When summer time and beautiful weather falls upon Budapest then a whole make over begins, new bars and clubs start opening, terraces for restaurants spring out of nowhere and the whole city is buzzing with opportunities to socialise in new, sun filled places.
From about the 20th April onwards I started to stumble upon new open top bars at most corners, some very trendy, some lacking the edge they needed. Here are some of my recommendations of places that should not be missed for a sunny day time drink or an evening pub crawl.
Anker’t is a great example of what a ruin/open top bar should be like. Several rooms linked together in an abandoned ruin with no roof is the setting for this bar. Funky black writing and atmospheric lighting sets the mood for the evening ahead.
I went here on a Friday night and the place filled rapidly as the night went on. The bar staff showed no signs of stress, however, and continued smiling as if you were the only customer in their sights.
One word of advice, don’t come here with an empty stomach. The aroma of freshly cooked burgers and other goods fills the air, so with any yearning for food and you’ll be in that queue without even knowing how you got there.
Paulay Ede utca 33., Budapest.
WNDRLND was a bar that I accidentally bumped into one day during a random stroll around Margitsziget. I saw some bright colours out of the corner of my eye through a gate way and instantly my feet were bringing me towards it. However the gates were locked and as I gazed in a bar tender came over to ask me was I okay and that if I wanted to see more to come back in twenty minutes when they were opening. Of course I returned.
Upon further inspection, this is a colourful gem in the middle of a sea of green trees. I was glad I waited the twenty minutes to have a wander around. In true Budapest style the decor was mismatched and made little sense, but this is what gave the place its charm. A giant chess set is just one of the many things to draw your eyes in, along with manikins, tyres, bikes and extravagant paintings on the tables and walls.
There is a stage in the middle which often hosts various DJ’s but the chilled out background music during the day makes for a great meet up spot for a quiet drink in psychedelic surroundings.
Behind Holdudvar on Margitsziget, Budapest.
Kőleves Kert is one of the more central places that I found located on Kazinczy utca, near the infamous Szimpla Kert. Hammocks surround the opening bar, instantly giving you a laid back feeling when you arrive. The bar tenders are chilled behind the bar and happy chatting amongst themselves, some even lounging on the surrounding hammocks waiting for a rush to happen.
When we walked in further my sister exclaimed “I feel like I’m in the middle of Thailand on a beach!” which is the most accurate description I have heard to date. It really gives that feeling of relax, chill out and don’t take life too seriously.
Strangely enough the aspect which impressed me the most were the bathrooms. Clean bathrooms can often be more of a desire than a reality in busy bars in Budapest but these were immaculate. Along with this the decor was awesome. The mirrors consisted of tens of car rear view mirrors directed in different angles giving you an alternative view of yourself.
If you’re out on a busy night in the 7th district I would definitely recommend dropping in here with your friends for a chilled out drink, where it is encouraged to have wild conversations as no music taints your hearing.
Kazinczy utca 37-41, Budapest
By Leonie Holly