Budapest offers the same options for digital nomad working as any major European cities. Cafés and restaurants are all over the place, and 99% of them have a steady Wi-Fi connection although it can be slow for works that need high bandwidth. Hotels and hostels also have Wi-Fi everywhere, but they have the same issues as cafés. Co-working places are also available, there was a not-too-recent boom in co-working offices in the city. Now Budapest has a considerable amount of co-working offices, and the industry is constantly growing. Co-working offices are flooded with foreign nomads, and they regularly organize meetups as well. You can also rent your own office or shared office as rents are cheap and affordable.
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The first co-working office opened in 2009, and now the trend continues with a recent spike in new offices in 2015. Co-working offices are located mostly inside the Grand Boulevard in the city center. They operate like any co-working offices with excellent interior design, shared common workplace or even with small private office spaces as well. All of them have the basics from regular office supplies, business address, reception with assistance, to Wi-Fi or cable high-speed internet, lounge and meeting areas. Not all but most of them have their own catering and café or lunch areas.
In the recent years as co-working offices multiplied in the city, some specialization can be spotted. Some of the offices are focusing on one-time co-workers and have only shared workspaces, others are focusing on retaining the workers with events and community meetups or long-term monthly-based office rents.
The principal co-working offices are the following:
LOffice Budapest: the first co-working space that started it all. They have multiple spots at four different locations. Their biggest office is located next to Oktogon Square on Andrassy Avenue with 1 200 m2 space. Their offices consist of shared open-plan workspaces, studio offices, meeting and business areas and they have their own bistro restaurant called Taste Loffice. All of their offices are energy-efficient and mostly built with reusable green materials.
Kaptar: located next to Deak Ferenc Square hub in the heart of the city, Kaptar focuses on freelancers. They don’t have separate studio offices, only one big open-plan workspace. They regularly organize events and community meetups. Kaptar is highly prevalent among foreign freelancers and startup entrepreneurs.
CoWo: a small co-working space which has a big advantage: it is located in the heart of the party district. Only shared workspace is available, the best place to get some work done between two bars.
GreenSpaces: the office is located in Oktogon Square in a converted flat. It is super friendly, almost like a shared home office. They focus on non-profits and value-driven communities, and the whole office offers a simple, cheap and straightforward solution for co-working.
TheHub: TheHub is also located near Oktogon Square, almost next to Loffice. The Hub, however, has a smaller place and focuses mainly on IT and web entrepreneurs, developers, coders, and digital professionals. It has the best of all internet bandwidth.
CoLabs: this co-working office is something like a laboratory as it has more studio offices and one common lounge area. It focuses on startup entrepreneurs and already established small businesses. CoLabs really encourages community meetups and traditional business meetings. They have two offices: one on the Pest and one on the Buda side, all central locations.
Mosaik: this co-working space has newly opened, and it’s the most significant space for co-workers. It has a great lounge area and large spaces. The office is a whole building fully converted to digital nomads. It’s located next to the city center in the 13th district, 5 mins walk from the Grand Boulevard.
Renting your own office
Budapest prices are lower than usual European prices so renting out your own office is also an option. However, studio offices with full office supplies and services are limited in numbers. The primary office providers are available in Budapest, providing co-working or studio office services. Check REGUS offices’ downtown locations or look for the more friendly atmosphere at DBH Offices. There’s also a small office searcher service called Kisirodak (‘small offices’), where you can search for available desks and studio offices across the city. Exotic or extreme locations are even more limited, but for example, you can rent an office on a boat along the banks of the Danube.
If you’re not looking for a serviced office, just a place to be and use it as an office, you can search for real estates on the primary site (realestatehungary.hu) and looking for office-tailored flats and locations.
On the bottom line, offices are available in any sizes across the city, new co-working spaces are spawning up every month, and the prices are low as always.
Tips on co-working in Budapest
1. Most of the co-working offices are popular among nomads but check the local nomad forums to see who’s in the office
2. Working in cafés are expected with consumption of the local coffee and food as well, cafés don’t tolerate you if you’re sitting there with your laptop and your only espresso for hours
3. Co-working offices offer great local guides to the city
4. Prices are cheap, a couple of thousand forints per day only. It’s worth investing in a monthly pass when you’ve found your spot
5. People in co-working offices are super friendly and expect some chat, hang out with the locals cannot be easier
6. Most co-working offices are inside the Grand Boulevard but search for locations that are in the vicinity of some other hot areas
7. Co-working offices mostly offer some fresh food as well, but you will surely find small shops and restaurants around the corner
8. Though co-working offices have internal staff to look after guests, don’t leave your belongings behind when you pop out for a bite
9. Ask for special rules at the reception
10. Non-co-working offices need at least 1 month of rent in advance, some of them are available only for an annual contract with deposit