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NIGHTLIFE

Many guide books on Budapest give the impression that, before the political changes of 1989, there was little in the way of nightlife. Although it's fair to say that back then most venues (especially those in university halls) were a throw back to the days of cheesy 70s disco, glitter balls and alarmingly wide trousers, locals have always found places in which to party until the early hours.

Of the more 'sophisticated' western style clubs which have sprung up since then, many come with burly bouncers, expensive beer and journeymen DJs. That said, it's still easy to find a lively salsa bar or enjoy the laid back atmosphere of a Budapest jazz club.

As well as our listings for nightclubs and casinos below, further details about nightlife in the city can be found in the Budapest Sun or Budapest 'In Your Pocket' Guide.

Bahnhof Music Club
VI. Váci utca 1, Tel: 302 4751, E-mail: bahnhof@bahnhofmusic.hu, Open: 9pm-4am Wed-Sat, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu, Tram 4, 6
With a catchy name and some talented resident DJs (for Budapest at any rate), Bahnhof is one of the better clubs in Budapest. At weekends both dance floors are packed solid. Quite how they attract so many good looking Hungarians into a single place at any one time is beyond us. Chances of pulling=100%.

Catedral Café
V. Váci u. 33, Tel: 318 3239, Fax: 485 0863, Website: www.catedral.hu, E-mail: info@catedral.hu, Open daily: 8am-1am, Metro: M3 Ferenciek tere
Café, restaurant and live music venue all rolled into one. Shows usually kick off at 7pm, while Catedral also hosts occasional DJ slots. Downtown location is a boon.

Club Colosseum
XV. Késmárk utca 32, Tel: 06209 213 845, Website: www.colosseum.hu, E-mail: club@colosseum.hu, Open: Sat 9pm-5am (with extra parties some Fridays), Bus 77 and 177
If you hanker for a night out in Budapest's 15th District, then this sport/dance club combo may just be for you! There's a sort of archetypal 70s throwback feel to the place, with techno-house and dance hits blasting away until the early hours. Oh, and one of the chaps spinning those steel wheels is called DJ Dive...

Club 11 Music Pub
XI. Tétényi út 63. (Kelenföld Városközpont emelet), Information line: 06 20 974 1494, Website: www.club11.hu, E-mail: szucsl@mogyoro.hu, Bus 173
Buli, buli buli! as they say in Hungary - or at least down at Club 11 anyway. If the idea of boozed up Hungarians doing Zámbó Jimmy karaoke numbers doesn't scare you (for those who don't know, he was a rather unfortunate, facially challenged, gravel voiced pop star who accidentally shot himself dead) then some of the 'old school' Magyar pop almost certainly will! DJs Soviet, Sleep and Eddie handle the grooves (yep, we're not joking) while there's a fair share of good looking, friendly locals in tow. Sort of cool, in a strange way!!

Club Fantasy
XIII. Pozsonyi út 4, Website: www.clubfantasy.hu, E-mail: info@clubfantasy.hu, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu
Okay, so first off we thought Club Fantasy was probably a seedy strip-joint. But as with many Budapest nightspots you never can tell! Admittedly, the inspired use of mesh/chicken wire around the bar is not to everyone's taste (nor much of a fantasy really) but the clientele is a straightforward mix of bright young things who seem harmless enough. Tuborg/Guinness on tap (and a full restaurant menu) while the club also offers regular DJ sets and live music.

E-Klub
X. Népligeti út 2. Tel: 263 1614, Website: www.e-klub.hu, E-mail: office@e-klub.hu, Open: Fri 9pm-5am, Sat 10pm-5am, Metro: M3 Népliget
Located next to the Planetarium in the Népliget, E-Klub is as hedonistic as they come (in a not too subtle way either). And, with the likes of Ganxsta Zolee playing here - he's famous in Hungary - you know this place is popular. Strictly over 18s - and that's just for those visiting their website!!

Fat Mo's Music Club
V. Nyári Pál u. 11. Tel: 267 3199, Fax: 328 0706, Website: www.fatmo.hu, Open: Mon/Tue noon- 2am, Wed noon–3am, Thu/Fri noon–4am, Sat 6pm–4am, Sun 6pm–2am, Metro: M3 Kálvin tér/M3 Ferenciek tere
A music venue, bar and restaurant rolled into one, Fat Mo's is included here (rather than on our bar/pub pages) as the club stages regular DJ sets, along with jazz, soul and blues nights. Seemingly around forever, the club has still managed to retain its popularity, both with locals and expats alike.

Kaméleon Club
II. Lövoház u 1-5, Tel: 345 8358, Fax: 345 8547, Website: www.kameleonmulato.hu, E-mail: reservation@kameleonmulato.hu, Tram 4, 6 to Széna tér,
Looking a bit TOO much like Tony Montana's boudoir, the Kaméleon Club is actually located on the 4th floor of the Mammut II shopping mall. Lots of Latin nights (making us even more certain he chose the furnishings) while there's a pleasant enough restaurant and bar area. Proclaims itself a techno/trance free zone!

Közgáz Pinceklub
IX. Fovám tér 8, Tel: 215 4359, Open: Mon-Sat 8pm-5am, Metro: M3 Kálvin tér, Tram 2, 47, 49,
Student disco located in the bowels of the city's Economics University. Disco oriented grooves and a weekly karaoke are supplemented by cheap beer and no-nonsense food. Bouncers have a reputation for being real bruisers, so keep out of trouble!

Piaf
VI. Nagymezo utca 25, Tel: 312 3823, Open: 10pm-6am daily, Metro: M1 Oktogon,
Anyone with vaguely Bohemian leanings seems to wind up at Piaf, a stylish and sophisticated night-club, named of course, after the famous French Diva. Red velvet furnishings abound, while the music (which is often provided by a resident pianist) has a distinctly jazzy feel. Especially good though if you plan to impress female company.

Süss Fel Nap
V. Honvéd utca 40, Tel: 302 3799, Website: www.sussfelnap.hu, Open: 5pm-3am daily, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu, Tram 4, 6
Laid back and wholly unpretentious, Süss Fel Nap is the sort of club where you can simply be yourself, hang out with friends and have a great time. The atmosphere is infectiously cheerful, drinks are cheap and grooves don't let up before closing time. Recommended.

Trocadero
V. Szent István körút 15, Open 9pm-3am Mon-Thu, 9pm-5am Fri/Sat, Metro: M3 Nyugati pu, Tram 4, 6,
Latin beats until the early hours at this centrally located club near to Margit híd. Salsa and merengue combine with a lively weekend atmosphere to make a likeable and wholly non-pretentious venue. Good fun.

Casinos in Budapest
If you prefer to gamble, rather than dance the night away, Budapest has over a dozen casinos, most of which are sited in the luxury hotels along the Dunakórzo. Formal dress is often a prerequisite for entry (as is a sizeable wallet). All accept hard currency only (usually US dollars, sterling or Euro).
Casino Budapest Hilton
I. Hess András tér 1-3, Tel: 375 1001, Open: 7pm-2am daily, Free Entry, Metro: M2 Moszkva tér then Várbusz
Slots plus Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, English Roulette, French Roulette, Red Dog and Video Poker. See Hilton Hotel.

Las Vegas Casino
V. Roosevelt tér 2, Tel: 266 2082, Open 2pm-5am daily, Free Entry, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér
Slots plus American Roulette, Blackjack, Craps and Poker. See Hyatt Regency Hotel

Tropicana Casino
V. Vígadó u. 2, Tel: 266 3062, Website: www.tropicanacasino.hu, Open 2pm-5pm daily, Free Entry for Hilton guests, reduced entry for Budapest Card holders, Metro: M1 Vörösmarty tér
Popular casino just off Váci utca which is easily recognizable thanks to a bright neon entrance (see left). And, even if you don't plan on gambling away a fortune, the Tropicana can provide a few hours entertainment without emptying your wallet. Slots plus American Roulette, Black Jack, Caribbean Draw Poker/Stud Poker and Punto Banco.

Várkert Casino
I. Ybl Miklós tér 9, Tel: 202 4244, Open: 2pm-5am daily, Free Entry, Website: www.varkert.com, Tram 19, Bus 86/116,
The nicest of Budapest's casinos, the building was designed by Miklós Ybl - the architect responsible for the city's State Opera House. Slots plus American Roulette, Black Jack, Craps, Punto Banco and Stud Poker.

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