What is a Ruin Bar in Budapest?

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Pub Crawl Budapest

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When visiting Budapest, one term that you may come across frequently is “ruin bar.” These unique establishments have become a significant attraction in the city, drawing locals and tourists alike. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of a ruin bar and explore why they are worth experiencing during your trip to Budapest.

What are Ruin Bars?

Ruin bars, also known as “romkocsma” in Hungarian, are unconventional bars or pubs set up in abandoned buildings, usually in the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest. These dilapidated structures are given a new lease of life as trendy and vibrant social spaces.

The Origins

The ruin bar culture began in the early 2000s when a group of artists saw the potential in repurposing abandoned buildings in Budapest. They started transforming these neglected spaces into unique venues, combining art, music, and nightlife in one place.

What Makes Ruin Bars Special?

Ruin bars are not your typical bars or pubs. They offer a distinct atmosphere and a blend of various elements. Here’s what makes ruin bars special:

  • Ambiance: The eclectic and bohemian vibe of Budapest’s ruin bars is unmatched. The juxtaposition of the dilapidated buildings with funky and colorful decor creates an atmosphere like no other.
  • Artistic Expression: Many ruin bars showcase local artwork, graffiti, and installations. You’ll find creative pieces at every corner, making it a paradise for art enthusiasts.
  • Live Music: Most ruin bars host live music events, ranging from local bands to DJs playing diverse genres. The lively music scene adds to the overall energetic ambiance.
  • Outdoor Gardens: Many ruin bars have spacious outdoor gardens or courtyards, providing a cozy and relaxed environment to socialize with friends and enjoy a drink.
  • Affordability: Compared to other bars in Budapest, ruin bars generally offer affordable drinks, making them popular among students and budget travelers.

Notable Ruin Bars in Budapest

Budapest is home to several outstanding ruin bars. Here are a few popular ones worth visiting:

Ruin Bar Location
Szimpla Kert Kazinczy Street
Fogas Ház Akácfa Street
Kuplung Király Street
Anker’t Paulay Ede Street

Exploring Ruin Bars Responsibly

While ruin bars offer a unique and exciting experience, it’s essential to explore them responsibly. Here are a few tips:

  • Respect the Space: Remember that ruin bars are repurposed abandoned buildings. Show respect for the property and the artwork within.
  • Be Aware of Your Belongings: Like any crowded place, keep an eye on your belongings to ensure their safety.
  • Try Local Drinks: Venture beyond the regular bar offerings and try some local Hungarian drinks. The bartenders can recommend interesting options.
  • Engage with the Community: Ruin bars often host cultural events, workshops, or even language exchange nights. Embrace the opportunity to meet locals and fellow travelers.
  • Plan Ahead: Some ruin bars can get crowded, especially on weekends. If you want to secure a spot, arrive earlier in the evening or consider visiting on weekdays.


Experiencing a ruin bar is an essential part of exploring Budapest’s vibrant nightlife and unique cultural scene. These extraordinary places offer a glimpse into the city’s history while providing an atmosphere where art, music, and community come together. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the magical world of Budapest’s ruin bars.

Eager for an unmatched evening escapade? Plunge into Budapest’s pulsing nightlife with our iconic pub crawl in Budapest. Each venue unravels a fresh tale, every sip crafts a lasting memory. Prepare for a night like no other!

What is a Ruin Bar in Budapest?