The Five Best Bars and Ruin Pubs in Budapest

In 2001 the ruin bars movement started. Budapest had lots of old industrial buildings that were too expensive to renovate and unfit to rent. Owners decided to set up bars and the movement was born, fast becoming an important part of the city’s culture. The bars have low overheads, so they can serve drinks cheaper than anywhere else.

The most famous ruin bar is perhaps Szimpla Kert, which often wins awards. You’ll see mismatched furniture, a car in the garden and decorative gnomes everywhere that have been carefully placed by a designer who travels around finding weird things to put in the bar. All the stuff that gets stolen also has to be replaced.

Racskert’s another great ruin bar you should head to, which was developed on a disused car park. It has some of the cheapest prices you’ll find at any bar in the city, so it’s perfect if you’re travelling on a budget.

Nearby Ellato Kert has a Mexican theme with brightly painted tables and a strictly Mex menu. If you’re looking for a ruin bar with a great view, try Corvin Teto, which is above a supermarket. It’s ideal for watching the sun go down before hitting the clubs.

Mazel Tov’s one of the more upmarket ruin bars in Budapest. You can expect Middle Eastern food with jazz playing in the background, and you might be lucky enough to see the famous white saxophone.

Bars in Budapest generally stay open nice and late. In summer the weather’s great for enjoying some al fresco drinks, and one of the best places to go is the famous A38 bar situated on a reconstructed Ukrainian ship. You can look forward to live music and dancing on the river with lights twinkling around you.