In Budapest, the Hungarian powerhouse dreams of improving tourism

In Budapest, the Hungarian powerhouse dreams of improving tourism

Every Friday evening, the circus resembles itself at Szimpla Kert, the most famous Ruin bars In Budapest, these ‘in ruins’ establishments occupy crumbling venues bringing to life the festive spirit of the Hungarian capital. Groups of young men and women who come from all over Europe to bury their lives as bachelors or young girls happily drink until before the last hours of the day in this place with whimsical decor made of salvage stuff.

“It’s my first time in Budapest”says Yann Duranceud, 27, from Nice, preparing to order his first drink of the weekend this evening in June. He landed less than an hour ago with his friends, and he’s about to have a very long stay… His friends have noticeably booked up “One Hour Of Striptease Xxl” (overheard with a fat woman) f “One hour when he’s tied to a troll in a tavern.”. “There are no human rights here.”one of his comrades jokes.

The group hesitated between Barcelona and Budapest, before deciding on the Hungarian capital, especially because of its competitive prices. “We found an Airbnb for less than 800 euros for nine people”Take pride in the organizer. As is the case everywhere in Erzsebetvaros, this former ghetto focused on party-goers, the building where the group is staying has been converted into tourist apartments: it even offers a concierge service to welcome travelers.

Budapest is no longer here, it is Europe.

This service is the latest trend to replace the garlands of key chests hanging from the entrance doors of these few streets that occupy barely 0.5 square kilometers in the center of the Hungarian capital.

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“In my building, owners who rent on Airbnb are in the majority and they have voted in the condominium complex to hire a supervisor specifically to give out the keys.”confirms Abel Zsendovits, head of Szimpla Kert, 49, who receives in the middle the smell of beer from the day before.

Abel Zsendovits, owner and founder of Szimpla Kert, in Budapest on June 9, 2023.
The Szimpla Kert, in Budapest, on June 9, 2023.

One of the founders of this legendary venue, in the early 2000s, is himself aware of the inconvenience caused by the international success of his style, with as many as 200,000 revelers reported in Budapest on certain weekends. “I myself have an Airbnb above my house and sometimes I have to go upstairs and tell groups to go party in Szimpla instead”He says sorry for his life “empty of inhabitants”. althoug, ” What can we do ? “he asks himself. Budapest is no longer here, it is Europe.He responds to those who criticize his prices, which are out of reach for most Hungarians, with nearly five euros for a pint of beer.

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