- 24 hour bars
- 24 hour takeaway food
- 24 hour groceries
- 24 hour cigarettes and alcohol
- 24 hour transport
- 24 hour pharmacies
- 24 hour gyms
- 24 hour tanning salons
Move over New York, Budapest is fast becoming a city that never sleeps, thanks to a growing number of locals and expats that start their nights out late and end them even later, expecting things to stay open for them.
24 hour bars
Wander the streets late at night, or, indeed early in the morning, and you’ll find plenty of dive bars still open for business. While some may look dodgy, in fact, you’re likely to find a warm, albeit drunk crowd, and it’s even possible to make friends with the locals - as the alcohol will have given them more confidence to speak English.
Legjobb Kocsma is a fast growing chain of cheap and cheerful downtown bars with a lively atmosphere, and their range of ‘4es6os’ bars that line the major stops of the 4/6 tramline on the Grand Boulevard, are mostly open 24 hours.
24 hour takeaway food
Alongside a whole host of kebab shops that run 24 hours, Pizza King is a growing chain of 24 hour pizza and kebab (and now salads and baklava) takeaway shops that are dotted all over the city and also do delivery. Several branches of McDonalds, particularly ones on the outskirts of the city near main roads, are open 24 hours a day, although usually drive/walk-through only.
24 hour groceries
Many small, family-owned convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, but many are restricted from selling alcohol between the hours of 11pm and 6am (but may still do so discreetly) and none are allowed to sell cigarettes.
Roni ABC is the most consistent convenience store chain with non-stop 24 hour stores. Prices are reasonable and food selection is fairly good compared to supermarkets.
24 hour cigarettes and alcohol
If you’ve not found a grocery store willing to serve you alcohol after 11pm then you need to find a Dohánybolt. These are the government-licenced stores that sell cigarettes, tobacco products and in many cases alcohol. You’ll find them on almost every street, but only some are open 24 hours.
Remember, drinking on the street is technically illegal in Budapest, but while some, particularly underage people, do get fined by the police, drinking is mostly overlooked if done in parks or other discrete parts of the city.
24 hour transport
BKK, Budapest’s public transport provider runs an extensive network of night buses and trolleybuses. As well as this the 4/6 tram line, which spans the Grand Boulevard and across into Buda, runs 24 hours. Keep in mind that you still need a ticket, even at night, and inspectors will stand at the doors of most busses and trams to ensure you have one. If you don’t most will sell you one on the spot.
It’s also possible to rent and use the BKK Bubi bikes at night.
24 hour pharmacies
You’ll quickly discover that any medication, even basic over-the-counter painkillers, need to be purchased from a pharmacy. Here’s a list of 24 hour pharmacies along with their phone numbers and a map of them, and 24 hour emergency centres as well.
24 hour gyms
Gilda Max is Budapest’s largest 24 hour gym and has 5 locations across the city with a full range of aerobic equipment and weights. During the day they can get crowded, so a nighttime visit is very much encouraged.
24 hour tanning salons
Hungarians have a weird obsession with tanning and, as a result, there are plenty of salons all over the city. Many open 24 hours, mostly located on the Grand Boulevard.