While Budapest’s nightlife may be more famous for its ruin bars, it’s the many and varied nightclubs of the capital that will really leave an impression. Here are our top picks.
Bar, Nightclub, Hungarian
Akvarium Klub in downtown Budapest | Courtesy of Akvarium
This is by far the most central nightclub on the list, making it an appealing attraction for party-goers who don’t want to have too far to find their way home. It features a number of halls – often hosting concerts across the spectrum of musical genres – a funky central room for taking a break from the dancing and is a particular treat in the summer with its quaintly-lit terrace and events.
Inside Budapest's Corvin Club | Courtesy of Corvin Club
There’s a very special vibe to Corvin. Maybe that’s because it’s built into an old Soviet block above a supermarket, maybe it is the interweaving corridors or maybe it’s the rooftop bar overlooking one of the busier squares of Budapest’s downtown. A favourite haunt for fans of electronic and house, this nightclub is one to go to get a more down-to-earth sense of Budapest’s nightlife, especially if you’re hoping to stay out until the early mornings.
It’s not hard to understand the decision behind naming this place Doboz – meaning ‘box’ in English – with each of the different dancefloors and bars connecting to the central outdoor area to create an intriguing ring road with a mix of distinct music styles. It’s definitely one of the more trendy places to party the night away, whether that’s on one of the many dancefloors or – in the warmer months – outside in the courtyard beside the 300-year-old tree.
This old Ukranian cargo ship has been a staple of Budapest’s nightlife for nearly 15 years now, and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the most popular venues for visiting musical artists, plays host to various art and cultural events and has weekly parties with a variety of DJ tastes aboard the deck of the ship, all with the Danube drifting quietly by.
While it’s easy to feel like sardines in a can when visiting Hello Baby, this nightclub features the most amazing architecture and décor. It’s a sprawling venue with a number of floors, often having changing artwork projected onto the walls. Things can get a bit hectic in Hello Baby, but they certainly know how to put on a show.
As popular with tourists as it is with locals, the weekly Sparties combine the famed thermal baths of Budapest with bright lights, loud music and attractive people. In the warmer months the Sparty takes place in the most iconic of the capital’s thermal baths, Széchenyi, with the colder months finding a home in Lukács. If you’re planning on partying in Budapest then bring some swimwear, because a Sparty will be one of the more memorable nights of your life.
Though this place is further out from the city itself in a part of Budapest called Óbuda it manages to evoke a sort of secret garden vibe, hidden away as it is beyond cobbled streets and within a courtyard sheltered by many trees. It’s not strictly a club, but commonly hosts bands and DJs for parties that last well into the night.
If a club is judged on its popularity, then Ötkert is by far and away the number one destination for party-goers. Often requiring a lengthy queue just to get in – which is something of a rarity in Budapest – its different, creatively decorated dancefloors will provide the tunes to match any taste while original themed nights means there’s always some new reason to turn up for a party.