Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

The first few adjectives that come to mind when we think about Szimpla Kert, Budapest’s pioneering flagship ruin bar, are captivating, wild, artistic, and trippy. In Budapest, this is where people go to party.

One of our favorite aspects of traveling is finding out about new sites throughout the world. In terms of beer consumption, Szimpla Kert is truly exceptional. Although Budapest’s iconic Szimpla Kert is no longer the only ruin bar, it continues to be the favorite among both locals and visitors.

Szimpla Kert has evolved from being just a place to hang out and drink in a former Communist and Nazi Ghetto, to gaining a cult following, developing a community, and eventually being a legitimate Budapest tourist destination.
Have they suffered a soul loss as a result? Maybe a little, but places change, and this couldn’t continue to be a straightforward, low-key bar with simply a theater in the courtyard, now could it?

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

A ruin bar is what?

Think about how the Jewish Quarter in Budapest might have appeared toward the end of World War II, when the area was turned into the Budapest Ghetto.

Think about how it would appear following the Soviets’ liberation of Budapest. Due to mass exodus caused by communist control, Hungary’s Jewish Quarter neighborhood fell into disrepair.
This post-war area was abandoned and was lined with abandoned or destroyed structures.

Ruin bars are the product of entrepreneurs reinventing the abandoned venues and reviving Hungarian culture.
Old, dilapidated structures with a tragic past were transformed into unique, artistic, trippy, bizarre, and delightful places for locals and visitors to drink and unwind. therefore transforming a place of destruction into one of community and spirit.

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Are you curious how to create a ruin bar? First, fill a decaying and maze-like structure with whatever you can find at a secondhand jumble sale. It doesn’t matter if something is broken, mended, bright, or dark.
Second, attempt to think with the vivid imagination of Tim Burton. The full color wheel on your palette, a hundred paintbrushes, and a white canvas. The simple part is now at hand: simply add a bar, get a few large ass kegs of beer, and some Palinka bottles. Budapest is home to your favorite ruin bar.

Budapest’s Szimpla Kert: The Origin of Ruin Bars

Back in 2002, Szimpla Kert accidentally launched the ‘ruin bar’ fad that is currently in vogue. Szimpla Kert was established by four locals as a location for unwinding and mingling over beverages. The location of this was actually a few blocks distant from where it is now.
However, the owners desired a larger area as well as an outdoor theater in a courtyard. They were informed that the dilapidated 14 Kazinczy Utca, a former stove manufacturer, was going to be demolished, but they chose to save it.

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Why? they had a vision, that’s why. They recognized the possibility for a better Szimpla Kert. As well as having the desired courtyard for the movie theater!
The new location was given the name Szimpla “Kertmozi” in 2004, which translates to “open air cinema.”
We never imagined that bric-a-brac could be used in such an appropriate fashion, but the inside and partially covered courtyard were both packed with a diverse assortment of trinkets. and as it became more well-liked, everything inside became ever more insane.

Eight themed bars are spread over the interior’s two labyrinthine floors. Or perhaps it was 9? We must keep in mind to count the bars when we arrive rather than counting as we pour a drink at each one!
You can choose between bathtubs, 1960s televisions, and even an antique automobile as sitting options. Your table may be a pommel horse. Some of the darkest areas are illuminated by mirrors with psychedelic signs. As you make an effort to avoid becoming lost, all of your senses will come alive with intrigue.
Szimpla Kert became more well-known and well-liked, solidifying its position as a major worldwide tourist destination.
Although Szimpla Kert is now a bustling neighborhood, it nonetheless retains its cultural significance as the center of post-Soviet Hungary, despite the escorted walking tours and camera-toting visitors.

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar is where?

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Szimpla Kert is located in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter (also known as District VII) at 14 Kazinczy Utca. Pay attention and keep an eye out for the sign reading “Szimpla Kertmozi” hanging over the door because it’s simple to miss the entry.
Watch this area as Kazinczy Utca becomes more pedestrian-friendly and possibly changes to a pedestrian-only zone in the near future.
You may reach the fantastic and affordable “Karavan” street food plaza by walking 20 meters from the entrance. At Karavan, the food carts stay open until 11 p.m. on weekends and until 1 a.m. on holidays.
How incredibly convenient, yes?
The entire trendy and artistic Jewish Quarter is a great area to stroll through. Check out a few more ruin bars while you’re here and spend some time there!

Daytime Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Szimpla Kert is a serene and tranquil setting during the day. There will be mingling and dining in groups. The heavy plastic entry curtain will occasionally let organized tours enter.
Flashing cameras will make you blind in an effort to counter the artificially created darkness. The building is deteriorating, thus there will probably be a handyman doing something!
Even if you don’t order a drink, we strongly advise visiting throughout the day. Why? Because this is the ideal time to go alone, during the day, and most crucially, sober, through the sensory overload maze!
You won’t be able to fully appreciate its level of detail if you just visit at night. Additionally, you may get oriented and create a mental map of the inside before you eventually get lost at night!

The daytime is also when you’ll see more middle-aged travelers who are unaware that Szimpla Kert is open 24/7.
Please, do not rush to see it ‘just to see it’ sooner before it gets busy later!
While you’re there, be sure to check out the Szimpla Facebook Page to see if there are any events you might be interested in. On some weekdays, live music is played.
If you feel hungry while checking out the pub before it gets out of control at night, they provide lunch and dinner.

By Night in Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Szimpla Kert and Budapest’s ruin bar frenzy flare bright as night falls over Hungary. The interesting bars will be lined with thirsty partygoers, and the courtyard will quickly fill to capacity.
You’ve done well if you can locate a seat. On Szimpla’s first floor DJ stand (if that’s what you call it?!) behind the garden, a DJ will start the music. Yes, there is a garden, or at least a patch of vegetation, visible from the ground up on top of a grate floor.
You’ll truly start to appreciate the mind-blowing displays at the heart of what makes Szimpla Kert remarkable when you down a few drinks. You have never experienced anything like its atmosphere, which is unparalleled. Budapest is a party city, and the Szimpla Kert ruin bar is open every night of the week until 4 a.m.
Szimpla Kert is a ruin bar that offers a wine bar, a cocktail bar, and a craft beer bar. Local Mad Scientist Brewery manages the craft beer, and Szimpla cleverly converted that area into a lab.
Szimpla Kert can hold 600 people, so don’t be shocked if you find yourself among the 5,000. Travelers who want to connect with like-minded individuals will love that almost 80% of those inside are foreign visitors.

The location will start to swiftly fill up about 7-8 p.m., and by 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. there will be a line. particularly during weekends. And even more so during the summer’s peak season. And to top it all off, if you want to avoid spending the entire night in line outside during the Sziget music festival in August, you better get there really early!

‘Ruin-ed Bar’ Szimpla Kert?

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Do you think our guidance has been a little too optimistic so far? This is due to the fact that we have been saving this until last. There are several aspects of Szimpla Kert that are unappealing. As a result of the unbalance in this essay, let’s examine some of those:

being overly unpleasant or disrespectful by bartenders and bouncers

We were aware of this prior to our trip, though we have to confess that it hasn’t interfered with any of our numerous trips.
We did, however, witness it occur a few times. Is that a result of excessive tourism, or is it all a part of their act?
They should be alright if you treat them nicely and amiably. If not, simply take your beer and leave the specific pub.

Bartenders not returning exact change amounts

This is a little dishonest of them because nobody wants their money to be taken. If at all feasible, try to pay with the right change or calculate your total and change before you pay.
This kind of thing won’t only occur in Szimpla Kert. Just because it’s so popular with tourists, it gets more attention.

The restrooms

The Szimpla Kert restrooms are undefended. They are extremely difficult to locate, have horrible odors, and have no toilet paper or seats. Through antique Western-style saloon doors, they are situated opposite one another in the center of the chamber downstairs.
But consider this. There will be hundreds of people complaining about how awful the restrooms are, so they know. Have they taken any action? No, it is a part of the overall concept, therefore no.
Take a peek at the reviews posted by the thousands of recent visitors on Trip Advisor.

Szimpla Kert Neighborhood

Szimpla Kert is more than just a tourist destination for drinks. Numerous activities interact with one another to foster a sense of community.
The founders’ attitude of creating a comfortable location where individuals may feel a part of their community has not changed since the business’s inception. They are constantly seeking for new ways to interact with the neighborhood’s residents.
The most well-known non-drinking event is a farmers market that takes place every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. At the market, local producers provide a variety of goods, including cheeses, meats, herbs, Hungarian spices, pastries, jams, coffee, and beers.
A Sunday brunch with unlimited food is offered that morning, albeit it costs US$ 17.50. I doubt you’ll see many of my fellow Brits out for breakfast that early on a Sunday!
Additionally, there are movie showings, a bicycle flea market, numerous musical events, Szimpla Studio, art workshops, and even civic events where Szimpla Kert plays a key part in enhancing the infrastructure and education of the neighborhood.

Advice for Traveling to Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert: The Premier Ruin Bar in Budapest

Come as you are; there is no dress code; this is a place where you can unwind safely. • 2 – The bars open at different times throughout the day; a wine bar may open earlier than a craft beer bar.

  • 3 – Astoria is the closest metro stop, 500 meters away and 6 minutes on foot.
    Take cash in a variety of denominations; the local currency is Hungarian Forint (HUF). Reread number 4 because the onsite ATM charges 5 Euros each transaction.
    There is a Shisha bar in Szimpla Kert, and one of the bars offers Prosecco on tap! However, the 10,000–20,000 HUF Szimpla card that functions as a bracelet is not worth it.
  • 9 – The price of a pint should be roughly £2.50 (US$ 3.20), which is higher than the standard Budapest bar price.
    •10 – Hours of Operation: Mon. – Thurs. 12pm – 4am, Fri. 10am – 4am, Sat. 12pm – 4AM, Sun. 9AM – 5AM

We sincerely hope you enjoyed our Szimpla Kert guide!
Did you come in for a beverage?
Please let us know in the comments section below if you need any assistance with organizing your vacation to Budapest or Szimpla Kert.

Travel safely,


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