One of Budapest's ruin bars with an iconic garden theme

7 Best Ruin Bars in Budapest for 2019 (No6 is amazing)

25 May 2019 By Danielle Gunner
One of Budapest's ruin bars with an iconic garden theme

As one of Budapest’s biggest draws for over 15 years, these quirky watering holes are not to be missed. Ruin bars are made from old-world abandoned buildings with an interesting historical background and vintage flare. They can be found in this hotspot’s Old District VII neighbourhood, where the first bohemian bar, Szimpla Kert kick started this trend of timeless drinking venues.

Holidaymakers flock from across the globe to bar crawl these crumbling mis-matched hideaways. Not only the beating heart of the capital’s nightlife, but these eccentric delights also home markets, live music and film festivals. Now it’s time to discover the best ruin bars in Budapest, from off-the-beaten-path cocktail wonders to the oldest and most famed spots.

Szimpla Kert

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by szimplakert (@szimplakert) on

Location: Its location doesn’t get anymore fitting than Budapest’s Jewish Quarter at Kazinczy u. 14, 1075, to be precise. Situated among enriched street art, archaeological masterpieces and boutique stores find this once old factory.

Why visit? Let’s start with the best and oldest of them all, opening its doors back in 2002 and setting the standards high for other ruin bars – Szimpla Kert will definitely impress.

Instead of refurbishing the joint, the owners decided to experiment with its remaining features which turned it into the distinguished venue it is now, with its red brick walls awash with graffiti, hanging fairy lights and open-air cinema. More than just a place to grab a drink, the backyard turns into a weekly market selling chocolate covered pancakes alongside homemade wines and ales.  

Not only one of the best party venues in Hungary, but it plays host to cultural exhibitions and live performances. Separated into sections, avid wine drinkers can head to their own dedicated bar and cocktails are served outside in the sun – after all, there are 400 different types of beverages on offer. There’s also a shisha section and the menu here contains stacked burgers, chicken wraps and soups.

Budapest holiday deals

Events:

  • Szimpla Jam
  • Techno Paint Party
  • Art Market

Best for: Variety and live music

Opening times:

Monday to Saturday from 12pm – 4am

Sunday from 9am – 4am

Hotels nearby:

  • Marmara Design Hotel: There are 93 comfortable rooms anticipating your arrival, each with beautifully modern decor and excellent mod-cons. Some superior options come with a balcony, which provides guests with sensational city vistas. The onsite restaurant and bar will provide delicious fare accompanied with fine wines or fruity cocktails.
  • Royal Park Boutique Hotel: Placing you next to the iconic City Park and Andrassy Avenue, it doesn’t get much more central than this. Contemporary decor is a recurring theme in this hotel, with swanky soundproof rooms and a chic bar. The buffet breakfast is a huge highlight, alongside the first-class facilities and comfy furnishings.

Fogas Ház

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Instant-Fogas (@instant.fogas.budapest) on

Location: In the centre of all the action on Akácfa u. 49-51, 1073, this is the city’s main strip of nightlife. Alongside this one-of-a-kind establishment, you’ve got prime access to other ruin bars in Budapest such as BOX Studio and Doboz. But be sure to hit this music-pumping venue last, with a 6am closing time it’s one for the early hours.

Why visit? Fogas (aka Toothy House) was once a dental repair building, now it contains seven dancefloors and 15 bars. Its distinctive art adorned walls and dangling lantern lights give it that retro feel, while its electro music brings you back to the 21st century. It’s been said that the best way to experience this pub is via a bar crawl, where drinks and party games are included in the price.

There’s a courtyard in the middle of Fogas, where colourful visuals are projected onto the surrounding flora and fauna. Although the live concerts and stand-out DJs will keep you warm from all the dancing, the bar’s gas patio heaters also come in handy on winter nights. There are other rooms dedicated to rock, R&B as well as techno. And when your appetite arrives, follow the scent of pizzas or grilled meats to find the eatery.  

Events:

  • International Love Affair
  • Wicked House Music Sunday
  • Traffic Lights Party

Best for: Party animals

Opening times:

Monday to Sunday from 4pm – 6am

Anker’t

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ankert (@ankertbudapest) on

Location: Perfectly positioned at 33 Paulay Street, Anker’t is based in one of the most important hidden pathways of Budapest’s party district. Boasting two courtyards and a large projector for summer movie nights – it’s the ultimate hangout spot.

Why visit? It’s famed as one of the largest ruin bars in the capital with a large open-air beer garden and industrial decor. Anker’t recently celebrated its fifth birthday alongside its massive success, after all, this hip venue hosts the hottest underground DJs and exclusive pop-up events around the city. Not to mention it’s a huge hit with the vegan community, with its farmers and Sunday plant-based market.

Accessorised by scaffolding and limestone walls, the 200-year-old building adds character – just one of its many allures. However, its dated appearance is all part of its ruin charm and is in fact one of the classiest establishments in Budapest. Revel in everything from food stalls to workshops and slam poetry nights. There are four bars containing local flavours such as Dreher lager, Tokaj wine and elderflower spirits.

Events:

  • Go Wild! Stay Cultured Photo Contest
  • Disco Panic
  • From Divas to Latin Pop

Best for: Markets, exhibitions and laid-back drinks

Opening times:

Monday to Wednesday from 2pm – midnight

Thursday from 2pm – 1 am

Friday to Saturday from 2pm – 4am

Sunday from 2pm – midnight

Hotels nearby:

  • Museum Hotel Budapest: Flaunting 4 stars for  its city centre location, top-notch customer service and one-of-a-kind amenities – your stay will be nothing short of memorable. Oozing glamour throughout its suites, bar and in its wellness centre, luxury comes as standard here.
  • Soho Boutique Hotel:  Placed between the capital’s many sights, you’re in prime position to soak up Budapest’s biggest draws. The hotel’s 68 rooms come equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, an LCD TV, mini bar and room service. When it comes to food and drink, there’s a lobby bar with signature concoctions and a buffet eatery.

Did you know? Ankar’t is extremely LGBT friendly with weekly parties dedicated to its gay fan base.

Mazel Tov

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by mazeltovbudapest (@mazeltovbudapest) on


Location: Mazel Tov could be hard to spot with its exterior still appearing abandoned, however you’ll find this contemporary venue at  Akácfa u. 47, 1072. In fact, it’s located next to Fogas Haz in the Jewish Quarter.

Why visit? Don’t be fooled by its sophisticated interiors, although one of the more modern ruin bars, it’s still steeped in historical wonders including the old Budapest ghetto wall at the end of the courtyard. It’s a jungle of vines and plant life, with a heated garden serving Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare. Mazel Tov only opened in 2014, so it’s fairly new to the nightlife scene. But despite not being around for long it  is said to be one of the best drinking spots in the city with its fruity ciders and full-bodied wines.

As you walk in expect retro lamps, exposed bulbs, wooden beams and a vivid tiled bar. Mezze platters will be served on cute rustic tables and there’s a cocktail to suit all tastes from gin mixed with Campari, orange, passionfruit and tonic to Chambord, white chocolate liqueur, citrus and sugar concoctions.  

Events:

  • Jewish Summer Festival
  • Hot Jazz Band
  • Hummus Day

Best for: Upmarket drinking

Opening times:

Monday to Wednesday from 12pm – 1am

Thursday to Friday from 12pm – 1am

Saturday from 10am – 2am

Sunday from 10am – 1am

Top quality reviews:

Facebook user Vincent Brincat had nothing but amazing things to say about Mazel Tov: “So happy that Mazel Tov was recommended to me during my stay in Budapest. What a great vibe the restaurant has. The food is fabulous and the staff are so friendly and accommodating. Will definitely pay it a visit the next time I am in Budapest!”

Ellato Kert & Taqueria

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hank (@__________hank__________) on

Location: Placed in the party district at Kazinczy u. 48, 1075, and nestled behind hanging plastic butcher curtains down a secluded alley, awaits the outdoor bar known as Ellato Kert.

Why visit? This open-air Mexican ruin number is admired on a summer’s day. You won’t find this hidden gem on any bar crawl, it’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets, and rightly so with its string of Picado banners, hanging pinatas and an artsy seating area. Once a meat processing facility, this u-shaped building is now a charming oasis away from the capital’s crowds. It’s also dog friendly so don’t be surprised to see a few furry friends upon your arrival.

Favoured for its cheap drinks and funky decor, grab a tequila shot and immerse yourself in its relaxing ambience. Serving tacos and nachos by the dozen, the food here is all part of the hype with tangy salsa dips and meat-stuffed burritos taking top spot on the menu. Under the hanging groves there’s a pool table and vinyl records playing – everything you need for a night of entertainment.

Events:

  • DJ Nights with Rodrigo

Best for: Concerts and Mexican fare

Opening times:

Monday to Saturday from 5pm – 4am

Sunday from 5pm – 12am

Hotels nearby:

  • Three Corners Hotel: Situated ideally next to the Jewish Quarter, retire to this 4 star establishment for a good night’s sleep. The garden area is the ideal spot for breakfast or happy hour cocktails, while the sauna provides pure relaxation. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and the other highlights await in your room.
  • Hotel Belvedere: Perfectly located next to the Buda Castle, take advantage of your stand-out location. Ideal for families and couples alike, there’s 44 double or twin rooms with air conditioning, soundproof windows, a mini bar and a LCD TV. The wellness floor is dedicated to serenity with sunbathing facilities and views of the city.

Doboz

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Portal da Arquitetura (@portaldaarquitetura) on

Location: Spot the building bathed in a red glow and you know you’ve hit Doboz. It’s on 1072  Klauzál street in downtown Budapest, just around the corner from Szimpla Kert.

Why visit: As one of the hippest and liveliest ruin bars in Budapest, we couldn’t recommend Doboz enough to party-goers. Luring in the country’s top DJs and the work of young Hungarian artists, this early morning venue is a clubbing paradise. There are eight different music styles over two dancefloors and a terrace which provides a habitat for a 320-year-old tree with a giant wood gorilla artform entangled in its vines (definitely one for the camera).

The LED rooms invite you to move, while the octopus bar mesmerises you with its carefully mixed cocktails and weird decor. Labeled as a premium venue, you’ll only find top-shelf spirits here. The resident DJs are on hand to provide the entertainment until 6am with hip hop and R&B classics spinning on the decks.

Events:

  • R&B Thursday’s
  • International Flag Party
  • We Love Friday

Best for: Revellers

Opening times:

Monday – closed

Tuesday from 5pm – 2am

Wednesday to Thursday from 5pm – 5am

Friday to Saturday from 5pm – 6am

Sunday – closed

Need to know: Ladies enter for free, however the club requires males to pay 1,000-forint (roughly £2.50) to get in.  

Csendes Vintage Bar & Cafe

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lorenzo Ferroni (@lorenzoferroni) on

Location: Situated in the Palace District at Ferenczy István u. 5, 1053, find this artifact-stuffed venue among Budapest’s cobbled streets and next to the Park Garden.

Why visit? It doesn’t get more authentic than this ruin hotspot, decorated with century-old chandeliers, creepy pot dolls and second-hand treasures. Its old-world interior draws crowds in for miles with contemporary art hanging on the walls and dark wooden furnishings providing your comfort. In the morning it’s your go-to coffee stop and a place to relax, by nightfall Csendes turns into a bohemian style bar that looks lost in time.

Although events such as film nights, live performances and the occasional band grace the stage of Csendes, it has a reputation as a tranquil drinking destination. We recommend heading here on an evening for a candlelit dinner or a few glasses of sour cherry brandy. And before you leave, don’t forget to add your own art to its walls with a sticky note or permanent marker.

Events:

  • Soul Cure Weekend
  • Cinema Club

Best for: Cosy cocktails

Opening times:

Monday to Wednesday from 10am – 12am

Thursday to Friday from 10am – 2am

Saturday from 2pm – 2am

Sunday from 2pm – 12am

Whether you want to party all night long or find a quirky drinking spot to quench your thirst you’ve got the key to all of Budapest’s most famed ruin bars.

Don’t miss these great posts

When booking with Broadway Travel we put your financial protection first, which is why our holidays that include flights are fully protected under the ATOL scheme. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) are listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate