Cost of Living in Budapest

The price of everyday life in Budapest – eating out, grocery shopping, housing, childcare, transportation vs.average local wages. (Hint: don’t try this on local wages.) 

Average salaries were so embarrassingly low the government ordered them to go up. Yes, like that. Next month the statistical office happily announced that they have indeed grown by some 14% year-on-year. To this.

Budapest salaries and mortgage financing

Sadly, property prices have ballooned in the same time, so don’t even try buying on a local salary.

price of buying apartment Budapestprice of renting in Budapest

600 a month in take-home pay is fine – now try to enroll a child to kindergarten. If you find a place.

price of childcare Budapest

Utility prices are way above European prices – thanks to government price control and the state profiteering on a non-competitive market.

price of utilities Budapest

price of leisure Budapest

Clothing prices are the exact same as anywhere else in Europe. Chain stores even use the same price tags with the current exchange rates. The only difference is the sales. There are no crazy sales periods, prices never plummet for clearance like you are used to in Western Europe.

At sales time, a completely new set of clothes appear in chain stores. They find some trash in some forgotten dungeon and try to sell it here. That cute dress you saw last week but decided to wait for the sales? That won’t even be in the store.

price of clothing Budapest

Public transportation is below, and keep in mind that taxi tariffs are also subject to government price controls – and thus very expensive. There is no Uber to get around them and taxis are now scarce, thanks to regulation. You might not be able to find a single car in the middle of the city in the middle of the day. (UPDATE – From July 1, 2018, taxi prices below went up by 55% thanks to a government decree.)

price of transportation Budapest

Grocery shopping is average. Prices are ordinary, European prices, but the selection caters to poorer consumers. grocery shopping prices Budapest

And finally, some restaurant prices. This, of course varies in a wide range – but at least there is something that is cheap. So Budapest can live up to its reputation.

restaurant price Budapest

Feel free to add your own data in the comments or to the database.

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Featured image: Zsolt Hlinka

5 thoughts on “Cost of Living in Budapest

  1. Pingback: Moving to Hungary | Meanwhile in Budapest

  2. Where did the numbers on rent come from? I am looking now and I wish I could get a one bedroom in the city center for 550. More like 670-750, plus the bills.


    • Indeed, those numbers look a bit last year. Literally, last year.
      According to the database of a major rental website (there is no official statistics) Budapest rental prices have doubled in the last two years.


  3. Pingback: Where Is the iPhone X the Most Expensive in the World? | Meanwhile in Budapest

  4. Pingback: Living in Hungary as an Expat | Meanwhile in Budapest

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