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Košice is the biggest city in eastern Slovakia and in 2013 was the European Capital of Culture together with Marseille, France. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary. With a population of approximately 240,000, Košice is the second largest city in Slovakia after the capital Bratislava.
Being the economic and cultural centre of eastern Slovakia, Košice is the seat of the Košice Region and Košice Self-governing Region, the Slovak Constitutional Court, three universities, various dioceses, and many museums, galleries, and theatres. Košice is an important industrial centre of Slovakia, and the U.S. Steel Košice steel mill is the largest employer in the city. The town has extensive railway connections and an international airport.
The city has a well-preserved historical centre, which is the largest among Slovak towns. There are many heritage protected buildings in Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles with Slovakia's largest church: the St. Elisabeth Cathedral. The long main street, rimmed with aristocratic palaces, Catholic churches, and townsfolk's houses, is a thriving pedestrian zone with many boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. The city is well known as the first settlement in Europe to be granted its own coat-of-arms.
|POPULATION :|| -Population 240,688 |
- urban 355,047
- metro 555,800
|FOUNDED :||First mentioned 1230|
|TIME ZONE :||- Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
- summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|LANGUAGE :||Slovak (official)|
|RELIGION :||45% Roman Catholics, 16.6% people with no religious affiliation, 6.12% Greek Catholics, and 2.33% Lutherans, 2% Calvinists and 0.11 Jews.|
|AREA :||- Area 242.768 km2 (93.733 sq mi)|
- urban 1,776 km2 (686 sq mi)
- metro 2,709 km2 (1,046 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||206 m (676 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||48°43′N 21°15′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48,7%|
• Female: 51,3%
|ETHNIC :||73.8% of its inhabitants were Slovaks, 2.65% Hungarians, 2% Romani, 0.65% Czechs, 0.68% Rusyns, 0.3% Ukrainians, and 0.13% Germans. 19% not declare|
|AREA CODE :||55|
|POSTAL CODE :||040 00|
|DIALING CODE :||+421-55|
The city centre, and most historical monuments, are located in or around the Main Street (Hlavná ulica) and the town has the largest number of protected historical monuments in Slovakia. The most dominant historical monument of the city is Slovakia's largest church, the 14th century Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral; it is the easternmost cathedral of western style Gothic architecture in Central Europe, and is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Košice. In addition to St. Elisabeth, there is the 14th century St. Michael Chapel, the St. Urban Tower, and the Neo-baroque State Theater in the center of town. The Executioner's Bastion and the Mill Bastion are the remains of the city's previous fortification system. The Church of the Virgin Mary's Birth is the cathedral for the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Košice. Other monuments and buildings of cultural and historical interest are; the old Town Hall, the Old University, the Captain's Palace, Liberation Square, as well as a number of galleries and museums . There is a Municipal Park located between the historical city centre and the main railway station. The city also has a zoo located northwest of the city, within the borough of Kavečany.
Tourism information office
Official city of Košice Visitor Centre [www] is located in the inner part of the city at Hlavná 59, Tel +421 55 625 8888, email: [email protected] 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.
The privately run another municipality information center (MiC KOŠICE) [www], is on Hlavna 2 or Pri pracharni 4. Tel +421 911484337, e-mail: [email protected] 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.
The first evidence of inhabitance can be traced back to the end of the Paleolithic era. The first written reference to the Hungarian town of Košice (as the royal village – Villa Cassa) comes from 1230. After the Mongol invasion in 1241, King Béla IV of Hungary invited German colonists to fill the gaps in population.
The city was made of two independent settlements: Lower Košice and Upper Košice, amalgamated in the 13th century around the long lens-formed ring, of today's Main Street. The first known town privileges come from 1290. The city grew quickly because of its strategic location on an international trade route from agriculturally rich central Hungary to central Poland, itself along a greater route connecting the Balkans and the Adriatic and Aegean seas to the Baltic Sea. The privileges given by the king were helpful in developing crafts, business, increasing importance (seat of the royal chamber for Upper Hungary), and for building its strong fortifications. In 1307, the first guild regulations were registered here and were the oldest in Kingdom of Hungary.
As a Hungarian free royal town, Košice reinforced the king's troops in the crucial moment of the bloody Battle of Rozgony in 1312 against the strong aristocratic Palatine Amadé Aba (family). In 1347, it became the second place city in the hierarchy of the Hungarian free royal towns with the same rights as the capital Buda. In 1369, it received its own coat of arms from Louis I of Hungary. The Diet convened by Louis I in Košice decided that women could inherit the Hungarian throne.
The significance and wealth of the city in the end of the 14th century was mirrored by the decision to build a completely new church on the grounds of the previously destroyed smaller St. Elisabeth Church. The construction of the biggest cathedral in the Kingdom of Hungary – St. Elisabeth Cathedral – was supported by the Emperor Sigismund, and by the apostolic see itself. Since the beginning of the 15th century, the city played a leading role in the Pentapolitana – the league of towns of five most important cities in Upper Hungary(Bardejov, Levoča, Košice, Prešov, and Sabinov). During the reign of King Hunyadi Mátyásthe city reached its medieval population peak. With an estimated 10,000 Hungarian inhabitants, it was among the largest medieval cities in Europe.
The history of Košice was heavily influenced by the dynastic disputes over the Hungarian throne, which together with the decline of the continental trade brought the city into stagnation. Vladislaus III of Varna failed to capture the city in 1441. John Jiskra's mercenaries from Bohemia defeated Tamás Székely's Hungarian army in 1449. John I Albert, Prince of Poland, could not capture the city during a six-month-long siege in 1491. In 1526, the city homaged for Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. John Zápolya captured the city in 1536 but Ferdinand I reconquered the city in 1551. In 1604, Stephen Bocskay occupied Košice during his insurrection against the Habsburg dynasty. Giorgio Basta, commander of the Habsburg forces, failed to capture the city, but Ferdinand I eventually recaptured it in 1606. Stephen Bocskay died in Košice on 29 December 1606 and was interred there.
For some decades during the 17th century Košice was part of the Principality of Transylvania, and consequently a part of the Ottoman Empire and was referred to as Kaşain Turkish. On 5 September 1619, the prince of Transylvania, Gabriel Bethlen captured Košice in another anti-Habsburg insurrection. He married Catherine von Hohenzollern, of Johann Sigismund Kurfürst von Brandenburg, in Košice in 1626. On 18 January 1644, the Diet in Košice elected Juraj I Rákóczi the prince of Hungary. In 1657, a printing house and a college were founded by the Jesuits there. The city was besieged by kuruc armies several times in the 1670s and it revolted against the Habsburg emperor. The rebel leaders were massacred by emperor's soldiers on 26 November 1677. A modern pentagonal fortress (citadel) was built by the Habsburgs south of the city in the 1670s. Another rebel leader, Imre Thököly captured the city in 1682, making Kaşa once again a vassal territory of Ottoman Empire under Principality of Upper Hungary until 1686. The Austrian field marshal Aeneas de Caprara got Kosice back from Ottoman Turks on late-1685. In 1704–1711 Prince of Transylvania Francis II Rákóczi made Košice the main base in his War for Independence. The fortress was demolished by 1713.
In the 17th century, Košice was the capital of Upper Hungary (in 1563–1686 as the seat of the "Captaincy of Upper Hungary" and in 1567–1848 it was the seat of the Chamber of Szepes county (Spiš, Zips), which was a subsidiary of the supreme financial agency in Vienna responsible for Upper Hungary). Due to Ottoman occupation, the city was the residence of Eger’s archbishop from 1596 to 1700. Since 1657, it has been the seat of the historic Royal University of Košice (Universitas Cassoviensis), founded by Bishop Benedict Kishdy. The university was transformed into a Royal Academy in 1777, then into aLaw Academy in the 19th century. It ceased to exist in the turbulent year of 1921. After the end of the anti-Habsburg uprisings in 1711 the victorious Austrian armies drove the Ottoman forces back to the south and this major territorial change created new trade routes which circumvented Košice. The city began to decay and turned from a rich medieval town into a provincial town known for its military base and dependent mainly on agriculture.
In 1723, the Immaculata statue was erected in the place of a former gallows at Hlavná ulica (Main Street) commemorating the plague from the years 1710–1711. This was one of the centers of the Hungarian language regenerate movement which published the first Hungarian language periodical called the Magyar Museum in Hungary in 1788. The city's walls were demolished step by step from the early 19th century to 1856; only the Executioner's Bastion remained with few parts of the wall. The city became the seat of its own bishopric in 1802. The city's surroundings became a theater of war again during the Revolutions of 1848, when the Imperial cavalry general Franz Schlik defeated the Hungarian army on 8 December 1848 and 4 January 1849. The city was captured by the Hungarian army on 15 February 1849, but the Russian troops drove them back on 24 June 1849.
In 1828, there were three manufacturers and 460 workshops. The first factories were established in the 1840s (sugar and nail factories). The first telegram message arrived in 1856 and the railway connected the city to Miskolc in 1860. In 1873, there were already connections to Prešov,Žilina, and Chop (in today's Ukraine). The city gained a public transit system in 1891 when track was laid down for a horse-drawn tramway. The traction was electrified in 1914. In 1906, Francis II Rákóczi's house of Rodosto was reproduced in Košice and his remains were buried in the St. Elisabeth Cathedral.
After World War I and during the gradual break-up of Austria-Hungary, the city at first became a part of the transient "Eastern Slovak Republic", declared on 11 December 1918 in Košice and earlier in Prešov under the protection of Hungary. On 29 December 1918, the Czechoslovak Legions entered the city, making it part of the newly established Czechoslovakia. However, in June 1919, Košice was occupied again, as part of the Slovak Soviet Republic, a proletarian puppet state of Hungary. The Czechoslovak troops secured the city for Czechoslovakia in July 1919. which was later upheld under the terms of the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.
World War II and after
Jews had lived in Košice since the 16th century but were not allowed to settle permanently. There is a document identifying the local coiner in 1524 as a Jew and claiming that his predecessor was a Jew as well. Jews were allowed to enter the city during the town fair, but were forced to leave it by night, and lived mostly in nearby Rozunfaca. In 1840 the ban was removed, and before that there were a few Jews living in the town, among them a widow who ran a small Kosher restaurant for the Jewish merchants passing through the town.
Košice was ceded to Hungary, by the First Vienna Award, from 1938 until early 1945. The town was bombarded on 26 June 1941 by a still unidentified aircraft, in what became a pretext for the Hungarian government to declare war on the Soviet Union a day later.
The German occupation of Hungary led to the deportation of Košice's entire Jewishpopulation of 12,000 and an additional 2,000 from surrounding areas via cattle cars to the concentration camps.
In 1946, after the war, Košice was the site of an orthodox Zionist revival, with a Mizrachi convention and a Bnei Akiva Yeshiva (school) for refugees, which, later that year, moved with its students to Israel.
Today there are only 8 men who pray at the synagogue regularly, and they are assisted by Jewish students predominantly studying medicine at the city's universities, from Israel.
The Soviets and Czechoslovakia
The town was captured by the Soviets in January 1945 and for a short time it became a temporary capital city of the restored Czechoslovak Republic until the Soviet Red Army reached Prague. Among other acts, the Košice Government Program was declared on 5 April 1945.
At that time a large population of ethnic Germans in the area were expelled and sent on foot to Germany or to the Russian border.
After the Communist Party seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the city became part of the Eastern Bloc. Several present day cultural institutions were founded and large residential areas around the city were built. The construction and expansion of the East Slovak Ironworks caused the population to grow from 60,700 in 1950 to 235,000 in 1991. Before the breakup of Czechoslovakia (1993), it was the fifth largest city in the federation.
Following the Velvet Divorce and creation of the Slovak Republic, Košice became the second largest city in the country and became a seat of a constitutional court. Since 1995, it has been the seat of the Archdiocese of Košice.
Košice has a borderline humid continental climate (Dfb) and oceanic climate (Cfb), as the city lies in the north temperate zone. The city has four distinct season. Precipitation has a little variation throughout the year with abundance precipitation that falls during summer and only few during winter. The coldest month is January with average temperature −3 °C (27 °F), while the hottest month is July with average temperature 19.3 °C (66.7 °F).
Climate data for Košice, Slovakia
|Average high °C (°F)||0.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.6|
|Source: World Meteorological Organisation|
Košice lies at an altitude of 206 metres (676 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 242.77 square kilometres (93.7 sq mi). It is located in eastern Slovakia, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Hungarian, 80 kilometres (50 mi) from theUkrainian, and 90 kilometres (56 mi) from the Polishborders. It is about 400 kilometres (249 mi) east of Slovakia's capital Bratislava and a chain of villages connects it to Prešov which is about 36 kilometres (22 mi) to the north.
Košice is situated on the Hornád River in the Košice Basin, at the easternmost reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains. More precisely it is a subdivision of the Čierna hora mountains in the northwest and Volovské vrchy mountains in the southwest. The basin is met on the east by the Slanské vrchy mountains.
Košice is the economic hub of eastern Slovakia. It accounts for about 9% of the Slovak gross domestic product. The steel mill, U.S. Steel Košice with 13,500 employees, is the largest employer in the city and the largest private employer in the country. Other major sectors include mechanical engineering, food industry, services, and trade. GDP per capita in 2001 was €4,004, which was below Slovakia's average of €4,400. The unemployment rate was 8.32% in November 2015, which was below the country's average 10.77% at that time.
The city has a balanced budget of 2.78 billion Slovak korunas (almost €83 million, as of 2007) with a small surplus of 25 million korunas. The budget for the year 2008 consisted of projects with total spending of 2.82 billion korunas.
|Košice I||Džungľa, Kavečany, Sever, Sídlisko Ťahanovce, Staré Mesto, Ťahanovce|
|Košice II||Lorinčík, Luník IX, Myslava, Pereš, Poľov, Sídlisko KVP, Šaca, Západ|
|Košice III||Sídlisko dargovských hrdinov, Košická Nová Ves|
|Košice IV||Barca, Juh, Krásna, Nad jazerom, Šebastovce, Vyšné Opátske|
Prices in Kosice
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.09|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.27|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€76.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€32.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€62.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.60|
59 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
121 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
You can fly to Košice from London, Bratislava, Vienna or Prague. The discount carrier Wizz Air serves Košice.
- Prague: 8h, EC Košičan; 9½h, 3 night trains a day
Moreover there are many daytime connections with change at Žilina.
- 6h, fast train every 2 hours; 5h, 3 IC trains a day; 7h, night train Poľana
Be aware that Horehronec train follows a different and slower path, via rural central Slovakia, and the journey lasts for 7½h. 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: 3½h, 2 IC trains a day
- Kiev: 21½h, one night train a day
There's no suitable train connection from Poland.
Given the efficiency and value of the train system, you shouldn't need to use the bus system very much. Eurolines coaches come to here from numerous European cities, and bus is the most efficient way of reaching the nearby town of Levoca. There are also several companies linking Košice with Prague, usually with several stops on the route, including Brno.
Direct buses from Budapest or Vienna to Kosice by Eurobusways
Transportation - Get Around
Košice has a small and compact city center, and is mostly navigable by foot. If you are staying the suburbs, the tram system is cheap and efficient. With good bus and tram connections around the whole city [www], 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.
- BEST RATED -
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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.
- Optima Shopping Center is the biggest shopping center in Košice. It is 52 300 m2 and contains more than 100 boutiques and a multi-cinema Cinemax with 7 stages. Opening hours are: 10AM-9PM. Address: Moldavská cesta 32. You can get there easily by public transport - tram no.5 or bus no.10
- OC Galéria Košice. Is the newest and the second biggest shopping center in Košice. It is located nearer to the city center than Optima. You may find it 10 minutes walk west (up the steeper hill) of Steel Arena ice hockey stadium, Toryska street.
- Aupark. Located in city center at Námestie osloboditeľov.
- AJVEGA, 10 Orlia (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.
- Panda Asian bistro, Fejova 13, open from 09:00 to 19:00, closed on Sunday, good and cheap food, average price for lunch is €3,50. Ask foropekane rezance, Asian style noodles for €1,50.
- Med Malina. Restaurant, Hlavná 81, open from 10am till 10pm every day, and till 11 pm on Fridays. Offers good food, English speaking staff, wi-fi internet access and cosy traditional environment.
- Golem. Dominikanske namestie, next to 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.
Sights & Landmarks
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.
- Main Street (Hlavná ulica) where most of the sights worth seeing are. With its unique atmosphere it 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 has been landed up 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.
- 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 59.7m and contains 160 stairs in the staircase. It is open all year long between 10am and 17pm. You can buy the tickets at the entrance to the cathedral. The entrance fee is rather cheap.
- St. Michael's Chapel (Kaplnka sv.Michala). The chapel probably comes from the first half of the14th 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 situated above the door leading to the vestry.
- Saint Urban's tower (Urbanova veža). Originally a Gothic prismatic campanile with a pyramidal roof dating 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 the years 1967-1971 the Tower was subjected to restoration and renovation.
- 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. Originally 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 WW2 - the national artist Janko Borodac.
- 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 there 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.
- Palaces of Košice. Košice is the city which has the highest number of palaces in Slovakia and all of them are worth seeing. Perhaps the most important palace is the Former Town Hall , which is the oldest of Košice's council offices. The Andrassy's Palace today serves as the biggest cafeteria and patisserie - AIDA. The other palaces include The Bishop's Palace , Hadik - Barkoczy Palace , Pongrácz - Forgács' Palace - the seat of the Regional State Library and Csáky - Dessewffy Palace - at present the building is the seat of the Constitutional Court of Slovak Republic and at the same time it is the so-called 'palace of the books' as you can find the biggest bookstore of Košice, selling books not only in Slovak, but also in Hungarian, English, German and other languages. We shall not to forget about the Captain's Palace where you can find the Slovak Technical museum and last but not least, Jacab's Palace which was erected in 1899 in the pseudo-Gothic style constructed from discarded stones from the Kosice St. Elizabeth's Cathedral and most of the inhabitants of Košice would choose this building as one of the most beautiful ones.
- Beggar's House - 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. And a historic house.
Museums & Galleries
- East Slovak Museum (Vychodoslovenske muzeum) 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.
- Muzeum Vojtecha Lofflera, 20 Alzbetina ulica. Likely interesting for the more art inclined traveler after seeing the usual government sponsored touristy stuff.
Things to do
- Walking the historic center. The best thing to do on a short trip or shortly after arriving is to walk the compact and lovely historic center.
- Day hikes - All hiking trails in the gorgeous surroundings of the city may be looked up at [www]. Apart from magnificent, relatively close and serious mountains of High Tatras (~ 1 and half hour on the train to Stary Smokovec with a stopover in Poprad, take 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 2.5 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 WW2 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.
- 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 the bus 71/72/29 north from the city center to 'Mier' stop and ask for directions.
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. 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.
- Amana Tea House, Hlavná 21. open from 10am to 10pm. Literally hundreds of teas to chose from, and friendly staff to help you chose. Very special ambiance, with several sitting corners, games. A great place to hide from the rain or have a peaceful moment.
- 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.
- 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.
- Collosseum. 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.
- Jazz Club, 39 Kovacska (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.
- Golem. Dominikanske namestie next to Hlavna, on the corner next to the church. Nice pub and restaurant with an evening vibe and their own tasty microbrewery produced beer.
- Smallvill Tea House. Masiarska 50. A fine tea house with a wide range of quality loose tea to offer, often referred to as the best one in the town. You can choose from numerous quality teas from all over the world, as well as there are also some specialities you can get only here. In addition, you can try a water-pipe (shisha, hookah.) here with numerous options for quality tobacco blends. With its friendly atmosphere, fine lounge music and with a blend of exotic scents, it is the best place to relax with a book in your hand, or just to hang out with friends.
- Tarantino, hidden at a passage to Hlavna at south end of Masiarska. A tiny (their 'vault' offers some extra and private space if you do not fear an inside of a colour painted submarine like feel) local artsy and intellectual types' favorite hangout owned by a charismatic and friendly young couple. A nice place with good music, good beers and fancy cocktails, and a proper place for a date after a dinner.
Safety in Kosice
Avoid parks and the train station surroundings at night. Do not be overly generous to the homeless and pay caution to impoverished Gypsies including children and do not engage with them. Call 112 for medical, police or fire department help.