The Ultimate Guide to the Best Ruin Bars in Budapest

When it comes to experiencing the vibrant nightlife of Budapest, ruin bars are an absolute must-visit. These unique watering holes have become an iconic part of the city’s culture and nightlife scene.

Originally established in abandoned buildings and derelict spaces, ruin bars have transformed Budapest’s ruinous past into a thriving present, becoming venues for locals and tourists alike to both chill out and party.

Whether you’re planning a memorable night out with friends or one of the most fun things to do in Budapest for couples, spending time at a ruin bar should be on your bucket list.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best ruin bars in Budapest that you simply cannot miss on your visit to this enchanting city.

Szimpla Kert ruin bar in Budapest
Szimpla Kert

1. Szimpla Kert

No discussion about Budapest’s ruin bars can begin without mentioning the legendary Szimpla Kert. Established in 2002, Szimpla Kert (meaning “Simple Garden” in Hungarian) is often regarded as the pioneer of the ruin bar movement. 

Housed in a sprawling old factory, this eclectic establishment boasts a quirky and mismatched décor, featuring everything from vintage cars to bathtubs filled with drinks. 

Szimpla Kert is not just a bar; it’s an experience. With live music, open-air cinema screenings, and a diverse crowd, it’s the perfect place to start your ruin bar adventure.

There’s even a farmer’s market on Sundays if you’re after a casual shopping experience during the day.

Address: Kazinczy u. 14, Budapest 1075, Hungary

Neon lights and plants inside the Szimpla Kert ruin bar in Budapest
Inside Szimpla Kert

2. Instant

Instant is another iconic ruin bar that has left an indelible mark on Budapest’s nightlife. This sprawling complex is a labyrinth of bars, dance floors, and art installations spread across several floors.

Each room within Instant has its own unique theme, ensuring that you’ll never experience the same thing twice.

Whether you’re into techno, hip-hop, or just looking for a quirky place to enjoy a drink, Instant has something for everyone.

Address: 51 Akacfa Street, Budapest 1073

Insid eone of the clubs in Instant, one of the best ruin bars in Budapest
A dancefloor in Instant

3. Mazel Tov

Mazel Tov stands out from the rest of Budapest’s ruin bars with its Middle Eastern-inspired décor and culinary delights.

Located in the city’s Jewish Quarter, this enchanting ruin bar features a stunning glass ceiling, hanging plants, and a menu filled with delicious Mediterranean and Israeli dishes.

It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail while taking in the relaxed atmosphere and live music.

Address: 47 Akacfa Street, Budapest 1072

4. Fogas Ház

Fogas Ház, which means “House of Teeth,” is a multi-faceted ruin bar complex that offers a diverse array of experiences.

Whether you want to dance the night away in one of its lively clubs or enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere in its garden area, Fogas Ház has you covered.

With 7 dance floors and 15 bars, this maze-like series of buildings has plenty to discover and enough space to wind away the night.

With regular art exhibitions, live performances, and an impressive cocktail menu, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking for a dynamic ruin bar experience.

Address: Akácfa u. 51, Budapest 1073

5. Fekete Kutya

Meaning “Black dog” in Hungarian, Fekete Kutya is both a ruin bar and a gastro pub, serving delicious food within its cosy walls.

With less of a party atmosphere than the other ruin bars on this list, it’s instead a great place to chill out with great food, drinks, and music.

You can find a range of beers on draught too, including a selection of Hungarian and Czech specialities.

Address: 31 Dob Street, Budapest 1074

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