Is it cheaper to live in Hungary than in the UK?

Is it cheaper to live in Hungary than in the UK? And if yes, what are the facts?

In case you’re wondering, the answer is definitely yes. How much you can save of course will depend on your income but ultimately life in Hungary is cheaper than in the UK or in most of the other EU countries.

Is it cheaper to live in Hungary?

Below I will list some products and services that you would probably purchase or use in either of the countries. I will show the average price in the UK and the average price in Hungary. Please note that these prices are the averages for the countries, and not city specific like Budapest or London.


Okay, let’s start with restaurant prices to see how much you would pay for your meal or drink in the UK and in Hungary

A McMeal (or a similar full meal) at McDonalds costs you £ 5.00 in the UK, while in Hungary you’ll pay £ 4.19 for the same. You save 16.17%.

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant in the UK will cost you £ 12.00, while in Hungary £ 4.75. That’s a saving of 60.41%.

A three course meal for 2 people in a mid-range restaurant in the UK will set you back to £ 45.00 and the same in Hungary to £ 22.36, which is a saving of 50.32%.

You will probably have a beer with your meal too, for what you can expect to pay £ 3.50/pint in the UK but only £ 1.12/0.5l in Hungary. It’s a saving of 68.06%.

If you drive to the restaurant, then you’ll have a soft drink, like a Pepsi or Coke, which in the UK will cost you £ 1.13 and in Hungary £ 0.81 for a 0.33 liter bottle. This is a saving of 32.26%.

On the healthier side, to have a bottle of water will cost you £ 0.88 in the UK, while in Hungary only £ 0.56. You save 36.28% here.

An after meal regular size cappuccino in the UK will cost £ 2.58, but in Hungary only £1.11. The latter is 57.11% cheaper.

If we add these up, we can say that having a meal in Hungary is about 53% cheaper than in the UK.


Okay, let’s get down to more every day expenses, like doing your shopping for food kind of stuff

  • Milk 1 litre – UK:  £ 0.89, HU: £ 0.62, Savings: 31.05%
  • White bread 500g – UK: £ 0.97, HU: £ 0.55, Savings: 43.38%
  • Eggs 12 – UK: £ 1.86, HU: £ 1.40, Savings: 24.76%
  • Rice 1kg – UK: £ 1.30, HU: £ 0.82, Savings: 36.60%
  • Cheese 1kg – UK: £ 5.41, HU: £ 4.68, Savings: 13.50%
  • Boneless Chicken breasts 1kg – UK: 5.71, HU: £ 3.75, Savings: 34.35%
  • Beef Round 1kg – UK: £ 7.53, HU: £ 6.65, Savings: 11.64%
  • Apples 1kg – UK: £ 1.81, HU: £ 0.89, Savings: 50.86%
  • Banana 1kg – UK: £ 1.02, HU: £ 1.14, More expensive by: 11.97%
  • Oranges 1kg – UK: £ 1.63, HU: £ 1.02, Savings: 37.32%
  • Tomato 1kg – UK: £ 1.73, HU: £ 1.41, Savings: 18.38%
  • Potatoes 1kg – UK: £ 1.15, HU: £ 0.52, Savings: 54.55%
  • Onions 1kg – UK: £ 0.96, HU: £ 0.52, Savings: 46.21%
  • Lettuce 1 head – UK: £ 0.73, HU: £ 0.64, Savings: 12.88%
  • Water 1.5 liter bottle – UK: £ 0.99, HU: £ 0.28, Savings: 71.43%
  • Bottle of wine mid-range – UK: £ 7.00, HU: £ 3.35, Savings: 52.09%
  • Domestic beer 0.5 liter bottle – UK: £ 1.52, HU: £ 0.63, Savings: 58.45%
  • Import beer 0.33 bottle – UK: £ 1.80, HU: £ 0.88, Savings: 50.99%
  • 20 Marlboro cigarettes – UK: £ 9.90, HU: £ 3.35, Savings: 66.13%

As you can see from the above, shopping for food in Hungary will save you an average of 37% compared to shopping in the UK.


Now let’s get on with some further everyday costs, like the cost of transportation for example. We all know that these are pretty high in the UK so will be no surprise here

  • One way ticket on local transport – UK: £ 2.40, HU: £ 0.98, Savings: 59.25%
  • Monthly public transport pass – UK: £ 60.00, HU: £ 26.55, Savings: 55.75%
  • Taxi 1km – UK: £ 1.71, HU: £ 0.84, Savings: 50.97%
  • Diesel fuel – UK: £ 1.24, HU: £ 1.09, Savings: 11.42%

We can establish that to get from A to B in Hungary will cost us an average of 44% less than the same movement in Britain.


Below I’ll show you a few examples of utility bills to give you an idea on these costs as well

Say you live in an 85 m2 (915 sqft) flat. You’ll pay for your utilities, like electricity, heating, water and garbage £ 141.44 per month in the UK. In Hungary however, these costs are 3.94% less in other words £ 135.87 per month.

For 1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff for local calls without any discounts or call plans you will pay £ 0.06 in Britain, while in Hungary this goes up to £ 0.08 per minute, which is more expensive by 25.97%.

We can’t live without internet, can we? For 10 Mbps cable or ADSL broadband connection with unlimited data we’ll get charged £29.58 in the UK, while for the same service we can expect to pay £ 11.21 in Hungary, which is less than half price, 62.11% less to be precise.

On this basis we can say that our utility bills will be 13% less on average if living in Hungary than in the United Kingdom.


We all want to live a healthier lifestyle, don’t we? Well, some of us dream about it, but some of you actually do something about it.

For those enthusiastic people I’ll show the price difference of a few sports and leisure activities between the two countries:

A monthly fee for an adult to join and enjoy a fitness club, or more commonly known as gym in the UK you will pay £ 29.58. The same fun in Hungary will cost you £ 28.06, which is less by 5.13%.

To rent a tennis court for an hour at the weekend in the UK will cost £ 9.76, while in Hungary will cost £ 9.52. That’s a 2.39% saving.

On the leisure side, an adult ticket to the cinema for an international release movie will cost you £ 10.00 in the UK, but in Hungary they’ll charge you £ 4.72. That’s 52.77% less, so for your tenner you’ll fit a portion of nachos, popcorn, and a large coke in your night out and still take some change home.

The average savings on leisure and sports activities are 20% if you do them in Hungary instead of the UK.


Clothing is not cheap in Hungary but you can still make some savings compared to shopping for clothes in Britain

Here are a few examples:

For a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans for example you’ll get charged £ 56.71 in Britain. In Hungary they’re selling for £ 50.35. That’s 11.21% less.

For a summer dress in a chain store, like H&M or Zara you’ll pay £ 28.43. In the same or similar store in Hungary this will cost £ 24.52, which is a 13.75% saving.

For a pair of mid-range Nike running shoes you’ll get charged £ 60.41 in the UK, while the same product will cost £62.61 in Hungary. This is 3.64% more expensive actually.

A pair of men’s leather business shoes will cost you £ 61.49 in Britain, while in Hungary £ 71.30 will be on the tag, which is more expensive again, by 15.96%.

Generally on clothes shopping you will pay about the same, only 1.3% less in Hungary to be precise.


Now, let’s not forget about a very important expense, the accommodation costs.

Check out this comparison:

To rent a 1 bedroom apartment in the centre of a UK city will set you back by £ 710.62 per month. The same accommodation in the centre of a Hungarian city will cost you £ 347.26. There is a massive 51.13% saving as you can see.

To rent a 1 bedroom apartment outside of centre of a UK city will cost you £ 564.81 per month, while renting a 1 bed flat outside of centre of a Hungarian city will cost you £256.66 per month. That’s about the amount you spend on crisps and chocolate chip cookies in a month in the UK. It’s a massive saving of 54.56% compared to UK accommodation prices.

If you want to rent a 3 bedroom apartment in a city centre of a UK town you will pay £ 1188.74 per month for it. Same size flat in same location in Hungary is available for £ 613.80 per month. Another generous saving of 48.37% here.

Renting a 3 bedroom apartment outside of centre in a UK city will cost £ 926.11 per month, while the same size accommodation in same location will only cost you £ 424.31 in Hungary. You saved 54.18% on this.

This means that you rent by an unbelievable 51.23% cheaper in Hungary on an average then in the UK.


Now don’t go anywhere because it’s just getting better as I’m going to show you the price comparison between a property in Britain and Hungary

The price per square meter to buy an apartment in the centre of a UK city is £ 3,790.51. The price per square meter to buy an apartment in the centre of a Hungarian city on the other hand will cost you 1784.33. 52.93 per cent cheaper!

And it gets even better;

If you don’t insist in living in the city centre, but in the lovely countryside for example the price per square meter to buy an apartment in Hungary will cost you only £ 1058.031 compared to the British countryside price of 2,724.00 per square meter.

That is 61.16% cheaper living accommodation my friend.


No pressure what so ever but you can see now that in fact, is cheaper to live in Hungary than in most of European countries. So if you’re have retired or working from home over the internet for example, why the heck would you want to live in a noisy city centre instead of near one, in the lovely, peaceful countryside?

Just think about it for a minute…


* Prices are accurate as of December 2018.

Statistics source:

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