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Ongoing Struggle to Consolidate Budapest’s Infamous “Party District”

Hungary Today 2024.04.10.

Budapest’s 7th district’s socialist mayor, Péter Niedermüller, is embarking on the next municipal term with a focus on revitalizing the so-called “party district” while tackling a range of challenges. He aims to maintain the district’s vibrancy while addressing pressing issues, yet he did not address the obvious question of why no tangible improvements were made under his leadership in the past five years.

“We are introducing a new concept for revitalizing the party district,” Mr. Niedermüller explained to opposition newspaper Népszava, recognizing that overcoming the district’s negative reputation will require a multi-year effort and comprehensive changes.

Efforts have been made to address nightclub regulations, waste management, and public cleanliness through a working group established in 2019. Despite progress, challenges persist, the Democratic Coalition (DK) Mayor admitted.

He emphasized the need to attract cultural and design companies, start-ups, and alternative theater and music venues to reshape the district’s image and attract visitors.

The district has seen the rise of nightlife problems and unsophisticated mass tourism, with pseudo-dealers appearing around the better-known nightclubs, alongside drug distribution or drugging the drinks of punters. The scandals of uncontrolled street parties are not without precedent too. Local residents generally complain about the noise of nightclubs and unregulated room/apartment rentals.

Regarding the state of the district, Zsolt Benedek, Mr. Niedermüller’s government party challenger, told Index that

Niedermüller as mayor is only concerned with the implementation of his ideological ideas brought back from Brussels, which has completely ruined Erzsébetváros.”

Niedermüller also expressed a desire to ease traffic congestion by restricting large SUVs from narrow downtown streets. While municipal authorities lack the authority to enforce such restrictions, successful traffic control measures have been implemented on several streets.

An agreement has been forged with restaurateurs to address late-night disturbances, including the formation of an association to ensure compliance with cleanliness standards.

Additionally, a “rapid response team” will address immediate concerns such as overturned rubbish bins and provide assistance to those in need.

Despite challenges, there is recognition of the need for action to preserve the district’s unique character and improve the quality of life for residents. Yet Mayor Niedermüller’s ambiguous record in reigning in anti-social behavior and crime in his own district could cause him to lose his job in the municipal elections in June if no marked improvement is experienced by local residents.


Budapest’s District 7 (Erzsébetváros) is a popular destination for tourists thanks to its special atmosphere, ruin pubs, and nightlife. However, the increased number of visitors has caused significant congestion in the area, leading to dissatisfaction among local residents. The mayor elected in 2019, Péter Niedermüller (progressive), has set his sights on consolidating the district. Due to the complexity of the situation, change is slow and fraught with conflict.

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Via Népszava; Featured Image: Facebook / EVIN – Erzsébetvárosi Ingatlangazdálkodási Nonprofit Zrt

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