LivingTravelAll the ruin bars in Budapest you should know

All the ruin bars in Budapest you should know

Occupying abandoned buildings, abandoned sites and parking lots, Budapest’s ruin bars are unique to the city. Many of the buildings in the city’s Jewish Quarter (District VII) were left unoccupied after WWII and the empty spaces have now been reinvented as open-air bars and clubs. The trend dates back to 2004 when Szimpla Kert opened a converted factory in Kazinczy utca. The city’s ruined pubs have character, bringing together quirky interiors, contemporary artwork, and open-air gardens. Many of them host live music, exhibitions and creative events and are open during the day and late into the night. Take a look at our guide to the best ruin bars in Budapest and explore the best bars in the city.

Simple Garden (Jardín simple)

When Szimpla Kert opened in 2004, it changed the face of the Budapest bar scene and started a ruin bar trend across the city. It is now one of the most popular bars in the city, and while it is a regular fixture on the tourist trail, it also attracts a steady stream of locals. The sprawling site is furnished with mismatched chairs and tables, retro street signs, colorful artwork, and colored lights. The best seat in the house is made from an old Trabant car in the yard. The pub is home to a farmers market and art exhibits, as well as open-air movie nights and live music events.


With eight bars, four dance floors and a restaurant, Instant is the largest ruin bar in Budapest. It occupies two buildings converted into Akácfa utca and the interiors and outdoor patio are wonderfully bizarre with giant disco balls, animal sculptures suspended from the ceiling, and retro pinball machines. The huge space is divided into different rooms for different styles of music and is open until 6 am every day of the week.

Club Corvin

This trendy place is more of a club than a pub. It is located inside a communist-era department store and is accessed by an elevator or stairway covered in graffiti. On the lower level, DJs play electronic tunes and on the roof you can sip a local beer with views of the city skyline or watch an outdoor movie on the giant screen.

Durero Garden

On the edge of Budapest’s city park, Dürer Kert is one of the best places to see live music in the city. Its outdoor garden is lit by lanterns and features colorful tables, chairs and hammocks, and drinks are served in a bar decorated with vinyl records. The building was first constructed as a boarding school and was run by French nuns in the 19th century before serving as a college in the Soviet era. Now it’s a hot ticket to music events spanning different styles, including rock, hip-hop, and electronic. It also hosts regular flea markets, vinyl record fairs, and picnics.


Right next to Andrassy Utca, the great boulevard of Budapest, Anker’t is a cool club in a large outdoor courtyard. The minimalist design combines contemporary artwork and bare brick walls, and softboxes and stencils decorate the rooms. Take a seat at one of the long wooden tables or hit the dance floor under the strings of the lanterns. There is a large projector for movies and there are regular events such as poetry and audio and video discos.

Supply Garden

This hidden gem in lively Kazinczy utca is a great place for cold beers and spicy Mexican food. The outdoor garden is decorated with brightly colored chairs and tables, wall art and patterned bunting, and the space is covered by a roof when the weather turns sour. The Mexican Taquería serves tacos and burritos and there is live music from bands and DJs, as well as theater performances and an annual chili eating competition.

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