Given the burgeoning “ruin pub” scene in Budapest, and certainly on the evidence of our pictures, you’d be forgiven for thinking that no one in the Hungarian capital has time to do any of that inconvenient thing called work everyone else complains about. In reality though, a large proportion of the punters at the venues in the Erzsébetváros area are tourists on their very jolly holidays, increasingly turning their backs on erstwhile European good-time capitals like Prague in favour of a party in ‘Pest.
Re-purposed old spots like Szimpla Kert (Simple Garden) provide an expansive and multi-functional venue that can adapt to whatever is needed, being essentially stripped back to the original shell with minimal intervention in the renovation work. A dance club one night, an open-air art house cinema the next, Szimpla has been giving the entertainment scene what it wants since it opened in 2002. It must be mentioned that some nearby residents aren’t delighted with the success of Szimpla and the nearby ruin pubs – noise and litter (and probably Brits) are among the chief concerns – but since we don’t live there, we can sympathise while still hoping the atmospheric old buildings of Budapest continue to enjoy their rebirth.