A trip to Budapest is not complete without visiting its ruin bars, and there are plenty to choose from! Of course, you can visit the well-loved classic ruin bars in the 7th district, but if you want to see Budapest like a local, check out this list of unique ruin bars in Budapest.
Tucked away on an unassuming street in the 8th district, you could spend all night in the expansive Élesztőház compound. With a craft beer ruin bar, ruin café, cozy courtyard and multiple restaurants, it’s more like an adult playground than a bar.
Grab a craft beer and sit in one of the converted movie theatre seats, or settle in for one of the famous, creamy hot chocolates in quirky Rengeteg (the ruin cafe). If you work up an appetite, you can grab some Hungarian street food in the courtyard or head downstairs to the tapas restaurant. Spending a night here is one of the more unique things to do in Budapest! Maybe you won’t want to leave!
Your inner child might be delighted by the giant swing out front of A Grund, but we promise, it’s worth it to go inside this colorful Budapest bar. During the warmer months, A Grund’s huge garden is an inviting place to sit and enjoy your drink.
When night comes around, they clear the restaurant’s tables and the expansive dance floor fills up quickly--the music style changes from night to night to keep things fresh. They even built the dance floor around a tree so that they wouldn’t have to cut it down! Come early and you can take advantage of their happy hour deals (2 for 1 cocktails? Yes please!) and grab a seat closest to the dance floor!
Want to spend more time appreciating your drink? Come by on Thursdays for their weekly Wine Assassins wine tasting club. Cheers to that!
Pótkulcs, meaning “spare key”, is near one of the busiest centers of Budapest, and yet, goes under the radar of a lot of tourists. There’s very little signage, so you’ll just have to look for the wall of ivy.
Once you find it, step into this secret garden of sorts and find a spot in its hidden courtyard. If you need something to snack on while you sip on your fröccs, go for one of Pótkulcs’s delicious, fluffy pogácsa (similar to a cheese scone). Some locals come here for these alone.
Distinctly grunge, Gólya has a finger on the pulse of Budapest’s music scene. This co-op bar and community space is a favorite for Budapest locals in the area, and gives people a place to come together for live music, art events, and other performances. As many of the events are put on by the community, there’s often something new and exciting to see. Check out their website for more info!
Like we said: it’s essential to go to ruin bars when you visit Budapest. But that doesn’t mean you have to go where everyone else is going! If you want to do something unusual in Budapest, visit any of these off the beaten path ruin bars! Cheers!