Home » In Budapest, the Hungarian power dreams of gentrifying tourism

In Budapest, the Hungarian power dreams of gentrifying tourism

by drbyos

Every Friday evening, it’s a bit like the same circus at Szimpla Kert, the most famous ruins bars of Budapest, these establishments “in ruins” occupying dilapidated places which make the festive spirit of the Hungarian capital. Groups of young men and young women come from all over Europe to bury their life as a bachelor or a young girl and happily drink alcohol even before the last hours of the day in this place with a whimsical decor made of recovered objects.

“It’s my first time in Budapest”, says Yann Duranseaud, 27, from Nice, preparing to order his first drink of the weekend this June evening. Landed less than an hour ago with his friends, he is about to live a long, very long stay… His friends have notably booked “one hour of XXL striptease” (hear with a corpulent woman) and “one hour when he is going to be attached to a dwarf in a bar”. “There are no human rights here”jokes one of his companions.

The group hesitated between Barcelona and Budapest, before deciding for the Hungarian capital, in particular because of its competitive prices. “We found an Airbnb for just under 800 euros for nine people”, boasts the organizer. Like everywhere in Erzsebetvaros, this former Jewish quarter which concentrates partygoers, the building where the group resides has been largely transformed into tourist apartments: it even offers a concierge service to welcome travelers.

“It’s no longer Budapest here, it’s Europe”

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

“In my building, the owners who rent on Airbnb are in the majority and they voted in the condominium assembly to hire a caretaker specifically to give the keys”confirms Abel Zsendovits, the boss of Szimpla Kert, 49, who receives in the middle of the scent of beer from the day before.

Abel Zsendovits, owner and founder of the Szimpla Kert, in Budapest, on June 9, 2023. ANDI GALDI VINKO FOR “THE WORLD” The Szimpla Kert, in Budapest, on June 9, 2023. ANDI GALDI VINKO FOR “THE WORLD”

Co-founder, in the early 2000s, of this mythical place, he himself recognizes the inconvenience generated by the international success of his model, with up to 200,000 revelers reported in Budapest on certain weekends. “I myself have an Airbnb above my house and I sometimes have to go upstairs and tell the groups to go party at Szimpla instead”he says, lamenting that his neighborhood “empty of its inhabitants”. However, ” What can we do ? »he asks himself. “It’s no longer Budapest here, it’s Europe”he replies to those who criticize his prices, which have become inaccessible to most Hungarians, with almost five euros for a pint of beer.

You have 74.41% .. “”.

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