THURSDAY, MARCH 05, 2020
Wondering where to go for some top notch local concerts and jam sessions? If you are a lover of good live music in cool spots like we are, then you are going to have a blast in Budapest.
Not only is there a lot of amazing talent out there, and plenty of unique venues that host them, but the musical diversity here is something we haven’t encountered in any other city so far. Ranging from Mongolian/Hungarian crossover bands to some mellow jazz - if the genre exists, someone in Budapest is playing it. So to get a little bit of a clearer overview in this jungle of locations, we’ve collected our favorite digs, based on uniqueness, vibe and quality of music. So get out there and discover the countless artists, while nipping on a foamy Hungarian brew.
If you happen to be a jazz or blues enthusiast, who goes to live music venues mostly for the music itself, Jedermann Café is the place that you will want to call home. During the day it is a cozy little café, often used for studying to a nice cup of coffee, while at night the venue transforms into a vibrant jazz and blues club. The crowd consists mostly of students, artists and music enthusiasts, who are usually tightly gathered around the tables, focused on the buzzing vibe coming from the instruments. The warm and cozy light and decor underline the jazzy atmosphere in this unique bar.
Cozy basement, bohemian decor, good beer, air filled with interesting conversations and live music that captures everyone in the room alike. Lámpás is the hidden gem, popular amongst the locals, sometimes referred to as a „second living room“. Music here can vary from rockabilly to jazz, which always fits perfectly with the surreal ambience of this dive bar. The crowd at Lámpás is usually fairly young, as it is originally established as a student pub. But don’t worry; non-students are just as welcome to enjoy the various local bands.
Right next door to Lámpás, you will find one of our favorite spots to hang out and listen to live music. Very laid back atmosphere and an amazing crowd to find new friends. As this bar/club is located below a party hostel, the people here are a nice mix of local Hungarians and international travelers and backpackers looking for a fun night out. Later in the evening a DJ will take over the stage and make you do the beer tango all night long. No matter what your plan was that night, if you go to ELLATOház it’s going to be a good time and a great party. Besides the regular live music, they also do open mic nights every Tuesday evening. Check out their Facebook page to see the upcoming program.
Since you’re in Hungary, you might be interested to see some traditional Hungarian folk/Gypsy music. Places that play this kind of music are harder to find, but there are a few places in Budapest, our favorite being Giero Pub. The atmosphere here is very lively and infectious, as well as intimate, even early in the evenings. Concerts often turn into massive jam sessions, where it gets hard to distinguish the members of the band from the audience. Authentic Hungarian experience guaranteed!
This is probably the most artistic venue on our list. Not only is the café a place for local artists to display their art on the walls, but also a home for up and coming musicians, to try out their new, often experimental music in front of an urban underground audience. From acoustic guitar sessions to electronic live sets, you will hear everything that’s new and fresh. The crowd and performers are young, alternative and artistic, ready to push the boundaries of traditional music and try out things that no one dares to try out. So if you’re interested in expanding your musical horizon, this will be your place of choice.
Not only our favorite spot for open mic night on Tuesdays. This ruin pub, a former iron and copper factory, situated on the pub hub lane of Kazinczy Street, also offers great live concerts on most nights of the week. In the summer there is a cozy garden, or “kert”, where patrons can sit in recycled boats to enjoy their drinks and eat a delicious bite from the barbeque. Inside, in the basement, is where the music is happening. In the cozy room downstairs it can sometimes get so busy that people start sitting on the floor, just to be able to listen to the tunes of the person jamming on stage. Mika is a lush nighttime playground with flirty atmosphere and an all night party.
As you can see, the Budapest nightlife has a whole lot more to offer than the usual pub crawls through the various ruin bars to get blackout drunk. The live music scene in Budapest is as vibrant and diverse as it can get, and if you are a traveler looking for that authentic Hungarian experience, these bars are the perfect gateway. No matter what your taste in music is, here you are guaranteed to find your venue and people.
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SUNDAY, MARCH 08, 2020
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