Paris, London, Ireland and Australia are a few of the places that seem to be popular among tourists, but little do we ever hear about Budapest. The only thing I really knew about Budapest was that it was somewhere in Hungary, but to me it was just a place with no real value.
Folks, never judge a country by its name. Especially not Budapest.
My decision to go to Budapest was based on the money factor. Budapest was cheaper to go to than all the other European places and there was a bit more value for my American Money there.
So, before I headed out to Budapest, I did a bit of research on places that could potentially be worth looking at. The only thing I kept finding were huge advertisements on the Budapest Spas and the wonderful bridges, but nothing seemed to call my attention, not even the spas. Then one day, while looking through pages of spas and bridges, I came across something called ‘ruin pubs.’
Visiting a Ruin Bar
Ruin Pubs are bars located in formerly abandoned buildings in the city and are very popular hot spots. It is so popular that thousands of tourists make frequent stops at these so called ‘ruin bars.’
My curiosity got the best of me and as soon as my plane landed in Budapest, I made my first stop at a Ruin Pub. The ruin bar that I chose to visit was the Szimpla Kert.
Szimpla Kert is said to be the oldest ruin bar around Budapest and also the closest one to my hotel. It was not easy to spot the pub, but as I got closer to what looked like an abandoned building, I noticed a large crowd of people standing outside while two very large men waved their arms to welcome the guests.
As I entered the bar, I noticed the ‘ruined’ theme throughout the building, it was in fact true to its name. Not only was the building old looking, but the decorations were worn out and out of place. The ruin pub was dark and full of chatter, people everywhere in different rooms and in different seats. Some were at high tables, some were on couches and some were in the back seat of a car. It was junk put together to make it look like a hipster type of place, but this is what absolutely captured me to the charm of the ruin pub.
It didn’t feel like home, it didn’t even feel like Europe. It felt like I was underground and I enjoyed every minute of it. Different from anything I had ever seen, I swore to myself that I would visit another ruin pub. Of course, that didn’t happen because of certain circumstances, but after going to the ruin pub, I found Budapest to be an amazing experience.
Ruin pubs are not something you see every day, so if you ever make your way to Hungary, I recommend visiting a ruin bar in Budapest. As the saying goes “Don’t knock it until you try it.”
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