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Szimpla Kert

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by Dora Bona (subscribe)
A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at
Published April 3rd 2019
When in Budapest, you'd be missing out on a unique and quirky experience if you didn't visit a ruin bar. They're all the rage in Budapest, and if you've never heard of a ruin bar then you're in for a treat.

Szimpla Kert is the considered the mecca of these types of bars, and was founded in 2002 right in the heart of the Jewish quarter (District VII).
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Inside Szimpla Kert

This neighbourhood was all but destroyed during the war, and many buildings were left decaying or completely dilapidated. It was the perfect setting to start up an 'underground' bar scene back then – and the culture has since developed and become universally popular.
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Inside Szimpla Kert ruin bar

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Szimpla Kert ruin bar

Szimpla Kert is unpretentious and almost hidden from the public – if you didn't know where to go, you'd walk straight past because it resembles the entrance to an ordinary residence. But across the threshold, it's as though you've entered the land of Oz!

You'll find a dazzling inside/outside courtyard, filled with a mish-mash of mismatching everything. It's hip and artsy, with funky décor representing everything from steampunk, to Bauhaus, to art deco, to rubbish tip chic!

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Quirky decor inside Szimpla Kert ruin bar

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Some of the unusual seating options

You'll find a vintage typewriter and a bunch of bric a brac sitting on an old chest of drawers alongside a pile of shishas. There are places to sit and chill in a labyrinth of little rooms where you'll see a pommel horse or an old ironing board used as a table. There's half an old car converted into a table and seats, plonked under a metal staircase.
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More table and seating options

Chairs hanging from the roof, rickety stools haphazardly placed everywhere, wildly decorated mannequins suspended in mid-air.

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Szimpla Kert decor

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Szimpla Kert is a labyrinth of funky bars

And for those who like to bring out their inner vandal every now and then, you won't be thrown out for carving your initials on any surface you fancy.
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More unusual decor

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A little graffiti chic is encouraged

The atmosphere is amazing. Laid back, yet vibrant and bustling. Even if quirky is not your scene, you'll still find plenty of beer, wine and cocktails, live music...and food, all great reasons to visit a bar anyway.
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Laid back, fun and funky!

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Where: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 14, 1075 Hungary
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