Budapest’s old Jewish quarter is home to the craze of ‘ruin bars’ – old industrial buildings converted to drinking joints. So what’s all the fuss about? I went to find out.

More info: curiologist.com

Started in 2002, Szimpla Kert is the oldest and most iconic ruin bar

It had been an old factory that had become dilapidated

The genius idea was to renovate it by making everything a bit worse

Not that there isn’t any innovation

With things to look at

While you’re having a nice beer in the bath

And if you don’t like what you see

Change it – just bring something to draw with

There are some empty spaces left

There’s plenty of greenery

With the odd bicycle and pair of legs thrown in

You can also buy a candle of the prime minister, Victor Orban to burn

Victor Orban declared Hungary an illiberal state

But it looks like liberalism is flourishing here

So who drinks in this bar?

After a couple of trips and a chat with a bouncer

I learned that a big proportion of the visitors were tourists

Who can come and do what they like

And then go home

And tell their friends that Hungary is actually really cool