Unique to Budapest ruin bars breathe new life back into abandoned, derelict buildings and transform them into trendy, shabby-chic drinking dens. Expect quirky, often bizarre decor, eclectic furniture and street art, each with their own distinct underground vibe. So take a look at our list of the best for the ultimatehen weekend in Budapest.
As the original ruin bar that inspired the trend, Szimpla Kert is as much a landmark as it is a place to party. Once an abandoned factory, you’ll now find an open courtyard full of quirky furniture and a maze of themed rooms and cocktail bars. It’s an atmospheric place to drink, full of nooks and crannies to explore, with graffiti, street signs, fairy lights and an old communist Trabant car.
Based in what was once a factory, Anker’t is a ruin bar made up of several large connected courtyards with a huge dance floor and comfy couches to chill out on with a few drinks. The minimalist design gives it a unique atmosphere alongside other, more elaborately decorated ruin bars. Anker’t is home to the hottest underground DJs, tasty food stands and a large projector for watching sports.
Fogas Haz or ‘House of Teeth’ was named after the century-old dentist’s sign found during its renovation. Today, it's a lively ruin pub, filled with hip cocktail bars and multiple rooms where you can relax, drink on the cheap and play ping pong. Its well-known for its enormous open air courtyard, which is buzzing all year round thanks to the impressive retractable roof. Plus, in the evening the courtyard turns into a busy dance floor, it’s the place to party, so stay late and dance till dawn.
Taking over an entire apartment building, Instant is the biggest ruin bar in the city with a colourful labyrinth of over 20 rooms. With a club-like atmosphere, 8 bars, 4 dance floors and a restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ll get lost at some point. Expect somewhat bizarre decor and weird and wonderful installations.
For rooftop views and underground techno beats, head to Corvin Club and Terrace sat atop an old supermarket. If you make it up the stairs, you’ll discover the cool, top floor club where fans of electronic music will feel right at home. Head up even further to the huge, popular terrace for expansive views of the Buda hills - the perfect spot for a drink as the sun sets.
This unique ruin bar is actually hidden in a hostel, known for its vibrant jungle-like courtyard at its centre, making it a popular choice with travellers. The garden has a cosy feel, with quirky art and furniture scattered around, including a rather memorable carrot statue. If you’re a sports fan, watch the latest games on the big screen or challenge your friends to a game of ping pong.
Located in a former university building with a courtyard at its centre, Durer Kert embraces the student lifestyle with foosball, ping pong, darts and a fun French game called pétanque. It attracts a lively, young crowd and has evolved into a top live music venue with regular concerts, DJ sets, parties and events and several dance floors so you can dance the night away, whatever your music tastes.
With a name roughly translating as ‘congratulations’, this ruin bar in the old Jewish quarter is one of the city’s newest additions. It may look like a ruin bar on the outside, but inside will surprise you. By day, it’s a community centre and an Israeli/Middle Eastern restaurant. At night the courtyard transforms into an urban drinking paradise where you’ll find cocktails instead of cheap booze, plus fantastic food and trendy industrial interiors.