Budapest is a cosmopolitan city with a fascinating history. The centre is relatively small and it’s great for walking around. There are loads of free walking tours that you can undertake – local guides will take you around the city and, if you enjoy the walk, tip them at the end. They often have a theme, from a standard city tour showing the main sights, through to Communism and street art. The walks take between two-three hours and are a very enjoyable way of seeing the main attractions of the city. The guides are really knowledgeable and helpful and are willing to recommend things to do, restaurants to eat in and places to drink, including the ruin bars of Budapest.
Chain Bridge, which spans the river Danube between Buda and Pest.
Buda castle and district.
VISITING A RUIN BAR IN BUDAPEST
After all that walking you may well be in need of a beverage to quash your thirst. And if you want a drink you can do a lot worse than to visit one of the ruin bars of Budapest.
These are grungy bars that were originally set up in abandoned buildings in the city’s VII district in the early 2000s, providing cheap drinks and a lively sociable atmosphere. They are characterised by quirky décor and random, mismatched furniture that fills every nook and cranny within the building. Some have been established for years, others pop up for just one summer, then vanish into obscurity. Some have projections of films, others play music.
We were a bit random in our ruin bar choice. If you want the lowdown, there’s a website that will offer a guide to the best.
Ruin bars are perfectly convivial places to enjoy a cool beer or a shot (or more) of the local brew palinka, a fruit brandy, which is sweet and strong.