It’s been voted as one of the best cities to live, described as “idyllic” and “innovative” so it’s no wonder that Budapest continues to attract people from around the world. Its beautiful scenery, Mediterranean summers and snow-capped winters have been a staple part of many holidaymakers, yet the city is just as famous for being one of Europe’s best party cities. With a shot or a glass of wine costing less than a pound and the recent craft beer revolution there’s never been a better time to jet over, so why not read where all the hottest spots are?
Let’s start with Budapest’s ruin bars, as that’s where you’re likely to kick off for the evening. For those out of the loop Budapest underwent an amazing transformation that saw many of the decaying buildings in 7th District hijacked to become ruin bars. Today they are not only numerous but an integral part of the Budapest nightlife scene and we’ll start by introducing you to Szimpla.
It’s one of the cities most beloved ruin bars and one that is bustling 7 days a week. With concerts, DJs and even films performing every day there’s no shortage of entertainment and that’s before you even get to the bar for a cheap and tasty beverage.
Then there’s Instant, which boasts an insane 7 stages catering to all musical tastes. Whether it’s mainstream or underground electronic you’re never far away from like-minded party animals.
Finally we’re going to recommend Liebling, a ruin bar that boasts the best atmosphere in the city. For those hot summer evenings you’ll find yourself outside on the rooftop terrace sampling from the extensive wine and spirits list. During the winter you’ll be nice and cosy downstairs surrounded by multi-coloured wooden cubes in what was once a cloakroom for it’s neighbouring ruin bar Fogasház.
But once you’ve had your fill of this wonderful avenue of Budapest it’s time to sample some clubs and really sink your teeth into the cities nightlife. We recommend your first stop is Holdudvar.
Located in an old refurbished casino Holdudvar is the Holy Grail of clubbing. Its most notable feature is that it’s an open-air club so don’t go expecting the doors to be open during winter. Entry is free so there’s no time to waste before heading to the massive main bar in front of the dance floor. There are a handful of smaller bars dotted around as well as a restaurant and stage for their various live events so you’ll want for nothing.
Not fancying the outdoors then head to Club Ötkert, though be prepared to queue on Friday and Saturday nights. Embodying the spirit of the ruin bars, Club Ötkert is an amazing place to inhabit and that’s without taking into account the amazing music and wide range of fair priced drinks on offer.
Not too far from Club Ötkert you’ll find Trafiq; a club, which seemingly popped up out of nowhere and became one of Budapest’s hottest destinations. Just like Club Ötkert the earlier you arrive the better; get there before 10pm and there’s no bouncer so no queue! However, it’s worth waiting in line for what lies inside as Trafiq has quickly become renowned for offering the classiest and most entertaining nights around. With multiple bars serving, you guessed it, wonderfully well priced drinks there’ll be no time waiting around before heading back to hear the weekend DJs pump out the best chart music to get your feet moving.
It’s a disservice to you as well as the city to include such a small sample of what Budapest has to offer so go check it out for yourself. We’re already planning our visit!
By Chris Mackin