The Best Ruin Pubs in Budapest | i Travel Blog




The Best Ruin Pubs in Budapest

Everything started back in 2004, when an abandoned building in Kazinczy Street was saved by a group of entrepreneurs looking to open up a bar. Instead of redesigning the building’s interior, they decided to add quirky furniture and decorations to the spalled ceiling and chipped walls, giving a new life to a place otherwise destined for ruin.

That bar was Szimpla Kert, and its concept was a success that inspired a whole generation of bars in Budapest’s Jewish District. Nowadays there are nearly 20 ruin pubs in the city - each one with its own style - where you can eat, drink, party and enjoy a variety of music genres.  Here are 5 that you absolutely cannot miss:

1. Szimpla Kert

The pioneer of ruin pubs, Szimpla is considered the best by locals and tourists alike. What started as a small bar with a ping-pong room and an open-air cinema, eventually became a cult place attracting many of the capital’s artists and creatives.

In the past few years it started offering more cultural events such as gigs, music contests, pop-up exhibitions and workshops. On Sundays you also can visit the Szimpla Farmers Market, which sells fresh, homemade products from 9 AM to 2 PM.




2. Instant-Fogas

Once two separate ruin pubs, Instant and Fogas Ház had their leases expired in 2017 and decided to come together in one huge club complex. Each place kept their individual profile and facade, while new rooms were open in order to offer underground electro and rock music every single day of the week. 

Whether you’re looking for theme parties, live music, dj sets, or just a casual drink with your friends, Instant-Fogas has something for everyone.



3. Mazel Tov

The place that opened the ruin pub scene to progressive, urban jewish culture and cuisine. Although the food isn’t kosher, both the menu and the atmoshphere were designed to make you feel like you’re in the middle east.

With a sophisticared interior and good offer of hummus, falafel and couscous salads, this Entertainment Garden is the perfect spot to sit down before, after, or instead a dinner or a party.



4. Anker't

One of the last bastions of the ruin pub industry’s cultural mission, Anker’s has become a major hub. This is the place where vegans, LGBTQ activists and the Budapest expat youth can attend slam poetry nights, photo exhibitions and community cooking events, or just pop in for a casual beer.

There is also a zine festival and a Sunday Vegan Food Market that celebrates violence-free hedonism through cooking workshops, talks and other events.



5. Doboz

Known for its King Kong statue and its enormous choice of drinks, this “box” can fit nearly 1500 people in the heart of Budapest. There are 3 resident DJ’s and a variety of themed parties throughout the year. Not to mention a selection of burgers, pizzas and quesadillas to enjoy before or after the party. 




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