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  1. Budapest ruin bars

    posted by Guest Blogger - Orsolya Kiss-Toth | 0 Comments

    Sep162013

    Budapest has lots to offer not only for daytime sightseeing but also when it comes to night life. A variety of bars, clubs and entertainment venues open their doors for revellers to party the night away. But what makes Budapest's bars different from other bars around the world? Orsolya Kiss-Toth’s answer would be ruin bars and she recommends some of her favourites below. You can get more insider tips on Budapest Secrets and the Budapest Secrets Facebook page.

    Ruin bars are a trend that started to emerge in Budapest about 15 years ago and have become increasingly popular amongst locals and tourists. More and more frequently in every big city instead of renovating old buildings they are being abandoned and torn down to build modern high rise apartment blocks, office buildings and shopping centres in their place. The emergence of ruin bars have saved many of these old buildings in Budapest, preserving its beautiful architecture and turning them into trendy places where night owls can enjoy a few drinks and chill out in a retro ambiance.

    Each of these ruin bars are very unique in terms of their interior design but are all the same in the sense that they leave the building they're housed in its original condition. No renovation or restoration. Most of them are decorated by the work of local artists and have local bands entertaining during the evenings. From time to time they also organize other events like film nights and different workshops.

    The concept has caught on in other European cities as ruin bars have opened in Berlin and Zurich as well. There is an increasing number of ruin bars scattered around various locations of Budapest. These places have a lot of character and you can meet some great people from all around the world. If you are in Budapest I definitely recommend you visit one of these bars - it's a very unique experience!

    Szimpla Kert is one of the best

    If I had to choose a favourite I'd probably say Szimpla Kert. This place has it all. Since it first opened its doors in 2001 Szimpla Kert has moved location a couple of times and has changed a lot over the years. Today its home is on Kazinczy utca and has more to offer its visitors than ever. The interior design is very unique and colourful. The table, made from an old Trabant car, has to be one of the most eye catching pieces here.

    No matter what time of day you visit Szimpla Kert has got something on offer. A flea market, food market, film clubs, exhibitions and theatre performances are only a few of Szimpla's offerings. The live bands at night ensure a brilliant atmosphere. A ruin bar definitely worth visiting.

    Address: 14. Kazinczy utca, District 7 of Budapest.


    Fogashaz the tucked away gem

    Fogashaz is located at Akacfa utca, district 7 of Budapest. This ruin bar is a bit more tucked away, but still easily accessible from Budapest's city centre. First opened in 2009 Fogashaz strives to be a cultural hot spot for visitors. Decorated by work of local artists, the interior is very unique and colourful. Film clubs, exhibitions, different workshops and alternative theatre performances are also on offer. Fogashaz has expanded in recent years with the development of the outdoor garden space which only adds to its character.

    Address: 51. Akacfa utca, District 7 of Budapest.


    The weird and wonderful Instant

    Close to Liszt Ferenc ter's row of bars, restaurants and Nagymezo utca's entertainment venues there is a bar called Instant. It’s been open for a while and for a reason. Inside it’s like a labyrinth with its tucked away corners, little rooms decorated with all sorts of weird and wonderful things like a dentist chair or a full size pin ball machine from the 90's. Located close to tourist attractions, bars, restaurants, hostels and hotels, Instant is very well placed. A great option to experience the atmosphere of Budapest's ruin bars with a few drinks.

    Address: 38. Nagymezo utca, District 6 of Budapest.


    Puder the cultural hot spot

    Puder is in another tourist hot spot at Raday utca and neighbours one of Budapest's Michelin star restaurants, Costes. It also acts as an art gallery and is home to many cultural events. Exhibitions from emerging artists decorate the walls while creative theatre performances entertain visitors. Enjoy a few drinks and food while listening to DJs spinning quality music in the cosy indoors or sit out on a warm summer’s night and watch the passers-by on the busy Raday utca.

    Address: 8. Raday utca, District 9 of Budapest.


    Enjoy the scenery at Nyereg

    Nyereg is a bit different from typical ruin bars. It's in Budapest's City Park and not far from the busy city centre. It has an outdoor beer garden with a beautiful view of the park and the lake. The seating area right next to the bar is very unique. Visitors can sit on saddles mounted on bar stools right next to the bar area and enjoy homemade lemonade, a pint of beer or snacks. The crowd is a bit more diverse as well given the location. Families with children are not a rare sight here during the afternoon thanks to the kids corner, while sports lovers can watch their favourite sporting events on the big screen.

    All this would make you wonder what makes this place a ruin bar. The ivy covered building at Nyereg is one of the City Park's oldest buildings that used to be an artesian bath. These thermal wells marked the way for the emergence of the neighbouring Szechenyi Bath, one of Europe's largest spa thermal complex.

    Address: 2. Varosligeti korut, District 14 of Budapest.


    All ruin bars are unique in their own way, but one thing is for sure, whichever one of them you visit you'll experience something different. Including a great mix of people from every corner of the world enjoying local bands in a unique atmosphere.

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