Budapest has transformed significantly over the past decade. Old districts that were once populated by abandoned buildings and deemed by the locals to be unsafe have turned into hip neighbourhoods sporting design shops and trendy cafés. Budapest’s “ruin bar” movement arose from the dilapidated buildings of the VII District, with Szimpla being the first and the most famous. These squat-like watering holes feature eclectic furniture and items from local artists and designers.
Beyond the ruin bars, Budapest has also begun to establish itself in the culinary and tourism scene. Boutique hotels have grown in popularity alongside reinvented grand hotels and party hostels, catering to a range of travellers. Restaurants have also seen a new wave of international and fusion cuisine, as well as modern interpretations of Hungarian dishes. Hungary’s culinary direction favours local produce and fresh seasonal ingredients. Even in scenes that have appeared on the Budapest map only recently, like craft beer or street food, it is evident that local plays a core role in city life.