You’re never far from a party in Budapest. The city is buzzing with good vibes and happy revelers every night of the week. Our iconic ruin pubs and infamous ‘sparties’ (spa party in our iconic public baths), as well as the annual Zeitgeist festival, has put Budapest firmly on the map as one of Europe’s greatest party capitals; but, not all party-places are created equal and when you’re new to a city it’s easy to end up in a less than impressive club or pub.
That’s why joining us for a pub crawl in Budapest is always a good shout, to guarantee you get to drink with the locals in Budapest where they like to party, but in case you’d like to explore the local nightlife without us, we’ve compiled our top eight favorite local party spots for you to check out. Some are on our Budapest pub crawl route, and some are not, but all eight are excellent nightlife venues where us locals go for the best parties in the city.
This is the meeting point for our pub crawl in Budapest, located in the heart of the city close to Deák Ferenc tér Subway station and about a five-minute walk from St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s a popular spot among locals, particularly in Spring and Summer time as there is an extensive outdoor terrace on ground level, with a bar, which expands out into a public square and so is a hive of activity during the evenings, attracting the cool, hip, trendy and grungy who meet up, chill out, have a few drinks and watch the world go by. Akvárium Klub, as the name suggests, is also a club, and one of the best clubs in Budapest at that. Recently revamped, and with a top-of-the-line sound system, it has become a big hitter with many international DJs, bands and live acts gracing the main hall. Whether you attend for a gig or DJ set, or just to chill out on Budapest’s largest terrace, you’re bound to have a fantastic time and mingle with the locals at Akvárium Klub. Akvárium Klub is located at 1051 Budapest, Erzsébet tér 12, and is open Monday & Tuesday 12:00 to 01:00, and Wednesday to Sunday 12:00 to 04:30.
From where our Budapest pub crawl begins, to where it finishes now - Instant-Fogasház. We finish here because it is, without doubt, always one of the best parties in Budapest. It’s a vast expanse of party wonderland, eight bars and a shit load of dancefloors spread across two adjacent interconnected buildings. It’s maze-like and amazing, with different rooms and areas, nooks and crannies scattered throughout, each one offering something different in terms of tunes and vibe. Think of it as a complex of lots of different bars and clubs all within a dancing distance of each other. There’s Instant, the legendary ruin bar and arguably the most famous of Budapest’s ruin pubs, Fogas, where there is always a carnival atmosphere, LÄRM – the underground club renowned for top quality techno and drum & bass, the trendy Liebling chill-out bar, Robot - an unbeatable rock club hosting live bands, FRAME – the uber cool club for garage and halftime, and PONT which is a favourite for local students to party. All in all, it’s a veritable ‘food-hall’ if you will, more than capable of satisfying the hunger of even the most insatiable party-animal. Oh, and there is a restaurant on site, as well as a snack zone for grabbing pizza slices and snacks. It’s a pity this place closes for a few hours every day, otherwise, you’d have no reason to leave! You’ll find this fantastic place in the heart of the Budapest nightlife on Akácfa street 49 and it’s open daily from 16:00 to 6:00.
Doboz is a long-standing icon on the Budapest ruin bars & club scene and with good reason. From Wednesday to Saturday, this place is hopping – two dance-floors, resident DJs playing a multitude of music genres and a delightfully young crowd made up of lots of different characters and styles. There’s an extensive cocktail menu, as well as delicious food on offer here but, perhaps, the best part of Doboz isn’t at the bar or on the dance-floors – but rather out in the fantastic, colorful central garden area. Flanked by wonderful sculptures and installations by local artists, at the centre of the garden stands one of Budapest’s oldest trees, at over 320 years young, on which climbs a king-king-inspired huge gorilla made of wood. It’s pretty trippy but don’t worry, it is there; you didn’t have one too many! Doboz is located at Klauzál street 10, 1072 and the party goes ‘til late.
Ötkert has been one of the best parties in Budapest since way back when in 2010, okay – it’s not that long ago but I liked the rhyme. In the nine or so years since it opened, Ötkert has earned a reputation as a popular and cool place to be, thanks to its club nights and concerts – especially the terrace parties in Summer season.
The only set-back to Ötkert, in my humble opinion, is their somewhat strict entry policy with regards to the dress code. It’s not overly strict, but the place is notably devoid of the ‘shabby chic’, or fashionably scruffy dress sense – so lot’s of shirts and nice ‘normal’ looking folk, still – it’s a good party atmosphere once inside. Thursday to Saturday sees club nights from around 23:00 to 5:00 and you can find Ötkert at Zrínyi u. 4/A, 1051.
Source: Ötkert facebook
Sure there are boat parties, but A38 is a party ship! Docked on the south banks on the Buda side of the Danube, this old Stone-carrier ship is a local favorite for music enthusiasts as it hosts an incredible array of Hungarian and international live acts and DJs. More a concert space than a club proper, it is one of the best party places in Budapest and though concerts usually finish by 23:00, an evening here is nevertheless an excellent Budapest nightlife experience.
There’s a restaurant and exhibition space too that adds to the ship’s cultural and multi-purpose appeal, but it is most widely loved for a commitment to great live music acts and rightly enjoys cult status among Budapest’s party people who flock here for fun and frolics.
A38 is docked next to Petőfi bridge, right beside the tram stop.
Source: A38 facebook
Morrison’s 2 is huge in both popularity and space on the Budapest party circuit. Centrally located close to Margit Bridge and Nyugati railway station, this super club is the largest in the city and boasts ten bars, six dance-floors, great drinks prices and a heated garden. There’s always a decent choice of music to dance to throughout the different rooms here, from Hip-Hop, R&B, House and techno, to disco, nu-disco and old school rock n roll. There’s even a room dedicated to karaoke if you feel like belting out a few ballads!
Any night is a good night at Morrison’s 2, but Wednesday and Thursday nights see an open-bar party from 17:00 to 03:00 whereby you pay an entrance fee and can enjoy unlimited drinks. The ticket costs less than €5 from 17:00 and increases through the night to a maximum €11 from 23:00. You’ll find Morrison’s 2 at 1055 Budapest, Szent István krt. 11.
Source: Morrison's 2 facebook
Peaches and Cream
If you like your R&B, this club is hard to beat. It isn’t a huge place, but it does have a particular charm and vibe about it that makes it very popular among locals and visitors alike for a night out in Budapest. If you’re with a group or celebrating a birthday or hen party, for example, I recommend booking a table and it’ll tick all the boxes for a great night as the staff is very attentive, and service is excellent.
Attracting a hip and trendy young crowd, the atmosphere is always high tempo and the tunes, if it’s your kind of music, is spot on. Peaches and Cream is located at 065 Budapest, Nagymező u. 46-48 and you can party ‘til late.
Source: Peaches and Cream facebook
And last but by no means least on our list of the best spots where locals party in Budapest, is Tesla. One of the biggest nightclubs in Budapest, Tesla is housed in the old transformer building of the 'Electro-technical Museum', a setting which, rather aptly, suits the party-spirit of the club which is a favorite among electronic-music aficionados in the capital. The venue is also a cultural space, lending itself to exhibits, workshops, dance & theatre, and film screenings in the fantastic garden terrace, as well as being a concert venue for live acts. However, it is as a kick-ass club that it enjoys the most renown, boasting an incredible sound system that will make you move to the beat, whether you intend to or not.
You’ll find this beacon of Budapest nightlife at Kazinczy utca 21/c, 1075.
Source: Tesla Budapest Klub facebook
That’s it, dear party people, our eight recommendations for the best clubs and places to go to meet, dance and drink with the locals in Budapest. Of course, the best way to enjoy our special nightlife and party with the locals here is on our Budapest pub crawl where you’ll visit five of the best bars, pubs, and clubs in the city, get free VIP entry to all venues, enjoy a free welcome beer, five free quality shots including our local favourites Palinka and Unicum, a free long drink at the final club – the Instant-Fogasház complex mentioned above, as well as play party games and have an unbeatable night out with a ready-made crew of party-buddies and charming local party guides.
We hope our recommendations will come in handy on your nights out in Budapest and you’ll make it to at least some of these fantastic nightlife hot-spots during your visit. Party on!