Work in Hungary | Everything you need to know
Hungarian Forint (Ft)
Hungary – their stable economy and way of constant expansion by following European Union guidelines make this place great for expats.
This beautiful country has many things to offer for expats if you’re willing to scratch the surface, with so many hidden towns and places to know inside the country you won’t get tired of it, but also their people make it the real deal here, Hungarians are hospitable and open for foreigners, they are very warm and welcoming people. On the other hand, Due to the great location, connection with the rest of Europe is easy and convenient, if you’re interested in travelling, you can visit many European countries by train from Hungary, so it’s a hard decision where to go next when you’re living in Hungary.
The choice of means of transport is big. Additionally, Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is considered to be one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe and public transport there is also well organised. If you would like to know more about living and working in Hungary, keep reading. In a few minutes, you will know everything you need for the beginning of your journey. For the ones that already decide that it’s the place for them, check our Job offers in Hungary.
Hungary is a country located in Central Europe with Budapest as a capital city. In the area of 93,030 km² lives a society of 9 730 000 people. The main language is Hungarian and it would be good to learn at least the basics of it, so you can get around easier. Their currency is Hungarian forint written as HUF or ft.
Hungary belongs to a group of countries with a continental climate. That means that summers are hot, winters are very cold and humidity level is quite low. It’s a country of plain lands characterized by three types of these, Dunántúl the highest terrain with some mountains, Duna-Tisza köze and Tiszántúl which are the great Hungarian plain. Hungary and its nature is one of the most diverse in all Europe with 10 national parks, 9 natural parks and 22 forest areas all over the country.
9 Curiosities about Hungary
- DO NOT clink your beer: In 1848 the Hungarian Revolution against the Habsburgs were defeated, ending in 13 Hungarian generals being executed and the Austrians clinking their beer after each execution. After this, Hungarians vowed to forbid the cheering from clinking their beers for 150 years, time passed but the custom stays.
- It’s one of the elders in Europe: Hungary was founded back in 895, this makes it older than France and Germany
- Cowboys people: It was very common to ride over Europe on horseback, and still today you can see this practice in Hungary
- The ‘City of Baths’: Budapest is the city with more thermal springs in the world naturally fed by 120 hot springs. Every day over 70 million litres of thermal water come up to the surface!. Many of these thermal baths date from the 16th century.
- Rubik’s cube home: Hungary is the home of many inventions like the Rubik’s cube, the ballpoint pen, holography, thermographic camera, digital computing and the first functional helicopter.
- Introductions: Using your last name during introducing yourself is a common practice in Hungary.
- Spicy Lovers: Paprika is so loved by Hungarians, it became their national spice! It even has its own museum.
- Their Pálinka: Hungarian well-known fruit alcohol drink, Pálinka, is usually made from plums, but you can also find one made from pears, apricots or cherries.
- The Land of wine: In Tokaj wine has been produced since the 5th century. It is the first in the world official wine area.
Vivid Culture in Hungary
Hungarian culture varies depending on the region. Folklore and folk music play a great role and have an influence on art even nowadays, as it is their literary heritage. Since the country has its own natural thermal springs, spa culture has been developed. But they have the folk as a lifestyle with presence also in their crafts of ceramics and embroidery, their music, costumes and dances, all of this the heart of Hungarian culture.
The Hungarian traditions and customs have been passed down through generations, so it’s a very ancient tradition we can see until this day over the country. There are special folk art demonstrations, famous all over the world, that come from the Hungarian technique, like Halas lace, from the Southern Great Plain, which is a type of needle lace or Kalocsa embroidered folk costumes, from the Kalocsa region, which has a very colourful embroidery.
All of this is something you will be able to see since their production and experience the ancient technique as traditions continue in local markets and cottages.
Cuisine in Hungary
Gastronomy is an important factor for Hungarians. It’s a combination of tradition and innovation, enriched with inspirations from other cultures. Typical Hungarian cuisine consists of dairy, cheese and meats. They love soups and both vegetable and fish ones are made based on what time of the year it is. Hungarian cuisine tends to be very spicy and well seasoned. Even though Hungarians love paprika, they are definitely not limited to it.
One of their best-known dishes are
- Hearty Gundel pancakes (filled with a mixture of walnuts and room with a sauce made from dark chocolate)
- Sweet fruit soup (served cold).
For a three-course meal for two people, you will have to pay around €28, for a local beet €1.60.
Work in Hungary
Hungary is one of the primary regional economies in the European Union, their major economic activity lies in the largest cities like Budapest, Miskolc and Debrecen, where you can find more job opportunities than the rest of the country. The financial market is the leader and the most developed economical sector, but also the technology sector is growing fast in the last years along with worldwide tendencies, so if you want to focus your career on these sectors, you’re likely to find many opportunities in Budapest.
However, for expats there are also plenty of opportunities with languages, since English is something highly sought for in the country, teaching English is a common alternative even in the less known cities in Hungary.
The Business culture in Hungary is one of the most sought ones around Europe, since EU citizens don’t need any permits to work in Hungary, there are many expats interested in to find a job in Hungary for its low unemployment rate and their work and living standards, between their work benefits there are include holiday pay, maternity pay and paid sick leave and with its economical grow there is an ever-improving health and educational system. The working hours in Hungary are the traditional 40 hours weekly, with 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Work in Budapest
As one of the largest cities in Hungary, Budapest is also the economic centre of the country, with many international brands calling it their homes there are plenty of opportunities. District Five is the core of business in Budapest, with many important businesses, the Parliament Buildings and ministries. However, if you’re looking for something more mixed, Slovak is your city, with more cosmopolitan businesses like bars, restaurants, shops and clubs.
In Budapest, the dinner and meal invitations are as important as business meetings and are taken very seriously. The salary is not as high as other European countries but this is offset by a low living cost.
Taxes in Hungary
In order to work in Hungary without problems you need to request your Tax card, this can be done by filling the T34 form, you can download it in Hungarian and in English but only submitted in Hungarian, this is the information about how to properly fill the T34 form.
After filling the form, you have to print it and take it to the National Tax and Customs Administration (Nemzeti Adó- és Vámhivatal – NAV), where you will get a Tax identification number and then you must register that number into the Neptun system and you will receive the tax card by post later.
Once you have your tax card, you will be able to work and get paid without problems in Hungary. The Hungary income tax is relatively low compared to other European countries, being only a flat rate of 15% is very attractive for many expats, and as an additional tip, many investors like Hungary for their corporate tax rates and easy incorporation laws.
Finding accommodation in Hungary
Accommodation in Hungary is relatively cheap compared to other countries in Europe. Of course, price depends on the location and standard of living you would like to keep. Remember it’s always good to start your search earlier, then you will have time to look at different offers and make the best decision. But don’t worry, you should find something suitable without bigger issues.
The easiest way to find accommodation is rental. You can rent a room or, if you prefer to live alone, an apartment. The quality-to-price ratio is high, you can find both furnished and unfurnished places. However, because of the language barrier, which might be a big problem, some expats decide on estate-agencies services. You have to keep in mind that for this type of service you always have to pay an extra fee.
Try to look online, on websites or Facebook groups for expats looking for accommodation. You can contact the landlord directly or add your own post about housing search.
Try to look on this website.
It happens that landlords want to base a rental on a verbal agreement. Never agree on that. Only a written contract has the full legal power, make sure you read it carefully before signing.
Rent usually doesn’t include utilities. You will have to take care of it on your own.
Living cost in Hungary
Cost of living in Hungary is relatively lower than in other European countries, their average salary is about €730. Affordable rent prices combined with fair salaries for expats makes Hungary a good place to start your journey with living and working abroad. Of course, a lot depends on your lifestyle and localization, so you should think through what your aim is.
Here are examples of some of the basic costs you should be aware of.
|Description||Cost in Euro|
|Accomodation*||280 – 390|
|Food**||30 – 50|
|Fitness club monthly pass||60|
|Mobile phone rate (per minute)||0.08|
|Public transport (single ticket)||1|
* Prices can vary depending on the neighbourhood, the number of people living in the apartment and facilities.
**Depends greatly on your diet and which shops you buy food and drinks from.
Expats in Hungary
Moving to a new place completely alone is not an easy thing, especially when it’s your first time. Remember there are many people like you, looking for somebody to start a new journey with, be open-minded and socialize a lot! Maybe your new colleagues will be friends for life?
Join a Facebook group for expats! It’s our well known tip, but let’s be honest, it’s also the easiest way to make new friends nowadays. Maybe there are some events organized in the area that you will find interesting.
Nationals are well-known for their hospitality too. For sure they will be there to help if you will need anything. Even though they might not know English that well, but hey! It’s just another reason to learn the language.
Where to learn Hungarian
If you plan to reside longer than expected in Hungary, we recommend that you start learning the language properly. People in Hungary are very collaborative when it comes to practising their language, so don’t be afraid to ask for help in this matter. May be kind of difficult for some expats to learn Hungarian but it’s very rewarding since locals value this a lot. There are plenty of places where you can learn the language like the Balassi cultural institute,University of Pécs, the University of Szeged and more and some of them offer scholarships.
Hungary is a beautiful country with a very rich culture and warm people who are willing to show you all their customs and traditions. Their economical growth makes their largest city a pool of opportunities for expats and their low cost of living makes it perfect for travel abroad while working in Hungary. If you’re the explorer type and want to know more about a new culture, a new language and discover very different places, then you should try with Hungary. We know that working abroad and travelling to a different country may be as interesting as it is overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to contact us and we can help you through the entire process of moving to Hungary.