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Best Ruin Bars in Budapest
This is the ultimate list of Ruin Bars in Budapest.
When I first visited Budapest in the early 2000s, there appeared to be no alternative bars, actually, there were very few proper bars. There were, of course, Bar/Restaurants, the odd Cocktail Bar and Nightclubs but there were only a few genuine bars. The emergence of Ruins Bars filled this void and also helped to give Budapest a reputation as having some of the best nightlife in Europe. Visiting a Ruin bar is now considered one of the top tourist attractions in Budapest. I created a list of the Best Ruin Bars in Budapest. These are in no particular order, as they are all good bars in their own unique way. My personal favourite is Doboz.
Ruin Bars were first established in old dilapidated buildings in District VII of Budapest. District VII had been the Jewish Quarter and during World War 2 it was the Jewish Getto. After the Jews were deported out of the Getto, their buildings were left to rot and most of them were not renovated during the communist times.
A Ruin bar will typically have run-down furniture and be decorated with a lot of retro memorabilia. Most of them have a beer garden and are relatively cheap, although the newest ruin bars seem to be more upmarket and in turn more expensive. The Ruin Bar tend to be very colourful and photogenic. A lot of them are cultural centres, some host live music and others are clubs. The benchmark for Ruins Bar in Budapest is still Szimpla Kert (the first Ruin Bar) and it is still the best ruin bar in Budapest.
1. Ruin Bars Budapest - Szimpla Kert
Szimpla Kert was the first Ruin Bar to open in Budapest. Right from the beginning, Szimpla had a goal of changing the nightlife landscape in Budapest and thus turning Szimpla into a cultural centre. They converted an old factory into a huge open-air cinema and bar where concerts, theatre shows and many different cultural events are hosted. The complex also includes a Farmers' Market, a recently opened cafe and in the upstairs rooms you will see art exhibitions of contemporary artists work.
Opening Hours: 12 noon to 4 am Mon to Fri & 9 am to 4 am Sat & Sun
2. Ruin Bars Budapest - Instant
This ruin bar had to move probably because it's landlord would not renew its lease. Luckily for them, another ruin bar called Fogas ház had some extra space and allowed Instant to move in. Instant got to keep its unique identity with underground electronic music with psychedelic lighting and Fogas ház keeps its own identity. With Instant and Fogas ház now in the same building, this is easier the larger Ruin Bar complex in Budapest.
Opening Hours: 4 pm to 6 am daily
3. Ruin Bars Budapest - Fogas Ház
Fogas Ház was founded in 2009, but since then it's has gone through many transformations. This building complex now hosts four different Ruin Bars/Clubs all with their own unique identity: Fogaskert, Instant, Robot, and Lärm. Fogaskert can provide you with the more "traditional" ruin bar experience with worn-out furniture, lots of weird memorabilia, and cheap beer. Instant features a unique ruin bar experience with light shows and electronic music. If you want to catch a rock music show, then Robot is the venue for you and if you are looking for more Electronic music Lärm is the place for you.
Opening Hours: 4 pm to 6 am daily
Related Article: Things To Do In Budapest
4. Ruin Bars Budapest - Grandio
If you are looking for a more chilled out "traditional" Ruin Bar Grandio is the place for you. However, it does have reputation for wild parties late into the night. Grandio is also a hostel. It has a large courtyard which is surrounded by the balconies of the hostel rooms. Grandio's Bar is decorated with the usual rundown furniture and some unique murals and art pieces. A good idea might be to stay in a dorm bed (in the hostel), that you can crawl into after a hard night in the bar.
Opening Hours: claims to be open 24/7
5. Ruin Bars Budapest - Mazel Tov
Mazel Tov's is for people who like the Ruin bar concept but who prefer it to be more stylish. I think that they are trying to create a new kind of ruin pub. Here you will not find run down furniture and old junk on the walls, but a carefully thought out design. The Bar serves menu Middle Eastern cuisine that caters to all diets be it vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores. It is located next door to Fogas ház in the Jewish Quarter.
Opening Hours: 12 noon to 1 am Mon to Wed & 10 am to 1 am Thurs to Sun
Address: Budapest, Akácfa u. 47, 1072 Hungary
6. Ruin Bars Budapest - Corvin Club
Corvin Club is situated in an old abandoned department store built during the communist times in District XIV. This is a Club only with very limited opening hours (see below). The standout feature of the Corvin Club is its rooftop terrace opened during the summer months. It's located right beside the Blaha Lujza metro station, but it's kinda hard to find the entrance to it. You have to walk onto a side street and look for a cargo lift at the end of a short passageway, the lift is located inside a fast food restaurant (Corvin Kifozde). Follow the signs to Corvin Club. You can also take the stairs to the top floor.
Opening Hours: Closed Sun to Wed, 10 pm to 5 am Thurs to Sat
7. Ruin Bars Budapest - Doboz
As with Mazel Tov, Doboz is a more upmarket Ruin Bar. It has more of a contemporary design while still retaining some of the characteristics of a tradition ruin bar. Doboz situated along Klauzál Street and is one of the largest party venues of District VII. It was named after a large red box-shaped piece of art located in the venue ("doboz" means box in Hungarian). The standout attraction of Doboz is the King Kong sculpture which hangs from a tree in the middle of the garden.
Opening Hours: Closed Sun & Mon, 5 pm to 2 am Tues, 5 pm to 5 am Wed & Thurs, 5 pm to 6 am Fri & Sat
8. Ruin Bars Budapest - Dürer Kert
Dürer Kert is situated in the former University building and has become established as one of the most vibrant clubs of recent years. Dürer hosts live shows (on the garden stage), DJ sets (there are multiple dance floors), and various other events. Similar to most of the other ruin bars, Dürer has a large (pebbled) beer garden.
Opening Hours: Hours vary so check the Opening Hours page on their website
Please note that both the Kertem and Filter Klub ruin bars are now permanently closed and Kuplung is currently looking for a new location.