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Seven Ruin Bars in Budapest

The name hints at what these places are: ruin bars in Budapest are located in buildings that are about 100 years old, which only a decade ago were left abandonment and in a state of disrepair within the old Jewish Quarter. Places where nobody dared to pass.

When the younger generation of Budapest discovered these forgotten architectural treasures, they began to patch them up and turn them into unique venues. The result has been a burgeoning scene of new pop-up premises, decorated in graffiti and adorned with old relics and socialist kitsch. But having said that, the most interesting thing about these bars is that there is no uniformity or fixed style. Each venue instead follows its own rhythm and inspiration, which is unique to each building.

To add to the mystic surrounding these places, they are not officially designated as ruin bars. As such, they have a bit of a fly-by-night feel to them; with different bars regularly opening, closing or moving location. In fact, from the outside most of these bars look like normal homes and it’s not until you’ve walked into the central courtyard that you discover what all the fuss is about. Although clearly the elusive nature of these venues has done nothing to dampen their appeal, as they’ve become a big tourist attraction within Budapest and have revitalised District VII (the old Jewish Quarter) into one of the hippest places in the city.

 

Discover the mystery of Budapest’s Ruin Bars!

 

Most of these bars are just for drinking, although some also serve fast food, whilst a few are full-blown restaurants boasting impressive menus. Opening times vary massively, from those that open from noon until night, to those that are strictly nocturnal. But whether it’s a drinking den open from midday, a pop-up vegan restaurant serving evening meals or an underground nightclub that doesn’t get going until the early morning, the most intriguing thing about these places is there uniqueness. So would you like to know where the best ruin bars are?

 

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Seven Pubs Ruin in Budapest | Coverontrip travel insurance

 

Puder

The designer Bertalan Babos Zsili has transformed Ràday Street in the 9th District into the new meeting point for Budapest’s nightlife. There are loads of hip bars, cafes and restaurants found here, not least the ruin bar Puder. What makes this place stand out is the scope of its offering, from world cuisine, live music and theatre, fine art and literary events, which has made it one of the most popular places in the city.

Where: 8 Ràday Utca. Open every day from midday until 1-2 am.

Szimpla Kert

This was the original ruin bar in Budapest and although it’s now at risk of becoming a bit of a theme park, it’s still a fun and must-see place for anyone wanting to experience ruin bars. Also, on the same street are new and emerging ruin bars, including Ellato Kert and Köleves Kert. The latter being a favourite hangout for students from the nearby dance school.

Where: 14 Kazinczy Utca. Open every day from midday until 3 am.

Doboz

Tucked away behind a dilapidated facade emerges one of the most imaginative spaces in Budapest, where a monument to King Kong designed by Miklos Gábor Szöke coexists with a multitude of elements meticulously chosen by the artist Eszter Laki. This has all been created to seduce the visitor, who will soon lose themselves in the labyrinth of rooms within this old residential building. The quality of the food, drinks and performances here is more than remarkable.

Where: 10 Klauzál Utca. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6 am.

Ankert

Down a side street a few meters from the Hungarian State Opera House, this ruin bar plays aesthetically with the concept of ruin, but it’s not long before you discover this is just pure design, although taken to its ultimate conclusion. The atmosphere here is sophisticated, theatrical and with an elitist edge, but without losing its anti-establishment look. Cocktails definitely rule over beer and whilst prices are a bit higher in Ankert, it’s without doubt one of the ruin bar you should visit in Budapest.

Where: 33 Paulay Edeu Utca. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 4 pm to 4 am.

Corvin Tetö

This psychedelic ruin bar is located inside an old socialist era supermarket, where many of the original fittings have been preserved, not least an unusual elevator which is full of surprises. In the summer its best feature is the huge roof terrace where live concerts are held but you also have to explore its mysterious labyrinth of rooms and secret spaces.

Where: 1-2 Blaha Lujza Tér. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 pm to 6 am.

Filter Klub

The origin of this gambling den was a cultural centre during the socialist era which, after being abandoned for years, has become a meeting point for artists, musicians and writers who are looking for a place to chat, listen to eclectic music and drink beer, without worrying too much about the decoration, or current fashions. In some ways, the original ruin bar spirit is maintained here.

Where: 1 Almassy Utca. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 pm to 4-5 am.

R33

To finish off the tour of ruin bars in Budapest is R33. Although this place is one of the most recent to arrive on the scene, it definitely revives the original ruin bar spirit. Firstly, it’s located in a real ruin, the audience is mostly anti-establishment and the concerts and exhibitions staged here are very subversive and disruptive.

Where: 58 Soroksári Utca. Open from Monday to Saturday, opening times vary.

Art, eclecticism, music and drinks! Can you ask for more? A travel insurance!