The inner part of the seventh district of Budapest, famous for its ruin pubs and also known as the “party district”, has become the top 1 destination of tourists looking to taste the atmosphere of Budapest’s nightlife. But if you go to these places today which were once hubs of the urban scene, you can see how exorbitant prices and hordes of drunk stag-doers have virtually pushed out all locals. Learn from this article where to go these days if you want a more authentic taste of the local alternative scene of Budapest.
It was more than a decade ago that the first ruin pub, Szimpla Kert, was established as space for a newly emerging liberal subculture. It inspired others, with similar places opening up all over the seventh district, like Fogas ház, Ellátó, Rácskert, etc. As tourists started displacing the “core local audience” of these pubs, its patrons retreated too quickly gentrificating areas of the eighth district, once considered a notorious neighbourhood that has been undergoing an interesting transformation. Here are some tips if you want to see what that looks like.
Gólya ( “stork”) describes itself as a co-operative bar and community house with a garden and a large interior that gives a home to community daycare, workshops and activities all day long, with a kitchen providing a daily lunch menu (with vegetarian options, too). They host film clubs, presentations, lectures, and even board game playing. Having inner-city roots, too, Gólya moved to where it is today in 2013. But be quick if you want to check it out – it is about to move soon again.
Similar in spirit to Gólya, Auróra was created to connect cultural programs, civil/activist work and community building. Come here for gigs, parties and alternative performances in the basement, film clubs and exhibitions on the main floor, or roundtable discussions on pressing social issues.
Kék Ló (“blue horse”) used to be just across from Szimpla Kert in the seventh district, but a couple of years ago it decided it had enough of the stuffy centre and moved to the eighth (they even have a second base in Berlin now, too). This truly progressive hub combines an upcycled clothes shop, craft beer and experimental jazz music. What’s more, their creative energies extend beyond Budapest, as they are organizing an avant-garde festival (Azure) for the first time this summer.
A hip place where new-wave coffee, quality wine, great food, craft beer and friendly, low-key concerts meet.
A minimalist, stylish but still affordable winery with a very special atmosphere, in a run-down apartment block that truly emanates the shabby magic of the eighth district.
Csiga (“snail”) is a spacious and luminous bar on two levels that serves a wide range of food from light sandwiches to delicious daily lunch menus. A relaxed place to meet up with friends for a coffee or work during the day or to have a drink in the evening.
Featured image: https://www.facebook.com/auroraunofficial/