Budapest is one of the last great cheap cities for tourists and is known as an affordable destination. Head on a city break to the Hungarian capital to experience its beauty and jazzy bar scene. Here are the ten best bars in Budapest you should visit!
What is Budapest famous for?
Well, the beautiful sights, the Roman baths, being the world’s first spa capital, the city is famous for the cheapness of alcohol, particularly beer. Budapest ruin bars are a big draw! Formerly a hub for stag and hen dos, its appeal has widened a great deal of late, seeing more couples and families visiting for more than just a weekend of drinking. But that doesn’t mean the drinking culture has gone away! If you’re heading over there for the festive season after visiting the Budapest Christmas market, stop by these funky bars!
Budapest is home to so-called ruins bars. These are bars that have sprung up in the ‘ruined’ part of the city, the old Jewish quarter that suffered greatly during World War 2 and for a long time was left empty and destroyed. Szimpla Kert ruin bar was the first one of its kind, having opened in 2002 and has since become a staple, constantly attracting tourists and locals alike. Although it’s technically a pub, it’s still considered one of the best ruins bars in Budapest.
If you’re looking for a Budapest bar is where you want to find yourself if you’re on a budget. Located not too far from Szimpla Kert, this is one of the simpler, sparser, and, therefore, cheaper options. The unpretentious ruin bar, situated inside a weathered pre-war building, is spread over two floors yet is nothing out of the ordinary. But due to it being super affordable, it gets very busy and can get a bit lively, but such is the price to be paid for cheap alcohol!
Instand & Fogas
This Budapest ruin bar is the largest of its kind in all of Budapest. More so a club, Instand & Fogas is massive, with 18 bars scattered over seven floors. And oh, it even has two gardens! International DJs frequently play at this spot, making this one not to miss on your Budapest weekend break. But don’t let the size of the venue fool you – it’s still very much considered a ruin bar with no entry fee. Winning!
Not your typical ruin bar, Élesztőház puts a lot of focus on what you’re drinking, offering 25 beers on tap – a standard Budapest drink. The bare brick walls give the spot an industrial feel, yet it has a diverse clientele ranging from beer lovers to young families. Since opening in 2013, the bar is still fairly young, often attracting more locals and fewer tourists, making it a great spot to get a glimpse into local life in Budapest.
You probably won’t think of ruin bars when entering Doboz. The old buildings and courtyard were transformed into a large space that welcomes a young and chic clientele. But despite the modernity of it all, Doboz has a funky decor and vibe. You’ll even find a massive tree in the centre of the yard with a King Kong statue hanging from it.
Some of the bars in Budapest will make you forget where you are. This is the venue to go to if you want to mix with Hungarians of a liberal persuasion. Nights here are less like visiting a bar and more like visiting a salon. The local thinkers gather to discuss the topics of the day and depending on your level of Hungarian or their level of English, you may find yourself joining some lively debates.
Just down the road from Kisuzem, whilst close geographically, the two bars couldn’t be more different. DZZS Bar is party central, being a fairly cheap spot that stays open until the early hours, attracting the locals who want less sitting and talking and more dancing and drinking. It’s the perfect bar to spend an entire night in or to simply end the night in. Either way, make sure to visit and check out the vibes.
This Budapest guide wouldn’t be complete without a rooftop bar. As the name implies, the 360 bar provides panoramic views of Budapest. It’s one of the best cocktail bars Budapest has to offer! Located on a rooftop overlooking the city, you can grab a table amongst the locals and take in the incredible scenery, or if you want a private space, you can grab an inflatable igloo and get a bit of quiet time.
Jonas Craft Beer House
There are loads of cool bars in Budapest and is one of them, situated near the Danube – one of the world’s most famous rivers that run through the city. And as you’re in Budapest, it’d be remiss if you didn’t visit it. Grab a locally made craft beer and sit alongside the river, watching the boats pass by. In fact, the beer is so locally made that the same people who make it will then serve it to you.
Budapest bars have a little bit of everything. If it’s a local flavour you’re after, then Beer Brothers is where you want to be. You’ll probably have to get there early, as this tiny place fills up rapidly after opening, but if you can secure a seat, you’ll love it. Beer Brothers serves the best in local Hungarian beers, with everything from standard lagers to fruity IPAs. See what Hungarians really drink, and then try and tear yourself away at closing time!