Romkocsma, the ruin bars of Budapest

This random set of bars have cropped up in derelict courtyards, gardens and cellars of old mansion blocks. The romkocsma are in firm competition with the city’s spas as the best features of the city. When the mercury rises in East Europe there’s nothing better than whiling the evening away in the shade admiring the hammered glory of the architecture over a glass of palinka or Unicum. Actually, there is, get your hands on sweet and cheap Tokaij or a froccs – a Hungarian spritzer with a different name for different ratio of wine to soda. Make it a hosszúlépés to ensure longevity to the evening (1/3 wine, 2/3 water). So whether you’re looking for somewhere for a quiet chat, to take in plenty of art or get your dancing shoes on for East Euro rock, folk, roma, disco or rave there will be a bar for you. Best to consult the expert to plan your crawl – the current count is 16 in the city but they can be a little peripatetic, especially as the developers move in.

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