You have decided to change your life and move to one of the great European cities. The exciting question is – which one? You’re wondering if moving to Budapest is the right step for you because you’re attracted to its beauty, the past, the culture, the food. Continue reading to discover the good and maybe not-so-good sides to this decision, but in any case, you might need some help with your move to Europe.
History of the city
Budapest is a very old city, with the archaeological evidence supporting the claim that it was there during Roman times. It underwent many, many changes over the course of the centuries, which have made it the historical and cultural gem it is today. The history of the city can be seen everywhere, and if you move to Budapest, you’ll be able to learn about its turbulent past – the Turkish Empire, the Golden Age, the World Wars, and the revival.
It can all be seen in the streets, some cobbled, some modern; the buildings and the wonderful architecture including Gothic (the famous Országház, the Parliament) and many other styles.
Back to reality – paperwork
Remember the not-so-good sides? This is one of them. In order to be able to live in Budapest, you’ll need to do a lot. The process of getting a visa is tiring and complicated, and you’ll also need proof of employment, an apartment, and health insurance. Make sure you learn all about moving to Hungary beforehand so you don’t face pesky surprises regarding the paperwork.
It’s not as bad as it seems – people in Budapest are incredibly kind and helpful, it’s a cultural thing. English is spoken almost everywhere, and the overall system works just fine. You just need to be patient.
Moving to Budapest – where am I going to live?
Budapest consists of 23 districts, called kerület (with no logical order on the map). It used to be three cities, Óbuda (Old Buda), Buda, and Pest until they merged about two centuries ago.
Some of the most popular include:
- District 2: some call it ”the Beverly Hills of Budapest”, since it’s gorgeous but also very, very expensive
- Újbuda, or the New Buda – the urban 11th district of the city you might want to check out prior to moving to Budapest
- District 5, Belváros is where the young people choose to live considering its relative closeness to the partying places
- District 14, Zuglo might be a good option for those looking for a quieter and greener place to live
In general, people often opt for the Buda side since it’s the urban one, but also a lot quieter and less crowded with tourists.
Yes, but where?
Depending on whether you’re about to move to Hungary on your own or with a family, you’ll want different things from your future home. In general, people choose apartments over houses because of the lower costs. As always, downtown is more expensive. Whatever you choose, make sure you sign a contract, and explore all your options.
Finding a job
It’s all fun and games if you’re moving to Budapest because of a job. Naturally, it’s not a piece of cake to relocate your business to Europe, but it’s still easier than coming unemployed.
On the other hand, if you’re coming and you’re about to find a job, it complicates things a little bit. Depending on your area of expertise, try searching for online communities, and remember: meet as many people as you can. Someone will know a guy who knows a guy who needs you. Don’t give up!
Live a little
When you’ve sorted out all the major things regarding moving to Budapest – the place, the job, the residence, and work permit, it’s time to actually get to know the city that’s becoming your home.
Budapest is well-known for its incredibly rich social and cultural life. There’s a festival of something every now and then, numerous celebrations (nothing is open on these days so make sure you’ve done your groceries shopping) and holidays. Moving to Europe in spring is great – moving to Budapest is amazing at any time of the year.
You’ll find out soon after you move to Budapest that it’s famous for its ruin pubs. These are charming, quaint little places with vibrant energy where you can try all kinds of coffees, teas, and other drinks. Plus, they’re intentionally Instagrammable.
They are also great places to meet new people and maybe even form friendships.
As already said, Budapest is a wonderful mixture of cultural and historical places. Be a tourist for a while and check them out – The Parlament (it’s open for visitors once a year), the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Citadel, the Heroes’ Square – the possibilities are nearly endless.
It’s impossible not to know this – Budapest is a city of amazing food. Hungarians are gourmands and most of their food is what we call comfort food or food for the soul. Don’t miss out on goulash, their trademark chimney cake, and in summer, don’t let it surprise you if someone offers you a cold fruit soup.
For those of you who prefer healthy meals, you can find almost all fruit and vegetables all year long in larger grocery stores or markets.
Some practical benefits to life in Budapest
You might think that, because of the language barrier, you’ll never be able to fit in and find a way to get around. However, a nice surprise you’ll see after you start living in Budapest is that it’s a very approachable city. The street and traffic signs may be in Hungarian, but the city is very well organized.
An amazing aspect of the city is its transportation system, which you’ll see right upon moving to Budapest. You can get anywhere in a short while, and you can get one monthly pass for all the means of transportation: trams, buses, trolleys, even boats! The lines are very easy to remember and the stations are named after clearly visible buildings and street names.
So, relax and start exploring!