Cost of Living in Hungary: Guide for Residents & Expats

Hungary is in the middle of Europe, particularly famous for its rich history, stunning architecture, and crystal-clear lakes. Its capital city is Budapest. Hungary mixes cultures from the Roman, Ottoman, and Hungarian times. It is also known for its food, music, festivals, and beautiful views.
If you want to live in the old world and see the charm of the European continent, is there a better place than Hungary? Living there is steeping yourself in a rich culture that retains its beauty through the centuries. But before you make the jump, you might want to know the expense to expect when living in Hungary

In this article, we'll cover all types of costs you'll face living in this country, breaking them down into categories.

What is the Cost of Living in Hungary?

Before you move to this country, you should have an idea of how it is to live there. On average, you are likely to spend $682.6 – $1,352.57 per month. However, this cost highly depends on your preferences and lifestyle. Renting an apartment in the countryside is much cheaper than buying a new home in the city. Also, choosing between public or private services can impact how much you spend.

Let us dive deeper into the cost of living in Hungary!

Cost of Housing 

One of the major expenses of living in Hungary is housing. However, that cost depends on the kind of housing you want ― condo, villa, or castle.
Whether you choose to rent or buy will also affect your budget. And of course, cities like Budapest have beautiful houses - both modern and more traditional. Even the towns near Budapest have similar levels of quality houses. Meanwhile, houses in the countryside are cheaper.

While the average cost of rent is $300 – $1,028, you may spend as much as $11,100,000 to buy a villa in this country.

Here is a breakdown of housing costs:

Housing Type Average Cost
Buy  Large House $553,204.00 – $11,100,000+
Buy  Smaller New House $30,000.00 – $118,106.74
Buy  Smaller Old House $60,000 – $100,000
Rent 1 Bedroom Apartment in the City Centre $300 – $555.80
Rent 3 Bedroom Apartment in the City Center $580 – $1,028

Cost of Utilities

The cost of utilities refers to the expenses tied to the services you receive in your home, such as electricity. On average, if you live in this country, you can expect your utility bill to range between $93.00 and $175.08. This total takes into account: 

  • Heating
  • Internet Connection 
  • Electricity
  • Phone Calls
  • Gas
  • Cooling
  • Water
  • Garbage Collection

Cost of Food

In this country, fresh food is inexpensive, and some restaurants offer meals as low as $6.95. Hungary is home to many deluxe restaurants, such as the Michelin-star Onyx Restaurant, Costes, and Borkonyha. In such restaurants, you can expect meals to cost above $138.95.

Here's how much you'll pay at a restaurant for one person:

  • Expensive Restaurant: $63.92 – $138.95+
  • Medium Restaurant: $23.62 – $25.00
  • Inexpensive Restaurant: $6.95 – $9.72

Cost of Transportation

When it comes to the cost of living in Hungary, you should consider the cost of your vehicle, the importation taxes, and which type of fuel it takes. In particular, gas prices fluctuate. According to reports, this might be a reason why electric cars are on the rise in this country. 

And if you wish, you can use the country's excellent infrastructure with their monthly passes. These passes give you access to the country's tram, bus, and boat systems and Budapest's metro lines.

Here are the transportation costs:

Transportation Cost
Gas (0.264 gal) $1.70 – $1.81
Taxi (per hour) $1.11 – $1.22
One-Way Ticket $1.11 – $1.25
Monthly Pass $26.39

Cost of Schooling

In this country, public school is free through preschool and secondary school. Though your children must attend school until they finish their obligatory learning, you can also select a private school. This is a great option if your children are not familiar with the local language. Typically, private schools are all in Hungarian.

If you opt for the private education system, you can expect to pay around $3,445.94 – $161,118.10 per year.

Here's a breakdown of private schooling prices:

Private School Price per Year
Preschool $4,086.84 
Lower School  $4,168.47 – $161,118.10
Upper School $3,445.94 – $161,118.10
High School $3,445.94 – $161,118.10

Cost of Healthcare

In this country, there is universal healthcare, which in 2022 cost $23.34. According to studies, you could expect to pay $296.90 per capita. This might be because, though the system is available to the whole population, some may not be able to access it. For instance, if you previously did not contribute to an equivalent program, you cannot access this healthcare.
Moreover, you might need to meet some eligibility criteria, such as having a job to access free and subsidized healthcare.

Nonetheless, these demographics have free insurance in this system:

  • Children under 16
  • Parents with Babies
  • Students
  • Adults over 64
  • Low-Income People
  • Disabled People
  • Church Employees

Cost of Entertainment and Hobbies

The cost of your entertainment depends on what you prefer to do in your free time. While watching a film can cost as little as $6.94, a massage day at Gellért Bath could cost above $72.25. 

Since Hungary is a center of culture, you can choose a variety of activities. From appreciating the architecture to buying collectors' art pieces to shopping in luxury brand boutiques. 



Conclusively, the cost of living in Hungary is around $682.6 – $1,352.57 per month. In particular, utilities, public transportation, universal healthcare, and groceries are the cheapest costs. The overall expenses you'll incur while living in this country will significantly vary based on your personal preferences.

Whether you opt for a villa in a quaint town or an apartment in bustling Budapest or decide between private education for your children versus the public system, your lifestyle choices will dictate your budget. Moreover, you need to think about the great food, relaxing spas, and interesting places to visit when planning your budget.

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