When visiting Budapest, one experience you shouldn’t miss is a night out at the city’s famous “ruin bars”. These unique and vibrant venues have become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. In this blog post, we will explore what ruin bars are and provide a guide to some of the must-visit locations in Budapest.
What are Ruin Bars?
Ruin bars are a distinct type of bar that have emerged in Budapest over the past couple of decades. These bars are usually located in abandoned buildings or empty lots, often in the city’s old Jewish Quarter. The concept of ruin bars began as a way to repurpose neglected spaces and create a unique and alternative nightlife scene.
What sets ruin bars apart is their raw and eclectic atmosphere. Instead of trying to hide the buildings’ worn-out appearance, these bars embrace it. The interiors are typically decorated with mismatched furniture, quirky artwork, and retro items, giving them a bohemian and vintage feel. The outdoor areas often have gardens and courtyards where patrons can enjoy a drink under the stars.
Top Ruin Bars in Budapest
Now that you know what ruin bars are all about, let’s dive into some of the most popular venues in Budapest:
1. Szimpla Kert
Szimpla Kert is the pioneer of ruin bars in Budapest and is still one of the most visited and beloved ones. Located in Kazinczy Street, this bar is an eclectic mix of quirky furniture, live music, and vibrant events. On any given night, you can expect to find a lively crowd enjoying a variety of drinks and soaking in the unique atmosphere.
Instant, located in Nagymező Street, is another popular ruin bar that offers multiple floors of fun and entertainment. Each floor has its own theme, ensuring that every visit provides a different experience. From live bands to DJ sets, there is always something happening at Instant. Don’t forget to explore the hidden corners and colorful rooms inside!
3. Fogas Ház
Fogas Ház, situated in Akácfa Street, is a complex that encompasses several ruin bars and venues in one location. It features a spacious courtyard, multiple dance floors, and even a rooftop terrace. The variety of spaces within Fogas Ház guarantees that there is something for everyone, whether you want to dance all night or enjoy a relaxed drink with friends.
Doboz, located in Klauzál Street, is a ruin bar with an industrial-chic design. Inside, you’ll find a maze of rooms, each with a unique style and atmosphere. With its diverse events and music genres, Doboz caters to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re into electronic music or live performances, you’re likely to have an amazing time.
5. Mazel Tov
If you’re looking for a ruin bar with a twist, Mazel Tov is the place to go. Situated in Akácfa Street, this venue combines the ruin bar concept with a trendy Israeli restaurant. The interior courtyard, covered with a glass roof, creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Enjoy delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and then head to the bar area for some drinks and live music.
Tips for Visiting Ruin Bars
Now that you have an idea of where to find the best ruin bars in Budapest, here are a few tips to make the most of your experience:
- Arrive early: Ruin bars tend to get crowded, especially on weekends. If you want to secure a good spot, arrive early in the evening.
- Explore the different rooms: Ruin bars often have multiple rooms and hidden corners to discover. Take your time to wander around and be pleasantly surprised.
- Try the local drinks: Don’t miss the opportunity to try Hungarian specialty drinks like pálinka or fröccs.
- Check the event calendar: Ruin bars often host live music performances, DJ sets, and other events. Before your visit, check their websites or social media pages for upcoming events.
- Respect the venue: While ruin bars have a laid-back atmosphere, it’s important to remember that you are still in someone else’s establishment. Be respectful to the staff, follow any rules or guidelines, and enjoy responsibly.
Visiting the ruin bars in Budapest is a unique experience that will introduce you to a vibrant and unconventional side of the city’s nightlife. Each bar has its own charm and character, so make sure to explore as many as you can during your visit. Cheers and enjoy your time in Budapest!
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