Ruin pubs are a must visit once you are in the Hungarian capital. These pubs were started as a cheap source of hangout in the Jewish sector of the society. With time, these pubs gained popularity among locals and the tourists round the globe. After dinner, we planned for a party night at one of the pubs in the old town area. We were staying on the Buda side of the city and getting to the main city center from there was a 20 minute drive. Taxis were way too expensive. After a detailed guidance from the lady at the reception desk of our hotel, we headed out at around 10.30 pm.
We walked around half a kilometer to the next square and waited for the city bus at Moricz Zsigmond station. My wallet only had two 10,000 forint currency notes (its not a lot of money, 10000 forint = around 2500 inr). I did not have any change to be tendered for bus tickets. Since we could not spot any ticket vending machines nearby and were too lazy to take a stroll and venture around, we thought of getting the tickets in the bus itself. We hopped on the bus and quickly grabbed a seat. The driver was not very interested in taking the fare and buying us tickets. He pointed towards the seats and asked us to sit back and enjoy.
We were supposed to get down at Astoria but decided to get down at Urania stop as it was more near to the pubs. The largest and most popular ruins pub was down the narrow lane in the old Jewish quarter. ‘SZIMPLA KERT’, a name difficult to spell, was where we were heading. As we entered, there was a group of crazy people dancing to some random Hungarian musical beats. The area was most likely an old garage, left deserted after the second world war. The place was literally in ruins with window panes falling off and most of the brick walls were painted with random graffiti. We settled down on what seemed to be a broken parallel bar used in gymnastics. The sit out area was full of smoke. I was reminded that “Smoke Up” is legal in that part of the world. I thought how happy some of my friends back home would be to be at this place.
I took a mug of Soproni- the most popular Hungarian beer for 650 forints (don’t worry 650 forints is approximately 160-170 inr). We settled in corner as I am not a dance person. Others in our group headed to the dance floor. Later we started moving around and reached the second floor of the pub where the excited people were randomly breaking glass mugs at will. The room had appealing graffiti. We crossed over the other side of the pub area and headed towards the main hall. Lot of visitors had signed off on one of the walls of the pub. In next two hours, 0.5 liter of another local beer Dreher was on the cards. At around 1 am in the night we decided to return back to the hotel. We took the same bus for our return journey.
No entry fee.
Beer and other forms of alcohol are relatively cheap.
We visited Szimpla Kert as it was suggested by most people. There are other pubs like Kuplung, Instant, Fogashaz ruin bar. All the pubs and clubs are in and around the Jewish quarter of the city in walking distance from each other.
The last blog- Danube river cruise at Budapest