Ruin Bars in Budapest

Ruin bars in Budapest are a great way to experience the local nightlife with a unique atmosphere.

The ruin bars in Budapest are world famous. Chances are that if you’ve read anything about travel in Hungary, then you’ve heard about these bars. But what exactly is a ruin bar?

Over the years in Budapest, some of the most ornate buildings were abandoned and left to ruin. Locals took advantage of the free real estate and set up their own bars inside. People brought their own furniture and booze. And although some of these buildings were scheduled to be torn down, the bars had already started to grow.

As you can imagine, these bars developed a unique aesthetic. But that aesthetic became an attraction in itself, contributing to the surging nightlife in Budapest. Seeing the success, people invested in the buildings instead of tearing them down. Now the ruin bars in Budapest are party hot spots with drinks, dancing, and even community activities during the day.

The Best Ruin Bars in Budapest

Now that you know what a ruin bar is, let’s look at the best of them. That way you know exactly where to hang out when you plan your trip to Budapest.

Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert is the pioneer of Budapest's ruin bar movement, and it remains one of the most popular places.

Szimpla Kert was the pioneer of the ruin bar movement, and it remains one of the most famous. Every day of the week you’ll find cultural events from live music to farmers’ markets. At night, the bar comes alive like no other place in the world. You’ll find a wide array of fine food, drinks, and hookah. If you’re looking for the quintessential ruin bar experience, you’ll find it here.

Instant-Fogas Complex

Instant-Fogas is a party complex with seven clubs. It's the best place for a bustling nightlife.
Courtesy of Instant-Fogas

As the name suggests, Instant-Fogas Complex is not just one bar. It is a party hub with seven clubs, each offering its own unique experience. In terms of size and spectacle, there is no comparison in Budapest. Some sites have limited hours, but not here. Instant-Fogas Complex is open all night, every day. Stop by if you want a party.

Mazel Tov

Mazel Tov is one of the best ruin bars in Budapest. It's located in the Jewish district and offers some great Israeli fusion.

Looks can be deceiving. And from the outside, Mazel Tov looks like nothing special. But that’s the classic ruin bar charm in Budapest. Inside, Mazel Tov is a bustling bar and restaurant.

If you couldn’t guess, Mazel Tov is a Jewish institution. Although the food isn’t all Kosher, you can find a lot of amazing Israeli fusion dishes. In fact, you might want to visit during the afternoon for a more formal meal. Come the evening, it gets busy.

Doboz

Doboz is a premium ruin bar with incredible art installations and classy nightlife.

Doboz defines itself as a “premium ruin pub.” It is a trendy location with the most astounding installations. The interior, façade, central bar, and logo are all designed by Hungarian artists. Combine that with tasty drinks and a grill bar, and you get a pub that oozes class. Just be aware of the dress code.

Élesztőház

Élesztőház is one of my favorite ruin bars in Budapest for craft beer and a chill, underground environment.

For those looking to relax in a calmer neighborhood, I suggest Élesztőház. The name is Hungarian for “yeast.” It suits the bar well since they’ve been serving up the most delicious craft beers in Budapest since 2013. Here you can enjoy the best, malty beverages from Hungary and abroad. And you can do it while relaxing in a hip, underground environment.

Kőleves Kert

Kőleves Kert is a casual, outdoor bar, which lights up during the night as a popular hang out.
Courtesty of Kőleves Kert

Kőleves Kert (not to be confused with Kőleves, the popular restaurant next door) is an easygoing, outdoor bar. In the summertime, it almost has a tropical vibe to it. You order your drinks at the wooden shed and hang out at one of the colorful benches. It’s a popular spot for tourists during the day. But once the sun sets, everyone comes by to hang out.

Like many cities in Europe, Budapest is proud of its history. It happily advertises its gorgeous bridges, relaxing thermal baths, and stunning castle. But there is a vibrant nightlife waiting for you. So don’t miss the ruins bars in Budapest.

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