Košice guide Slovakia

Sights and attractions - What shouldn´t you miss in Košice? St. Elizabeth's Cathedral, the Main street, the singing fountain,...

Accommodation - Tips for pleasant and popular accommodation in a guesthouse in the center or outside the city center, in a cheap hostel or a luxurious 4* hotel.

Typical food and drink - What you should try in Košice - dumplings halušky, holubky or Tokaj wine.

Practical tips - Here you can learn about local transport, customs and festivals.

Weather - What temperatures can you expect in Košice during the year? When it rains the most and when, on the contrary, the sun often shines.

Celebrities - What famous personalities lived and worked in Košice?

Poet AI - And what did artificial intelligence come up with about this historic city?

Košice city center with the Cathedral
Košice city center with the Cathedral

The second largest city in Slovakia and the administrative center of the Košice Region is located in the east of the country, near the border with Hungary. Less than a quarter of a million inhabitants live here. The Hornád river flows through the town.

The history of this city with a rich past dates back to the Middle Ages. The first written mention of the city dates back to 1230. In 1369, Košice became the first city in Europe, and thus in the world, to receive its own coat of arms with a coat of arms document from King Louis I the Great.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city played a role as a center of trade and culture within the Habsburg Empire. After the First World War, Košice became part of Czechoslovakia. During the Second World War they were occupied by Hungary, but after the war it returned to Czechoslovakia. It has belonged to the Slovak Republic since 1993. In 2013, Košice was declared the European City of Culture.

In Košice, they have the largest urban monument reserve in Slovakia. Here you can see the largest Slovak church and one of the most important Gothic buildings in Central Europe, St. Elizabeth's Cathedral. It is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and unique altar. Next to St. Elizabeth's Cathedral stands the Gothic bell tower Urban's tower.
The main street is a pedestrian zone with many historic buildings, cafes and shops. The singing fountain and the Košice State Theater are also located on this street.

The Main Street
The Main Street

You will also find the East Slovak Museum here, one of the oldest museums in Slovakia with rich collections in the fields of archaeology, history and ethnography.

The ruins of the castle, located on the hill above the town, invite you to take a walk. The observation tower then offers wonderful views of Košice and the surrounding area.

Košice also appears on the list of university cities. You will find several universities here, including the University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik and the Technical University in Košice.

Košice is an important industrial center, mainly thanks to the U.S. Steel Košice steelworks, one of the largest employers in the region.
The growing service sector, including IT and telecommunications, leases to the economic development of the city.

Košice International Airport offers regular connections to several European cities.
The city has good rail connections with the rest of Slovakia and neighboring countries.
An efficient network of buses and trams provides transportation around the city.

Košice has several beautiful parks, including the Municipal Park and the Botanical Garden of the University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik.
The city is home to several sports teams, including the hockey club HC Košice, which plays in the top Slovak league.

During the summer months, they organize the Košice Cultural Summer, a series of cultural events and festivals. You can also visit the White Night (Nuit Blanche), an art festival that brings light installations and artistic performances to the streets of the city.

Sights and attractions

St. Elizabeth's Cathedral - The largest church in Slovakia and one of the most important Gothic buildings in Central Europe. It covers 1200 square meters. The cathedral boasts beautiful stained glass windows and a unique altar.

Cathedral of St. Elisabeth
Cathedral of St. Elisabeth

Urban's Tower - Gothic bell tower standing next to St. Elizabeth's Cathedral. The tower was built in the 14th century and named after Saint Urban, the patron saint of winemakers.

St. Michael's Church - Gothic church from the 14th century, which served as a cemetery chapel. You are in close proximity to St. Elizabeth's Cathedral.

St. Michael´s Church
St. Michael´s Church

Main street - Pedestrian zone with many historical buildings, cafes and shops. The singing fountain and the Košice State Theater are also located on this street.

Košice State Theater - A beautiful neo-baroque building from the end of the 19th century. The theater offers a wide range of performances including opera, ballet and drama.

State Theater Košice
State Theater Košice

Mikluš Prison - Historical prison from the 15th century, which now serves as a museum with exhibits dedicated to medieval law and imprisonment.

Jacob's Palace - A historic building from the end of the 19th century built in the neo-Gothic style. The palace is known for its beautiful architecture and interesting history. They currently use it for various social events.

Jacob´s palace
Jacob´s palace

Eastern Slovak Museum - One of the oldest museums in Slovakia with rich collections in the field of archaeology, history and ethnography. The museum also includes an exhibition focused on Košice's golden treasure.

Eastern Slovak Gallery - Gallery with an extensive collection of fine art from the Gothic period to the present. You are located on Hlavní ulica in the former Župní dům.

Singing Fountain - A fountain on Main Street that synchronizes water jets with music and light effects.

Singing fountain
Singing fountain

Steel Arena - A modern multifunctional hall that hosts sports matches, concerts and various cultural events. The hall can accommodate more than 8,000 visitors.

City Park - A beautiful park in the center of the city, ideal for walking and relaxing. There is also a lake and a children's playground in the park.

Botanical Garden of the University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik - The largest botanical garden in Slovakia with extensive plant collections, greenhouses and an arboretum.

Tips for trips around the area

Košice Castle - The ruins of a castle located on a hill above the city. The castle was built at the beginning of the 14th century, but since the middle of the 15th century, no one took care of the castle, so it gradually fell into disrepair. Today, the castle hosts various cultural and historical events.

Zádielska tiesňava - Picturesque canyon near Košice, ideal for hiking and discovering the natural beauty of the Slovak Karst.

Slovak Karst
Slovak Karst


Košice offers accommodation in almost 400 different accommodation capacities, led by popular apartments, followed by hotels, boarding houses and hostels. Here you will find both luxury accommodation and cheap accommodation suitable for backpackers, for example.

For example, the 4* City Residence Apartment Hotel offers pleasant and highly rated accommodation. You can find it in the historic center of the city, which you can explore either on foot or by bike, which you can rent for free at the reception. The hotel offers accommodation in apartments or studios. The local restaurant provides not only breakfast served to the room, but also lunch and a permanent menu. On warmer days, you can enjoy your meal on the patio in the yard.

Lovers of boutique accommodation will certainly be interested in the Vila Terrasse guesthouse, located near the center in a residential area. From all rooms you can enjoy a view of the garden, where you can also find a sun terrace. Lovers of winter sports can use the ski storage room.

Among the popular accommodations in the city center is the Dorfel guesthouse. It offers accommodation in suites or rooms. The services provided at the reception include, for example, lockers, a concierge, valet parking and the provision of tourist information. You can also stay here with your pets.

For example, Hostel Vodna 1 offers cheap accommodation in the center of the city. You can stay in a mixed or double room or in an apartment. You can cook in the shared kitchen and there are lockers at the reception.

For a complete offer of accommodation in Košice, we recommend using A-HOTEL.com or Booking.com.

Typical food and drink

As an important city in the east of Slovakia, Košice offers a wide variety of traditional food and drinks that reflect the region's rich history and cultural influences.

Bryndza dumplings - The national dish of Slovakia, which consists of halushka (small potato dumplings) served with bryndza (sheep's cheese) and bacon. It is a hearty and tasty dish, very popular throughout Slovakia.

Holubky – Stuffed cabbage leaves. Boiled cabbage leaves are filled with rice and minced meat, then everything is stewed or baked.

Kapustnica - Traditional Slovak sauerkraut, often served with sausage, mushrooms and sour cream. They prepare it especially during the winter months and at Christmas.

Goulash - A thick meat stew, often made from beef or pork, seasoned with paprika and other spices. It is served with bread or dumpling.


Pirogh - Stuffed pasta pockets, similar to Polish pierogies or Russian pelmeni. In Košice, they are often filled with bryndza, potatoes, cabbage or meat.

Lokše - Thin potato pancakes that can be served sweet or salty. Savory versions are often filled with duck or goose meat and cabbage, while sweet ones are served with poppy seeds or jam.

Cheeses – well-known and excellent Slovak cheeses that you should definitely try include brynza, oštiepok, korbáčik and parenica.

Borovička - Traditional Slovak juniper distillate, similar to gin. It has gained popularity throughout Slovakia and is often drunk as an aperitif or digestif.

Wines from Tokaj - The Tokaj region is located near Košice and is known for its sweet white wines. Tokaj wines are valued for their unique taste and quality.

Štrúdľa - Slovak version of the Austrian apple strudel, often filled with apples, cottage cheese or poppy seeds.

Apple strudel

Practical advice for the trip

You can have a great time traveling to Košice, especially if you are well prepared. Here you will read some practical advice that can help you when visiting this beautiful city in the east of Slovakia.

How to get to Košice? Košice has an international airport (KSC), from where you can reach the city center in approximately 10 minutes by car or taxi.
The main train station is located near the city center. Trains from here go not only to the rest of Slovakia, but also to some neighboring countries.
The bus station is also close to the center. Both international and domestic bus lines go here.
Košice is easily accessible via the D1 highway, which connects the city with Bratislava and other Slovak cities.

Košice has an efficient urban public transport system, which includes buses, trams and trolleybuses. You can buy tickets in machines at bus stops, in newsstands or via mobile applications.

Košice offers many restaurants and cafes where you can taste both local and international cuisine. It is recommended to try local specialties such as bryndza dumplings, cabbage and Tokaj wines.
You can enjoy fresh local products and traditional dishes while visiting local markets such as Tržnica.

Local markets
Local markets

The official language is Slovak, but many people, especially the younger generation and workers in the tourism industry, speak English. Due to the proximity of Hungary and the local Hungarian minority, you will often meet Hungarian as well.

Slovakia uses the euro (€). ATMs can be found all over the city. Most shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, but it's a good idea to have some cash with you for smaller purchases or at the markets.

Keep an eye on the local calendar of cultural events, as Košice hosts various festivals, concerts and theater performances throughout the year. Košice is known for its International Peace Marathon, the oldest marathon in Europe and the 3rd oldest in the world. It was run for the first time in 1924.

International Peace Marathon


The climate in Košice is mild continental. This means that the city experiences four distinct seasons. Warm summers with average daily temperatures around 20-30°C, cold winters with average temperatures between 3 and -3°C and occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn bring mild temperatures and changeable weather, often with rainfall. It rains the most from May to July. To visit the city, we recommend September, when it hardly rains and temperatures drop to a pleasant 15-20°C.


Francis II Rákóczi (1676-1735) - Hungarian nobleman and leader of the uprising against the Habsburgs. In 1906, his remains were transported to Košice and placed in the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth.

Jozef Miloslav Hurban (1817-1888) - Slovak national revivalist, writer, journalist and politician who worked in the area of ​​Košice.

Sándor Márai (1900-1989) - Famous Hungarian writer who was born in Košice. He wrote novels, essays and various articles.

Ján Bocatius (1569-1621) - Slovak poet, teacher and rector of Košice University. He was one of the first significant literary creators in the area. He also served as mayor of Košice.

Peter Bondra (1968-) - Slovak hockey player who started his career in Košice and later became one of the most successful players in the NHL.

Rudolf Schuster (1934-) - Slovak politician who served as president of the Slovak Republic in 1999-2004. Before that, he also served as mayor of Košice and chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic.


A poem about Košice invented by artificial intelligence

By the river Hornád, where the sun shines,
lay Košice, a pearl in the distance.
Rich history, many stories,
in the streets of the old, shining like the night.

The royal city, the title given to them,
in the year one thousand three hundred and eighty three.
Walls protected them, towers high,
tales of knights, times far away.

Witnesses of history, what the city wrote,
from kings and princes who ruled proudly.
Rákóczi and Bocatius, a famous name,
they left a mark that is not lost.

Sándor Márai, a well-known writer,
he brings the city to life with his words.
St. Elizabeth's Cathedral, Gothic beauty,
it stands with pride, even as time flies by.

City of culture, year two thousand and thirteen,
The European capital, the glory will not fade away.
Markets, festivals, joy in the streets,
people laugh, sing songs.

Snow in winter, sun shining in summer,
Košice in every era, it wears its beauty.
Here is home, here is a long story,
Košice, our city, full of dear memories.

From ancient times to the present day,
Košice shines like a jewel in a dream.
Come and learn the story of the places
where history and the present merge into one sheet.