Tag Archives: expats budapest

You know when you’ve lived in Hungary too long…………


  • You’ve accepted that Sour Cream isn’t just for Nachos.
  • You’ve one pub or bar that you always seem to find your self in.
  • You eat pancakes (palacsinta) as a dessert and not just on pancake day.
  • You’ve given up converting Forint into your home currency because your head just cannot deal with that many numbers.
  • The novelty of seeing 100,000 in your bank has worn off.
  • You don’t find jokes or references to “being hungry” funny anymore.
  • Lake Balaton actually seems like an ocean because it’s been so long since you saw a real beach.
  • Drinking soda water in wine is normal.
  • You know the names of at least 3 different types of fröccs.
  • You realise Hungarian wine is actually very good, and wonder why it isn’t more widely available else where.
  • That it doesn’t matter how much you try to learn Hungarian, your pronunciation (as an English native speaker) of the rolled R will never be correct.
  • When walking around Budapest your visiting friends and relatives tell you you walk to fast.
  • When friends and family cant believe how cheap it is here, you respond “vat is 27%! How is that cheap?”
  • The same friends or family suggest a bar or restaurant they’ve read about in a guide book, your only response is “expensive” or “full of tourists.”
  • Just seeing the word “Fidesz” or an image or Viktor Orban’s face riles you.
  • You can type on a Hungarian keyboard without having to change the imput to “English”
  • You consider a pint of beer costing more than 450Huf is a rip off.
  • You’ve learn’t to say no to a shot of Palinka.

I would just like to add that this list is based on my own experiences and stories other expats have told me. If you have others that you think should be added to the list, add them in a comment or send them through the contact form.



All Saints Day 2014 (Halottak Napja)

All saints day (Halottak Napja) which translates as “the day of the dead” or “the day of remembrance.”

All Saints’ Day is a celebration of all Christian saints, particularly those who have no special feast days of their own, in many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches. In many western churches it is annually held November 1 and in many eastern churches it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It is also known as All Hallows Tide, All-Hallomas, or All Hallows’ Day.

“Catholics pray and hold to the conviction that through prayer and self-denial the faithful can hasten the deliverance of souls from purgatory and into heaven. The Catholic doctrine teaches that some Catholics still have a kind of purification process that they must undergo after dying before they reach heaven. The prayers of living Catholics are believed to lighten the way for those living in purgatory.”

Quote from http://www.hunglish.org/articles/holiday-hungary-all-souls-day

Celebrated on the 1st November every year in Hungary as an official holiday. It is also celebrated in many central and eastern European countries.

All though this day is close to Halloween they are no were near similar. You will not see people dressed up and glorifying the world of the dead. Instead families visit the graves of relatives and friends that have passed. Although a national holiday nothing really happens until the sun has gone down and the dark has descended upon the country.


On this eve you will see families leaving their homes with candles and bright yellow chrysanthemums. Everyone is heading to the cemetery to remember those that have passed and decorate the graves with candles and flowers.

It really is an amazing site to see. Last year when I went with my boyfriends family I felt uneasy about the experience to begin with. I had never meet the people whos graves I was visiting, but once you step into the cemetery and see all the people, candles and the flowers it truly is a beautiful site to behold. Every time I light a candle I would think of people that had sadly left my life also, but I had a feeling of happiness for them rather than sadness. It was like being there made me understand that they are at rest.


Even if you don’t have a Hungarian relative or boyfriend I would really recommend going to a cemetery on this day. Not just to see how beautiful it is but to remember your passed loved ones. I’ve noticed as I’ve got older that fewer of my relatives including myself visit the graves of deceased and quite often even miss the anniversary of their death. i think even if i was to move from Hungary I would continue to celebrate this day in my own way not matter where in the world I may be.

Below you will find a list of cemetaries in Budapest if you would like to join in on this national holiday:

  • Angeli Street Cemetery
  • Budafoki Cemetery
  • Cinkotai Cemetery
  • Csepeli Cemetery
  • Csörsz Street Cemetery (Orthodox Jewish cemetery, out of use since 1961)
  • Farkasréti Cemetery
  • Gránátos Street Cemetery (Orthodox Jewish cemetery)
  • Kerepesi Cemetery (Kerepesi temető; official name: Fiumei úti sírkert)
  • Kispesti Cemetery
  • Kozma Street Cemetery (the biggest Jewish cemetery in Hungary, with the monument of 600,000 Jewish martyrs, famous for its art nouveau memorials)
  • New Public Cemetery, Budapest (Új köztemető; Rákoskeresztúri sírkert)
  • Óbudai Cemetery
  • Pestszenterzsébeti Cemetery
  • Pestszentlőrinci Cemetery
  • Rákospalotai Cemetery
  • Tamás Street Urn Cemetery
  • Újpest, Megyeri Cemetery

1 Year in the City


It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time flies. The one year anniversary of living in Budapest has been and gone!

Not only have I been looking back over the last year of my life, but also how I feel this blog has become half a help guide to expats half an online diary or maybe even a rant.

I’ve learnt so much about myself in the last year, there are many things I would do differently and things I wouldn’t change.

My patience has grown a little, although I still have my days where I let the bureaucracy get me down.

I do not give up so easily, but there is room for improvement. As far as I’m concerned I’ve managed to live here a year so that is proof enough.

So if you are just moving to Budapest or Hungary in General here is my advise to making your way though your first year.

Getting to know the city!

Buy a pass and use the overground public transport as much as possible.

Walk around the city get to know its streets.

Download the bkv app. Absolute life saver when your lost, it has a map which uses gps only, shows you the closest stops and full timetable of all available public transport!


Get out and meet people!

Join all the Facebook and other expat communities listed on my “online friending” post.

Learn Hungarian!!

A little goes a long way. When your more settled take classes. I can only recommend Babilon nyleviskola as it the only one I have attended, but there are many in and around the city.



Be patient!

Don’t let the bureaucracy get you down. Although at some times slow, the system does work in its own weird and wonderful way! To live here you have to learn to be laid back if your not already.

I wish you the best of luck! Contact me any time if you need help or advise!







Online Friending

Finding friends in a new place…..How hard can it really be?

Well, before I moved to Budapest I assumed it would be fairly easy to find some like minded people, in reality it is not as easy as it may seem. Originally I went to one of the ‘imp” (International meeting point events) found through Facebook and I did meet one very nice girl who, unfortunately only ended up staying in Budapest 3 months.

So back to the topic at hand, so you move to a new city, find a job and wounder how to stay making friends outside of work?

My first port of call was Facebook, there are many groups that arrange various activities for expats. I’ll post links to all of them at the bottom of this post.

I previously mentioned the Imp event, these are great if you’re wanting to have a few drinks, maybe a little dance, I got the impression the people that go to these events already know each other through studying or work. I meet one girl at this event who happen to sit with a group of other people, but was totally ignored, so I found it all a bit clicky for me. Great for Students who don’t have to be at work at 9am the next day, as these events are always held on a Wednesday fortnightly at Ankert.

So after this event and my exploration of Facebook, I didn’t find any particular event that I was totally into. So I started to search Google and started to find lots of expat website. Through these sites you can sign up, post if you have any questions, look through previous posts of varying really helpful info! Also you can see who the other member are in your town/city and current country of residence.

So I introduce myself to the group and started looking through the various members. I decided it would be best to look for other females around my age, in the hope we may have similar interested. So a few messages later I’ve arranged to meet 2-3 girls.

Never having done anything like this before I can imagine it’s like online dating, but looking for people that in the future may become good friends.

So since the beginning of May I’ve meet 3 girls, 1 Swedish, 1 Mexican and 1 Hungarian. Luckily for me they all speak English very well.

So socially the future looks good. Here is hoping to meet many more wonderful and interesting people!


Facebook groups

Hungary expats


Expats in Hungary


Expat loop-All expats Budapest


Expat info-Budapest


Social events in Budapest


International Meeting point


English Speaking Expat Goup


Danube events



Expat blogs




British Expats











Registration and address card for EU nationals

I’m hoping this post will bring together all the information I have found and experienced when applying for the registration card.

As an Eu national wanting to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days the registration card is required and the address card follows in the post.

Hungarian translations of these two cards are:

Registration card-

Address card- Lakcim Kartya


The old immigration website was confusing enough and now the new one (partly Eu funded) only has the following information:

“When is it necessary to submit for registration card as an EEA national?

The EEA national is entitled to enter to the territory of Hungary with valid travel document or identity document and in case of stay longer than 90 days – at the latest on the ninety-third day from entry – is required to notify his/her stay with personal data.

What is necessary for reporting and issuing address card?

The EEA national is required to report his/her stay longer than 90 days at the customer service of regional directorate competent on the basis of his/her future residence. At reporting the applicant is required to present a valid travel document or identity document, and attach the documents proving the conditions of stay: in case of gainful activities the proving documents, in case of studies the certificate issued by educational institution, in case of family law status the document certifying the existence of family relationship, the document certifying the financial conditions, document certifying the right over property as Hungarian address and the document supporting the right to use of health insurance services or document certifying the necessary funds. The administrative service fee of registration card is 1.000 HUF, which shall be paid with revenue stamp.”

Immigration office website

As an Eu national wanting to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days the registration card is required and the address card follows in the post.

What documents do you need?

  • Passport or Id card
  • Prof of accommodation-either rental contract or letter from whom you are staying with.
  • If you have a job..Letter from employer/contract
  • If you don’t have a job bank statements showing you have enough money to support yourself.
  • EHIC card/European health insurance card from your home country.
  • 1000huf stamp from the post office.
  • A Letter stating when and where you entered the country and your reason for staying.
  • A pen to complete the form.


Office Address

Office of Immigration and Nationality
Address: 1117 Budapest, Budafoki street 60.

Telephone: 0036-1-463-9100

If you are outside Budapest this is the list of regional offices. http://www.bmbah.hu/jomla/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=33&Itemid=678&lang=en#

How to get there:

by bus No. 33, 33E, 33A which leaves from Móricz Zsigmond körtér /bus-stop: Hengermalom utca/ or by bus No. 103 (black) which leaves from Népliget /bus-stop: Hengermalom utca/.

Or there is the one downton

1075 . Budapest, VII. kerület Károly krt. 11.

How to get there: Customer service at Deák Square (underground: 1, 2, 3, tram: 47, 49)

I personally went to the Buda office, as I could not find the one at Karoly Krt. I walk past it everyday now, I do not know how I managed to miss it. The entrance is in between Pasta Manufaktura and the Gold wok, You will see the Flags just above the door.

What happens next?!

Once you arrive, you will be given a form to complete and a Number. Fill in the form and wait your turn.

Hand over the form and all your paperwork. Providing they are happy you should receive your registration card there and then and your address card will follow in the post.


At the Buda office the receptionist sent me away the first time because I did not have a job. When I went back the second time I said I was self  employed. I do not want to sound rude toward her, but she doesn’t know what she is talking about. So make sure you stand your ground. When I went back the second time I asked the actual immigration officer if it was necessary to have a job, she said no, as long as you prove you have enough money to live on for your stay or while you are looking for work.


I wish everyone the best of luck!