Stepping into one of Budapest’s ruin bars is a bit like falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. The combination of fairy lights, psychedelic art and endless flowing alcohol makes for a trippy evening in a city famous for it’s night life. But what makes a ruin bar unique?
The setting is the main focus here. Ruin bars are often found in abandoned, half-demolished buildings refurbished with rickety furniture and strange artwork from statues, lights and wall paintings. The bars have a garden-feel as the majority of them have open roofs so you can really feel like you’re partying under the stars.
Instant Instant is a treat for music fans as it has seven stages located throughout the bar and all of them play a different genre of music. You’ll be entranced by the enchanted garden interior with a field of hares hopping overhead.
The building used to be an abandoned apartment block which explains the amount of rooms available to explore. Complete with worn-down furniture, there’s a real dystopian vibe here. Along with the music and alcohol, it’s easy to feel like you’re partying at the end of the world.
Szimpla(Picture taken from Wikicommons) Szimpla is anything but it’s English translation – simple. Not just a club, Szimpla holds nightly concerts, DJ sets and film screenings and hosts the farmers market every Sunday morning. During the day, there are multiple community markets from bike flee sales to second-hand clothing hauls.
As a ruin bar, Szimpla is the original and the one that started the trend. Even if you’re not a drinker, you can buy snacks, hang out in an old communist car or just absorb the funky atmosphere in the large open courtyard.
This place has a more chilled out vibe with ping pong tables and music not too loud to drown out conversations. However, if you’re more interested in meeting people and socialising than having a dance, you’ll love the artsy vibe at Fogashaz.
(Picture taken from Grandiopartyhostel.com) To meet fellow travellers, head to Grandio, part ruin-bar, part-hostel. It’s famous for the open air courtyard full of trees and is usually the place where travellers start their ruin bar crawl. It is popular with locals during the day when it’s a chilled out place to have a casual drink with friends among the greenery.