Budapest is yet another European capital cracking down on overtourism.

By Andrea Romano
July 16, 2020

Cities all over the world are fighting overtourism by cracking down on short-term rentals (like Airbnb), and Budapest is just the latest city to make these restrictions.

According to Bloomberg, officials in Hungary have approved legislation that would allow cities to cap the number of days hosts can rent their apartments on Airbnb and other short-term rental sites. On top of this decision, officials in Budapest have passed legislation to enforce stricter rules on businesses that stay open past midnight, such as a “quiet code” that includes having equipment that limits noise levels and security to stop bar patrons from drinking on the street, Bloomberg reported.

The new legislation makes it easier for the city to cut back on overtourism, which can also contribute to large crowds of partiers and drive up rental and housing costs for locals, according to Matador Network.

Budapest alone was home to over 10,000 Airbnb rentals in 2018, Bloomberg reported, so the new legislation will surely make an impact on property owners using their listings as a source of income. The large amount of rentals, in addition to low-cost airfare to the city, have led to complaints about tourists from locals, according to Bloomberg.

Szimpla bar at night, District 7, Budapest, Hungary
Credit: Tim White/Getty Images

Similar restrictions have gained popularity in many European cities, including Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, and others, Bloomberg reported. “We need comprehensive regulation following the example of Amsterdam, Berlin or London that limit the period when entire apartments can function as hotels,” said Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony in a statement, according to Bloomberg. The increased amount of short-term rentals and nightlife have driven up rents that are “out of reach even for a middle-class family,” Karacsony said.

But property owners and tourists don’t need to worry about the party scene suddenly leaving Budapest. Peter Niedermuller, mayor of the city’s seventh district, says that the new restrictions won’t “kill the party district,” but that the city needs “some changes because people living in the district cannot sleep at night,” according to Matador Network.

Much like other cities in Europe, the new restrictions may attract a less-rowdy set of tourists in the future.