It may be a summer like no other but the heat is on – there’s still drinking to be done and fun to be had. Here we’ve compiled a selection of our 11 favourite spots around Budapest to relax over a drink or two once the sun starts to sink.
The boat that rocks the Danube at the Buda foot of the Petőfi Bridge has been an essential concert venue in Budapest for some time. It relaxes its agenda in summer, but the outer areas, the bow and the roof terrace, will be in action. If you’re looking for a convivial afternoon party or a small concert in the early evening, this is the place to come.
Akvárium Spring Terrace
The situation with this entertainment complex on focal Erzsébet tér is similar to that of the A38. Its indoor concert agenda slows down in summer while the spacious outdoor terrace comes alive. If you want to have fun in the heart of town, even if you can’t find a table, you can grab a bench alongside – or soon, on the green space, which is currently being re-grassed. The bar is close by and the music can be heard from here.
Barba Negra Track
Barba Negra is one of Budapest’s long-in-the-tooth music venues. In the cooler months, this rock circus operates at the club on Prielle Kornélia utca while in summer, it continues in the open air on the Buda side of Rákóczi Bridge, at the former Zöld Pardon. The guitar rings out constantly as metalheads, rockers and punks convene.
This urban nightspot in the party district has moved to Margaret Island for the summer, as we recently featured. BRKLYN Island takes the place of former Margaret Island legend, the Cha-Cha-Cha, but isn’t looking to repeat what its famous predecessor used to offer. Cocktails, fine food and pleasant music await a smart but casual clientele.
Under normal circumstances, Budapest Park would be the number one concert venue in town once summer comes. This year, they’ve had to adapt to circumstances with smaller, unplugged performances and the concert venue has been transformed into an outdoor garden. It’s still got a good aura about it, but not the festival-style madness of yore.
Budapest’s most reliable alt-rock destination over the past few years, with alfresco spaces a-plenty, the Dürer Kert by City Park is still frequented by cyclists and dog owners, although with no concert repertoire this year. It’s still a very pleasant place to spend a summer’s eve – particularly in the light of the sad closure of the open-air Kertem in City Park itself.
Kobuci Kert (seasonal)
Located in the heart of Óbuda, in the courtyard of Zichy Castle on the main square, this atmospheric, shaded locale awaits guests from April to September. Friendly chat, sipping and eating ensure, perhaps after a hearty bike ride here, with a little live jazz, blues and world music thrown in.
At the foot of Chain Bridge in Pest, facing Buda, you find this popular leisure haunt, a defining factor of Budapest’s summer nights in recent years. It’s great to sit and watch the Danube while listening to music attuned to sunset which, if not provided by a DJ, comes courtesy of a name Hungarian band or performer.
The Roman embankment up in Óbuda is a great favourite of many, lined with alfresco bars and eateries, even a live venue or two. Especially recommended are the bohemian Két Rombusz, the charming Miamor, the cultural bistro Fellini and, last but not least, communal Nap bácsi. For a lively look at the riverbank options on the Buda side, with an accompanying video on our Facebook page, see here.
In the vicinity of focal Buda square Batthyány tér, roughly opposite Parliament, the TRIP boat was registered as a summer entertainment destination in 2019, but its interior also allows it to operate in winter, too. But if the weather is good, you’d rather be out on the deck, gazing at the Danube, sipping your drink and listening to the DJs who entertain visitors with better-than-decent music that matches the sunset and the early-evening mood.