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Cost of Living in Budapest: A Guide on Expected Expenses

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Cost of Living in Budapest : A Guide on Expected Expenses (1)

Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary, a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is a vibrant and culturally rich city that offers a unique blend of history, architecture, cuisine, and nightlife. The cost of living in Budapest for a single person is around HUF 264,437 without rent.

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Budapest is also a popular destination for international students who want to experience a different side of Europe while pursuing their academic goals. But how much does it cost to live in Budapest as a student? This blog will explore the cost of living in Budapest and why you should consider studying in this beautiful city. So, let’s begin our discussion without any further delay.

Cost of Living in Budapest for Expats

The cost of living in Budapest is around HUF 494,437, including rent and it can vary depending on various factors, such as your lifestyle, preferences, and needs. However, to give you an idea of how much you can expect to spend in Budapest as a student, we have compiled a table with some average monthly costs of living in Budapest for various categories:

ItemAverage Monthly Cost
1 bedroom Apartment in City CentreHUF 230,121
Food (groceries and eating out)HUF 80,000
Entertainment (cinema, pubs, etc.)HUF 40,000
Utilities and bills (electricity, water, internet, etc.)HUF 20,000
Transportation (public transport pass)HUF 10,000
TotalHUF 380,121

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Cost of Accommodation in Budapest

One of the biggest expenses for students is the cost of accommodation in Budapest, which is around HUF 230,121 in the city centre. The rent varies depending on the location, size, and condition of the apartment. Generally speaking, apartments in the city centre are more expensive than those in the outskirts and it affects the cost of living in Budapest. Also, apartments in Budapest are usually more expensive than those in Pest.

AccommodationAverage monthly rent (approx)
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreHUF 230,121
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreHUF 178,151
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City CentreHUF 399,839
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of CentreHUF 296,414

Cost of Grocery in Budapest

The Cost of groceries in Budapest is relatively low compared to other European cities, and it hardly impacts your cost of living in Budapest. The average monthly price of groceries for a student living in Budapest is about HUF 22,400. Of course, this depends on your eating habits and preferences. Here is a table with some average prices of essential food/grocery items in Budapest:

GroceriesAverage Monthly Cost (approx)
Bread (single loaf)HUF 562
Milk (1 lt)HUF 384
Cheese (1 kg)HUF 3,555
Eggs (1 dozen)HUF 872
Chicken (1 kg)HUF 2,034
Apples (1 kg)HUF 552
Oranges (1 kg)HUF 703
Bananas (1 kg)HUF 669
Tomatoes (1 kg)HUF 1,034
Potatoes (1 kg)HUF 442
Onions (1 kg)HUF 487
Water (1.5 liter) HUF 174
Rice (1kg)HUF 745

A basic lunchtime menu at a restaurant costs about HUF 4,000, while a combo meal for 2 People, at a mid-range restaurant costs about HUF 20,000. Instead, you can buy fresh and cheap produce at local markets or supermarkets. You can also find many ethnic restaurants that offer affordable and delicious food from various cuisines without affecting your cost of living in Budapest.

Cost of Entertainment in Budapest

Budapest is a lively and fun city that offers plenty of entertainment options for students. The average monthly cost of entertainment (including cinema, pubs, etc.) for a student living in Budapest is about HUF 40,000. Sometimes, you have to cut some costs to live in Budapest for entertainment. However, the following costs depend on your personal choices and frequency of going out:

Types of EntertainmentApprox Cost
Cinema ticketHUF 1,500 – HUF 2,000
Pub drinkHUF 500 – HUF 1,000
Club entry feeHUF 1,000 – HUF 3,000
Thermal bathHUF 4,400 – HUF 10,000
Museum ticketHUF 2,400 – HUF 4,000
Walking tourFree- HUF 6,000
Pinball museumHUF 4,200

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Cost of Transportation in Budapest

Budapest has an efficient and convenient public transportation system that consists of buses, trams, metro, trolleybus, and suburban railways. The cost of transportation is included in the overall cost of living in Budapest. The average monthly cost of transportation (public transport pass) for a student living in Budapest is about HUF 9,500. You can easily get around the city by using the following modes of transportation:

Mode of TransportationApprox Cost
Single ticket for bus, tram, metro, or trolleybusHUF 450
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)HUF 1,100
Block of 10 single ticketsHUF 3,000
24-hour travel cardHUF 1,650
72-hour travel cardHUF 4,150
7-day travel cardHUF 4,950
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)HUF 9,500
A monthly pass for studentsHUF 3,450
Airport shuttle bus single ticket HUF 900
Single ticket for public transport boatHUF 750

Cost of Utilities and Bills in Budapest

The cost of utilities and bills depends on the size and condition of the apartment, as well as the consumption habits of the residents. The average monthly cost for utilities and bills for an international student living in Budapest is about HUF 57,782, which is lower than the cost of living in Budapest. Moreover, it is nearly half for an international student living in a shared apartment in Budapest. Here’s an individual breakdown:

UtilitiesApprox Cost
GasHUF 14,300
ElectricityHUF 5,500
WaterHUF 3,500
InternetHUF 4,000
Local government taxHUF 9,000
Total HUF 36,300

Cost of Living in Budapest Compared to Other Cities

Budapest may be an ideal city for many students, but they should be aware that its cost of living reflects its popularity. The cost of living in Budapest is considerably higher than the national average. Therefore, it is essential for individuals to thoroughly research the cost of living in nearby regions to ensure their financial goals align with their lifestyle in Budapest.

To give you an idea of how affordable it is to live in Budapest for higher education compared to other cities, we’ve provided a cost of living (without rent) comparison with cities such as London, Prague, Vienna, Bucharest, Dublin, Warsaw, Istanbul, Barcelona, and Athens. Please take a look for your reference:

Cost of living city-wiseApprox CostsComparison Cost of Living in Budapest
Cost of Living in LondonHUF 511637Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in PragueHUF 322849Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in ViennaHUF 405803Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in BucharestHUF 255390Lower than Budapest
Cost of Living in DublinHUF 426162Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in WarsawHUF 285590Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in IstanbulHUF 224757Lower than Budapest
Cost of Living in BarcelonaHUF 306169Higher than Budapest
Cost of Living in AthensHUF 322322Higher than Budapest
Source: numbeo

Why Choose to Study in Budapest?

Budapest offers an exceptional range of world-class education programmes at its universities, along with the affordable cost of living in Budapest. There are many reasons why international students should choose Budapest to study abroad. Here are some of them:

  • Budapest is one of the most affordable cities in Europe, with a lower cost of living than many other popular study-abroad destinations. The consumer price index (excluding rent) in Budapest is 40% lower than in Paris, 35% lower than in Berlin, and 25% lower than in Prague.
  • The city has several prestigious universities that offer a wide range of programs in English, having high academic standards, international accreditations, and diverse student bodies.
  • Compared to other European countries, Hungary has relatively low tuition fees for international students. Depending on the program and the university, the average tuition fee ranges from 1,000 – 3,000 euros per year. Some scholarships and grants are also available for eligible students.
  • Budapest is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from various ethnic groups, such as Hungarians, Germans, Turks, Roma, Jews, and others. You can also enjoy the diverse cuisine, music, and nightlife of Budapest.
  • Budapest is situated on both sides of the Danube River, which divides the city into two parts: Buda and Pest. The city has stunning natural scenery, with hills, islands, parks, and gardens. You can also relax in one of the many thermal baths that Budapest is famous for.

All in all, Budapest is a great city to study abroad, as it offers high-quality education at affordable tuition fees, a low cost of living, cultural diversity, and natural beauty. As a student living in Budapest, you can expect to spend about HUF 250,000 per month on average, excluding tuition fees. You can also find ways to save money by sharing an apartment, cooking at home, or looking for discounts and deals that will definitely cut the extra cost of living in Budapest.

Relevant Reads:

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Cost of Living in Scotland: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Wakefield, UK for International Students

FAQs on Cost of Living in Budapest

Q.1. What is the cost of living in Budapest?

Ans: The average cost of living in Budapest is around HUF 264,437 without rent, and it can vary according to various factors, such as your lifestyle, preferences, and needs.

Q.2. Is it expensive to live in Budapest?

Ans: Budapest is cheaper than 79% of cities in the world. So it is not very expensive to live in Budapest compared to other places. Moreover, the cost of living in Budapest is approx HUF 264,437 without rent and it depends on various factors, such as your lifestyle, preferences, and needs.

Q.3. How much is the monthly rent in Budapest?

Ans: The average monthly rent in Budapest, in the city centre, for a single person is around HUF 230,121, and for a family, it can be around HUF 399,839.

Q.4. What is a good salary in Budapest?

Ans: The average monthly salary range in Budapest is around HUF 125,000 – HUF 2,200,000. The average salary is significantly higher than the cost of living in Budapest, which means you can live leisurely and save some money for the future.

We hope this blog provides you with all the information regarding the cost of living in Budapest. For more informative content on student life abroad, stay tuned to Leverage Edu.

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