Where you drink a beer matters…
A cool location can change everything for the better,and make even a standard beer a transcendental experience…And Budapest’s ruin bars are amazing places to drink just about anything.
The origins of Budapest’s ruin bars can be traced back almost two decades, to the city’s crumbling infrastructure and a largely abandoned Jewish ghetto that had become dilapidated in the decades following World War II, after the deportation of 10,000s Jews.
Budapest Flow points to it all beginning to 2002, when the guys behind Szimpla opened up the very first venue in an abandoned space the inner part of the VII District. It was a ramshackle semi-pop-up operation that moved to several locations before settling into its final home in the Jewish Quarter in 2004 …And you can still get a large beer for less than $2 there today.
Szimpla Kert fast attracted the city’s young and creative crowd, artists and bohemians and backpackers who could only afford to crash in that part of the city. And its chaotic ambience and hideaway charm only lead to its underground success.
Szimpla also attracted artists who left their mark graffiti-style on its walls and musicians who still throw rave-like concerts on its grounds.
Szimpla’s word of mouth lead to other bars opening in the derelict District. Just like craft beer neighborhoods in the US where like-minded breweries attracted one another, every new ruin bar inspired others like the Puder bar and Fogas Há to set up shop nearby.
In the early days of the ruin bars, many of the temporary operations feared they would get closed down, especially in the VII District, which was already veering dangerously towards gentrification.
However, as Budapest Flow notes “eventually ruin bars became an iconic part of the cityscape, so much that people would come to Budapest especially to come drink in these crumbling watering holes.”
And now Budapest’s ruin bars are one of Eastern Europe’s most sought-out drinking destination, complete with guides to help visitors navigate the city’s labyrinth of ruin pubs.
The places you choose to drink matter and Budapest’s ruin bars are among the most amazing in the world.
And while we’re talking drinking in Budapest BrewDog just opened there as well.