The Ultimate Guide to Budapest’s Best Ruin Bars
Ruin bars are a famous fixture in the cultural fabric of the Budapest entertainment scene. So much so, that if you ever ask anyone who’s taken a trip here to recommend where to check out for a good time, the word ruin bar will definitely roll off their tongue. Although popular watering holes amongst wandering souls from afar, they are also loved by locals and are a must-see if you’re seeking an inimitable Budapest experience.
Rising From The Ruins
Flashback to the early ’90s, the remaining Soviet soldier’s were leaving Budapest, with the buildings which now house these burgeoning bars, left derelict and in despair. However, they were saved from the depths of degradation, transformed into quirky drinking dens, slowly rising to the pinnacle of popularity at which they stand to this day. Quirky to the core, the selection of ruin bars in the city is extensive, but here are the top picks for the Best Ruin Bars in Budapest.
This downtown ruin bar has to be one of trendiest in town, becoming the hangout spot for the hippest locals from Budapest, and beyond. Set in a 200-year-old residential building, the decor of this place is a perfect clash between minimalism and industrialism. The ruggedness exposed bare-brick limestone walls contrast perfectly with the modern style reflected in the seating and bar in the courtyard. Which is the centre point for partygoers, who converge there to have a good time. What makes Anker’t different is the range of events held here. From raves where international DJ’s scratch the decks, to a weekly vegan food market every Sunday, and a whole host of other events. Always buzzing with activity, good music, drinks and a cool crowd. These are some of the key ingredients which have made Anker’t the idyllic spot, for people seeking an authentic Hungarian ruin bar experience.
Details: Budapest, Paulay Ede u. 33, 1061 | Open: Mon-Tue: 2PM-2AM, Wed, Thur, Sat: 2PM-3AM, Fri: 2PM-5AM, Sun: 4PM-2AM.
Located a stone’s throw away from Kalvin Square, this ruin bar probably stands out the most from its counterparts. Why? Well because it is one of the only ruin bars in Budapest that opens as early as 10AM. So if you’re a daytime person, not a big drinker, or a party animal, you can actually pop down for breakfast, and get a taste of the ruin bar experience. The space in which this bar is set is quite the sight to behold, with a plethora of weird and wonderful objects plastered across the walls and in every direction you look. This ensemble consists of sculptures, contemporary art, old chandeliers and other unique pieces. Although the English translation for Csendes is “quiet”, this spot is super lively with a jam-packed calendar of activities. From live jazz, funk and soul music on the weekends, to meetups and more. One of the most intriguing ruin bars, it’s 100% worth the visit next time you’re in town.
Details: Budapest, Ferenczy István u. 5, 1053 | Open: Mon-Wed: 10AM-12AM, Thur-Fri: 10AM-2AM, Sat: 2PM-2AM and Sun: 4PM-4AM.
If you’re a fan of the ruin bar concept, and not the wild party’s these places are associated with, then Mazel Tov provides the perfect ruin bar experience that you’ll not only find palatable but love. More upscale than it’s counterparts, Mazel Tov is set in the heart of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter, inside a building which appears rough and rugged on the outside. Don’t let the exterior fool you, the inside space is super stylish, with plentiful seats, wooden tables which blend perfectly with the hanging greenery that adorns the four corners of this delightful space. At Mazel Tov, the cheap drinks have been swapped for swanky cocktails, and a food menu packed with a tasty selection of middle eastern treats. So if you fancy a more subtle ruin bar experience, head to Mazel Tov, you’ll love it. L’chaim.
Details: Budapest, Akácfa u. 47, 1072 | Open: Sat-Wed: 10AM-1AM, Thur-Fri: 10AM-2AM.
Doboz is the ruin bar of choice for those looking to unleash their inner party animal, and get down on the dancefloor till the early morn. Arguably the largest in the city, this ruin bar complex is a haven for hedonism, with thousands of people passing through it’s doors to party. The settings are live, with neon lights and DJ’s serenading people with sounds of music. At the centre of this spot is a huge courtyard, where there is a 300-year-old tree slap bang in the middle. Dotted around you’ll see stands where you can get food, and as this super ruin pub is multi-levelled, you can stroll around find a side room with a theme that tickles your fancy.
Details: Budapest, Klauzál u. 10, 1072 | Open: Tue: 5PM-2AM, Wed-Thur: 5PM-5AM, Fri: 5PM-6AM.
Púder Bárszínház és Galéria
Known in English as Powder Bar, this spot isn’t just a ruin pub, but an artistic ruin bar extravaganza like no other. The decor is a is the creation ruin pub interior designer extraordinaire, Bertalan Babos Zsili. Along with his team, they’ve created an environment that oozes creativity, from bright colours, hanging plants, moody lighting and walls adorned with the works of local artists. They even have an art studio at the rear of this building. However, unlike the super ruin complexes, Púder Bárszínház offers more of a relaxed atmosphere and is frequented more by locals. The food and drink here is good and well-priced, and they even have live music and DJ’s to see you through the night. Although one of the lesser-known ruin bars, it’s this very fact which makes this one of the most unique, enjoyable and fun.
Details: Budapest, Ráday u. 8, 1092 | Open: Mon-Thur: 12PM-1AM, Fri-Sat: 12PM-2AM, Sun: 12PM-12AM.
Probably the smallest of the bunch, Udvarrom is one of those places people discover serendipitously. Stumbling upon it as they stroll the streets of pest looking for the next place to party. Stepping inside this spot, the decor will make you feel as if you’ve walked back in time, to a mid-19th-century bar you’d find on the outside of Budapest, not in the heart of the city. The lighting is dim, and ambience is a mixture of dark and moody, with the people lining the long benches adding an element of liveliness. The courtyard here isn’t just a place to drink but has an eclectic selection of activities to keep you entertained. From live sports on the screens to good music, table tennis, arcade games and much much more. So rest assured you’ll be able to keep all your friends happy, something which few places will help you to do.
Details: Budapest, Klauzál u. 21, 1072 | Open: Mon-Sun: 4PM-5AM.
Élesztőház is hands down one of the most unique and different ruin bar experiences Budapest offers. It’s inside a space which one can only describe as a complex, with indoor and outdoor spaces and a cracking courtyard which usually packed full of people. What makes this space so special is the unwavering focus and dedication to the creation of craft beers, with over twenty taps to choose from. The types of beer on tap regularly change, so you’re bound to try something new and find something to satisfy your salivary glands. They also do some great food, so check their menu and see what’s in store. Aside from this, the complex also has a Home Brew Studio, where they teach the art of homebrewing. So if you’re a fan of beer, look no further than the Élesztőház experience.
Details: Budapest, Tűzoltó u. 22, 1094 | Open: Wed-Mon: 3PM-3AM, Tue: 3PM-1AM.
When talking of ruin bars in Budapest, the most renowned by far is the iconic Kazinczy street kaleidoscope of fun, Szimpla Kert. Since opening its doors in 2004, this magical spot has become the go-to for good time seekers from Budapest and more distant lands. It’s clear that the mavericks behind Szimpla wanted to create a space that reflected the “no rules” and rebellious attitude of the time, and it’s safe to say they’ve succeeded in that. Once you enter, it’s like you’ve stepped into a magical maze, with a labyrinth of stairs leading to a range of rooms, each with quirky decor resembling the shelves of a thrift store. During the day, there is live entertainment and vendors selling all kinds of arts, crafts, fresh produce and foods in main courtyard. Once the sun goes down, the night owls descend here to have one helluva time. Although very popular amongst tourists, it’s an experience you have to try when visiting Budapest.
Details: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 | Open: Mon-Sat: 12PM-4AM, Sun: 9AM-4AM.
Instant – Fogaz
What’s better than a single ruin bar? A ruin bar complex made up of many different spots under one roof. Right? Well if you agree, then Fogas Ház is the perfect spot to profusely party. Prior to merging, Instant and Fogas Ház were two popular ruin pubs operating out of different locations. Now Instant – Fogas Ház is an Akácfa street party palace, set over 1200 Square Feet, with different rooms, each with a unique decor, and style of sound blasting from the speakers. So get to the bar, grab a drink and head down to the dance floor and jam out till the early hours of the morning.
Details: Budapest, Akácfa u. 51, 1073 | Open: Mon-Sun: 4PM-6AM.
If you’re planning a visit to Budapest and have thought about visiting the ruin bars, then you’ll definitely find this useful and hopefully, you can use it to have one helluva time. Stay tuned for some more exciting Budapest tips and recommendations coming very soon. In the meanwhile check out our guide to What’s Happening in Budapest this September to see what’s on. Oh and if you can’t wait, be sure to download the Like Locals app and uncover the amazing unique spots in the city, available on both iOS and Android devices.