Don’t leave your inner party animal at home for your Budapest vacation – the city is well known for its unique and vibrant clubbing scene. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll want to rest so that you can keep up with the exciting nightlife.
There’s no particular district when it comes to nightlife and entertainment in Budapest – locals and tourists like to party all over the city. But one thing’s for certain - you haven’t truly experienced Budapest until you’ve immersed yourself in the city’s diverse social scene.
One of the best places to start your night out is at Liszt Ferenc Square. This trendy, square is packed with indoor and outdoor cafés and restaurants, creating the perfect atmosphere for laidback cocktails or a late dinner. You’ll be amongst fellow tourists and locals, and you can catch an opera or theatre performance afterward, since both, the Opera and Budapest’s Broadway are nearby.
No foray into Budapest’s nightlife would be complete without checking out one of the city’s many clubs, however. Kick it up a notch at A83 – a barge on the Danube River with live music and an open air rooftop. Shake it to reggae, hip-hop, dancehall, house, and electro. Even those who typically shy away from dance floors will be entertained by this venue’s eclectic concerts and DJs.
Another place to try here in the summertime is Zöld Pardon, an outdoor club that’s mostly popular with younger crowds. Starting at 8 pm, its stage opens up to all kinds of live concerts, from hip-hop to electronic. Right next to it is Rio, another outdoors club should you be in the mood for a Latin party.
In the heart of the city, and known as the cultural centre of Erzsébet Square, there’s Gödör Klub, a lively spot that is guaranteed to be packed when the sun goes down. Gödör’s got it all – there’s a club, concerts, outdoor pub, and even a green-grass-spot.
Twenty-somethings will want to party in Tűzraktér, a venue that carries a real underground buzz and doubles up as a film club as well as an alternative theatre. For those who like partying on rooftops, there’s also Corvintető, a vibrant dance club complete with seating for when your feet need a rest.
Mikszáth tér in Baross utca also has outdoor venues that are reminiscent to Liszt Square, but smaller, more laid back, and ideal for a relaxing beer or wine tasting. Then there’s Margaret Island, a popular sightseeing destination during the day that comes alive after sunset. In ChaChaCha or Holdudvar, young adults mingle and dance to a backdrop of canned music and underneath a ceiling of stars.
Budapest’s nightlife is even more dynamic in the summertime, when it extends to the many outdoor nightclubs, bars and cafes. “Ruin pubs”, temporary outdoor pubs that are open from May to September, consume formerly abandoned buildings in the city, and are very popular hot spots for tourists and locals. Some of the favorites are Grandio, Instant and Szimpla Kert.
You’re bound to have fun exploring Budapest’s exciting nightlife – you may just need a little extra espresso the next morning to get you going for more sightseeing.
You should know that when the partying in Budapest starts, the public transportation stops. As of 11 p.m., the city’s metro, streetcars and trolley buses virtually stop operating, so walking or taking a taxi will be your only options when you’re ready to call it a night. There are some night buses running (marked with "É"), but not as frequently.