We started out with a long list of places to check out on our first night in Budapest. The top of the list were Boutiq' Bar, a craft cocktail bar, and Szimpla Kert, the most popular ruin pub in the city. We loved both places so much, we ended up staying for hours and skipping the rest of the list!
Boutiq' Bar rivals the eponymous cocktail bars of New York. Not only were the drinks on point (and their mezcal selection!), but the bartenders were so knowledgeable and courteous. They even turned us onto a delicious Hungarian amaro called Unicum, their answer to Fernet.
You can't visit Budapest without having a beer at a ruin pub. The ruin pubs of Budapest grew out of the void and destruction left by WW2. All over the city, abandoned buildings and outdoor spaces slowly became hubs for people to get together and have a drink. Over time, chairs and tables moved in, and so on until they became the tourist attractions of today.
Szimpla Kert is the best known of the city's ruin pubs. The building is essentially a large complex made up of a maze of different rooms, a giant patio, and a loft with more rooms and bars. Everything is decorated with eclectic, random objects and about a million string lights. On any given night there could be vintage films playing, DJs/jam sessions, groups crowded around towering hookahs, and oddly enough a shot girl selling carrot sticks.
I have a photo strip from the photo booth at Szimpla Kert that is one of my favorite souvenirs of the entire trip. The flash is blinding and we look silly and sunburned, it's entirely perfect. If you ever go, don't forget to take a shot of palinka!
Outfit details: vintage dress, Forever 21 mules