Budapest is a small city in central Europe and growing more popular by the year for tourists from all over the world. It’s cheap, lively, and full of great things to do. Tourists arrive in their thousands to check out the ruin bars, thermal baths, and the historical buildings in the city.
Is Budapest a good city for gay tourists? The short answer is yes, and the Budapest gay scene is thriving. There are many gay and queer spots in the city, and it’s generally as safe as any other European city to visit.
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What is the LGBT Scene in Budapest Like?
Homosexuality is not illegal in Hungary, and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity is banned. However, it’s important to understand that Hungary does have a strongly conservative government that emphasizes “traditional family values”. Hungarian society in general is conservative, and although the young bohemians in Budapest are typically a lot more left-leaning, wider society holds on to these values.
Budapest is a safe city, and it is unlikely that you will encounter violence here. On the flip side, don’t be surprised if public displays of affection attract a few unfriendly looks or a muttered comment or two. It’s worth noting that for all couples, public affection beyond hand holding and a light kiss is generally frowned upon, so public make-out sessions are usually a no go anyway if you don’t want to ruin an old Hungarian’s day. In summary, be prepared to experience a few dagger-glares, but almost certainly not much else.
There are certainly fewer gay bars in Budapest than in other European cities. A google search for Budapest’s gay scene will lead to you to many bars, clubs, and cafes that have been closed for years. Many of the spaces that are still thriving are specifically targeted to men. There are community events targeted towards all members of the queer community, although these are often in Hungarian.
Queer spaces can sometimes be subtle, so if you are unsure if you arrived at the right place you can check for leaflets or magazines from local queer organizations (Hatter, Labrisz, Company, Humen).
Despite being less fleshed out than other cities, the gay scene in Budapest is flourishing; with a few venues running for twenty years or more. In this article you can find all the information you need about the best of Budapest’s gay scene.
Gay in Budapest – A Visitors Guide
Gay-owned Accommodation in Budapest
Budapest is full of hotels and hostels. Most hostels are full of liberal adventurous travelers and you should face no problems staying here. Likewise, you will not encounter issues booking a hotel as a same sex couple in Budapest. If you want to stay somewhere that really encapsulates gay Budapest however, there are some options for you.
This cute guesthouse is in a wonderful central location, close to the central market hall and some of Budapest’s wonderful thermal baths. Being gay-owned and operated, this is a perfect place for those looking to feel comfortable in Budapest, and comfortable you will feel! KM Saga is so gorgeously decorated that it almost feels too luxurious for the price you pay. Enjoy the city and get a great night’s sleep!
Another gay owned and operated guesthouse in Budapest, Connection offers beautiful double rooms with amazing views of the Danube. It is located just a couple of streets from the main party district and all the best tourist spots, however it’s still far enough away that you don’t have to listen to the crowds of bachelor parties that swarm the 7th district every night. Connection is really a wonderful place to stay and get rested.
Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links which allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links helps us keep Just a Pack running, and allows us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge. Happy travels!
Gay Bars in Budapest
When you’re done with the wonderful sightseeing in Budapest, for sure you’ll want to hit up the local nightlife. There’s no shortage of amazing bars in this trendy city, and don’t miss the infamous ruin bars! Aside from all the typical tourist spots, there’s a handful of wonderful gay bars. Here’s some of the best gay bars Budapest has to offer.
Habrolo is the oldest of Budapest’s gay bars. Known for friendly staff, guests, and low drink prices; Habrolo is an unmissable staple of the gay scene in Budapest. The atmosphere screams trendy, yet cozy. Usually this bar attracts a local crowd, so it’s a great way to meet cool Hungarians. With funky décor, karaoke nights, and an all-round great vibe; don’t skip this bar!
Why Not Cafe & Bar
This cute café is found on the Danube embankment and is a wonderful place to go day and night! During the day relax and enjoy a coffee with some great views of the river. At night, Why Not becomes one of the liveliest gay bars in Budapest; with a whole host of events to keep that funky atmosphere going!
Kimberly Café & Bistro
Feel like attending some phenomenal drag shows and karaoke nights with the local people? Kimberly is the place to go. Situated very close to Alter Ego, you’ll have no problem staggering between the two on a weekend night. Staff and patrons alike are super friendly, and their regular events leave no shortage of fun.
Although not strictly a gay bar, Aurora is one of the local venues paving the way for LGBT inclusion and acceptance in Budapest. This is not just a bar or a music venue, but a community center running all kinds of events. From feminist punk to stand up comedy, this is a hip hotspot for Budapest’s gay scene; and a wonderful place to go for those who want to experience more than a few cheeky cocktails and pop music.
Gay Cruise Bars in Budapest
Despite a rather conservative government, Budapest has a few nice cruising bars you can visit. So for those really looking to experience the fun of being gay in Budapest, here are a few of the best cruising bars in the city. Many of these bars will charge a “minimum consumption fee” so check before you go!
Coxx Men’s Bar
The biggest cruise club in the city, Coxx is one gay bar in Budapest where you can really let loose and indulge. It’s equipped with three bars, so you always have a place to grab a drink! It also has private cabins, dark rooms, and some fetish equipment available. If you’re looking to explore your darker side in Budapest, Coxx is the place to go!
If you’ve visited the thermal baths in Budapest and can’t get enough of hot water, maybe Magnum Sauna will be the perfect evening for you. Established in 2001, this is the largest cruising location in the city, and an unmissable night out. Magnum Sauna has it all – Jacuzzi’s, massage, and a host of events ranging from “pizza night” to “dark and naked”. As far as gay clubs in Budapest go, Magnum Sauna is definitely one of the coolest!
Perhaps the most luxuriously equipped of all of Budapest’s cruising spots; this sauna boasts steam rooms, jacuzzis, and an infra sauna! Szauna69 holds all kinds of parties, including a foam party and the subtly named “naked sex party”. For those who’ll be in the city for a longer time; it’s possible to purchase a clubcard and get discounts on events, so there’s no excuse to not keep coming back to this awesome gay club in Budapest!
Gay Clubs and Parties in Budapest
After a day of sightseeing and some warm-up drinks in the evening, many people want to end the night with a great dancing session. For all your queer partying needs, look no further than these gay clubs in Budapest!
This is perhaps the most famous gay club in Budapest – and for good reason. With endless glamour, amazing drag shows, and some of the most fun parties in the city; Alter Ego is the place to go to end your night in style! It has three dance floors with different music, so you can choose what you feel like dancing to. Alter Ego tends to attract everybody, locals and tourists alike; so check out the club and meet people from all over the world.
Running monthly, Osztrosokk is one of the few lesbian spaces in Budapest. Usually the parties are strictly women only; however occasionally men can attend with their female friends. Currently, the parties are held in Optica club, although they’ve previously been in other venues; so check the Facebook events to make sure you get the right location.
This party markets itself as “all you can dance” so you better be ready to get your groove on! Complete with Karaoke and awesome pop tunes; Osztrosokk is an awesome gay club night in Budapest.
Women on Women (WOW)
Originally this was another monthly party only for women, however in recent events it has opened up to all guests and now draws an exciting, mixed crowd. In terms of trendy partiers and overall awesome vibes, WOW has got to be one of the best gay clubs in Budapest. Hosted at TOLDI, this party has some of the coolest themes in the city. From Miley Cyrus album launch parties to Bohemian Rhapsody, every month is a new surprise. This is an amazing queer party in Budapest and one that you should attend at least once!
This party is for those looking for something more underground. Held multiple times throughout the month at various venues (including LARM, Corvin, and Aurora) OMOH provides all of the techno beats you could possibly desire and attracts all the cool alternatives in the queer community. With its face-melting beats, eclectic party goers, and dimly lit venues, OHMOH gives you the feeling of a night in Berlin. Dance the night away at Budapest’s coolest underground gay party.
The first Budapest Pride event was in 1993 and it has been growing every year. Although smaller than many other European cities, the marchers and organizers are no less passionate. The Pride parade is part of the annual Pride Film and Culture Festival, which rolls out many different events across the city. Although there was severe disruption to the parade in 2007 and 2008, present day marches have been without incident.
The pride route goes through all the busier streets in Budapest, and as with any pride expect rainbows flags, floats, and smiling crowds of people. The official Budapest Pride website is a great resource for up-to-date information on queer parties, community events, and safe spaces.
So there you have it, a summary of Budapest’s growing gay scene. We hope you get the chance to check out some of the spots, and we hope the scene keeps expanding and growing for years to come!
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