BUDAPEST - SOLO LOCAL NIGHTLIFE
Welcome to our solo travel - local nightlife series. Jennifer from jenontherun.com talks us through partying in Budapest. We are always happy to hear your solo nightlife story which you can submit here. We also have a nightlife/party travel forum where members of our free community can ask all questions on nightlife in a city before visiting. If you are not a member, its free to join. For females only and a great way to meet locals or travellers to party with or simply stroll the streets.
If you’re looking to party, a trip to Budapest is sure to satisfy. Budapest is brimming with an active nightlife scene nearly every night of the week. The city is known for its ruin bars, which are exactly as they sound -- “ruined,” abandoned buildings that have been turned into bars.
Each ruin bar has its own unique charm and quirky characteristics, filled with antiques and eclectic, second-hand furniture. These bars have a majestic, old-world, almost eerie feel to them. Step inside and you’ll have plenty to look at between kitchy little figurines and vintage decor.
Although the ruin bar scene started off as underground, lately these bars have become more popular with tourists. Still, there are so many ruin bars in Budapest that there’s more than enough to go around and it’s still possible to feel the genuine character of these places.
As a solo traveler, I explored the Budapest bar scene during my month-long stay in the city. I love exploring the nightlife wherever I travel because I love to dance, drink, unwind and meet other people in a new country.
At first, I wondered how I could possibly go out at night alone. I had a whole host of concerns about safety, especially while drinking. Whether I’m alone or with a group, safety is still a priority, so on my first night in a new city, I figured it’d be a good idea to be in a group setting led by a guide. The answer was right in front of me -- join a group pub crawl!
On my first night out in Budapest, I signed up for a Free Pub Crawl. They gave us the option to purchase a wristband for €11, including a drink at each bar and free entry to the famous Instant nightclub at the end of the evening. Better yet, we had a “power hour” at the second bar, including unlimited beer and wine. Great deal, right?
Soon enough, while we were waiting for people to gather at the meeting point, I met a really friendly couple from California. We hit it off right away and started chatting. New friends!
We went to four bars on our crawl: Extra, Grandio, Ellátó Kert & Taqueria, and Instant.
My favorite was Grandio. The space was a partially covered courtyard, shaded in trees and lit by the warm glow of string lights. We actually realized later that the entire bar had once been a school, which only added to the mystery of the place.
We sat on wooden picnic tables in the open air, drinking beer out of mason jars. Socializing comes easy, even for someone who’s naturally shy like me, because it’s interesting to hear everyone’s story and experiences traveling. An international city like Budapest brings in people from all over -- the United States and the UK, and also from countries like Turkey, Romania, Czech Republic, Italy, France, India and more.
After a “power hour” of unlimited beer and wine, I was ready for the next bar! We hopped along to Ellátó Kert & Taqueria and I quickly drank down a vodka soda. The night only got rowdier as we made our way deeper into the night.
Somehow it became 1:00 AM and we were on our way to Instant and Fogasház, which is a club and bar connected in the same building. It’s a huge place. Walk in and be instantly wow-ed. At that point, after quite a few drinks, we were ready to dance.
On a weekend, you might find a line at this club if you’re trying to get in past 1:00 AM. You can skip the line though by paying just a few Hungarian forint. Ask around and you’ll find the faster entrance.
I started in the downstairs rock room, took a tequila shot, and made my way up to the main room with electronic music. Just wandering around, digging the music, people-watching and striking up a conversation with fellow partygoers is enough to keep you entertained all night!
My night ended at 5:00 AM just before the bar was about to close, when I took a Bolt (much like Uber) back to my apartment. But as I learned later, Budapest is actually considered one of the safest cities in Europe, and most people say it’s fine for women to walk around alone at any time of day or night.
Don’t forget to include the famous Szimpla Kert on your night out in Budapest. Our pub crawl didn’t take us there, but I made sure to check out the scene on my next night out. It’s my favorite ruin bar of Budapest, and it’s easy to see why it’s everyone else’s favorite, too -- the decor inside, maze of staircases and curiosities hanging on the walls and from the ceiling sets the tone for a wild night. You’ll for sure want to spend some time hanging out in the bathtubs, beer in hand!
Since my first night out in Budapest, I’ve been out so many times I can’t even count them all. Budapest bubbling with nightlife any night of the week, so no matter when your travel plans align here, you’re definitely guaranteed a good time!
Have you been to Budapest and experienced it's nightlife? We would love to hear your favourite nightlife spots! Wish to tell us a story of your favourite night out in a new city all alone? We would love to share it. Submit your story here. Other cities we have feature are Dubrovnik, Thailand and London but we would love to include your experience of those places and more.
We also have the party/nightlife travel forum where you can ask for tips, recommendations and so on