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Budapest is known for its amazing pub culture and it’s really hard to pick the best from all the great places. If you just hang around in the city, you’ll most likely stumble upon an amazing place, so feel free to discover the pub culture with your Erasmus friends while you are in Budapest.

Sure, ruin pubs tend to be the favourite option of students for drinking. But as ruin pubs are very popular among fellow students, tourists, and stags, the high number of visitors can be overwhelming, sometimes even bothersome. In these situations a “normal” pub in Budapest can be a better option for those students, who want to have a more peaceful time and meaningful conversations with their fellow Erasmus friends.

There are many articles written about all the amazing pubs of Budapest, but sometimes these lists can be overwhelming. To help you in your decision-making, we collected the top 10 best local pubs!

We are certain that you and your Erasmus student friends will have a great time while having amazing drinks and, at some places, even food. Many pubs in Budapest have their own kitchen where they cook delicious street foods. Employees can speak English very well in Budapest’s pubs, as they usually belong to the younger generation. You won’t have any problems with communication.

Here you can get to know more about these amazing places!

Top 10 best local pubs for students in Budapest

Here are our top 10 most favourite pubs in Budapest for Erasmus Students.

  • Pótkulcs
  • Ibolya Espresso
  • CDFŰ Kultúrpince és Darts terem
  • Legfelsőbb Beeróság
  • Bálna Terasz
  • Vinikli
  • Fahéj Café
  • Cintányéros Borozó
  • Crafty Bar
  • Budai Parkszínpad

Pótkulcs

Pótkulcs (in English it means ‘spare keys’) is truly a hidden gem of Budapest’s pub scene. The place, located in the vicinity of Nyugati Railway Station, offers a very friendly, cozy atmosphere. Pótkulcs has a small yard where you can enjoy the company of a beer and fellow students, when the weather is nice.

Also, there are indoor parts, where you can buy drinks, food, and enjoy some live music, as well. The ruin pub-ish interior will certainly not disappoint you.

Although lot of visitors and students tend to visit the place, Pótkulcs is usually not overwhelmed, thus one can have a wonderful night with friends there.

  • Address: Csengery utca 65/b, 1067 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 5 pm-1 am, 5 pm-12 am on Sundays
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, traditional Hungarian dishes, hamburgers, and also some vegetarian meals.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.3/5

Ibolya Espresso

Ibolya Espresso stands as a quintessential coffee house & bar of the 20th century in Budapest, nestled in the heart of Ferenciek tere, it emerges as a pivotal rendezvous point within the city’s core.

This establishment maintains its vintage café-bar essence, adorned with furnishings that echoes the 70s and 80s, while the place’s offerings also include nostalgic beverages. For example the iconic BAMBI soft drink, which holds a special place in Ibolya Espresso’s heart, exclusively available within the premises.

Despite the nostalgic ambiance, the place is indeed equipped with modern amenities. If you want to enjoy a live game at an amazing place with an amazing menu, then Ibolya Espresso is the way to go!

  • Address: Ferenciek tere 5, 1053 Budapest
  • Opening hours: Opening hours vary. The place opens every day at 11 am, and closes around 12 am, but is open longer between Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, for example pizzas, grilled sandwiches, and hamburgers.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.3/5

CDFŰ Kultúrpince és Darts terem

Hidden in a random little street next to ELTE Law School and Egyetem tér, this place has much more than it shows to the outside. By walking down to the place’s basement you’ll realize the true value of its drink menu. As it’s not an easy-to-notice pub, it’s not likely that you’ll be bothered with too many tourists.

The best part of it is the place’s elaborate rum and whiskey menu. If you love good rums and whiskey that usually can’t be purchased at other bars, then you’ll certainly find them there. A must for those, who look for a quality rum & whiskey bar with a tighter budget.

Fancy playing a game? CDFŰ has also darts tables indoors so you can even challenge your fellow Erasmus friends to a nice darts game!

  • Address: Fejér György utca 1, 1053 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 12 pm-12 am on every day, except on Sundays and Mondays, when it’s open between 14 pm-12 am.
  • Price range: $
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, for example grilled sandwiches of various types.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.6/5

Legfelsőbb Beeróság

As its name shows, Legfelsőbb Beeróság is all about beers. The number of available beers in the place is itself a wonder, let alone the quality of them. Legfelsőbb Beeróság has an enormous beer palette of numerous brands, flavours, and types. Be it a lager, IPA, APA, Hop Dog, Porter, American Brown Ale etc., Legfelsőbb Beeróság got you covered! This place will achieve a special place in all beer lovers’ hearts.

Fun fact: the place’s name resembles the Hungarian expression ‘legfelsőbb bíróság’, which means ‘supreme court’ in English.

  • Address: Dohány utca 20, 1074 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 4 pm-2 am, closed on Sundays
  • Price range: $$$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, hamburgers, salads, various Hungarian dishes, and beer snacks.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.6/5

Bálna Terasz

Located in the proximity of Corvinus University, Bálna Terasz is practically not a place, but a venue. A terrace that belongs to the building called Bálna (whale), that hosts several restaurants and bars indoors and outdoors alike. The place is famous for its cocktail menu and also for its kitchen.

Although the place doesn’t belong to the cheapest ones, the ambiance of having a gin tonic at the Danube’s bank while watching the sunset is unparalleled. The view is amazing, you can see the BME’s buildings, Gellért-hegy, and also the Citadel from the terrace.

In some cases there’s also a party at the venue, with the terrace acting as a huge dance floor.

We highly recommend you to try it at least once during your stay in Budapest!

  • Address: Fővám tér 11-12, 1093 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 10 am-11 pm every day
  • Price range: $$$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, mostly street food like hamburgers and grilled sandwiches.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.2/5

Vinikli

Vinikli is all about wine and bicycles. The place is small, but very welcoming, cosy, and friendly. If you want to taste amazing Hungarian wines from all over the country’s most famous wine regions, this place is definitely for you.

The friendly ambience of Vinikli will surely make you want to return with your friends. Even between two lectures, as it’s in the close vicinity of many universities, like ELTE and Corvinus.

  • Address: Múzeum körút. 27, 1053 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 8 am-12 am, 9 am-12 am on Saturdays, closed on Sundays
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there?
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.4/5

Fahéj Café

Located at the other side of the Jewish Quarter in an old Jewish building, Fahéj represents a truly genuine Hungarian pub vibe. With its ruin pub-ish interior, fair alcohol prices, and easy-going attitude, this place attracts every youngster in town.

Pro tip: try the so-called ‘túrós rétes’ drink at Fahéj Café! The word ‘túrós rétes’ means ‘cottage cheese strudel’ in English, and they can create a drink, which tastes 100% like cottage cheese strudel. Using rum, sugar, and most probably ginger drink.

  • Address: Budapest, Semmelweis u. 19, 1052 Magyarország
  • Opening hours: 4 pm-12 am, closed on Sundays
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, mostly beer snacks and grilled sandwiches.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.5/5

Cintányéros Borozó

This place is truly a hidden gem of Budapest’s pub culture. If you are a wine lover, you’ll adore this lovely place. Located in Corvin-negyed, Cintányéros is like an oasis in the poor 8th district, which is in the process of gentrification.

Cintányéros Borozó is a very little place and is quite popular among students, so make sure to book a table in advance!

Do not expect it to be a vibrant place of party and whatnot. Cintányéros is like a tasteful lady, who is eager to have an intellectual conversation with you in the company of some fine wine. It’s also an excellent place for a date.

  • Address: Bókay János utca 52, 1083 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 10 am-12 am, 5 pm-12 am on Saturdays, closed on Sundays
  • Price range: $$$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, you can buy traditional Hungarian food at the place, freshly prepared.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.8/5

Crafty Bar

Crafty Bar is also all about beers, just not on an as big scale as Legfelsőbb Beeróság. But believe us, you won’t be disappointed in the beer menu of Crafty.

The place is located in Tompa utca, in the vicinity of Corvin-negyed. If you look for quality Hungarian craft beers, this is your place to go.

Apart from Crafty Bar, Tompa utca has also undergone gentrification in the last couple of decades and is now a vibrant, yet not too crowded part of Budapest, which is amazing during summer. The street is full of great bars, restaurants, pubs, and cafés.

  • Address: Tompa utca 26b, 1094 Budapest
  • Opening hours: 4 pm-11 pm every day
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, hamburgers, pizzas, and snacks.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.8/5

Budai Parkszínpad

Located on the Buda side of Budapest, Budai Parkszínpad is a little further from the city centre. But this also provides its biggest advantage: the calmness. Budai Parkszínpad – as its name indicates – is a former outdoors stage that used to host many exciting plays. And now functions as a pub during summer.

Don’t think that the location renders it boring and less vibrant. To the opposite: many residents from the Buda side (and also many from Pest) love going to Budai Parkszínpad, especially during summer. As it’s near to the suburbs, you’ll also enjoy some green while having a drink.

The best thing is: the place is so enormous that you’ll most likely get a table, even with a bigger group. However, due to its popularity it’s highly recommended to book a table in advance.

  • Address: Tas vezér utca 7, 1113 Budapest
  • Opening hours: (currently closed until summer)
  • Price range: $$
  • Can I also get food there? Yes, mostly street food like hamburgers.
  • Current Google ratings (04.2024): 4.2/5

If you don’t want to go to a place and/or want to choose an even more budget-friendly option, AND the weather is nice, you can also drink outside in several parts of Budapest. By law one can’t consume alcohol in Budapest, however, in reality many of the Budapest residents do so. If you don’t make any trouble, but just have some chit-chat and fun with your friends, plus you take out your trash, authorities won’t be bothered.

Where can I drink outdoors in Budapest?

The best places for outdoor drinking in spring and summer in Budapest are the following.

  • Nehru-part: a little park next to Bálna Terasz in the proximity of Corvinus University.
  • Deák Ferenc tér: located in the city centre next to the party district and Jewish Quarter.
  • Rakpart: also known as bayside in English. You can have a drink practically anywhere alongside the bayside. Our 2 cents? Go to Március 15-e tér, next to Pontoon, or a bit upstream at Széchenyi István tér.
  • Filozófusok kertje: located at Gellért-hegy Filozófusok kertje is an elaborate grass field with an amazing view of Pest.
  • Margitsziget: one of the most popular locations for basically every type of outdoor activity during spring and summer on the weekends. You can do literally anything on Margit-sziget, including sports, running, picnic, and also – yes – drinking.
  • Városliget: a truly wonderful spot with lots of green in the centre of Budapest, next to Heroes Square. The park offers many activities, not just beautiful green fields for picnics and drinking. In addition, the park has just undergone some serious improvements, like new buildings.

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