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Budapest is a hidden gem that you need to know more about. This city is home to the most unique party scene I’ve ever experienced because of the “ruin pubs.”
*If you’ve already read about them on my Budapest page, then you can skip this next part.
Basically, ruin pubs were built in the old district VII (the old Jewish quarter) in the ruins of abandoned buildings or lots. After WWII, this neighborhood was torn into shreds, so it became a great place to build an underground bar scene. Every ruin bar is different- they look like normal bars from the outside and the inside is hip, lively, artsy, and funky with loud music, lots of bars, crazy cool decorations and loud music. The interior is HUGE inside with so many rooms. One room will be a hookah bar/theme with reggae playing, another room will have swanky neon lights and classy, and another room will have chairs hanging from the ceilings.
For more info on the ruin pubs, check out Nomadic Matt’s awesome post!
Aside from the ruin pubs, Budapest is home to many amazing clubs. One of the best clubs I’ve ever been to, Club Studio, is located on an island in the middle of the Danube River. A whopping 8,000 people were packed into this single club. I’ve never dreamed of a better place than this.
Here is my list of the best places to party in Budapest!
Disclaimer: The following list of clubs and bars was put together mostly from my own personal experiences, but also with the addition of my friends recommendations. Things may have changed over the years, so I am trying my best to keep this list updated. If I missed something, please comment so I can add it to the list! Enjoy
#1. Club Studio
Club Studio is easily in my top 5 favorite clubs in the world. It is THE place to go if you love dancing to techno and house music.
Apparently, Studio is the 3rd biggest club in the world, where over 8,000 come through on any given weekend. Located on the mini island of Sziget in the Danube River, this club always hosts top-notch DJ’s spinnin’ on stage behind some professional dancers and acrobats swinging on trapezes (seriously). When I was there, I saw topless professional dancers and acrobats swinging way up high up from side to side. On the upper deck, there are balconies all around looking down at the enormous dance floor and entertainment. The light show and production is some of the best I’ve seen, and is not worth missing. Oh, and I forgot to mention the young and beautiful crowd that Club Studio attracts. You have never seen so many attractive young adults until you’ve stepped foot into this magical Hungarian club. Don’t miss out on the fun at Studio!
Expect to pay about $10 USD for cover charge; drinks are expensive.
Hajogyari Sziget, III Kerulet, Budapest, Hungary
It is located right in the middle of the island called Sziget, just north of the city center.
#2. Club Dokk
Club Dokk is mind-blowing. It is your place to go for good music, sexy people and all-night entertainment. This club is very expensive, given the fancy decorations and the upscale interior designs. There are huge comfortable sofas surrounding the dance floor. Expect see an awesome DJ playing house/techno music with beautiful Hungarian people dancing all around you.
Club Dokk is distinct because it has a giant statue of Buddha in the front and many giant chandeliers around the front area. Basically, this club is where the rich Hungarians come to party, so expect to see some posh dresses and ballers. It’s one hell of a place to spend the night for some fun!
Very expensive- probably the most expensive club in Budapest. But sometimes you can’t put a price on fun!
The club is also located on Sziget island on the Danube River, just north of the city center
Club A38 is on a boat! Yes, you read that correctly.
An old Ukrainian stone-carrier boat that has recently been turned into a nightclub. The boat is located on the Danube (the river that separates Buda and Pest). The top deck is an awesome dance floor and a bar with seats around the side. The lower deck is loud european techno/house music. When the weather is nice, nothing beats the top deck on this boat. The crowd is a mix of local Hungarians and foreigners. The venue attracts many international well-known artists and DJ’s who play energetic shows. A38 is worth checking out for the experience of partying on a boat in the middle of the Danube River!
Moderate to Expensive. It’s a good idea to get pretty drunk before you go!
1114, Budai alsó rakpart, Budapest
It’s a little ways south of the city center, just walk along the river and you will see it.
#1. Szimpla Kert
In my opinion, Szimpla is the coolest and most unique bar in the world.
Apparently, Szimpla is actually ranked the 3rd best bar in the world in the world by Lonely Planet. This bar is the most famous and well-known “ruin pubs” in all of Budapest. It is very artsy and hipster with so many interesting decorations all over the walls. The crowd is a great mix of locals and foreigners, mostly young and outgoing.
But what about this bar makes it so cool? Well, Szimpla is absolutely enormous, with dozens of rooms (each with its own theme) and multiple levels. For example, one room has a chill atmosphere with people hanging out, smoking hookah, and listening to Bob Marley. The next room will be raging to techno music with blacklights on the walls and people are ripping shots.
In the middle of the bar you will find a huge open-air ‘movie theatre’ room with a dance floor, several tables, and many bars (shown in this picture). When I was there, I just wandered around the rooms by myself and met so many cool people. Even the bathrooms are cool in this place, with stickers everywhere and heavily graffiti on the toilets. Also, they sell pizza there in case you get a little hungry and want a quick slice.
Every Sunday during the day, there is a huge Hungarian farmers market held inside Szimpla, which just adds to its uniqueness. I am doing my best to explain this place, but it is one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself!
Moderate- a few dollars for a beer and no cover charge. Get drunk for cheap!
1075 Budapest Kazinczy St 14, Hungary
Located in Pest- City Center, District 7
Instant is one of the top ruin pubs in Budapest, and a favorite spot for locals.
It is located in the ‘Pest Broadway’ area- probably the most lively area to party in Budapest. Just like the other ruin pubs in Budapest, Instant has crazy awesome decorations everywhere, including a blue school of fish swimming between the ground floor and first floor and the ‘upside down’ room where chairs, tables, beds are hanging upside down from the ceiling (check the picture)!
The main level and upper level are both very large, with a wide variety of local hipsters and young adults enjoying life. In the basement area, there are concerts and parties on the weekends. For all of you art lovers, there is a wonderful gallery that is worth checking out. All in all, I absolutely recommend checking out this awesome pub if you are looking to meet some people and have some fun in Budapest!
Cheap, cheap, cheap!
VI., Nagymezo u. 38, Budapest 1065, Hungary
#3. Klub Vittula
Despite the name, Klub Vittula is more of a bar, not a club. This place is one of the best spots to go for a cheap beer, live music and a hipster crowd. It has an alternative style which attracts international students, local hipsters and friendly people. There is always a lot of cool things going on inside this bar, keeping you entertained and making it easy to meet new friends.
The best part is that this bar is open later than every other bar in Budapest, so you can come here after you have already raged in one of the clubs round town! Make sure to check this place out, and I guarantee that you will love it!
Cheap beers, and no cover charge.
1073 Budapest Kertész St 4, Hungary
Located in Pest in District VII
I hope you have a great time partying in Budapest, and drink a beer for me!