Why don’t Hungarian tourists from the countryside come to Budapest? In many cases because they cannot afford the prices in the capital. The prices of Budapest’s attractions and the surrounding restaurants are not set to suit Hungarian wallets. This was the case even before COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war, but now, the situation is even worse because of the energy crisis. A recently published calculation shows how much more expensive the Hungarian capital has become in recent years, using a children’s series.
According to Pénzcentrum.hu, the prices in the capital are not set to suit Hungarian wallets. A family of 5 could easily spend HUF 60-70,000 (EUR 152-178) in half a day in Budapest, without actually including a main meal.
The Brúnó Budapesten (Bruno in Budapest) children’s series presents the beauty, interesting details and sights of the capital through the eyes of children. “It’s a kind of return to my original profession as an architect,” writes the author Erika Bartos on her website. Brúnó moves with his parents from the shores of Lake Balaton to Budapest. They leave the child with his godfather for three days while his parents are renovating the house. The godfather sets off with Bruno and three of his own sons to see Budapest and its sights.
Back in 2019, Index.hu calculated how much money is lost in the Buda castle in half a day. That amount was HUF 45,000 (EUR 114). Today, in 2023 – “after” all the pandemics, wars and energy crises – we can say that the 2019 prices in Budapest were quite friendly. At least compared to the prices a family of five will have to expect in the capital’s famous sights and restaurants four years later, in 2023.
One of the leisure activities whose price has not changed over the years is the 3D projection in St Michael’s Chapel (Szent Mihály kápolna). Brúnó’s group at the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) did not go up to the upper level lookout, so they only paid HUF 1,500 (EUR 3.81) in the chapel as there is no children’s ticket. This cost HUF 7,500 (EUR 19) in total.
After the Chapel, they had ice cream at the Hilton Hotel. According to the illustration, Brúnó and probably also the other children got 3 scoops. Four years ago, it was around HUF 300 (EUR 0.76) per scoop. So they left at least HUF 3,600 (EUR 9.15) at the ice cream stand. By January 2023, this price had risen by at least fifty percent, so a scoop costs about HUF 450 (EUR 1.14). So this was a total expense of HUF 6,750 (EUR 17.16) for the godfather.
Their next destination was Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom) where they visited the tower. In 2019, this was HUF 6,000 (EUR 15.25) for a group of five. Currently, it costs HUF 12,500 (EUR 31.79) for an adult and four students.
After the Matthias Church, they bought a strudel and scones at the Balta alley. A strudel cost HUF 400 (EUR 1.02) in 2019, and after the 50 percent price increase, it has since risen to HUF 600 (EUR 1.53). So the godfather spent HUF 3900 (EUR 9.92) on pastries at the alley.
Their next destination was the Labyrinth of Buda Castle. Here, they would have to pay a total of HUF 9,000 (EUR 22.89) in 2023 instead of the HUF 7,000 (EUR 17.80) price in 2019. After the labyrinth, the group headed home. On their way, they visited the Guard Change at the Sándor Palace which was free for a change.
After they spent about HUF 8,000 (EUR 20.34) for 4 horn cakes, the group took the funicular down to Clark Ádám Square. That cost HUF 4000 (EUR 10.17) in 2019, but 4 years later, it is HUF 11,000 (EUR 28). As they only went downwards, they had the other upwards ticket which they can use up for a year, so the actual expense is HUF 5,500 (EUR 14).
According to the calculations of Pénzcentrum.hu, during their last adventure in 2019, the godfather spent HUF 44,700 (EUR 113.62). If he were to repeat the same activities with the children this year, it would cost about HUF 60,000 (EUR 152.51). That’s an increase of more than 30 percent regarding the prices in Budapest.