Quick facts about Hungary
Hungary is one of the most underrated countries for Digital Nomads in Europe. When you ask digital nomads their favorite European country to work from they will usually say Portugal, Spain or France, but Hungary has just launched a digital nomad visa that is sure to change that! With the amenities and infrastructure of a western European country and the cost of living of an eastern European country, Hungary has everything you need to thrive.
Living in Hungary as a digital nomad
Hungary offers digital nomads the best of both worlds. Due to its agrarian history combined with post-World Wars’ modernization, you have a mix of rural and city atmospheres. Whether you are looking for great work or relaxation areas, there are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, tourist sites, working and living spaces to meet your needs.
There are plenty of accommodation options catering to both those who prefer co-living spaces and nomads who want a place of their own. Whether you are looking for something modest or luxurious, there are a variety of options that will match your budget and needs. Hungary’s modern cities have hotels, hostels, co-living spaces, while rural areas have hostels and AirBnBs.
The weather is bearable and they have four complete seasons, similar to most European countries. While winter may get unpleasant, especially during January, it is offset by a more pleasant spring and summer with warmer temperatures and rain. Remember your raincoat.
Attractions and best places to visit
All work with no play makes us dull. There are great activities to do and sites to visit in Hungary. You can visit cafes, restaurants, and several architectural tourist sites.
Some of the best places to visit in Hungary include the Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim, the Early Christian Mausoleum, Déri Museum and Lake Balaton. Plus, if you like castles, there is no shortage of them to visit! Additionally, the Roman architecture, historic art, hearty cuisine, and delicious wine will give you a memorable experience of Hungary.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
It is the capital city of Hungary with reason. It represents both cultural sides of Hungary, the agrarian and modern. It is divided by the Danube river into Buda and Pest which represent both cultural sides of Hungary.
Buda is the quieter, rural and modest part of Budapest while Pest is the more modern, urban, and cosmopolitan side. Pest is more popular for digital nomads. If you are looking for living spaces, the two cities cater to a more quiet or busy environment.
For a quieter space, Buda is the better alternative offering private and shared bedrooms. One of the well-known accommodation spaces in Bude is the Budapest Garden Hostel and Co-Living.
If you prefer being closer to the action surrounded by stores and restaurants, Pest has great living spaces. The Loft Hostel is a great option that puts you right at the center of the action. You can choose between shared and private suites.
Pecs is located in the South West of Hungary. It is a historic city known for its Roman architecture. It hosts popular tourist sites such as the Early Christian Mausoleum and the Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim.
It has living and working spaces for digital nomads. KOHO is one of the modern working spaces in Pecs that offers a clean environment for group and solitary work.
While Debrecen has no co-living spaces, it offers several hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s. More so, it has great architectural sites such as the Deri Museum and the Reformed Church that will expose you to rich Hungarian history and culture.
Stop Pension hostel is a popular accommodation in Debrecen. It offers a central location plus digital nomads get to enjoy breakfast, AC, and WiFi. If that does not work for you, there are full townhouses available on Airbnb.
For your daily work, there are workspaces such as Xponential Coworking and ProWorking. At Xponential Coworking, you get access to office amenities with WiFi accommodating both group and individual work. To sweeten the deal, there is an on-site café for all the coffee you need to energize.
Cost of Living
One of the main reasons Hungary is such an attractive destination for digital nomads is its affordability. Compared to other European countries, expenses such as rent, food, transportation, and internet are cheaper. Digital nomads are looking at an average expenditure of 150,000 Forints equivalent to $690/€520. You will pay slightly more in Budapest because it is the tourist capital of Hungary which made it more modern than most other Hungarian areas.
Breaking down the cost of living, you can expect to pay:
Small flat rent: 50,000 Forints ($160/€144) other areas and 70,000 Forints ($226/€200) in Budapest
Food: 1000-3000 Forints ($3-10/€3-9) per meal
Transport: Public transport is $30 for a monthly transport pass, taxi meters start at $2.4, and gasoline for a private car at $1/litre.
Internet: $13-15 per month.
Digital Nomad Essentials
Digital nomads flock to places where their needs are catered to. These needs include the internet, coworking spaces, cafes, and digital nomad events/communities.
Do not let its agrarian history fool you, Hungary boasts some of the fastest broadband and mobile internet services in the world. Its broadband internet is ranked 12th in the World while mobile internet is ranked 39th.
Digital nomads can enjoy broadband download and upload speeds of 199.47MBps and 94.38MBps respectively. On mobile internet, 57.13MBps and 14.60MBps download and upload speeds respectively.
Talk about reliability and speed!
There are several coworking spaces in different cities. Some popular ones include Impact Hub, Xponential Coworking, KOHO, Kapca Coworking, Flow Coworking, and ProWorking.
Coworking spaces are located across many Hungarian cities including Budapest, Pecs. Sopron, Szeged and Debrecen. As a digital nomad, you can rest assured there are conducive workspaces across Hungary where you can work and socialize with other digital nomads.
Coffeehouses and cafes have become a part of Hungarian culture. While cafes are more of American culture, there are several cafes spread across different Hungarian cities. Digital nomads can socialize with other nomads, gather for business meetings, and take on projects with a cup of coffee and free WiFi.
Digital nomad events/community
Not every Hungarian city is welcoming to the digital nomad lifestyle but there are several where you can feel right at home. The cities with digital nomad necessities such as accommodation, workspaces, and internet include Budapest, Debrecen, Pecs. Sopron and Szeged.
In these cities, you will meet plenty of other digital nomads and engage in events hosted at cafes and coworking spaces.
There were originally two types of visas but more recently, there is a third. The third visa specifically caters to digital nomads.
The visas are:
A tourist visa lasts 90 days. It takes about 10-15 days to process but there are bad days where it can take up to 90 days. To avoid any inconvenience, it is best to start the visa process 2-3 months in advance.
The Long-stay visa lasts longer than 90 days. You can get one for various reasons including education, medical and business purposes. It may be troublesome because it has more stringent requirements than a tourist visa.
The White Card is specifically tailored to digital nomads who are third-country nationals. It is for people looking to stay in Hungary for one year while working for companies outside Hungary. This visa allows internationals to stay in the country for a full year, but afterward, it can be extended for another year.
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Hungary?
Any nationals of third countries (non-EEA nationals) who fulfill the following requirements:
Possess a valid work contract in a country outside Hungary
Possess shares in a profitable company outside Hungary
No intention to pursue a gainful activity or hold shares in a Hungarian company
How to Apply for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
A digital nomad applying for a Hungary Digital Nomad Visa can apply by filling out the application form and gathering the prescribed documents. You should submit them to any consular office of Hungary or any authorized place for processing residence permits in the country where the applicant is a permanent or temporary resident. You cannot currently apply for the Hungary digital nomad visa online.
On submission, the facial likeness and fingerprint of the applicant will be taken for biometric data on the permit.
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa in Hungary
A valid passport
A filled-out application form
Facial photograph less than 3 months old
Documents verifying the purpose of residence for an employee or company
Documents in proof of subsistence in Hungary equal to or exceeding €2,000 for at least 6 months before entry
Documents proving the existence of Hungarian accommodation
Documents proving the existence of comprehensive health insurance
Documents evidencing the conditions of exit
How much does it cost?
At the consular or diplomatic mission, you pay €110(or equivalent in your national currency) or HUF 26,000-39,000 within Hungary.
Paying Taxes on Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
Hungary will deem you as a Hungarian tax resident if you spend at least 183 days in the country during a calendar year. This means that if you plan to make use of your Digital Nomad Visa for the full year – or even two years if you extend -, Hungary can consider you as a tax resident.
Even if you stay less than 183 days in the country, you could become a tax resident. This could be the case if you are deemed having your center of vital interests in the country.
Nevertheless, depending on your personal situation you could still avoid paying taxes in Hungary if you are already a tax resident in another country. In order to discuss your personal situation, you can book a call with our tax advisor.
Timeline for Applying
The consular or diplomatic mission takes up to 30 days to process the digital nomad’s visa.