When visiting Budapest, the Hungarian capital, there are many activities tourists can choose from to enjoy their time spent here. One of these is experiencing the nightlife of Budapest and visiting one of the many bars that the city has to offer. From the famous ruin bars to establishments offering craft cocktails, everyone will find something that caters to their needs.
According to CoolHunting, drinking in Budapest is “to engage with the city’s fortunes”. For instance, the ruin pubs that have become one of the characteristic establishments of the city’s nightlife. They are a way to make use of the abandoned buildings primarily in the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest. Apart from these establishments that serve as “hybrid bar/café/performance venues”, lovers of craft cocktails, craft beer and unique wine varieties can also find places that will strike their fancy. CoolHunting assembled a list to help you choose, no matter what you are in the mood for.
First, let us start with perhaps the most obvious choice. Szimpla Kert is considered the “original” ruin bar, but it did not lose any of its popularity over the years – it is still a favourite among young tourists, for example. The two-level establishment is located in an old factory building. You can find several bars on both levels, as well as a restaurant. Depending on the weather and your mood, you can choose to stay inside or enjoy the outdoor space that is just as special as it is indoors – unique, second-hand decoration provides the atmosphere. This space is wildly different in daylight, though – it can serve as the location of a farmers’ market, an art space, a cinema or even a recording studio. Nevertheless, it is worth visiting both during the day and at night.
Hotsy Totsy Bar & Barber
The idea might seem a bit absurd at first – go to the same place to drink where you get your hair cut or your beard trimmed. However, the reviews are very positive. The bartenders are very friendly and will do their best to create your favourite drink – there is no set menu, but they can make your own drink based on your personal preferences. The whole place has a unique atmosphere with its brick ceiling – it is worth checking out for the ambience, too.
Tasting Table is the perfect place to get to know Hungary’s twenty wine regions a bit better – it is both a wine shop and tasting room. There is a wide variety of wines available here, including elegant but affordable choices. One thing is for sure: they are unique to Hungary. In the words of CoolHunting:
“If you’ve never cracked open a crisp furmint, sampled a fruit-forward and full-bodied ‘bull’s blood’, or punctuated your dessert course with a sweet Hungarian Tokaji, this is the place to begin your education.”
Boutiq Bar is an excellent cocktail bar famous for its special concoctions. The ambience is already worth checking out, with the windowless space and the scarlet-hued room setting the tone for the night. Choosing a cocktail will not be an easy task as the bartenders are very creative, reimagining the classics, too. If you want a pro tip, follow CoolHunting’s guide:
“for the real East-meets-West experience that has long-defined this ancient city, order a Budapest Barbecue and enjoy the theatrics as your drink arrives aflame with a marshmallow garnish for roasting.”
Csendes Vintage Bar and Café
Csendes Vintage Bar and Café was formerly known as a grand Transylvanian coffee house. Now, it operates both during the day and at night, making it the perfect meeting point for a quick lunch or an afternoon coffee as well as for celebratory drinks in the evening or at night. Similarly to Szimpla Kert, it also has a unique, rather eccentric décor – the high-ceilinged interior is full of weird, unique items that give a charming yet special feel to the place.
Black Swan is one of the newer establishments on the cocktail scene in Budapest, yet they mostly serve classic cocktails. You can turn to your favourites here or trust the bartenders to serve something unique, perhaps with some lesser known Hungarian tricks to them. For instance, you can trust the stuff to entertain you with some special drinks including pálinka, an excellent Hungarian fruit brandy.
Last but not least, another ruin bar to finish off the list. Mazel Tov pays homage to the Old Jewish Quarter’s legacy and respects the history of ruin pubs that started popping up in desperate times – during the second world war as well as in the communist era. Located in a green space, this establishment is very popular, so you had better make a reservation. It is not only perfect to clink glasses but also to enjoy Middle Eastern gastronomy – the menu is varied and full of delicious, special meals.
Whichever location you choose, enjoy! 😉
Featured image: www.facebook.com/MazelTov