Six Very Special Apartments 
in the Heart of Budapest

More than just a place to sleep:

Start with location: Like many cities built around rivers, Budapest’s history, like a tree’s,  can be charted through a series of concentric rings, adding layers as the organism expanded. 

District 5 is the core around which the City of Budapest was built.  And Szervita Square (Szervita ter), Ferenciek Square (Ferenciek tere), and Károlyi Garden (Károlyi Kert) are at the very center of District 5.  District 9, Ferencvaros, lies just beyond District V, well within the ringroad that currently defines the center of the modern city.

Szervita ter is one block away from the Deak Square Metro hub, where all three of the city’s Metro lines intersect.  Take the historic Yellow line (the first subway in continental Europe) to Andrassy Street, the Opera, the Liszt Music Academy, Heroes’ Square and Gundel’s Restaurant.  Take the Red line into Buda and explore the Castle, the Citadel, and the hills.  Take the Blue line to Raday street’s bohemian bars and cafes.  On foot, several blocks to the south and you are at the Great Synagogue (second largest in the world) or go a similar distance north and you are at St. Stephen’s Basilica.  Go half a dozen blocks to the northeast and you are at thye foot of Andrassy Street, the grand boulevard leading to the Opera, Operetta Theatre, and Liszt Music Academy.

Károlyi Kert is a gated vest pocket park with meticulous landscaping and cascading fountains and playgrounds. Originally the private garden of Count Antal Károlyi, this park sits behind his 18th Century mansion that is now the Petöfi Literature Museum ... One block from the National Museum and two blocks from the two major Metro lines (the Red line at Astoria and the Blue Line at Kalvin ter; Kalvin ter will be the hub of the new Metro line being built as I type these words...).

The park is also just two blocks from the Great Synagogue (the second largest synagogue in the world, or largest, depending on whether the person describing it is Hungarian), three blocks from the Danube, 2 blocks from the historic pedestrian street Vaci utca, and conveniently midway between our two favorite Budapest cafes...the Cafe Central and the Alibi (and three blocks from our favorite pastry shop, the Jeg Bufé). 

Only 21 apartments have balconies overlooking Károlyi Kert and Apartment Max is one of that select group. Because the traffic pattern makes driving around the park impossible, cars are relatively infrequent and many Budapest natives have only a vague sense that this gem exists within walking distance of all of central Pest!  As a result, guests at Apartment Max wake up to the birds' singing and the children playing in the park.

Ferenciek tere is the geographic center of District V and of Budapest as a whole.  It sits above s Blue Metro station, two blocks from the Astoria stop of the other major Metro line (the Red).  A large square in front of the Franciscan Church and the remarkable University Library dating back to 1561.  A block away, on Városház utca, lies the Budapest City Hall, and across the street from City Hall sits Apartment Olive, in a landmarked building that is among the oldest residential buildings in the city center...Set on the ground floor off an overgrown and under-manicured green courtyard (an extreme rarity in Budapest where courtyards more frequently are simply utilitarian passageways), Apartment Olive’s cozy cottage-style comforts provide an oasis of calm in the bustle of the city.

From Szervita, Karolyi Kert, or Ferenciek, walk two blocks to the Danube and take the #2 Tram, north to Parliament and the antique shops of Falk Miksa Street, or south to the Central Market Hall or the stunning new Palace of the Arts (the landscaping is not yet finished, but the acoustics are remarkable).  Or just walk a block or two to the historic pedestrian mall on Vaci Street, a boulevard lined with shops and restaurants. 

Bakats tér sits at the heart of District 9.  The Church of St. Francis, one of Budapest’s oldest and most active, defines the square with its churchyard.  Across the street, fronting the square, sits the district’s City Hall and several of its administrative buildings, as well as a maternity hospital.  Most importantly, perhaps, for visitors, the square opens off of Raday utca, the street that has defined Budapest’s gallery and café scene for the past two decades.  It is a vibrant and lively neighborhood, still walking distance to most major sights, served admirably by the 4/6 tram that plies the ringroad, as well as the #2 tram along the Danube and the #15 bus running north/south.  The Blue metro line cuts through the district, with stops at Ferenc korut and Kalvin ter.

Jeff’s Place is in Budapest’s most interesting district -- the VIIIth -- home to both its grandest buildings and, in its outer sections, some of its seediest. The section of the VIIIth that Jeff’s Place calls home is in the former part, closer in and also the location of the National Museum, the Peter Palmany Catholic University, the Semmelweiss Medical School, the grand Ervin Szabó Public Library, and a host of palaces and mansions (the one that houses Magyar Radio is especially noteworthy).  More importantly for many guests, it is also just a block from two of the city’s most vibrant districts, the trendy bars, cafés, galleries, restaurants, and pubs of Ráday utca and the Bohemian stretch around Krúdy Gyula utca, where design studios and galleries elbow their way in between coffee houses, restaurants, and shops.

Free and low-cost concerts abound within walking distance in the summers (Károlyi Kert itself hosts an arts festival; Szervita ter #5 is the headquarters for the Budapest Spring Festival; Jeff’s Place is just 2 blocks from the concert hall of Magyar Radio; Bakats ter has numerous festvals and in the summer hosts a series of free concerts for the district) and, at Christmas and other celebrations, Vorosmarty Square a block away from Szervita and five blocks from Károlyi lights up with decorations and outdoor crafts and food vendors; a smaller and less tourist-laden array of booths springs up a block from Jeff’s Place at the Public Library. Raday utca, next to Andrei, a 1 minute walk from Jeff’s Place and a 3 minute walk from Károlyi is packed with galleries, restaurants, and cafes, and itself hosts several arts festivals each year.

The buildings: But the location is just the start. 

Szervita ter #5 is a landmarked building designed by Bela Lajta in 1911/1912 as the Rózsavölgyi Building [].  Lajta, trained in the Art Nouveau style that was then popular, designed this stark and almost startlingly modern facade for a multi-use building in the center of the city, presaging the Bauhaus focus on function and simplicity by more than a decade.

Henszlmann Imre utca #9 (Károlyi Kert) was designed in the 19th Century for gracious living near the palace (the history of the Károlyi palace is at the Literature Museum’s website: ; the modern park itself has been described as “perhaps the most beautiful small park in Budapest” ).  The building boasts a traditional Budapest courtyard with grand apartments overlooking the atrium.  The grandest of these, of course, faces out towards the park.

Bakáts ter 8 is a stately building that exudes the faded elegance of the years when it stood in the most distinguished part of the 9th.  Its first floor balcony overlooks the churchyard with period urns and statuary, and a massive 26’ x 17’ grand room that fills with northern light every day.

Városház utca 6, was designed just when large urban courtyarded buildings were first being built in Central Pest, across from the City Hall, at the exact center of the old City Center or Belvaros.  It has a massive double courtyard, walls up to three feet thick, arched ceilings, and trees, wildflowers, and shrubs growing with somewhat tattered abandon in its twin udvars or courtyards.  The entries still utilize the cross-cut small wooden paving squares that characterize the city’s oldest buildings, and the large entry doors to the courtyards from the streets -- open during the day so pedestrians can access the small shops inside -- swing shut to outsiders at sundown and assure security and calm to the residents.

Szentkirályi utca 49 lies directly across from the verdant if ill-maintained courtyard park of the city’s major medical school. A somewhat tattered building characteristic of the late 19th Century, the building itself is a prime example of the sort of deferred maintenance that took a toll on the grand buildings of the city during the period from 1940-1990.   It offers a feel for the ‘real’ Budapest, not prettified but still comfortable, well-designed and secure, its large double courtyard brings light to its residents while shielding them from the elements and the hectic pace of city life.

You Don’t Stay At our Apartments, You Live In Them... 

...from the first moment you arrive we have tried to equip all of the apartments with everything we -- as non-Hungarian-speaking visitors to this grand city -- would want in a new and unknown locale...from rain ponchos and umbrellas to guidebooks, maps and compilations of tips about the city...even toys, games, and dvds for rainy or lazy days at home.


Romantic Sarah and Comfy Belle are adjoining, air conditioned, rooftop apartments on the south side of the building.  Overlooking two courtyards and away from the bustle of the street, these two garrets have cathedral ceilings more than 4 meters high, with nooks and crannies and skylights that render each apartment romantic and unique.

Each is reached by one of the building’s two lifts, and each has its own locked entry gate.  Each has its own bathroom with luxury shower and a small but well-stocked American kitchen (convection oven, fridge, full sink, clothes washer and dryer,).  Staples, dishware, cutlery, pots, and pans are all there when you arrive.  Each has a small library of guidebooks and maps, and each has cable TV and high speed open-access wi-fi Internet, as well as a small stock of games and light fiction.  Each has a sleeping gallery with a comfortable bed sleeping two (140 cm in Sarah and 160cm in Belle), and each has a large convertible sofa that can sleep two in the livingroom (120 cm).

Each apartment has a locking door that separates it from the other, but the doors can be opened and the two joined for a large and luxurious apartment with two bedrooms, two baths and two kitchens.  Use of a mobile phone with Hungarian telephone number is included (airtime for the phone is the guest’s responsibility).  A VOIP telephone in the apartment provides unlimited calling to the US/Canada and landlines throughout most of the world.

Take a video tour of Sarah and Belle:


Opulent Max is almost the size of Belle and Sarah combined. 80 square metres.  It has 4.5 metre (15') ceilings and has been restored to the kind of cozy luxury that we imagine the apartment afforded in the 19th Century, with period antiques and modern conveniences (including satellite TV and large LCD display).

The living room has a daybed with a queen-size bed, very comfortable convertible (not a folding mattress).

The master bedroom has a king-size bed and balcony overlooking the park. Each room can be entered from the hallway separately, providing privacy between them and allowing use as two bedrooms with the study/reading area/entryway becoming a living space.

The bathroom is entirely new, with twin sinks, a custom shower and toilet.

The kitchen is also fully renovated and provides a dishwasher, washer, dryer, and all cooking appliances (including convection oven). There is a small Espresso counter in the kitchen with a Nespresso coffee system, as well as a water kettle and selection of teas, and two seats where you can sit and look out on the courtyard.

The study area has a computer for email and Web access, as well as high speed Wi-Fi throughout the apartment. A VOIP phone provides unlimited free calling to landlines throughout most of the world and all phones in the USA and Canada, as well as a mobile phone for guests' use with a local Hungarian SIM card.

Take a video tour of Max:

Luxuriously Gracious Andrei is our newest offering, with that grand balcony and great living/dining room overlooking the park.


Spacious, romantic, and comfortable, Andrei has an excellent queen mattress in its bedroom and perhaps the most comfortable convertible sofa made in its living room (the true queen, solid mattress Inno Bifrost Deluxe, Google it to see how it is reviewed), plus two chairs in the living room that can become a comfortable single bed, so that the apartment can accommodate five comfortably.

Decorated with period antiques from the exciting early 20th Century Deco/Bauhaus/Wiener Werkstätte era of simplicity and respect for artisanal design, Andrei has a spare feeling and a respect for its period.  Wherever possible we have retained architecturally significant features, like the terazzo in the kitchen and bath, the 19th Century parquet floor in the great room, and the statuary on the balcony.  We have augmented it with antique pieces that mesh with its original features, and supplemented it all with modern technology to make it both comfortable and cutting edge: VOIP phone with unlimited international calling at no charge; Nespresso coffee system and coffees; a computer of its own and WiFi broadband connectivity for yours; convection oven; flat panel tv; iPod dock; dvd player and dvds; air conditioning, washer/dryer ...

Plus a pair of redwood lounge chairs on the balcony so that you can sit back, sip a cool drink or cup of espresso, savor the leisurely pace of the city after a hectic day out and about or simply gaze into one another’s eyes conscious of how pleasant life can be ... and then stroll down Raday utca or wander into the adjoining neighborhoods for a great dinner at Costes, or jazz at the Café If, or a palacsinta at the Claro Bisztro.  Or on several summer weekends, just sit back and listen to the music from the concerts occasionally held in the churchyard.

Take a video tour of Andrei:


Cozy Olive was renovated in the fall of 2008 as a hideaway for 1-2 people (perhaps a family of three...).  It is a snug one bedroom apartment, which we have renovated to capture the feel of an upscale fin de siecle Hungarian garden apartment, with vaulted ceilings, antiques, and traditional artisanal pieces throughout. There’s a queen sized bed in the bedroom, a custom shower in the heated tile bathroom (with a converted antique bentwood chamberpot stand as the sink). The bedroom has a (gated and curtained) double door opening directly onto the courtyard for cool summer light, just beside a lovely hand-carved antique child’s wardrobe for your clothes.


You enter from the courtyard directly into the livingroom, which has a kitchenette with induction cooktop, fridge, microwave, and clothes washer; a bay window and window seat adjacent to the dining table, a queen convertible sofa (not a folding mattress but a comfortable solid queen), a large flatpanel TV, high speed WiFi internet, free Nespresso coffee system and coffee, free international VOIP outbound calling (and an inbound US telephone number for low-cost incoming calls from the USA).

View a video of Apartment Olive:

Fine print:  No smoking or pets but children are welcome.  Pickup at the Airport or railway stations can be arranged for an extra charge, as can more frequent maid service (weekly full cleaning and linen change is included in the cleaning fee).