25 of Budapest’s best terrace hangouts for summer 2017
Photo : Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
We Love Budapest
27/6/2017, 7:41 PM●8-minute article
On sweet summer nights out and about in Budapest, it is best to find a terrific terrace where we can enjoy an alcohol-fueled evening with plenty of friends or a special someone amid a picturesque panorama, fine wines, and lovely lighting. We assembled a list of our favorite hangouts where visitors can spend time under the sunny or starry skies citywide, ranging from a cozy ruin pub to a top hotel’s roof terrace to a pool transformed into a party place, among many other alfresco cafés and bars. Here we present the best bars and nightclubs of 2017’s summer season.
It is always a pleasure to exit the lift of the former Paris Department Store on Andrássy Avenue, and first admire the panorama over the whole town from above. No wonder why 360 Bar is still the city’s most popular rooftop bar, as it provides the most picturesque panorama of the city. The only thing that might be bothersome is the constant breezy climate, but in the summertime this is usually refreshing.
We still love sunbathing and partying on the deck of the world’s most famous repurposed Ukranian cargo ship, all while enjoying cool beats and ice-cold long drinks. World-class parties start here during the day, but rocking on the Danube is best after the sun goes down – and if you want to make a grand entrance here, arrive by taking the BKK ferryboat to A38’s own stop.
During summertime in Budapest, Erzsébet Square is constantly buzzing with life. Besides cool concerts inside this super-central oversized club, the seats on the steps are always filled up for friendly gatherings. Open-air musical programs are often held here, but if after a few drinks you wish to move on, basically every other nightclub in Budapest is a ten-minute journey away.
Paulay Ede Street’s Anker’t club may not be colorfully decorated, but the spirit here is always vibrant, as this welcoming community hub boasts varied events every night, while during the weekends there are often markets, cultural programs, and roundtable talks here. However, the spacious open-air courtyard is still an ideal downtown spot to simply drop by for a drink or two anytime.
Szent Gellért Square, the Liberty Bridge, the boats traveling on the Danube, and Gellért Hill all shimmer under bright lights at night – this is a view we can never get bored of, and which can be admired every evening from Bálna Terrace, where a night out with friends, dogs, a special someone, and, of course, delicious drinks is always perfect.
Located in the heart of downtown Budapest and featuring a giant red-brick archway for a backdrop, Madách Square has always been a great place to go for a night out, and now it is enhanced even further with a high-quality cocktail bar and terrace hangout: Barside. Here you can sip on a high-quality cocktail amid a laid-back terrace appointed with pallet furniture.
Budapest Park is a gigantic concert venue found away from the buzz of downtown, but after arriving here with a short journey to the southern terminus of tram 2, visitors can enjoy the festival feeling here during every wild summer night. Thanks to its isolated location, the music can be turned up loud, although some chill zones await for sunny lounging – but of course, the concerts are the venue’s raison d’être.
Located just outside the main gate of downtown Pest’s charmingKárolyi Garden,the Csendes terrace is undoubtedly equally atmospheric when it is lit by afternoon sunshine as when lovely moonlight drapes the tables at night. We recommend sipping on a glass of aromatic white wine while admiring the nearby greenery and enjoying long chats.
The trendy DiVino location right next to St. Stephen’s Basilica has been a fixed point on the map of Budapest wine aficionados for a long time, but even if you are not an oenophile, it is worthwhile to spend some time here just for the panorama. We love sitting outside on the terrace, but the steps of the adjacent fountain are also pretty inviting.
A red double-decker bus was brought all the way to Budapest from Trafalgar Square to offer tasty lángosfried-dough snacks, hake, beers, and frosty fröccs to city dwellers right next to the riverside. It takes a bit of traveling to get to this hangout from downtown, but Dunaparty Megálló is certainly a sweetly unique summertime hangout in Budapest.
Tucked away down a long alleyway from the Kazinczy Street scene, Ellátó operates as a garden bar the whole year round – even during the coldest days of winter – but when the hot months arrive, this open-air spot truly comes alive. We just cannot get bored of this slightly Mexican but still Budapest-style ruin pub adorned with ivy, and of their signature shot: the Pinky.
Take a day trip upriver to fine the best hangout of the Római Shore, Fellini, which is enhanced with striped deck chairs and an antique circus wagon. During the day, laughter, lemonades, and sunshine fill the air here, while as the night falls, beers, pleasant tunes, and the sound of crickets take over, making this riverfront hotspot appealing anytime.
Two longtime Budapest ruin pubs – Instant and Fogas Ház – recently united under one rickety roof on downtown Pest’s Akácfa Street, and while becoming a mega-complex of rowdy revelry has changed the spirit of both places somewhat, visitors can still enjoy a lovely garden that is a chilled-out place in the afternoons, which later hosts rocking parties that go on until dawn.
Found in front of a historic building in the center of City Park, Kertem is a big favorite for alfresco fun in Budapest, not only because of its mouthwatering Balkan burgers, cool tunes, and sprawling expanse of open-air tables, but also because of the many intriguing characters who often hang out here with their furry four-legged friends.
Not far away from Ellátó Kert, another beloved open-air bar on Kazinczy Street is Kőleves Kert, located next door to the popular restaurant of the same name. Towering trees provide comfortable shade here, while colorful hammocks and always-friendly service set the scene for a perfect place to enjoy tasty drinks. KőlevesKert has long been a reliably laid-back Budapest hangout.
As a somewhat sophisticated bar and eatery located adjacent to the aforementioned Fogas Ház/Instant complex, Liebling has a stylish interior that is welcoming all year long, yet this place is still the most atmospheric when its rooftop terrace opens for the summer. It is an ideal spot for escaping the bustling nightlife of Akácfa Street in the company of a glass of frosty fröccs.
The Római Shore is a splendid summertime destination for a day of chilling, eating, and drinking by the Danube. Located in the same vicinity as Fellini, Napbácsi has a longer history here and is also a welcoming spot with panoramic waterfront seating, always providing a nice alternative for those who are a bit bored of more mainstream beers on tap.
Sited on the grounds of Budapest’s historic Art Nouveau Gellért Bath, Pagony is one of the funkiest outdoor hangouts in Budapest, because here, guests can enjoy delicious drinks while sitting inside empty pools. It is worthwhile to arrive early to soak up some sunshine while sipping a drink, because later on Pagony normally gets completely filled up.
When PONTOON first opened by the Pest side of the Chain Bridge in 2016, we spent just about every night here watching the sunset and floodlights slowly brightening up the city sights. PONTOON perseveres as an open-air summertime hangout with plenty of cool programs and delicious drinks at an unbeatable location, although it is perhaps a little too popular for its own good now…
Pótkulcs is found in an out-of-the-way location compared with most of the city’s ruin pubs, hidden amid the urban atmosphere of District VI’s Csengery Street. This bar has not changed at all during the many long years of its existence; stepping inside the garden, guests are welcomed by a friendly milieu that is never bothered by loud pub crawls or stag parties.
Celebrities like Jude Law and Ron Howard have enjoyed cold refreshments on raqpart’s super-panoramic terrace by the Pest side of the Chain Bridge, but this place welcomes everyone who likes minimal-house beats and meeting new people. During the day the smoothies are great, while the alcohol-infused lemonades are best while watching the stars come out at night.
St. Andrea Wine&Skybar is set to open this week, and we are truly looking forward to admiring the city’s rooftops and sunsets from the peak of another towering downtown building – this time located atop the historic Váci1 building by Vörösmarty Square, upstairs from Budapest’s Hard Rock Cafe – while enjoying good libations provided by Hungary’s esteemed St. Andrea winery.
Telep is the favorite hangout of Budapest’s creatives, where during the week cool musical programs are often orgnanized. Although there are not too many seats on this terrace near Madách Square, people often stand around all over the place, but even that doesn’t ruin the atmosphere here. The fröccs comes at a friendly price, while cute dogs are regulars here.
Zsiráf turns two years old this year, and we are so happy to see that Eiffel Square does not remain underutilized anymore. Tasty beers from small-scale breweries, an atmospheric terrace, and the stunning architecture of the Nyugati Railway Station all make the splendid atmosphere absolutely unique here at this sprawling playground for grown-ups.