Regulating Budapest’s party district has been in the spotlight all year. Eventually, a silence decree was passed, closing bars between 12 and 6 am. Business owners were outraged, but now only 1/3 of them requested permits to remain open.
Budapest’s party district is the general area of Erzsébetváros, surrounded by Erzsébet Boulevard, Király Street, Károly Boulevard, and Rákóczi Road. As we have reported earlier, the General Assembly of Erzsébetváros passed a silence decree in July, which regulates the opening hours at night more strictly than ever before. The decree influences the life of business owners and workers in the district who opposed the regulation early on by protesting.
The need for more serious regulations has been evident for a while. Residents of Erzsébetváros have been outraged by the situation in the party district since 2017. Their main concerns are the noise and waste left behind by drunks, mostly tourists who only come to Budapest to blow off steam.
The new decree was finally passed earlier this summer, and it states that shops and bars must be closed between 12 am and 6 am. However, authorities did offer a compromise for business owners. Bars had the possibility to apply for special permits which would enable them to remain open between 12 am and 6 am under certain conditions. Shops that do not sell alcohol also have the privilege of applying for the permit, hvg reports.
To receive the special permit, bars are not allowed to let their guests drink and shout in public spaces, they must allow everybody to use their restrooms, and they cannot load up stuff during the night. Also, they must measure the noise levels and clean the street where they operate.
Business owners were outraged by the new decree. They claimed that the party district “lost its life to the last wound received from headless district ordinances and public conditions.” However, a surprisingly low number of establishments have applied for the special permit allowing them to remain open between 12 am and 6 am.
Data from the district’s city hall reveals that altogether 138 establishments requested the permit. Over half of them (72) were already granted it, and the rest are currently remedying the deficiencies in their applications. This is only one-third of all the establishments in the party district.
There are many possible reasons why two-thirds of the establishments have not requested a permit. Probably many of these are still dealing with the aftermath of the first wave of coronavirus infections, and most of them are likely preparing for a possible second wave.