Nightlife @ Budapest
Photography & film by Priyanka Sarkar
So much little time and so many ruin-bars to cover in the city of Budapest. I was there for two days and I decided not to sleep because that’s what I had. Strolled the city thrice in two days and even the cab drivers thought I was a local to getting lost in the early morning but then getting right back on time just before my departure.
The so-called “ruin-bars” are undoubtedly the most unique attraction for people who love to party and dance the daylights out of their mind. These ruin-bars are located in historic buildings, dilapidated pre-war buildings and the old Jewish quarters. Ruin bars have been a rage since the founding of Szimpla Kert, the epicenter of ruin bars. From outside, they look like simple buildings but, once you get inside there might be possibilities of you to get lost as there could be nearly 18 bars, where different parties happen on various floors. With the psychedelic interiors with a retro set-up and the hipster crowd, the ruin-bars have my heart. These bars are not just bars but feel more like spaces, where they have effortlessly made the place look not less than any art museum, be it graffiti on the wall, chandeliers hanging from the bathroom ceiling, amazing light installations with the underground structure. On day one, I went to Fogas Ház és Kert, Instant and LÄRM, these were not as old-school but definitely a completely different experience than what I have been to back at home and I have some amazing pictures to share.
The second day was more adventurous as I traveled across three different modes of transport: walking, bus and metro and finally reached my destination, Dürer Kert, this ruin-bar is located near the Danube which used to be a gay club back in the days, the building is a historic one with the most underground experience I have ever had. I met a lot of people on this day and what I observed through the nightlife and people of Budapest is that the city has a “retro-futuristic” approach to fashion, you can literally see people wearing hippie pants, tie-dyes to pop and rock n roll inspired clothing to vintage goth and new wave ravers wearing athleisure, sunglasses and carrying fanny packs. But what was common among them all was a pair of “sneakers” and unfortunately, I was the only one without a pair. This gives me an idea that the Hungarian outgoing youth is highly fashionable with their clothing while maintaining a sense of individuality and they experiment a lot but they look for comfort and are grounded at the same time. Above all, I have never felt so safe in a city which is new to me, be it 4 AM in the morning, one can walk and dance while listening to music without any fear. You say “Buda” and I say “Pest” - I am definitely coming back Budapest!