What are ruin bars in Budapest?

In the early 2000s, Budapest’s historic Jewish Quarter was made up of crumbling old buildings. In 2004, one enterprising creative set up a ruin bar (Szimpla Kert) in an abandoned residential building offering affordable drinks and cultural activities with local design and vintage mismatched furniture.


Szimpla kert ruin bar in the Jewish Quarter
Szimpla kert ruin bar. Photo: budapestflow.com


Why are they called ruin bars?
That’s the word-to-word translation of the Hungarian name of the bars (“romkocsma”), it means bar in the ruins. It refers to these bars are built in the ruins of abandoned buildings, unused stores, factories and parking lots. Detailed descriptions can be found in our blog post, entitled “The history of the ruin bars”