From the prohibition speakeasies to the bathhouses turned bars of Ancient Greece, a tribute to the perceptiveness of mankind is the art of serving alcohol at the most unconventional spaces and this liquor- filled perceptiveness is demonstrated best in the contemporary city of Budapest, Hungary. Dilapidated pre-war buildings like banks, factories, warehouses or homes that were saved from heap scraps and turned into unique and extremely cool bars, now very famously known as the ‘Ruin Bars’ ,has taken over this city by a surge over the past 15 years and is a huge tourist attraction due to the generous pour of alcohol and to experience and witness the local histories of these bars. Here is a compact list of a few bars you must experience on your visit to Budapest :
- SZIMPLA KERT : As one of the first makeshift bars inside a dilapidated pre- war building, the Simpla Kert is one of the most iconic bars of Budapest. The interiors are furnished using furniture from clearance sales which only adds on to the inexplicably dope and exuberant scene of the bar. The country might be brimming with other ruin bars but Simpla Kert, who originally pioneered the genre is best known for its historic authenticity with its impeccably reasonable glass of beer and the labyrinthe section upstairs, which homes Hungary’s top microbrewery, known as the beer bar of Mad Scientist.
- INSTANT AND FOGAS HAZ : This place is less of a typical ruin bar and much more of a widespread venue featuring several dance floors, inside an enormous building with crumbling facades going back to 1881. What was once a part of the Jewish Quarters, this bar might not be the best venue for the ultimate ruin bar ambience but it definitely is a one stop party location and the largest ruin bar in Budapest for you to go wild, especially if you get a chance to visit Larm, the leading techno and electronic club of Budapest.
- CSENDES : What was formerly a Transylvanian restaurant, this place is all about the ruins but minus the rowdiness. Emitting intense vibes of a hoarder marrying a witch and throwing a cocktail after party, this place has a religiously creepy theme with weird religious paraphernalia, doll heads and what not but if you are a Tim Burton fanatic, this bar is the place you belong to.
- BUDAPEST-MAZEL TOV : If you are only in for the ‘ruin aesthetics’ but hold a rather upscale palate, this Middle Eastern restaurant is absolutely buzzing with its lush greenery, weathered furnishings and modern fittings. With its focus mainly on Israeli and other Mediterranean dishes, this fancy bar does not just serve beers but has upgraded itself to cocktails and mezze plates.
- UDVAR ROM : If you are on a budget, this place is your best choice as a low priced ruin bar situated in Budapest’s old Jewish Quarters. Although it is a weathered pre- war building, this ruin bar is comparatively less creatively furnished and houses items like a flat screen TV and punching machines which are unusual at a ruin bar. The decor does not attract crowds here, the amazingly affordable price range does and is a great place to socialize amongst the local youth of the city.