Budapest nightlife

Budapest, Hungary

6 places
Anastasia Chukovskaya

For wild parties go to Pest, while Buda is the kingdom of tranquility. In the end of the week, all ruin bars of the Jewish Quarter will be packed and concerts at A38 ship bar will be heard across the river. You can even go to a public bath party if you want.

Széchenyi fürdő

A magnificent Széchenyi bathhouse built in Neo-baroque style is located in the City Park Pesta. Széchenyi was a count, patron of the arts and city's benefactor. Half of the city seems to be built on his money. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire was moving towards the decline, the baths reflected the then size of the country. Fifteen thermal pools with water of different temperatures, ten saunas and steam-sections, and three open-air heated pools are open all year round and are visited by hundreds of guests daily. The baths are fed by a 1,246 m depth spring. Magic water is promised to cure any illnesses including rheumatism, arthritis, gastritis, stomach ulcer, gout and so much else that the baths are packed to the gills. It is better to come here early in the morning or, as locals do, after 7pm, when some of the baths are closed but several pools, saunas and steam sections remain open. At this time you are eligible for discount.

Old Metro

Földalatti line has been in operation since 1896. It is the first line on the European mainland and the second oldest line in the world. It runs under Andrássy út straight from Vörösmarty tér, through the Museum of Fine Arts to Mexikói ut. The line was launched on a big public holiday - the thousandth anniversary of the arrival of the Magyars. The straightness of the line is a metaphor to history made by Magyars themselves (unlike the Soviet period, for example). The Magyar word földalatti is used only for this line. Other lines are scornfully called metro. Földalatti is not deep. During construction, it required digging out a tunnel under the avenue. The idea was not to allow a common tram to damage the solemn image of the avenue. Instead, it was hidden underground. Original steam-driven carriages are not used any more, but the new model has the same size: short attractive yellow trains run from a station to station. In 2002, földalatti was included in the UNSECO List of World Heritage Sites.


ANKER’T is a hidden from the eyes bar in a quiet street. It is located in a haunted house with empty and dark window openings looking out on two courtyards from ragged brick walls. Instead of a traditional for a ruin pub collection of trash (like in Szimpla), minimalism prevails here. You will find here crossed shining fluorescent lamps and tree tubs. Some walls are whitened, some are left as they are. The floor under the big black writing 'beach' is covered with sand. Above all this, on the balcony hangs ANKER’T logo - white letter A between vertical lines. Everything is done in a single style, which makes ANKER’T one of the most visually attractive bars in the city. It's design is, however, not the main peculiarity. An extensive alcohol menu, refreshers and vast space attract crowds of visitors here.

Kazinczy utca

Kazinczy utca is a nightlife centre in the middle of the Jewish quarter. The street runs amidst kosher stalls and synagogues. It was named after the great Hungarian educator and nobleman Ferenc Kazinczy. The street has hardly preserved its atmosphere of patriarchal and imperial Hungary. In the evenings, crowds of walkers stroll through former ghetto ruins, newly built houses, renovated mansions, open-air and ruin pubs, clubs and restaurants. The place is very noisy, and any attempts to calm down the jolly crowd fail. If locals don't sleep, nobody will. Elderly women on the second floor often pour icy water on those who start drunk singing and who can't control themselves anymore.

Bar hopping means changing several bars per one night. This is a must-program for those who want to see the city life in its fullness. Start from Szimpla, a famous ruin pub which preserved a genuine atmosphere of a ramshackle house. Have a simple and tasty dinner with Slovak beer in Yellow Zebra Bar or try fusion cuisine in Kőleves. Watch a concert in Mika Tivadar or Kirakat, drink a cocktail in Méter. Visit each place, you will certainly find something suitable for you. During the last few years, activists have been trying to make the street pedestrian, so don't be surprised if someone asks you to sign a petition.


Instead of searching for abandoned factories, storehouses and manufactures, A38 owners decided to retrieve from the dock an old Ukranian barge Artyomovsk-38. To breathe a new life into this vessel, they gathered a team of engineers, architects, sound specialists, electricians, musicians and concert promoters. The investment amounted to three million euros and appeared to be justified. The floating club moored at Petőfi bridge on the Danube is one of the most popular and trendy joints in Budapest and Europe. The schedule of events is planned almost a year in advance. Concerts take place nearly every day. Don't waste your time at the laptop or poster trying to find a suitable event. It's better to come to the restaurant or a bar here and learn the schedule on the spot. Maybe, today some really exciting performance will take place at A38.

Gellért Hill

Gellért Hill opposing royal hills of Buda and overlooking the Danube is located on Buda side. In the 11th century, pagans put poor St. Gerard in a barrel and rolled him down from top of the hill after he came to baptize them. During the Turkish occupation (16th-18th century), Gellért sanctuary was on top of this hill. Later on, a stronghold was built here in 1851 when the throne was occupied by the Habsburgs. In 1956, the city was fired from the hill. Canons from the Second World War remind of those dramatic events. Apart from that, Gellért is a wonderful park with paths ascending and zigzaging to the top of the hill, where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city and eight bridges across the Danube. Nothing can spoil it, even endless souvenir kiosks and tourists. The best way is to take this stronghold by assault. Climb the staircase and ascend the paths leading from Gellért baths on one side and from St. Gerard monument and Erzsébet bridge on the other. You can also use a car and drive to the stronghold.


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