If there’s one question we get asked more than any other it’s ‘Why Budapest?’ – and sure, perhaps it’s not an obvious choice like Berlin, Paris, or London. But even if you overlook the obvious benefits – such as its lower costs – you’ll find plenty more reasons for Budapest’s increasing popularity with tourists, expats and businesses alike.
Central European Location
The capital city is no more than a three-hour flight to anywhere on the continent and the majority of Europe’s low-cost airlines have regular routes to Budapest. Many of us here at clovio are fanatical travelers – whether for work or for fun – and having Europe on our doorstep via plane, train, or car is perfect for us.
Budapest is certainly on the rise thanks to numerous multinational companies flocking to the city and its well-known startup culture that has resulted in some of tech’s most innovative and exciting companies. As such it’s a place rife with variety: you’ll meet the whole spectrum of foreigners and there are a number of fun social events that cater to this lifestyle.
Budapest provides for any sort of sport, whether that’s kayaking on the Danube, running around the purpose-built track on Margaret Island, or hiking up to the top of János Hill. There are even special events, too, like marathons, the Santa Speedo Run, or I Bike Budapest for those who enjoy the social excitement of larger-scale sporting events.
Things to Do, See & Eat
When summer rolls around there’s little more enjoyable than a refreshing fröccs (wine spritzer) or relaxing in the sunshine at any of the well-maintained parks but, even so, Budapest is constantly offering something new to do. Numerous musical and gourmet festivals – some of which are free – cover every possible interest, while a burgeoning gastronomic scene means you won’t struggle to find some new and intriguing cuisine to try.
Safe & Social
While any major city is bound to have its issues, Budapest is actually one of the safer places to live in thanks largely to its eclectic and popular nightlife. And while Hungarians might initially appear standoffish and moody, offer up a welcoming glass of pálinka and you’ll soon find them to be some of the friendliest people you’ll meet.
Ask anyone that has visited Budapest and they’ll likely point to the beautiful, ornate architecture of the city as being one of its most standout aspects. And it’s not just the obvious highlights like the intricate workings of the parliament building, the inspiring lights of Chain Bridge, or the colorful tiled roof of Mathias Church either – practically any ordinary street you walk down in the city is filled with elegant stucco-clad facades and hidden sculptures.
And the Drawbacks…
Let’s be honest, every city has its issues and Budapest is no different. While it’s undoubtedly a great place to live, there are some things to consider if you really are thinking about living and working in Hungary.
With a population of roughly two million people and the traffic that comes with it, Budapest has a poor level of pollution primarily because all those fumes struggle to wrest themselves from the basin that the city sits in. This is understandably a concern and while it’s much better to live in the hills of Buda, the homes there are more expensive and better suited to families.
Registering as living in Hungary is not a simple process, mostly because of the apparent Hungarian love of paperwork. And even if you do succeed, finding a doctor or dentist isn’t exactly an easy task to undertake. Thankfully we’ve had quite a bit of experience with these challenges at clovio and have learnt of some of the best methods to overcome such hurdles.
Hungarian is notorious for being one of the hardest languages to learn; it’s crammed full of complicated grammatical rules, the majority of its words are unlike any European language, and even the word order is tough to grasp. While you’ll no doubt want to properly integrate yourself when moving to the country, at least in Budapest the panic is not so intense since it’s quite easy to get by with just English.