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Budapest Hipster District VII: Ruin pubs & young nightlife. Szimpla bar, graffiti walls, hip cafes.

budapest street fashion, hipsters, hungary style

With a toss of hair, my Eurail-Vision coverage begins! As you’ll recall, Eurail.com sent my filmmakers and me around Eastern Europe by train. We’re thrilled to share our first-hand finds: underground bars, concept boutiques, music festivals and more.

Let’s start with Budapest, Hungary. I’ve wanted to visit this city for years, and it lived up to its cool reputation.

Little Wicked's Emporium, Banned Apparel Sugar Skull tunic dress

We were traveling during a heatwave, can you tell? I wore:

Banned Apparel sugar skull dress: gifted by Little Wicked’s Emporium, a wonderful indie online shop for dark fashion, based in the UK. Brands include Hell Bunny and Too Fast. You can order the same style (and more) here.
Red leopard print hair bows: gifted by Sourpuss Clothing
Photography by Melissa Rundle.

koleves kert, ruin pubs budapest, romkocsma

Our favorite neighborhood was District VII (Elizabeth Town), the traditional Jewish quarter. Today, it’s known for gritty ruin pubs like Koleves Kert.

szimpla kertmozi, ruinpubs, best ruin pub

Ruin pubs or “romkocsma” are run-down, abandoned buildings that have been converted into hip, young bars. The first and most famous is Szimpla.

szimpla budapest, travel guide ruin pubs

Szimpla Kert was my favorite among the ruin pubs we visited in this area. The exterior hardly reveals what awaits inside…

budapest nightlife, clubbing, bars

… a hipster free-for-all. Multiple floors and rooms, jammed with bizarre decorations like antique dolls and water bottle sculptures.

szimpla bar, ruin pub decorations

That night, the largest section (filled with lights and mismatched chairs) had a retro 60s band, film projections, and random girl selling carrots!

computer screens art, coolest bars in the world

I felt at home in the 90s-cyber computer room. My glass of blackberry wine cost about $1.

district vii budapest, hip hostels

In addition to ruinpubs, District 7 is the best place to see graffiti. My filmmakers and I couldn’t shop shooting material here.

elektrotechnikal muzeum, electro technical museum budapest

Budapest’s fascinating history over the centuries (from the Austro-Hungarian empire to Communism) has left old-school architecture at every turn.

cool hungarian street art, murals

It contrasts with the modern street art that now covers these old surfaces.

budapest fashion blogger, european goth style

So many secrets and layers in District VII, the current youth neighborhood.

budapest district 7, wall graffiti artwork

Budapest has a creative energy, more so than in most European cities I’ve visited.

budapest doors, graffiti walls

I recommend wandering around Kazinczy Street, the Jewish center that contains many historic buildings.

kiraly street, coolest district budapest

On Király Street you will find youth hostels, cool cafes and design shops.

van gogh budapest museum

The VAM Design Center is the top contemporary art and fashion museum in Hungary.

sunflowers building, van gogh exhibit

A row of sunflowers cleverly announced a Van Gogh exhibit.

budapest hipster cafes, cool coffee shops

The modern industrial design of this cafe is typical for Kiraly St. Everything’s very affordable in Hungary, so spend your forints (note: they don’t use Euros).

alphonse mucha postcards, art nouveau cards

Inside a souvenir shop, I found Alphonse Mucha postcards. (I reviewed his Art Nouveau exhibit in Tokyo.)

Michal Negrin store, budapest shopping

District I is another good place to stroll. The area’s more touristy, but contains beautiful historical buildings and sculptures. I stumbled upon this Michal Negrin boutique…

district 1 shop, designer fashion

Love the colored jewelry and Rococo-patterned clothing by the Israeli designer.

budapest jewerly store, Michal Negrin accessories, goth cross nail art

(My cross nail art is by Glam Nail Studio.)

budapest train station, eurail railway pass

That’s only the start of my Budapest journey. Coming up: a food tour and Sziget music festival.

Thanks to Eurail.com for making our reports possible. You can find out more about their various train pass packages on their Facebook.

Were you surprised by the scene in Budapest, Hungary? Have you heard about Ruin Pubs or visited any?

SHARE & COMMENT

50 Comments

  1. Posted August 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    LOVE THIS! Makes me want to travel on Eurail! And your dress is amazing!

  2. Posted August 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Now I know where I’ll have my next holiday!! Great as usual, looking forward to the next instalment!! <3

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      I highly recommend coming here!!

  3. Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    lovely coord!

  4. Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    oh my gaga!!

  5. Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I wuv them.

  6. Posted August 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    ❤❤❤❤

  7. Posted August 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Happy girl!

  8. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I love you dress and OMG those art works!

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Euri!! Yesss it’s stunning to see the art up close!

  9. Posted August 27, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    i’m from Hungary and a big fan of your blog. so glad you enjoyed your time in Budapest! *-* <3

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      I LOVED it here, I have more to come – Sziget festival, grand market… xoxo

  10. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    that looks like fun there. kind of like berlin is it?

  11. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    The dress *_*

  12. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    YES TO THE DRESS

  13. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Must tell about Iceland If You can…….Wonder wonder

  14. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I just love your blog :) <3

  15. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Amazing you look Stunning <3333333333333333

  16. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    hey girllllllllllll

  17. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that looks great! You definitely made me want to visit District VII in Budapest

  18. Posted August 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Hey. I’m a hungarian girl, and I’m very happy. you were in our country. This is so amazing *-* I love you and your blog. I made a fan art for you (I hope you remember) Love you ♥

  19. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    This is REAL retrofit architecture – like what Blade Runner was trying to do. Way cool!

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      loved the architecture.

  20. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    OMG! Have a great time here!^^

  21. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    it looks awesome.

  22. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    omg xDDD I never thought about Budapest like it’s the hipster district xD but from now on everytime I pass by/go to district VII (what happens very often) I bet I’ll think about it like this:D

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      haha it’s more hipster-y than Brooklyn or Berlin.

  23. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    your dress is so cute!! Your traveling around to so many countries is amazing and I hope your adventures continue and are better with each trip

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Yayy! thank you, we are doing our best!

  24. Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Budapest? ♥♥ oh my God

  25. Posted August 27, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Do you also travel to Romania? If yes, i would so much love to meet you)

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Sadly we couldn’t make it this time but it’s on my list!

  26. Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Kauai

  27. Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    ruin pubs ;D

  28. Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    *O*/// i like this one ^_^

  29. Posted August 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful dress ^w^

    I love reading your posts, they’re great for revealing sides I never knew existed in countries.

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I’m so happy to hear! Thanks for your encouragement, we have some amazing destinations coming up!

  30. Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    apparently ya, there’s tons of rap/r&b influence there…but the music sounds terrible to me since I can understand it and its just not the right language for rapping lol

  31. Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Wish I was there >w<

  32. Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Can you tell me what the meaning of hipster,I hear it all the time but what is it ?

  33. Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Super cool skull dress!

  34. Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Love Budapest

    Wasn’t always that way. I spent my summers there when I was younger. These days it definitely feels like super Brooklyn. But keep in my mind their politics and left over dose of anti semitism still hangs around.

    • Posted August 28, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating place.

  35. Posted January 19, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  36. Posted February 22, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Graffiti is for losers.

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