Christmas markets are never cheap, that is a known fact. However, this year everything will be much more expensive due to all the current events in the world. Even in previous years, the prices of Budapest’s Christmas markets were bold, but we can only guess how much these will be this year. The good news at least is that Budapest’s central market will be held despite previous news.
Let’s start with the good news. Budapest will hold a Christmas market at Vörösmarty Square despite the failed negotiations. The event will be organised by the same company which organises the market in front of the Basilica building, reports Penzcentrum.hu. This is important as this is the main tourist attraction in the winter season. Alas, the prices that await them might rather make them go home.
Mentioning just a few items like hot wine, beer or sausages, we can start calculating how much money we should bring to the market. The price of these items in 2021 was already horrific. A cup of hot wine and four decilitres of beer was HUF 900 (EUR 2.23) individually and grilled sausages with bread were HUF 2500 (EUR 6.21). Even if we only count this year’s 20 percent inflation, that would mean a huge increase. Hot wine and beer will be well above HUF 1000 (EUR 2.48), while grilled sausages might be over HUF 3000 (EUR 7.45).
This is of course only speculation for now, but it is still frightening. The sad reality is that these prices will be even worse once the market opens. There are many costs that we cannot predict so be ready for even higher prices. The fortunate news for those who come from abroad is that the forint is very weak at the moment. Despite the huge inflation, the forint lost so much value that tourists might not even feel the greater prices.
Albeit the market is very profitable, the late starting date of the organisation led to labour shortages. Most unfilled positions look for people who would be willing to stand at the counter for 14-15 hours a day. For this, they would pay HUF 30,000 (EUR 75) a day, which means about HUF 2,000 (EUR 5) an hour. This might sound good at first, but only by Hungarian standards, this is not a very good salary. This hourly wage is usually offered to students who work part-time jobs. But on average, even a student gets about EUR 1,500 (EUR 3,75) an hour. This makes this rather uncomfortable job barely more profitable than usual student work. Considering you have to stand outside in the winter for a long time it would be surprising if people were fighting for the places.