The cost of living in Hungary is much lower than in other European countries. In fact, the stunning capital, Budapest, was ranked 180th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2022, making it far cheaper than the likes of London and Paris but more expensive than Wrocław and Minsk.

Another plus is that expats tend to earn higher salaries than their Hungarian counterparts, which affords them a better quality of life. However, as with anywhere, there are certain aspects of life that can be expensive and expats should adjust their budgets accordingly.

Cost of accommodation in Hungary

The primary expense facing expats in Hungary is accommodation. This is especially the case for those living in urban areas, such as Budapest.

Naturally, the cost of accommodation in Hungary will largely depend on the location, size and condition of the property. That said, it is not unheard of for Budapest residents to spend more than half their monthly salary on the combined cost of rent, mandatory household maintenance fees and utilities.

Cost of groceries in Hungary

After accommodation, the next biggest expense for most people in Hungary is food, which accounts for approximately a quarter of the average Hungarian's monthly salary. Expats longing for a taste of home may well find something to satiate their cravings at a Hungarian supermarket, but imported goods can be expensive. Ideally, expats should only buy local goods to bring the final grocery bill down drastically, as can shopping for fresh produce at local markets.

Cost of eating out and entertainment in Hungary

There are many good restaurants in Hungary tailored to a variety of budgets, so the amount spent on eating out really depends on an expat's preferences. It's entirely possible to eat out on a small budget, though this will, of course, cost more than cooking at home. Meanwhile, there are also fine-dining options for those looking to splurge – but most expats will only be able to afford to treat themselves to this kind of indulgence occasionally. Remember that tipping is mandatory in Hungary and should be taken into account when budgeting for the cost of eating out.

Imported wine and beer are pricey, but expats fond of a drink or two will be pleased to know that Hungarian wine and beer are of excellent quality and are much friendlier on the wallet.

Cost of transport in Hungary

Hungary's well-developed public transport system is not only convenient, but also extremely affordable. For a reasonable price, a monthly ticket can be purchased which provides access to an unlimited number of trips on trams, buses, boats and, in Budapest, the metro.

Cost of education in Hungary

Expats with children who can speak Hungarian or are young enough to pick up the language as they go can benefit from the free public school system, which will eliminate a substantial expense. Those who are keen on international schooling for their young ones, however, will have to deal with the predictably high fees charged by these schools.

Cost of healthcare in Hungary

Healthcare should not be too much of an expense for expats in Hungary, as anyone employed in the country can make use of its free or highly subsidised healthcare services. The quality of healthcare in Hungary is on par with most countries in Western Europe, and it is even making a name for itself as a prominent medical tourism destination. Private healthcare in Hungary is of a high standard and is relatively cheap compared to that of Western countries.

Cost of living in Hungary chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Budapest for November 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre 

HUF 185,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre 

HUF 144,000

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre 

HUF 345,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre 

HUF 248,000


Dozen eggs

HUF 1,052

Milk (1 litre)

HUF 414

Rice (1 kg)

HUF 638

Loaf of white bread

HUF 519

Chicken breasts (1kg)

HUF 1,869

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

HUF 2,000

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

HUF 2,200

Coca-Cola (330ml)

HUF 426


HUF 699

Bottle of beer (local)

HUF 750

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

HUF 15,000


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

HUF 29.59

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

HUF 4,945

Basic utilities (average per month for standard household)

HUF 51,270


Taxi rate/km

HUF 400

Bus fare in the city centre 

HUF 350

Gasoline (per litre)

HUF 595

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