The Ruin Bar scene of Budapest has taken the world by storm in recent years. These unique nightlife venues have become emblematic symbols of Budapest and having a drink in one of the several Ruin Bars of Budapest is truly a must try activity for every curious traveler.
For those first timers out there, our good friend, Billy have complied a ruin bar survival guide from his experiences so that you can make sure you come prepared when embarking on a nightlife adventure in Budapest.
Despite their truly unique atmosphere, the ruin bar scene can catch you off guard, and it is easy to bite off more than you can swallow. That’s why I am sharing this survival guide, to make sure you get the most out of this unique and wonderful world, and don’t spend most of it worshipping the porcelain god….or even worse, searching for that bar your friend told you about for half the night. Here are my 5 instructions, follow these and you’re in the clear!
Rule #1 Careful with that Pálinka
One of the most famous Hungarian liqueurs, Pálinka is delicious, fruity, it has a strong burn, and a delectable flavour, especially when it’s made from your favorite fruit. And considering the wealth of options, it is quite likely that you will find your flavor. It’s also 50% alcohol, with a heavy dose of naturally occurring sugar, which means things can quickly go from conversational to disastrous. Give yourself about 20 minutes in between shots to feel the full effect, don’t let them all creep up on you at once, or you might have to boot.
Rule #2 Choose quality establishments
With a ruin bar on almost every corner of Budapest, there is no shortage of places to choose from, but get the wrong one it may ruin your adventure, so stick to the classics. The big three, Szimpla, Instant-Fogas Ház and Anker’t are great places to visit if you are a first timer, and will give you plenty of play. Then, if you get a feel for it, you can give the other ones a go, but these are a guaranteed good time on any night of the week.
Rule #3 If unclear, stick with the beer
Hungary is a land of wine, with some of the best reds coming from this part of the world, that you must try if you are an aficionado. The dessert wines are also unique in the world, but if you are not used to them, they can do a real number on you, especially when mixed with hard liquor. The aforementioned Pálinka and Unicum, another national treasure above 35%, are both kind of hard on an inexperienced drinker. If you don’t usually go for these, have just one and stick with the beer. There are hundreds of microbrewery treasures and Hungarian craft beers that will satisfy even the most discerning beer snob. Too pretentious for your taste buds? Go for a Dreher or the classic Soproni. Both fairly light lagers that are only 3.5%, so you can last with the best of them.
Rule #4 Make sure you grab a bite
Bars are open all night long, well in the morning hours. Make sure you eat something before you begin, and as most of these bars offer bar food, grab a bite to eat to soak up all that drink in you, so you will have the power to keep going. In many places, bars close at night, and that extra couple of hours may be enough to push you overboard.
Rule #5 Download the HAVE FUN TRAVEL app!
Avoid getting lost and having to ask for directions while drunk, and see the best places with easy ways to get to and from the bars! Have Fun Budapest’s very own Have Fun Travel app offers a Ruin Pub Tour that takes you to the best ruin bars of Budapest and you can spend as long as you want in each of them. If you don’t know the city, but want to get down tonight, just get the app and get going!
Come and see what the buzz is about, and tour the ruin bars of Budapest! The unique atmosphere will have you captivated, as a taste of the Budapest nightlife will last you a lifetime. See you in the 7th district!