Budapest’s craft cocktail movement has seen new bars and clubs spread across the city like wildfire in recent years, making it that much harder to choose the best of the bunch.
While the ruin bars of the Hungarian capital offer a unique experience, the upscale bar scene here is second to none.
Whether you’re looking to sample craft cocktails or the finest Tokaji wines, there are a multitude of trendy bars to choose from, complete with smartly dressed staff and/or top-notch bartenders.
From High Note Skybar to Blue Fox The Bar at Kempinski, here’s a roundup of the best luxury bars in Budapest.
COLLAGE – Brasserie and Bar
Located at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, KOLLÁZS – Brasserie & Bar offers what is probably the grandest setting in the entire city.
Serving everything from Tokaji wines to bespoke cocktails, its standout drinks include the Smokey Forest and the Hungarian Invisible, a crystal-clear white Negroni made with Hungarian gin and a touch of bergamot, for citrusy complexity.
There is also a delicious à la carte menu prepared by chef Árpád Győrffy, one of the finalists of Hungary’s prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition.
COLLAGE – Brasserie and Bar, Four Seasons Budapest, Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 5, 1051; +36 1 268 5408
Positioned in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, this art deco style bar has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 2017.
Creative director András Ódor’s menu reflects true Hungarian culture and gastronomy, serving a whole host of bespoke cocktails and bar food.
The Echo cocktail, a delicious mix of Bergamot Rosolio, Tio Pepe sherry, coconut water, lime juice and a cucumber saline solution, is one of its highlights.
Black Swan, Budapest, Klauzál utca 32, 1072; +36 30 663 5270
Boutiq’Bar is one of the best places to sip custom cocktails in a luxurious old-fashioned setting.
It was co-founded by former Soho House supremo Zoltán Nagy and a strong London vibe is evident throughout.
All the classics are available, plus a wide range of specially blended drinks and expensive bottles of cognac.
We recommend the Space Zombie, a potent mix of Bulleit Bourbon whiskey, spices and grapefruit juice.
Boutique’Bar, Budapest, Paulay Ede u. 5, 1061; +36 30 554 2323
Located in the middle of the famous fifth district, Blue Fox The Bar at the Kempinski Hotel offers some of the most unique cocktails in the city.
The Elysium bar menu lists some real treats, from the delicious Oblivion and Liquid Soul, to the bizarre and daring Taste of Electricity.
On Fridays and Saturdays, a night lounge with musical sommelier and live bands takes center stage.
You can also order some food at the hotel’s Nobu branch and have it brought to your table.
Blue Fox The Bar at Kempinski, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7, 1051; +36 1 429 4499
Sant’Andrea Wine & Skybar
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar offers an all-round view of Budapest’s spectacular skyline.
Positioned at the top of Vörösmarty Square, it has outdoor terraces for the summer months and an indoor bar for cooler nights.
The bar’s highly trained staff prepare a wide range of signature cocktails, including the Black Sheep, a citrusy mix of whiskey and bitter liqueur.
Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy some excellent gourmet bar snacks, which can be prepared in the blink of an eye.
Sant’Andrea Wine and Skybar, Budapest, Deák Ferenc utca 5, 1052; +36 30 300 3930
Just steps away from the Hungarian Parliament Building, Easy Wine offers a unique wine tasting experience in an elegant and lively bar atmosphere.
The bar has special self-service machines that allow guests to taste the wines before choosing a glass.
At the end of the evening you can also take home a bottle of your favorite drink: the Cruxx Gemina black cherry wine is worth tasting.
Easy Wine also has one of the city’s best chefs on hand to serve a decadent a la carte menu complete with delicious desserts.
Easy Wine, Budapest, Hold utca 23, 1054; +36 70 336 7717
Based at the five-star Aria Hotel, overlooking St. Stephen’s Basilica, High Note Skybar offers a unique bespoke cocktail menu with accompanying garnishes.
It changes theme twice a year, complete with signature drinks linked to all things mystical: try the Philosopher’s Stone or the Fountain of Youth mocktail, with wonderleaf non-alcoholic spirit, water kefir and seasonal fruit.
High Note Skybar at the Aria Hotel, Budapest, Hercegprímás u. 5, 1051; +36 1 445 4055
Decorated with grand columns and huge windows, the Ritz-Carlton’s Kupola Bar offers a whole host of bespoke cocktails and bar treats.
The glamorous venue is located in the heart of the fifth district, so it’s ideally located for those looking to grab a drink while shopping on nearby Fashion Street.
The cocktails available range from Moscow Mules to the finest Kir Royale champagne, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, the bartender will prepare it for you.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest, Erzsébet tér 9-10, 1051; +36 1 429 5500
As the name suggests, the 360 Bar offers an impressive 360-degree view of Budapest, with a rooftop terrace made up of heated igloos.
Accessible via a hidden door on Andrassy Avenue, this popular spot is busy year-round, especially in the summer months.
The menu here is full of craft cocktails and tasty bar snacks.
The Tokyo Iced Teas are highly recommended, as are the delicious beef burgers.
360 bars, Budapest, Andrássy út 39, 1061; +36 30 356 3047
Café and Parisian Brasserie at the Passage
The beautifully designed Párisi Passage Café & Brasserie is located in the Parisian courtyard of the Párisi Udvar Hotel, located in a renovated Art Nouveau shopping arcade.
Guests can indulge in international cuisine and bespoke cocktails, such as the Midnight in Budapest.
A delicious mix of Martell VSOP cognac and five-year-old Márton és Lányai apple brandy – the Martell that represents France and the brandy that embodies Hungary – is the perfect cocktail.
Café and Parisian Brasserie at the Passage, Párisi Udvar, Budapest, Petőfi Sándor u. 2-4, 1052; +36 1 576 1600
Minute Lounge & Bar
Located on Andrassy Avenue, Minute Lounge & Bar offers a refined menu of tailor-made cocktails in an Art Deco-style setting.
From the tasty Quintessential, which consists of bourbon, pumpkin spice, cream, egg white, citrus, orange blossom and soda, to the bold Pho’Eva, made with tequila, Fino sherry, pho, lime and chili peppers, some unique alcoholic combinations they are on display here.
The upscale bar’s attentive, knowledgeable staff and its delicious menu of dishes – the hummus and duck liver tarte flambée is a particular highlight – only add to its appeal.
Minute Lounge & Bar, Hotel Moments Budapest, Budapest, Andrássy út 8, 1061; +36 1 611 7060
Located in the heart of the capital’s party district, Twentysix Budapest offers a unique garden bar experience housed within a glass-domed courtyard.
Divided into four areas – home, garden, studio and shop – this urban jungle is ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
A wide selection of food and drinks is served in the garden, complete with wine, cocktails and pálinka bar filled with the best Hungarian concoctions.
The mixology menu lists a wide selection of cocktails, including all the classics with a special twist.
Twenty-six Budapest, Budapest, Király u. 26, 1061; +36 70 395 6129