The capital of Hungary, Budapest is the most populous city of Hungary. It is also the largest city in the European Union based on the population within city limits. It is both a city and a country and also is the centre of the metropolitan area of Budapest. Budapest nightlife has become quite popular among tourists too in present times.
- What Are Ruins Bars?
- Best Budapest Nightclubs
- Tips For The Tourists To Enjoy The Budapest Nightlife
- Frequently Asked Questions
Bisected by the Danube River, Budapest is divided into the two parts, viz the hilly Buda district and the plain Pest district. They are connected by the Chain bridge built in the 19th century. Its dramatic skyline is peppered with architectural structures built way back in the 19th century. Budapest is regarded to be one of the most photogenic European cities. The river Danube is another one of the must-visit Budapest attractions.
Did you know
- Budapest is a name made from the amalgamation of ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’, the two districts that were united in 1873 to form it.
- One of the largest music and culture festivals, the Sziget Festival is held every year in North Budapest.
- Along with the neo-gothic architecture, Budapest nightlife is one of the key tourist attractions.
Apart from its unique architecture, Budapest is also famous for the nightlife. Budapest nightlife breaks away from the monotony and gives you a different experience altogether. From going on a Hungarian wine tour to taking an evening river cruise, the list goes on. But what makes the city unique is that the most popular Budapest tourist places are a variety of nightclubs. From normal to ruins, Budapest nightclubs are sure to give you a memorable experience. Imagine having your drink and dancing inside an old ruin, sounds quirky right? The most popular thing that makes Budapest nightlife different from any other place is its ruins bars.
What Are Ruins Bars?
Hungarians have taken abandoned, old Soviet buildings and remodelled them into nightclubs with the Communist-era junk and crumbling courtyards. Yes, night clubs; these are the famous ruins bars Budapest is known for. So if you are planning a trip to Budapest, these places should be on your list of places to visit.
Also Read: Top 25 things to do in Budapest
Best Budapest Nightclubs
Some of the best Budapest nightclubs and places to enjoy the nights are:
- Mazel Tov
- Szimpla kert
- 360 bar
- Szechenyi Spa Baths
- Otkert Club
- Corvin Club and Roof Terrace
- Fogas haz
- Boutiq’ Bar
- Gozsdu passage
- Akvarium Club
1. Mazel Tov
If romantic dine-outs and Instagram-friendly places are on your criteria list, Mazel Tov is the best place to visit. It is the perfect combination of vibrant interior and giant courtyard-cum-cultural space with trees decorated with fairy lights. This is one of the top places to visit in Budapest.
- When to visit: Mon-Wed & Sun (12pm-1am), Thu-Sat (12pm-2am)
- Location: Budapest, Akácfa u. 47, 1072 Hungary
If you have never imagined having a drink in a parking area, it will be a surprise for you. Constructed in a former car park, Racskert is the go-to place to have cheap beer, vegan snacks, live folk music. It has a vibrant interior with graffiti-filled walls. And like any other ruins bar, it too gives a come-as-you-are vibe.
- When to visit: Monday Closed, Tues (12pm-12am), Wed & Sat (12pm-2am), Thurs-Fri (12pm-4am), Sunday (12pm-9pm)
- Location: Budapest, Dob u. 40-42, 1072 Hungary
3. Szimpla Kert
One of the pioneers of the ruins bars culture, Szimpla Kert is one of the quirkiest places in Budapest. From open-top East German Trabant cars and converted bathtubs for drinking spaces. The place has it all. You can even buy branded clothing inside the club now
- When to visit: 12 PM-4 AM
- Location: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
4. 360 bar
Do you enjoy watching the sunset while having a drink? Then, 360 bar is a must-visit place for you. Along with a panoramic view of the city, 360 bar offers you a long list of wine and food items to enjoy the beautiful sight with. It is one of the best places to experience the Budapest nightlife at its best.
- When to visit: Mon-Wed (2pm-12am), Sat-Sun (2pm-12am), Thurs-Fri (2pm-2am)
- Location: Budapest, Andrássy út 39, 1061 Hungary
5. Szechenyi Spa Baths
Along with thermal saunas, Szenchenyi Spa Baths offers brightly lit dance floors and heavy music. They are the home to one of the most exciting events of the city, Sparty. Known for its raucous, rave party vibes, not only tourists but localities too flock here in huge numbers.
- When to visit: Saturdays, From February to December.
- Location: Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
Also Read: Best Time To Visit Europe In 2020
6. Otkert Club
Built-in the year 2010 in an old 19th Century building, Otkert Club is definitely worth the hype. It provides a more polished version of the nightlife, unlike its, edgier counterparts. Otkert Club is a regular space for many famous DJs to perform in the summers. One can enjoy music ranging from commercial to hip hop and R&B here.
- When to visit: Thurs-Sat (11 PM-5 AM), Mon-Wed & Sunday (Closed)
- Location: Budapest, Zrínyi u. 4/A, 1051 Hungary
Did you know
- The Szimpla Kert (café) was ranked the 3rd best bar in the world and 1st in Budapest.
- Budapest was created by joining three cities; Obuda, Buda, and Pest.
- The inventor of Rubik’s cube, Rubik was born in Budapest.
- The ruins pubs are actually abandoned Soviet styled houses, renovated into clubs.
Nightlife in Budapest cannot be talked about without mentioning Doboz. It is one of the weirdest places with an interior designed like a maze box. Along with the maze box, it also organizes outdoor backyard parties in the summers.
- When to visit: Tue (5pm-2am), Wed-Thu (5pm-5am), Fri-Sun (5pm-6am)
- Location: 10 Klauzál utca, Budapest, Hungary
Also Read: 9 Best Cities To Visit In Europe In 2020
With two courtyards and eight bars, Instant is the biggest nightclub in Budapest. It is open to people till 6 AM every day of the week with live music in the evenings to late-night raving. It is sure to be a memorable experience for anyone who visits it and is the perfect example of Budapest party scene.
- When to visit: 4 PM-6 AM
- Location: Budapest, Akácfa u. 51, 1073 Hungary
Though technically not a nightclub, it is known for hosting events and performances of musicians and DJs in the night. What makes it unique is its surroundings. Located inside a courtyard in Obuda, it is a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the city and gives a secret garden vibe. It is definitely one of the best Budapest tourist places to visit.
- When to visit: Mon-Thu (4pm-4am), Fri-Sat (11am-4pm), Sunday (11am-12pm)
- Location: 1 Fő tér, Budapest, Hungary
Also Read: 24 Best Festivals in Europe
10. Corvin Club and Roof Terrace
Situated in the Soviet block just above the supermarket, this place gives a different experience. Unlike electronic music common everywhere else, it brings out the down-to-earth side of the Budapest nightlife. With its interweaving doors and rooftop bar, Corvin Club is the perfect place to enjoy the cityscape.
- When to visit: 9 PM-6 AM (Wed-Sat)
- Location: 1-2 Blaha Lujza tér, nightlife, Hungary
11. Fogas Haz
Situated in the same complex with Instant, Fogas Haz is a veteran of the Budapest party scene. It comprises of a cultural art centre, thrift shop, open dance floors, and terrace cocktail bar. With the colourful and vibrant interior, it is one of the oldest ruins bars of Budapest.
- When to visit: Mon-Sat (4 PM-6 AM)
- Location: Budapest, Akácfa u. 49-51, 1073 Hungary
12. Boutiq’ Bar
Dubbed as a ‘neo speakeasy’, it is an underground cocktail bar that boasts of a list of fancy cocktails. From lab beakers to plastic smoothie cups or even old honey pots, one can get an order of cocktail served in any bizarre medium. However, the tiki rum cocktails served in Eastern Island-style moai is the real showstopper.
- When to visit: Tuesday -Thursday: 18.00 – 01.00
Friday – Saturday: 18.00 – 02.00
Sunday – Monday: closed
- Location: Budapest, Paulay E.u.5.
13. Gozsdu Passage
Known as the vortex of Budapest party scene, it is a tunnel of bars and restaurants decorated with fairy lights. Located in the trendy 7th district, it is the best place to start or end the night. One can have a decent meal here in any of the bars, pubs or edgy cafes. It is a favourite of not only the tourists but also the locals.
- When to visit: Sun-Sat 10:00 AM – 3:00 AM.
- Location: Kiraly utca 13 | Dob utca 16, Budapest 1075, Hungary
14. Akvarium Club
The list of places to visit in Budapest would remain incomplete without the mention of Akvarium Club. It is one of the most famous sites of the Budapest nightlife. With its fancy and well designed central room to sit and enjoy the music, it is a common favourite among the partygoers. It organizes a variety of concerts and is the perfect place to enjoy with friends after dark.
- When to visit: 12pm-1am (Mon-Tue), 12pm-4:30pm (Wed-Sun)
- Location: 12 Erzsébet tér, Budapest, Hungary
The bohemian, random, fun nature of the Budapest nightlife is one of the key attractions of the city. People from faraway places visit Budapest to get a taste of the vibrant experience and hence not only nightclubs, but Budapest nightlife also has a variety of other attractions like:
- Coffee houses: If loud music and huge crowds aren’t your scenes, you can always opt for a coffee house. These are generally operational till midnight. The coffee houses provide a glimpse of history and were once the meeting points of various creatives. Some of the most popular ones being The New York Café, Gerbeaud Café, and Central.
- Wine bars: Hungary is famous for its wine, and has 22 variety of it. So do make sure to try the famous Hungarian wine at any wine bar in Budapest.
Tips For The Tourists To Enjoy The Budapest Nightlife
- As a significant part of the Budapest attractions are the nightclubs, plan your budget before travelling.
- Avoid empty and dingy bars that look shady. Most commonly, they are the lurking grounds for scammers. Call the local police number at 112 if any problem arises.
- Never carry a huge amount of cash on you or hint anyone if you are carrying one.
- Don’t let any stranger accompany you to the ATMs.
- Cases of drugging are common in shady bars, so never leave your drink unattended.
- Plan your itinerary to avoid useless spending of money.
- Most of the places aren’t open at least before 18:00 so try to find out the timings of the pubs or clubs beforehand.
Further Read: 12 Best Places To Visit In Italy In 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Budapest good for nightlife?
Budapest is famous for its nightlife. Among its districts, the 7th is the best place to get a taste of the nightlife in Budapest.
2. What is a ruin bars Budapest?
The ruin bars Budapest are abandoned buildings, especially in the Jewish district of Budapest that are now used as places to grab a drink and some food. You can also spend your nighttime dancing in one of these Budapest attractions.
3. Is Budapest safe at night?
With a score of 76, Budapest is one of the safest places to visit for any tourist. Though petty crimes happen at times, nothing major generally occurs that might frighten the tourists.
4. Do they use euros in Budapest?
Yes, euros are accepted as a means of currency in almost every place of Budapest. But often due to its terrible rate, it is generally advised to rather use the local, Hungarian Forint to avoid paying nearly double in Euros.
5. What is Budapest known for?
Other than the forts and buildings, the Budapest nightlife is one of the main attractions for the tourists.
6. What is the best time of year to go to Budapest?
The best time to visit Budapest is in spring and autumn. In those seasons, the crowd remains minimal, and the weather too is pleasant.
7. How long do you need to visit Budapest?
Generally, a 3-day trip is perfect for visiting Budapest if you want to see all the Budapest tourist places at a comfortable pace.
8. Which is better for staying, Buda or Pest?
Buda is slightly on the quieter side and is generally preferred for residential purposes.