Visiting Szimpla Kert! Afternoon adventures in Budapest’s best ruin bar!

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‘We have to check out a Budapest ruin bar!’ Let’s face it, I’m more of a champagne/cocktail/wine bar kind of girl so I was a little apprehensive when Dave suggested an afternoon visit to Szimpla Kert, an infamous Budapest ruin bar! He assured me that Budapest ruin bars are the stuff of legends and that our trip would be incomplete without some leisurely drinks in the quirky surroundings of Szimpla Kert. Off we set on our Budapest ruin bar adventure ready for some afternoon fun: we’ll toast to that!

What’s a Budapest ruin bar?

My first question was the rather obvious ‘What is a Budapest ruin bar?’. It turns out that it’s a bar housed in an abandoned building with the decor comprising of a random collection of quirky objects. It’s the perfect mix of hipster and thrift store and Szimpla Kert turned out to be one of the most unique and coolest bars we’ve ever clinked glasses in!

You will find us in the bathtub among the children’s toys!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground


Szimpla Kert

There are various ruin bars dotted around the city with Szimpla Kert being the original romkocsma (that’s a ruin pub for those in the know!) in Budapest. The bar is a maze of themed rooms, quirky furniture and a colourful beer garden where we sipped our beer in an old Trabi car! We knew we were in for a fun afternoon from the moment we stepped under the cooling mist marking the entrance to Szimpla Kert and escaped the blistering July Budapest sun!

The entrance: no, its not a derelict building!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Ruin Bar fun!

The eclectic beer garden was our Szimpla Kert favourite. The explosion of colour and the quirky mix of a car doubling as a seat, chairs hanging overhead and a gymnastics vault won us over! It was a winning combination together with a cold beer and the summer sunshine. This is what hipster bars wish they could be like! Bliss!

Check out the Trabi table! Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Not sure we remember enough from our childhood gymnastics to try the vault!
Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Where to Stay in Budapest

Budapest has many great hotel options. We’ve stayed in a number of hotels throughout the city and recommend the following.

Boscolo Budapest – We stayed at the luxurious Boscolo Budapest, with beautiful rooms overlooking the city and included breakfast in the magnificent New York Café – check prices now!

Budapest Marriott Hotel – Check out this stunning hotel for the best views from the Pest side over the Danube River. We loved our stay here with its unbeatable views from the hotel’s concierge lounge on the top floor – check prices now! 

Boutique Hotel Victoria – This beautiful boutique hotel is located directly below Buda Castle on the banks of the Danube River. It’s a perfect location for exploring the city on foot and right beside the Chain Bridge – check prices now!

Click here for the best Budapest Hotel prices


Wandering the rooms

After a quick beer to quench the thirst (Hungarian craft beers are pretty good!) we had a wander around the maze of rooms. There’s lots of smaller bars scattered throughout Szimpla Kert and we were spoiled for choice between cocktails, wine and craft beer!

Cocktail time!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundWine O’Clock!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

The DJ booth!

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Roof garden!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

The Decor

The decor is kitsch and quirky and thrift store esque! The walls are covered with random buttons, monitors and wires which make noisy and fun things happen when they are pressed. Do not underestimate the fun that can be had discovering what pressing different buttons can do!

Cannot resist the buttons!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Interesting wall art!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

So pretty!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundSmiley radio!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Who knew that the Rubics cube was invented by a Hungarian in Budapest?

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundUpside down, right way round!
Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundMind your step!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Leaving our mark on Szimpla Kert!

What more could you ask for? A bar which actively encourages you to write on the walls! People’s names and well wishes are scrawled across most of the walls on the upper level of the bar. We couldn’t resist the opportunity to leave a little piece of The Whole World is a Playground history on the walls of Szmipla Kert! If you visit be sure to take a peek for us!

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundArmed with our trusty sharpie we set to work! Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundWow, look who it is! The Whole World is a Playground takes Budapest!Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground


We had an awesome afternoon at Szimpla Kert and a ruin bar is definitely a must see in Budapest! It’s quirky and fun and the perfect place to chill out on a sunny afternoon in the city. After all, where else can you sip a drink in a bathtub and write on the walls? Cheers to that!

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest ©thewholeworldisaplayground

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