Instant - It's a ruin, no, literally, this bar is set in a ruin. And it's fantastic! 7 bars, 4 dance floors, 7 stages and even it's own 'enchanted garden'. Weird whacky and wonderful, it's loved by back-packers and has a superb party crowd thanks to the very friendly drinks prices and great music.
Where? Nagymező Street 38
Szimpla - As Budapest hen weekend bars go this one has it all. The crazy décor has a grunge-boho-punk vibe. The food is simple and delicious, well priced and there's a great drink selection to wash it down with. You'll also find plenty of tunes if you fancy hitting the dance floor.
Where? Kazinczy Street 14
Boutiq' Bar - If you're looking for something more ladylike with real glitz, head to Boutiq, they have been voted "The Best Cocktail Bar" in Hungary several times and were listed as one of the best "50 Best Bars in the World". We'd certainly urge you to test their drinks and judge for yourselves.
Where? Paulay Ede Street. 5
From sipping cocktails to testing health spas. GoHen spend 48hrs in Budapest. Read more here...
Hungarikum Bistro - Foodie's who want to get a real flavour of Budapest will love this restaurant/bistro that specialises in traditional, rustic Hungarian food. The wholesome menu and fantastic service make this a great evening.
Where? Steindl Imre Street 13
Hummus Bar - This local chain has restaurants across the city serving fantastic Middle Eastern flavours. While it has more of a bistro/takeaway feel the food is quite simply fantastic and a great place to stop for a light lunch while feeding your shopping habits.
Where? Various city centre sites.
Sights & Sounds
No trip to Budapest is really complete without a trip relaxing to a spa. It's these healing waters that brought the city's fame and fortune were built on and in August there's even a huge spa festival. It's also where many locals choose to spend New Years Eve.
Another really curious site is the wonderful Fisherman's Bastion that look's like a Disney castle and gives incredible views over this beautiful city.
You might not expect to find an American speakeasy in the middle of Budapest but find it you should. Fat Mo's is packed with live music, DJ's fantastic food and plenty of cocktails in a lively atmosphere.
Where? Nyáry Pál u. 11
A38 is a funky bar, live music venue and art centre all set aboard a converted ship. It's a fantastic setting that draws an interesting a lively crowd with great views across the river.
Where? Petőfi Bridge
In the Diary
May - Palinka Festival - A musical celebration of the Hungary's finest tipple.
July - Blatan Sound - A huge beach party on the banks of the Danube. Top DJ's and dance acts rock into town.
August - Sziget - Nope, we can't pronounce it either but it's the city's biggest music festival with big name acts jetting in from around the globe.
Aug & NYE - Szechenyi Spa Party - Or as we like to call it a "sparty!"
Top of the Shops
Retrock - Without doubt one of the city's best boutiques. Vintage retro and designer clothes rub shoulders on the rather bohemian rails and displays. Shoes, hats, jewellery, clothes bags and more.
Where? Anker köz 2
West End - You really can't miss this HUGE shopping centre. If you're in the city centre sooner or later you'll bump into it and find it's packed with hundreds of top stores and boutiques.
Where? You can't miss it!
Gozsdu Udvar - A great collection of independent stores bars and cafes, it's also really buzzing a night and a hummus market!
Where? Király Street 13
Girls About Town - Getting around Budapest...
Budapest has Europe's second oldest underground system (after London). You can also jump onto trams, buses boats and trolleybuses all with a handy and cost effective Napijegy travelcard which gives you unlimited travel over a set period.
Or if you're feeling fit you can hop on public bikes that can be found at docking stations across the city.
Budapest hen parties really can have their cake and eat it in this wonderfully historic, chic and adventurous city. Ice Skating, Tank Driving, Cocktail Mixing, Spa Days, Pole Dancing Lessons, Wine Tasting, you can even learn to Belly Dance. If you're looking for Budapest hen weekend laughs and a sprinkling of "bonkers!" in the city by the Danube, the world really is your Lobster. See more...
One of the most famous and romantic of European cities didn't win its fame through having quiet nights in. This is a city that loves to party with good food, good drink and good friends. We'd certainly recommend a Guided Bar Crawl to find your way around, or Guest List Nightclubbing at one of the city's hottest clubs. But if you really want to party in style head down the Danube on a wonderful and memorable River Disco Cruise. See more party highlights...
34 Reasons Why Budapest Is Brilliant!
Budapesters - The locals are fiercely proud of their metropolis with good reason. It's by far the biggest city in Hungary and an amazing 20% of the country's population lives here. It's a happening place!
"Feelin' hot, hot, hot!" - Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the entire world. An astonishing 70,000,000 litres of thermal water rises to the surface every day, resulting in a beautiful bathing culture that dates back to Roman times.
Spa Days - Budapest's amazing thermal waters mean that the spas here are some of the biggest and best in all of Europe. Swim, steam and relax in sensual surroundings with your favourite girlfriends. Read more...
Liget - This has got to be the funkiest, most futuristic bar and club we've ever seen. Liget is awash with colourful lights, energetic party-lovers and the kind of fabulous nightlife experience that wouldn't be out of place in Ibiza's superclubs.
Váci Street - Featuring recognisable brands from home as well as a few Hungarian high street gems, the city's main fashion walk is the perfect place to find a chic new purchase for your fabulous Budapest hen do.
Budapest on Film - This amazing city has taken a starring role in recent Hollywood blockbusters including Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Hellboy 2 and I-Spy. "And cut!"
Szimpla - This incredibly funky bar is possibly the quirkiest place to drink in the city with a rag-tag assortment of decorations that brings a bohemian charm unlike anything we've seen before. The cocktails aren't too bad either!
Flower Power - In downtown Budapest you'll find an amazing 1,000 square metre flower carpet created to 'pay attention to the greatness of women'. Budapest, we think we're going to get along just fine...
"I vont to suck your blood!" - Budapest has a brilliant statue devoted to one of their most beloved actors Béla Lugosi who gained his fame playing the titular fanged villain in a hit Broadway production of Dracula before being the first actor to play the character on the big screen.
Fat Mo's - We absolute LOVE Fat Mo's! This bar is full of amazing Mexican food, delicious cocktails and some of the best live bands in the city in surroundings reminiscent of Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy!
Going Underground - Opened in 1896 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary the Budapest Metro is still one of the best ways to get about the city and it's a lot cheaper than cities like London and Paris.
The Danube - One of the most impressive natural waterways in all of Europe, the Danube flows through Budapest, Bratislava, Belgrade and Vienna before reaching the sea. Simply amazing!
Cultural hub - Budapest is a veritable treasure trove of art and culture with over 40 theatres and well over 100 museums and galleries in the city. If you're thinking this means you'll bump into a fair few Hungarian hipster hotties then you've got the right idea girls...
Symbol - For a truly divine nightlife experience head to this amazing bar and restaurant turned concert venue and sip on a glass of bubby while checking out the Hungarian hunks. Or just hit the dance floor!
Andrássy Avenue - If you've got expensive tastes, then this is the place to exercise your passion for fashion. High quality boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci and Roberto Cavalli are all here. Although best not to send your plastic into meltdown.
Gundel - Perfect for ringing in the nearly-wed's last weekend as a single lady this superb venue has a rich ambiance, great cocktails and an exciting menu with a modern twist on traditional Hungarian cuisine.
Ötkert - This trendy bar-cum-nightclub is where the city's bright and beautiful come to let their hair down on a Friday night for a weekend of spirited good times and floor-filling tunes and is one of our favourite spots in the city.
"Who ya gonna call?" - Back in communist times, somebody had the frankly ridiculous idea of building a block of flats on top of an old graveyard which has lead to so many hauntings that most simply refuse to live there. And frankly we don't blame them. #Yikes!
Sziget Festival - Budapest's biggest music festival showcases local acts and attracts bands from far and wide to play to the Hungarian crowds in the unique surroundings of Óbudai-sziget. It's a real party island!
Budapest in song - Pop-idol George Ezra waxed lyrical about this beautiful city in his hit track Budapest and instantly made it a must-visit destination for British girls everywhere... even if it is just in vain hope that gorgeous George will be there!?!
Costes - When it comes to traditional Hungarian cuisine, it simply doesn't get as tasty or as high-quality as this. Costes is sleek, sophisticated and effortlessly stylish with delicious dishes to make you go 'Mmmmmm!'
Budapest Zoo - It's one of the oldest in the world! The art nouveau buildings including the grandiose elephant house, palm house and the splendid main entrance are well worth an instagram post!
Tesla Klub - You feel the electricity in Tesla as soon as you step onto the dance-floor and the buzz really does last all evening and more often than not until the early hours of the morning as you get down to the sounds of Budapest's best DJs.
The Statue of Anonymous - A mysterious relic from Budapest's past, this statue of a hooded scribe is meant to bestow literary gifts upon those who touch its pen. Perhaps you can talk the best man into a visit before he starts writing any bad wedding speech jokes!?!
Good Vibrations Hydrations - Budapest recently had the incredibly quirky idea of transforming some of the city's old fire hydrants into fully functional public water fountains designed to quench your thirst during a long day of hen party shopping!
Wine Bike - How do you make Budapest sightseeing even better? Oh yes, add a healthy amount of vino, a hen-larious portable pub-on-wheels and let the girly, giggling good times roll on! Read more...
Kraft - One of the best places in Budapest to simply forget yourselves and dance the night away in colourful, lively surroundings with the glamorous fun-loving locals. This is clubbing as it should be!
Dohány Street Synagogue - This grandiose house of worship is simply stunning. It's the largest of its kind in all of Europe and its well worth a visit on your special weekend. Even the New York Synagogue copied its design, now that's trend-setting!
Memento Park - This is like a 1960's communists version of Disneyland although you'd be hard-pressed to find any trace of Mickey and Minnie here. It's genuinely weird and wonderful but for all the right reasons and definitely worthy of a #NoFilter.
Michael Jackson Tree - Budapest is still infatuated with the Prince of Pop, devoting an entire tree covered with pictures of the man himself and people still regularly lay fresh flowers in memory of The Man in the Mirror.
Chain Bridge - The city's fantastic chain bridge is simply gorgeous and you're sure to come across it during your weekend travels; however there is a bizarre mystery surrounding the lion statues that accent the structure. They don't have tongues and no one seems to know why..?
Foodie Heaven - Just after WW2, a Hungarian citizen famously said that Budapest's food was a 'bright spot in a culinary black hole', and although these days the rest of the country has generally raised it's game, Budapest is still leading the way when it comes to dining delights.
When it rains, it pours... - In 1838, a giant flood managed to sink the entire 'Pest' side of town underwater. While the chances of a repeat occurrence are pretty slim, perhaps you'd better pack swimming cozzies just in case...
Trabant Rally - This is a one of a kind hen party activity that any motor-mad bride-to-be will absolutely adore. Drive collectible classics through beautiful Budapest streets and into the stunning Hungarian countryside. Read more...
We Love Budapest - The best of beautiful Budapest at your fingertips.
Budapest Guide - Wine, dine and have an amazing time with help from this fabulous guide.
Budapest Beacon - Keep in the loop with all the latest local news.
Humans of Budapest - Discover the personal stories of the Budapest locals.
- 1. Natural thermal baths, including original Turkish bathhouses
- 2. Some of the biggest music festivals in Europe
- 3. Fantastic architecture including eclectic-style and Art Nouveau buildings
- 4. Buzzing wine bar scene with tasty Hungarian wine
- 5. Ruin Pubs, a unique, popular way to enjoy a drink
It's time for a hen do in Budapest!
If you're into your symbols and metaphors, Budapest has to be one of the best cities to celebrate a wedding in. Budapest is composed of two complimentary sides, Buda and Pest, come together in a harmonious marriage to form one gorgeous, beautiful city. If you're less into the symbols, Budapest is no less of a seductive choice - with Buda providing elegance and refinement, and Pest as the city's lively beating heart, there's literally something for everyone on a Budapest hen weekend.
Why: Why should you have a Budapest hen do?
Between the two halves of Budapest, it's one of the most astounding, amazing cities in Europe. The rich culture and setting of the city create a stunning base for your party, and the bohemian city is energised by the huge number of tourists that flock there every year. Between the two halves of the city, everything you could need on a hen weekend is provided. Pest is lively, colourful and busy where you'll find an unstoppable nightlife, the best restaurants, and many of the top tourist attractions keeping this half of the city pumping and buzzing with energy all day long. Pest is the reason that Budapest so frequently turns up on lists of the best nightlife in Europe - it just never stops! In contrast, Buda is sophisticated and relaxed, ideal for a quieter hen group looking for a tranquil and serene stay in the spas.
Oh, had we not mentioned the spas? Yeah, Budapest's been knows as the 'City of Spas' since 1934, with over 118 thermal springs in the city. With spas for relaxing and spas for partying, you've never taken a bath like it.
What: What to do in Budapest?
You mean aside from partying literally all day, or spending the weekend soaking in a naturally hot thermal spa? Well, we weren't kidding when we said that there was something for everyone. Budapest mixes the luxurious with the lively, with everything from wine tasting to wake boarding, and back again. The nightlife is frankly decadent... and, even better, incredibly cheap, making for some wild nights out too.
A good Budapest hen weekend plan will let you see and do the best daytime activities that the city has to offer, whilst leaving you energy for the nights. We'd suggest something fairly active in the morning, like a dance class or paintballing session, to break the ice and get everyone warmed up. A break for lunch, before you do a little sightseeing - Budapest is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, there's no shortage of things to see. Try a city bus tour instead to see the best of the city, accompanied by an expert guide. Dinner followed by some cocktails or wine is a brilliant start to the night. A guided pub crawl gets the party well under way, and guest list entry to the top nightclub in the city tops off the whole hen party! A stop in the spas Sunday morning to recharge, and you're done!
When: When's the best time to visit Budapest?
As well as the fantastic activities and nightlife, a Budapest hen do also offers year-round entertainment in the form of concerts, fairs, festivals, sporting events and national celebrations. Visit during the Budapest Spring Festival, the largest cultural event in Hungary, or the Sziget Festival, one of the largest music festivals in the world. Perhaps most excitingly the Budapest International Wine Festival takes place in September up on Castle Hill and it attracts tens of thousands of visitors who want to sample Hungarian wines, meet notable wine makers and enjoy a range of folk music.
Shop: Budapest shopping areas and recommendations
If you're after traditional Hungarian goods then you'll find a plethora of embroidered clothes, handmade dresses, pottery and porcelain, especially around the Castle District and on Gellert Hill. For more upmarket shopping head to Pest's chic shopping street, Vaci Street. To experience true Hungarian life you should also pay a visit to the Great Market Hall, where you'll find a hub of activity and stalls selling all manner of food and goods. If it's designer pieces you're after then Andrassy Avenue is the place for you - there's all manner of famous designer shops (Gucci, Armani, Louis Vuitton etc) as well as exclusive gift shops and chic cafes.
How: How do we get to Budapest?
Most major airports in the UK will offer flights to Budapest, including London, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, and others. The airport is about 10km outside the city, but there are twice hourly trains in to the city that take less than half an hour. A flight itself lasts only 2 ½ hours, and often run on low cost airlines - WizzAir, EasyJet, Jet2, and Ryanair specifically.