The Complete Nightlife Guide To Budapest
Estimated Party Time
Party time in Budapest usually starts after 11pm – arrive before then and the dance floors and bars will be fairly empty. Restaurants do tend to be packed starting from 9pm, so either plan to eat early and surrounded by a bunch of O.A.P’s, or book ahead to get a seat at some of the trendier bistros.
The best of Budapest’s nightlife action centres on Gozsdu Courtyard, a series of passageways and courtyards that connect Király utca (Király street) and Dob utca (Dob street). Once the core of the old Jewish quarter of the city, it’s made up of beautifully renovated former stores and workshops and is a hugely popular hangout for locals packed with bars, restaurants, pubs and cafés.
Evenings out in Budapest offer plenty of options to play. Whether you want to chill, drink, go mad or all of the above, this city has the perfect hotspots to satisfy your craving for one last party with the boys. Our clubbing tour of Budapest may be the best option for your party, or maybe you just want to find the perfect place to party for an entire night. Either way, the following clubs are perfect for partying throughout the year:
Trafiq – A wicked club with a sort-of steam-punk inspired décor of brick, neon, concrete, and huge tungsten light bulbs. Their website claims that Trafiq is “Dead Serious Naughtiness. An Apocalipse Floating In The Air. An Act of One-Night Worldwide Redemption. This What Trafiq Is All About”. We have no idea what they’re on about, but it is an awesome club.
Ötkert – One of the most popular clubs in Budapest – certainly one of the biggest – this place plays host to live music, art exhibitions, dance parties, you name it they’ve got it. It’s that sort of place. Located in a gorgeous building, you can come here to chill or party hard long into the night.
Hello Baby – This is the best of the bunch in our opinion. Hidden away in the inside courtyard of a non-descript building it opens up to reveal a super stylish club with a vibrant party atmosphere. One word describes Hello Baby: amazing. This is THE place to party in Budapest. A quick word on their dress code: you must wear dress shoes to gain entry into Hello Baby.
Honorable Mentions: Akvarium, and Peaches ‘n’ Cream
*Hello Baby, Budapest
During the summer months outdoor clubs on Margaret Island and the shipyard islands are the place to party. They’re a bit outside of the city so plan ahead and book a party bus with us to arrive in style. Oh, and swimming pools and Jacuzzis mean that you should feel free to bring a swimming suit to the party. Our favourite summer clubs include:
Bed Beach – Super trendy décor – all-white furniture and textiles. Watch your dress code or you probably won’t be admitted to the club. Once you’re in expect to mix with the wealthy and they’re hangers-on – and pay for it. It’s one of our favourite places to party when we feel like splashing lots of cash.
Dokk Beach – Definitely the more relaxed of these two summer clubs. Dokk Beach is designed to give off a beach feeling with palm trees, a Jacuzzi, and an extensive VIP section all part of the design. Mix with students and young professionals as you party to house/club and R&B/Hip-hop music.
Want to organise your clubbing experience in Budapest?
A word to the wise: trendy bars in Budapest tend to go in and out of fashion just as quickly as they open and close. Info on bars in Budapest found on the net isn’t always up to date.
What is always in fashion are the so-called Ruin Bars or Ruin Pubs. These are a dime a dozen – you can’t keep up with all the new ones that pop in and out of existence. Basically, derelict buildings and unused outdoor spaces have been transformed into slightly chaotic bars that serve cheap drink and give off a lively and friendly atmosphere. Sound hipsterish? Don’t worry, they’re not – think of them as the equivalent of your favourite local pub back home. They’re just places that locals go to hang out, meet friends, and drink before heading off to a club or out to eat. With that introduction out of the way, our favourite two ruin pubs in Budapest are:
Szimpla – The Grandaddy of Ruin Bars, the first of its kind. Nestled in the heart of the Jewish Quarter of Budapest’s seventh district it’s got all the signs of a classic ruin pub: a lackadaisical atmosphere of mismatched furniture and some whimsy in the form of an old Trabant car in the garden that doubles as a table and chairs. Very chill, very cool, and it serves very cheap booze.
Doboz – Now this place has all the characteristics of a classic ruin bar but it’s actually something quite new. It’s a mash-up of pub, club and cultural hub for young designers, architects and artists. It’s an unbelievably cool space in which to drink, chill, and mix with locals.
*Szimpla Kert Budapest
Organise your Bar Crawl here
Best Local Drinks
Palinka – a drink that tastes like a slap in the face, with a hint of fruit. Strong stuff. Keep away from flames.
Unicum – Dodgy name, actually quite delicious. A bit like Jagermeister and the newest versions of this national drink offer a hint of plum to even out the aniseed.
Budapest is home to some of the best restaurants in Europe. ONYX, the Cortes Restaurant, the Corso, and Rezkakas all offer menus characterized by traditional Hungarian cuisine, prepared from ingredients that appeal to both authentic Hungarian and modern gastronomic tastes. This is fine dining at its best.
If you’re group is looking for a little more fun, look no further than Sir Lancelots Knights’ Restaurant for a medieval banquet where the portions border on obscene, the grog flows like water, and the entertainment is heavy on swords and wenches in low cut blouses.
It is seriously cheap to fly to Budapest. So cheap that I have to wonder how some of these airlines actually make any money. The following prices are based on extremely quick search online that we just conducted as we typed these words – obviously the further in advance you book your flight the better the deal but whoa! Ryan Air is seriously cheap right now! Either I made a mistake or they’re expecting you to get out and push! Nope, no mistake folks, that’s the actual cost of a return flight from London Stansted to Budapest on Ryan Air. Think I might book my next 10 vacations to Budapest…
- RyanAir – London Stansted to Budapest return – 33£
- Wizz Air – London Luton to Budapest return – 90£
- Easy Jet – London Gatwick to Budapest return – 120£
Travel in foreign countries can be a little tricky sometimes. And by tricky we mean that tourists are often targets for hustlers and small-time crooks looking for easy marks. When you’re on your stag party in Budapest look out for the following and remember, we got your back:
- At night, taxi drivers look to rip off big groups and will try to take them to dodgy strip clubs. They make commission off of delivering the groups to the front door and often times the parties face intimidation and coercion to spend big once inside the strip club. Always book a trip to a strip club through a trusted event organizer.
- In a related note, Eventhuse only frequents a few, trusted strip clubs in Budapest, one being the 4Play Lounge. In our experience, every other club in town is an incredibly bad rip-off and can be really trashy places. Check out our strip-club tour if you want to see the best of the best.
- It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book because it works. Some bars and clubs (not those on our list) hire fit girls to stand outside and try and herd groups inside where they often face overpriced, watered-down drinks. Be aware, be prepared.
- Money changers on the streets of Budapest will rob you blind. That said, you can get a better deal changing your U.K. Pounds into Hungarian Forints when you are in Hungary. We suggest changing your money as soon as you land at the airport. ATMs may be all over the city making it easy to withdraw cash at any time, but recent Interpol warnings state that some cash points are compromised in countries such as Hungary.
*4play Lounge, Budapest
For the penny-wise
If you’re looking to stretch your cash and maximize your fun in Budapest, book a pub-crawl activity with us. Our guides take you door-to-door to the best ruin pubs and bars in town.
For the big spenders
Book a night tour of Budapest using the party bus or pull up to front of a club in one of our limousines. Add some spice to the night by adding some female company to the proceedings. Ask us for reservations at some of Budapest’s top restaurants, like the Michelin-starred Costes Restaurant.
Best chat-up line
I’ve often wondered if my foreign accent when speaking Hungarian was as sexy as the girls’ accents when speaking English. Then I remembered that I don’t really care and that girls seem to appreciate the effort!
Our favourite Hungarian chat-up line is:
Do you know what you’re missing? Me!
Tudod, mi hiányzik mellõled? Én! (tu•dawd mi hi•aa•ny•zik mel•lèù•led? Ayn!)
Budapest really is a party paradise. The women are gorgeous, the restaurants are top shelf, the clubs and bars are packed nearly every night – it’s one of the best cities in Europe. We hope this nightlife guide gave you some idea of what your stag do could look like if you choose Budapest, but if you have any other questions feel free to contact our expert event organizers. Our package deals are designed to give you the best bang for your buck and show off the best that Budapest has to offer your stag party, but if you feel like crafting a more personalized experience don’t hesitate to get in touch. Right, well, I’m off…my flight to Budapest leaves in a few hours.