Where to go at night in Budapest?
Discover the best Ruin Bars in the Hungarian capital!
Real institutions of Budapest, the Ruins Bars appeared in the 2000s, all located in the center of Pest. Now they are the essential entertainment spots of Budapest nightlife. They are found in abandoned buildings, often in inner courtyards and over several floors.
Each Ruin Bar has its own unique style and musical ambience. Some are decorated with old objects of the 70s, while others are more ‘arty’, but all will impress you with their architecture and atmosphere! You can have a drink and in some attend a concert or movie and dance to different musical styles.
The vast majority of the Ruin Bars of Budapest are in the same district as the city center, the Jewish quarter in the 7th district. So you can easily discover them one after the other on foot. In the evening from Thursday to Saturday, be patient because entrance, usually free, may require a long wait after 21:00.
Here is our selection of the best Ruin Bars in Budapest:
SZIMPLA KERT – 1st Ruin Bar in Budapest
Szimpla Kert was the first Ruin Bar in Budapest, opened in 2002 in a historic building formerly occupied by apartments and a factory. This is an iconic Hungarian night spot where you can experience a unique underground atmosphere, concerts and outdoor film screenings. It is well worth it to take the time to discover each room, one more surprising than another. There is no dance floor but the huge big yard quickly becomes electric after 23:00. The Szimpla Kert ruin bar can be visited quietly during the day as it hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday from 09:00 to 14:00 (video on this link).
Address: Szimpla Kert, Kazinczy u. 14, VIIth district, Pest – map – website.
Open hours: from 12:00 to 04:00 from Monday to Thursday, Friday from 10:00 to 04:00, Saturday from 12:00 to 04:00, Sunday from 09:00 to 05:00. Admission is free.
More information on our article ‘Szimpla Kert, the first ruin pub of Budapest’ on this link.
INSTANT / FOGAS Ruin Pub
Instant and Fogas, two of Budapest’s legendary Ruin Bars are now in the same space on Akácfa Street. Discover the biggest complex of the city with 18 bars and 7 dance floors over several floors and the basement! Starting on Thursday evening, you will be greeted with an exciting atmosphere (so plan to be in a long line from 23:00). Admission is free.
GOZSDU COURT – Budapest nightlife
The Gozsdu Court is not itself a Ruin Bar, but it is located right in the center of the Jewish Quarter, surrounded by Ruin Bars. It is a must for your evening! In a long courtyard are linked restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs animated throughout the year by concerts and exhibitions. The DiVino Wine Bar and the Spiller Bar Restaurant are our favorites, as is Jamie’s Pizzeria’s Italian restaurant, owned by the famed English chef, Jamie Oliver.
From Friday to Sunday between 10:00 and 17:00, the complex hosts a small market with stalls crafts and antiques.
Located in the ruin bar district of Pest, Mazel Tov is a more upmarket ruin bar with a real restaurant offering Middle Eastern cuisine (hummus, felafel, couscous, pita, etc.) in a unique setting with its panelled walls, shabby-chic furniture, fairy lights and magnificent greenery hanging from its high ceilings.
The evenings are also often animated by concerts in its outdoor garden, covered in winter. It has become ‘hype’, but is always warm and full!
DOBOZ – Ruin bars in Budapest
The Doboz (‘the Box’) is a popular Ruin bar in Budapest that hosts concerts and is quite a nightclub with 2 dance floors hosted by residents DJ’s and 8 different musical styles from latin pop to hip hop. In its inner courtyard you will be greeted by a 320 year old tree and its sculpted gorilla! Admission fee.
ÖTKERT RUIN BAR – Budapest nightlife
If you want to dance all night, the Ötkert is the place. It is a club and restaurant located between St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Danube, in a different neighborhood from other Ruin Bars. Many concerts take place here (programming is on their website). Admission fee.
ÉLESZTŐ – Ruin bar of Budapest
Located in a lovely green courtyard with exposed brick and industrial finishes, the Élesztő bar is a beer lover’s paradise (more than 25 beers on tap are offered). There is also a wine bar and a spirits bar and something to accompany your drinks (burger, grill, salads,…). Élesztő is not located in the ruin bar district which allows it to attract locals who want to avoid the tourist crowds and to offer more reasonable prices.
While these are not Ruin Bars,
the following are stars of Budapest Nightlife:
PONTOON BAR – Budapest nightlife
Located in Pest at the foot of the Chain Bridge on the edge of the Danube, the Pontoon Bar is a magical place where you can enjoy outdoor views of amazing Buda, while you drink, eat and enjoy live concerts. Admission is free. It is open from noon to 4 am every day (closed from October until Spring). The Pontoon Bar is closed in 2023 during dock renovation.
AKVÁRIUM KLUB – Budapest nightlife
The Akvárium club in the city center of Pest welcomes you with its huge terrace and steps on Erzsébet Square and its Park. It is an iconic place to meet at night. The club is a real cultural center that hosts exhibitions and concerts, with music appealing to the mainstream and underground. Video of the Akvárium Klub on this link.
Open from 12:00 every day.
Address: Erzsébet tér 12., 5th district – plan – website.
Located on the Buda side of the Danube at the foot of the Elisabeth Bridge, the Romkert is now a more chic open-air club with numerous VIP sections and a variety of musical styles (programmes on their website). Admission charged.
Original Budapest Pub Crawl and VIP Club Entrance
Follow your guide to the best bars in Budapest and enjoy a unique experience: discover the ruin bars of the Hungarian capital during a 4-hour Pub crawl and get a VIP entrance to one of the biggest nightclubs of the city. Have a great night out, enjoy free shots, a 1-hour open bar,… Meet other travellers from all over the world and party while exploring the nightlife of Budapest. Every night from 21:30:
BUDAPEST BOAT PARTY
Combine partying and sightseeing on this 2-hour cruise on the Danube with free drinks. Enjoy a unique view of Budapest by night and dance to the DJ’s hits. Receive a free entry to the after party to have fun until the end of the night! Friday and Saturday nights only: