KLM Travel Guide

The hidden ruin bars of Budapest

The buildings seem abandoned with their boarded up windows and grimy façades. Yet the opposite is true as these are the renowned ruin bars of Budapest. Creative minds have transformed dilapidated factories, warehouses and flats into unique cafés, bars and night clubs that you won’t want to miss.

Nightlife
Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert

A drink in an old Trabant

If you don’t know the exact location of Budapest’s first ruin bar, you’ll easily miss it. Except for a small yellow sign, nothing betrays the location of Szimpla Kert, one of the city’s most unique venues. The walls are decorated with psychedelic images, and the covered courtyards boast a hotchpotch of tables and chairs. But don’t just sit back and relax, there’s so much more to see: a bathtub sawn in half, for instance, or an emptied out Trabant. Be sure to try the legendary Szimpla burger too which can be ordered at the upstairs bar.

Instant

Instant

Dancing in the jungle

One of the liveliest ruin bars in Budapest is actually located in a trendy neighbourhood, close to several upmarket theatres. The fascinating Instant comprises an entire apartment complex, and yet it only just fits the crowds it attracts. In what used to be a place for cooking and sleeping, visitors now dance amidst a jungle of plants, second-hand furniture and interesting art. Tip: if you’re hungry, order a delicious hotdog with onions at the cart in the hall, which resembles those found on the streets of New York City.

Phenomenal views from the rooftop

Phenomenal views from the rooftop

Socialist store rooftop

Want to enjoy a drink while the service lift takes you to the roof? No problem at Corvintető, a night club located on top of a socialist store. The top floor can also be reached via the stairs, and although it is quite a climb, the colourful graffiti in the stairwell makes for an interesting experience. The large dance hall features DJs from around the world, but the highlight is the rooftop from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the city whilst sitting in a comfortable rocking chair.

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