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Hungary – Cost of Living

Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe. It is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine. Hungary is also becoming an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads and expats due to its affordability. In this article, we will explore the cost of living in Hungary, including currency, comparisons to the UK and USA, breakdown of costs, and common forms of payment.

Local Currency in Hungary

The local currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). One Forint is divided into 100 fillers, but due to inflation, fillers are no longer in circulation. There are coins in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Forints, and banknotes in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 Forints.

Cost of Living in Hungary Compared to the UK and USA

The cost of living in Hungary is generally lower than that of the UK and the USA. According to Numbeo, a website that compares cost of living in different countries, the cost of living index in Hungary is 45.03, while the UK is 69.08, and the USA is 76.86. This means that on average, it is less expensive to live in Hungary than in the UK or USA.

Breakdown of Costs in Hungary

The cost of living in Hungary can vary depending on the location and size of the household. Here is a breakdown of some of the typical costs for singles, couples, and families of four in Hungary:


Housing costs in Hungary can be affordable, especially outside of Budapest. In Budapest, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 150,000 HUF, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost around 300,000 HUF. In smaller cities or rural areas, the cost of housing can be even lower.

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Hungarian cuisine is known for being hearty and delicious. Eating out in Hungary can be affordable, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing around 1,500 HUF per person. Grocery shopping can also be affordable, with a loaf of bread costing around 250 HUF and a liter of milk costing around 300 HUF.


The cost of utilities in Hungary varies depending on the size of the household and the location. On average, electricity, water, and gas bills for a family of four in Budapest can add up to around 50,000 HUF per month. Internet and mobile phone plans are also reasonably priced, with a typical plan costing around 5,000-10,000 HUF per month.


Hungary offers a variety of leisure activities, from exploring castles to relaxing in thermal baths. Many activities in Hungary can be affordable, such as visiting public parks or museums. Paid activities such as visiting a spa, taking a boat tour, or attending a concert can cost between 2,000-10,000 HUF per person.


Public transportation in Hungary is affordable, with a one-way ticket on a bus or metro costing around 350 HUF. Taxis are also reasonably priced, with a typical 10-kilometer ride costing around 3,500 HUF. Owning a car in Hungary can be expensive due to high taxes, but gasoline prices are lower than in other European countries.


The cost of clothing in Hungary varies depending on the brand and quality. Affordable clothing options can be found at popular stores such as H&M, Zara, and C&A, with t-shirts costing around 1,500-2,000 HUF and jeans around 5,000-7,000 HUF. High-end designer clothing can be more expensive, with a designer dress costing around 30,000 HUF or more.

Household Goods

Household goods such as furniture, appliances, and electronics can be affordable in Hungary, especially if purchased second-hand. New items can also be reasonably priced, with a new refrigerator costing around 80,000-100,000 HUF and a new television costing around 50,000-80,000 HUF.

Common Forms of Payment in Hungary

Cash is still widely used in Hungary, although debit and credit cards are becoming more common, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. It is recommended to carry cash for smaller transactions such as purchasing food or drinks at a local restaurant or market. ATMs are widely available throughout the country, and credit and debit cards are accepted at most major retailers and restaurants.

In conclusion, Hungary offers an affordable cost of living compared to other European countries. Housing and food costs can be affordable, and leisure activities are often free or reasonably priced. Public transportation is also affordable, and household goods can be purchased at a reasonable cost. Cash is still widely used in Hungary, but debit and credit cards are becoming more common.