Ruin pubs are one of the most iconic features of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Ruin pubs are bars that have been established in the derelict buildings left over from Budapest’s Soviet era and before, and these legendary watering holes make for truly atmospheric places to enjoy the city’s unique culture.
You can’t ignore these lively bars if you’re looking for something to do at night in Budapest. Drop off your unneeded bags at a Budapest luggage storage and get ready to enjoy a fun night out. Ruin pubs are a major tourist attraction in Budapest, and so it’s possible to take a guided pub crawl which will bring you to some of the liveliest and best bars in the city. But if you prefer to explore for yourself, the bars on this list are a great place to start.
Szimpla Kert is one of the most famous and well-loved ruin pubs in Budapest, and it’s easy to see why. This atmospheric bar is located in an old factory building, and it’s full of quirky details and interesting decorations. The outdoor courtyard is a great place to enjoy a drink in the summer months, and there’s always a lively vibe inside too.
One of the best-known ruin pubs in the city, you’re always guaranteed a memorable night here. It is the perfect introduction to the ruin pubs of Budapest and a great way to meet other travelers and locals alike while you enjoy this celebrated aspect of the city.
Korzo is another well-known ruin pub located in an old factory building in the city. This bar has a more refined atmosphere than some of the other options on this list, and it’s a great place to enjoy a cocktail or two. The menu features a range of Hungarian and international dishes, making it a great option if you want to enjoy some evening food as well as drinks.
The bartenders here are known for their excellent cocktails, so be sure to try one (or two!) while you’re visiting. Even if you’re not a big drinker, Korzo is worth visiting for its interesting interior, delicious food, and central location on the Danube embankment.
This ruin pub is the perfect spot if you can’t decide whether you want a pub or club feel on your night out. Doboz offers the best of both worlds in one location and also has a lovely interior courtyard. The place as a whole is large, and the courtyard is lit up beautifully with colored lights to enhance the ambiance. And if that wasn’t enough, Doboz also allows you to peruse the works of local artists in their gallery.
You’ll find a good selection of drinks here alongside food that leans American, like hot dogs, burgers, and pizza.
Anker’t is another popular ruin pub located in an old factory building in the city. This bar has a more industrial feel than some of the others on this list, and it’s known for its excellent range of beers.
There’s also a great selection of cocktails and spirits available, and the bar often has live music playing. Anker’t is a great option if you’re looking for a more alternative night out, and it’s always lively and atmospheric.
Instant & Fogas Ház
These two ruin pubs are located side by side in an old building that used to be a dentist’s office and an apartment block. Instant is the more chilled out of the two bars, with a cozy interior and a range of beers and spirits available.
Fogas Ház is a more upbeat option, with live music and DJs playing most nights. It bills itself as the largest ruin bar in Budapest and is part of the Party Complex that boasts seven different clubs.
Both bars have outdoor areas which are perfect for enjoying a drink in the summer months, and they’re always full of both locals and tourists.
Csendes Vintage Bar & Café
Csendes Vintage Bar & Café is a more upscale option for those looking for a ruin pub experience. This bar is located in an old apartment building, and it has a stylish interior with vintage furniture and decorations.
The menu features a range of Hungarian wines and spirits, as well as a selection of cocktails and beers. Head to Csendes for a touch of elegance while still embracing the dilapidated feel of a ruin pub.
Mazel Tov is one of the most unique ruin pubs in Budapest, and it’s definitely worth a visit. This bar is located in an old synagogue, and it has a wide range of beers and cocktails available.
The real draw here is definitely the food, which features a delicious fusion of Israeli and Hungarian cuisine. The dishes are all reasonably priced, and they’re perfect for sharing.
Don’t miss this one on your next trip to Prague, because how many people can say they’ve had a drink in a synagogue?
If you insist on live music to accompany your drinks, Mazel Tov is the place for you. While they don’t offer music every night of the week, it’s safe to safe that you’re guaranteed a performance most nights.
As with a lot of the ruin pubs in Budapest, this one is also in an old factory, and the decor is eclectic and definitely fun, although verging on chaotic. This place is mostly known for its Hungarian food, like goulash, but don’t fret; you can also get your drink fix here, too.
Ruin pubs are the perfect places to go for a lively night out in Budapest. Not only are they a famous part of the city, but they are also a great place to appreciate Hungary’s complex history and culture. Each has its own vibe, but who can resist a drink or meal in a historical building lit up with twinkle lights? Stop by one or more of these entertaining bars on your next visit to Budapest, and you’ll be taking part in a true Hungarian tradition as well as having a fabulous time.
Note: This is a collaborative post