Budapest’s Escape Game Phenomenon

My husband Kevin getting ready to enter an escape game - Budapest 2014

My husband Kevin getting ready to enter an escape game – Budapest 2014

Would you pay to be locked up in a room with a timer counting down the minutes, the only escape being to solve puzzles of differing degrees of difficulty?

If you answered yes, then Budapest’s escape game phenomenon could be a highlight of your trip to Hungary.

What feels like a cross between the Amazing Race and any of the CSI series, the escape games have taken over Budapest, allowing teams of 2-6 to test their skills against each other. The clientele is mostly of the tourist variety; however the games also serve as team building opportunities for businesses. What better way to become closer as a team, than to be incarcerated in one or two rooms with no way out other than relying on each other’s skills?

There are over 100 escape games in Budapest, with franchises available around the world. Why did this idea take off in Budapest? The combo of cheap real estate and expensive renovation costs allow for purchase but hinder the cost of fixing up these historical buildings. So young Hungarian entrepreneurs have used the derelict apartments to add ambiance to their games.

For an average of $40 per team, parents, grandparents, tweens, teens, friends, siblings, couples or coworkers, can choose a themed game that lasts an hour. Themes range from Ancient Egypt to Medieval Europe to a room where the goal is to diffuse a bomb before it’s too late.

There is something for everyone, whether you are a self proclaimed tech nerd, history buff, horror lover, or see yourself as the next Sherlock Holmes, you will find an escape game to suit your fancy.

TripAdvisor has ranked escape games first and second consistently, as top Budapest attractions, showing the change in passive traveling to a more active immersive type of travel. People don’t want to only visit museums on their trips anymore. Rather they want to combine history and culture with hands on experiences. Escape games add just the right amount of sensory experiences to keep you talking long after your return home.

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