The Café District captures the true spirit of Budapest, the last vestiges of the romantic Central European café lifestyle. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world, evoking the Left Bank of the ‘20s, Budapest of the ‘30s, Greenwich Village of the ‘50s...

In the summer of 2008 we were looking for a place with a dramatic balcony for a friend who wanted to buy an apartment in Budapest.  In the middle of the night we stumbled across a listing in a realtor’s window for an apartment in a location we knew well -- Bakáts tér.  This lovely churchyard square adjacent to the Raday utca galleries and cafés and restaurants was one of our favorite places.  What drew us to the ad was the photo of the dramatic and very long balcony overlooking the churchyard. 

We called the realtor the next day only to be told that it had already been sold.  Jeanne left a message saying that if the deal fell through they should call us.  Four months later, they did.  We had  one hour to run over to view it before another showing was scheduled for someone else.  We got there, fell for it immediately, but there was no way to reach our friend in the USA in the middle of the night.  So we called another friend who was looking for an apartment and he ran over to join us.

Within 15 minutes we had made an offer and it had been accepted. As we left, we could see the next realtor and their client standing dumbstruck in the street staring up at the balcony and shaking their heads.

By June 2009 we had finished renovating this remarkable and unique apartment.  There is simply not another one like it anywhere near the Café District (which includes not only Raday utca but nearby Krudy Gyula utca), with its gorgeous long, narrow balcony overlooking that lovely  ol
d churchyard.  Bakáts tér \ constitutes more or less the hub of the IXth district and the starting point for the Ráday galleries and cafés.  As a result, it is the scene of several street festivals each year, and in the summers the Ferencvaros Festival brings outdoor opera to the steps of the church.  Ráday, of course, teems with a vibrant arts scene, ranging from music and graphic arts to crafts.

The apartment is on the first floor (one floor up from the street), with its balcony overlooking the side of the churchyard, running the entire  of the 70 square metre apartment.  It has one bedroom, 1.5 baths, a fully equipped kitchen and a dramatic living/dining room, and it affords easy access to the pleasures of strolling Ráday, touring the city on the 4/6 tram along the ring road, and shadowing the Danube on the #2 tram.

And it has marvelous old stone figures decorating the balcony...

Each of our apartments has a distinctive and different personality, designed to appeal to a different sort of traveler. Apartment Andrei possesses a casual elegance for a relaxed and civilized stay. Larger than all but Apartment Max, a bit further from the din of the business district and the tourists flocking like lemmings down pedestrianized theme park streets, Andrei is still in the heart of town, within the innermost ringroad (Korut) that arcs in a semicircle on the Pest side of the Danube.

You enter the apartment from the walkway above the courtyard, passing through a foyer that affords access to the bedroom with en suite bath, the wc with washer/dryer, into the spacious and stately great room -- 26' x 18' with its long far wall and high ceilings opening onto a 25' balcony that overlooks the verdant historic churchyard in the heart of the IXth district. The square fronts on the bustle of the semi-pedestrianized Raday utca. But here at the back of the square, it is tranquil and soothing ... all you hear are the birds, all you see is the slightly tattered landscaped park behind the church.

A vacation away can be more than a hurtle at warp speed from one tourist geegaw to the next. It can be a restful sojourn, a respite from a busy life, an immersion into a familiar but pleasantly alien culture. A step sideways in space, a bit backwards in time, Andrei is comfortably situated in a Budapest lifestyle that is not just reminiscent of the grand cafe life between the wars, but actually presents its embodiment and draws you into it as though you were a family member not a traveling stranger.


  1. If Kavezo, Raday utca 19, 4 blocks away

  2. Apa Cuka, 4 blocks away

  3. Café Jedermann, 2 blocks away

YOUR CUKRASZDA (pastry shop):

Nandori, at the corner


CBA, at the corner

FINE DINING: Costes (Budapest’s highest rated restaurant), 4 blocks.

CHEAP EATS: Raday Etkezde, 2 blocks


CLOSEST SIGHTS: Applied Arts Museum, 1 block; National Museum, 4 blocks


NEAREST ATM: 2 blocks


Apartment Andrei take a video tour...

Gracious Living in the Café District