Budapest’s real buzz can be found in the nighttime hours. Hungarians are social creatures, known for drinking long into the night (or perhaps all through it) and extend a good deal of hospitality to visitors. Around the downtown area of the city, you’ll have trouble finding a place that’s not a bar, and a wide variety of atmospheres are on offer meaning just about any taste can be catered for.
Here are some parts of the town to check out:
This is the absolute heart of Budapest’s nightlife scene, with hundreds upon hundreds of bar. One particular type of bar that is native to Budapest is the ruin pub – joints that are often situated in renovated run-down apartment blocks, furnished with junk and often decorated with quirky art work. Szimpla is the original and most famous and Kuplung, Fogasház and Instant are worth checking out as well.
This part of the city doesn’t get enough love as it should from either locals or tourists. Run down and a little rough around the edges (but certainly not dangerous), it doesn’t have all the charms of the Jewish Quarter, but does have a host of up and coming bars, often with intimate atmospheres, friendly local crowds – and most importantly, lower prices thanks to freedom from gentrification. Be sure to check out Csiga Cafe, Élesztő, Gólya and Aurora.
The Grand Boulevard is the ring road that encircles Pest’s downtown. The 24-hour trams 4 & 6 run along it and it’s home to a wide variety of slightly trashy shops and drinking establishments. That’s not to say it’s not worth visiting, as the bars tend to be smaller, simpler places that attract locals and have cheaper drinks than their downtown neighbors. Be sure to check out the 4es-6os bars, Trap, Morrisons 2 bar and the Corvintető which sits just off the boulevard.