More than most other Eastern European cities that were once part of the Soviet Bloc, Budapest seems to have a sense of humor about its political past. The décor of Red Ruin, the city’s only communism theme bar, delightfully subverts communist propaganda with colorful pop art and puns.
The first thing you see when you walk into Red Ruin is a mural of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in birthday hats, having an enthusiastic “communist party.”
Popular with locals and tourists, the bar features kitschy attractions like florescent red lighting, a cardboard poster of Marx and Lenin that you can put your face through, and pop art stencils of Stalin with the caption “Joseph Stylin.” The bar’s labyrinthine, redbrick basement (the entrance to which is easy to miss) features even more wall art and communism jokes.
The venue bills itself as one of Budapest’s famous “ruin pubs,” trendy drinking spots set up in derelict buildings or unused outdoor spaces. Red Ruin offers a wide selection of local and international beer, and accepts only cash.
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