Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.
If you’re looking for a truly unique, eclectic, or cool story to take home with you, look no further than the ruin bars of Budapest. They’ve sprung up in abandoned buildings, stores, and at post-World War II sites, in and around the old Jewish quarter. A textbook example of an underground culture that’s gone mainstream, this is a mandatory Hungarian experience to be had!
Szimpla Kert is on top of most lists for being the pioneer among Hungarian ruin bars and its associated culture. Having started in 2002 by converting an old factory into a cinema and a pub, it wears many hats today. Go here for live music, film, art, the Szimpla Farmers’ Market, flea market or to rent a bike (they offer bikes on hire).
Address: Kazinczy u. 14, 1075
Timings: Mon – Sun 9 pm to 4 am
Szatyor Bar and Gallery
For authentic bohemian vibes, visit Szatyor Bar and Gallery, a hub for Hungarian artists, poets, writers. The bar shares a wall with the legendary 20th century Hadik (Café). Hungarian folk art on the walls, contemporary art exhibits, and live gigs sets this place apart. Regular food and drinks are available. Weekends can be crowded.
Address: 36, Bartok Bela Street, Buda
Phone: 06 1 279 0291, 06 20 502 2597
Timings: Monday – Sunday 11 am to 8 pm
Csendes Vintage Bar & Cafe
Unlike other flamboyant ruin bars, Csendes is a quieter place that retains the old-world vibe. This high-ceilinged space with odd objects and surrealist art was formerly a Transylvanian coffeehouse. It serves traditional Hungarian cuisine as well as coffee and alcohol. Complete with music by a DJ too. Try booking in advance as the tables fill up in the evenings.
Address: Ferenczy István utca 5, Budapest
Website: Csendes Vintage Bar & Café
Instant & Fogas Ház
Instant may not offer you the typical ruin bar experience, but a space for hard partying and dancing, and lots of it. It is the largest bar complex in the city with 7 unique clubs, 18 bars and 2 gardens for all different music and party preferences.
Address: 1073, Akácfa Street 51
Phone: +36 6 70 638 5040
Grandio Party Hostel
Set in a 170-year-old heritage building, this hostel cum garden pub has one of the greenest ambiences and a façade decorated by local and international street artists. It is a great place to meet other travellers and start off your pub crawl in the party district nearby.
Address: Budapest, Nagy Diófa u. 8, 1072
Phone: +36 70 670 0390
Mazel Tov is a popular Jewish restaurant and ruin bar that is also quite upscale. It serves lots of grilled meats like Merguez sausages and chicken shawarma, with no dearth of vegetarian options too. Reservations are necessary as the place is always booked.
Address: Akácfa u. 47, 1072
Phone: +36 70 626 4280
Dobló Wine Bar
Calgary antik drinkbár
If looking for the quirky and the lesser-known, then this is the place for you. This 28-year-old place is a cross between an antique shop and a basement bar – the low-lit atmosphere overcrowded with numerous trinkets give it a special vibe. Not to mention the friendly owner and bartender – Viki, a former model.
Address: Budapest, Frankel Leó út 24, 1027
Phone: +36 20 510 4610
Timings: Sun – Mon 6 pm to 4 am
These ruin bars give a clear idea about just how artistic Budapest is, and how influential the Baroque era has been on its aesthetics. Want to delve further into the city’s many offerings? Look no further, because we have it detailed out here in the 3 days in Budapest itinerary.