With its affordable cost of living, centralized location, and bustling culture, Budapest stands out as one of the best places not only in Europe but the entire world for digital nomads.
Digital nomads are people who work and make money online and therefore are not tied to any one location. They travel frequently, meaning they don’t often stay in the same place. But digital nomads tend to congregate in cities that have certain characteristics, such as a high number of coworking spaces/coffee shops, fast internet connections, diverse entertainment options, and a reasonable cost of living.
In Europe, cities such as Lisbon and Prague have long been popular destinations for digital nomads. But as people get tired and look for somewhere new, they are increasingly choosing Budapest.
With summer temperatures ranging from a high of 26-28°C and lows of between 15-18°, Budapest has some of the most pleasant summer temperatures in all of Europe. This is far more pleasant countries, such as Spain, Italy, and France where temperatures are regularly at least 30 degrees. And while Budapest does not have a beach where one can enjoy these temperatures, it has lots of other ways to enjoy the warmth.
For example, one can walk along the Danube, visit the cities many outdoor cafes and beer gardens, or spend some time soaking in the sun at one of Budapest’s famous hot springs. For those willing to travel a bit, Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, is just a few hours away from Budapest, which gives you the chance to cool down and enjoy the summer.
Because of all this, Budapest frequently makes it to the top of Nomad List during the summer months. However, winters in Budapest are harsh – sometimes too harsh for digital nomads – so Budapest often falls from its top spot from October to April. This means Budapest is still a seasonal choice for many digital nomads, but it more than makes up for this by being such a top location during the summer.
Cafes and Coworking Spaces
Whether you prefer a cafe where you can sip on an espresso and get stuff done or a coworking space where you can meet and get to know other digital nomads, Budapest has plenty of options for you. There are hundreds if not thousands of different cafes sprinkled around the city where you can work, and coworking has seen a lot of growth over the past few years.
Furthermore, with some of the fastest internet connections in the world, you don’t need to worry about infrastructure challenges getting in the way of your productivity.
However, at the moment, there are still not many organized digital nomad communities that organize meetups and other events that help bring the digital nomad community together. This could partially be the result of the seasonal nature of Budapest as a digital nomad community, or this could also be because the digital nomad community in Hungary is still new. It’s likely to see more activity in the coming years as more digital nomads choose to spend time in Budapest.
Cost of Living
Since Budapest has become more popular as a travel destination, it has lost some of its reputation as a “cheap” place to go on holiday. But as compared to other cities in Europe and the world, Budapest remains very affordable, especially for digital nomads earning in another currency who can take advantage of favorable exchange rates.
For example, the average price of a one bedroom apartment in the city center is around 150,000 Hungarian Forints (HUF) month, which comes out to just a bit more than 500 USD/470 euros. Meals out can be had for between 2,000-3,000 HUF, although they can cost upwards of 6,000 HUF in more high-end restaurants. Alcohol is famously inexpensive in Budapest as compared to the rest of the world, which makes Budapest a great option for digital nomads who like to blow off steam with a few adult beverages.
Arts and Entertainment
You won’t run out of things to do when living in Budapest. There is a lively arts and music scene, and there are plenty of other ways to have fun. For example, one can go to the opera, see a concert, or visit one of the world’s first escape rooms. And, as mentioned, there are plenty of dining and drinking options for those simply looking for a quieter night out. Plus, Budapest is a city full of history (ever hear of the Austro-Hungarian Empire!), meaning you can easily occupy yourself by walking around, enjoying the city, and learning about how it has grown up to be the capital it is today.
Another reason Budapest is becoming such a popular choice is because it can be used as a base for exploring the rest of Europe. Hungary is bordered by seven countries, and it is geographically right in the center of the European continent. This means one can easily snag inexpensive and short flights to other European capitals, making Budapest a great place for those digital nomads keen to explore Europe. Budapest can serve as a perfect base.
As more and more people turn to the digital nomad lifestyle, it’s likely more of them will choose Budapest as a base. It offers pleasant summers, an affordable lifestyle, plentiful entertainment, and the ability to travel, everything a digital nomad wants and more.