Cost of Living in Budapest, Hungary

Most of the people think that the name Budapest derives from two names of two smaller cities which had merged together as long as a century ago.

The early historic traces date back to the day when three cities of Buda, Pest, and Obuda united.

Currently, Budapest consists of many districts which are either calm and green or noisy and urban.

There is also an Old City and the modern parts of Budapest where the cost of living is comparatively low.

Local people live far from the urban area while the downtown and the Old city have lots of expensive accommodation.



In Budapest, there is a place for everyone in the authentic restaurants with traditional goulash soup or luxurious establishments with chef foods in tiny portions.

There are lots of budget eateries, bistros, and cafes with a daily menu.

Small restaurants accept cash only which is often an issue for those using cards.



Local goods, foods, and gifts are always best to buy in the local markets.

Unlike many European countries, the markets can be open on Sundays and this makes shopping even more pleasant and convenient.

The oldest food market in the center is the most popular among locals and tourists who live nearby.

You can try and buy national food, fresh products, and lots of spices at low prices.



Getting around Budapest is made comfortable thanks to the logical network of public transport.

You can travel cheaply by using a bicycle, or by walk.

Metro lines, trams, buses and trolley buses are at your disposal.

Traveling in Budapest can be much on a budget if you buy a monthly pass.



Monthly utilities are rather high.

There are more than 28 companies providing either water supply, or gas and electricity.

In terms of the average salaries and rental prices, utilities take a big portion of a family budget.

Although, the Internet and mobile phone are very cheap.

Sports and leisure


In Budapest, you can get involved in an impressive variety of sports and leisure activities.

The main peculiar feature of Budapest which depicts all the country is thermal baths.

You can visit numerous spa and wellness centers, go shopping, have a walk or ride a bicycle in a park, do the Danube river cruise, roller-skate, or ice-skate.

Clothing and shoes


More than ten large shopping centers in Budapest offer you the best things they have.

You can buy clothes and shoes in modern shops at higher prices or go to the markets and chain stores to get discounts and special offers.

The prices are lower than in most EU countries.

Rent per month


The rental fees for accommodation in Budapest are rather affordable.

There is a wide choice of flats in every district of the city.

The price will much depend on the chosen region and the type of accommodation.

Most of the apartments are rented out fully furnished with all the possible conveniences.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Budapest

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $6.41
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $1.78
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.78
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $0.85
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.81
Eggs (12) $1.89
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $1.25
Monthly Pass $33.84
Gasoline $1.39
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $170.79
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.10
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $14.40
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $41.84
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $13.23
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $6.41
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $69.51
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $32.57
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $85.70
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $542.09
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $396.77
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $989.13

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Budapest?

The largest portion of the money is traditionally given to the markets.

With lots of delicacies at affordable prices, fresh food, unique antique things, souvenirs, and national clothing, the markets play a big role in the life of Hungarians.

This sounds like a custom to meet in the market, sit in one of the local cafes and have something delicious before filling your shopping bags.

The other big thing is the monthly rent.

After you have made a deposit of 1-3 months of renting, the apartment is fully at your disposal and the landlord receives 26% of your income which is left after visiting the markets.

Transportation and food are cheap, but locals still spend much on these items.

What is less popular here in terms of spending money on, is clothing, shoes, and sports.

Although the latter are paid much more attention.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Budapest: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

The national minimum wage set for entire Hungary and Budapest, in particular, is $566.7 per worker per month.

The experienced and well-qualified employees often receive more than that and more than an average monthly salary after tax payments or $840.59.

The mortgage loan is not likely to be given to foreigners without Hungarian citizenship and the EU salary.

The interest rate is 5.27% which is much higher than in many EU countries, but it is still affordable for many locals who have decent salaries.

If you are a foreigner working for an international company in Hungary and having a long-term salary which is eligible for the mortgage programme, you’ll then be able to buy the property.

Average Salary$840.59
Minimum Wage$566.7
Mortgage Interest Rate5.27%

Cost of Living by City in Hungary

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Budapest 43.74
Debrecen 38.05
Szeged 38.41

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