Józsefváros mostly consists of old, often neglected residential buildings with nice interiors. It was named after the heir of the Hungarian throne, Emperor Joseph II in 1777. The main streets there are Baross utca, Rákóczi út and Üllői út. Kálvin tér connects the district with the 5th and 9th. Keleti (Eastern) Railway Station is located at the junction of 7th, 8th and 14th districts.
It can be divided into three parts, the borders being Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút) and the roads Fiumei út and Orczy út.
The innermost, central part includes several remarkable spots, such as the National Museum, and the central buildings of the Eötvös Loránd University, the Semmelweis University, the Academy of Drama and Film, and the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, complemented by the Kempelen Farkas Student Information and Resource Centre. The Piarist Secondary School, the main building of the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, and the Law Faculty of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University are also situated here, as well as the Hungarian Radio.
This neighbourhood underwent major renovations between 1996 and 2002 and it has become a happy, swarming place with scores of students and several cafés and pizzerias.
The second part, beyond Nagykörút has a worse reputation, due to the prostitution that was rampant in the 1990s, which has been mostly eliminated through cameras throughout the district. In this part one can find the Centre for Foreign Languages, Erkel Theatre, the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Corvin Budapest Film Palace (a multiplex cinema), and one of Budapest’s biggest gardens – Orczy-kert.
Its traditional craftsmen neighbourhood, which became a slum in the previous decades, is currently under re-development. The dilapidated 19th-century housing stock is cleared to make way for large office blocks and housing developments. Corvin-Szigony Project is the biggest urban renewal project in Central-Europe. The effects and methods of the project were criticized, mainly for the destruction of the architectural heritage of the area.
The residential parts occupy less area in the third part of the district, which is noted for Eastern Railway Station, Józsefváros Railway Station and Kerepesi Cemetery, one of the most famous cemeteries in Hungary, with mausoleums for the most reputable historical personalities.