Striptease clubs, clubs for swingers and sex clubs in Budapest are often under the same roof. There are mixed opinions and reviews on the net. Some people say you’re more than likely to get scammed, while others claim that Budapest striptease clubs are the safest spots in the world. So you must decide for yourself. P1 (http://www.p1budapest.com/) on Podmaniczky Frigyes tér 2 is one of those clubs. It’s pretty new and popular among locals and tourists, also because they as ask as little €25 for an open bar voucher. Zug-Bár Night Club (https://night-bar.com/), at Bonyhádi út 141 is the oldest club in town; at least they claim to be. Apart from a great reputation and an American Army’s seal of whore approval, they got a couple of VIP/private rooms at the back, for reasons unknown. Maybe you are curious enough to investigate.
Budapest is now famous for its ruin pubs: on the remains of old factories and other buildings in the centre the most fashionable bars have been erected. There is a good vibe in these places. They are decorated in original style offer to great music, good meals and drinks and have become the favourite hangouts of the local hipsters, students, expats and tourists. When you are exploring Budapest’s vibrant clubs and bar scene, it is good to take note of the infamous bar scams. These are a plague in a number of cities in Central and Eastern Europe and especially foreigners in Budapest have become victim of these malicious practices. Thanks to Internet travellers have become better informed these days so the number of incidents seems to decrease but still you find recent horror stories on the net. A Dutch private TV station made an interesting documentary on it which you still find on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuqnPm27_yw)
It usually goes as follows: two girls are walking down the main streets in Budapest centre and approach single or small groups of male tourists and business travellers. The girls behave like they are from the Hungarian countryside and are visiting the Hungarian capital for the first time in their lives. They will pretend they are lost and are desperately in need for guidance to some café or club. They will ask if you have some suggestions of good places or at least a map to show them the way. Pretty soon they will invite you to lead them the way and even join them for a drink. That is the moment that all your alarm bells should start ringing. The girls look attractive but also cute and very much unlike the typical gold digger or street working girl. They are more the student or girl-next-door types, so they play the game pretty smart because not many men will feel immediately the whole situation has been set up. These girls are hired by notorious bars to bring new clientele.
Once you are in such a place with the ladies they will start ordering a whole bunch of alcoholic drinks. Very soon you will lose sight of the final bill, especially because the menus are silent on prices of cocktails and other hard liquids. At the end of the evening you will be confronted with an outrageous high bill. If you cannot pay with card or cash they will direct you to an ATM machine, which is usually in the backend of such basement bar. The bar security staff and bouncers that normally have the function to let not in certain people not kick out annoying guests play her a different role. Until you have not paid the ridiculous high check a big muscled guy make sure you cannot leave the place. You can threat by telling them you will report it to the police or even your embassy, but usually they are not that impressed. Do not count on too much assistance from local authorities anyway because they often put a blind eye on it. This also because some probably will be tipped by bar owners for not being too strict when it comes to law enforcement.
On the main pedestrian street Vaci utca there is at least a vague (basement) bar called “The Pub” which was involved in a number of incidents in the past. But be aware that also cafes in other areas can belong to scam bar circles. I consider myself as an experienced traveller but I am ashamed to say that when I visited Budapest not too long ago my best mate and I also almost fell victim to these scam artists. After a weekend partying on Sziget festival we were pretty exhausted but – thanks God – still alert enough to notice these 2 cute Hungarian back packers were trying to trap us in a notorious scam bar on Vaci utca. Just in time we said goodbye to the two charming Hungarian ladies. It was really a narrow escape.