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Group Ideas

The Ruin Bars of Budapest

Red7 Blogs , April 11, 2016

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Thinking of heading to Budapest for an unbelievable group trip? Well, pat yourselves on the back because you’ve made a great choice. This beautiful European city is quickly rising through the ranks as one of the best destinations for a group on a budget.

Along with fantastic architecture, a welcoming atmosphere and a fascinating history, Budapest also boasts some great nightlife spots. As well as traditional pubs and quirky clubs, you’ll also find the infamous ‘Ruin Bars’ dotted around the city. But what exactly is a ruin bar, and why is it such an unmissable experience?

Group Drinking in Budapest Bar

Why ‘Ruin’ Bars?

To call them by their Hungarian name, ‘Rom kocsma’, ruins bars quite literally translate as ‘pub in a ruin’. With a name like that, it’s quite self-explanatory. These are bars or pubs that have been set up in a derelict, ruin of a building, and they’re quite unlike anywhere else you’ll have drunk before.

What to Expect in a Budapest Ruin Bar

There are lots of ruin bars throughout Budapest, and the décor changes with each one. Most feature walls covered in doodles and graffiti, and they’re furnished with quirky mismatched items that bring a lot of charm to your surroundings. If you’re after a flash, trendy bar, this is not it. But that’s half the beauty.

Drinking Beer in Ruin Grafiti Bar

These places aren’t the least bit pretentious and you don’t need to worry about spilling any of your red wine on a plush, fancy carpet. They’re also very safe! The ruin refers to the state of the interior rather than any big structural damage. Usually packed full, most feature live music, so they make a great spot to enjoy a few drinks before heading off to a bigger club.

Where to Find Ruin Bars

Most of the ruin bars and pubs can be found in what’s known as the Seventh District, which is the old Jewish quarter of Budapest. If you want to see the best of the ruin bars in this district, then there are often ruin bar crawls that will take you around most popular haunts. As well as a unique atmosphere, Budapest’s ruin bars stay open until sunrise and often hold live music events & gigs in place of DJ sets, so you’re sure to find one to suit everyone!

Budapest ruin bar faded

If we’ve converted you to the concept of drinking in a cool derelict bar, then here are our top 3 picks that are guaranteed to get the party started.


This ruin bar takes the top spot purely because of the incredible view it offers. When in a city with such rich heritage and stunning architecture, why not enjoy it all whilst relaxing with a drink and good company?


Fogashaz is the perfect choice for the art lover. Local contemporary artists will often be found milling around in the downstairs open space that feels like it could be found in the West Village NY. Over time, this particular ruin bar has become geared towards entertainment and often has electronic music playing downstairs, whilst the upstairs quarters connect to a hostel.


Meaning ‘simple’ in English, this bar is considered one of the very first ruin pubs in Budapest. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this friendly bar feels like you could be drinking in someone’s back garden. A diverse gig schedule means that everyday sees something different taking place here; from live music, to DJs and films, and on a Sunday there’s even a farmer’s market! This is definitely one to not miss on your visit to Budapest.


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