bathroom toilets
Photo: Pixabay

A new campaign was launched recently, demanding more free and accessible public bathrooms in Budapest. This year, we celebrate a jubilee, as Budapest’s first public bathroom opened at Deák Square in 1870. Unfortunately, no working public bathroom system was developed since then.

A Város Mindenkié [the city belongs to everyone] movement organised a new campaign which they kicked off at Városháza Square.

The campaign demands more free, accessible public bathrooms built in Budapest, available to all. The petition has been signed by over 5,000 people, hvg reports.

We all had the delightful experience of getting nature’s call and having nowhere to go. In Budapest, it can be extra challenging to find a free toilet to use as there are fewer than 80 public bathrooms in Budapest, a city with approximately 1.5 million inhabitants. There are considerably fewer accessible ones; therefore, people with disabilities have even fewer places to go.

What is a minor inconvenience to the average citizen is a daily struggle for someone who lives on the street. Márton Gede, an activist of the movement, said:

“This seems like such a small issue, but it is often a huge problem. Where is the help when there is such a need? There are no public bathrooms anywhere. I am a homeless man, I sell Fedél Nélkül [a magazine distributed by homeless people to raise money] on Tűzoltó Street all day. The closest public bathroom which I often use is at Ferenc Circuit subway station, and it costs HUF 250 per use. This bathroom closes at 6 p.m., and I usually work until 8 p.m. whenever I can.”

Unfortunately, cities are under no legal obligation to operate public bathrooms, nor is it regulated how many public bathrooms should be available. In 2017, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights asked the Ministry of the Interior to consider the need to amend the legislation and make it a legal obligation to ensure the operation of public bathrooms. They also asked then-mayor István Tarlós to consider the operation of public bathrooms as a municipal task until the situation is resolved at the national level. Neither the Ministry nor the Tarlós administration had made any progress in the last three years. Budapest’s current mayor, Gergely Karácsony, has included the public bathroom issue in his program, but his administration has not made any progress so far either. Inaction leads nowhere, and people will always have the biological urge to go.

You can support the AVM movement on their website.

More free, accessible public bathrooms in Budapest!

Read alsoNew app for your phone: Budapest pee map – free places to go, when you really have to go


1 comment
  1. We can do this better and provide an increase of public facilities as this article refers.
    The provision of facilities for public use, my preference would be the “stand alone type” in exposed clear public places, that you press a button to enter – then have certain time for your needs, then press a button to exit.
    You are given somewhat of a guided procedure when you are sealed inside the cubicle toilet/bathroom.
    There is importance in this procedure, centered muchly on Hygiene, which in this day and age, is of paramount importance, that we ALL must support and practice.
    These public facilities, stainless steel external construction, when you exit,
    after your time of relief, they self clean, the floor, and other areas, that we sit or stand to use.
    They are automated to the advanced extent, that between you and the next user, this hygiene cleaning process takes place.
    Then the green light appears and it is announced, you are invited to enter.
    They environmentally blend in pleasantly – and positioned in safe and thought out locations, could be a consideration given by those looking at the need to provide increased sanitation of public facilities.
    Stay Well – ALL and keep washing those hands after we go ///.

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