Did you know in Hungary’s capital the run-down warehouses, old factories, and even abandoned apartment buildings are being transformed into the hippest places to go out? Well, good news! Nestled right in the heart of the Jewish Quarter is Szimpla Kert, the original ruin bar in Budapest. Come learn about what makes Szimpla Kert so special, the unique history of ruin bars in Budapest, and 5 fun tips for your visit.
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History of Ruin Bars in Budapest Hungary
Ruin bars first jumped on the scene in the early 2000’s and quickly captivated their patrons. Yet before other nightlife establishments could take shape it all started with one building in the Jewish Quarter. Yes, it was Szimpla Kert that began the whole movement!
To make a long story short, a group of people in Budapest basically saved a warehouse from getting demolished and turned it into a bar. Then instead of remodeling it completely, they built around the rubbish and added quirky decor and furniture.
These days the ruin bars in Budapest have become a fun way to view local art, take in music, and have some drinks with friends. They’re truly a tourist destination in themselves with more and more popping up each year!
*A portion of the ruin bars in Budapest close down for winter as they’re set outdoors. Be sure to check which ones stay open through the colder months before you go!
Szimpla Kert: The First Ruin Bar in Budapest
You can’t talk about the best nightlife in the city without bringing up Szimpla Kert! It’s the original ruin bar in Budapest and features incredible artistry in each room. There are soooo many to explore at Szimpla Kert Budapest, but our favorite rooms were the gardens upstairs, the open-air back area, and of course the bathtub room on the first level.
That’s right! You can have your beer in a bathtub at Szimpla Kert! Located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, you won’t find a more lively and fun atmosphere anywhere in Budapest. No matter where we were in the city we always found ourselves wandering over here for a quick beer at some point in the day.
5 Tips for Visiting Szimpla Kert Budapest
1. Go to Szimpla Kert Early
Szimpla Kert is in a popular area that you will be most likely pass serval times as you walk around Budapest. Don’t wait for the late-night party hour to visit for the first time! Szimpla Kert is open daily from 3pm to 4am except for Saturday and Sunday when they open earlier.
If you wait until the night to go it will be so crowded that you won’t be able to easily see all the rooms. That’s why we recommended stopping into Szimpla Kert for the first time during the afternoon so you can experience it without the crowds.
2. Wander Around the Unique Rooms
Szimpla Kert is not only famous for being the first ruin bar in Budapest Hungary, but also for how large and unique it is. It honestly feels like you’re wandering around some sort of strange house out of a dream!
Make sure to go through all the different rooms on the ground floor before heading upstairs to see more. Just when we thought there were no more rooms at Szimpla Kert in Budapest to see we would find another.
From hot pink lights to full plants and jungle rooms, there is so much interesting art and design going on at Szimpla Kert. There is even a famous room with bathtubs in it!
3. Try Cherry Beer & Other Local Specialties
The menu at Szimpla Kert Budapest has something for everyone and every budget. We were actually surprised by how decent the prices were for it being the most popular ruin bar in Budapest.
We tried a bunch of beers at Szimpla Kert and our favorite was definitely the Meggy Sour Cherry Ale! Neither of us is usually a fan of fruity beers but this one really hits the spot. This is a staple at the ruin bars in Budapest so we highly recommend you try it.
Don’t like sour cherry? Don’t worry! There are plenty of other great drinks and beers on tap. Also, if you’re in the mood you can order a fruit-flavored Palinka. This is a traditional Hungarian fruit spirit that will really get you in the mood to party.
We have never tried the food at Szimpla Kert in Budapest but it looks like they have some decent pubs snacks and meals to enjoy. Be sure to check out our food lovers guide below if you haven’t yet!
4. Party the Night Away at Szimpla Kert
A place like Szimpla Kert doesn’t stay open till 4am without having a wild and unique party scene. We found that each room has a different vibe with its own feel and music playing. Some nights they even have bands and DJs performing there!
There is a large main bar as soon as you walk into Szimpla Kert. However, one of the most fun parts about it is that there are other bars scattered throughout the rooms to discover.
It really seems like you’re in a dozen different ruin bars and not just one. This is what makes Szimpla Kert special and like no other bar we’ve ever been to.
As you can imagine, It can get a little crazy here staying out until 4am. This sign below sums up late nights at Szimpla Kert Budapest… Remember to take your shoes off before you get in the bathtub!
5. Sunday Farmers Market at Szimpla Kert
In addition to being one of the most fun places to hang and listen to live bands, Szimpla Kert even has a farmers market every Sunday morning. This is the one day of the week that they open at 9am and it’s a completely different vibe than the late nights we just mentioned.
Local vendors come from all over the city to sell their own crafts at this popular ruin bar in Budapest. With items ranging from handmade jewelry to colorful clothing and souvenirs, this is a great time to experience the inside of Szimpla Kert if you’re not into the party scene.
Have any questions about Szimpla Kert or want to share your own favorite ruin bar in Budapest? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Budapest Hungary
Ultra Luxury – The Ritz-Carlton – What really can we say? The Ritz-Carlton is the premier luxury hotel throughout the world, and that’s no different in Budapest! Enjoy the most central location in the city with all the amenities you’d expect from the Ritz.
Fun Vacation – D8 Hotel – Just steps from the chain bridge, this hotel is located in the heart of the city. Unique interior design and a great breakfast to get your day started before you drop into Anker’t for a cold one!
Hostel Life – Wombats City Hostel – Located in the center of the city close to popular cafes, bars and quick walk form Szimpla Kert. Daily buffet breakfast, shared kitchen, and large common room. Private rooms are perfect for travel couples, and this 24/7 hostel has something for everyone!
For more places to stay in Budapest you can explore the latest prices here!
Hungary Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. In Hungary, there are many beautiful cities and small towns to explore.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. You can book a Széchenyi spa full day pass in Budapest, try a Hungarian wine tasting, or jump on a sightseeing river cruise.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.