Szimpla Kert

If you've spent at least five minutes researching Budapest, you must have come across Szimpla Kert, Budapest's iconic ruin bar. Likely you're also familiar with the ruin bar (romkocsma) concept: makeshift bars inside dilapidated pre-war buildings, many in the Jewish Quarter, furnished with clearance sales furniture and exuding an idiosyncratic atmosphere.

Szimpla Kert, which pioneered the genre, is no longer the offbeat bar it was when it opened in 2004 you'll likely have to navigate through camera-wielding tourists to approach the bar – but it's still worth a visit for the experience (prices have remained relatively reasonable). If daytime activities are more your speed, come for the Sunday morning farmers' market, taking place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. There's a still-functional mikveh, Jewish ritual bath, right next to Szimpla (#16). It's run by the local Orthodox community and serves as a reminder of the neighborhood's Jewish past.

To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I rely in large part on readers to support my work. I'm grateful if you consider making a one-time payment (PayPal, Venmo).