Košice (pronounced Ko-shi-tse) is the second largest city in Slovakia, with a population of almost 240,000 (in 2021). It was the European Capital of Culture in 2013. Despite its relative remoteness, you may likely find Košice a hidden, unknown and approachable gem when seeking for a lesson in less known European history, lively arts scene or for a less spiritual entertainment thanks to its vibrant party scene.
Košice has had a colourful history with its ever changing medieval and modern rulers of Hungarians, these days hardly imaginable Turks for a while, Czechs and nowadays Slovaks. Serving its part as a centre of what may best be described as a frontier of Slovak hill country, Hungarian lowlands and Ukrainian/Russian/Soviet East, it has become a predominantly Slovak city in what was then Czechoslovakia after its emergence in chaos of reconciliations after the First World War. Until these days the city is inhabited by descendants of east Slovak dwellers with many relations in the gorgeous rural surroundings of the city who were flocking to the town during its industrial boom after the World War II and a large Hungarian speaking minority along with its fast growing underprivileged and often resented population of Gypsies (or Romas as is their official naming).
A smart, patient and crying with the wolves traveller may find the city suffer from what may best be described as a small man syndrome, a feeling shared by many locals probably best attributed to being the second city in Slovakia and a place not often visited from elsewhere. This may however help in engaging with many residents who may seem to be one of those lovely people who actually enjoy foreigners visiting their place.
The city prides on being known as "The City of Peace" thanks to non-violent ethnic and national tolerance throughout its history. Visitors can get a view into the history of a lesser known corner of Europe, and at the same journey enjoy a lively art scene and nightlife.
Košice sits in a basin, above 200 m above sea level, where the Hungarian plains meet the Carpathian mountains. A few suburbs have been built on the mountainsides, though not much higher than the rest of the city. Towards the south, along the Hornád river the plains open up; but unlike what one might expect of a city and a river, it passes through the suburbs of Košice rather than going right through the core. A landmark south of the city is a massive steel plant, the U. S. Steel Košice, employing over 10000 people.
Speaking of the core of the city, it's centered around the St. Elisabeth cathedral and is the largest protected historical downtown in Slovakia. There you can find much of the city's attractions, restaurants and bars. The periphery of the city is mostly made up of apartment blocks from the Communist times and have little to offer the average visitors aside from a few cheap places to sleep.
The mountains surrounding Košice, especially on the western side, and their forests are excellent places for hiking which is a popular pastime with locals. Outdoor areas such as Kavečany, Jahodná, Bankov et Čermeľská dolina can be accessed by public transport.
The region has been inhabited since the Stone Age. Celtic peoples settled in the region around 300 BC, Slavic people in the 5th century AD. In the 9th and 10th century it was part of Great Moravia, the first Slavic kingdom to be established in Central Europe. Towards the 11th century the region was Christianized, became part of the Hungarian Kingdom and got the name Abov. During Hungarian rule, a city started growing here, fortified during the rule of King Emeric (ruling 1196-1204) and first described as Villa Cassa in 1230.
A few years later the Mongols invaded the region, and in 1241 a battle was fought in Jasov 22 km from Košice. After they were expelled, the region was repopulated with German settlers invited by king Béla IV. In 1250 the Dominicans had a church built, which is the oldest standing building in the city, and the order still occupies the adjacent convent. The fortifications were strengthened throughout the 13th century and in 1290 Košice was granted city status. With the death of king Andrew III in 1301, the House of Árpád went extinct and this resulted in a war of succession where Košice supported different kings, with a major battle fought in Rozhanovce just east of the city in 1312. Eventually peace returned and Košice got the status of a royal city in 1347. In the 15th century the city grew both in population and importance, among other things the cathedral was built and Košice had around 10,000 inhabitants in 1480s - a lot for a city during the Late Middle Ages.
Košice saw troubles again during the following centuries. In 1526 Hungarians fleeing the Turkish invasion sought refuge in the city. A fire ravaged the city in 1556. And in 1597 the Catholic bishop of Eger, fleeing the Turkish advance, settled in Košice which was Protestant stronghold. He wanted to make the cathedral to a Catholic house of worship, and made a coup in the city in 1603 to further his goals with the support of the Austrian emperor. This led to a series of uprisings against the Habsburgs over the following century, ending in the Peace of Satu Mare (Szatmár in Hungarian) in 1711.
This was followed by two centuries of peace and prosperity. Hungarian aristocracy made the city a home, and many grand buildings were built during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Industrial Revolution reached Košice in 1791 when a hat factory was built, in 1860 the first train services arrived and horse-pulled trams started serving the city in 1891 (they were electrified in 1914). After the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, when Hungary regained some of the privileges that had been taken away by Austria after the uprising of 1848, authorities made the formerly trilingual (Slovak-Hungarian-German) and -cultural city a more Hungarian one. In that, the cathedral was renovated, the State Theatre was built, and the remains of Francis II Rákóczi (leader of the 1703 rebellion against Austria) were brought to the city.
Having been part of the Hungarian kingdom for almost a thousand years, Košice became part of Czechoslovakia which was formed after WWI. The city briefly became Hungarian again in 1938 when annexed by Hungary, and during WWII Hungary was occupied by Germany. Jews made up about 20% of the city's population before the war, and they were deported to concentration camps in 1944. In January 1945 Košice was liberated, was reinstated as part of Czechoslovakia and even served as the temporary capital of the country as Prague was still occupied.
After the war the city grew in size and population, many suburbs were built, and in the 1960s a large metal plant in Šaca south of the city. Like Prague and other places in Czechoslovakia, Warsaw Pact troops invaded Košice in 1968 after the Prague Spring. The Velvet Revolution in late 1989 saw a strike at the university followed by tens of thousands of people demonstrating on the streets. After the fall of Communism, also the Czechoslovakia separated into two separate countries in 1993, and Košice went from being the fifth largest city in the former country to the second largest in Slovakia.
In the 21st century the city is finding its new role as one of the easternmost centers of the new European Union. It provides a look into the not-that-long-gone way of living in an eastern European country while also serving as a lovely example of a booming and rapidly changing place with rich ancient history best served by its stunning historic city center, with an impressive cathedral quickening the hear-beat of every picture hunting traveller.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Košice has a continental climate with hot and relatively humid summers and cold winters. Summer (July–August) temperatures may rise up to 30 °C with stretches of rainy weeks and maximums of 15 °C, while winter (December–February) weather is mainly freezing with stretches of weeks with significant snowfall and temperatures of -10 °C, interspersed with weeks of positive temperatures during the day.
The city receives relatively a lot of sunshine hours with winter months being the most gloomy. Winds and humidity may make the winter time rather uncomfortable, but temperatures usually stay above those in areas of hilly country north of the city and most of Slovakia. Snow and skiing forecast may vary unpredictably within a week ahead. The best season to visit may be the blooming and lovely spring of late April/May, though damp weather may occur unforeseeably for a week or two regardless of a season. Autumn can also be a good time to visit with warm rather than hot temperatures and precipitation as rain rather than rainstorms, and beautiful fall foliage in October.
Tourism information office
- 1 Official city of Košice Visitor Centre, Hlavná 59, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 10:00-18:00; Sa 10:00-17:00; Su 10:00-16:00. It provides complex information on the city as a destination, tourism packages in the city and where to explore the region, and also official city guides in various languages. With helpful staff it will help you to make your stay in Košice easier, fun and memorable.
- 2 Municipality information centre (MiC Košice), Hlavná 32, ☏ , info@MiCKOSICE.sk. M-F 10:00-18:00; Sa 10:00-15:00. Provides information on the city and official guides for Košice and the nearby region. English, German, Hungarian, French, Russian, Spanish, Polish and Italian speakers available.
Košice International Airport
- 1 Košice International Airport (KSC IATA), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The city is served by a small passenger airport, and you can fly to Košice from a handful of destinations in Central Europe and the British Isles. The airport is 6 km south of central Košice. Take bus 23: it connects the airport with the city centre.
As the number of destinations from Košice airport is limited, a minibus service is organized to the main regional airports, in particular to Budapest and Vienna.
Such minibuses aren't the only way in from these cities, see By bus and By train for more options, and you can also fly to Bratislava (not that many destinations either) or Krakow.
- 2 Cassoviaexpres, Mlynská 27, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 0:00-21:00. Budapest – Košice 4 times a day, Vienna – Košice 3 times a day. Arrival and departure from Košice are from the McDonald's parking lot next to the indoor city swimming pool, opposite to Aupark Shopping Center. €39 to Budapest, €69 to Vienna.
- 3 Izijet, Bottova, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Budapest – Košice 6 times a day. Arrival and departure from Košice is from Bottova Street. Internet reservation required. €39.
- 4 Košice Railway Station (Železničná stanica), Staničné námestie 11. Košice train station is a 10-minute walk from the city centre and is the terminus for many bus and tram lines. It is one of the most advanced railway stations in Slovakia. Area of 30 000 ft² provides many shops, caffes, restaurants and supermarket. Luggage storage is available from 07:00 to 22:00.
Many trains run between Bratislava and Košice. Several connections from Prague are operated daily by night and day trains, which takes about 8 hours. There are 2 daily trains to Budapest, which takes 3 hours 30 minutes.
A ticket to Bratislava costs just over €20. InterCity trains are a little more expensive and require reservations. Sometimes they are full especially on the eve of long weekends, Christmas, Easter, etc. For Budapest the ticket costs €20 round trip. This is a promotional ticket valid only on the two direct daily trains between the two cities. The one-way ticket is more expensive than the round trip, so you won't even be offered a one-way ticket. There is also a small reduction on the round trip to Prague.
A daily personal car transport service[dead link] exists between Prague and Košice, 1 train during the day and one train at night. The prices are not too high and the trip is much more relaxing than by road. If it's full from Košice, ask if there is still room from Poprad at 1 hour 30 drive. Book well in advance, especially around Christmas and Easter.
- 7 hr 48 min, SuperCity Pendolino Košičan
- There are more daytime connections with a change at Puchov.
- EN 442, 9½ hr (night train)
- RegioJet: 8½ hr, 3 trains a day
- LeoExpress: 8¼ hr, 2 trains a day
- R trains every 2 hr, taking 5 hr 50 min and costing ~€20
- 4 InterCity trains a day taking a little less than 5 hr, for also around €20
- Night train Gemeran Poľana (7 hr) costing €25-50 depending on the berth type (triple/double/single)
Be aware that some of the R trains follows a different and slower path, via rural central Slovakia, and the journey lasts for 7½ hr. But it also offers fairly spectacular nature scenes especially at section between Brezno and Margecany. Journeys on many Slovakian trains may be interrupted after 100 km off the starting point while you remain within your ticket validity dates.
- Budapest: 3½ hr, 2 IC trains a day
- Vienna: 6¼ hr, one IC train a day
- Mukachevo: 4 hr, 2 RR trains a day
From Poland, you would need to travel to Bratislava and change trains to get to Košice. Leo Express has trains from Krakow to Ostrava, and from Ostrava to Košice though on their website they need to be searched for and booked separately as of January 2022.
- 5 Košice Bus Station (Autobusová stanica), Staničné námestie 11. The bus station doesn't have as much services as the nearby railway station; there's a newsstand, an eatery, ticket sales and an information desk.
Given the efficiency and value of the train system, you shouldn't need to use the bus system very much. Eurolines, Interbus and Eurobus coaches come to here from numerous European cities, and bus is the most efficient way of reaching the nearby towns. There are also several companies linking Košice with Prague, usually with several stops on the route, including Brno.
The city forms a crossroads between the north, Poland and the north of Slovakia via Prešov. In the east, the road to Ukraine leads to the main frontier post between these two countries, in the south, it leads to the east of Hungary and Budapest. Towards the west, it is heading to south Slovakia and Bratislava.
The main roads to the city are:
- 1. class road no. towards Zvolen (,) - expressway in construction; the way in from Bratislava (450 km), Vienna, Brno and Prague.
- 1. class road no. towards Milhosť, border () - expressway ; the way in from Budapest (300 km), eastern Hungary and Romania.
- 1. class road no. towards Vyšné Nemecké, border (,) - motorway up to Bidovce; the way in from Ukraine.
- 1. class road no. towards Prešov; the way in from Poland, Ostrava and Prague
- 2. class road no. towards Slovenské Nové Mesto; from easternmost Hungary.
- 2. class road no. towards Spišská Nová Ves; a scenic sidetrip from the road from Ostrava.
- 2. class road no. towards Gelnica; from central Slovakia.
Košice has a small and compact city center, and is mostly navigable by foot. If you are staying in the suburbs, the tram system is cheap and efficient. With good bus and tram connections around the whole city, transport is very easy to handle. You can get practically anywhere by public transport and all the main sights of the city are within walking distance.
By public transport
Public transport is operated by DPMK. English information on their website is limited, the route planner is more informative. Services usually run from 5:00 in the morning to 23:00 in the evening, with a few bus services running during the night.
Tickets for public transport can be bought from sales points listed below, vending machines (at some stops), newsstands, from drivers or as SMS (if you have a Slovak SIM card). They should to be validated in a machine in the vehicle the first time you're using it, then you can travel and transfer as long as the ticket type is valid. Some ticket prices for adults are €0.90 for a 30 minute ticket, €1 for a 60 minute ticket, €3.20 for a 24 hour ticket and €24 for a 7 day ticket. Tickets for night buses costs more, and buying tickets from the driver also costs more.
In addition to paper tickets there are electronic ticket cards similar to ones on public transit systems elsewhere the world. They can be bought from the sales points, are loaded with electronic money and are used for buying (slight discount compared to paper tickets) and simultaneously validating tickets in the validating machines.
- 3 Customer service and sales point (Zákaznícke centrum), Bardejovská 6 (in front of the tram depot).
- 4 Sales point, Rooseveltova č. 3.
- 5 Sales point, Nám. Osloboditeľov (small blue kiosk in the front of Centrum Hotel).
Trams are numbered 2-9 run and during most of the day, every 10-20 minutes. There are also trams numbered R1-R8 connecting different parts of the city to the huge steel plant, though their schedules are irregular and routes of little use to visitors.
Not all trams are accessible to mobility impaired passengers. In the schedule there's a wheelchair symbol next to departures where trains with a lower floor (ie. wheelchair accessible) are used.
There are two "trolleybus lines" marked as such, 71 and 72. In reality they're operated by normal buses but the overhead lines have been left in place and functional, as the city might decide to buy new trolleybuses to operate these lines again.
There's a large bus network allowing you to get around the city and to the suburbs. Buses numbered 51-57 are express lines skipping some stops, and they run mainly during rush hour. Most buses are wheelchair accessible.
There are seven night buses, numbered N1-N7. They operate hourly from 23:00 to 5:00, all departing from and returning to the railway station. Normal public transport tickets aren't valid here, you need to buy a more expensive ticket (€1.50/60 minutes).
Some taxi companies have a flat fare for rides in the city. Going to or from the airport will cost at least €10.
There are always taxis waiting along the main street, at the railway station and airport terminal when flights arrive. Usually ordering a taxi is cheaper than hailing one on the street.
- CTC taxi, ☏ , (mobile phone).
- Easy taxi, ☏ , (mobile phone).
- Maxi taxi, ☏ , (mobile phone).
- VIP taxi, ☏ , (mobile phone), email@example.com.
Getting around by car is usually hassle-free, unless there are road works or accidents you will rarely encounter traffic jams. You can rent a car at the airport, most global rental companies have counters there.
Parking in Košice downtown costs on weekdays during the day (7:30-18) and on Saturday morning to early afternoon (7:30-13). Pay in parking machines or if you have a Slovakian SIM card, by phone.
There are some biking lanes in the north-south direction along the main streets, and you can bike along the river bank too even though there's no dedicated bike lane there. In the east-west direction there's not really any infrastructure specifically for bikes. In pedestrian zones and parks there's a 10 km/h speed limit for bikes.
- 6 LBike - cyklocentrum, Mlynská,19, 04 001 Košice (the shop is at the back of the courtyard), ☏ . Bike store and repair shop.
In the old town, walking is the only practical way to get around as there's no public transport and many streets are pedestrianized.
Most of Košice's attractions are along the main pedestrianized street, known as Hlavná ulica (Main Street), Námestie Maratónu mieru (Peace Marathon Square, the north end of Hlavna), and Námestie osloboditeľov (Square of the liberators, at the southern end of Hlavna) at various parts.
With its unique atmosphere Hlavná ulica creates the heart of the town. In the past, it used to be a medieval square and the whole town started to grow from this point. Now this place is flat, however in the past it used to be hilly and even a stream flew there.
The "Čermeľský potok" (The Tshermel stream) used to create an island on the main street, where the Saint Elizabeth cathedral is located now. Due to developing infrastructure, this stream was filled in in 1899 and was renewed only symbolically during the renovation of the main street in the 1990s.
Today, all the traffic from the main street is excluded, therefore it is a very pleasant pedestrian site. Except the Saint Elizabeth Cathedral, you will find also the Saint Michael Chapel, Urban tower, the State Theater, the so-called singing fountain (a unique fountain in Europe), as well as many stylish original bourgeois houses.
The oldest sights in the city are from Medieval times, including the ruins of fortifications, the Mikluš Prison housing a museum of Medieval justice, the Katova bašta (city walls) and the castle outside the city.
Museums and galleries
- 1 East Slovak Museum (Vychodoslovenske muzeum), Námestie Maratónu mieru 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 14:00-18:00. Museum was established in 1872 and it is one of the oldest and most significant museums in Slovakia. From the architectonic point of view, the buildings of the museum itself are very interesting historical sights. In this museum, the following permanent expositions can be found: the nature of Carpathia, Hundreds of years of art, "Rodosto" - the memorial house of Franz II. Rakoczy, Artistic metal founding in Eastern Slovakia and Centuries of Košice - Mikluš's Prison. Except these expositions, there are always some temporary events and expositions. price depends on exposicion.
- 2 Slovak Technical Museum (Slovenské technické múzeum), ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 12:00-17:00. The museum presents a collection of objects that describe the history of techniques from the eighteenth century, particularly in the field of metal work, mining extraction, watchmaking, physics and chemistry.
- 3 Archeological museum Lower gate (Archeologické múzeum Dolná brána), Námestie slobody. open to the public from 15 May to 15 September: Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Archaeological basement of the main street at the lower gate of the 13th century fortifications of the city. Additionally you can still find parts of fortification in other places around the city center. children and seniors €0.50, adults €0.90.
- 4 Mikluš's Prison (Miklušova väznica). Exhibition focused on the history of the city, it's part of the East Slovak Museum.
- 5 Executioner's bastion and Rodosto (Katova bašta a Rodošto), Hrnčiarska 7. Katova Bašta is the only remaining part of the city walls. Rodošto is the name of a replica of the house where Francis II Rákóczy (1720 - 1735) lived in exile at the Ottoman city of Rodosto. He was the leader of a failed revolt against the Habsburg. The building was built in 1943 during the WWII annexation of the city by Hungary. In the courtyard there is a statue of Francis II Rákóczy. The area is part of the East Slovak Museum.
- 6 Museum of Aviation (Muzeum letectva Košice) (near Košice International Airport), ☏ . Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00. Museum of Aviation is giving an overview of the technical evolution of aircraft, aircraft engines, equipment and aviation information. We owe the museum's creation to former Slovak President Rudolf Schuster who by his international initiatives and personal contribution helped to build a collection of aircraft from European countries, the United States and China, unique not only in Slovakia, but Also in Europe. The museum is divided into five parts: debut of aviation until 1945, aviation since 1945, aircraft engines, the aircraft of the presidential gallery and road transport consisting mainly of old Czechoslovak cars and motorcycles.
- 7 Vojtech Loffler Museum (Muzeum Vojtecha Lofflera), Alzbetina 20, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-F 10:00-18:00, Sa Su 13:00-17:00. Likely interesting for the more art inclined traveler after seeing the usual government sponsored touristy stuff. €4.
- 8 East Slovak Gallery (Vychodoslovenska galeria), Hlavna 27, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Temporary art exhibitions. student €2, adult €4.
- 9 Craftsmen's house (Dom remesiel), Hrnčiarska 11. A museum presenting the different crafts that were practiced in the region in the Middle Ages, that also contributed to theur development.
- 10 St Elizabeth's Cathedral (Dóm sv. Alžbety). This remarkable medieval monument was built in the High Gothic style. The present cathedral stands on a site formerly occupied by a parish church, which was destroyed by fire around year 1370. The patrons of the church included St. Elizabeth. The construction of St. Elizabeth's Cathedral began approximately in 1378. The entrance to the cathedral is for free anytime during the day. There is also a possibility to visit the northern tower of the cathedral, which gives you a stunning view of the surrounding historical centre. The height of this tower is 59.7 m and contains 160 stairs in the staircase. It is open all year long between 10:00 and 17:00. You can buy the tickets at the entrance to the cathedral. €3 for the church tower.
- 11 St. Michael's Chapel (Kostol svätého Michala). The chapel probably dates from the first half of the 14th century and had always been a part of the parish church. It was built as a cemetery chapel in the centre of a cemetery inside the city walls stretching from the Cathedral to the south on the island of the Čermeľský potok (Čermeľ brook) in the place of the present park in the Hlavná ulica (Main street). The outer decoration is Gothic, the turret is fitted in the roof structure. The patron of the dead, the Archangel Michael, vanquishing the Satan as dragon is shown on the altar. There are Archangels Rafael and Gabriel on his sides. In the interior, there is a nice stone tabernacle, the ornamental sculpture "Ecce Homo" and remains of wall paintings from Middle Ages. The oldest coat-of-arms of Košice is above the door leading to the vestry.
- 12 Church of the Holy Trinity (Kostol Najsvätejšej Trojice). Constructed in 1681 on the place where Protestant Prince George I Rákóczi tortured three Jesuits - Marek Križin, Melicher Grodecký and Štefan Pongrác. They're known as the holy martyrs of Košice.
- 13 Church of Saint Anthony of Padua (Kostol svätého Antona Paduánskeho). Originally built for the Franciscan order, the church retains some original Gothic elements in stone. It burned in 1333 and 1556, and after the second fire the building was used as a military warehouse. Its sanctuary served as the seat of the Bishop of Eger in exile from the Turks from 1597 to 1671. One of the bishops is buried in the crypt right below the altar. After that the Franciscans returned to the church, it was renovated little by little and consecrated to Saint Anthony of Padua. The interior is mostly baroque, the wooden furniture is from the 1760s and 1770s, and the altarpiece depicts Virgin Mary with Saint Anthony. The cupola features a statue of Saint-Charles Borromeo, patron of the seminary.
- 14 Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary/Dominican church (Dominikánsky kostol), Dominikánske námestie. The oldest building in Košice. The frescoes inside create the illusion that the building has no roof. There's a monastery adjacent to the church. Entrée libre.
- 15 Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God (Chrám Narodenia presvätej Bohorodičky), Moyzesova 40. Greek-Catholic church in Neo-Romanesque style built between 1882 and 1898. The iconostasis and chair were installed in 1901, and the church was elevated to cathedral status in 2008.
- 16 Holy Spirit Church (Kostol Svätého Ducha), Južná trieda (à proximité immédiate du centre historique.). The oldest building in the southern part of the city, built on the site of a medieval hospice that was demolished in the early 18th century. Built between 1730 and 1733, it has a tall tower - used for spotting enemy troops which was particularly important because it was outside the city walls and as such unprotected. The main attraction is its fresco depicting the city in the 18th century.
- 17 Evangelical church (Evanjelický kostol), Mlynská. Lutheran church built in 1816 after a design by design of Georg Kitzling, a court architect from Vienna. The main attraction is its imposant oval cupola.
- 18 Calvinist church (Kalvínsky kostol), Hrnčiarska. Built in 1805-11, with a very simple interior composed of only a pulpit. The metal rooster on the spire is much older, made in 1589.
Palaces and houses
- 19 Šaca manor, Šemšianska 4 (Bus: 20 or 26, bus stop « Šaca námestie »). Constructed in 1776, renovated in the 1970s after degradation, nowadays a venue for private parties but you can look at it from the outside.
- 20 Levoča House (Levočský Dom), Hlavná, 65. The oldest house in the city. It houses a restaurant, where Gothic vaults are visible.
- 21 Old city hall (Radnica), Hlavná 59. A late Baroque palace built between 1779 and 1790. In the late 1920s it was converted into a cinemand and a library, though in 1996 it was renovated and the city council returned to the building. Part of it is open to the public.
- 22 Andrassy Palace (Andrášiho palác), Hlavná 81. A three floor Neo-Baroque building constructed in 1899, with the blazon of the family on the façade. Nowadays the building houses a tea house and a restaurant.
- 23 Bishop's Palace (Biskupský Palác), Hlavná 28. The archbishop of Eger was exiled in Košice for a long time in the 17th century, but in 1804 the city got its own bishop and four houses next to the cathedral was transformed into a bishop's residence. It burned down in 1841 and was rebuilt in its current form, later the library and left wing was added. The house was empty for much of the Communist Era, but returned to its former use afterwards. In 1995 the pope promoted the office of the bishop of Košice to the status of archbishop, so the building is the residence of an archbishop.
- 24 Csáky-Dezőfi palace (Čákiho-Dezőfiho palác). Count Antal Csáky had this palace built in 1807. Count Abaúj-Torna, the county governor, resided here in the 1840s, then the Dezőfi family. One of the most pompous buildings in the city, it has hosted many important guests including Russian Tsars. In 1965 the palace was turned into an art gallery, and from 1993 to 2007 the Constitutional Court of Slovakia functioned here. Nowadays it's a major library.
- 25 Forgács Palace (Forgács palác). An Empire style building from the early 19th century with the blazons of the Forgács and Pongrá families on the façade, now a library. In the 1940s, when a bank functioned here, a glass roof was installed, this part is now accessible to the public.
- 26 Beggar's House (Zobrakov dom), Hlavná 71. For an interesting story you may look up the Beggar's House which is one of the historical houses on Hlavna (on the right between the Theater and Immaculata when walking up north). On forefront, at top of the house you will see a statue of a guy with a hat thanking/begging for alms. The story says the career beggar who had no other income had over years used generosity of rich Košice dwellers to build the house at what was then a very 'high-end' medieval (a.k.a. Hlavna Street) part of Košice. This kind of largess may seem to be perceived a bit strange by today's beggars rarely appreciating Košice inhabitants, but it still makes up for a good narrative.
- 27 Jakab Palace, Mlynská. Erected in 1899 by entrepreneur Arpád Jakab in the pseudo-Gothic style constructed from discarded stones from the Kosice St. Elizabeth's Cathedral. At the end of WWII it was the residence for Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš. Most of the inhabitants of Košice would choose this building as one of the most beautiful ones.
- 28 Sándor Márai house, Mäsiarska 35, ☏ . Childhood home of writer Sándor Márai (1900-89), part of which has been turned into a museum.
- 29 Hadik - Barkoczy Palace, Hlavná 71. Baroque building from the 18th century, this palace too hosts a library.
Monuments and statues
- 30 Immaculata (Plague Column). The Immaculata Statue is the most beautiful Baroque-style sculptured monument in the city. It commemorates the plague from the years 1710‑1711 and is dated from 1720‑1723. It is a 14-m-high column on the stone base with sculptures of Josef, Sebastian and Ladislav. On the top is the sculpture of Virgin Mary. On the pillars of the fence there are sculptures of St. Gabriel, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Margita, St. Michael the archangel and St. Barbora.
- 31 Singing fountain (Spievajúca fontána). You may find it difficult not to find the 'singing fountain' in front of the theater enjoyable on warm afternoons or evenings. Calm music tunes and accompanying water salvos provide lovely vibes for couples enjoying their ice cream and serve as a hilarious entertainment for the kids. It was inaugurated on May 1, 1986, it is the oldest fountain of this type of former Czechoslovakia.
- 32 Sándor Márai Memorial, Námestie Sándora Máraiho. A statue of the Hungarian writer born in 1900 in Košice, sitting on a chair facing an empty chair and a pedestal behind him.
Ruins and cemeteries
- 33 Košice castle (Košický hrad) (bus 29 towards Kavečany, to bus stop « Vyhliadková veža », from there a gravel path leads to the castle). A ruined castle on a forested hill. There's a viewing tower providing amazing views of the city to the south and to the valleys to the north. An association arranges medieval events on the site regularly, including a reconstruction of a medieval military camp each summer. There are several wooden statues and a small playground for kids. free.
- 34 Public cemetery (Verejný cintorín), Rastislavová (Trams 3, 4, bus 12, stop: Verejný cintorín.). The largest cemetery in the city. A part of it is dedicated to the Jewish community and features a Holocaust memorial. The Star of David on the memorial used to be mounted on the present-day House of Arts that was a synagogue until WWII.
- 35 Cimetière Rozália. The final resting place for many important and wealthy personalities in the city, and many tombstones are quite impressive.
Jews were allowed to settle in Košice in 1840 and in a century the city developed into and important center of Jewish culture. In 1938, about one in five of the city's inhabitants were Jewish, but in 1944 the ruling fascist Arrow Cross party had them deported to Auschwitz to be killed. Today a small Jewish community lives in the Košice, but there are still a couple of monuments from the time before; the old and new synagogues, the House of Arts that formerly was a synagogue, and a cemetery from the 19th century. There's also a Holocaust memorial and a Jewish section at the main cemetery (see above).
- 36 New orthodox synagogue (Nová ortodoxná synagóga), Puskinova, email@example.com. Synagogue built in 1926-1927, it was renovated in 2007. The synagogue is still active although very little used, the Jewish community of the city having greatly reduced. On the walls, pencil inscriptions dating from May 1944 were retained.
- 37 Old orthodox synagogue, Zvonarská 7. Built in 1883 in Moorish style, as of 2018 renovations were underway to make it a cultural center. It's the heart of the Jewish cultural community in Košice nowadays. It has a prayer room, a mikveh and a kosher café.
- 38 Jewish cemetery, Tatranská. Used from 1844 to 1889, it has been poorly maintained.
- 39 City Park (Mestsky park), ☏ . M-Su 06:00-22:00. Main city park created in the 1860s and renovated in 2013. There are very beautiful trees, a kiosk with from time to time a concert, a fountain and lake, a small bridge, a children's playground and fitness facilities.
- 40 Botanical Garden (Botanicka zahrada), Manesova 23, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Different local trees growing outdoors, and a greenhouse with tropical trees and plants. There are regular themed exhibitions related to for instance butterflies, fossils or cacti. children €2, adults €3.
- 41 Anicka (pronounced as [ahnjiczka]). A popular park area and easily approachable weekend hangout for many locals. Tennis, playgrounds for children, summer swimming pool, pubs and lovely evening walks by the river. Take bus 71/72/29 north from the city center to 'Mier' stop and ask for directions.
- 42 Barca Park (Barčiansky park) (Tram: 4, terminus of the line.). A nice park, 7 hectares in size in the suburb of Barca. It has a pond, a statue of pope John Paul II (at the tram stop) and is lined by two manors.
- 43 Saint Urban's tower (Urbanova veža). A Gothic prismatic campanile with a pyramidal roof that dates back to the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries. The bell, which was installed in the tower (its weight equals to 7 tones), was dedicated to St. Urban, the patron of wine-prowers, which was cast in a mould by the bell founder Frantisek Illenfeld of Olomouc in 1557. 36 tombstones dating from the 14th century (one of these tombstones is Roman dating from the 4th century) to the 17th century were put into the outer walls of the Tower. In 1966 the tower was damaged by fire, which destroyed the roofing and the bells. In 1967-1971 the tower was restored and renovated.
- 44 The State Theatre (Štátne divadlo). The theatre was built in a new-baroque style during the years 1879-1899, according to the projects of A. Lang and A. Steinhardt, where a former theatre building, built in 1788 - 1790, was situated. Before that, a town-hall building was standing here. The interior of theatre is richly decorated with plaster ornaments, the stage is lyre-shaped. The ceiling of the theatre's building is decorated with paintings by the Viennese painter P. Gatseb with scenes from Shakespeare's tragedies Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Midsummer Night's Dream. On the main forcade of the building a memorial plaque can be found, dedicated to the first director of the theatre after World War II, the national artist Janko Borodac.
- 1 Walking the historic centre. The best thing to do on a short trip or shortly after arriving is to walk the compact and lovely historic center.
- 2 Children's Heritage Railway (Detska historicka zeleznica), ☏ , email@example.com. 3-km-long railway line in the forest. Three locomotives, Katka-named vapor locomotive, Danka and Janka diesel locomotives operating from the end of the suburbs to the recreational area of Alpinka. children: one way €3/roundtrip €4, adults: one way €5/roundtrip €6.
- 3 Zoo, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 08:00-19:00. One of the largest zoos in Europe by its area. In the area there is also DinoPark with life sized prehistoric dinosaur models. children €5, adults €8 (including DinoPark).
- 4 The State Theatre (Štátne divadlo). The State Theater, already mentioned in the See section, proposes a classic program that includes operas and ballets for in Slovak language for quite low prices. It is also a way to visit the interior of the building. It is possible to purchase tickets for performances on F 09:00 - 12:30 and 13:00 - 17:30PM, Sa 09:00-13:00 at the cash register on the west facade of the building or an hour before the performances in the vestibule at the main entrance.
- 5 Kasárne Kulturpark, Kukucinova 2, ☏ , email@example.com. Cultural Center in old barracks completely renovated in 2013 including the park that surrounds it. Offers concerts, exhibitions and conferences.
- 6 Tabačka Kulturfabrik, Gorkeho 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternative cultural center including concerts and movies. The bar is a trendy place and cooking is good.
- 7 Kunsthalle, Rumanova 1, ☏ , email@example.com. Temporary exposures of contemporary art. This cultural center is located in the building of the old indoor pool built in the 1930s abandoned in the 1980s and renovated in 2013.
- 8 House of Arts (Dom umenia), Moyzesova 66, ☏ , fax: . The home of the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Košice and a venue for other classical music events too. The building was constructed in the 1920s as a synagogue, and became a concert hall after WWII.
Winter and spring
- Spring music festival (Košická hudbná jar) (Maison des arts). April-May. The oldest music festival in Košice, classical music.
- City Days (Dni mesta Košice). takes place in May. Cultural program for a week celebrating May 7 1369, the day when the city received its first coat of arms. Craft displays on the main street, medieval fights, opening of the summer season of the Children's Heritage Railway and Zoo.
- USE THE C!TY Festival. takes place in May. Non-traditional art festival which intends to use the slightest cranny of the whole city.
- Night of museums and galleries (Noc muzei a galerii). takes place in May. Only one common ticket for Košice museums allows you to enter everywhere. Events lasts just for one evening.
- Art Film Fest, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. takes place in June. International film festival.
- Cassovia folkfest. late June. Traditional folk dance festival, with performances on two stages. The one on the main street has free shows, the indoor one requires you to buy a ticket.
- Festival Mazal Tov. early July. The first Jewish cultural festival in the country, with concerts, an exhibition and conferences.
Fall and Cristmas season
- White Night (Biela noc). takes place in early October, the day before the Košice Peace Marathon.. The White Night is an annual cultural event taking place over a night in which many animations take place in the street or in public spaces and squares. The concept initiated in France has been taken up in Košice since 2010, the latest editions were a popular and received mass success.
- 9 Jazzfest, L. Novomeského 13 (GES club). October. Annual jazz festival, arranged since 1995. It takes place at the GES club, where there are concerts around the year.
- Jazz for sale (old town hall), ☏ . November. Jazz festival taking place each year since 1990.
- Festival sakrálného umenia (Sacred art festival). November. Festival of sacred art, taking place since 1990. There are concerts and song events at the cathedral and the House of Arts as well as art expos.
- Christmas market (Košické Vianoce), Hlavná (downtown). December. Christmas market with gift and medovina (hot mead) and warm wine vendors, and a stage with concerts and dance performances.
- Košice Peace Marathon (Medzinárodný maratón mieru), ☏ , email@example.com. The oldest marathon in Europe and second oldest in the world after the Boston Marathon.
- 10 Ice Hockey, Nerudova 12 (Steel Arena). In Slovakia, the national sport is ice hockey. The local club, the HC Košice evolves in national division and has repeatedly been champion of former Czechoslovakia and present Slovakia. The games take place in season at Steel Arena, one of the two world rinks of the World Championships hosted in 2011 and 2019.
In addition to the indoor pool downtown, there are three outdoor pools usually open from late June to early September depending on the weather.
- 11 Covered swimming pool (near the railway station). A pool 50 m in length with eight lanes and another 25 m in length with four lanes. Sometimes they're reserved for swimming clubs, in that case you can ask if there's a free lane.
- 12 Mestká plavareň, Rumanová (in the park between the railway station and downtown). Completely renovated in 2013.
- 13 Ryba Anička, Pod šiancom 5 (Parc Anička, trolleybus 71, 72, bus 29, bus stop « Mier »), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. price=. Three heated outdoor pools, there's also an eatery.
- 14 Kavečany (terminus of bus line 29 towards "Kavečany, Zoo"), ☏ . Ski resort with three alpine pistes and 2-5 km of cross country skiing tracks. There are 7 lifts with a total capacity of 7432 people per hour. Equipment rental, restaurant both at the base of the pistes and the summit.
- 15 Jahodná, ☏ , email@example.com. Small winter sports station in the middle of the forest. Alpine ski rental. Public transport access is a little less easy than for the Kavečany station because of the sporadic schedule of bus number 14.
- 16 Požičovňa lyží Košice, Hlinková 25, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Shop where you can rent or buy ski equipment.
- 17 Summer toboggan track (Letna bobova draha) (between the Zoo and the ski resort), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 09:00-19:00. 800 m long summer toboggan track with 9 extreme twists and 3 tunnels. children (up to 12 years old) one ride €1.50, adults one ride €3.
- 18 Admiral, L.Novomeského 7, ☏ . Bowling, billiards and slot machines.
- 19 Bowling Erika, Gudernova 3, ☏ , . Bowling hall with a restaurant.
All hiking trails in the gorgeous surroundings of the city may be looked up at . Apart from magnificent, relatively close and serious mountains of High Tatras (~1½ hr on the train to Stary Smokovec with a stopover in Poprad, take one of the faster 'rychlik' trains) you may take up on an easily public transport approachable Bankov [bunkow] (hop on a bus #14 from Havlickova or Mier to Horny Bankov stop) providing nice views of the city, Jahodna [yahhodna] (a bit more distant, small but enjoyable also on summer days ski resort, the #14 bus also), or Vyhliadkova veza (the sightseeing tower, overseeing the city, #29 bus from center, direction at the Zoo or 'Kavecany').
For a more challenging hike you may take the train to 'Ruzin' stop (you need to take the slower 'osobny vlak' train as the faster ones stop in farther Margecany station only), walk up the hill splurging in wonderful views of the surrounding hill country and the Ruzin dam along the yellow trail. The trip up and to the other side (take the green trail straight to the west then) of the Sivec [seewatz] hill (Kosicke Hamre bus stop, with last bus connection to Kosice at 17:24) takes about 2½ hours and makes for great views and photographs.
For a shorter and easier hike to Sivec take the bus from bus station to Kosicke Hamre and walk up the hill on the green trail. Mid-range accommodation and food is provided at Kosicke Hamre at 'Sivec Pension' and 'Bradan'. Ruzin dam also makes up for nice fishing (permit required) and boat rides. For another lovely day-trip, you may take the 30 minute 'osobny vlak' train south to Slanec [slahnetz] township and enjoy lovely sights from the top of the hill with interesting ruins of a small medieval castle. For those interested in less distant history, take the bus from bus station to Dargov, a place of a major World War II battle with real tanks and a war museum. A trip entertaining for kids with lovely surroundings asking for a hike and with the Herlany geyser in medium hiking distance.
There are a lot of numbered paths, and they can be combined to create hiking trips suitable to your time, interest and physical condition.
- 20 Hike from Kojšovská hoľa to Košice-Čermeľ. A beautiful day hike, 33.5 km in length. Take a bus from the bus station to Zlatá Idka and start walking from there. The hike has an ascent of 1036 m, and a descent of 1471 m and commonly takes a little more than 9 hours.
- 21 Hike from Košice-Čermeľ to Vysoký Vrch. Departure at Zlatá Idka, accessible by bus as above. It's a hike of 25.5 km with both an ascent and descent of 907 m, and it commonly takes a little more than 7 hours. Departing from the Children's railway (240 m ASL) (see listing above), follow the signs with red stripes to Nad Kavečanmi (580 m ASL) and on to Sedlo Repy (805 m ASL) next to Vysoký Vrch. Then follow the signs with blue strips to return to Košice-Čermeľ.
For hiking SHOcart maps with a scale of 1:100000 can be found at libraries and supermarkets. Map N°233 - Slovenský kras, Slovenský Raj, Slovenské rudohorie – východ covers the city and the mountains west of it. Map N°235 - Dolný Zemplín covers the city and the region east all the way to the Ukrainian border. On these maps, all paths are marked together with estimated times for hiking and biking. An online alternative is mapy.hiking.sk.
- 7 QSI International School of Kosice, Drabova 3, ☏ . The only international school in Eastern Slovakia.
- 8 Košice Technical University. The largest university in Košice with some 16 000 students.
- 9 Pavol Jozef Šafárik University. With around 7 000 students.
- 10 University of Veterinary Medicine. Has programs in English attracting many foreign students.
Citizens of EU countries can work freely in Slovakia, but need to get a compulsory public health insurance and register at the foreigner's police. Citizens of other countries also need to obtain a residency card, allowing them to open a bank account and get the aforementioned health insurance. It's
Salaries are low compared to Western Europe, and lower than in Bratislava.
- 11 Foreigner's police, Trieda SNP 35, ☏ , fax: .
- 12 Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa, Senný trh 1, ☏ , fax: . The public health insurance agency
You won't need to walk or travel long distances anywhere when craving for shopping in Košice while you stay in the center or most inner city areas. There are quite a few shopping malls in Košice, you may also find many historical center buildings hide interesting and chick boutiques while roaming around.
- 1 Aupark (Aupark Shopping Center), Namestie osloboditelov 1, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-21:00. Located in the city centre at Námestie osloboditeľov.
- 2 Atrium Optima (Optima Shopping Centre), Moldavska cesta 32 (at the exit of the city towards Rožňava; Tram lines 5, R1, R2 and R3, bus stop: OC Optima), ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 09:00-21:00. The biggest shopping centre in Eastern Slovakia. It is 53 300 m² and has more than 175 boutiques and a multiscreen cinema Cinemax with 7 screens. You can get there easily by public transport with tram no. 5 or bus no. 10.
- 3 OC Galéria (Galéria Shopping Center), Toryska 5 (Tram lines 6, 9, Trolleybus lines 71, 72, stop: Magistrát), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-21:00. Shopping centre is close to the city centre. You may find it in about 10 minutes walk to west (up the steeper hill) of Steel Arena ice hockey arena.
- 4 Cassovia (Carrefour), Pri Prachárni 4 (tram 9, buses 15, 16, 34 stop:Železníky, križovatka). Shopping mall with a Carrefour hypermarket and a large Décathlon sports store.
- 5 Tesco extra (Trolleybus lines 71, 72 stop: Tesco, Džungľa). Hypermarket.
Hrnčiarská, literally "Potter's street", has several boutiques selling artisanal products:
- 6 Opal, Hrnčiarská 6. Decorative stones, necklace, jewelry and other precious and semi-precious stone objects.
- 7 Potter, Hrnčiarská 19, ☏ . Terracotta objects worth seeing even if you don't plan to buy. There's a balcony from where you can see the workshop.
- 8 Bakery, Hrnčiarská 17, ☏ . Pastry shop and tea room.
- 9 Shoemaker, Hrnčiarská 20. Repair of leather products and sale of bags and belts.
- 10 Herborist, Hrnčiarská 24. Herbal teas.
There are many markets selling fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers - in addition to the ones listed below, several smaller neighborhood markets. The main market is downtown at Dominikánske Námestie.
- 11 Dominikánske Námestie market. every morning excepy Sunday. Regional producers sell products like seasonal vegetables, eggs, honey or flowers, old ladies selling products from their gardens and Romani selling berries from the mountains.
- 12 Astoria market (Tram 3, 4, 7, stop:Astoria.). Not that large but just one tram stop from the main street.
- 13 Terasa market, Trieda SNP, 22 (Tram 6, 9, R3 stop: Kino Družba, behind hotel MEI.). A bit larger than Astoria.
- 14 Mier market (Trolleybus 71, 72, stop: Mier). North of downtown.
Hlavna and adjacent streets has the greatest concentration of restaurants. In outer districts you will find popular pizza places. Prices usually are a bit higher downtown. On Sunday restaurants often open only for dinner. There's just one completely vegetarian restaurant (Ajvega) but most restaurants have one or several vegetarian dishes on the menu.
- 1 Panda, Fejova 13. open from 09:00 to 19:00, closed on Sunday. Asian bistro, good and cheap food, average price for lunch is €3.50. Ask for opekane rezance, Asian style noodles for €1.50.
- 2 Pizzeria Zvon, Zvonárska 133/4, ☏ . Lovely pizza restaurant, with great food, was about €5.20 for a large pizza. All stone baked on hand thrown dough, brilliant toppings, lively atmosphere, and great staff. €4-10 (Oct 2016).
- 3 Bamboo, Hlavná 78, ☏ , email@example.com. One of the Asian restaurants that's not a fast food place. €5 (Feb 2018).
- 4 Burekas, Vratna 58, ☏ . Israeli restaurant known for its falafel and hummus. €3-9 (March 2019).
- 5 Santa Lucia, Československej armády 18 (Tiptop mall), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A good pizzeria in a small shopping mall. menu of the day 4.50 (March 2018).
- 6 Kebab Haus, Hviezdoslavova 1. Kebab place, with kebab in pita, with salad, fries or rice. €5-9 (Feb 2018).
- 7 Karczma Mlyn, Hlavna 86, ☏ , email@example.com. M-Th 11:00-23:00, F Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 11:00-22:00. Slovak and Polish cuisine on the main street. Rural decoration. €8-15 for person (July 2021).
- 8 Pub u kohuta (Pub u kohúta), Hrnciarska 23, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M 11:00-22:00, Tu-Th 11:00-23:00, F 11:00-00:00, Sa 12:00-00:00, Su closed. Slovak cuisine and particularly nice terrace in summer with concert in the evening. €5-15 for person (July 2021).
- 9 Golem, Dominikanske namestie 15 (opposite the church). Nice pub and restaurant with an indulging vibe usually on all week days. Try out their own microbrewery produced beers and home made pickled ermine cheese.
- 10 Maxi pizza, Poštová 2, ☏ . One of the best pizza places in town, with a pizza cook that has lived several years in Italy. €6-10 (March 2018).
- 11 12 Apoštolov, Kováčska 51, ☏ , email@example.com. Traditional cuisine. €6-14 (June 2020).
- 12 Piano Café (Hlavná 92), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Pizzeria and cocktail bar.
- 13 Ajvega, Orlia 10 (turn left when walking Mlynska west towards Hlavna from the train station). A vegetarian and celiac diet friendly meals and pizzas providing restaurant. Dietary meals (with some including meat) offered at the 'tower', upstairs. A quiet place with a terrace enjoyable on warmer days. A weekday inexpensive midday lunch menu offered. €5-9 (Feb 2018).
- 14 Sushi Maiko, Hlavná 1, ☏ , email@example.com. Specializing in sushi but they also have other Asian dishes.
- 15 Republika Vychodu (Republika Východu), Hlavna 31, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 08:00-22:00, F Sa 08:00-22:30, Su 08:00-21:00. Menu in eastern Slovakia dialect, great cakes and coffee. €8-20 for person (July 2021).
- 16 Le Colonial, Hlavná 8, ☏ , email@example.com. International and French cuisine, frequented by wealthy international customers. €8-30 (Feb 2018).
- 17 Camelot, Kováčska 19, ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Steakhouse with a Medieval interior, a bit expensive but they have lunch specials on week days. €9-22 (April 2015).
- 18 Rosto Steak House, Orlia 6, ☏ , email@example.com. International cuisine, including South American steaks and New Zealand lamb. €10-25 (Feb 2018).
- 19 U troch ruží, Štúrova 18, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Specializing in different steaks.
Košice is faithful to its east Slovakian tradition in providing great and cheap parties for both locals and travellers while competing with many of Europe's much bigger and more often visited cities in what travel books usually call 'liveliness'. Season may vary with summer months unexpectedly providing a bit of a lull in usual Friday/Saturday silliness but city's center compact and concentrated bar scene provides many hidden gems disregard of day of week or month of the year.
There many ice cream shops, many open during the summer but some around the year, functioning as pastry shops in the winter. Ice cream shops seem to have the same prices all around town.
- 1 Dobrá čajovňa, Mäsiarska 42, ☏ . Tea salon with a large choice, and a hookah.
- 2 Caffé Trieste, Ursulinska 2, ☏ (téléphone portable), email@example.com. Italian-style café part of a chain. The chain has three other cafés in Košice: at Žriedlová 11 west of old town, at Trieda SNP 395/37 further west and at Južna trieda 2/A south of old town.
- 3 Aida, Hlavná 44, ☏ . Popular ice cream and pastry place, formerly a chain, now just this café.
- 4 Urban café, Vrátna 4, ☏ . A café owned by a Belgian with pralines, waffles and other pastries. Ice cream is more expensive but also better.
- 5 Trdelniky, Hlavná 97. Specializing in a trdelnik, a spit cake from western Slovakia reminiscent of Hungarian kürtőskalács.
- 6 Beer House, Hlavná 54. Beer House offers probably the widest range of beers in the city. The cheapest beer is for €1.06/0.5l, most expensive €1.96/0.5l. They offer pizza at the same time and you can order it until 2am. There is live music every Thursday and Saturday.
- 7 Kembridž (Cambridge) (a 5-minute walk or 1 stop tram ride north of Namestie Maratonu Mieru (the north end of Hlavna)). A popular Slovakian style and cheap 'biergarten' enjoyable on warm evenings within easy reach of the center.
- 8 Bistro Záhrada, Kukučínova 13, ☏ . Another popular Slovak-style "Biergarten", a nice place to sit on a warm summer evening. During wintertime it's a small bar in a basement with boardgames.
- 9 Staromestská piváreň, Hlavná 104, ☏ , StaromestskaPivaren@gmail.com. Czech style brewpub with restaurant.
- 10 Dobré časy, Čajkovského 4, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A large choice of beers, 26 on tap, and a choice of small dishes and hamburgers.
- 11 Pokhoi, Hlavná 20, ☏ . Bar in a small courtyard.
- 12 Red Nose Pub, Zbrojničná 2, ☏ , email@example.com. Very large choice of beers on tap, though no food (just some snacks).
- 13 Bernard club. Bar on the first floor of a house near the cathedral, often crowded.
- 14 Irish Pub Diesel, Hlavná 92, ☏ . Archetypical Irish pub, attracting an English speaking crowd. On many nights there are DJs playing.
- 15 Villa Cassa, Pri Miklušovej väznici 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Enoteca with a large choice of Slovak and foreign wines, not cheap.
- 16 Little Havana, Kováčska 13, ☏ , email@example.com. Cocktail bar, specializing in rum based drinks.
- 17 Cubano Bar - Shisha - Milkshake - Shots (City Košice cafe bar), Mäsiarska 480/50, ☏ . You can try a water-pipe (shisha, hookah.) here with numerous options for quality tobacco blends. Good place to watch football.
Discotheques and nightclubs
- 18 Jazz Club, Kováčska 39 (right next to Hlavna, one street to the east from Immaculata). Despite the confusing name (no jazz music happening in there) providing for the dance music and party craving types and being the place to go for the regular night entertainment seeking locals on most week days. A bit overpriced but definitely lively. Serves food also.
- 20 Collosseum, Dominikanske namestie. Dominikanske namestie, at the end of the square with a bit of hidden entry though fairly huge with several pubs inside the space. An alternative music and lifestyle craving types may find this one to be a great place for an entertaining hangout or a not occasional international live music act. Also a great place for partying even until the weekday wee hours. Discretion or attending in wider groups may be advised.
- 1 Autocamping Salaš Barca, Alejová 24 (Tram line: 9, R2, stop: Autokemp), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Next to the beltway, south of the city. The only camping in Košice, it has a restaurant and cabins for rent.
- 2 Hostel Happy Bull Kosice, Vrátna 30, ☏ . Cozy with houseplants and outdoor terrace. Breakfast available (€6). Dormitory rooms available from €15. $40.
- 3 Hostel Vodná 1, Vodná 946/1, ☏ . Clean hostel. No breakfast though. $32.
- 4 K2 Hostel, Štúrová 32. Very popular with younger visitors to the city traveling on a shoestring. A room with two beds, eight with three beds, seven with four beds. Rooms are basic, and the bathrooms are shared.
- 5 Turistická ubytovňa, Medická 2 (Trolleybus 71, 72, stop Ružová, OC galéria, Bus 12, 17, 36 stop Považská, Nová nemocnica.), ☏ , email@example.com. Boarding school with some rooms available to visitors.
- 6 Hotel Gloria Palace, Bottová 1, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Accommodation at modern-day standards in single and twin-bed rooms and suites. All rooms have their own bathroom and WC, color television with 10 channels supplied by cable and telephone. Guests have internet access on the reception.
- 8 Penzión Villa Regia, Dominikánske námestie 3, ☏ , email@example.com. Modern renovation of an old building. All rooms to high standard with en-suite shower rooms. Breakfast included, in great restaurant. Very friendly staff, 250 m from cathedral and centre. Wifi throughout.
- 9 Penzión Plaza (formerly Penzion Platz), Dominikanske namestie 23, ☏ , , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 15 rooms
- 10 Hotel Múza, Pri prachárni (near the Carrefour hypermarket. Tram 9, R2 stop: Železníky križovatka, Bus 15, 16, 34 stop: Blšák.). Decorated with pop art.
- 11 Hotel Bonaparte, Šebastovská 4 (8 km from the city towards Miskolc, Bus 12 terminus.), ☏ , email@example.com.
- 12 City residence, Bačíkova 18, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 8 downtown apartments.
- 13 Doubletree by Hilton, Hlavna 1, ☏ . Modern amenities and warm hospitality. The newly renovated downtown hotel.
- 14 Hotel Yasmin, Tyršovo nábrežie 1 (Trolleybus lines 71 and 72), ☏ , email@example.com. 4 star designer hotel steps from the historical pedestrian zone.
- 15 Hotel Zlaty Dukat, Hlavná 16, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Four-star hotel offering luxurious premises. Glass museum in the hotel and gourmet specialties.
- 16 Boutique Hotel Bristol, Orlia 3, ☏ , , fax: , email@example.com. A 4-star hotel with a Roman spa, one of the most luxurious in the city.
- 17 Hotel Bankov, Dolný Bankov 2, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Elegant 4-star hotel with a charming atmosphere and style in quiet environment. The oldest existing hotel in Slovakia.
- 18 Hotel Ambassador, Hlavná 101, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com.
- 19 Hotel Dália, Löfflerová 1, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 37 rooms and apartments.
- 20 Hotel Maraton, Strojarenská 11/A, ☏ , email@example.com. Boutique hotel with four stars.
- 21 Golden Royal, Vodná 8, ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. 24 luxury rooms, on a calm downtown street.
- 13 Central Post office, Poštová 20, ☏ .
- 14 Košice 2nd post office, Thurzova 3 (near the railway station), ☏ .
- 15 Košice 19th post office, Trolejbusová 1 (in a Tesco extra supermarket), ☏ . The post office with the longest opening hours (until 21:00).
- 16 Atinet, Trieda SNP 88. Computer store with Internet access, games, printing facilities and computer service.
Avoid parks and the train station surroundings at night. Do not be overly generous to the homeless and pay caution to impoverished Romanis (also known to some as Gypsies) including children and do not engage with them. Call 112 for medical, police or fire department help.
Avoid the area known as Luník IX, which is populated by Romani and is known for crime and public safety problems.
If you walk evening Hlavna after seeing everything 'important', do not hesitate to ask around. Only beware of getting caught up in acts of suspicious types, visiting parks at nights etc., as this place, though being relatively safe, really may be called the frontier of civilized part of Europe at times. Common safety measures for women and lone travelers are advisable.
- 17 Univerzitná nemocnica L. Pasteura, Trieda SNP 1 (Tram 6, 9 stop: « Nová nemocnica »), ☏ (office). Emergency service (urgentný príjem) in Košice's main hospital.
- 18 Poliklinika Terasa, Toryská 1 (Tram 6, 9, trolleybus 71, 72, N71 stop: « Magistrát mesta Košice »), ☏ . Night care for both adult and child patients.
- 19 Nemocnica Košice-Šaca, Lúčna 57 (terminus of bus lines 20, 26, 52, 54), ☏ . Private hospital with a good reputation, though the fees are higher than at public hospitals.
Any destination in Eastern Slovakia is accessible as a day trip. This includes the High Tatra mountains, and many world heritage sites: the towns of Bardejov and Levoča, Spišské Podhradie castle, beech forests, Slovak Karst National Park and wooden churches.
In addition, there are destinations nearby which are less than an hour away accessible by direct public transport:
- 6 Prešov (35 km north, frequent buses and trains). Slovakia's third largest city, likewise with a long main street leading to a church.
- 7 Herľany (26 km northeast, buses from the bus station). A small village of Slanské vrchy, with a geyser and hiking trails.
- 8 Slanec (28 km east, buses from the bus station). Has a fortification, and there are hiking trails into the Slanské vrchy, a volcanic massif covered with beech forests.
- 9 Slovak Tokaj vineyards (Tokajská vinohradnícka oblasť) (58 km southeast, train towards Čierna nad Tisou or bus towards Malá Trňa.). A small wine region comprising seven villages. Here internationally famous white wine is produced.
- 10 Turňa nad Bodvou (36 km southwest, buses and trains). Attractions include Zadielská dolina Canyon and castle ruins.
- 11 Krásnohorské Podhradie (63 km southwest, buses from the bus station). Fortification and mausoleum.
- 12 Jasov (27 km west, buses from the bus station). A convent and world heritage listed caves.
- 13 Bukovec (10 km west, buses from the bus station). A small artificial lake with a beach, a buffet restaurant and hiking trails.
- 14 Zlatá Idka (23 km west, buses from the bus station). A small village and ski resort in the Volovské vrchy massif.
- 15 Gelnica (42 km northwest, buses from the bus station and one daily train with change in Margecany). An old mining town with a mining museum in the middle of the Volovské vrchy massif.
Hungarian destinations are hard to access by public transport. If you have a car or a bike, however, it's easy to get to the villages in the Zempléni-hegység massif, the Tokay vineyards and other places in Northern Hungary.
By public transport, and a bit of walking, you can make trips to these places in Hungary:
- 16 Füzér (37 km southeast). Hungary's northernmost village, towered over by a castle.
- 17 Hollóháza (29 km southeast. Bus to Skároš before the border, from there it's 7 km to Hollóháza). The town has a porcelain factory functioning since 1777, and a porcelain museum.
- 18 Sátoraljaújhely (57 km southeast. Train to Slovenské Nové Mesto.). Ancient provincial capital near the Tokaj vineyards.
There are a few trains per day (2½ hr) to Chop (Čop/Чоп) in Ukraine if you're looking for just another country. As of 2023 this may not be a good idea due to the war.
Bratislava, other destinations in Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Poland are accessible by public transport - see Get in above.
It's easy to hitchhike out of town.