The Ruin Bars of Budapest | Hungary

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Budapest is famous for them, alongside the thermal baths and beautiful architecture, Budapest is very well known for the amazing ruin bars that are dotted around the city, primarily in the Jewish quarter. When my best friend and I visited Budapest, we were very excited to experience them and see what it was all about.

The biggest one is called Szimpla Kert and, I believe, is where the ruin bars idea started. A ruin bar is essentially an old, abandoned building that young people would buy and install large art pieces and funky furniture in and make into a really cool bar or nightclub. These buildings were left in ruins after many parts of the Jewish quarter were destroyed in WW2 and therefore it was the perfect way to remodel the buildings and turn them into something amazing.

Szimpla Kert is the biggest one, it's very popular and has become a tourist attraction now but it is not difficult to see why. There are some incredible art installations inside including gardens and a courtyard that has a huge car in but ruin bars originally started as small buildings that weren't particularly noticeable from the outside as anything other than a ruined building, it was only when you got inside that you realised it was a bar and there are still some smaller, less famous ones lurking around the Jewish quarter that are like this.

We explored the ruin bars both during the day and during the night as we wanted to explore and appreciate it in all it's beauty both as a place that hosts really cool art and as an awesome bar. What I really liked was that, anyone who came to Szimpla could leave their mark, we actually wrote a quote on the gymnastics horse in one of the upstairs rooms of the bar from the play Desiderata, maybe if you go, see if you can find it!

None of the furniture matches in the ruin bars, sometimes it feels like you are in someones front room and you really shouldn't be nosing around but we definitely found that part of the fun! The environment is also really relaxed, we found lots of friends in the Ruin Bars!

We visited Szimpla Kert which is one of the main ones, it has a huge courtyard and a great cocktail bar and we had a really lovely night there. We also visited Instant which is a little bit more of a club than a bar we found as it doesn't liven up till later but it was still really fun to wander around. We also visited a couple of other ones when wandering around the Jewish district but I honestly have no idea of their names as they were smaller ones and we were just having a look around! They definitely are so cool and really worth a look if you are heading to Budapest!

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