HOME OF RUIN BARS
Szimpla Kert: You can’t look up Budapest without hearing about the ruin bars, and Szimpla is the one that started it all. The drinks are overpriced (as one might expect from a tourist hotspot), but at least you’ll be drinking them in a unique setting, think eclectic decorations, crumbling walls, and random graffiti! Although Szimpla is a party any night of the week, the weekend has some extra events. The back room is dedicated to open mic each Friday, where you can hear live music from locals and visitors alike. Sunday morning is calmer, and you can come to peruse Szimpla’s farmer’s market or enjoy the Szimpla brunch upstairs.
Csendes: One of the reasons people love this place is because it has all of the quirky decoration and tasteful decay of a ruin bar, but it’s still tame enough to have a conversation. Enjoy a late lunch, or check out one of their DJ nights.
Rengeteg: The cheap beer flows in Budapest, but if you’re into drinking something sweeter, then Rengeteg is a good place for you. Budapest gets a lot of press for ruin bars, but ruin cafe Rengeteg is just as quirky. The decorations seem to cater to the kids at heart, with board games and vintage toys sprinkled around the basement tables. And what’s on the tables? Rengeteg’s artisan hot chocolate. There’s a ridiculous amount of flavor combinations to try, so it’s best to get creative! Rengeteg is part of a larger complex, Elesztohaz, which houses a craft beer bar and a tapas place, among other things. So come prepared!
Fogas Haz/Instant: The free entry and ruin bar decor makes this a crowd favorite--but be sure to get there early, the queue can get quite long.
Doboz: Perhaps the most memorable image from this club is the giant sculpture of a gorilla that greets you right as you enter the courtyard. You’ll likely spend a lot of time here throughout the night, catching your breath after laying down some moves on either of the two dance floors. Also, Doboz is a perfect place for a girls’ night, as ladies get in free! (Otherwise, it’s a 1000 HUF entry fee.)
If you’re interested in live music, keep an eye on concert venues Akvarium, Barba Negra, and A38 Hajo.