Welcome to Budapest’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Budapest. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. Budapest is an Alpha − global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is Hungary’s financial center and was ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe. Opened in 1896, the city’s subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily.
The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church, and the Liberty Statue. Other famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway. The city also has around 80 geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system, the second largest synagogue, and the third-largest Parliament building in the world. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it a popular destination in Europe.
Hungary’s capital city Budapest is genuinely made up of 3 towns, with Buda and Óbuda, Pest on the east bank and the west bank of the Danube. The city has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and many visitors believe Budapest to be amongst the most gorgeous and can’t-miss places to visit in Europe. Budapest was also ranked among the best travel destinations in Europe for 2019, third among Europe’s most beautiful cities, and 11th best destinations to visit in Europe.
Here in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Budapest, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Budapest the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife of Budapest
Budapest is widely considered one of the most culturally rich cities in Europe. It has unique forms of art, dance, and music. There is a wide scope of different things for guests to do and see, from exhibition halls to warm spas, so everybody ought to have the capacity to find something that interests them. Budapest is furthermore unquestionably more affordable than Paris, and we cherish the assortment of activities to do there. So here we have compiled this list of what we believe are the top activities to do in Budapest at night, check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Budapest and all are ready to make you happy while you are enjoying your nightlife experience over there:
Dinner Cruise on the Danube with Operetta & Folklore Show
Treat your senses to an array of incredible sights, sounds, and flavors on this exquisite Budapest Dinner Cruise. Enjoy the delicious cuisine as some of the finest musicians in the Operetta genre and accomplished folk dancers perform for you.
Delving into the world of Hungarian music, folklore and dance have never been more compelling. As soon as you board the boat, you are bound to notice the classy arrangements for the performances to come on the deck. Soft golden light bathes the lavish candlelit dinner tables. You will be served a four-course meal as you cruise on the beautiful Danube River. Some of Budapest’s most iconic buildings like the Buda Castle and bridges like the Chain Bridge can be seen from aboard your boat. The Operetta and Folklore performances are exceedingly professional, serving as marks of the city’s high culture. There are many live performances and funny songs that are sure to keep the atmosphere lighthearted at all times. You can even perform onstage if you feel you are up to the task!
Hungarian State Opera House
Looking to pop some culture and arts into your visit? Head to the famous State Opera House to get your theater fix. Here you can sample an array of productions from recitals or ballets, to festivals and live music productions. It is also suggested to have a prior query, so check out the newest local plays as well as traveling stage productions over there.
What better way to spend an evening than walking through Hungry’s oldest and most treasured area of Budapest? The Ruin Pub area is as you guessed, full of ‘Pubs in Ruins’, however it is so much more than meets the eye! The buildings have been preserved and are older, but still, maintain their character and uniqueness. Now known as the party area of Budapest, travelers and young people alike flock to this area to drink and party, but also to check out the latest vintage clothes, trendy boutique hotels and farmers markets on the weekends. The main party area is very small and composed of some famous local bars, but feel encouraged to explore further than the small area – you may easily find the next hidden Budapest hot spot over there!
Budapest’s party vortex is Gozsdu Passage, a tunnel of buzzing bars and restaurants draped in fairy lights, with open-air spaces that spill out into airy courtyards and gardens, right in the center of the trendy 7th District. Start or end your night here. You will be spoilt for choice with karaoke and cocktails bars aplenty, touristy pubs and edgy cafes, and the area is a popular choice for both locals and visitors. There are decent choices of places to eat and drink, so make sure to rock up in the early evening and then while away the night over there.
The beauty of Chain Bridge
Indeed it is one of a great place to spend an evening or night walking along one of Hungry’s most beloved bridges, the Chain Bridge. From here you get an amazing view of the parliament buildings, the water below, and castle hill. Perfect for photo taking, an early morning walk or a peaceful late-night time spending there with your loved one with no one around, or just a simple and easy connection driving or walking from West Budapest to East Budapest.
Szechenyi Spa Bath
Looking for a relaxing way to spend an evening in Budapest? Take part in this traditional Hungarian past-time of going to a famous spa bath. Think huge tubs to choose from, lots of people resting and relaxing in Jacuzzis, and snack bars to hang out at, all while making some new Hungarian friends! Speaking of making new friends, this spa offers occasional and popular pool parties here as well, You can enter the spa during any regular day, not for a pool party but just for rest and relaxing!). Don’t forget to take some pictures of this building while you visit, it’s a famous historical gem and easy on the eyes!
Best Bars in Budapest
People from all over the world descend upon Budapest each year, with the Hungarian capital’s unique drinking venues acting as one of it’s top draws. There are plenty of stand-out watering holes dotted right across the city, with the 6th district boasting some of the best bars, pubs, and clubs in Europe.
From ruin bars and bistros to high-end bars and rooftop venues, there is something for everyone.
We’ve put together an ultimate guide to the best bars in Budapest to help you narrow, so go out with your friends and loved-one out there to have a memorable experience on your vacation at Budapest:
Mazel Tov is stylish, spacious and already a staple of Budapest’s burgeoning nightlife scene. It is a giant courtyard-cum-cultural space, lined with lush trees and plants, draped in twinkling lights and topped with a glass roof. Tucked away in the lively Jewish District, this cavernous space is Insta-friendly and most definitely worth the hype. It is a great place for evening drinks, their cocktail and pálinka brandy list is impressive, Mazel Tov is also equal parts garden party and a gastronomic destination.
Partly owned by Sicilians, this bar offers the classic American cocktail list, coupled with Italian class. If you are familiar with the concept of an apero bar in Italy, then, this is what you can expect from this happy, fun loving environment. No one will judge you here if you happen to drink a Tom Collins at 4pm! All of this amidst the decadent charm of the 1920s and 30s.
Nappali literally translates to the living room and that is exactly what you will find once you enter this cozy little café & bar. This place is located right at the edge of the buzzing Kazinczy Street but you will still feel like in a homely home here that is packed with whiskeys, rums and old furniture. Nappali is an established meeting and talking point of lots of old and new Budapestians and many of them make their way to the party district only to come here. You can easily spend your whole afternoon and evening at Nappali by starting with a hot coffee and finishing with beer or a specialty rum and whiskey with your friends or loved one. Everybody is simply welcome here and the old CRT monitor in the corner is an extra bonus for every retro-lover.
Those looking to passionately debate Hungarian political history will find themselves at home in this bar, set along what used to be a quiet street in the bustling Jewish Quarter. Local artists, Budapest’s left-wing intelligentsia, and international students from the Central European University comprise the regular customers. In addition to wallet-friendly Hungarian wines and beer, rum fans can indulge in excellent top-shelf selections.
If you want to escape the annoyingly rowdy bachelor-party crews in Budapest’s party district but remain in the area, make your way to FeketeKutya. Despite its location near Kazinczy Street, the main artery of the neighborhood, FeketeKutya has somehow managed to remain an unpretentious bar frequented by artistically-minded locals in their 20s and 30s. Feel free to mingle with them, the vibes are very laid-back.During the warmer months, people gather by the small outdoor tables in the narrow alley outside the bar, under a high, arched ceiling.
Nothing like a good burger and craft beer, Kandalló nails them both. In general opinion of frequent visitors, this is the place to go for the best burgers in town and have a great evening in a cozy pub. The staff is super friendly and very willing to give recommendations. Various craft beers flow from 16 different taps, so if nothing matches your taste here, you probably don’t like beer. Kertész utca is, in our opinion, the more relaxed counterpart of the overhyped Kazinczy Street and Kandalló is a prime example of that. So, be sure to hit up this place to have an ultimate experience of nightlife entertainment.
This atmospheric space is part café, part restaurant, and part bar, with an eclectic interior featuring wooden floors, Persian carpets, and greenery hanging from the high ceiling. There are plenty of nooks and crannies, look upstairs and in the back—meaning that BÉLA works well for dates nights, too. In fact, it works well for pretty much anything, as evidenced by a full house of locals most evening. This all-welcoming, homey bar is situated on Bartók Béla Boulevard, further proving that the neighborhood is the most versatile on the Buda side of the Danube currently. If you want to enjoy a rich night filled with premium experience be sure to hit up this place.
When you want a taste of the high life, there is no better spot for lip-smacking drinks with a breathtaking view guaranteed to distract you from your companions. This rooftop bar offers 360-degree views over the capital, a lengthy wine and cocktail list, and an array of excellent snacks and small plates. If you fancy sunset drinks, be sure to reserve a table beforehand or check out for their full program of summer events, which include ‘Yoga Brunch’ and a series of day parties.
HáromHolló bar, located right in the city center, is the fruit of an entirely different philosophy.HáromHolló, named after the favorite watering hole of EndreAdy, one of Hungary’s poet, occupies a three-story space that fuses a bar with a concert venue and an exhibition space. On any given week, they might host a small exhibit about ArvoPärt, a photography pop-up, and a contemporary jazz concert. Most patrons are socially sensitive, musically-inclined, left-wing intellectuals from Budapest. Don’t be surprised, however, if Teutonic chatter fills the high-ceilinged space, as one of the owners is a German expat.
It is a highly atmospheric red-walled underground cocktail bar that dubs itself a ‘neo-speakeasy’.For the mad cocktails that come in science lab beakers, plastic smoothie cups, and old honey pots, with an even more delightful array of accouterments. For a real showstopper, order one of the tiki rum cocktails served in Easter Island-style moai.
The trend of revamping former factories and car parks into almost fully functioning watering holes, while allowing the character of the buildings to remain (by keeping the Communist-era junk and crumbling courtyards), started with SzimplaKert back in 2002. When it moved to its current home in the Jewish quarter in 2004, it became the epicenter of Budapest’s nightlife scene – a title it still deservedly holds today. Despite the club having reached mega-famous status, it’s weird and welcoming ethos remains the same. Come for the reputation, stay to have a drink in an open-top East German Trabant car or converted bathtub, listen to some seriously heavy electronic beats, or just soak up the surreal atmosphere.
A former car park converted into a relaxed ruin bar with graffiti-covered walls and something of a festival vibe. Racskert is one of the most favorite spots of Budapest people, and with cheap beer, vegan snacks, a plant-lined garden and a regular program of live folk music, it is really no wonder out there. As is the case with most ruin bars, you won’t find anyone taking reservations or bookings and it’s a come-as-you-are vibe.
This haven for American and Australian food devotees attracts many US tourists or businessmen who long for a good a piece of Omaha or prime steak, or for filet mignon made from Australian Wagyu. Moreover, put it top of your list if you want to have a special tequila, whiskey, rum or cognac: in the past few years they have improved their cocktail list as well.
Best Bar Restaurants in Budapest
Spurred by booming tourism and growing markets as well as helping the gastronomy needs of locals, new restaurants are popping up across the city, offering everything from updated takes on local peasant fare like goulash soup to Michelin-starred modernist meals. Hungarian cuisine offers some of the most delectable dishes in the world. Combine all these amazing elements with a luxurious journey, and you end up with one of the best dining and booze tours in Budapest.
If you are looking for the hottest restaurants in Budapest, here is what to expect: dependable dishes with culinary acrobatics, stylish interiors, luxury and standard plates by local outlets, and a crowd consisting of tourists and chic locals. We have come up with some of the best and premium restaurants available in Budapest so you don’t find yourself in the hassle of looking for:
Onyx sits at the top of Budapest’s fine dining scene, and it is also the city’s only restaurant with two Michelin stars. Chef Ádám Mészáros marries local ingredients with French technique, and the results are unfailingly delicious. Expect a classic fine dining experience complete with glass chandeliers, white linen tablecloths, and tableside service. The six-course tasting menu of this superb restaurant with wine is really awesome, which certainly is not cheap, but bear in mind that you would need to shell out even more for comparable haute cuisine elsewhere in Europe.
In Communist Hungary, eszpresszós were popular hangouts serving cheap coffee, beer, and basic food. They are fast disappearing, but Bambi Eszpresszó, which opened in 1961, continues to thrive. With its original interior furnishings, stereotypically dour waitstaff, and eclectic neighborhood regulars, Bambi offers a journey back in time. While it’s appropriate to go there any time of the day, a morning visit for scrambled eggs, frankfurters, and a cup of coffee on the outdoor terrace is especially choice.
Local office workers form a line at lunchtime in front of this standing-only downtown eatery, which specializes in traditional meat-heavy dishes. Patrons can choose from a wide variety and an array of to-be-prepared or just-prepared meats, ranging from Serbian cevapi to braised duck legs. The main event here is the sausage, which includes paprika-laced, blood, and pork-liver varieties. Follow the locals and pair a sausage with a generous portion of mustard, pickled vegetables, and a few slices of bread. Prices are rock bottom.
This downtown restaurant is a neighborhood institution famed for its prewar Budapest ambience. In keeping with the bourgeois tastes of the period, the interior boasts a Persian-carpeted dining room and curvy Thonet Bentwood chairs. For a truly local experience, visit at lunchtime, when businesspeople from the nearby financial district flock for cold fruit soups (in the summer), veal stew, oversized schnitzel, and vegetable stews studded with meatballs. Owner Gábor Molnár’s cheerful presence has been a constant since the opening in 1995.
It is a kitsch café with a modern menu and a few unusual twists, where you will enjoy contemporary dining in a retro setting. Menza means ‘canteen’ in English and the hip décor is a nod to the country’s Socialist era. But don’t let that throw you – the food is anything but basic, with highlights including cold strawberry soup, duck leg with ratatouille, and oven-baked kohlrabi stuffed with minced veal.
Specialty coffee has spread across Budapest at a head-spinning pace in recent years. Dorado Café, located in the hip former Jewish Quarter, stands out thanks to owners Emese Görföl, a local Hungarian, and Mario Jimenez, a Spanish native, who created an unpretentious and tastefully designed cafe. Go for the cold brews made from lightly roasted Ethiopian beans, or, if tea is more your speed, try the aromatic chai latte.
Borkonyha is a Michelin-starred restaurant with meat-laden dishes and more than 200 wines. This restaurant is not just for Michelin glory hunters, foodies will also love the first-class menu too. Although a trip here won’t be the cheapest meal of your Budapest break, it is hard not to be impressed by what’s available on the five-course and à la carte lists, whether it is lettuce soup with scallops or quail with pearl barley and cranberries. The simple but flavorful desserts are not to be missed.
It is an award-winning restaurant with a wine list longer than your table. József Bock is the man behind the wine list at this restaurant. His ancestors have been making wine for nine generations in the Villány region of Hungary. More than two dozen of the family’s wines are on the menu at this little gem in the 7th District, along with other vintages. Food-wise, the joint keeps it old school too, with a menu of traditional Hungarian dishes and classic local flavors. Think steak, beef tartare ‘sandwiches’ and cucumber salads. Make sure to book, you are unlikely to get a table otherwise.
Budapest’s first Michelin-starred restaurant is also the only one helmed by a female chef, Eszter Palágyi. Her elaborate dishes feature flavorful wild game, inventive dessert variations, and playful amuse bouches inspired by Hungarian peasant fare. For the full experience, pair the seven-course tasting menu with a slate of premium local wines.
Chefs and partners Szulló Szabina and Tamás Széll left their Michelin-starred tasting menu endeavor in 2016 to launch a casual restaurant specializing in unadulterated, traditional Hungarian food inside a market hall-turned-food court. Within a year of opening, the unlikely Stand25 received a Bib Gourmand, and today the space is almost always found filled to it’s capacity. Must-try dishes include the goulash soup, lightened with hints of chopped celery; the layered potatoes; and the somlói galuska, a rum-soaked local dessert.
Located near the arched, red-bricked edifice signaling the entry of the old Jewish Quarter, Központ is a popular haunt of Budapest’s thirtysomething liberal establishment. During the day, Központ functions as a specialty café, drawing hipster foreigners, whereas, at night-time, the crowd turns more local as journalists, musicians, and people from the fashion industry appear. Note that drinks are a bit more expensive here than at other places on this list. The best night is Friday, it is not unusual that the throng overflows to the sidewalks until the wee hours. Although mainly a bar, on some nights Központ doubles as a dance floor with DJs spinning electronic music.
It is one of a popular all-day spot in Budapest, with impeccable service and typical Hungarian dishes. Just around the corner from St Stephen’s Basilica, the popular Café Kor is busy from breakfast through lunch to dinner. Make a reservation or arrive before the evening rush, daily specials are served only until they run out, which is usually can be expected any time . . .
Dobrumba is a lively and trendy 7th District restaurant that looks to the Middle East and the Mediterranean for inspiration. So, if you are looking for a break from traditional Hungarian, this Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-leaning restaurant should be one of your go-to’s. The founders’ influences span far and wide, picking up on Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Moroccan, Israeli, Lebanese, Georgian, Armenian and Turkish flavors. The drinks menu at Dobrumba is equally varied.
Best Nightclub in Budapest
Budapest is usually known for its incredible architecture and abundant history. However, apart from its architectural beauty, Budapest is also called one of the best cities in Europe for it’s incredible night culture. Budapest nightlife will spoil you rich and give you an unforgettable nightlife experience during your city journey. The “Ruin Bars” sets apart this capital city from the other places in the country and makes it’s nightlife a unique experience. The best nightclubs in Budapest boast an evening full of glitz and glamor. Check out our recommendations here, grab a group of friends or special someone and explore Budapest’s glamorous nightlife activities going on at the optimum best night clubs in Budapest:
Instant is still one of the biggest ruin bars and dance club in Budapest, with two courtyards and eight bars, all of which stay open until 6 am, seven nights a week. Must visit here for a mesmerizing, dreamlike experience combining live music in the early evening with raving, later on, you should really head to Instant. If you are not impressed by the sheer scale of the place, you are sure to be enchanted by the eclectic artwork and weird canopy of hanging sculptures.
This central spot opened in 2010, offering a slightly more polished clubbing experience than its edgier counterparts. Ötkert’s magic takes place in an impressive, restored the 19th-century building. On most summer nights, Ötkert boasts five DJs playing a mix of commercial music, R&B and hip hop across two rooms, as well as various themed nights. They also have a large terrace which is utterly perfect in July and August. If you are there in winter, don’t worry – it comes equipped with outdoor heating for colder nights.
One of the few frequented and well-known is Nemdebár. This dark, charmingly grungy neighborhood bar is filled to capacity most nights, drawing an eclectic local crowd of hip college students, office workers, and favorite uncle-type bohemians pushing 50. The alternative-chic bartenders serve three types of draft beers and an array of liquors, while a DJ spins house, electronic, or drum and bass beats well past midnight most nights. Nemdebár is located by a major transportation hub formerly called “Moscow Square”—many people still call it that—so it’s easily reachable from near and far.
This old Ukranian cargo ship has been a staple of Budapest’s nightlife for nearly 15 years now, and it is easy to see why. It is one of the most popular venues for visiting musical artists, plays host to various art and cultural events and has weekly parties with a variety of DJ tastes aboard the deck of the ship, all with the Danube drifting quietly by.
Though this place is further out from the city itself in a part of Budapest called Óbuda it manages to evoke a sort of secret garden vibe, hidden away as it is beyond cobbled streets and within a courtyard sheltered by many trees. It’s not strictly a club, but commonly hosts bands and DJs for parties that last well into the night. So, definitely check this place out in order to grasp the true understanding of Budapest dance moves.
Revamped in 2010, the Fogas Haz is an ultimate party place for the travelers who are willing to explore the best side of the Budapest nightlife. Considered as one of the pioneers of the ruin bar scene, this place will let you get engrossed in its colorful interior and vibrant environment. It is segregated into a cultural art centre and bar along with an open dance floor, thrift shop and cocktail terrace bar.
Situated in a former Piarist building, Kiosk Budapest has incredible architectural features, including astonishingly high ceilings. Due to its recently renovated exterior area, cocktails can be enjoyed outside, too. The bartender has won several contests and creates top-notch cocktails with elegant flair. Should you get hungry, there is a variety of specialty burgers, with flavors such as blue cheese, foie gras and caramelized onion.
It is one of the most famous among the Budapest night clubs, the Akvarium club is a quaint place to enjoy a great time after dark. Making an appealing attraction for the party lovers, this central nightclub hosts a spectrum of concerts throughout the time. It has a fancy and well-designed central room to sit and relax while enjoying the music beats and its beautifully lit terrace is indeed a treat. The place is located in the prime Budapest nightlife area.
Brightly lit dance floors, loud music and thermal baths of Budapest are the options that one can find at Sparty. These weekend night parties are not only a craze for the tourists but also the locals are excited about this night event. This creates a completely different vibe of nightlife in the capital city with its vibrant atmosphere and unique concept.
While it is easy to feel like sardines in a can when visiting Hello Baby, this nightclub features the most amazing architecture and décor. It is a sprawling venue with several floors, often having to change artwork projected onto the walls. Things can get a bit hectic in Hello Baby, but they certainly know how to put on a show.
As you step inside this quirky nightclub in Budapest, you will be fascinated to see its interiors. The nightclub is designed in a unique way where the visitors will get a complete feeling of walking inside a maze box that connects to the central room with a mix of grooving music and vibrant lights. And during the summertime, this trendy nightclub opens its backyard for an outdoor party experience.
This is by far the most central nightclub on the list, making it an appealing attraction for party-goers who don’t want to have too far to find their way home. It features several halls, often hosting concerts across the spectrum of musical genres, a funky central room for taking a break from the dancing and is a particular treat in the summer with its quaintly-lit terrace and events.
One of the pioneers of the ruin bar, this clubbing monster continues to offer something for everyone after a very successful 2010 revamp. You will probably get lost in this colorful maze-like institution, but that is obviously part of the fun. FogasHáz is a part-bar, part-cultural center and comprises an open-air dance floor, a thrift shop, a cocktail bar with a terrace, a ping-pong area and a pizzeria.
Let us conclude the topic, here in this article we had a brief introduction of Budapest along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife features. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife of the region, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
As already elaborated, the nightlife attraction of Budapest scattered throughout the city. There are several streets / bustling areas of the city where cafes, concert and dance venues, galleries and restaurants offer something special to everyone who loves the culture, shopping and nightlife attraction. There are plenty of pubs & bars throughout the City areas and they are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktails with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted beers and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip, that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of nightclubs of the city that offers great music and fun with some delightfully exotic choices of drinks and cocktail that will delight your overall experience of charming nightlife during your stay at Budapest.
All of the experiences as mentioned above will work together to make your journey to Budapest absolutely a memorable one. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip extremely unforgettable for you.