It’s nearly impossible to think of this city without picturing the impossibly cool ruin bars in Budapest. Originating in the Jewish Quarter, they’ve become a big hit over the past few decades. They are famous for their eccentric styles, incredible nightlife and bleak look into Hungary’s past during WW2.
Ruin bars are bars that have been created in old buildings that were on the verge of ashes not only after Germany’s occupation but the Soviet Union occupation that followed until it’s dissolution. Needless to say, if you find yourself in Budapest, you absolutely have to check out a few ruin bars. Start with these…
Best Ruin Bars In BudapestHow do these rankings work?
Housed in a former stove factory, Szimpla Kert is the ruin bar of all ruin bars. It was opened in 2002 and since then has evolved into one of the countries most loved nightlife spots for everything from live theatre, small concerts, flea and farmers markets. At Szimpla Kert there is something for everyone.
Upscale, quirky, colourful and known for its massive King Kong statue, Doboz is one of Budapest’s best ruin bars. Made up of several themed roomed with everything from in house DJs, Latin mixes and pop, you’re sure to have a memorable night. If you start to get hungry as the night continues, they’ve got you covered with hot dogs, pizza, quesadillas and more.
Set in a nearly 200-year old building on one of Budapest’s many back streets, Anker’t is a must see. It’s massive open-air beer garden, and great artisan foods make it a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Kick back and enjoy one of their great pilsners while taking in the unique atmosphere.
Just a few blocks from the Opera, you’ll find Mazel Tov. They pride themselves on a sophisticated approach to ruin bars with fancy cocktails over draft beer and charcuterie boards in place of other more casual foods. The patio is airy and lush with ivy spilling from the terraces, making it a perfect spot for afternoon drinks and snacks.
Set in what was once a grand coffee house during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the decor is chic and classy. Csendes retains much of the charm that it had in its heyday as a coffee house while still boasting lots of strange and unique decor that you’d expect from a ruin bar.
Kobuci Kert is located in equally historic and beautiful Zichy Palota garden. This ruin bar is perfect for anyone who enjoys live music as they have regular performances from local artists. Any given night you may find anything from local singer/songwriters to Tanchaz folk dancing. Bear in mind that this is a seasonal ruin bar open from mid-April through September.
Colourful murals, bizarre furniture, quirky staff and a welcoming atmosphere all bring Kőleves to life. It’s located in the “stone soup garden” that gets its name from an old Hungarian fairy tale and is known for being a ‘slice of countryside in the city’. You can’t miss a chance to sip on a few drinks at Kőleves while in the Hungarian capital.