Become a digital nomad in Hungary
Updated 2017-09-11 11:11

Hungary may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of an ideal digital nomad destination. With nomadism typically associated with tropical weather, sandy beaches and hammocks swinging between palm trees, Hungary seems out of place amidst exotic locations and "islandlife" hashtags. And yet, the country's capital Budapest had topped the list for digital nomad destinations for several years in a row.

Why Hungary?

Vibrant culture, low prices (compared to the rest of Europe) and the ever-present Wi-Fi hotspots have played their part in making the country a popular remote working hub.

Conveniently nestled in Central Europe in between Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine, Hungary takes the classic European coffee culture and decorates in its way.

One of the many things that make Hungary an attractive destination for freelancers is that while offering the same level of amenities as one would expect from Western Europe, it does so at a much lower price. The cost of living in the country is much more affordable than in other popular nomad destinations like Germany or Spain while it's central location makes it easily accessible for most travellers.

Here, you will find no shortage of work areas to meet your deadlines in ' from boutique coffee shops and international chains to a generous selection of coworking spaces to fit any budget.

The Internet speed is another valuable perk ' Hungary has ranked third for mobile internet coverage according to the Speedtest Global Index and has the average mobile download speed of 31.04 Mbps/sec.

Best cities to work from

Budapest, Hungary's capital, is currently considered to be one of the best cities in the world to work from for the location-independent ' for many of the same reasons mentioned earlier: internet speed, cost of living and convenience.

With the population of just over 1.7 million people, Budapest seduces travellers with its hip international atmosphere and a thriving nightlife against the backdrop of Medieval Castle District and quaint little street markets.

Coffee shops and coworking spaces are aplenty. In fact, you could well spend several weeks here working in a different coworking hub every single day. And when the deadlines have been met, Budapest offers a lot to explore ' wash down best of local cuisine with a glass of pálinka, a traditional fruit brandy, and head on to discover the city's museums and historical sights or save your energy to experience the rocking nightlife.

The second largest city in Hungary is Debrecen. Though significantly smaller (about 200,000 people), Debrecen offers plenty of amenities for nomads. The city is known for its classical architecture, churches and museums and offers a quieter small-town atmosphere making it easier to focus on the work ahead without the distractions of a big city.

The Internet and coworking spaces

As mentioned above, Hungary has one of the best mobile internet download speeds in the world (31.04 Mbps/sec). What's more, you can find Wi-Fi hotspots almost anywhere in Budapest: parks, cultural landmarks, shopping malls ' not to mention the abundance of cosy coffee shops also offering secure Wi-Fi access.

In Hungary, you won't be strapped for choice when it comes to picking a place to work from, with most of the co-working offices centred in Budapest. You can choose to pay by the day or month and the pass gains you access to a spacious office space often complemented with a fine selection of coffee blends and networking opportunities.

Co-working spaces in Budapest

KAPTÃR, 1065 Budapest, Révay köz 4.

KUBIK, 1137 Budapest, Jászai Mari tér 5-6.

Loffice Budapest, Paulay Ede u. 55

Impact Hub Budapest, Ferenciek tere 2

Mosaik, Pannónia u. 32.

Coworking spaces in Debrecen

Debrecen HUB, Piac u. 34

Xponential Coworking Space, Simonffy u. 4

Leisure in Hungary

The nomads' community love for Hungary and Budapest seems to go beyond fast Wi-Fi and good coffee. Hungary is one of 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world and home to numerous World Heritage Sites and nature reserves. When the work is done, take some time off to soak in the second largest thermal lake in the world ' Lake Hévíz or trek through the largest grassland in Europe (Hortobágy). Urban sights include GödöllÅ, the second largest Baroque castle in the world, Early Christian Necropolis, Millennium Underground (the third underground in the world) and others.

What to know before arriving

Hungary is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement. Thus, there are no border controls between the country and other Schengen Area member states. A visa required for any member-country of the Schengen Area will also grant you access to Hungary. A visa is typically granted for a period of 30 to 180 days.

In case you will be looking for some additional work opportunities in the region, it is good to know that EU citizens typically do not need a work permit to take employment in Hungary. However, non-EU citizens will need to apply for a work visa in advance.

In general, you should not have any problem being understood in Hungary when speaking English as the language is widely taught in schools and universities. However, be prepared that the older generation may not speak English at all.

Hungary is a generally safe place to live and work, but exercise reasonable caution ' watch out for your valuables in crowded places and do not leave your belongings unattended.

Good to know: You are required to have a coloured copy of your passport with you at all times in case of a police check. Some police officers may not speak English, so, if asking for assistance, try to find someone who can help you with translation.

Useful links:

Map of Wi-Fi hotspots in Budapest

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.