Ruin Bars in Budapest
Budapest is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and unique bar scene, with one of the standout attractions being its famous ruin bars. These bars have become emblematic of the city, attracting both locals and tourists alike. If you’re planning a trip to Budapest and want to experience the best of its nightlife, this ultimate guide to Budapest’s ruin bars is a must-read.
What are Ruin Bars?
Ruin bars are a distinctive feature of Budapest’s nightlife. They are located in the city’s historic Jewish Quarter, specifically in abandoned or dilapidated buildings that were left to decay after World War II. These buildings were given a new lease of life when entrepreneurs saw the potential in transforming them into unique and eclectic bars. The concept behind ruin bars is to create a space that combines a laid-back atmosphere with artistic and vintage decor, resulting in an unforgettable experience for visitors.
The History of Budapest’s Ruin Bar District
To truly appreciate Budapest’s ruin bars, it’s essential to understand the history behind them. The Jewish Quarter, where most of the ruin bars are located, was once a thriving neighborhood before World War II. However, during the war, it became a Jewish ghetto, and thousands of people were deported, leaving the area in ruins. After the war, the neighborhood was neglected and forgotten for decades during the communist-socialist era.
In 2002, a group of visionary individuals opened the first ruin bar, Szimpla Kert, in a derelict building. This marked the beginning of an era and the birth of the ruin bar culture in Budapest. Szimpla Kert became a symbol of the city’s creativity, resilience, and ability to transform abandoned spaces into vibrant social hubs. Since then, numerous ruin bars have sprung up, each with its own unique charm and character.
The Best Ruin Bars in Budapest
1. Szimpla Kert
2. Instant & Fogas
3. Udvar Rom
- Address: Budapest, Klauzál u. 21, 1072 Hungary
- Located in: Unity Hostel at Udvar(rom)
- Phone: +36202001000
7. DZZS Bar
8. 360 Bar
9. Jonas Craft Beer House
10. Beer Brothers
- Address: Budapest, Kossuth Lajos u. 20, 1053 Hungary
- Website: facebook.com/beerbrothersbudapest/
Tips for Visiting Budapest’s Ruin Bars
Explore the Jewish Quarter: Take the time to explore the Jewish Quarter beyond just its ruin bars. This neighborhood is rich in history, with beautiful synagogues, street art, and cultural landmarks waiting to be discovered.
Go Early: Ruin bars can get crowded, especially during peak hours. To secure a seat and fully enjoy the atmosphere, it’s best to arrive early, particularly if you’re visiting popular bars like Szimpla Kert or Instant & Fogas.
Try Local Drinks: While visiting ruin bars, don’t miss the opportunity to try local Hungarian drinks. From craft beers to traditional spirits, Budapest offers a wide range of unique and flavorful beverages.
Embrace the Eclectic Decor: One of the most striking aspects of ruin bars is their eclectic and unconventional decor. Embrace the whimsical and artistic atmosphere, and take in the vibrant colors, vintage furniture, and quirky decorations that make each bar truly unique.
Engage with Locals: Ruin bars are not just for tourists; they are beloved by locals as well. Strike up a conversation with locals and immerse yourself in the vibrant social scene of Budapest’s ruin bars.
Experience the Nightlife: Budapest is known for its lively nightlife, and ruin bars are a significant part of that reputation. Stay out late, enjoy the music, and embrace the energetic atmosphere that these bars offer.
Be Respectful: While ruin bars have a relaxed and casual vibe, it’s essential to be respectful of the spaces and the people around you. Follow any rules or guidelines in place and ensure you have a positive and enjoyable experience.
Discover Hidden Gems: While the well-known ruin bars are popular for a reason, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and discover lesser-known gems. Budapest is full of hidden treasures, and you might stumble upon a charming ruin bar that’s not on the usual tourist itinerary.
Where can I find ruin bars in Budapest?
Most of Budapest's ruin bars are located in the District VII (the Jewish Quarter) on the Pest side of the city. The area is filled with old, abandoned buildings that provide the perfect backdrop for these unique establishments.
Do ruin bars serve food?
Some ruin bars do serve food, ranging from light snacks to full meals. Szimpla Kert, for instance, hosts a weekly farmers' market where you can buy fresh local produce and homemade goods.
Are ruin bars expensive?
Compared to more traditional pubs and bars in Western Europe, ruin bars in Budapest are generally quite affordable. However, prices can vary depending on the specific bar and the drinks you order.
Can ruin bars be rented for private events?
Yes, many ruin bars in Budapest can be rented out for private events, such as birthdays, corporate events, or even weddings.