I've always enjoyed visiting unusual bars, and so have found Budapest's kert or rom bars particularly interesting (kert = garden and rom = ruin). Essentially in some of the semi-derelict buildings around Districts VI and VII entrepreneurs have moved in and created 'bars'. There are quite a number of these, and they vary from the sophisticated and commercial to the politically earnest and artistic, and some are essentially inside crumbling buildings while others are in gardens.
So having five young folks around gave me the perfect opportunity to suggest a bar crawl around the city one hot July evening.
We started off at the Instant. We drank our beers here in a courtyard towards the back of the building, and above us blue fish mobiles swung in the warm evening air.
Next was the Tuzrakter, which is one of the more artistic and politically driven places. It is particularly bicycle friendly, with bike lock-up facilities in the garden, and an enormous bicycle painting covering the rear wall of the open courtyard.
Beer and palinkas their set us up nicely for the short walk to the Kuplung, a different proposition indeed. This is mostly indoors, in what was originally an old garage, and still retains its greasy and grungy feel. Probably because it was a hot summer night it was pretty well empty, but that meant that we could take over the table football, which allowed Helen and I to see how a university education was benefiting our children.
From there it was on to the Grandio, one of the newer establishments. This is truly a garden bar, with tables set around in an open courtyard and all hidden by huge plants, so that it felt a little like drinking surrounded by Triffids.
After that came our final destination, one of the oldest of all, the Szimpla. On a weekday evening this was pleasantly quiet, and we found our way into one of the dingy corners stuffed with decrepit old furniture and graffiti, features that characterise this particular establishment. And there we sat and drank our final beers of the evening before wandering home through empty streets, talking about the weird and wonderful places we had visited.