Szimpla Kert, Ruin pub

The iconic party place is undoubtedly the city’s most famous nightspot, and has inspired wave after wave of “ruin pubs” that have popped up in the years since it opened.


The initial Szimpla Kert opened way back in 2002 at another spot just a few streets from the current location. But in 2004, a chance presented to move to a bigger building in what was then a relatively quiet spot in the VII District. The building in question, at 14 Kazinczy Street, had housed homes and a factory, but by 2004 lay in ruin. The four Szimpla owners saw opportunities in the building, that was slated for demolition, where others might have only seen dilapidated walls, a tarpaulin where a roof should have been, and not much else. The idea was for a big open community space in Budapest with a relaxed vibe. Somewhere anyone could come as they are – and as they please.
There’s stuff everywhere. You could spend days just looking at all the random bits and pieces covering the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and leaning on just about every surface. Currently there’s even an open-top Trabant car where you can sit at a table where the car seats used to be.
Szimpla Kert was a game-changer in Budapest, it changed the direction of the city’s nightlife scene and unintentionally created the “ruin pub” genre, for which Budapest is now famous around the world.