If you definitely want to visit a ruin pub during your stay in Budapest, we’ve got a strong candidate for you. Lumen, this posh, downtown establishment has it all: craft beers, traditional delicacies, self-roasted coffee, and frequent events. The venue itself is also praiseworthy, so make sure you read on to find out why Lumen is a must-visit. And if you’re looking for a quick breakdown of different ruin pubs in Budapest, just check our list here.
A ruin pub is basically a bar that is a mixture of a modern-style pub and the heritage of an old building, preserving the building’s historic significance but also putting something new into it. If you’re looking to check out the hip side of Budapest, visiting one is a must. Lumen has become one of the most iconic brands in the capital: originally located in Mikszáth tér, it has now three different venues at three different locations. Each one has its pros and cons, so we’ve collected them all to make your choice a little easier.
If you’re looking for The Ruin Pub Experience, look no further. Nagy Lumen has everything that a textbook ruin pub should have. Established in 2017, Nagy Lumen was created to welcome a larger audience: its predecessor, Lumen (now known as Lumen Café, see below), proved to be too small. Even though it has moved from its legendary home, Nagy Lumen is still an authentic ruin pub. With its massive glass walls and spacious interior, this establishment is a great location whether you’re planning your next night out, a morning coffee, or a Sunday lunch. Listing all the items from their menu would take forever, but one thing we must single out is their special, self-roasted Ethiopian coffee: if you turn up at Lumen, tasting it is a must.
Pros: Spacious interior, great lunch options, live music and other events.
Cons: Somewhat “posh” vibes compared to the hip atmosphere of Lumen Café.
Getting there: Located in the heart of downtown Budapest, Nagy Lumen can be reached quickly and easily from anywhere in the city center. Just get off tram line 4 or 6 at Rákóczi tér: the bar is a 5-minute stroll from there.
Also known as Kis Lumen (“Little Lumen”), Lumen Café is where the success story of the Lumen brand started. As the audience grew, Nagy Lumen was opened, and Lumen Café was born: today it serves both as a café and as a gallery. Apart from their exceptional coffees, Lumen Café is committed to supporting contemporary photography: the establishment is frequently home to prestigious exhibitions. And if you’d think this is not a traditional ruin pub anymore, think twice: Lumen Café’s bar offers a wide variety of local craft beers and top-quality wine as well. Speaking of which, if you’re a wine connoisseur, be sure to check our piece on beer tasting and wine tasting experiences in Budapest.
Pros: Cozy interior, great variety of alcoholic drinks and coffee, photography exhibitions
Cons: Relatively small (they opened Nagy Lumen for a reason after all)
Address: 1088 Budapest, Mikszáth Kálmán tér 2.
Getting there: Lumen Café is even closer to major hubs: it’s probably easiest if you get off the metro or tram at Kálvin tér. The café is a mere 2-minute walk from there.
You’ve read that right: Lumen Greengrocers (Lumen Zöldség és Közösségi Szolgáltató) sells… well, fruits and vegetables. But that’s not all. As you might’ve guessed, Lumen is a devoted supporter of contemporary photography, so they figured their third establishment should reflect that even more. And why at a greengrocer? Well, the idea comes from the building and its history. Since the early 1920s, the local greengrocer has served its customers for 80 years. It was 2011 when its owners, after a decade-long hiatus, decided to re-open the greengrocer, but this time with a twist. While picking up fresh veggies, you also get to leaf through an album with some of the work of contemporary photographers. So, if you’re doing it right, dropping by Lumen Greengrocers lets you kill two birds with one stone: you get the shopping done and scoop up a nice art piece to hang on the wall at home.
Pros: Contemporary photography and greengrocer in one place
Cons: Although part of the Lumen brand, not an actual ruin pub
Address: 1074 Budapest, Klauzál tér 14.
Getting there: You can find Lumen Greengrocers in the Jewish District (read more about this historic area here): to get here, get off metro line 1 at Opera. It takes around 10 minutes on foot (or 5 if you rent a scooter) to reach your destination.
- What is Lumen?
- Lumen is one of the largest ruin pubs in Budapest. It actually has three different establishments: a ruin pub, a café, and a greengrocer.
- Where is Lumen?
- Nagy Lumen, Lumen Café, and Lumen Greengrocer are all downtown Budapest, just a few metro stops from each other, and well within walking distance.
- Is Lumen a ruin pub?
- Traditionally speaking, Nagy Lumen and Lumen Café are ruin pubs, while Lumen Greengrocer serves as a greengrocer store.