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Expat guide to Hungary, relocating, finding accommodation & expat schools

Expat guide to Hungary, relocating, finding accommodation & expat schools

Living in Hungary

The expat community in Hungary is thriving. The country’s architectural prowess, matched with its natural landscapes and hidden gems, Hungary is all set to enthrall. We’ve gathered bits of information that you may need for your big move.

Hungary Budapest

Expat Clubs

Budapest Accueil
Budapest Accueil is the French association in Hungary. It is apolitical and non-denominational, run by volunteers.
Address: Institut Français, Fő utca 17, Budapest 1011
Tel: +36 1 489 42 79         
Email: budapestaccueil@hotmail.com
Website (French): www.budapest-accueil.org
Dutch Club Hungary
The Dutch Club Hungary invites anybody interested in meeting other Dutch speakers to join us in our monthly social event.
FB: www.facebook.com/groups/49122692270/
Website (Dutch): www.nlclubhongarije.com

Budapest Inc
The Expats Club is a membership based community formed around the need of helping and supporting expatriates living in Hungary as well as their Hungarian friends and associates.
Tel: +36-70-953-3045
Email: gaby@budapestinc.com
Website www.budapestinc.com
International Women's Club Association of Budapest (IWCA)
The main purpose of the organization is to sponsor and support charitable activities related to health care and education in Hungary, and especially to support hospitals and children suffering from disease or disability. In addition, the organization promotes the development of good relationships between women of the international community and the host country in order to increase their knowledge of the people and the culture of Hungary. The organization also supports the Club, which provides opportunities for women in the international community to meet and engage in social and cultural activities. The Club organizes meetings and programs which fulfill the goals and principles of the Association and cooperates with other organizations sharing similar goals, whenever possible.
Address: Hajos Utca 1, Budapest 1065, Hungary
Website: iwcbudapest.hu/
North American Women's Association of Budapest, Hungary
NAWA is an association for women from North American countries: Canada, Mexico and USA, or women whose husbands carry North American passports. NAWA encourages the friendship and provides a forum for members to interact with the Hungarian and other communities in Budapest.
Email: nawamembership@gmail.com
Website: www.nawabudapest.com
Professional Women's Association of Budapest
PWA membership is open to women of all nationalities. At the end of its first fiscal year, the PWA had recruited 80 members. Including guests, PWA has an active participant base of over 200 women.
Website (Hungarian): www.pwa.hu

International Schools 

American International School of Budapest
The American International School of Budapest (AISB) is a private and independent co-educational day school governed by a Board of Directors elected and appointed from the parent community. The school was established in 1973 by the United States Embassy originally to serve United States Government employees’ dependents. AISB currently serves the needs of a rapidly expanding international population, including families of the local and expatriate business and diplomatic communities, as well as host-country nationals.
Curriculum: American
Address: 2094 Nagykovácsi, Nagykovácsi ut 12, Hungary
Tel: +36 26 556 000
Fax: +36 26 556 003
Email: gpitz@aisb.hu
Website: www.aisb.hu
Britannica International School
Britannica International School is the longest established British School in Hungary. They have a thriving Primary department and offer classes to children from Year 1 (5 to 6 year olds) to Year 13 (17 to 18 year olds.) The foundation of their educational programme is the National Curriculum for England suitably enhanced to reflect their truly international nature. At the top end of the school, IGCSEs, AS and A2 Levels, provide graduating students with gold standard diplomas for entry to leading universities around the world including those at Oxford and Cambridge.
Curriculum: British
Address: 1121 Budapest Kakukk út 1-3. Hungary
Tel: +36 1 466 9794
Website:  www.britannicaschool.hu
British International School – A Nord Anglia School
Nord Anglia Education is the leader in the international provision of premium quality, innovative education, training and guidance. Founded in 1972, Nord Anglia Education is currently a family of 29 international schools providing a premium education to over 18,500 students in 13 countries around the world. In September 2014 we shall add two further schools including our school in Dubai and a school in Hong Kong. Supported and directed by a team of educational experts, Nord Anglia Education’s schools are located in Asia, USA, Europe and the Middle East.
Curriculum: International Primary Curriculum, International Baccalaureate
Address: Kiscelli Köz 17, 1037 Budapest
Tel: +36 1 200 9971, +36 1 200 8488
Fax: +36 1 200 9969
Email: admissions@bisb.hu
FB: www.facebook.com/britishinternationalschoolbudapest?fref=ts
Website: www.bisb.hu
Greater Grace International School
Greater Grace International School is a private English-language preparatory - 12th grade school located in Budapest´s beautiful 12th district. Since 1991 GGIS has provided expatriate and Hungarian families with a college preparatory education; equipping the student academically, spiritually and physically; teaching and demonstrating in the context of a Christian biblical world view.
Curriculum: International
Address: Szilagyi Erzsebet fasor 22/B, 1125, Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 275 4795
Email: info@ggis.hu
FB: www.facebook.com/GGIS.Budapest
Website: www.ggis.hu

Local News in English

The Daily Hungary
This is an English-language website that brings up-to-date coverage of local news, sports, politics, features and culture including pieces about expats.
Website: www.thedaily.hu/
The Budapest Times
The Budapest Times is an English-language newspaper, published weekly and has since gone online. They bring local news, events and stories relevant in the region
Website: budapesttimes.hu/
Politics.hu is the key independent news resource about Hungarian politics in English.
Website: www.politics.hu/

Country Information 

Location: Europe
Capital City: Budapest
Other Important Cities: Egar, Pecs
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Language: Hungarian
Calling Code: +36
Internet TLD: hu. (also.eu as part of the European Union)
Electricity: Hungary runs on 230V 50Hz. The largest producer and distributor of electricity utilities in Hungary is MVP Group.
Address: Szentendrei út 207-209, H-1031 Budapest
Tel: +36 1 304 2000
Fax: +36 1 202 1246
Email: mvm@mvm.hu ​ ​
Website: www.mvm.hu/en/Lapok/default.aspx
Emergency Numbers:   
Ambulance: 104
Fire: 105
Police: 107

Country Information

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Due to its inclusion in the Schengen agreement, citizens from select countries may enter and stay in Hungary visa free for up to 90 days, these include citizens in the EU and US and others. Others who are not exempted must acquire a Schengen visa through a Hungarian embassy or consulate in their home or host country.

The Hungarian Embassy in Washing DC site has a list of countries exempted from visa regulations:

Beyond 90 days, a residence permit must be obtained. There are different permits available for expats, depending on their purpose:
  • Residence Permit for Family Reunification
  • Registration card for EEA Nationals
  • Residence Card for Third Country National Family Member of EEA Citizen
  • Residence Permit for Other Purposes
  • EU Blue Card
  • Residence Permit for Official Purpose
  • Residence Permit for the Purpose of Medical Treatment
  • Temporary Residence Permit
  • Residence Permit for the Purpose of Employment or other Gainful Activities
  • Residence Permit for the Purpose of Scientific Research
  • Residence Permit for the Purpose of Visit
  • Residence Card for Family Member of Hungarian Citizen
  • National Residence Permit
  • Residence Permit for Voluntary Activities
  • Visa for Seasonal Workers
  • Residence Permit for the Purpose of Studies
It is important to determine which type of permit is required before travelling to Hungary. Applications are coursed through a Hungarian consulate. The Office of Immigration and Nationality has other details on the differing application procedures and eligibility of residence permits and relevant forms can also be downloaded: www.bmbah.hu/jomla/index.php?lang=en


The country is one of the world’s top destinations, expats have long been settling in Hungary. Expat communities can be found mainly the 23 districts of the capital Budapest.

Separated by the river Danube, Buda and Pest are two different cities of the capital. Buda is more residential and has become a home for expat communities especially in the 2nd and 12th district, suitable for families. Meanwhile, the metropolitan Pest just across the river boasts of a riveting nightlife and expensive living. It is much costlier to live in Pest however single expats have come to settle in this area.

Renting apartments in Hungary is cheaper compared to other European metropolis. A one bedroom apartment in Budapest can cost between 179 to 240 Euros depending if its within or outside the city. A three bedroom apartment goes for 330 to 430 Euros. There are a number ways by which you can locate a rental. The first one is through the internet. RentHungary.com is a useful site to find rentals and newly built units. Another one is RoommatesBudapest.com, most suitable for those looking for cheaper accommodations and who wouldn’t mind sharing an apartment. Housing agents can also be immensely helpful except they come with a price tag, which is usually 1 to 3 months rent. It is a relatively quicker approach but costly.

The Hungarian rental market is split into two: Free rental and controlled sector. Free rentals are units wherein the landlord has set the price, while controlled sector rentals are units owned by the state therefore the rent is determined by law.  The rent may also be omitted in the tenancy contract; the municipality informs the tenant 8 days prior to moving, if the tenant does not object within 8 days, the rent price is set. The usual deposit is 1 to 3 months rent.

Driving License

EU residents may use their EU driving license as long as it is valid, non-EU residents may use their domestic license for up to one year, after that it must be exchanged for a Hungarian license at KEKKH or the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services: www.okmanyirodak.hu/en/customerservicecentre
The process will take 30 days.
Documents Required:
  • appropriate valid personal identity document (ID card, passport, card format driving license) in case of foreign citizen document certifying his/her normal country of residence
  •  test confirmation certifying the successful course free test (it is necessary only if the driver’s entitlement content cannot be clearly stated even after the attested Hungarian translation).
  • driving license issued by the foreign authority
  • medical certification in case if the foreign driving license doesn’t contain the term of the medical eligibility or its term differs from the term determined by the relevant Hungarian legislation
  • document containing a statement justifying the issuance of the driving license
  • receipt of payment of the driving license administration fee
  • aptitude certificate if the exchange of the driving license is required by a professional driver
  • attested Hungarian translation of the foreign driving license (if the driving license was issued in a country which did not join the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic)
For more information please visit the Hungarian Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services: www.okmanyirodak.hu/en/driving_license_naturalization


The healthcare facilities in Hungary are reputed and well above standard. Hospitals and clinics are well-equipped to handle basic to complex cases; pharmacies are also well stocked. However, English-speaking staff are limited.

Public and Private emergency services and treatments are available for free. EU citizens may use their EHIC card for these services, however it will not cover extended, long-term or progressive treatments.

Hungary has a national health system called, HIF or Health Insurance Fund. The funding comes from the contributions paid by both employee and employers. Expat employees are eligible as they would be putting on 3% of their income in the system. Under the HIF, public medical services for contributing expats can be minimized and even given for free.

See the outline about public healthcare in Hungary from HIF>>

Most expats however prefer going to private institutions. It is recommended to acquire a comprehensive health insurance.
Insurance Companies

Allianz Hungary
Allianz first arrived in Hungary in 1990 as a part owner in Hungaria Biztosito, thus opening the Allianz brand between the two companies.Today Allianz Hungaria is known as a company with a strong customer focus and best in class products.
Address: Könyves Kálmán krt. 48-52, 1087 Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 4292595
Fax: +35 1 3016561
Email: gabriella.gorog@allianz.hu
Website: www.allianz.com/en/about_us/where_we_are/regions_countries/hungary.html

Expat Medical
Expat Medical was the first medical provider in Hungary concentrating on the expat community here. It works on a different scheme, compared to the other private clinics.
Address: Mátyáshegyi út 43, 1037 Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 30 9141477
Fax: +36 1 2404324
Email: expatmed@gmail.com
Website: expatmedical.hu
Buda Health Center
The Buda Health Center is one of the leading private institutions of Budapest offering its patients personalized comprehensive health care.
Address: Nagy Jenő u. 8, 1126 Budapest
Tel: +36 1 489 5200
Fax: +36 1 489 5210
Email: info@bhc.hu
Website: en.bhc.hu
FirstMed Centers
FirstMed’s central clinic is located in the Hattyúház building close to the Széll Kálmán (formerly known as Moszkva) Tér metro station on the red line. Their 800+ sqm facility on the 5th floor includes 10 exam rooms, a laboratory, x-ray and mammography and a dental section of three seats complete with a panoramic x-ray and dental laboratory. A comfortable, child friendly waiting area with free WiFi, refreshments and international magazines and the latest newspapers make the short waiting time pleasant for every patient of FirstMed.
Address: Hattyuhaz, Hattyu utca 14, 5th em. Budapest 1015, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 224 9090
Fax: +36 1 224 9091
Website: firstmedcenters.com
Health Guard Hungary
Health Guard Hungary® provides a special premium service package individually tailored to the needs of foreign citizens while staying or traveling in Hungary. Here you may find SOS Medical Services and carefully organized office and hospital visits as well.
Address (District 3): MultiMedical-Oxivit, Szepvolgyi ut 39, Budapest 1037 Hungary
Tel: +36 1 786 6658
Fax: +36 1 577 7393
Address (District 11): Ujbudai Egeszsegkozpont, Fehervari ut 12, Budapest 1117, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 786 6658
Fax: +36 1 577 7393
Address (District 12): Viranyos Klinika, Viranyos ut 23/D, Budapest 1125, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 786 6658
Fax: +36 1 577 7393
Website: www.healthguardhungary.com/Pages/default.aspx
Kelen Hospital
Kelen Hospital Ltd. was built as a private investment in  Than Károly street 20th, 11th District Budapest. The hospital is a three-storey, 1400 m² building with 15 examination rooms, 2 operating theatres, 6 single patient’s rooms. Their rooms are fully equipped with bath, air conditioning, phone, TV and WiFi internet connection.
Address: Than Karoly utca 20, Budapest, 1119, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 205 0205
Fax: +36 1 203 0457
Website: www.kelen.hu/en/
Medicover Group
Medicover services are available in the Eiffel and Alkotás Point Clinics and in the Infopark in Budapest, both of which are equipped with the most advanced diagnostic tools. We also offer Clinics in Győr, Debrecen, and Pécs, with Health Service Points in 20 more cities and several hundred centres throughout the country. The Company’s close to 500 highly skilled professional medical experts and their supporting personnel conduct several hundred thousand examinations every year.

Address (InfoPark Service Point): I. Building, Infopark setany 1., Infopark, Budapest 1117, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 465 3100
Fax: +36 1 465 3160
Address (Szepvolgyi Health Care Centre): Montevideo utca 5. Szepvolgyi Business Park, Budapest 1037, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 465 3100
Fax: +36 1 465 3160
Address (West End Health Care Centre): Ground Floor, Vaci ut 22-24, Budapest 1132, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 465 3100
Fax: +36 1 465 3160
Website: www.medicover.hu/medicover/?lang=en


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