Seven Reasons Why I Want to Live in Budapest
Hello, my name is Sarah and I am obsessed with Budapest.
It’s true, and it’s a serious problem because I live in North Carolina… 4874 miles away.
I’ve only been to Budapest three times, the longest amount of time being the two and a half weeks I spent there this summer. It was hot, humid, and all the chocolate was melted, but I still loved it. Every time I leave, it makes me want to stay even more.
Budapest (and the rest of Hungary) is far from perfect, and the current economic situation has many Hungarians looking for opportunities beyond the border. My mother’s family is a perfect example- they left their Hungarian town in the 1970s for Canada, searching for a better life.
Even so, despite its imperfections, I want to live in Budapest and experience big city living in Central Europe. Not forever, but long enough for me to feel like it’s home.
Here are seven reasons why:
1. Thermal Baths
As the spa capital of the world, Budapest is full of thermal baths. Refreshing in the summer, relaxing in the winter, the baths are amazing. Many of the baths have multiple pools of varying temperatures and minerals, Széchenyi being the most diverse. If I lived here, I could visit them any time I wanted to relax and de-stress from the hectic city.
2. Cost of Living
Not as cheap as it once was, Budapest is still a great deal cheaper than many of its neighbors and even though they are a member of the EU they still use their own currency, the forint. A studio apartment in the city center costs between 300-350 euros a month and food is cheap, especially produce from the market, and is always in season.
Hungary is normally the cutoff point in the Central/Eastern Europe debate and is surrounded by seven other countries. Budapest’s central location makes it a great base for exploring other cities in Europe.
4. Hungarian Language
The Hungarian language has always intrigued me. It is a Uralic language (slightly related to Finnish and Estonian) and the vowel pronunciation is ridiculously difficult. I think the difficulty only makes me want to learn it more. If I lived in Budapest, I would be surrounded by it every day and able to enroll in language classes.
5. Green Space
City park, the Buda Hills and the oasis of Margaret Island, Budapest has plenty of green spaces to walk, hike, and relax with nature while escaping the concrete of Pest.
6. Public Transportation
I hate traffic and owning a car is a huge financial drain. Budapest’s great metro and bus transportation means you don’t need a car to get around the city. Three train stations and an airport also means that getting out the city is easy to do without a car.
7. Old World Charm with Modern Conveniences
Most of Budapest was built in the early 20th century, but it’s still an architectural mix of Gothic, Renaissance, Neoclassical, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. The old world charm of this city doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on modern convince though. Budapest has plenty of shopping malls, supermarkets and Tesco.
What do you think? Does Budapest seem like a livable city? Which city in Europe do you think is the most livable?