Travelling is great, but let’s be honest, it can be very expensive! From that perspective, Hungary is a great choice as your next holiday destination, because here you can get the luxury of travelling in Central Europe with a Eastern European price tag. If you are travelling on a tight (student) budget, Hungary can be the perfect fit, but there are ways to make your travels even more affordable!
First of all, avoid the capitol of Hungary, Budapest. Budapest is a magnificent city, but pricewise not the most modest of all. Here you will find the bigger food chains, like Starbucks and Subway, fancy hotels and stylish airbnb’s, in general businesses are mainly directed at tourists. The other Hungarian cities are much smaller than the capitol, therefore also a bit friendlier in price. The upside of this is that by avoiding Budapest, you will get to know much more of the real Hungary and its intricate culture, gastronomy and folklore!
Transportation is probably one of the cheapest parts of travelling in Hungary, if you know where to look. Public transportation is usually really affordable, especially if you book your trip through one of the transportation apps for bus and train, and if you can show your student identity card. Trains and busses will take you anywhere in this country, but you got to be patient as it may take a while! A great alternative would be Oszkár Telekocsi, a carpooling website that connects drivers with passengers. Personally I used Oszkár already a lot of times and I never had a bad experience, it is a great way to get to know interesting people and get to your destination in no time! If you are watching your expenses, you only should think twice before jumping into a cab, as they are very expensive.
Last but not least, you could choose to rent a car, which doesn’t have to be expensive in Hungary, especially if you rent it with a small group. There are a few things you should take into account though: you have to pay a deposit, which you will get back after bringing the car back safely, so it is important to calculate this into your budget. They usually block a certain amount on your credit card, which they will release after you have returned. Secondly, you will pay for a certain amount of kilometres within its day price, and if you go over this limit, the kilometer price won’t be the cheapest. For this reason it is smart to plan your road trip accordingly! Also, make sure you rent a car including insurance, so you are covered for any unexpected troubles. Be aware of the fact that there are a lot of good quality car rentals, but you can also find one or two frauds… Even when you are travelling on a budget, don’t just blindly pick the cheapest option here, because it can end up being the most expensive yet. The general rule also applies here, renting a car in Budapest will not be the most affordable option, so instead I’d suggest to travel by train to a big city, for example Pécs, and rent a car from there.
Looking at accommodations for your stay in Hungary, you will come up with lots of options in a big price range. Whatever your wishes, I am sure you will find it! One of the biggest online booking services in Hungary is offered by Szállás.hu, through this website you will be able to find a suitable place to stay in every corner of Hungary. Another affordable solution can be Airbnb, if you are looking for an apartment rather than a guesthouse. If your (student) budget is really tight, it is worth to check out the dormitories, usually they offer empty dorm rooms during the holidays, as the students go home.
Food doesn’t have to be expensive in Hungary either. Obviously it is cheapest to cook for yourself, but you will encounter a lot of cheap food courts where you can get anything from traditional Hungarian food to Chinese and McDonalds. Even going out for dinner isn’t crazily expensive either, the bill for a full meal including a main dish, desert and drinks for two people would be around 30 euro. Comparing to other European countries, drinks in Hungary are very affordable as well, so you can already find a decent cup of coffee for 1,50 euro.
As you can see, both travel, accommodation and even food can be quite affordable if you know where to search, this way you can enjoy your stay in Hungary without feeling guilty about the expenses. Hungary is a country that is definitely worth a visit, and not just because of the friendly price tag but also because of all the beautiful places that you absolutely have to see! Still not convinced? Read here Why Hungary?