Budapest is a magical city in Eastern Europe. While this region of Europe is considered to be conservative, Budapest is different. Gay Budapest is up and coming. With its great (gay) nightlife, (gay) saunas, thermal baths, fancy hotels, great sights and delicious food, Budapest is a fantastic city to visit as a gay traveller. Though Budapest isn’t like Berlin, Amsterdam or Barcelona, this city has so much to offer if you know where to look! Good to know: Budapest is made up of two parts – Buda and Pest – the Danube river separates the two. Pest is considered the buzzing side of the city, while Buda is a lot calmer and more residential. Pest is the go-to place for nightlife! In this Budapest gay guide, we will tell you about the gay rights in Hungary and where to go in “Gay” Budapest!
IN THIS ARTICLE
• Hungary Gay Rights
• Gay Budapest Map
• Best Gay Bars in Budapest
• Best Gay Clubs in Budapest
• Lesbian Budapest
• Lesbian Party in Budapest
• Gay Party in Budapest
• Budapest Gay Hotels
• Gay Saunas Budapest
• Thermal Baths Budapest
• Gay Pride Budapest
Hungary Gay Rights
Hungary is still a conservative country but has improved a lot over the last years. The Hungarian society has always been focused on traditional families, therefore things can be hard in Hungary for local LGBTQ+ people. Same-sex couples don’t have the same legal rights as straight married couples, but homosexuality has been legal for over 60 years. In 2009, Hungary legalised registered partnerships for same-sex couples. Since 2018, transgenders are able to legally change gender and there are laws that ban discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual identity. Of course, the laws don’t always represent the public opinion, but it’s always important to keep the laws in mind when visiting a new country.
Do you want to support the local LGBT+ community in Hungary? Buy a Pride Heart! You’ll help educate Hungarians from a young age about the LGBT+ community and their issues!
The public opinion is still conservative, as Hungarians can be afraid of what they don’t know. And as in many other countries worldwide, the older generation thinks differently than the younger generation. Many elder Hungarians will still not admit that they are gay, because they are so focused on the traditional family lifestyle.
Budapest is much different though, Budapest is considered the “gay bubble” of Hungary. It’s quite a liberal city with open-minded people. Many LGBT+ Hungarians come to the capital to be themselves and to be accepted. Local LGBT people are comfortable showing PDA but are careful in what area they are. As a tourist, we recommend keeping the PDA on the low-key as you won’t always be able to know if you’re walking in the more tolerant parts. The gay nightlife in Budapest can be really wild, so let’s dive into all the good stuff!
Gay Budapest Map
Best Gay Bars in Budapest
The gay nightlife scene is hot and wild, therefore it’s always changing. Many new places open and sadly some old ones close. These are the best bars gay Budapest has to offer!
- Phoenix Bar: the newest gay-friendly bar in Budapest. It’s a small cocktail bar in the centre of Budapest, next to the opera house. They host drag queen shows every Friday and Saturday evening.
- Why Not Cafe and Bar: you can’t skip this bar when visiting Budapest. This is an LGBTQ+ bar that many locals and tourists like to visit. It’s a great place to go if you want to meet people and talk, or to have pre-drinks before clubbing. They organise karaoke and game-nights and create an atmosphere where you can truly be yourself. There’s a little terrace, which is a great spot with a nice view. Close to the bar, there’s Why Not Bistro with delicious food!
- Habrolo Bar: Habrolo is the oldest gay bar in Budapest. It’s a small and cosy bar where you can find many locals. They organise karaoke and disco nights.
- Kimberly Cafe and Bistro: located close to the popular gay club AlterEgo, Kimberly Cafe and Bistro is the perfect spot to go to if you are looking for food and something to drink! Every once in a while, there’s a drag show in the cafe.
- 10-Sixty-Six Bar and Breakfast: their motto is “a place where you can truly be yourself and which is open for all”. Not only their food is great, but they also have live music, comedy nights and a rainbow brunch (organised every second Sunday of the month).
To learn more about Budapest, about the best sightseeing spots, how to get around, when to visit Budapest, where to eat and much more, make sure to check out our complete Budapest guide!
Best Gay Clubs in Budapest
- AlterEgo: AlterEgo is a popular gay club in Budapest. It has two dance floors and is perfect for a dancing night. They are only open on Friday and Saturday nights. Make sure to arrive before midnight to see their drag show. When we visited AlterEgo, we noticed there were quite some women in the club too!
- Coxx: This is a men-only gay club in Budapest. Coxx is a cruising club with multiple bars, cages, dark rooms and much more.
Sadly, there isn’t a lesbian bar in Budapest. But most of the above named gay bars and clubs are great to go to as a lesbian/queer women. Though, you will often find more men than women in the bars. Why Not Cafe and Bar is a really LGBTQ+ friendly place to go to for drinks and talks. And we had a lot of fun dancing in club AlterEgo. We were surprised to see so many women in the club! Don’t go to Coxx, as it’s a men-only club! 10-Sixty-Six Bar and Breakfast is also a lovely place to go to, especially for their rainbow brunch. And there are also a couple of lesbian parties in Budapest. We will tell you all about them below. So despite not having a lesbian bar in Budapest, there are quite some safe places to go to for the lesbians!
Lesbian Party in Budapest
- WoW! (Women On Women): Wow! is THE lesbian party in Budapest. Although everyone is welcome, the focus is on the lesbians/queer women. The party is usually organised at least once a month, but keep an eye out on their Facebook page to see when the parties are happening!
- Ösztrosokk: Ösztrosokk is a women-only monthly party. Every once in a while friends are allowed too. It’s the oldest running lesbian party in Budapest!
Gay Party in Budapest
Gay parties are very popular in Budapest these days. There are quite a few that take place monthly, in different venues.
- Oops: Oops is a queer party organised every Friday in the bar Anker’t, it’s a mix of music styles. From the ’80s and ’90s to techno and house and more. The party attracts a mixed LGBTQ+ crowed. The bar Anker’t is a ruin pub. Ruin pubs are very famous in Budapest, so you definitely have to visit one of those when you visit Budapest.
- Hello: ‘The Ultimate Gay Pop Party’ is how the organisers of Hello like to call the party. For all queers and their friends. Hello is held once a month at Toldi Klub.
- Garçons: the biggest gay party in Budapest! It’s an underground party and glamorous at the same time. It’s a popular monthly party that attracts all kinds of people: celebrities, locals, tourists, models etc. Men and women are both allowed.
- Vibe: Vibe is a new queer party in Budapest. It’s held at different locations in the city and attracts a young and ‘hipster’ audience.
- OMOH: if you love techno and house music, this is the party to go to!
- Sziget Festival: Sziget is one of the biggest music and cultural festivals in Europ! It’s held every August on an island in northern Budapest. The festival welcomes everybody. Every year there’s the stage Magic Mirror, which is a hetero friendly stage. Sziget hosts drag queen shows, and you can find acrobats, dancers, theatre and so much more! If you go to Budapest in August you can’t miss this festival, people fly in from all over the world for this festival.
Budapest Gay Hotels
We know how important it is to find a stay where you feel at home. A place where you truly can be yourself and don’t get weird looks when you ask for one bed as a gay couple. Below you find the most gay-friendly hotels of Budapest, they are all partners of Pink Budapest. The organisation Pink Budapest was created to promote Budapest as a friendly destination for LGBTQ+ travellers and they’ve partnered with hotels and organisations so you can feel safe!
- Casati Budapest Hotel: this hotel is located on the Pest side of the city, next to bar Anker’t that organises the Oops party. The hotel has differently styled rooms and is perfect if you are looking for a quiet, yet stylish hotel close to the buzz of the city.
- Pest-Buda Hotel: Pest-Buda Hotel is located in the Buda castle district, close to the famous Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s a beautiful area to stay in. This boutique hotel is the oldest hotel in the castle district.
- Estilo Fashion Hotel: after a few drinks at the Why Not Bar and Cafe you can crawl back to this hotel! Estilo Fashion Hotel is located in Pest, very close to the Market Hall, the Liberty Bridge, the Why Not Bar and Cafe and so much more! The hotel has stylish rooms too.
- Baltazár Budapest: Baltazár Budapest isn’t only a great hotel to stay at, their restaurant also has delicious food and wines! This design boutique hotel provides luxurious rooms in the heart of the historic city, in Buda.
Gay Saunas Budapest
They saunas below are both men-only, so girls, skip to the thermal baths section!
- Magnum sauna: Magnum sauna is the first gay sauna in Hungary. It’s a popular sauna for both local and tourist gay men. As it’s a popular spot and it’s often busy. On Friday and Saturday evenings the sauna hosts the popular Dark and Naked parties. Magnum is open every day of the week and doesn’t close from Saturday 1 pm till midnight on Sunday.
- Szauna 69: Szauna 69 calls itself the party sauna of Budapest and is a place where gay and bisexual men can be themselves, and be safe. The sauna is popular amongst both young and older men.
Thermal Baths Budapest
The thermal baths of Budapest are a must-do, they are famous worldwide. The baths are an important part of Hungarian culture and history. Everyone is welcome in the baths, though some have women- or men-only days. It’s an experience you can’t miss when visiting Budapest. They aren’t the same as the gay saunas, so just looking, guys, no touching!
- Széchenyi Baths: these baths are the most popular baths in Budapest, many tourists like to visit them. The entire complex is beautiful and with 18 pools, indoor and outdoor, it’s the largest medicinal bath in Europe. From February to December, every Saturday night the Széchenyi complex turns into a club for the SPArty. Sadly, there isn’t an LGBTQ+ version of it yet, but hopefully, in the future, there will be!
- Gellért Baths: this is the second-largest bath complex in Budapest. The baths and saunas are both inside and outside. The complex itself is very pretty and perfect for a relaxing day. The baths are part of the Hotel Gellért, located next to it.
- Rudas Baths: this is a beautiful Turkish bath complex with a great view of the city. The thermal baths are open for women on Tuesdays and men-only the rest of the week (note: it is not a gay sauna). On the weekends, both men and women are welcome. The swimming pool is always open to both men and women.
Gay Pride Budapest
Gay Pride Budapest is the biggest LGBTQ+ event in Hungary. It’s a political demonstration which an increasing amount of people attends every year. Though it isn’t as big as Madrid, Stockholm or Amsterdam Pride, it’s one of the biggest Pride parades in Eastern Europe. The parade usually takes place on the first Saturday of July.
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𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘣𝘰𝘸 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴. 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵. These were the instructions for Budapest Pride, and for the first time ever I felt something other than excitement. I felt anxious, I felt apprehensive and mostly I felt ashamed. Because for the first time in 3 years and 9 prides, I was forced to truly check my privilege. I have always though of Pride as a march, as a protest for equality, as more than just a colourful party. But this was the first time I felt a genuine apprehension or fear to be visibly queer. As I laid out my clothes the night before, I reflected on all those who may be attending their first pride, who may fear for what was to come, who may wish to attend but didn't feel safe or confident enough to do so. I chose a different outfit to the one I had planned, to draw less attention on the metro. And when we finished, I folded my flag away for the walk home. (Side note: I WILL wear my epic rainbow-winged leotard soon!) In the end, Budapest Pride was a day of sunshine, joy, colour and very few protesters. But the constant and heavy police presence was a reminder that it hasn't always been this way. I am grateful for my privilege to attend many prides this year, fear free. And now I am grateful for an insight into how the experience is for others. If you didn't attend Pride this year because you didn't feel safe to do so, or because there wasn't a pride event where you live, please know that this is not what makes you part of our community. You are valid. You belong. You are incredible. I see you. 🙏❤️ This caption was longer than I expected.. but Budapest pride gave me a lot of feels…🌈
Want to learn more about Budapest? Head to our ultimate Budapest guide including our best sightseeing tips and spots to go to for food. Enjoy this beautiful city, we are curious to hear about your Gay Budapest stories! Find us on Facebook and Instagram and send us a message!
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