard and affordable. It’s starting to attract medical tourists worldwide, especially for its cheap, high-quality dental care. As an expat and even as a tourist in Hungary, you’re automatically covered for accidents, including first aid and emergency treatment.
The public health care system in Hungary has mixed reviews. Many complain about long wait times, especially for things like non-essential surgeries. Often, expats opt for a mix of public and private care, visiting private clinics when they need special treatment.
Private hospitals and clinics ensure high-quality treatment and usually have English-speaking staff. They also charger higher fees and require a cash payment at the time of service, but costs are probably less than you’re used to.
Hungary’s main international airport is Budapest Ferenc Liszt. Located 16 kms outside of the capital, it is one of the busiest airports in Central Europe. It offers connections to all major European travel hubs, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. Flying from the States to Hungary usually requires a stopover at another major European airport like Paris or Heathrow, London.
To travel from Budapest to another destination in Hungary, the national bus service, Volán, is the best option. You can also rent a car and drive if you’re up for it. Traffic in the urban areas can be heavy, and there are special road rules to be aware of, but the country is well connected by highways.
Budapest is a breathtaking city. If you’re a fan of architecture, you won’t tire of admiring the riot of architectural styles on display, which span about eight centuries.
Budapest is one of the EU’s most populated cities, with 1.8 million residents. It’s broken up into 23 districts, with the city center divided between Buda and Pest. The city is easy to navigate, you can reach all the important areas and landmarks without getting in a taxi. It’s a perfect walking city, with wide boulevards designed to resemble Paris, controlled crossings, and much to see as you go. Walking is the best way to take it all in.
Budapest is sometimes called the Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths, and for good reason. It sits on a fault line, and its nine medicinal baths are fed by over 120 hot springs. These have been enjoyed since the time of the Celts… if you live in Budapest, luxuriating in hot water could be part of your daily routine, too.
Szeged is Hungary’s third-largest city, located on the banks of the Tisza River near the country’s southeastern border. Szeged is often nicknamed “The City of Sunshine” because it has pleasant weather and receives the most sunshine in all of Hungary.
The University of Szeged is one of Hungary’s top universities and attracts students from all over the world , creating a young, dynamic vibe in the city. Because it’s a university town, Szeged has lively nightlife, with lots of quirky bars and nightclubs dotted around the city.
Many people who settle in Szeged choose to do so because of the city’s size. Its smallness means Szeged has everything you need within walking distance, yet it maintains cosmopolitan energy.
Dual citizenship is a complex and unique legal status that offers an array of unique benefits to the holder. Not all countries offer dual citizenship, but the US does. In some special cases, dual citizenship is automatic, such as a child born in the US to parents who are residents of a foreign country or a child of a US citizen born in a foreign country. Some countries grant citizenship through legal processes such as through a marriage to a...Read more