There are some big differences. 

Although many people in Budapest dislike the government, you will not see violent demonstrations or police violence against peaceful protesters.

Not much violent crime. Not much mugging. You can let your teenage kids go out and have fun at night without worrying too much.

Although everyone complains about the healthcare system, it is for-free and gives decent all-round coverage. Some treatments are world-class – heart surgery, spine surgery, to name just a few. Dentistry is top-notch and much cheaper than in Western Europe.

There is a vibrant Jewish community, and Budapest is certainly a much safer place for Jews than Berlin, London or Paris.

If you’re a woman – also much safer.

If you have kids – great music tuition, very cheap (Hungary takes pride in offering access to affordable music tuition for kids). Great sports facilities and sports tuition – swimming, fencing, rowing, football, judo and karate, you name it. It’s one of the reasons why Hungary always does well at olympic games. 

At school, there is mutual respect between teachers and students. Teachers give more than just lessons, they try to be role models. They do that even though their salaries are very low. Students treat teachers respectfully, and even with affection. Students demonstrate for their teachers, demanding that they should be paid better. 

Ladies are more likely to be offered flowers, and more often – for their birthday, Women’s day, Mother’s day, Valentine’s day, their wedding anniversary, their patron saint’s day. This is something Hungarians take just as seriously as birthdays. Men risk trouble if they forget to bring flowers on any of these occasions. 

Men will open doors for ladies, help them into their coats, and will pick up the bill in the restaurant. 

Hungarians are better than most Westerners at being polite. 

They are also better at swearing. 

They are also funnier, when in the mood.

In love, they are more romantic.

And more heartbroken when love ends.

You will never understand any of this if you don’t learn the language, of course. It’s not so difficult, Chinese and Arabic are harder.