The Best of Budapest Nightlife
At this point, Budapest has long been rightfully acknowledged as one of Europe’s most rich, dynamic, and exciting tourist destinations. From its range of architectural wonders to its culinary gems, from its wonderful wine to the unbeatable views of the Danube, it’s a city that seems to leap straight from a storybook into the real world, in a way that makes it a true must-visit.
In addition to all of these important cultural factors, Hungary’s capital is also known for its incredible nightlife. Budapest’s nightlife is, without a doubt, a truly unique experience, one that is hard to beat. With hundreds of bars, ruin pubs, clubs, and concert venues throughout the city, there is truly something exciting to be found for everyone, regardless of age.
As entire guide books have been written about the Budapest nightlife scene, this list is by no means a comprehensive overview of all that the city has to offer. Rather, it’s just enough to whet your appetite for all the out-of-this-world fun you’re bound to find during your visit.
Budapest Nightlife: A Few Top Spots
Budapest Nightlife Experience 1: Ruin Pubs
Without a doubt, one of the pillars of Budapest’s nightlife are the city’s numerous ruin pubs, or romkocsmák. But while they have by now risen to world fame, these hip, unique bars have risen from truly humble beginnings. Originally, they were impromptu, ad hoc establishments set up inside the courtyards of abandoned blockhouses in the city’s 7th district. Despite this ‘unusual’ background, the city’s ruin pubs are now the heart of Budapest’s nightlife scene. And interestingly, in addition to hosting some of the most interesting spots to converse, drink, meet new people, and just generally party. Many of these ruin pubs offer special craft beers, quality local wines, and live musical acts as well.
While several of the city’s ruin pubs have closed or moved over the course of the past few years, there are still a number around that are well-worth the visit. In addition to the legendary Szimpla Kert, be sure to check out Ellátó Kert, Kőleves Kert, and the colossal ruin pub/ club Instant-Fogasház, all of which are within easy walking distance of each other.
Budapest Nightlife Experience 2: A38
Another unique venue among Budapest’s many nightlife options is the A38 Club, which is actually located on a ship that is generally docked on the Buda side of the capital. This club, originally a Ukrainian cargo ship built in the 1930s, features a range of entertainment options. From its well-known concert hall, which regularly attracts big-name acts, to its four bars, from its art gallery to its top-deck restaurant, A38 has virtually all that a visitor could ask for.
Budapest Nightlife Experience 3: Folk Pub/Táncház
If you are looking for a truly local experience, one that combines partying with a unique cultural traits, then this might just be the place for you. Folk pubs or “Táncházak” (“Dance Houses”) are events where Budapest’s folk dancers and their friends come together for a night of fun, drinking, and folk-dancing. These gatherings, which are open to anyone and often don’t charge admission, are rarely discovered by tourists. For the more adventurous, however, they offer a truly exciting dose of both culture and fun, without any of the stuffy formalism that usually accompanies folk-dance events organized for tourists.
If you’re interested, Rácskert, a ruin pub in Budapest’s 7th District, hosts a free evening of fun and folk dance every Friday night.
Budapest Nightlife Experience 4: Rooftop Bars
If you’re in the mood for a bird’s-eye-view to accompany your wine or cocktail, then Budapest has a number of worthwhile options for you. If you’re looking to share a glass in a refined atmosphere, with great views of the Basilica and the Danube River, you can’t do much better than 360 Bar. Located on Andrássy Avenue, the Champs Elysees of Budapest, 360 offers stunning views, great wines, and delicious snacks as well. Considering how popular it is, it might not be a bad idea to book a table beforehand, to make sure that you and your fellow travelers have the perfect table for the perfect view.
And if you’re more interested in combining rooftop views with a clubbing experience, Budapest nightlife has you covered, in the form of Corvin Club & Roof Terrace. Featuring a rooftop bar and three floors of incredible techno music, all located atop a Communist-era shopping mall, Corvin is a truly unique experience.
When spending time out exploring Budapest’s nightlife, it is well worth it to ensure that you have a convenient, comfortable, and luxurious place to stay at the end of your evening out on the town: in both its central location and its amenities, Fraser Residence Budapest is a perfect choice.
In addition, the city’s extensive public transportation system means that, from Fraser Residence’s location at the Corvin Quarter, you can quickly make your way to virtually all the iconic landmarks that the Hungarian capital has to offer.
Looking for more information about all that Budapest has to offer? Then be sure to check out some of our other posts below:
- Learn more about Budapest’s Best Ruin Pubs
Before heading out for the evening, be sure to amaze your tastes buds with these great Hungarian Foods to Try in Budapest