Ruin pubs are original Hungarian inventions, they made Budapest world famous. There is no other cultural phenomenon in the country that attracts so much interest. Ruin pubs’ everlasting popularity hides in their exceptional atmosphere and enchanted style. This ruin bar sensation outgrew our country really fast and appeared in a few other countries too. Take a brief look on which countries are successfully infected!
A lot of people say that German underground had a huge impact on Hungarian ruin pubs. There are many things to prove this, from the visuals to the existence of squatting - also known as occupying a house or a building without paying - or the fantastic alternative artists of Berlin. We could argue forever about which came first: the German trend, or the Hungarian ruin bar movement. The point is that these two worlds evolved in a close relationship. For example, one evidence for this is Szimpla kert in Berlin known as Badehaus, which is a small piece of Budapest in the german capitol. A hungarian pub crew opened the place and maintains it even today. No wonder they chose Berlin due to the former reasons, and because they had a lot of performing bands and musicians from the city, so it seemed logical to open a place like Szimpla there. Since then you can get some pálinka again in Berlin and they could introduce the latest musical talents of Hungary to a great audience there.
In Central Europe, Prague is the biggest competitor of Budapest when it comes to tourism. Czech people are also fans of brewing and drinking beers, and they have centuries of experience. The city has been fully renovated in the past decades, but beside renovation they added some new elements as well. The local pubs are great, some even has its own brewery, but some of them are more than one hundred years old, so the youth of Prague needed more. Ruin pubs appeared in the city shortly after the Millenium, and became very admired, as there are many old buildings downtown that are great ruin bar materials. Walls covered with art or alternative exhibitions are really popular there, but compared to Budapest there are more ruin cafés instead of bars, because they have many traditional pubs to choose from.
The other big contestant in the neighborhood is Poland, where tourism and catering had an enormous transformation in parallel with beer revolution. From all the polish cities, Krakow and Warsaw has the most essential features to have proper ruin bars. Not long after artisian beers, brand new places popped up in town with similar characteristics to their hungarian equivalents. They also have a lot of garden venues as well, with all the colorful iron chairs reminding to the Budapest pubs.