When in Budapest, visiting a ruin bar is a must. While the concept behind them is always similar – take an empty residential building and add odd furniture and random knickknacks, paint the walls garish colours, and set up a bar counter and perhaps a corner for DJ decks or some dance floors. They all have their unique charm, so no two are ever the same. As District VII is ruin bar hub, most of them are close together, allowing you to visit more in one night if you want to go all out, but some are also perfect for a quieter night of just sipping drinks. Here are our favourites.



The pioneer of ruin pubs in Budapest, Szimpla was one of the first to set up shop in District VII and still remains the most authentic of the genre – filled with old toys, bikes, a bathtub and all kinds of knickknacks. As Szimpla is one of the most famous party places in Europe, included in countless guidebooks, it usually attracts a mainly foreign crowd, although you can still run into locals when cool concerts take place. There are many nooks and crannies to find an intimate space, but plenty of events also pop up here like concerts, parties, cultural events and a framer’s market on Sundays. Szimpla stays open until 4 am every day and until 3:30 am on Sunday. 


Stifler Ház

Open between 5 pm and 6 am every day, Stifler Ház (Stifler House) on Dob utca near Gozsdu Udvar has everything you need for a great night out: beer, burgers, games and dance floors – it’s a party place, games pub, and sports bar in one. Thanks to a massive screen and some 38 TVs, you can always keep an eye on important games being broadcast here. If you’d rather play, you’ll find foosball tables and pinball machines, as well as no less than 10 pool tables. Stifler Ház also boasts four dance floors, all playing different music, and a Beer & Burger bar that offers some tasty bites for those who need something more substantial than what the lengthy drink list has to offer. Entry is free! (x)



Extra was one of the later additions to the city’s ruin-bar scene. If you pop in here, you can sip delicious drinks by a long copper island bar while an array of scarlet umbrellas hang above your head. Extra is slightly more upscale than many of the party district’s other nearby establishments. It’s a comfortable spot to have a few drinks with your friends without having to shout over blasting music. Extra is open until midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, until 1 am on Thursday and 3 am on Friday and Saturday.



If you’re exploring Budapest’s nightlife, it’s easy to find yourself at the Instant-Fogas ruin bar complex. It is one of the vanguards of the city’s ruin pub scene, enhanced with an eclectic, stylish and dilapidated design. The Instant-Fogas complex has seven unique rooms that play all kinds of music from rock to hip-hop, pop, Latin music, techno and R&B, so you’ll surely find a party to your liking. Located on Akácfa utca in District VII, Instant-Fogas is open 6 pm - 6 am every day, and there’s no entrance fee – dancing until dawn is often the norm here. (x)



Stepping into Doboz, a reliable party place downtown, you’ll find yourself facing one of the district’s oldest trees towering towards the sky in the inner courtyard, and then an enormous wooden gorilla with glowing eyes gripping the tree tight. This is what gives Doboz its ruin bar feel. There’s a dance floor on each side of the courtyard where DJs spin disks, and you’ll find everything you need for a party here, including good music, great cocktails and a street food bar. At Doboz, you can party until 6 am on Friday and Saturday.



Sipping drinks at Csendes can feel quite surreal as you’re surrounded by mannequins, old toys, vintage knickknacks, abstract drawings adorning the walls and century-old chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. By day, Csendes is more of a café that transforms into a civilised bar after dark. Csendes overshadows rival venues thanks to its characteristic individuality, which makes it well worth a visit. In summer, check out the adjoining Csendes Társ serving as a lovely old-timey terrace by the wonderful inner-city green oasis of Károlyi-kert



What makes Grandio special in this list is that it also serves as a party hostel, so if you have one too many drinks, you can just stay the night. Grandio is a sprawling courtyard, a playground for party animals, where you can unleash your inner rock star after sundown. Trees and brightly coloured furniture are aplenty, and the atmosphere is laid-back and fuss-free. Local barhoppers and international backpackers mingle here until the early hours.

Update: Grandio is closed for the winter season.


Púder Bárszínház és Galéria

The ruin bar of restaurant-lined Ráday utca might seem a bit more upscale, yet it is an intriguing hangout and a hotspot for regular cultural events. The interior is true eye candy full of colours – murals adorn the walls from floor to ceiling, installations by local artists hang above your head, and the skip-found furniture fits in perfectly. Púder is a quieter hangout than its party district counterparts, but it stays open until 1 am on weekdays and until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays – it is well worth a visit for a few drinks shared with friends.