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Retiring in Hungary: 7 Best Places to Retire in Hungary

By Betsy Burlingame

Summary: Hungary is sometimes overlooked as a retirement destination. Expats who retire in Hungary appreciate the low cost of living; rich history; friendly people; and beautiful cities, towns and countryside. Here are 7 places that retire expats recommend to check out when considering Hungary for retirement.

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1) Balatonfured, Hungary

Balatonfured, Hungary

Balatonfured, Hungary is a popular resort town located on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. With a population of over 13,000, Balatonfured is home to a number of spas; the State Heart Hospital; the Tagore Promenade; Loczy Cave; and numerous hotels, bars and restaurants. In the summer months, the town hosts a ball to welcome new visitors and a wine-tasting festival. "I live in Balatonfured and here it is growing rapidly but elsewhere is not as good. For some reason they are pouring a lot of money into our city in improvements which we are benefiting from. A lot of very wealthy people (mostly from Budapest) are buying houses in this area or land and building large vacation homes. A relatively large lot of roughly 1/3 acre is selling for 50 million HUF across the street from us as an example," said one expat in Balatonfured.

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2) Budapest, Hungary

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Expats living in Budapest love it for its friendly people, beautiful architecture and rich history. With a population of over 1.7 million poeple, one expat in Budapest described why he likes living in Budapest, "There is a richness of stimuli of every sort, which just isn't in the US. This city both gorgeous and is ALIVE. However, winters are pretty cold and can be dreary past New year." Another retiree in Budapest said, "Retiring in Hungary is great. It's inexpensive. And Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world."

3) Sopron, Hungary

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With a population of more than 60,000, Sopron is located just across the border from Austria and about an hour by car from Vienna. Sopron is a picturesque city which dates back to Roman Empire. One member explained how Sopron's close proximity to Austria have impacted rental prices, "Sopron apartments for rent are not the cheapest one because lots of Hung coming there from around the country. They are living in Sopron but they are working in Austria. From Sopron to Vienna is only 40 min by car. And takes you 5 min drive to be in Austria. The rent for a 2 room apartment in Sopron furnished will be around 80-90K HUF/month. You can also look on the small places (villages) around the Sopron. In Sopron, it's an easy city to live. People are friendly there."

4) Gyor, Hungary

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With a population of over 125,000, Gyor, Hungary is another city that expats recommend. An expat in Gyor described living there saying, "I have lived in the Gyor area since 2008 and enjoy it very much. The city is more like a town, and the pace is slower than Budapest, which is why I like it. I teach at the university and enjoy all the people I have come in contact with. Housing is very reasonable, shopping is similar to most US places, just not the sprawl you are used to. You can get around by bike and bus everywhere as well. Like most Hungarian towns the transition to countryside is abrupt, and there are outlying villages that are just that. Very little suburbia."

5) Heviz, Hungary

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Heviz, Hungary is located on Lake Heviz about 2 hours southwest of Budapest and 5 miles from Keszthely. According to Wikipedia, Lake Heviz is the second largest thermal lake. Heviz Spa dates back to the late 18th century. "Heviz is a retirement community. A small tourist town of 5000, lots of small mom an pop shops and fruit and vegetable stands, 2 big supermarkets, lot of stores, restaurants, movie theater and churches. Bus to most anywhere, including Keszthely to catch the train and big box stores. English is spoken most places and by many of the populace. Plus the biggest hot spring lake in Europe, all year round," described one expat.

6) Pecs, Hungary

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With a population of over 150,000, Pecs, Hungary is a beautiful city in southwest Hungary, near the Mecsek Hills and the border of Croatia. The University of Pecs offers a Bachelors, Masters, Medical, Dental and Pharmacy degrees in English. They also offer Hungarian language courses.

7) Szeged, Hungary

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With a population of over 170,000, Szeged, Hungary is the third largest city in Hungary. It is located in southern Hungary near the borders of Serbia and Romania. "Visit Szeged for example and you will find a very peaceful place with almost zero crime (in fact I have only ever seen car accidents whereby the police were called), but I have never seen muggings, shootings or burglaries take place. Even the police are almost redundant," said one expat.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

First Published: Sep 21, 2016

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