If you've spent at least 5 minutes researching Budapest nightlife then you will already have come across Szimpla Kert, the iconic ruin bar of Budapest. Likely you are also familiar with the ruin bar (romkocsma) concept, but for those who remain unaware, a quick refresher: ruin bars are makeshift bars located inside dilapidated pre-war buildings, furnished with quirky furniture assembled from clearance sales, and all in all exuding a inexplicably cool atmosphere.
Today Budapest is flooded with ruin bars, but Szimpla Kert was a pioneer of the movement, opening in 2004, and is by far the best known internationally. A common challenge for emblematic cultural hotspots (regardless of city or culture) is that as they are subsumed into the mainstream, they gradually lose their original ethos, become tourist destinations, and no longer resemble their original form. Szimpla was originally frequented by local college students looking for a cheap drink. Regardless of the fact that you may have to navigate your way through camera wielding tourists to approach the bar, Szimpla is still worth a visit for the experience. If daytime activities are more your speed, Szimpla hosts a weekly farmer’s market, Háztáji Piac, featuring local produce from sub-urban farmers every Sunday between 9 AM and 2 PM.