Although the concept of going to numerous places in a single night is alive and well in Budapest, and has been for a long period of time, the concept of a ritualistic walking from pub to pub in the form of a pub crawl is something we just did not have. Historically people have their favourite dives or hang outs, and are content to start drinking at home (in a pre-game session), and then go to their regular place and be there. Certain countries, like England for example, have historical examples of particularly urban romps through the night that stop at several pubs, or have a historical route that people would take. The idea of a pub crawl has become universal since then, and has become a facet of tourism; it is a great way to popularise the pubs, bars and clubs of any given city, and Budapest, with its boisterous club scene, its wonderful nightlife, and the fact that all of the best places are within walking distance of each other in a dynamic and hip part of the city, has taken naturally to this concept.

The 7th District

The party capital of Budapest is undoubtedly the 7th district, and it is where most of the pub crawls in the city take place. Although going to the other districts and touching upon the 5th, 6th and even 8th districts, the crawls are always centred on the self-named “party district”. This district is significant because it is small enough, central enough, and interesting enough to become the home of most of the clubs in the city. The old Jewish ghetto is located in this district, as well as many museums and pieces of living urban history, the streets are littered with quaint squares and little parks that lighten up the district and make it cosier and give it a character where the passer by just wants to sit out and hang out on the street. The tiny, winding streets of this district are also home to some of the biggest racial and religious diversity of the city, and it is one of the few truly international districts of Budapest. This district also caters to travellers and tourists, as there are several touristy areas and many hostels, hotels and accommodations here as well, and is the location where most of the expats live.

Ruin bars

A novelty of the inner city of Budapest and particularly of the 7th district are the Ruin Pubs, brilliant business ventures that makes perfect use of the opportunities in this part of the city. As much of the beautiful old buildings are run down, the 7th district does exude a kind of grungy atmosphere, but one that is teeming with sophisticated and fun loving local life. The idea behind ruin bars was to keep this atmosphere going while providing a party place for all of the tourists and expats that come to this district, thus having a club that was run down and fits in well with the decaying elegance of the 7th district, but inside is a modern bar with all of the luxuries you would expect from a bar that caters to expats and travellers. The interiors are done in an absurdist, surreal way, most of it recycled from the trash and the evictions that are frequent in this part of the city.

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