What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
-Finding English-language real estate agents can be difficult but they do exist (I work for one) and it is worth it to find one. Mix ups I've experienced in the past include agents who confuse numbers (40 and 60, for example) and some debate over whether or not my landlady would offer a couch.
Businesses that seek expat clients (relocation companies, some real estate agencies and also exercise studios, beauty salons) can have very useful information posted on their website.
Choosing a neighborhood: Families seeking residential settings should look for houses on the Buda (West) side of the city, in districts 1, 2, 2A (a bit far from the city center but home to the American School) and 12. Residential parks exist with detached homes and lots of yard space.
Those looking to live in the center and close to embassies/businesses should live on the Pest (East) side in district 5, 6 or 7. For urban but residential surroundings look at districts 9, 13 and 14.
I saved a map of international schools in Budapest which will help those interested in living close to one:
Thank you for the information. Is there a website one can use a research tool to locate "safer" districts in Pest? I am thinking of either staying for 90-days [the length of a visa] or relocating entirely.
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
Budapest Melting Pot, Internations, Budapest Toastmasters, Budapest groups on Meetup.com, Budapest International Women's Club, British Women's Association, Budapest Accueil (French), Dutch Club Hungary, Expat Hungary, International Women's Club Association of Budapest (IWCA), North American Women's Association of Budapest, Professional Women's Association of Budapest, Institut français de Budapest, Instituto Cervantes de Budapest, Xpatloop.com, Baby Blue Banana (Expat Events), Concerts and bookreadings at TreeHugger Dan's bookshop (there are many branches), Internations Expat Community (they have live meetings), Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Hungary, Buda Juniors Football (Soccer) League (for children), Bat and Ball Junior Cricket Club (for children)
I've posted this list (with links) to our blog: http://athomenetwork.blogspot.com/2010/11/expat-resources-and-websites-budapest.html (Continue)
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Be prepared read about the other country, learn the language, go with the flow, have discipline to keep what is good about your own culture, do not immerse yourself fully in your own expat community (these people tend to be slightly sad and self-important and not in touch with the local reality. (Continue)