Budapest’s ruin bars
Ruin bars were a new trend that started to emerge in Budapest about 15 years ago and have become increasingly popular amongst locals and tourists equally. More and more frequently in every big city instead of renovating old buildings they are being abandoned and torn down to build modern high rise apartment blocks, office buildings and shopping centres in their place. The emergence of ruin bars have saved many of these old buildings in Budapest preserving it’s beautiful architecture and turned them into a trendy place where night owls can enjoy a few drinks and chill out in a retro ambiance.
Each of these ruin bars are very unique in terms of their interior design but are all the same in the sense that they leave the building they’re housed in in it’s original condition. No renovation or restoration. Most of them are decorated by the work of local artists and have local bands entertaining on evenings. From time to time they also organize other events like film nights or different workshops.
The concept seem to have caught on in different big cities in Europe recently as ruin bars have opened in Berlin and Zurich as well.
There is an increasing number of ruin bars scattered around various locations of Budapest. These places have a lot of character and you can meet some great people from all around the world. If you are in Budapest definitely recommend to visit one of these places. It’s a very unique experience!
Szimpla Kert has got it all
If I had to choose a favourite I’d probably say Szimpla Kert. This place has it all. First opened its doors in 2001 Szimpla Kert has moved places couple of times and has changed a lot since then. Today its home is at Kazinczy utca and has more to offer its visitors than ever. The interior design is very unique and colourful. The table made out of an old car (Trabant) has to be one of the eye catching pieces of decoration here.
No matter what time of day you visit Szimpla Kert has got something on offer. Flea market, food market, film clubs, exhibitions and theatre performances are only a few to mention of Szimpla’s offerings. With live bands entertaining on a night the atmosphere is brilliant. A place definitely worth visiting while you are at Budapest.
Address: 14. Kazinczy utca, District 7 of Budapest
Instant, the place of weird and wonderful
Close to Liszt Ferenc ter’s row of bars, restaurants and Nagymezo utca’s entertainment venues there is a place called Instant. The place has been open for a while and for a reason. Inside its very much like a labyrinth system with its tucked away corners, little rooms decorated with all sorts of weird and wonderful things like a dentist chair or a full size pin ball machine from the 90’s. Well located close to tourist attractions, bars, restaurants, hostels and hotels Instant is very well placed. A great place to experience the atmosphere of Budapest’s ruin bars alongside a few drinks.
Address: 38. Nagymezo utca, District 6 of Budapest
Puder, the cultural hot spot
Puder placed at another tourist hot spot at Raday utca and is neighbouring one of Budapest’s Michelin star restaurants, Costes. Puder is home to many cultural events, not only functioning as a bar, but also as an art gallery. Exhibitions of emerging artists decorating the walls and creative theatre performances entertaining visitors. Enjoy a few drinks and food listening to live DJs playing on a night in the cosy indoors or sit out on a warm summers night and watch the passers by of the busy Raday utca.
Address: 8. Raday utca, District 9 of Budapest
Fogashaz, a tucked away gem
Fogashaz is located at Akacfa utca, district 7 of Budapest. This ruin bar unlike Puder is a bit more tucked away, but still easily accessible from Budapest’s city centre. First opened in 2009 Fogashaz strives to be a cultural hot spot for visitors. Decorated by work of local artists the interior is very unique and colourful. Alongside the place’s main function film clubs, exhibitions, different work shops and alternative theatre performances are also on offer at Fogashaz. Adding to it’s character Fogashaz has expanded in recent years with the development of the outdoor garden space.
Address: 51. Akacfa utca, District 7 of Budapest
Enjoy the scenery at Nyereg
Nyereg is a bit different from most typical ruin bars. It’s in Budapest’s City Park only a stone throw away from the busy city centre. An outdoor beer garden with a beautiful view to the park and the lake. The seating area right next to the bar is very unique, taking after the name of this place. Visitors can sit on saddles mounted on bar stools right next to the bar area and enjoy home made lemonade, a pint of beer or snacks. The crowd is a bit more diverse as well given the location. With the on site kids corner families with children are not a rare sight here during the afternoon. Also good news for sport lovers as they can watch their favourite sporting events on a wide screen.
You could wonder what makes this place a ruin bar after all. The ivy covered building at Nyereg is one of the City Park’s oldest buildings that used to be an artesian bath. These thermal wells marked the way for the emergence of the neighbouring Szechenyi Bath, one of Europe’s largest spa thermal complex.
Address: 2. Varosligeti korut, District 14 of Budapest
All ruin bars are unique in their own way, but one thing is for sure. Whichever one of them you visit whilst at Budapest you’ll experience something different. A great mix of people from every corner of the world enjoying local bands in a unique atmosphere.