Though they may be far from home, expats will be pleased to know that keeping in touch in Hungary is easy and convenient. There are many reliable and affordable ways of contacting family and friends, and keeping up to date with local and international news.
Internet in Hungary
In the past, internet in Hungary has been a bit on the pricey side, but major internet service providers such as Magyar Telekom and UPC are having to contend with the low prices offered by newcomers to the industry, leading to an overall price drop.
Many service providers offer useful broadband internet, cable television and landline telephone services bundles. This often works out cheaper than purchasing each service separately.
Mobile phones in Hungary
There are several mobile operators in Hungary, including Telenor, Vodafone and a relative newcomer, DIGIMobil. Mobile reception is usually good in the cities, but is often patchy in rural areas, particularly when it comes to 3G and 4G mobile internet.
Expats can choose between prepaid or postpaid plans. Although postpaid plans usually offer the most attractive packages, expats will need several documents to sign up. Typically, mobile companies require expat customers to present at least a passport, residence permit, address card and bank card.
Postal services in Hungary
The national postal service is Magyar Posta. It is considered reliable but can be painfully slow, and international shipping services are extremely expensive. While at the post office, expats can also pay bills or buy lottery tickets.
Expats have reported with amusement that post offices in Hungary often sell all sorts of interesting things, from fridge magnets and beaded necklaces to keyrings and stuffed animals.
English-language media in Hungary
Expats in search of English-language newspapers can pick up a copy of The Budapest Times once a week to get their fix of local news. Funzine, published once every two weeks, is targeted specifically at expats and is ideal for those wanting to explore Hungary's culture and entertainment scene.
Magyar Televízió (MTV) is run by the state. It airs a few channels and, while expats may be lucky enough to catch the occasional news broadcast in English, all programming is usually in Hungarian. This network is not to be confused with MTV Hungary, the music channel owned by American network, MTV Music Television.
Expats on the hunt for English television should consider purchasing satellite television, which often includes content from familiar channels and networks such as CNN, HBO and BBC.