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January 2015
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What to do in Pest? A tour of Ruins bars

Ruins Bar, Budapest, Photo 1 & 2 © Laurence Gounel. Ruins Bar, Szimpla kert, Budapest, Photo 3, courtesy Incognito CoRP

It is quite extraordinary in its own right. But that is just part of the business! Forget your hotel bar, and take a stroll around the Jewish quarter (the coolest part of town) in search of a speakeasy atmosphere. Here the bars come and go as part of a reclamation of ancient squats, boutiques and warehouses, brought back to life by party-troublemakers. And these invest in these places for a year or more…creating ambiances straight out of a movie or a crazy imaginary location, relegating our illegal bars (the new craze) to gentle, humming smoking rooms. The Ruins pubs are reputedly the best bars in the world. Amongst our favourites: the Instant (a delirious scene covers two floors, buzzing from 11pm onwards), the Szimplat kert, considered one of the world’s hottest spots (with an equally amazing decor, with multiple rooms over two floors) and the Szilvuplé (a more underground vibe, with sculptures in the walls).

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