Located smack-bang in the centre of Europe, Budapest is renowned in Europe for its electric nightlife, stunning architecture, and excellent cost of living. But is it just a weekend break, or is Budapest really worth relocating to?
Known as the “Pearl of the Danube”, I arrived in Budapest with huge expectations.
And I wasn’t really disappointed.
Budapest is a gorgeous city. It’s everything you’d expect from a modern European capital, enriched with glorious history.
Stunning architecture, quirky coffee shops, and pulsating nightlife are 3 of the standout features I noticed immediately upon hitting the central district.
And while I didn’t get a strong sense of Hungarian culture in Budapest, it does have a very cosmopolitan, up-and-coming feel to it, with a laidback ambience, a hungry young crowd of entrepreneurs, and decent cost of living.
Let’s take a closer look at one of Central Europe’s most talked about cities.
Budapest for Digital Nomads
Budapest is consistently ranked amongst the top nomad destinations in the world. It has speedy internet, a strong coffee culture, and low cost of living (especially for Europe). It’s no surprise to see location independent workers making it their base and relocating from more expensive parts of Western Europe.
What’s impressive about Budapest is its young startup scene, and you’ll find plenty of tech-savvy Hungarians and other Europeans who have made this charming city their home. A lot of them are bootstrapping and cutting their teeth on new businesses, and it’s obvious why: Budapest maintains a central location in Europe not too far from home, while significantly lowering living costs.
I was impressed by this aspect the most on my short break, and the meetup.com scene looks very active.
But despite these factors being positive for Budapest, I’m not the biggest fan of Europe overall, so would probably opt for somewhere in Asia, personally. If you’re staying in Europe, however, Budapest is tough to beat.
Budapest for Health & Fitness
Nothing special to report here. Typical Western European scene with commercial gyms being prevalent in the big city. I didn’t look into things enough to find out if there’s a hardcore bodybuilding scene or yoga movement, although, given the young nature of the crowd, I presume there is.
Budapest for Social & Sex Life
Very good. Budapest sort of feels like a mini-Berlin in regards to its techno scene – there are a lot of awesome clubs like Aether and Larm, which attract high-quality DJ’s that we frequented whilst we were there (see the vid above). The ruin bars are also a fantastic concept, making mingling amongst locals and tourists easy and fun.
Budapest’s young crowd and booming meetup scenes mean you’ll find plenty of like-minded friends in the city, although Hungarian’s themselves I found not to be the most cheerful people on the planet. It’s still Central Europe with an Eastern European feel to it, after all, so I expected some pessimism in the city, which is natural for this part of the world.
Things to do in Budapest
Walk around the city
You’ll see the parliament, great synagogue, and, of course, St Stephen’s Basilica just cruising around the gorgeous historical centre.
Ruin Bars & Nightlife
Old abandoned buildings around the Central Synagogue are converted into dozens of small bars within each venue. Top picks are the obvious touristy ones (which Hungarians still frequent) such as Szimpla Kert & Instant. Good clubs include Aether and Larm (both have internationally recognised DJ’s playing each weekend).
Traditional thermal baths which often host parties. Széchenyi & Gellert are two of the most popular, albeit extremely touristy. Still worth visiting, mind.
Climb Pest Hill
Here you’ll get gorgeous views over Budapest’s Danube river, and see Fisherman’s Bastion, in addition to Matthias church. It’s one of the most impressive and beautiful parts of any European city I’ve seen.