You must see?the Budapest Ruin Bars if you are visiting Budapest because that’s what it is really famous for. Situated in the Pest part of Budapest, it is in a not so up-market area but its fun and quirky. Like the Soho of London, you can walk around the area visiting one ruin bar to another. However, I must warn you the word “Ruins” is merely coined to alternate casual, quirky and it has absolutely nothing to do with historical ruins or architectural heritage. Having said that the must-see amongst them is Szimpla Kert, a transformed factory warehouse. Its whacky and outlandish artifacts make it interesting.
A green baby dino at the entrance to broken cycles adorned with lights hanging from the ceiling, an old piano, typewriters, barrels of beer, and colorful lanterns to toilet seats, its got everything. A vibrant mess. There are different rooms opening one into the other and a stairway in the courtyard that leads you to the first floor. There is a canopy of green foliage on the mezzanine floor that adds to the old house feel. We went during the day as well as the night and saw the place transform into something else. It’s got cocktails, wine, sheesha, and table bites too. Everything is at the most reasonable prices, the bartenders are friendly and fun to talk to. People start trickling in ideally by about 8 pm on the weekend and slowly the place becomes abuzz. By about 11ish on a Saturday, you will find the line to get in reaching almost around the block.
Right next to Szimpla Kert is Karavan. Like the name suggests, there are small eatery vans lined up in a parking place. The only difference is that this is permanent and they have wooden benches and high tables for increased utility. It Is bright and festive and has multiple cuisines, right from jerk burgers to Thai and pan Asian, Mexican tortillas to authentic trdelniks (chimney cakes). It is a perfect place to line up your stomach before beginning a night of revelry.
Some of the other ruin bars that are often included in a pub crawl are Instant and Fogas. Mazel Tov is an upscale restaurant that has a Ruin bar feel but is more brightly lit. This Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant is quite amongst the favorite for tourists, so do make a booking in advance. There are plenty of smaller eateries along the way serving beer and burgers so chances of going hungry are little. But if you are amongst those that likes to be served well then, have an early dinner and then head to experience the ruin bars of Budapest.