Slovakia

Things to do in Kosice, Slovakia- a perfect city break destination

(Last Updated On: 12/09/2019)

I guess not many of you have had the idea to visit Kosice, Slovakia. You might even want to google now what place I’m talking about.

But let me tell you – this second biggest city in Slovakia is pretty amazing, incredibly underrated and with all the great things to do in Kosice it makes a perfect city break destination in Europe.

Kosice has everything you might wish for: a beautiful old town full of interesting monuments, some cool alternative spots, lots of great cafes and restaurants and some amazing day trip options!

I’ve been to Kosice around 5 times by now, this summer I’ve spent 4 days there and I still can’t get over how wonderful this city is, how many options of things to do in Kosice there are and how perfect the place is for at least a weekend trip.

It just keeps surprising me, how come people don’t even consider visiting Kosice?

things to do in Kosice

Things to do in Kosice

There’re numerous things to see and do in Kosice, enough for few good days in the city!

The most important monument is St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, preponderating the city. It’s the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe, works on it began in 1378.

The building is stunning both inside and outside and the view from the tower is breathtaking and definitely worth taking 160 stairs up!

St. Elizabeth’s Cathedral, together with next door Urban’s Tower and Michal’s Chapel, were proclaimed a national cultural heritage.

The whole Gothic complex is located in the heart of Hlavna ulica – Main street.

This is the biggest historical area in Slovakia and walking up and down the pedestrian street, admiring beautiful bourgeois houses, or spending time in one of the numerous cafes and restaurants around is the highlight of every visit in the city and one of the best things to do in Kosice.

The majority of the Kosice attractions you want to see are around the Main street: next to the Gothic complex there’s the State Theatre with unique singing fountains just in front (such a cool thing!), grand palaces are built along the street, the narrow, charming lanes are hidden behind the arches on both sides and the East Slovak Museum (with the Gold Treasure hiding almost 3000 gold coins among few other things) can be found at the end of Hlavna.

Visit Kosice

Visit Kosice

things to do in Kosice

Visit Kosice

things to do in Kosice

Visit Kosice

things to do in Kosice

Visit Kosice and its alternatice spots

Being the European Capital of Culture 2013, Kosice has a lot to offer also on the alternative front.

The city is the best street art gallery in Slovakia, with huge murals adorning walls of blocks all over the city.

The former tobacco factory or military barracks now serve as cultural centers and the old swimming pool was transformed into the contemporary art museum!

Few steps away from the Main Street a charming lane – Hrnciarska – hides numerous craftsman stores.

-> Read more about street art in Kosice
-> Read more about culture in Kosice

things to do in Kosice

things to do in Kosice

Visit Kosice

cafes in Kosice

Day trips from Kosice

Not only the city is extremely interesting, but it also has a lot of great day trips opportunities! Once you are done with Kosice sightseeing you should set off to see the region.

One hour drive from Kosice can take you to the Tokaj region known for its amazing wines and relaxing atmosphere.

It makes a perfect day trip but you can easily spend a good few days there, just visiting (and enjoying) the wine cellars and discovering the area.

Every fan of active holidays will be delighted with nearby Tatra mountains and Slovak Paradise National park.

And if you’re looking for picture-perfect Central European towns you’re in for a treat too!

Kosice can be a perfect base to explore eastern Slovakia! You can easily travel from Kosice to places like Bardejov.

-> Read more about top places to visit in Slovakia

Tokaj

Spissky Hrad

High Tatra

Levoca

How to get to Kosice

Kosice is easily accessible by train, bus or plane from numerous places around. The international airport is served by low-cost airline Wizzair with flights to the UK and Italy, there is also a daily connection with Warsaw thanks to LOT Polish airlines.

There’re direct trains to Budapest (3.5 hours), Bratislava (5 hours) or Prague (8 hours) and bus services to Cracow (6 hours).

Where to stay in Kosice

During my numerous trips to the city I could have checked numerous Kosice accommodation options. Places I can definitely recommend are:

You can also search for the best place to stay in Kosice on the map below. The best location is along the Hlavna street and in the nearby back streets.



Booking.com

Where to eat in Kosice

Again, there’re numerous options for dining out.

Some of the best restaurants include Primi, Villa Regia, Le Colonial, Camelot and Med Malina. And all of them serve some vegetarian options!

Vyprazany syr might be one of my beloved food ever!!

Kosice has some really great cafes as well, like “Smelly cat”, named after everyone’s favorite tv show “Friends”.

I found Foursquare to be the best source of information about places to eat and drink.

-> Read more about vegetarian food in Slovakia

Kosice restaurants

Kosice restaurants

Events in Kosice

Did you know that Kosice Marathon is the oldest one in Europe and the second oldest in the world, after the Boston Marathon? It takes place on the first Sunday in October every year and brings a big joy to the city.

At the end of November Main Street turns into the Christmas wonderland. For the whole list of events take a look at Visit Kosice website.

Is it worth to visit Kosice?

The second biggest city in Slovakia has everything you might look for in the perfect city break destination: beautiful monuments, interesting history, great day trips, and Central-European charm.

It isn’t even half as crowded as nearby Prague, Cracow or Budapest and you get to enjoy all the best things to do in Kosice in the peace and quiet atmosphere.

And the best thing – Kosice is a really good money value!

Make sure to take a look at Visit Kosice website to learn more about the city and plan your trip there!

And you should watch this great video about Kosice made by my friends at Visegrad Hostels!

Visit Kosice


Travel resources

With over 15 years of independent traveling, I’ve learned which websites and services are the best when planning a trip. I always use and trust the following websites:

Money – My number one tip for everyone is to start using Revolut bank card to save money when traveling.

You get the card by mail within a few days and you can use it all over the world. You top up the card in the app on the phone, where you can also have accounts in different currencies and exchange money between them, for no extra fee and at very favorable rates.

Everything is super easy and fast, you only need an internet connection to manage your accounts in the app.

Revolut supports over 140 currencies and offers free withdrawal from ATMs all over the world. In the first 6 months I’ve used Revolut card in 12 countries in 3 continents and had no issues at all. And I saved a lot of money in the exchange rates!

Click here to learn more about the service and order your own Revolut card!

Accommodation – I always book my accommodation through Booking.com.

They have really good deals (especially with their “Genius” program that you become a member of after few reservations) and in most of the cases, if your plans change, you can cancel the reservation without any extra costs.

I also value them for a really good customer service that I had to use a few times.

Check the best deals on accommodation in Kosice here!

Insurance – I never travel without the insurance as you never know what might happen on the road and better safe than sorry (I’ve learnt my lesson).

I can recommend World Nomads that offer the insurance dedicated to travelers just like you and me.

Click here to get the insurance policy for Slovakia here.

Day tours – I do go for a day trips when I travel as often they are the most convenient way to see the place that saves you time and money.

I most often use Get Your Guide that offers a variety of tours all over the world. Click here to check all the best tours you can take during your travels!

Offline maps – For years I’ve been using MAPS.ME app and I can’t recommend it enough!

It’s free, works offline perfectly fine and saved me many times. You can easily transfer Google Maps with all the bookmarks to maps.me and use them offline wherever you are.

Click here to download it to your phone before your next trip!


For the end I left a few announcements that might interest you:

  • If you don’t want to miss new posts and news from me click here to sign to my newsletter! You can also follow me on Bloglovin!
  • Join my Facebook group about Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR and connect with fellow travellers and enthusiasts of these regions – just click here!
  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Kosice too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. If you like what you are reading and seeing here and would like to support me and my blog please consider using those links. It would be like getting me a virtual drink that you don’t have to pay for! Thanks!

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Kosice, Slovakia       Kosice


Disclaimer: I visited Kosice in partnership with Visit Kosice however all the opinions are 100% mine, as always.


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51 Comments

  • Reply
    Traveling Rockhopper
    01/12/2015 at 15:00

    I’m from Poland, so I heard about Kosice, however I had no idea it’s the second biggest city in Slovakia! And I didn’t really have a chance to visit it… It really looks like a beautiful place, and surrounded by lovely mountains :) One day… ;)

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:24

      it’s definitely worth visiting so I hope you will go there soon, especially since it’s so close! Such an underrated city!!

  • Reply
    Łukasz | Kartka z Podróży
    01/12/2015 at 16:04

    Do tej pory Koszyce kojarzyłm ze względu o walkę braci Jana I i Władysława II o wpływy na Węgrzech. Dzięki za wiele innych ciekawostek.

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:27

      polecam się :)

  • Reply
    Hanging around in Asia
    01/12/2015 at 17:43

    I usually stop there on the way to Romania or to The Balkans. If you travel by car from Warsaw it’s a good place to have a break and chill out for a while :) I know the hostel you mentioned! I’m quite curious though about the veggie food – will read the article – ‘cos to get some it’s been a kind of challenge. ;)

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:31

      you’re right, it’s a perfect stop on the way to the south of Europe, and it makes such a great chill out spot! As for the veggie food – you never can go wrong with fried cheese! :)

      • Reply
        Mark
        14/04/2019 at 13:12

        Hoe do you get around without a car to the nat park and unique towns Every guide book recommends driving we wish to use bus or trains Thanks

        • Reply
          kami
          27/04/2019 at 09:48

          Some of the sights require a car indeed (my local friends took me there) but you can get to many by public transport too (Bardejov, Spissky Hrad, Levoca, Slovak Paradise). These places are really worth a visit!

  • Reply
    Julius from Traveltipy
    01/12/2015 at 19:43

    I am from Kosice, it is the most beautiful city in Slovakia! There is so much to do and visit here. You should also mention ZOO which is the largest zoo in central Europe (by area).

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:32

      I was in the ZOO as well but to be honest didn’t find it so special and I’m not sure it’s worth the trip all the way there. But Kosice is amazing and has so much to offer! I really enjoyed it there!

  • Reply
    Spa
    01/12/2015 at 20:00

    I love Kosice! I fell in love with architecture and small cosy cafes :) and those murals… are amazing!

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:33

      indeed! I really like it too, for the same reasons!

  • Reply
    Amanda Williams
    01/12/2015 at 19:09

    I have family in Kosice!

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      that’s a lovely place! have you been there? can’t remember

    • Reply
      Amanda Williams
      04/12/2015 at 19:14

      Nope haven’t been yet!

  • Reply
    Alex Uher
    01/12/2015 at 19:12

    I really liked Kosice when we went last year, totally underrated and beautiful city! I was taken aback by several instances of hyper-violent Roma fights occurring in broad daylight and at night. Anyone else encountered this there? It was just incredibly sad as these people had to be really on some serious drugs to do what they were doing.

    • Reply
      Ivetka Tonhauserova
      01/12/2015 at 22:28

      Oh you probably had bad luck :( I actually live in Kosice and yes there are some places where this situation is totally possible (train/bus station, specific quarters in town, etc.) but it doesn’t happen normally in city center. Oh well, it’s such a shame you had this bad experience :(

    • Reply
      Alex Uher
      01/12/2015 at 22:30

      No need for you to apologize! It’s a beautiful city and my visit wasn’t ruined by this, it was just sad to see.

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:04

      no, it didn’t happen to me, not even once and I’ve bene to Kosice couple of times. So sorry you had to encounter this Alex!

  • Reply
    Kinga
    01/12/2015 at 20:48

    Charming! That’s the word I can think of when watching pictures you took in Kosice. :-)

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:33

      Kosice is charming indeed :) perfect word to describe the city!

  • Reply
    Cinderellas Travel Shoes
    01/12/2015 at 22:00

    Perfect post! Kosice is definitely a nice place to visit! Thank you for sharing this nice post about my country! :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      thank you :)

  • Reply
    Kristina
    01/12/2015 at 23:00

    Beautiful photos & perfect guide about Kosice! You must love my country! :)

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:34

      Thank you! And yes, Slovakia is pretty high on my list of favourite countries :)

  • Reply
    Karolina Wudniak
    02/12/2015 at 04:01

    byłam i bardzo lubię! :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      doskonale rozumiem dlaczego :)

  • Reply
    Kinga Bielejec
    02/12/2015 at 07:00

    Byłam tylko przejazdem z tego co pamiętam. A są tak blisko…

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      to zdecydowanie musisz wrócić na dłużej!

  • Reply
    Iza Turaj
    02/12/2015 at 07:08

    Byłam tylko w Bratysławie i jakoś przez to odsunęłam Słowację na dalszy plan, ale przy następnej okazji na pewno wpadnę do Kosic. :D

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:03

      koniecznie! Koszyce biją Bratysławę na głowę, przynajmniej dla mnie :)

  • Reply
    Marcin Wesołowski
    02/12/2015 at 07:30

    Pojadę w przyszłym roku, mam blisko! :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:05

      koniecznie!!

  • Reply
    Marta Gawrychowska
    02/12/2015 at 07:41

    Może w przyszłym roku

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      trzymam kciuki!

  • Reply
    Anna Brusewicz
    02/12/2015 at 07:58

    Nie byłam, a szkoda, super klimaty. Na Słowacji na razie mam zjeżdżony Spisz i ośrodki narciarskie, Donovaly, Chopok, Štrbské Pleso :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:03

      to zdecydowanie warto szybko nadrobić, tym bardziej, że to całkiem blisko! Spisz też fajny, i Strbske Pleso piękne!!

  • Reply
    Olka Zagórska-Chabros
    02/12/2015 at 08:05

    Byłam w Koszycach sto lat temu, bodajże w trakcie jakiejś koloni. Nie za wiele z tego czasu pamiętam, oprócz dużej fontanny oczywiście.

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:02

      fontanna fajna! ale całe Koszyce naprawdę dają radę!

  • Reply
    Igor Banaszczyk
    02/12/2015 at 08:18

    Nie błem ale z chęcią sie wybiorę :)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:06

      polecam!

  • Reply
    Travels and Tipples
    02/12/2015 at 19:22

    Have been only to Bratislava in Slovakia and would like to see more of the country.

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      04/12/2015 at 19:01

      you definitely should! Slovakia is so underrated and hides many gems!

  • Reply
    Marcin W
    03/12/2015 at 09:50

    Niesamowicie zadbane i przyjemne miejsce! Kolejne z tych, które człowiek ma pod nosem, a jeszcze nie widział. Przekonały mnie zdjęcia z wersji letniej, z chęcią posiedziałbym w jednej z tych kawiarni. Bardzo przekonywująca relacja Kamila, naprawdę!

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:34

      Cieszę się! W przyszłym roku obowiązkowo jedź tam na jakiś weekend, nie pożałujesz! A tym bardziej, że to nie tak daleko z Krakowa! Ile byście jechali, ze 4-5h?

  • Reply
    Monica
    04/12/2015 at 00:24

    Well, the most convincing bit was when you wrote it’s close to the Tokaj region :D – for that I could go there, for the rest… I’m not sure.
    It looks like a pretty pleasant town to wander around – if I go to Slovakia I might visit it :)

    • Reply
      kami
      07/12/2015 at 23:35

      Tokaj was pretty cool, and challenging ;) As for the rest – why are you not sure? What I really liked about Kosice was that it felt really authentic and not overcrowded with tourists like other beautiful cities around!

  • Reply
    Agnieszka
    10/12/2015 at 12:12

    Nie byłam, ale dużo słyszałam i wygląda naprawdę pięknie!

    • Reply
      kami
      13/12/2015 at 09:23

      Zdecydowanie polecam! Tak bardzo urocze i niedocenione miejsce! I tak blisko z Polski!

  • Reply
    Joubran
    26/09/2017 at 11:13

    Thanks, what a great informative article. Any public transportation to Tokaj? where to stay there?

    • Reply
      kami
      11/10/2017 at 11:53

      I honestly have no idea as I just went there by car for a day from Kosice. But I think you can find more information here: http://kosiceregion.com/en

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