The Best Gay and LGBTQ Bars And Parties In Budapest

Compared with major U.S. and Western European cities, Budapest's LGBTQ scene has a long way to go (2019 was the first pride parade here when attendees could march without a security cordon). Accordingly, gay, and especially lesbian bars are still few and far between. But in addition to the listed places below, keep an eye out for Budapest's LGBTQ pop-up parties that often turn out to be the most fun.

The Oops queer party series draws local and foreign twentysomethings. A slightly older crowd frequents two of the longest-running monthly gay festivities, one hosted by Garçons, the other by Vibe. Hip locals flock to Hello's queer pop nights at Toldi club. WOW (Women-on-Women) throws the best lesbian dance parties. And if you enjoy dark techno, check out OMOH's events.

#1 Alterego Club

Alterego is Budapest's signature gay club. This below-ground venue, which is open only on Fridays and Saturdays, hides in a quiet side street near the city center in District 6. Alterego's claim to fame is the midnight drag shows, available on both days, skillfully moderated by Lady Dömper, a fixture of the Budapest gay scene. The one-hour event features a stand-up, dance performances, and lip syncs by a number of drag queens. After the show, a DJ takes over the packed dance floor and plays classic beats until the wee hours. Two spacious bars and booths with seating cater to people who didn't bring their dancing shoes and prefer a lower-key setting with conversations.

#2 Why Not Cafe and Bar

Why Not is a gay-friendly bar in downtown Budapest overlooking the Danube and several Budapest landmarks, including the Liberty Bridge and the historic Gellért Hotel. During the day, there isn't much of interest here apart from the sweeping views from the outdoor tables. It's in the evenings when Why Not comes into its own.

#3 Tuk Tuk Bar

Tuk Tuk is a tiny craft cocktail bar on the ground floor of the Casati boutique hotel. Being on a quiet street just outside Budapest's party district, Tuk Tuk is a perfect hideaway from the hustle and bustle a few blocks away. Old photos and heavy crimson drapes evoke the hedonistic culture of the 1920s Shanghai inside this dark drinking den.

Rankings are based on a combination of food/drink, atmosphere, service, and price. The author visits all restaurants incognito and pays for his own meals and drinks.